Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 60
  1. #1
    I see trees of green
    Reputation: TerminatorX91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13,943

    CHURCH & STATE: Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Denied

    Where does this biased notion come from that says conscientious objection can only possibly be valid if it is founded on the beliefs of an objector's religion or the objector's religious beliefs include a belief in a god?

    Margaret Doughty, Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Denied

    Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years, was told by immigration authorities this month that she has until Friday to officially join a church that forbids violence or her application for naturalized citizenship will be rejected.

    Doughty received the ultimatum after stating on her application that she objected to the pledge to bear arms in defense of the nation due to her moral opposition to war. According to a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by the American Humanist Association on Doughty's behalf, officials responded by telling her that she needed to prove that her status as a conscientious objector was due to religious beliefs. They reportedly told her she'd need to document that she was "a member in good standing" of a nonviolent religious organization or be denied citizenship at her June 21 hearing. A note “on official church stationary [sic]" would suffice, they said.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    11,550
    I've always wondered the same thing. Why can't a person arrive at that conclusion that killing people for the state or killing for political purposes is unethical for reasons other than "God told me"?

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9,204
    Agree fully. The freedom of religion should include the freedom to have no religion.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    51,158
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Barry View Post
    I've always wondered the same thing. Why can't a person arrive at that conclusion that killing people for the state or killing for political purposes is unethical for reasons other than "God told me"?
    The morality we have is generally that of the world that we are raised and nurtured in. I wonder where those of you who have opted out of common religious systems think that morality you share, with all it's do's and don'ts, came from. Is it genetically implanted in human beings? If that's the case then why are they so different from one society to another? If it's learned behavior then what is the root?

    I don't think one has to be deeply religious to be a moral human being with high standards but I do believe those religious teachings have shaped the world we all live in regardless of what society you may be born into and they have shaped your own perception of morality.

    I don't believe this woman will actually have to join a church to become a citizen but I wonder if there isn't more to it than that.

  5. #5
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,770
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    I don't believe this woman will actually have to join a church to become a citizen but I wonder if there isn't more to it than that.
    I'm guessing it probably has to do with dated criteria for conscientious objection. An internal matter that can (but not necessarily) be resolved quickly. Or maybe not. It could be that we allow conscientious objection on religious grounds because of the First Amendment... and that conscientious objection without a religious reason is not valid, as far as the authorities are concerned.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Bill2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,272
    The last thing America needs is more damn atheists, particularly atheists who refuse to defend Our Country. We have enough Sunshine Patriots as it is, who hem and haw about what and how the President and American Fighting Men oughta do, but don't have enough Love of Country themselves to enlist and serve their Country in uniform. I'm with Snakebit here- there's more to this story than meets the eye. Send her back where she came from and let her refuse to defend her own homeland.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    457
    There has to be more to this than what is reported. These are 2 separate issues. There are a number of Supreme Court cases on C.O. status. Those of us old enough to actually have been eligible for the draft during the Vietnam era probably remember. Today without the draft, there is very little substance to the C.O. status.

    As for citizenship, there is not requirement that you join a church.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    11,550
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    The morality we have is generally that of the world that we are raised and nurtured in. I wonder where those of you who have opted out of common religious systems think that morality you share, with all it's do's and don'ts, came from. Is it genetically implanted in human beings? If that's the case then why are they so different from one society to another? If it's learned behavior then what is the root?

    I don't think one has to be deeply religious to be a moral human being with high standards but I do believe those religious teachings have shaped the world we all live in regardless of what society you may be born into and they have shaped your own perception of morality.

    I don't believe this woman will actually have to join a church to become a citizen but I wonder if there isn't more to it than that.
    I think like most any human behavior there is a genetic component (e.g. our capacity to empathize and have compassion for others, etc.) and then culture emerges out of that along with the historical contingencies of one's time and place on earth. That's where morality comes from. There's no doubt in the west Christianity has played a huge, dominant role in establishing much of modern day morality. I think humanism went a long way in improving it though and we are all much better for it.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: jwl325's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    963
    Quote Originally Posted by NJBiker72 View Post
    Agree fully. The freedom of religion should include the freedom to have no religion.
    +2....
    Bill

    “You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing...We can make the best or the worst of it."

  10. #10
    Big is relative
    Reputation: bigbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,461
    Her comments in the Huffington Post writeup says she would serve in a non-combat role in the military if called upon. So I guess she'd be ok making sure the ammunition was delivered, bombs were accounted for, basically the logistics involved in killing the enemy but not actually pushing the button or pulling a trigger. Kind of like, I'll load your gun and tell you where to shoot, but you're going to pull the trigger cause' I'm a pacifist. Got it.
    Retired sailor

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: serious's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,743
    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    As for citizenship, there is not requirement that you join a church.
    The requirement was for having religious grounds to "object to the pledge to bear arms in defense of the nation". In other words, religious people get a free pass while atheists cannot.

    And let's think about this: if you believe in god, you can object to killing people for the state, but if you do it on principle, it is not good enough. Oh the irony.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    GF Superfly 29er HT
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    Pake French 75 track

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Fireform's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,299
    On the one hand, there is a long history of requiring religious justification for CO status--my brother was a CO to the Vietnam war based in part on his membership in the 7th Day Adventist church (which he still maintains). This was put in place in part to make it harder for kids who were drafted to opt out of unpopular wars. In this situation, there is no chance whatsoever that a woman in her 60's would be required to serve in the military, no matter what her personal beliefs might be. To use this as leverage in a citizenship case is silly.

    On the other hand, as a prior post has made even clearer, this is a classic example of the bigotry of the religious toward the nonreligious--the supposition on their part that religion is the only possible source of morality. Was there no morality before the time of Christ? The idea is laughable. The golden rule appears recognizably in cultures all over the globe and predates the Christian church by millennia. Christians fall short of their own moral code as often and as spectacularly as anyone else. There is no way in the world that a religious test should be imposed on citizenship, and I hope she fights this out.
    Arguments among misinformed people do not constitute a "debate."
    --Kerry Irons

    "Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby."
    --BianchiJoe

    Cervelo S3/Dura Ace
    Felt B2Pro/SRAM
    Cannondale CAAD10/105

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5,445
    There is a DUTY to country that comes with citizenship. We saw during Vietnam the willingness of many to not fulfill that duty. Few want to kill but sometimes we must, hence the all the PTSD we see from vets from all wars.

    Freedom is not free as the saying goes.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Fireform's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,299

    CHURCH & STATE: Atheist Seeking U.S. Citizenship, Told To Join Church Or Be Den

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    There is a DUTY to country that comes with citizenship. We saw during Vietnam the willingness of many to not fulfill that duty. Few want to kill but sometimes we must, hence the all the PTSD we see from vets from all wars.

    Freedom is not free as the saying goes.
    I don't know if you missed the memo or what, but military service has been voluntary in the US for quite a while now.
    Arguments among misinformed people do not constitute a "debate."
    --Kerry Irons

    "Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby."
    --BianchiJoe

    Cervelo S3/Dura Ace
    Felt B2Pro/SRAM
    Cannondale CAAD10/105

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5,554
    Gotta disagree with you on this snake.

    Survival of our species requires certain conditions of interaction with one another that are well outside of religion. I agree that religion has done a pretty good job of identifying and booking most of those survival principles. I also agree that they were among the first to do so.

    The place where this lady has "gone south" is in her failure to understand that war is often about one sub-set of the human species attempting to cause the extinction of another sub-set. Killing of infidels comes to mind.

    It is not possible to turn the other cheek on those actively engaged in the killing of infidels when and if their numbers and weapons are sufficient and one is herself an "infidel". Survival of this sub-set of infidels may demand action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    The morality we have is generally that of the world that we are raised and nurtured in. I wonder where those of you who have opted out of common religious systems think that morality you share, with all it's do's and don'ts, came from. Is it genetically implanted in human beings? If that's the case then why are they so different from one society to another? If it's learned behavior then what is the root?

    I don't think one has to be deeply religious to be a moral human being with high standards but I do believe those religious teachings have shaped the world we all live in regardless of what society you may be born into and they have shaped your own perception of morality.

    I don't believe this woman will actually have to join a church to become a citizen but I wonder if there isn't more to it than that.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    51,158
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    Her comments in the Huffington Post writeup says she would serve in a non-combat role in the military if called upon. So I guess she'd be ok making sure the ammunition was delivered, bombs were accounted for, basically the logistics involved in killing the enemy but not actually pushing the button or pulling a trigger. Kind of like, I'll load your gun and tell you where to shoot, but you're going to pull the trigger cause' I'm a pacifist. Got it.
    Sounds presidential.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: bahueh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    14,722
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    There is a DUTY to country that comes with citizenship.
    actually, no there is not. sorry.
    Not banned yet.

  18. #18
    I see trees of green
    Reputation: TerminatorX91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    The morality we have is generally that of the world that we are raised and nurtured in. I wonder where those of you who have opted out of common religious systems think that morality you share, with all it's do's and don'ts, came from. Is it genetically implanted in human beings? If that's the case then why are they so different from one society to another? If it's learned behavior then what is the root?

    I don't think one has to be deeply religious to be a moral human being with high standards but I do believe those religious teachings have shaped the world we all live in regardless of what society you may be born into and they have shaped your own perception of morality.
    Religious teachings, ideas about morality and values all came from human beings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    I don't believe this woman will actually have to join a church to become a citizen but I wonder if there isn't more to it than that.
    You mean a reason other than that she is a 64 year old woman who has been a legal resident of the U.S. for more than 30 years, does not believe in God, does not believe in killing people for the state or killing for political purposes and will not pledge to do so to become a naturalized U.S. citizen?

  19. #19
    I see trees of green
    Reputation: TerminatorX91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Let'sRide View Post
    I'm guessing it probably has to do with dated criteria for conscientious objection. An internal matter that can (but not necessarily) be resolved quickly. Or maybe not. It could be that we allow conscientious objection on religious grounds because of the First Amendment... and that conscientious objection without a religious reason is not valid, as far as the authorities are concerned.
    Is that religious opinion valid under the Constitution read correctly?

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    51,158
    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    Religious teachings, ideas about morality and values all came from human beings.



    You mean a reason other than that she is a 64 year old woman who has been a legal resident of the U.S. for more than 30 years, does not believe in God, does not believe in killing people for the state or killing for political purposes and will not pledge to do so to become a naturalized U.S. citizen?
    No ****?

    I don't know what I said that you think you're arguing with, I have no idea what mitigating circumstances would change her status any more than you do. On the face of it I don't believ3e belonging to a church should be a requirement or would be legal if it were.

  21. #21
    I see trees of green
    Reputation: TerminatorX91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Fireform View Post
    On the one hand, there is a long history of requiring religious justification for CO status--my brother was a CO to the Vietnam war based in part on his membership in the 7th Day Adventist church (which he still maintains). This was put in place in part to make it harder for kids who were drafted to opt out of unpopular wars. In this situation, there is no chance whatsoever that a woman in her 60's would be required to serve in the military, no matter what her personal beliefs might be. To use this as leverage in a citizenship case is silly.

    On the other hand, as a prior post has made even clearer, this is a classic example of the bigotry of the religious toward the nonreligious--the supposition on their part that religion is the only possible source of morality. Was there no morality before the time of Christ? The idea is laughable. The golden rule appears recognizably in cultures all over the globe and predates the Christian church by millennia. Christians fall short of their own moral code as often and as spectacularly as anyone else. There is no way in the world that a religious test should be imposed on citizenship, and I hope she fights this out.
    Maybe the real problem was the war, not the kids.

  22. #22
    I see trees of green
    Reputation: TerminatorX91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    There is a DUTY to country that comes with citizenship. We saw during Vietnam the willingness of many to not fulfill that duty. Few want to kill but sometimes we must, hence the all the PTSD we see from vets from all wars.

    Freedom is not free as the saying goes.
    What did Vietnam really have to do with American freedom? Zilch.

  23. #23
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,770
    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    Is that religious opinion valid under the Constitution read correctly?
    I'm not sure what you're asking.

  24. #24
    Dr. Buzz Killington
    Reputation: SauronHimself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    3,222
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    The morality we have is generally that of the world that we are raised and nurtured in. I wonder where those of you who have opted out of common religious systems think that morality you share, with all it's do's and don'ts, came from. Is it genetically implanted in human beings? If that's the case then why are they so different from one society to another? If it's learned behavior then what is the root?

    I don't think one has to be deeply religious to be a moral human being with high standards but I do believe those religious teachings have shaped the world we all live in regardless of what society you may be born into and they have shaped your own perception of morality.

    I don't believe this woman will actually have to join a church to become a citizen but I wonder if there isn't more to it than that.
    Our morality is innately within us from years of genetic variation and natural selection. If any species did not have at least a base sense of right and wrong, it would not survive. Our innate sense for solidarity is what has allowed homosapiens to survive for the last 100 000 years (could be as high as 250k, but 100k is the bare minimum demonstrated by genetics and paleontology). Major religion came onto the social scene roughly 5000 years ago, and I hardly think that people such as the Jews thought murder, theft, and perjury were okay and suddenly got the surprise of their lives when they arrived at Mt. Sinai. Religious morality centers around the Golden Rule, which is probably the closest approximation to a moral absolute as we can come. I call it an approximation because it's only as good as the person using it. Obviously, people like Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dahmer have a different view of what they would find repulsive. The New Testament, by the way, incorrectly phrased this rule as "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.". The original use of the Golden Rule was "Don't do to others what you would find repulsive to you.". To answer why moral values can vary between cultures, it's exactly what evolution predicts as a result of genetic variation and natural selection. A species that is moral enough to survive would have a general sense of goodness and fairness, but due to environment and genetic variation there would obviously be slight differences between cultures.

  25. #25
    I see trees of green
    Reputation: TerminatorX91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13,943
    Quote Originally Posted by Let'sRide View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking.
    Under the U.S. Constitution is the policy position held by government authorities which dictates that government allows conscientious objection only on religious grounds constitutionally valid? In other words, does government under the Constitution have the authority to provide preferential treatment or favor in how it views or treats people based on religion in general or religious affiliation of a specific type?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Church and State
    By physasst in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 10-28-2010, 09:52 AM
  2. Separation of Church & State?
    By JohnHenry in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-14-2008, 09:00 PM
  3. Separation of Church and State
    By Fredke in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-24-2008, 08:24 AM
  4. another reason for separation of church and state
    By atpjunkie in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 10-13-2007, 06:43 PM
  5. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 05-10-2005, 10:03 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Sea Otter Classic

Hot Deals

Contest


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook