Some questions I don't have a ready answer for

A member of another discussion group who is religious and right wing about church/state issues asked the following questions. I don’t know the answers. Anyone here want to take a crack at it?
"How can it not be OK to have the 10 commandments posted in or near a public building but OK to post the same 10 commandments on a taxpayer owned bus? [He is referring to subsidized bus services, though some buses are actually owned outright by cities or counties.]
"If a religious organization were to bend the arm of the local city to rent a bit of city owned space large enough to erect a monument with the 10 commandments would that be OK then? Just as long as they pay for the space for as long as they want the monument to be there?
"If so why is that any different from renting space on a bus?
“If it is OK, then given that most school districts are pressed for revenue, how about renting out space for advertising? If they did so would the same 10 commandments be fair game?”
Lois

...If so why is that any different from renting space on a bus?... Lois
Renting space on a bus, is more "in your face". You don't have the choice to avoid the dogma, if you're just walking down the street and a bus stops right by you. Persons wishing to advertise Quranic verses that support an Islamic State would equally have the right to rent space. Atheist organizations could rent space on the buses, explaining that theism is nonsense. I think that renting space on buses, for religious messaging, might become socially disruptive, to some degree. (Actually, any kind of advertising on public properties, sounds like a bad idea, to me. As it could suggest advocacy by the government, of the message, of whatever company, or group, or individual, it is, that happens to rent the space.)
“How can it not be OK to have the 10 commandments posted in or near a public building but OK to post the same 10 commandments on a taxpayer owned bus? [He is referring to subsidized bus services, though some buses are actually owned outright by cities or counties.]
Because it isn't ok to post the"Ten Commandments" on any taxpayer owned building or vehicle. It's a clear violation of the concept of church/state separation. Tim is accurate in stating that that practice opens the door to every religion or non religion posting it's dogma or views including the Satanists and Wiccans and we wouldn't want that now would we xtians? Although any "church owned" vehicle could plaster their dogma all over their bus and drive It through any neighborhood at will shouting bible verses out of the windows to anyone nearby. That would merely be an offense to the hearer and not a constitutional issue. Cap't Jack

Without knowing about the details of the law, it seems pretty obvious that there is a difference between a bus, which requires payment and is in competition with other forms of transportation is different from a government office building, which is open to everyone and serves the government only. People know what advertising is and know that advertisement on a bus is not endorsed by the government. That’s less obvious in an gov’t office building, and it would just be tacky.

I totally disagree with posting the 10 commandments in public building and schools the way you explained it.
I do separate posting and advertising.
I would agree with the posting if along with the posting the whole history of the 10 commandments was also displayed. I accredit the 10 commandments to the God Pharaoh Moses as part of a curse that was common for the Pharaohs at that time. Pharaoh Moses followers became part of the religion of the Children of Abraham. Then 500 years later what was left of the curse evolved and was written down in the religion of Judaism.
I would also find it OK if they would display all of god’s laws, the 613 laws, and not just the 10 commandments. That would put a better perspective on the laws.
It should be noted that most of the commandments are thousands of years older than Moses, the interpretation of the meanings have changed over time.
On just about every one of these 10 commandment arguments, one of the reasons for the display is that this nation was built on religion. And that argument never seems to get addressed. The fact is this nation was not built on religion, it was built on the freedom from religion. That’s why we don’t hardly have any early churches in this county. There were not many churches at all until the religious movement started in the mid 1800’s.
My deeper views on the subject is that religion is a social medicine. We tax the physical social medication like coffee and alcohol, and now we are talking about taxing the spiritual social medication. Because the reason to display the 10 commandments in the first place is for a message to people to promote a social concept? This would be nothing new if you review the taxing authority of the churches in Europe in late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.
So what we have is tax dollars given to the churches for social reasons, then used to advertise to get more tax dollars. Note most charities like the March of Dimes use 90% of its collections in operations and advertising. So the advertising (not posting) would have to be allowed. Next we could have the church of Coke displaying that “Things Go Better With Coke" and people having a tax write off by receiving coke as a physical social medication. Just look at what’s going on with the church and Marijuana.
http://www.jayleiderman.com/htm/presentations/Religious_Use_Marijuana_Cases_Aspen.pdf
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6995-2004Jun25.html

...If so why is that any different from renting space on a bus?... Lois
Renting space on a bus, is more "in your face". You don't have the choice to avoid the dogma, if you're just walking down the street and a bus stops right by you. Persons wishing to advertise Quranic verses that support an Islamic State would equally have the right to rent space. Atheist organizations could rent space on the buses, explaining that theism is nonsense. I think that renting space on buses, for religious messaging, might become socially disruptive, to some degree. (Actually, any kind of advertising on public properties, sounds like a bad idea, to me. As it could suggest advocacy by the government, of the message, of whatever company, or group, or individual, it is, that happens to rent the space.) I think that was his point. It seems to be a double standard. Lois
I totally disagree with posting the 10 commandments in public building and schools the way you explained it. I do separate posting and advertising. I would agree with the posting if along with the posting the whole history of the 10 commandments was also displayed. I accredit the 10 commandments to the God Pharaoh Moses as part of a curse that was common for the Pharaohs at that time. Pharaoh Moses followers became part of the religion of the Children of Abraham. Then 500 years later what was left of the curse evolved and was written down in the religion of Judaism. I would also find it OK if they would display all of god’s laws, the 613 laws, and not just the 10 commandments. That would put a better perspective on the laws. It should be noted that most of the commandments are thousands of years older than Moses, the interpretation of the meanings have changed over time. On just about every one of these 10 commandment arguments, one of the reasons for the display is that this nation was built on religion. And that argument never seems to get addressed. The fact is this nation was not built on religion, it was built on the freedom from religion. That’s why we don’t hardly have any early churches in this county. There were not many churches at all until the religious movement started in the mid 1800’s. My deeper views on the subject is that religion is a social medicine. We tax the physical social medication like coffee and alcohol, and now we are talking about taxing the spiritual social medication. Because the reason to display the 10 commandments in the first place is for a message to people to promote a social concept? This would be nothing new if you review the taxing authority of the churches in Europe in late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. So what we have is tax dollars given to the churches for social reasons, then used to advertise to get more tax dollars. Note most charities like the March of Dimes use 90% of its collections in operations and advertising. So the advertising (not posting) would have to be allowed. Next we could have the church of Coke displaying that “Things Go Better With Coke" and people having a tax write off by receiving coke as a physical social medication. Just look at what’s going on with the church and Marijuana. http://www.jayleiderman.com/htm/presentations/Religious_Use_Marijuana_Cases_Aspen.pdf http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6995-2004Jun25.html
The 10 commandments was symbolic. It could be any religious text or symbol. A depiction of Jesus would also be banned on public buildings but not on government-owned buses. I tend to be opposed to religious depictions and texts on all government-owned property, but the laws seem to be contradictory. What has happened is that religious depictions and texts are permitted on some government-owned property and not others. What's the dividing line? Does money in the form of advertising revenues rule whether religious depictions and texts on public property are permitted? Should it? It seems to me that any exceptions to the general rule should be stated and debated. But this issue hardly never comes up. Lois
The 10 commandments was symbolic. It could be any religious text or symbol. A depiction of Jesus would also be banned on public buildings but not on government-owned buses. I tend to be opposed to religious depictions and texts on all government-owned property, but the laws seem to be contradictory. What has happened is that eligious depictions and text are permitted on some government-owned property and not others. What's the dividing line? Does money in the form of advertising revenues rule whether religious depictions and texts on public property are permitted? Should it? It seems to me that any exceptions to the general rule should be stated and debated. But this issue hardly never comes up. Lois
Working with cleaning trash out of government owned caves. If there is any graffiti that is over 50 years old, we have to leave it because the government gives it historical value. I think buses and other media where advertising is permitted then all forms of advertising should be permitted.
The 10 commandments was symbolic. It could be any religious text or symbol. A depiction of Jesus would also be banned on public buildings but not on government-owned buses. I tend to be opposed to religious depictions and texts on all government-owned property, but the laws seem to be contradictory. What has happened is that eligious depictions and text are permitted on some government-owned property and not others. What's the dividing line? Does money in the form of advertising revenues rule whether religious depictions and texts on public property are permitted? Should it? It seems to me that any exceptions to the general rule should be stated and debated. But this issue hardly never comes up. Lois
It's different because once you decide to accept advertising on the government supported bus, you now switch to the rules of accepting advertising. The government is not in the position of endorsing any of the advertisers that they choose to sell space to. There are limits, like where porn can be advertised, and how it can be advertised. But if I could pay to have an advertisement for a Solstice celebration, which violates no religious barrier, then UNDER THE RULES OF SELLING ADVERTISING, a church can advertise their Christmas celebration. Either you do it that way, or you have to create a whole 'nother set of rules for advertising on public transportation.
The 10 commandments was symbolic. It could be any religious text or symbol. A depiction of Jesus would also be banned on public buildings but not on government-owned buses. I tend to be opposed to religious depictions and texts on all government-owned property, but the laws seem to be contradictory. What has happened is that eligious depictions and text are permitted on some government-owned property and not others. What's the dividing line? Does money in the form of advertising revenues rule whether religious depictions and texts on public property are permitted? Should it? It seems to me that any exceptions to the general rule should be stated and debated. But this issue hardly never comes up. Lois
It's different because once you decide to accept advertising on the government supported bus, you now switch to the rules of accepting advertising. The government is not in the position of endorsing any of the advertisers that they choose to sell space to. There are limits, like where porn can be advertised, and how it can be advertised. But if I could pay to have an advertisement for a Solstice celebration, which violates no religious barrier, then UNDER THE RULES OF SELLING ADVERTISING, a church can advertise their Christmas celebration. Either you do it that way, or you have to create a whole 'nother set of rules for advertising on public transportation. A new set of rules has been instituted regarding religious symbols on public land and buildings. This happened when atheists wanted equal treatment and many governmemtal entities decided on banning all symbols rather than allow atheists to place their symbols on public land and buildings. It was perfectly all right when it was just religious symbols, the vast majority of which were Christian. but when atheists wanted to participate a whole new set of rules was not too much of a burden. Personally, I don't care about the advertising. I was more interested in the principle at stake. Lois

Make anyone pay for what they want to post. The posting of The Ten Commandments, which btw started out as advertisement for Cecile b DeMills movies star that great NRA Pres. Charlton Hesston, between the ads for the latest sexy fashion design outfit with a short skirt and an ad for a hot car would be about right.

... If there is any graffiti that is over 50 years old, we have to leave it because the government gives it historical value...
I recall, that not too many years ago, there was a controversy about whether to remove or to continue to hide, or to do something else with, a sign, in a Court House, that had been above a previously existing water fountain. The sign said "Whites Only". I don't remember the resolution of the controversy.

I think that there should be no advertising on public properties of anything. Things that are governmentally or historically relevant would be okay to post (though not as paid advertising). But I would not like our government to become any more influenced, than it already is, by the corporations, individuals, or groups that have the most money. Even if it were absolutely understood (which I don’t think it would be) that the government does not advocate the message of the advertisers, the government could possibly become dependent, to some degree, on the financial revenue, supplied by the advertising.