Imam Rauf State Department Trip

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#1
Imam behind support for Ground Zero mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf may do fundraising on Federally funded trip - NYPOST.com

I was going to post this in the Obama comments thread but since it would be somewhat off topic I decided to post it here.

How do you feel about this? Should our tax money be spent on sending a religious leader abroad on a PR trip? Would it be ok to send say Pat Robertson or Billy Graham abroad on a tax-payer funded trip? If the mere mention of God in a school building violate the First Amendment doesn't this violate it as well? Isn't this a violation of separation of church and state?
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#2
How do you feel about this? Should our tax money be spent on sending a religious leader abroad on a PR trip?
If it is the seat he holds and that seat is also the most appropriate seat to take on such a diplomatic mission. Then it would be a waste to spend tax payers money to send anybody else.

CaptainObvious; said:
Would it be ok to send say Pat Robertson or Billy Graham abroad on a tax-payer funded trip?
As above.

CaptainObvious; said:
f the mere mention of God in a school building violate the First Amendment doesn't this violate it as well?
How does it violate it?

I thought it would violate the First to discrimate against the Iman from a diplomatic role because of his faith.

CaptainObvious; said:
Isn't this a violation of separation of church and state?
Promoting diversity in the face of adversity is an issue of national security. The Iman makes that quite clear. Religion just happens to be the root of the problem.
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#3
How does it violate it?

I thought it would violate the First to discrimate against the Iman from a diplomatic role because of his faith.
By the spending of federal funds on religion, any religion.


Promoting diversity in the face of adversity is an issue of national security. The Iman makes that quite clear. Religion just happens to be the root of the problem.
That is the job of the state department and we have a secretary of state. He does that clear, but he still is a religious leader. I don't think many would have been very receptive of President Bush sending Pat Robertson on a trip such as this.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#4
By the spending of federal funds on religion, any religion.
Can you clarify how this constitutes spending money on religion?

CaptainObvious; said:
That is the job of the state department and we have a secretary of state.
I was under the impression the Iman is acting on behalf of the state department as a representative of the Secretary of State. I dont see what the problem is.

CaptainObvious; said:
I don't think many would have been very receptive of President Bush sending Pat Robertson on a trip such as this.
I think you should clarify the problem rather than use speculative statements and rhetorical questions.

I also dont think Pat Robertson would of been the man for the job, I cant see him lasting long orating in a Bahraini mosque.

Ask yourself these two questions;

  1. Is it against the constitution for the state to employ prelates, imams, chaplains, vicars, ministers or any other religious leader or affiliate?
  2. Is it against the constitution for the state to influence religion in any way shape or form?**
**perhaps to keep in line with the OP; in the practice of addressing the relationship between US secular values and the rather fundamental values of middle-eastern religious intolerance and fundamentalism that is breeding terrorists that threaten the USA.
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#5
Can you clarify how this constitutes spending money on religion?
Any money spent on anything even remotely tied to religion is spending money on religion. The Boy Scouts of America can't even rent a public park because it violates the Establishment Clause somehow.

I was under the impression the Iman is acting on behalf of the state department as a representative of the Secretary of State. I dont see what the problem is.
The problem is he is a religious leader and thus under the current interpretation of the First Amendment, it would violate it. To be honest, I disagree with that interpretation, but all I'm asking for is consistency.


I think you should clarify the problem rather than use speculative statements and rhetorical questions.
It's not really speculation when we've had the things deemed to be violative of the First Amendment before. Obama has even decided not to participate in the National Day of Prayer because it crosses the line of separation of church and state to him, a day dedicated to peace and prayer.

I also dont think Pat Robertson would of been the man for the job, I cant see him lasting long orating in a Bahraini mosque.

Ask yourself these two questions;

  1. Is it against the constitution for the state to employ prelates, imams, chaplains, vicars, ministers or any other religious leader or affiliate?
  2. Is it against the constitution for the state to influence religion in any way shape or form?**
**perhaps to keep in line with the OP; in the practice of addressing the relationship between US secular values and the rather fundamental values of middle-eastern religious intolerance and fundamentalism that is breeding terrorists that threaten the USA.
I don't think he would be either, but I feel the same way about Imam Rauf.

1. Depends.

2. Ever since cases like Everson, Schemp, Lee v. Weisman, etc..yes.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#6
Any money spent on anything even remotely tied to religion is spending money on religion. The Boy Scouts of America can't even rent a public park because it violates the Establishment Clause somehow.
So how come you have a Commission for the International freedom of Religion?

CaptainObvious; said:
The problem is he is a religious leader and thus under the current interpretation of the First Amendment, it would violate it. To be honest, I disagree with that interpretation, but all I'm asking for is consistency.
Still dont see how that is a problem. Under what exact interpretation is having an Imam act as an envoy a violation?

CaptainObvious; said:
I don't think he would be either, but I feel the same way about Imam Rauf.
Ive read quite a bit about the guy in recent days and his credentials for this role are exceptional. Why do you think the Imam would not make a good envoy?

CaptainObvious; said:
1. Depends.
Depends on what?

CaptainObvious; said:
2. Ever since cases like Everson, Schemp, Lee v. Weisman, etc..yes.
I just had a very brief read through this case and cant see how it would correlate with using the Imam as an envoy.

I think a better correlation would be the US military manual to combat insurgency. Paragraph 6-60;

6-60. U.S. forces should show respect for local religions and traditions. Soldiers and Marines should willingly
accept many aspects of the local and national culture, including food (if sanitation standards permit).
U.S. forces must make clear that they do not intend to undermine or change the local religion or traditions.
However, Soldiers and Marines have a mission to reduce the effects of dysfunctional social practices that
affect the ability to conduct effective security operations.
U.S. trainers and advisors must have enough
awareness to identify and stop inappropriate behavior, or at least report it to the multinational and HN
chains of command
The difference in this case though is the Imam is there to change the local religion by trying to project a positive image of the USA to the host countries devout who are on a knifes edge to becoming extremists.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#7
That's not money spent on one religion, or doesn't appear to favor one religion or one set of beliefs over another. That's religious neutral.


Still dont see how that is a problem. Under what exact interpretation is having an Imam act as an envoy a violation?
Under current law, the way the Establishment Clause has been interpreted, there can not be any federal funds spent on any kind of religion whatsoever, there cannot be any kind of entanglement between any government function and any religion. The Boy Scouts, who is hardly a religions group, can't use a public park, there cannot be any kind of prayer in any school function even if nondenominational, and nativity scenes in the public arena violates the First Amendment.

Now I agree with you, by itself it doesn't. But if we're going to read the Establishment Clause that broadly, if separation of church and state is going to go beyond the intent of the First Amendment to mean there cannot be ANY entanglement between the government and ANY religion, then it HAS to apply every single time, with every single religion.


Ive read quite a bit about the guy in recent days and his credentials for this role are exceptional. Why do you think the Imam would not make a good envoy?
Really? I've read he has ties to Hamas.


Depends on what?
On numerous factors, but basically a chaplain for the military: no constitutional violation....a religious leader on federal money acting on behalf of the executive branch: constitutional violation.



I just had a very brief read through this case and cant see how it would correlate with using the Imam as an envoy.

I think a better correlation would be the US military manual to combat insurgency. Paragraph 6-60;
All those cases and others deal with government entanglement with religion, which this does as well.


The difference in this case though is the Imam is there to change the local religion by trying to project a positive image of the USA to the host countries devout who are on a knifes edge to becoming extremists.
I understand that and as someone who interprets the Constitution strictly I don't have a problem with it, the problem I have is the lack of consistency.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#8
That's not money spent on one religion, or doesn't appear to favor one religion or one set of beliefs over another. That's religious neutral.
It still employs people with your money to condemn the religious practices of others that the USA does not agree with whilst trying to promote its own ethics. I'd hardly call that a neutral view towards the belief of others.

CaptainObvious; said:
Under current law, the way the Establishment Clause has been interpreted, there can not be any federal funds spent on any kind of religion whatsoever, there cannot be any kind of entanglement between any government function and any religion. The Boy Scouts, who is hardly a religions group, can't use a public park, there cannot be any kind of prayer in any school function even if nondenominational, and nativity scenes in the public arena violates the First Amendment.

Now I agree with you, by itself it doesn't(****). But if we're going to read the Establishment Clause that broadly, if separation of church and state is going to go beyond the intent of the First Amendment to mean there cannot be ANY entanglement between the government and ANY religion, then it HAS to apply every single time, with every single religion.
Why talk in "if's"? The only "if" is if this was not a certain Imam involved in another high profile news story this would be just another goodwill mission in Americas plight to stamp out terrorism.

The problem is when you try and remain neutral you become anything but. I remember a thread on here where you and Hybrix made it clear that not teaching your children about God was the same as teaching your children there is no God. When the US is faced with an enemy that has its roots within a religion, it either has to stay loyal to its broad interpretation of a clause or it has to redefine the parameters. As far as I am aware the boy scouts of America do not negate this boundary.


CaptainObvious; said:
Really? I've read he has ties to Hamas.
I'd like to read your source.

Despite my suspicion of this claim...how does having ties with Hamas diminish his credentials as an envoy?

CaptainObvious; said:
On numerous factors, but basically a chaplain for the military: no constitutional violation....a religious leader on federal money acting on behalf of the executive branch: constitutional violation.
This does not answer the question.

...What are the depending factors that separate a military chaplain or prison chaplain or member of the above mentioned commission that removes them from the boy scouts, nativities, schools and in this case an envoy of the executive branch? ...why can a Prison employ a chaplain to encourage the inmates away from crime, why can the military employ a chaplain to give comfort and support to its personnel yet the State department can not employ an Imam to help heal the wounds and narrow the divide between the disenfranchised?

Without this detail or the previous detail(see above****)then there is no substance to the rhetorical question you gave that would place the story in the news article as a violation of the First Amendment

CaptainObvious; said:
I understand that and as someone who interprets the Constitution strictly I don't have a problem with it, the problem I have is the lack of consistency.
I think your seeing an inconsistency that does not exist. Probably largely down to the media interest in this man.

If you look at it as envoy who happens to be an Imam (as that would be the best person for the task) then it would be against the constitution to deny him that role.

The only other query is whether the envoy itself is a violation? ..building relations between the United States and those who are likely to oppose it (who happen to be muslim) I cant see anything wrong there either.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#9
It still employs people with your money to condemn the religious practices of others that the USA does not agree with whilst trying to promote its own ethics. I'd hardly call that a neutral view towards the belief of others.
It is neutral in the sense that it doesn't favor one religion or show any preference towards one religion.



Why talk in "if's"? The only "if" is if this was not a certain Imam involved in another high profile news story this would be just another goodwill mission in Americas plight to stamp out terrorism.
No, if it was a Christian leader this never would have been allowed to happen.

The problem is when you try and remain neutral you become anything but. I remember a thread on here where you and Hybrix made it clear that not teaching your children about God was the same as teaching your children there is no God. When the US is faced with an enemy that has its roots within a religion, it either has to stay loyal to its broad interpretation of a clause or it has to redefine the parameters. As far as I am aware the boy scouts of America do not negate this boundary.
I thought we weren't being attacked by Islam?



I'd like to read your source.

Despite my suspicion of this claim...how does having ties with Hamas diminish his credentials as an envoy?
Allegedly having ties to Hamas is a person to send on a peace mission?


This does not answer the question.

...What are the depending factors that separate a military chaplain or prison chaplain or member of the above mentioned commission that removes them from the boy scouts, nativities, schools and in this case an envoy of the executive branch? ...why can a Prison employ a chaplain to encourage the inmates away from crime, why can the military employ a chaplain to give comfort and support to its personnel yet the State department can not employ an Imam to help heal the wounds and narrow the divide between the disenfranchised?

Without this detail or the previous detail(see above****)then there is no substance to the rhetorical question you gave that would place the story in the news article as a violation of the First Amendment
Not employing a chaplain for prisoners violates their freedom to practice their religion while incarcerated. There is no such violation in sending an envoy overseas.

I think your seeing an inconsistency that does not exist. Probably largely down to the media interest in this man.

No, it's an inconsistency based on how the government has treated certain religions.

If you look at it as envoy who happens to be an Imam (as that would be the best person for the task) then it would be against the constitution to deny him that role.

The only other query is whether the envoy itself is a violation? ..building relations between the United States and those who are likely to oppose it (who happen to be muslim) I cant see anything wrong there either.
No, it's not unconstitutional to not send anyone. Someone could say "CO from GF should be sent as an envoy for the state department" and Obama can decide not to send me for whatever reasons he wants, he doesn't even have to give a reason, and it wouldn't be unconstitutional.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#10
It is neutral in the sense that it doesn't favor one religion or show any preference towards one religion.
Right, and can you explain in detail how the article in the OP favours or shows preference towards one religion?

Had it instead been an envoy to pay visit to the catholic church in the Phillippinnes to address the relationship between contraception, population density and poverty, Would this too violated the First Amendment?

CaptainObvious; said:
No, if it was a Christian leader this never would have been allowed to happen.
On what authority?

CaptainObvious; said:
I thought we weren't being attacked by Islam?
You're not, you are being attacked by terrorists who do so in the name of Islam.

CaptainObvious; said:
Allegedly having ties to Hamas is a person to send on a peace mission?
Is this a statement or a question? ...and what happened to the source of the allegation or should I dismiss it as most likely a non-confounded bigoted slur by some prejudiced blogger, because with out a source that what I think it is.

CaptainObvious; said:
Not employing a chaplain for prisoners violates their freedom to practice their religion while incarcerated. There is no such violation in sending an envoy overseas.
Can you clarify is the violation; In sending an Imam, or is it sendng an envoy to talk to religious groups?

CaptainObvious; said:
No, it's an inconsistency based on how the government has treated certain religions.
...and different religions treat the Usa with different consistencies. I t would not make any sense to treat them all with the same regard.

CaptainObvious; said:
No, it's not unconstitutional to not send anyone.
What good would not sending anyone be?
 
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