Appeals Court says 'Under God' not a prayer

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Does the use of "Under God" and "In God we trust" prove there is no separation of church and state in the USA?

Yea.
14
54%
Nay.
8
31%
Who is this God fellow anyways?
1
4%
Atheists are unpatriotic heathens, burn them at the stake.
3
12%
 
Total votes: 26

xan_user
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Appeals Court says 'Under God' not a prayer

Post by xan_user » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:59 am

Still unseparated after all these years...
In the majority opinion, Judge Carlos Bea acknowledged that "the words 'under God' have religious significance," but said they do not "convert the pledge into a prayer."

In a separate ruling, the same panel upheld the use of the national motto, "In God We Trust," on coins and currency. The language is patriotic and ceremonial, not religious, the court said.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1CEC9F.DTL

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Post by andyb » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:39 am

How does this grab you.

"One nation under Hitler"

"In Enron we trust"

The simple mention of "God" in any context where it has not been asked for by the end user is preaching, you may as well use the above examples (Replace Hitler and Enron with whatever you chose, so long as you find it offensive). Many people find the mention of "God" in their supposedly seperated church and state's Pledge of Allegiance offensive, and why not. Would you "Pledge Alliegence" to Hitler.? Would you state "In Enron we trust.?

I hope not, most people would not do so, likewise many people would not want to find the mention of a "supposedly all powerful totalitarian Deity" in their Pledge of Alliegence.

An additional problem is with children in schools who are all but forced to utter those words against the wishes of their parents, often not even understanding that they really do (in theory) have a choice not to do so, and wait until they are old enough to understand such things and make their own rational descision about the subject.

This and it being printed on money is a form of brainwashing, again, how would you like to read the word "Hitler" on your money in place of "God".
"Thus, the pledge is an endorsement of our form of government, not of religion or any particular religious sect."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... z0hz7jiKXA
What they actually said was "Thus, the pledge is an endorsement of our form of religion, not of government but a particular sect."

Those references to God must be removed and not replaced with any mention of Faeries, Ghosts, Unicorns, Yeti's, Flying Spaghetti Monsters, or Celestial Teapots.

Good luck in doing so.


Andy
Last edited by andyb on Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by swivelguy2 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 am

The phrasing, "prove there is no separation of church and state" produces too strong of a question, to which the answer is obviously no.

I think what you mean to ask is, does this indicate that there is incomplete separation of church and state? And yes, it does, but we're getting there.

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Post by andyb » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:04 am

I think what you mean to ask is, does this indicate that there is incomplete separation of church and state?
http://www.dictionary.net/incomplete

Defective would be a good alternative word to describe it. If something is incomplete, it is only partial, therefore they are still partly linked and therefore not seperate. America is no more a secular country than England is.

As far as "proof" is concerned, your newly elected President must utter the "God" word otherwise he is not President, therefore it is legally binding, and if it is legally binding is has been made legally binding by the government, therefore the government have "chosen" to have the God word in there, thus "prooving" that there is no seperation. Plus the hand on the "Bible" as well.

The US "separation of church and state" is about as seperate as my arse cheeks, and they both meet in the same place. :P


Andy

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Post by swivelguy2 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:17 am

andyb wrote:
I think what you mean to ask is, does this indicate that there is incomplete separation of church and state?
http://www.dictionary.net/incomplete

Defective would be a good alternative word to describe it. If something is incomplete, it is only partial, therefore they are still partly linked and therefore not seperate. America is no more a secular country than England is.
I don't really know what it's like in England, but in the U.S. we have separation of church and state, and to claim that a few "In God We Trust"s here and there nullify the whole business is absurd. I'll answer your condescending definition link with one of my own:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation ... _and_state

"Separation of church and state is a political and legal doctrine that government and religious institutions are to be kept separate and independent from each other."

Last I checked, officials in our government have no control in our church (except in the manner that they have some control over any given organization) and vice versa. They are separate entities and act independently. The things that our government shares with religion is a little bit of tradition, manifested as language such as "Under God," and a moral code, manifested as laws that conform pretty well to judeo-christian philosophies.

I call that separate. If you close a door between two rooms, are those rooms separated? I'd say yes, but perhaps you'd argue that because there is a crack of light and the passage of air beneath the door, they aren't separated. What if instead of a hinged wooden house door, we closed a 3-meter thick nuclear blast door between the two rooms? Are they still not separated, because there exists a probability of particles tunneling through the barrier?

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Post by m1st » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:23 am

I don't want to seem rude or condescending...

I am somewhat amazed that when talking about court cases, people rely almost entirely on rhetoric and normative appeals as opposed to the judicial process (convoluted as it may be...)

1. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a mention of a "separation of church and state". This phrase was actually coined in the Federalist papers, I believe (I could be wrong). This is important to realize because this means that violating a "separation of church and state" does not imply a violation of the Consitution, as this clause is no part of the Constitution.

1a. The Constitution, in the Establishment Clause of the 1st Ammendment, does say that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". This has been interpreted as saying that the government cannot pass any law whose primary effect is to advance or inhibit any religion. Again, putting "Under God" on money does not violate the Establishment Clause, unless people have the sudden urge to start worshipping after repeating the words on money...

2. The last and perhaps most intriguing requirement for legislation regarding religion is the Lemon test, first used in Lemon v. Kurtzman. The Lemon test, which is the standard test in American jurisprudence requires that any legislation passed by Congres to pass the following criteria:

A) The government's action must have a secular legislative purpose;
B) The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
C) The government's action must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion.

A is perhaps something that one could have issue with, but in common jurisprudence it would be easy to argue for at least something that satisfies this criterion. One could say, perhaps, that "Under God" helps unite people and strengthen conviction that one belongs to what is right. This (unity of a society) is commonly considered a "compelling government interest" in jurisprudence, and would be considered a secular purpose.

It would really be hard to say that "Under God" violates B.

C is interesting, but again non-problematic. Basically, an "excessive entanglement" would be something that ties a government to a certain religion. An example of something that has been considered not excessive entanglement is buying secular (e.g. History) books for a Catholic school. Although this is giving government aid to a religious institution, it passes all the criteria of the lemon test. One, the secular purpose is to educate the group of students; Two, it does not advance or inhibit any religion; Three, there is no excessive entanglement. Once the books are purchased, the government can be completely laissez faire (sp?).

I have stayed away from talking about the original intent of the law, as I take issue with intentionalism in general, but as an aside I will say something on the matter. What the founders intended by the Establishment clause was to prevent what happened with England and the Anglican church. They wanted to prevent the government from forcing everybody to have a certain religion. They never intended for the government to have no religion whatsoever. Again, I don't put too much weight on this part as I am not an intentionalist, but it is interesting to realize.

So, that's what the law says about the matter (anybody who finds it odd that the 'law' to which I'm referring are just old court cases. In a civil legal system, this would be odd. But, as is England, the United States operates under common law jurisprudence). I won't go into my normative beliefs about it (I am actually quite ambivilant towards it), but this is why the courts have ruled as they have on it.

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Post by ces » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:25 am

WHY DON'T YOU TAKE THIS CR*P OUT OF HERE.

DON'T YOU REALIZE THIS AREA IS A HONEY TRAP FOR M*RONS. SO YOU DON'T BOTHER THE REST OF US.

YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE TO OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR COUNTRY WITH YOUR OBSESSIVE PARTISANSHIP.

GO TAKE THIS TO A FOX NETWORK BLOG.

[Explicative deleted]

[Mod: Please keep this civil! Name calling is rude and will not be tolerated.]

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:55 am

Hello,
m1st wrote:1. Nowhere in the Constitution is there a mention of a "separation of church and state".
From the US Constitution, Amendment 1:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So, it does not say exactly "separation of church and state", but that principle is precisely what the First Amendment is about.

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Post by qviri » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:01 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:So, it does not say exactly "separation of church and state", but that principle is precisely what the First Amendment is about.
How are you defining "separation of church and state"?

How is this inconsistent with the remainer of m1st's post?

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Post by andyb » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:10 pm

How are you defining "separation of church and state"?
Personally I take it in its most litteral form even if those words are not actually official, in exactly the same way that some people use the bit about "bearing arms" litterally, the specific "meaning" of the statements are open enough for people to have their own opinions on the matter - and that is a large part of the problem, the definition is not a perfect as it could be.

I would personally like to see that all religious body's start paying the same amount of tax as the rest of us, and have the same level of rights and freedoms as the rest of us, but currently that is not the case. Exactly the same argument can be made of any body that tries to (and often does) affect how the government operates - think big companies - religious companies are no different.

And here is a slightly different subject.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8563122.stm

This is plain stupid, and essentially stems from religious discrimination that then affected the government into making it a "legally discriminating law" against certain groups of people, and this stigmata still exists.


Andy

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:24 pm

I don't think that God is mentioned anywhere in the US Constitution. The so-called founding fathers were partly motivated to form the USA to get away from having a proscribed (State) religion. Some of the founding fathers were atheists. I am fairly certain that they specifically did not want to link this country with God; or any other religion, and they would probably cringe if they knew that we now have these references to God.

So, I do think that "Under God" is an infringement on the First Amendment. The phrase was added to the so-called pledge of allegiance and "In God We Trust" to our money in the 1950's. These were added during the height of the Cold War, to differentiate us from the "godless" Soviets...

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Post by Reachable » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:47 pm

The issue of having the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is less important than the fact that the Pledge is recited at all, by schoolchildren, for whom it is compulsory.

When they get to be adults they can decide who or what they want to pledge their allegiance to.

If it all seems harmless enough to you then picture little children in Nazi Germany reciting such a type of pledge to Hitler, or for a current example of someone considered scary, children in North Korea reciting a loyalty oath to Kim Jong-il.

Children are extremely impressionable. Do you think that an allegiance pledge/loyalty oath as a child makes them more apt to go along with ill-founded wars as a young adult? I think so!

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Post by Reachable » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:54 pm

Also remember that all the patriotic songs taught to schoolchildren in America are hymns:

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"; the song that begins "My Country 'Tis of Thee" (consider the second verse), "America the Beautiful", etc., etc.

So, you're opening a big can of worms if you try to strike "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.


EDIT: Thinking about it afterwards: The phrase in the Pledge is different from the mention of God in the songs. The Pledge defines the U.S. as being a state of religion; the songs just mention God.
Last edited by Reachable on Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by xan_user » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:49 pm

Andy, How does this grab you.

"One nation under Satan"

**************
ces wrote:WHY DON'T YOU TAKE THIS CR*P OUT OF HERE.

DON'T YOU REALIZE THIS AREA IS A HONEY TRAP FOR M*RONS. SO YOU DON'T BOTHER THE REST OF US.

YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE TO OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR COUNTRY WITH YOUR OBSESSIVE PARTISANSHIP.

GO TAKE THIS TO A FOX NETWORK BLOG.

[Explicative deleted]

[Mod: Please keep this civil! Name calling is rude and will not be tolerated.]
There's no requirement to click,read or post in this thread...Get over it. (and absolutely no reason to shout)
Off topic means, off the normal SPCR topic. For many years our off topic threads have spanned the gamut, and I hope they continue to do so.
Since I know what the Faux bolgospehre would say... I post it here because I love to hear what my SPCR brethren from all over the world think about such matters.

SPCR has a really diverse and generally tolerant membership, and we like to have fun in off topic when we get tired of telling people they need half the PSU wattage they think and should suspend their HDD's, why spoil that?

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Post by andyb » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:32 pm

Andy, How does this grab you.

"One nation under Satan"
Well strictly speaking Satan (or any other name for "it") was a much much nicer "thing" than God in any ancient fairytales (that I know of), so I personally would prefer Satan over God in such a scenario because "it" is less likely (if it actually existed) to go on a pretty random spree of mass murder and general annihilation.

I would however chose to remove any reference to anything mythical or mystical from within this entire subject, be it written words that have to be uttered by children or Presidents, or printed on every bank note, why does the name for a mythical entity appear in such places? and apart from "God fearers" - who can possibly accept its presence in the above examples.

I point you back to the "Hitler" example.
EDIT: Thinking about it afterwards: The phrase in the Pledge is different from the mention of God in the songs. The Pledge defines the U.S. as being a state of religion; the songs just mention God.
The point entirely.


Andy
Last edited by andyb on Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by rpsgc » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:36 pm

xan_user wrote:"One nation under Satan"
Hmm... Satan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puwllq0fBLs

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Post by xan_user » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:42 pm

Andy, of course i agree.
rpsgc wrote:
xan_user wrote:"One nation under Satan"
Hmm... Satan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puwllq0fBLs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcjZtsFU5Z4

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Post by Fayd » Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:29 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:I don't think that God is mentioned anywhere in the US Constitution. The so-called founding fathers were partly motivated to form the USA to get away from having a proscribed (State) religion. Some of the founding fathers were atheists. I am fairly certain that they specifically did not want to link this country with God; or any other religion, and they would probably cringe if they knew that we now have these references to God.

So, I do think that "Under God" is an infringement on the First Amendment. The phrase was added to the so-called pledge of allegiance and "In God We Trust" to our money in the 1950's. These were added during the height of the Cold War, to differentiate us from the "godless" Soviets...
no they werent.

those founding fathers that weren't explicitly christians were mostly deists.

atheists need to quit fucking whining.

<--- agnostic

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Post by colm » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:23 pm

of curse it is seperated.

did I say curse, I meant course. :roll:

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Post by frenchie » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:59 pm

Interesting topic.
Just for my personnal knowledge, are kids absolutely required to say the pledge in school ? Or can they just stand with the others and not say the pledge (sometimes the best sign of respect it to keep quiet) ?

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Post by andyb » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:45 pm

atheists need to quit fucking whining.
If you have something to say you stand up and say it dont you, well I know you do judging by your other posts, and so do I.

There is no reason why someone should have to say such a thing about a sky-fairie, especially children. So why is it "whining" by Athiests when they say NO, but its NOT "preaching" by sky-faerie worshippers when they say "you must say those words". Classic example of double-standards, the reason is that religion is entrenched in many civilisations across the world, and without the "freedom from religion" that exists to some degree in some countries, religion is still considered a necessary part of life, and so is preached by many often without even realising.

The sooner the US gets rid of crap like that and gets "dog-collared-vampires" to pay taxes like everyone else, the better the US will be. Fortunately the UK does not have as many vocal militant christian nutcases as the US does, so there is barely a murmour when someone proposes such a thing. FYI putting a hand on a bible (or other ancient story-book) in court has not been necessary for some time in the UK, is it in th US, or can you say/sign an "affirmation".?
of curse it is seperated.

did I say curse, I meant course. :roll:
Good one :)
(sometimes the best sign of respect it to keep quiet) ?
Thats if you have any respect for bible thumpers, I dont, and I still resent having to say/sing bullshit like that when I was a kid (even then I knew sky-faeries, Unicorns and Santa didnt exist), but I still had to say that crap.

Whenever I am in a church (funerals and weddings) I simply chant along with everyone else and simply skip words such as "God, Lord, Christ, Jesus", its pretty much the only thing that keeps me awake - having to dodge words :) So yes in cases like that silence/fitting in with everyone else for the sake of respect and not looking like a twat can be the best policy.


Andy

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Post by Fayd » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:28 pm

andyb wrote:
atheists need to quit fucking whining.
If you have something to say you stand up and say it dont you, well I know you do judging by your other posts, and so do I.

There is no reason why someone should have to say such a thing about a sky-fairie, especially children. So why is it "whining" by Athiests when they say NO, but its NOT "preaching" by sky-faerie worshippers when they say "you must say those words". Classic example of double-standards, the reason is that religion is entrenched in many civilisations across the world, and without the "freedom from religion" that exists to some degree in some countries, religion is still considered a necessary part of life, and so is preached by many often without even realising.

The sooner the US gets rid of crap like that and gets "dog-collared-vampires" to pay taxes like everyone else, the better the US will be. Fortunately the UK does not have as many vocal militant christian nutcases as the US does, so there is barely a murmour when someone proposes such a thing. FYI putting a hand on a bible (or other ancient story-book) in court has not been necessary for some time in the UK, is it in th US, or can you say/sign an "affirmation".?
of curse it is seperated.

did I say curse, I meant course. :roll:
Good one :)
(sometimes the best sign of respect it to keep quiet) ?
Thats if you have any respect for bible thumpers, I dont, and I still resent having to say/sing bullshit like that when I was a kid (even then I knew sky-faeries, Unicorns and Santa didnt exist), but I still had to say that crap.

Whenever I am in a church (funerals and weddings) I simply chant along with everyone else and simply skip words such as "God, Lord, Christ, Jesus", its pretty much the only thing that keeps me awake - having to dodge words :) So yes in cases like that silence/fitting in with everyone else for the sake of respect and not looking like a twat can be the best policy.


Andy

i see: whine whine whine.



i think this country needs to get involved in some sort of real war, with a mandatory draft, if only to make fucking whiners shut up and realize that there's things more important than whether or not there's a cross on public land, or whether or not there's some statement of religous significance on money, or whether our pledge of allegiance (which isnt even fucking required) has a reference to god.

seriously, quit the fucking whining.

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Post by xan_user » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:25 pm

Fayd wrote:
seriously, quit the fucking whining.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689


Just as soon as I can legally stop paying taxes, OR churches (and corporations) start paying their fair share.. and we get a federal holiday for solstices, equinoxes and earth day.... with pay of course.

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Post by Fayd » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:36 pm

you're in america. bringing up an english bill of rights is ludicrous.

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Post by judge56988 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:16 am

Fayd wrote:
i think this country needs to get involved in some sort of real war, with a mandatory draft, if only to make fucking whiners shut up and realize that there's things more important than whether or not there's a cross on public land, or whether or not there's some statement of religous significance on money, or whether our pledge of allegiance (which isnt even fucking required) has a reference to god.

seriously, quit the fucking whining.
As long as you are the first one "over the top" leading the troops into battle.

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Post by Fayd » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:51 am

judge56988 wrote:
Fayd wrote:
i think this country needs to get involved in some sort of real war, with a mandatory draft, if only to make fucking whiners shut up and realize that there's things more important than whether or not there's a cross on public land, or whether or not there's some statement of religous significance on money, or whether our pledge of allegiance (which isnt even fucking required) has a reference to god.

seriously, quit the fucking whining.
As long as you are the first one "over the top" leading the troops into battle.
refer to my previous post about how non-americans dont have any input into american politics.

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Post by lm » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:08 am

Fayd wrote: i think this country needs to get involved in some sort of real war, with a mandatory draft, if only to make fucking whiners shut up
Nice attitude, makes me feel safe.

Seriously speaking, no country needs to get involved in wars. Wars are very sad events and create totally unnecessary suffering, death and havoc. Anyone to think otherwise should seriously reconsider their values.

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Post by judge56988 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:23 am

Fayd wrote:
judge56988 wrote:
Fayd wrote:
i think this country needs to get involved in some sort of real war, with a mandatory draft, if only to make fucking whiners shut up and realize that there's things more important than whether or not there's a cross on public land, or whether or not there's some statement of religous significance on money, or whether our pledge of allegiance (which isnt even fucking required) has a reference to god.

seriously, quit the fucking whining.
As long as you are the first one "over the top" leading the troops into battle.
refer to my previous post about how non-americans dont have any input into american politics.
People like you are what gets your country and it's citizens such a bad reputation in the rest of the world - and yes, I know you don't give a flying fuck. That attitude just makes it all the worse.
Is there no limit to your arrogance?
Last edited by judge56988 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by judge56988 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:36 am

lm wrote:
Seriously speaking, no country needs to get involved in wars. Wars are very sad events and create totally unnecessary suffering, death and havoc. Anyone to think otherwise should seriously reconsider their values.
Sadly, some wars are justified - Hitler had to be stopped.

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Post by Vicotnik » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:53 am

judge56988 wrote:Sadly, some wars are justified - Hitler had to be stopped.
True. But I still recommend listening to Howard Zinn (who fought against Hitler) and hear what he has to say about WWII
- http://onebigtorrent.org/torrents/7651/ ... cracy-Now-

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