f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 19, 2008

Easter weekend: blogging for religious freedom

Filed under: lawyer news or ethics,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 10:46 am

BAT08Blog Against Theocracy 2008 – is taking place this upcoming Easter weekend, March 21 – 23, 2008 across the blogisphere. Among its organizers are BlueGal and Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors, who designed the logo. (via the greenbelt) They remind us:

The theme [of the blogswarm], like always, is the Separation of Church and State — we are for it. But the variations on the theme are many. . . . This is not a bashing of religion – peeps can believe what they choose, however they choose — but it is a reminder that the Government should keep out of religion, and Religion should keep out of the government.

Over at First Freedom First, you’ll find a Petition asking elected and appointed government officials to make a commitment to the separation of church and state and Freedom of Religion. The f/k/a Gang hopes that many law-related weblogs will participate — especially Constitutional Law heavyweights like Eugene and his posse at The Volokh Conspiracy, the gang at the ACLU Blog, and Howard M. Friedman at Religion Clause, but also the rest of us, who remember just enough about the Constitution to be dangerous, and who know the Religion Clause won’t be preserved by faith alone.

chocolate bunnies —
the hollow ones
eaten last

………………… by dagosan

[SW corner, Schenectady, NY; photo by D. A. Giacalone; original with Bus Station]

Here in Schenectady, we actually have an intersection of Church & State (with a monumental icon of that fickle deity GE looming in the background), and I’m hoping it will inspire me to produce a worthy piece for BAT 2008.  update: See our BAT08 posting, “invoking the Big Kingmaker in the Sky” (March 22, 2008).

The last Religion Clause controversy that I can recall here in Schenectady related to a Muslim Iman giving the prayer invocation at a City Council meeting just before Memorial Day 2005 (scroll down to the “tolerant in Schenectady?” blurb); earlier that year, we also had a crisis related to goat-slaughtering by recent immigrants.

  • Yes, our no-political-punditry promise is still in effect. Nonetheless, and consistent therewith we believe, we want to thank Barak Obama for taking the national discourse about race a fews steps higher yesterday with his speech on race. (click that link for a full transcript and video). See See “Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage” and “Black, White & Gray” in today’s New York Times (March 19, 2008). Update (March 20, 2008): I usually agree with Schenectady Gazette columnist Carl Strock, but dissented in a lengthy Comment to his posting “Obama transcends nothing” at his Strock Freestyle weblog today.
  • And, thanks to the new governor of New York, David A. Paterson, for doing the right thing by discussing his prior extramarital affairs. At his press conference yesterday, Gov. Paterson said he wanted to avoid being blackmailed: “I didn’t want to be compromised, I didn’t want to be blackmailed, I didn’t want to hesitate taking an action because the person on the other end might hurt me or my family.” “New Governor and Wife Talk of Past Affairs” (New York Times, March 19, 2008). As we said in our posting on Spitzer last week, sexual misbehavior while in office is especially irresponsible, because it gives “people who are unstable, immature (e.g.,. Monica Lewinski), unsavory or unscrupulous (e.g., organized crime members) the ability to blackmail you for money or political favors.”


Spring arrives –
peeps melting
on the dashboard

…………………… by dagosan – poem at Simply Haiku (Vol. 3, No. 4, Winter 2005); haiga photo-poem at MagnaPoets Japanese Form; 1953 photo by Mama G.

  • Thanks to Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice for spreading the word and urging participation in BAT08. (And, yes, it was fun seeing one of my photos gracing another weblog. I recently came into possession of a digital camera and have been playing with it around my neighborhood, and posting a few images here at f/k/a — for example here and here. The intersection of Church & State Streets is about 3 blocks from my home.)


  1. Would it be helpful if us little guys joined in BAT08, or are we too inconsequential to matter?

    Comment by shg — March 19, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

  2. Hello, Scott. Almost didn’t recognize you under all that false modesty. Naturally, you (like myself) are among the “rest of us” who I am hoping will participate. Don’t let my prayers go unanswered.

    Comment by David Giacalone — March 19, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

  3. I hope you don’t mind that I stole your pic. I just loved it and couldn’t help myself.

    Comment by shg — March 20, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  4. Hi, again, Scott. Like I said, I enjoyed seeing my church/state signpost photo on your weblog. I offer the contents of this site (except for other people’s poetry — they keep their own copyrights) on the basis of a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Of course, you were not able to attribute it, since I had not originally taken credit for it. But, you did the next best thing, linking back to this post. [I’m assuming, of course, that your weblog is about as noncommercial an enterprise as we’re gonna find on the internet.]

    I’m glad you grabbed it and liked it. Of course, that strange bit of static (lightning bolt?) in the corner of the picture might be a sign of divine displeasure to keep in mind.

    Comment by David Giacalone — March 20, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  5. I’ve just added in your attribution, together with a warning that no one should buy anything from me because of it. I feel quite sure that we’re safe on that count.

    Comment by shg — March 20, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

  6. Yep, you’re definitely a, noncommercial, not-for-profit kind of blogger, SHG. Feel free to grab my stuff anytime.

    Comment by David Giacalone — March 20, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

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