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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:19 pm 
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"GOD BLESS AMERICA by Andy Rooney"
http://pearlharborsurvivorsonline.org/html/GOD%20BLESS%20AMERICA.htm

I get things like this e-mailed to me once in a while in a fwd usually around election time. Such is the case here. I received something like this was around the 2004 elections. After I received it in 2004, I organized a response which still holds true since what they are passing around hasn't changed at all. It's essentially exactly the same - even this:
Quote:
"It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, it is very hard to understand why there is such a mess about having the Ten Commandments on display or "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we just tell the other 14% to Sit Down and SHUT UP!!! "

Here's an opportunity for me to update what I did 4 years ago. Here's what they don't seem to be aware of, THE FACTS:

First of all, the first six US Presidents never finished any public speech with "God Bless America."

The fact is that the words "under God" weren't part of the original pledge. They were added in 1954. Supporters of the new wording said it would set the United States apart from godless communism. The original Pledge was published in 1892. It was written by Francis Bellamy, a socialist, thirty-seven year old, ex-Baptist Minister. The original pledge read as:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all"

After a few small changes ("my Flag" to "the Flag of the United States of America") the Pledge stood for a half a century. Then, in 1954 the Cold War started moving into its most intense period. The United States' deep hostility toward communism caused the "Red Scare" to pervade our society. Seizing the opportunity, Senator Joseph McCarthy spearheaded what is now recognized as one of the most shameful epochs of our history. McCarthy looked to demonize any and all whom he disliked by branding them communists. Then, as often happens when pounding the drums of patriotism, religious piety gets mixed in with being a true patriot.

"In god we trust" on the U.S. $1 -

In 1955, Congress passed a law requiring that "In God We Trust" appear on all U.S. coins and currency. The first paper currency with the motto appeared in 1957. This was right after the McCarthy era, during the early Cold War, when no congressperson would dare be seen voting against "God." "In God We Trust" did appear occasionally on a few coins, starting with a 2-cent piece in the 1860s, in an attempt (it is surmised) to put "God" on the side of the north during the Civil War. In 1956, an Act of Congress adopted "In God We Trust" as a national motto. The original motto, "E Pluribus Unum" ("out of many, [come] one,") celebrating plurality, still appears on the Presidential Seal and on some paper currency.

"14%" - Freethinkers, all together, out number any one religious denomination!

* Added edit Jan 2013: that "14%" number has steadily risen to over 20% now and more young Americans doubt god exists than ever before: Young Americans Losing Faith? New Poll Shows 31 Percent Of Adults Under 30 Doubt God Exists

Enjoy these: U.S. politicians increasingly unaffiliated with organized religion

Nonbelievers in religion persecuted, executed worldwide under barbaric blasphemy laws

Study: Atheists Most Discriminated Minority

"84%" - We have laws that protect minorities from any Tyranny of any majority. No one has any right to tell anyone else to sit down & shut-up. That would be breaking the First Amendment, which includes the Freedom of Speech. The actual statistic of 84% of Americans being religious has dropped to 69%, even still, they do *NOT* believe in the same God. People who misuse this statistic would have you believe they all believe in the Christian God, which is just not true.

The "84% has steadily been on the decrease. Religiosity Declines Worldwide

We have not had a Freethinker on the Supreme Court since 1877 - the time has come to truly represent "WE THE PEOPLE" of America with a freethinker to represent one of the largest minorities of them all.

All too often, people misunderstand "separation of church and state" & the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, what it is, what it means & why it was created in the first place.
Quote:
First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

"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 of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

The U.S. Constitution is a wholly secular & legal document. It contains no mention of Jesus Christ, Christianity or god. In fact, the Constitution refers to religion only twice –in the First Amendment, which bars laws from "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and in Article VI, which prohibits "religious tests" for public office. Both of these provisions are evidence that the country was not founded as officially Christian (which version or denomination out of thousands?).

Our nation was founded as a secular government, based on the authority of "We, the People," not a god, king, or dictator. The U.S.A. is the first nation in history to separate church and state. And for very good reasons too.

Separation of church and state is the only principle that can ensure religious and philosophical freedom for all Americans. Church-state separation does not mean hostility toward religion. Rather, it means that the government will remain neutral on religious questions, leaving decisions about God, faith and house of worship attendance in the hands of its citizens.

The results of Americas policy of church-state separation can be seen all around us: Thanks to separation of church and state, Americans enjoy an unparalleled amount of religious freedom. In some nations, churches remain dependent upon government for support and aid. Religious life in these nations is often devitalized, and many churches are near empty on Sundays.

Other countries merge religion and government into theocracies. Religious liberty cannot flourish under that system either; attempt by the government to enforce a version of religious orthodoxy foster only repression. By contrast, religious liberty has flourished in America and separation of church and state can take the credit.

Today we are an open and free society of nearly 300 million Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinkers, Pagans, Secular Humanists, American Indians and many others. All live side by side in harmony. All have the freedom to proclaim their views. All enjoy the right to worship or not worship unmolested by government officials or state-appointed religious leaders. All are equal in the eyes of the government.

To oppose the separation of church & state is therefore to oppose the First Amendment, the US Constitution & is thus, one of the most UN-American, unpatriotic, hypocritical things one could do as an American who supposedly values Freedom & Democracy.

Theocracy is another weapon of mass destruction.

It's time that people know the facts. Here's some recommended reading:

Were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Jesus Mythicists?

Please take the quizzes:

1. Separation of church & state quiz
2. The Bible quiz
http://www.ffrf.org/quiz/

Enjoy these must see VIDEOS

1. "Life and Liberty for All Who Believe"
2. "The Rise of Dominionism"
http://www.theocracywatch.org/audio-video.htm

Other Great websites:
http://www.au.org/site/PageServer

"The United States: A Country founded on Paganism"
http://www.nobeliefs.com/pagan.htm

U.S. Treasury Department FACT SHEET "in god we trust" - History
http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-s ... trust.html

Pledge History

http://www.oldtimeislands.org/pledge/pledge.htm

http://restorethepledge.com

Senator Joseph R. McCarthy - audio
http://www.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate12cp107.html
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeche ... arthy.html

The U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence & The Bill of Rights:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/constRedir.html
http://thomas.loc.gov/
http://www.cato.org/ - Get your pocket Constitution.

Quotes:

"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."
- George Washington

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."
- President John F. Kennedy

"The separation of church & state will not survive it is not defended. It will not survive if people come to believe that the principle is not in the best interests of the nation or that it is hostile to religion. Religious Right organizations are working to persuade Americans that separation of church & state harms, & does not protect, religious freedom. Unless Americans are educated about the true history behind church-state separation & how the principle defends religious liberty today, they may accept this propaganda."
- Rob Boston

"We cannot defend freedom abroad while denying it here at home."
- Edward R. Murrow

"There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed ... Those who made our Constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe."
- The Supreme Court of Wisconsin - Weiss vs. the District Board, March 18, 1890

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"
- The Treaty of Tripoli ratified by John Adams 1797

"The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma"
- Abraham Lincoln

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, & I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
- Thomas Jefferson

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
- Thomas Paine

"The Christian religion and Masonry have one and the same common origin: Both are derived from the worship of the Sun. The difference between their origin is, that the Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun."
- Thomas Paine

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
- James Madison Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb in a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams

"False believing is ever the worst enemy of true doing; and every Sunday the teaching of these legalized kidnappers of children, for compulsory inoculation of their minds with the old theological virus, tends to nullify the good done by education during the other six days of the week."
- Gerald Massey

"Instead of mythology being a disease of language, it may be truly said that our theology is a disease of mythology"
- Gerald Massey

"There is not a conception associated with Christ that is not common to some or all of the Savior cults of antiquity."
- JM Robertson

"The gospel story is an artificial, non-historical work. It has been fabricated from source materials that can be identified and traced to their incorporation into the gospels. There is not a particle of hard evidence that 'Jesus of Nazareth' ever existed. Prayers offered up in Christian worship in the earliest days of the faith were addressed to 'Our Lord the Sun,' evidencing that 'primitive' Christians were quite in the spirit of Pagan forms and ideologies."
- Alvin Boyd Kuhn

"Somebody ought to tell the truth about the Bible. The preachers dare not, because they would be driven from their pulpits. Professors in colleges dare not, because they would lose their salaries. Politicians dare not. They would be defeated. Editors dare not. They would lose subscribers. Merchants dare not, because they might lose customers. Men of fashion dare not, fearing that they would lose caste. Even clerks dare not, because they might be discharged. And so I thought I would do it myself."
- Robert Ingersoll

"Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it."
- C. Dennis McKinsey

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Henry Roberts, Historian

Quotes against the separation of church and state



Quote:
"There has been a very definite determined government effort to turn us into a Christian nation with a civil religion and in return religion got money, power, special favors..."
- Madalyn Murray O'Hair

Quote:
"Religious freedom is one thing,” says Joan Bokaer, director of TheocracyWatch, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy (CRESP) at Cornell University. “But religious extremism is something completely different. What people aren’t aware of is just how deeply the radical religious right has penetrated our government—in all three branches. We really are very close to becoming a theocracy. People have reason to be worried."

http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/vie ... 2420#p2420

"Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful. It has been used to justify war, slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, mutilations, intolerance, and oppression of minorities. The totalitarianism of religious absolutes chokes progress."
What is a freethinker?

"We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate."
– Ronald Reagan

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:51 pm 
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That's really well done, FTL. Thanks for posting that and for keeping this important subject in the forefront. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:00 pm 
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You are very welcome! :D

I've always found the Native American Indian influence on our democratic society a special point of interest. Every American should be aware that phrases like "We the people, to form a union...." all came from Native American Indians. The democratic views of the Iroquois tribe especially caught the attention of the founding fathers of the US Constitution.

Quote:
The World-wide Diffusion of Iroquois Democratic Traditions:

"Immigrants from Europe often have borrowed from native peoples, embraced this knowledge as their own, and then forgotten its origins. Meanwhile, the prevailing assumptions of the "winners'" histories condemn Native Americans as primitive and brutish. The reconstruction of history in its true complexity takes some work, since it often runs counter to the heavy weight of well-established assumptions.

So it has been in the evolution of democracy, [Richard] Williams [executive director of the American Indian College Fund] believes: "The political structure of the great Iroquois Confederacy served as a model for democracy among the founding fathers, who wrote the Constitution based on `we the people,' something unheard of in the aristocratic, feudal societies of Europe. In fact, there is no word for `I' in any American Indian language, which was a profound concept to the framers who closely studied the tribes' customs, government and culture."
http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/6Nations/

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Moderate, Democratic Christianity?
Quote:
"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ... We need believing people."

Adolf Hitler. April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of 1933.
(Hitler was a originally a Catholic)

No, there is no such thing in existence, never has been, never will be. Christianity has been tamed by the SECULAR US Constitution, First Amendment and the principle of separation of church and state.

PEOPLE can be moderate - the Christian religion can not. Moderate Christianity make no sense.

“What is moderate xianity anyway ... Jesus was only sort of the son of god, he only somewhat rose from the dead, your eternal soul is at stake but don’t worry about it”
- TGWWT movie

“The moderation we see among non-fundamentalists is not some sign that faith itself has evolved; it is, rather, the product of the many hammer blows of modernity that have exposed certain tenets of faith to doubt.”

“While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. From the perspective of those seeking to live by the letter of the texts, the religious moderate is nothing more than a failed fundamentalist. He is, in all likelihood, going to wind up in hell with the rest of the unbelievers.”
- “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris

There is no democracy in Christianity either:

“Nowhere in Scripture will you find an acknowledgment that each individual has an “inalienable right” to be treated with fairness and respect, or that “We, the People” are capable of governing ourselves. There is no democracy in the “word of God.” In the bible, humans are “worms” and “sinners” deserving damnation, “slaves” who should humbly submit to all kings, heavenly and earthly.”

“American laws are based on a secular constitution, not the bible. Any scriptures that might support a good law do so only because they have met the test of human values, which long predate the ineffective Ten Commandments.”
http://www.ffrf.org/about/bybarker/goodness.php

“Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice”
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:07 am 
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This website suggests that because Moses is placed in an architectural embellishment of the Supreme Court it means America is a Christian nation.
pearlharborsurvivorsonline. org /html/GOD%20BLESS%20AMERICA. htm

The fact is that there are actually 18 lawgivers: Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius, Augustus, Justinian, Mohammed, Charlemagne, King John, St. Louis, Hugo Grotius, William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon.

The tablets Moses is holding are blank. The oak doors inside the court only contain roman numerals. Not one time are the actual words of the 10 Commandments reproduced in the Supreme Court building in full. No sign anywhere that the Judaeo-Christian religion is above any other. http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/arg8a.htm

About the 10 Commandments fiasco

A Constitution that conforms to Biblical Law will rely on the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament as its guiding source. Dominionist lawmakers are trying to pass legislation in various state legislatures that would allow government posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

The first four Commandments are theological directives-they have nothing to do with morality or ethics and are unconstitutional. What is the real motivation behind the Ten Commandments campaign? The Ten Commandments are the foundation of Biblical Law, so placing them in public buildings has great symbolic value to Christians. It represents the supremacy of the Bible over the U.S. Constitution. The principle of religious liberty has become the legal tool used to make the U.S. Constitution conform to Biblical Law.

http://www.theocracywatch.org/biblical_law2.htm#Ten

Also there are 3 versions of the 10 Commandments - Hebrew, Catholic and Protestant. http://www.positiveatheism.org/crt/whichcom.htm

"Why The Ten Commandments Shouldn't Be Posted In Government Buildings"

"What's Wrong With the Ten Commandments?"

“When you consider that God could have commanded anything he wanted--anything!--the Ten [Commandments] have got to rank as one of the great missed moral opportunities of all time. How different history would have been had he clearly and unmistakably forbidden war, tyranny, taking over other people’s countries, slavery, exploitation of workers, cruelty to children, wife-beating, stoning, treating women--or anyone--as chattel or inferior beings.”
- Katha Pollitt

Quote:
"A profession that we are a nation "under God" is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation "under Jesus," or a nation "under Vishnu," a nation "under Zeus," or a nation "under no god," because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion."

- Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, 2002 the Ninth Circuit Court, in Newdow v. United States Congress

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:40 pm 
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Also, it has been brought to my attention by a friend that in the "God Bless America" website they quote:
Quote:
James Madison, the fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement:

"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

"James Madison never made that statement. It is one of David Barton's misquotes. It is a shame that such a disgraceful pack of untruths should be associated with a website for Pearl Harbor survivors."

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:26 pm 
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Good stuff; I'm pondering whether or not to send it to a right wing fundie friend of mine (I know, its bizarre that I even KNOW someone with those views but I try to not let it ruin our relationship). The problem is that this person just will NOT accept any info about America from me because I'm from Ireland!
When I try to explain that that makes me even more qualified considering how religion and nationalism combined tore my country apart for 25 years she just whimpers about America being gods land...ah well.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Ahh heck, send it to 'em - please! I received the "God Bless America" link above in an e-mail from my own family.

Now, I organized the response above for others to share and pass around. I cannot send it to my family - it's to close to home as I have to spend holidays with these believers. They do know my views though. I shared my response in 2004 when this was being passed around then and I didn't hear back from my family via e-mail until just recently (election time). Now, I've spent time with them and we just don't talk about these issues and I wouldn't press others if they were in the same situation.

But if you're across country or in another country then, send it.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:33 pm 
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I sent a link, I'm not sure what the response will be though...probably deafening silence!
I hope, once Huckabee is gone, that there will be an easing of this whole misrepresentation of what Christianity is in American politics, I won't hold my breath though.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:03 pm 
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Quote:
"War of the Billboards" Statement

Hateful Response to "Imagine No Religion" Message Shows Its Power

February 12, 2008

http://www.ffrf.org/news/2008/hatebillboard.php

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:59 am 
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:x I can't believe that!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:16 am 
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This was sent to me from a friend yesterday - I got a kick out of it. I thought others here might appreciate it too:

Quote:
FRWD: To All My Friends

To all my friends who in 2007 sent me best 'wishes', chain letters, 'angel' letters or other promises of good luck if I forwarded something,

NONE OF THAT SHIT WORKED!

For 2008, could you please just send money, Grey Goose vodka, chocolate, movie tickets, gasoline vouchers, or airline tickets instead?

Thank you!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:46 am 
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Ha ha, I hate those chain thingys; and you'd think that people would know better too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:31 pm 
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Freethinka wrote:
Quote:
To all my friends who in 2007 sent me best 'wishes', chain letters, 'angel' letters or other promises of good luck if I forwarded something,

NONE OF THAT SHIT WORKED!

For 2008, could you please just send money, Grey Goose vodka, chocolate, movie tickets, gasoline vouchers, or airline tickets instead?

Thank you!


HAHA. I loved it and just passed it on. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:08 pm 
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No moderation, democracy in Abrahamic faiths

God Is Not A Moderate: Sam Harris on C-Span video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2VoVB7S ... re=related

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