I tried linking an article from The New York Times “Evangelical leader threatens to use his political muscle against some democrats,” and the hyperlink didn’t take. Still have a few related-to-my-computer-problems to work out.
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, says that there will be “a battle of enormous proportions from ‘sea to shining sea,’ if President Bush fails to appoint ‘strict constructionist” jurists or if Democrats filibuster to block Conservative nominations.'”
Understand something. I don’t hate Christians or people of any religion. What I hate are people who try to put their views onto me.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that this is a Christian country. I keep on saying that because many people seem to think that it does say that. I will keep on saying that until the day I die, or people understand, or I’m silenced by people who don’t believe in the concepts the United States of America was founded upon.
Our country was founded upon the principles of freedom. Religion is one very big freedom. Let’s take the old creche in front of the courthouse argument. Personally I couldn’t care less, let people display their religious symbols. But then Jews would have to be allowed to put up Menorah’s or Stars of David’s, and Muslims would have to be allowed and so on, even if no non-Christian asks because:
Separation of church and state is specifically spelled out in the The First Amendment to The Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. I hate guns, but it’s a Constitutional right and therefore….Though I can understand people will argue that the Constitution can be amended.
The problem with that argument, that even I who has absolutely no understanding of logic–in the LSAT way, is that the Constitution is amended to further freedoms not to take them away.
What has always separated us from other countries is our Constitution. Yes it’s based on the British Magna Carta but it goes much further. We are the country of last resort. We’re the country people have traditionally wanted to come to in order to seek freedom and riches.
We’re the country that guarantees the pursuit of happiness.
What other country has ever said in the document declaring us to be independent: “the pursuit of happiness?” That’s an amazing phrase. It’s telling us to seek enjoyment of life. What other country has ever included that in its Declaration of Independence. What other country has ever had a Declaration of Independence?
Don’t you get it? We were the first country in the history of the modern world to guarantee a person rights. “Certain unalienable rights…Among these are life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” “Among these,” I assume and know, means these rights are just the beginning.
Yet the far right (and I include ultra Orthodox Jews in that) basically wants to amend the Constitution to make it suit their agenda. Shouldn’t “strict constructionists” want to keep separation of church and state if they’re talking about the Constitution? If they’re talking about The New Testament please let me know because I don’t live in a country where that is the official Bible.
I’ve testified in court about five times, several times as an expert witness. Only once was I given a New Testament and asked to swear to it. (Usually there was a Bible with both the Old and New Testaments, that I didn’t have to touch.) I felt strange; I also felt a little giddy.
Because as a Jew I’m not supposed to swear to anything, and The New Testament was after our time. I thought about how if I was religious and wanted to change the outcome of my testimony-and maybe the case I could have lied because my swearing would have meant nothing in the eyes of G-d. We’re not supposed to write out the word.
I could have asked for an Old Testament and had the word “promise” substitute for “swear,” but I knew what I was going to say, was testifying on behalf of a Catholic institution, and it wasn’t important to me. I don’t mean that the Catholic institution was unimportant to me–it was very important to my life as it employed me. I mean that the actual case I was testifying on was a proforma case that I won’t go into here.
Maybe it was more important to me than I had thought as I felt a little sick for days afterward. It felt as if I had done something illegal and/or dirty. Enough about my one personal experience swearing to a Bible not mine.
What really scares me is how people don’t want good old fashioned arguments. They just want what they know to be right–whether on the left, the right, the middle, whatever. When did arguing go out of style in this country?
When did everything become so malicious?
Think about this: the words “under God” were not added to the Pledge of allegiance until 1955, I think, the end of The McCarthy era and the middle of The Cold War. My parents talked about Joseph McCarthy a lot. I’ve read many books and have seen many movies on the era. I don’t want to go back to a time where people were encouraged to spy on their neighbors or report suspicious activities.
And for my clever remark of the year, oh yes, we’re back there again. This time, though, more of us aren’t afraid to speak our minds–on every side. That’s good.
We don’t have a Father Coughlin to listen to on the radio every Sunday night. (He was a noted 30’s anti-Semite).
But more of us are sprouting malicious sick comments every day. We have so much talent in this country; so much diversity; so many different countries converging into one. I believe that’s the true beauty of America.
Why can’t debate be somewhat civil?