Thursday, March 25, 2004
  One nation under God
Some people believe that the Religious Right is on a mission to curtail our freedoms. The FCC's crackdown on "indecency", following the Janet Jackson incident at the Superbowl, is blamed by many on the Religious Right. Howard Stern has been on a tiresome tirade for the past few weeks, like a paranoid baby. Why do so many believe in this mythical power of the "Religious Right"? If this were true, Judge Moore would not have been ordered to remove his Ten Commandments from his courthouse courtyard. If the Religious Right had a stranglehold on this country, as many might have you believe, the Texas sodomy case would not have been heard by the Supreme Court, much less decided the way it was.

Truth is, some people believe that our rights are being crushed by these mythical, bible-thumping henchmen of the bible-thumping President (I don't think he's a bible-thumper, but some people do.) My rights are in tact. The FCC's crackdown probably won't go much further than it has. Howard Stern is crying for ratings-- he's been saying he's going off the air for years, like every time his contract comes up for negotiation. Our checks and balances are doing well, and the majority of the US population would not stand for the things that some are so fearful of.

Then we have the Pledge of Allegiance, and the controversy over "under God" currently in the hands of the SCOTUS. I see this as an assault on the foundation of this country. The VAST majority of US citizens belong to a monotheistic religion. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and principles, and this idea is repeated in the documents of our foundation. But the worst part of this, really, is this man's use of his daughter to advance his own beliefs. He is an atheist, and I respect that. However, in a classroom of 30 students, how many are really offended by the Pledge? This an attempted smackdown on a majority by a very loud minority. You don't want your kids to say it? Teach them that they can stand by their convictions and skip those two words. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to put my kids in a Catholic school. If it's taken out of the pledge, you can bet I'll teach my kids the current version and tell them they can recite it that way. This is a free country, after all, and the separation of church and state is meant to protect the church from the state, not vice versa.

Senator Tom McClintock ran for Governor of California in our recent recall election. He was the most coherent, consistent and all-around brightest candidate in the bunch. Most conservatives were afraid that a vote for him would have been a vote for Cruz Bustamante, who we all know would have been 10x worse for this state than Davis. He wrote this article, and I got it today via his mailing list. I think he hits the nail on the head. Hard.

Why the Pledge of Allegiance Matters

A Column by Senator McClintock

There is a great principle at the heart of the movement to strike the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance – and from our national customs, our currency, and our public ceremonies. It has very little to do with atheism. It has a great deal to do with authoritarianism.

The philosophy of the American founding is unique among the nations of the world because of a bedrock principle that was given expression with words in the Declaration of Independence that are old and familiar, and yet not often pondered these days.

In the American view, there is a certain group of rights that are accorded absolutely and equally to every individual and that cannot be alienated. The existence of these rights is beyond debate – “self-evident” in the words of the Founders. And their source is supreme - “the Creator.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

What are these rights? They are rights that exist as a condition of human life itself. If an individual were alone in the world, the rights he has are those rights the Founders traced to “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” In their words, “…that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The right to the fruit of our own labor, the right to express our own sentiments, the right to defend ourselves, the right to live our lives according to our own best lights – in a word, freedom..

But how do we secure these rights in a world where others seek to violate them? We form a government servient to these God-given rights – or more precisely, a government under God. “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…” In the American view, the only legitimate exercise of force by one individual over another, or by a government over its people, is in the defense of these natural rights.

This concept is the foundation of American liberty. And because it defines limits to the powers of government, it is supremely offensive to the radicals of the left. They abhor the words “under God” because these words stand in the way of an all-powerful state.

The French and American revolutions were waged on precisely the same declared rights of liberty and equality. One was a ghastly failure that ended in the reign of terror; the other, a magnificent success. Why?

In the philosophy of the French Revolution, the rights of man were defined by a governmental committee and extended at the sufferance of that government. In the American view, these rights come from God, their existence is preeminent and their preservation is the principal object of government.

If the source of our fundamental rights is not God, then the source becomes man – or more precisely, a government of men. And rights that can be extended by government may also be withdrawn by government.

Words matter. Ideas matter. And symbols matter. The case now before the Supreme Court over the Pledge of Allegiance must not be devalued as a mere defense of harmless deistic references and quaint old customs. The principle at stake is central to the very foundation of the American nation and the very survival of its freedoms.

Dont burn anything down until morning,all right. I was alsoworried that we might not have the extra money to splurge on so manyclothes again.
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Dont burn anything down until morning,all right. I was alsoworried that we might not have the extra money to splurge on so manyclothes again.
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