State Sovereignty

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...
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The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

When the U.S. government is taxing our grandchildren for the purposes of increasing spending, the rights of the state are trampled. Thank goodness states are fighting back.

Lawmakes in 16 states have joined what’s become known as the Tenth Amendment Movement. And it’s picking up speed. At least that many are considering the same. Read more here and here and here.

Call your state representative. Tell them you want to govern your own state, not Washington. Before we’re all broke.

These states have already passed or have resolutions pending to pass the Tenth Amendment Movement: Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington.

Soon to come: Alaska, Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine, Pennsylvania.

Is your state on this list?

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US Government Restricts Free Speech and Expression of Religion

Posted on September 30, 2008. Filed under: Faith, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The “separation of church and state,” such as it is, should keep the government from imposing a religion upon the people of this country.

But regulations that squelch the speech of pastors? Can the US Government tell pastors what they can and cannot talk about?

There is no law that I’m aware of that restricts the speech of pastors, but IRS regulations in place for over 50 years threaten to withdraw the tax-exempt status of churches that speak on politics. I am convinced this is a contributing factor to the decline of morality in the USA. The churches are the center of what we consider moral in the country, and if the pulpits are silent, immorality blossoms.

Some pastors have begun specifically defying this regulation by specifically mentioning candidates by name. Their goal is to overturn the IRS regulation through the court system. Listen: all rules and regulations in this country should follow the US Constitution, right? Here’s the 1st Amendment to the US 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 the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That tells me that the government can’t pass any laws on what churches can and cannot say, anymore than they can tell newspapers what they can and cannot print. Read that amendment and explain to me how it could be interpreted otherwise.

If you’d like to read more, the Alliance Defense Fund is spearheading this project.

“Pastors have a right to speak about Biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley.

It’s a government restriction on the freedom of speech and the expression of religion. I cant see how anyone could interpret the Constitution any other way.

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State of Cindy's Delusion

Posted on February 1, 2006. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

You probably know Cindy Sheehan was arrested and removed before the President’s State of the Union address last night. That wasn’t really a surprise – the surprise to me was that a U.S. Representative, Lynn Woolsey, gave her a ticket. Sometimes the Left is really… Left, you know? Cindy was removed by Capital Police because, well, because it wasn’t a State of Cindy speech last night.

Cindy’s posted about her experience on Michael Moore’s website. I’m going to nitpick only a couple of pieces in it:

[...]
At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said: 2,245 Dead. How many more?
[...]
I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled, “Protester.”
[...]
I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on.

These snippets show she still doesn’t understand why she was escorted out. The show wasn’t about her. The wife of Republican Representative C.W. Bill Young was also escorted out for wearing a t-shirt supporting the troops. I remember a man being escorted out during one of Bill Clinton’s State of the Union speeches. The President is required by the US Constitution to tell Congress about the State of the Union every year. It’s all about the President on that night.

I have lost my First Amendment rights.
[...]
I have some lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the government for what happened tonight.
[...]
I don’t want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government.

I think a lawyer would have a hard time proving that her First Amendment rights are being violated, especially when she’s posted everything she wanted to say the very next day. The fact that she can’t say it there and that particular time and be disruptive at a Presidential event is supported by a Supreme Court ruling placing a “reasonable time, place or manner” restriction on speech.

Read some of her ranting. Does she sound oppressed to you?

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Banning Christmas

Posted on December 19, 2005. Filed under: Faith, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , |

An administrator, Patricia Sonntag, at California State University, has banned Christmas.

“Time has come to recognize that religious discrimination, as well as ethnic insensitivity to certain holidays, is forbidden,” Patricia Sonntag, director of the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities, stated in the directive she e-mailed to members of her staff on Dec. 9.

While Patricia was at it, she banned Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, the 4th of July, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter on the grounds that they are “offensive.” She wrote in an email that the ban was necessary “in order to avoid offending someone else.” Someone else could not be reached for comment.

So in order to avoid offending “someone else,” it’s OK to offend everyone else?

The Catholic League has already pointed out the problem with an adminstrator of a public university taking such a stance.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue called the policy a violation of free speech rights. “It never occurs to these secular supremacists that it is their aversion to anything religious – or patriotic – that accounts for their desire to muzzle free speech.”

Try to remember this simple rule: The US Constitution say you cannot abridge freedom of religion. It doesn’t say to eliminate religion.

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A Non-Christian Narna

Posted on December 13, 2005. Filed under: Faith, Movies and TV | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People that hate Christians should not go see “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

The Guardian Unlimited, England’s ultra liberal rag, says “Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion.” Exceprts:

The Christian radio station Premier is urging churches to hold services on the theme of The Gospel According to Narnia. Even the Methodists have written a special Narnia-themed service. And a Kent parish is giving away £10,000 worth of film tickets to single-parent families. (Are the children of single mothers in special need of the word?)

I would say “yes.” I don’t know what the author has against single mothers, but apparently she’s opposed to them receiving Christian aid and encouragement in any form.

The president’s brother, Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, is organising a scheme for every child in his state to read the book. Walden Media, co-producer of the movie, offers a “17-week Narnia Bible study for children”. The owner of Walden Media is both a big Republican donor and a donor to the Florida governor’s book promotion – a neat synergy of politics, religion and product placement. It has aroused protests from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which complains that “a governmental endorsement of the book’s religious message is in violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution”.

That would certainly be hard to prove since the words “Christ” and “God” never appear in the movie in any form.

Disney may come to regret this alliance with Christians, at least on this side of the Atlantic. For all the enthusiasm of the churches, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ bombed in Britain and warehouses are stuffed with unsold DVDs of that stomach-churner. There are too few practising Christians in the empty pews of this most secular nation to pack cinemas. So there has been a queasy ambivalence about how to sell the Narnia film here.

If you were unsure of the author’s hatred of Christians, that should have cleared it right up for you.

Most British children will be utterly clueless about any message beyond the age-old mythic battle between good and evil. Most of the fairy story works as well as any Norse saga, pagan legend or modern fantasy, so only the minority who are familiar with Christian iconography will see Jesus in the lion. After all, 43% of people in Britain in a recent poll couldn’t say what Easter celebrated. Among the young – apart from those in faith schools – that number must be considerably higher. Ask art galleries: they now have to write the story of every religious painting on the label as people no longer know what “agony in the garden”, “deposition”, “transfiguration” or “ascension” mean. This may be regrettable cultural ignorance, but it means Aslan will stay just a lion to most movie-goers.

Explain to me again that if “Aslan will stay just a lion to most movie-goers” why the Americans United for Separation of Church and State are complaining? I find this sad, that the European young have lost touch with their faith and are no longer being taught by their parents.

Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls. Did we ask him to?

Goodness. How repugnant. I wonder if the author feels free to insult all other religions, too, or if she’s reserved a special hatred for Christianity. The answer, by the way, is no, we did not ask Him to. God did it for us, unasked. It is a gift, it is grace.

There’s lots more hatred of Christians (and conservatives) aplenty if you’re interested:

  • So the resurrected Aslan gives Edmund a long, life-changing talking-to high up on the rocks out of our earshot. When the poor boy comes back down with the sacred lion’s breath upon him he is transformed unrecognisably into a Stepford brother, well and truly purged. (The author doesn’t say what part of Edmund’s new behavior is repugnant.)
  • Philip Pullman – he of the marvellously secular trilogy His Dark Materials – has called Narnia “one of the most ugly, poisonous things I have ever read”.
  • Because here in Narnia is the perfect Republican, muscular Christianity for America – that warped, distorted neo-fascist strain that thinks might is proof of right.
  • I once heard the famous preacher Norman Vincent Peale in New York expound a sermon that reassured his wealthy congregation that they were made rich by God because they deserved it. The godly will reap earthly reward because God is on the side of the strong. This appears to be CS Lewis’s view, too. In the battle at the end of the film, visually a great epic treat, the child crusaders are crowned kings and queens for no particular reason. Intellectually, the poor do not inherit Lewis’s earth. (The author has mistaken earthly riches for heavenly riches and so misses the point entirely – Michael.)

Children are supposed to fall in love with the hypnotic Aslan, though he is not a character: he is pure, raw, awesome power. He is an emblem for everything an atheist objects to in religion. His divine presence is a way to avoid humans taking responsibility for everything here and now on earth, where no one is watching, no one is guiding, no one is judging and there is no other place yet to come. Without an Aslan, there is no one here but ourselves to suffer for our sins, no one to redeem us but ourselves: we are obliged to settle our own disputes and do what we can. We need no holy guide books, only a very human moral compass. Everyone needs ghosts, spirits, marvels and poetic imaginings, but we can do well without an Aslan.

So ghosts and spirits are great, but not a faith in a redeeming savior. The author has preformed ideas about Christianity and uses those ideas to bash Christianity. Setup the strawman and knock it down. Do Christians use their faith to avoid taking responsibility, or do Christians feel their faith calls them to devote their lives to service in faith? There are thousands of Christian faith-based service organizations feeding the poor, helping the homeless, with millions of volunteers. That’s a far cry from the author’s portrayal of Christians.

And all of the Christian-bashing over a movie that never utters a scriptural word.

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Ill Wind May Not Blow to the Whitehouse

Posted on September 10, 2005. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Will Hurricane Katrina spell the end of George Bush’s Presidency? Almost certainly yes, with a few caveats. :P

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush’s presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent. Otherwise, the Democratic Party will suffer a setback at the next congressional election.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should not be concerned by accusations of racism against the federal government.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody remembers that Jesse Jackson once called New York “Hymietown” and everybody thinks Condoleezza Rice went shopping for shoes when the hurricane struck because she cannot stand black people.

Otherwise sensible Americans of all races will be more concerned by trite, cynical and dangerous political opportunism.

As the full horror of that sinks in, this columnist is simply glad that everybody cares.

* From a tip from Right Voices and Slugger O’Toole. Original article by Newton Emerson in the Irish Times.

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Religious Linkage for Monday

Posted on August 8, 2005. Filed under: Faith, News, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I kept waiting for Monday to let up; doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. So instead of thought-provoking commentary, here’s a couple of interrelated links:
10 reasons I’ve grown to despise the Left …and why you should, too

Yeah, I know it’s written in an inflammatory way, but look at the list, especially if you’re a left-winger. The reason the left is mostly losing elections the last several years is because it’s no longer just the right that has this view of the left. Especially look at #9 and #10 – are there anybody on the right that hates God and promotes deviant behavior? The left doesn’t just reject whatever the right believes in, but they reject anything the center believes in, too.

I’m providing just the simple list here, click on the link above to get the explanation and example for each reason.

  1. Thought control.
  2. Leftists hate what makes America great.
  3. Leftists are stupid.
  4. Leftists are liars.
  5. Leftists are thieves.
  6. Leftists have nothing but contempt for democratic institutions.
  7. Leftists are hypocrites.
  8. Leftists kill people.
  9. Leftists are tireless advocates of perversion and degeneracy in all its myriad forms.
  10. The left hates God.

* From a tip from Jesus Politics.

Bush evolution comment roils long-standing battle

Actually, all Bush said was, “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes,” when he was asked about Intelligent Design.

The part of the article I found most interesting though was this:

Religious revivals or awakenings have been a recurring theme throughout American politics, the first one dating even from before the founding of the Republic. Robert Fogel, the 1993 Nobel Prize winner in economics, identifies four “great awakenings,” the latest of which began in the 1960s.

Previous cycles have been divided into three phases. The cycle begins with a religious revival, followed by a period of rising political activism and accomplishment, and ending with a backlash as the movement overreaches. If Fogel’s theory is correct, the United States is currently in the second phase of its fourth great awakening.

Pundits Mull over Implications of Roberts’ Faith

Basically, “pundits” are wondering if you have any faith at all if you should have any place in government.

I’ve mentioned before that in the US Constitution it doesn’t call for a “separation” of church and state. It says the government can neither establish nor restrict a religion, though that’s not what courts have been doing since they ruled against school prayer in 1963. Here’s something else the U.S. Constitution says in Article 6:

[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Will the lefties that hate God (forgot already, didn’t you? #10 on the list above) question John Roberts about his Catholic faith and then attempt to use that against him during the confirmation process?

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Anger at McCain over Judges

Posted on May 25, 2005. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

First off, let’s be clear about what happened yesterday. There was no “compromise.” The Republicans gave in, the Democrats won. Judicial nominees, by US Constitution, are nominimated by the President and the Senate is supposed to “advise and consent.” In other words, vote.

The “compromise” lets the Republicans vote on 3 judges, Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and Bill Pryor . Whoop-de-do, they’re supposed to do that anyway. In exchange, Henry Saad and William Myers were sacrificed to oblivion, not to be voted on. Pay attention here, this is key: I can live with judges being voted down, but that’s not what happened. These judges won’t get a vote at all. Ever.

In the future, Democrats promise not to fillibuster unless it’s “extraordinary,” as in, “Oh my goodness, that’s a right wing extremist! That’s extraordinary!” or “Gadzooks, it’s Wednesday! That’s extraordinary!”

John McCain was in the middle of this capitulation, all for the news glory he receives. Pfft. He sacrificed his Republican colleagues and in effect agreed to fillibuster with the Democrats. Hardly a “compromise.”

There’s a bazillion blogs and websites, uniformly critical of the surrender. Here’s a few:

At that point, I gave up. McCain turned on us, that’s all I’ll need to remember in 2008.

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Boycotting "Winter Holidays"

Posted on December 1, 2004. Filed under: Faith | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yep, I’m boycotting “Winter Holidays” as a completely useless and meaningless psuedo-pagan holiday.

I’m celebrating Christmas. The birth of Christ, a reminder He came to die for our sins, the loving and giving we share with each other as we remember the loving and giving Jesus gave to us. I’ll happily pile on the odd Christmas traditions of trees and mistletoes and lights and presents and poinsettias and reindeer and whatnot. Christmas is a beautiful season.

If the ACLU gets their way, Christmas would be gone. Every year the non-existent “separation of church and state” doctrine chips away a little more of Christmas. This week I’ve seen stories of removing any religious reference from Christmas and school bands can’t play Christmas songs that contain references to Jesus or Santa Claus, even if the lyrics aren’t included.

The “separation of church and state” doesn’t exist in the US Constitution. In fact, it ends with “Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names, [...]” The “Year of Our Lord” cannot refer to anybody but Jesus, and the US Contitution is, by definition, constitutional.

Instead the Constitution says, “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.” If I want to celebrate a religious and wholy holy Christian Christmas, I have that right. Whenever and wherever I wish to celebrate it.

I find it amazing that when I lived in Singapore, the country happily celebrated Christmas as a Christian holiday. They also celebrated Hari Raya Puasa, Ramadan, and Hari Raya Haji for the Muslims, Vesak Day for the Buddhists, Deepavali for the Hindus. Chinese New Year and the completely secular National Day, too. A little something for everyone. But in the mostly Christian USA, with the help of the ACLU, we’re trying to ban Christmas and celebrate “Seasons Greetings,” whatever that is.

Why hasn’t Christmas been completely outlawed? Pardon My English has an opinion – it’s all about money:

Let’s face it. The only thing that is keeping Christmas from being completely wiped out by secularism is its value to society as an economic engine. At Christmas, businesses collect huge amounts of their yearly revenue, simply because the holiday involves the giving and receiving of gifts. If Christians decided to make their presents, to stick to cookies and parties, or to just give their funds to the church and the poor at Christmastime, the public square would be denuded of its wintertime religious activity faster than you can say, “Merry Snowday.”

I’ll be celebrating Christmas this year with all the love and joy and celebration that goes with it. Cold generic people can celebrate the cold generic Winter Holiday, but I’m having none of it.

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Kerry's Swift Boat Vet Issue

Posted on August 25, 2004. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , |

The Swift Boat advertisements must have hit a sore spot. John Kerry is sending two aides today to George Bush’s hometown to press Bush into condemning the ads. Those ads must be hurting Kerry, both politically and personally.

I’m starting to suspect John Kerry is not only a liar, but incredibly inept as well. To stop the Swift Boat vet ads, Kerry filed suit with the Federal Election Commission, wrote legal threatening letters to television stations to tell them not to broadcast the ads, tried to get the “Unfit for Command” to stop publishing the book or move it to the fiction section. From a public relations standpoint, these were incredibly dumb moves. All he did was fire up interest in the book and the ads.

I also don’t know what he expects Bush to do; 527 plans are independent by law. It’s illegal to coodinate campaign activities with 527 groups. And it’s free speech, protected by the US Constitution. As long as it isn’t slander, it’s protected. Is it slander? Probably not – the leader of the SwiftVets dared Kerry to sue him. Another public relations no-win: if Kerry sues, it’ll be all over the news, and if he doesn’t sue, the ads will continue to run.

Yesterday Kerry called up one of the swift boat veterans and asked Robert “Friar Tuck” Brant Cdr., USN (RET) to meet with him face to face. Brant declined, citing that Kerry’s anti-war activities accusing all veterans, including Brant, of war crimes had been simmering for 30 years. Brant said that Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record of what happened in VietNam.

Sean McCabe, a spokesman for the 264-member (SwiftVets) organization, said it plans to send a cease-and-desist letter warning Kerry “to stop calling our members,” because it’s an independent “527″ group and it’s illegal for campaigns to contact them.

So Bush takes the high road and condemns all 527 ads yesterday (which the press, of course, reported as Bush condemning just the SwiftVets). Kerry doesn’t want to condemn them all; he’s the beneficiary of $70 million of ads from MoveOn.org. He just wants that $1.5 million in ads from the SwiftVets to stop.

All around, incredibly inept political moves by Kerry.

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