Friday, January 4, 2008

Why don't they just stop all the bull and go straight for the constitutional amendment declaring the U.S. a Christian nation?

Well, this is disheartening. Congressman Randy Forbes has submitted a bill, H.R. 888, that basically is an attempt to codify right-wing historical revisions into law. It has a list of 75 "Whereas" statements, nearly every one of which is a falsehood, a misrepresentation, a twisting of reality, or a blatant lie--all designed with the intent to change reality and proclaim that America is, historically has been, and was originally intended to be, a Christian nation. Here are the actual resolutions of the bill:
Resolved, That the United States House of Representatives----

(1) affirms the rich spiritual and diverse religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history, including up to the current day;

Well, it says "diverse religious history", but in reality it only means Christianity. They don't even try to hide it in the clauses leading up to this, trying to claim how important the Bible was in the founding of the country (it wasn't), talking about supposed government funding of churches or missions (lies), and so on. Here's one of the "whereas" clauses that demonstrate clearly what they really intend by this bill:
Whereas the United States Supreme Court has declared throughout the course of our Nation's history that the United States is 'a Christian country', 'a Christian nation', 'a Christian people', 'a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being', and that 'we cannot read into the Bill of Rights a philosophy of hostility to religion'

And back to the actual resolutions....
(2) recognizes that the religious foundations of faith on which America was built are critical underpinnings of our Nation's most valuable institutions and form the inseparable foundation for America's representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures;

Mmm... nope. Religion and faith have absolutely nothing to do with our "representative processes [or] legal systems." Remember Article 6 of the Constitution says explicitly "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." How much more plain can they make it? Elections, division of powers (the three branches of government), the entire concept of representative government--none of that has any basis in the Bible or in religion.

And our legal system? This is probably more of the typical dreck that our laws are based on the 10 Commandments--which is patently absurd. Most of them wouldn't even be Constitutional, so how could our legal system possibly be based on them? Even if he didn't mean the ten commandments specifically, I think a similar point would still apply to near any list of biblical injunctions you would care to name.
(3) rejects, in the strongest possible terms, any effort to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such history from our Nation's public buildings and educational resources; and

Except that "such history" as was described in the 75 "whereas" clauses is completely and utterly false (be sure to go read that page; Chris Rodda specializes in debunking the lies of Christian historical revisionists). We should do everything we can to avoid having these shameless lies anywhere near our schools, not codify into law that they have to be there.
(4) expresses support for designation of a 'American Religious History Week' every year for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.

What, National Bible Week isn't enough for you twits? Although I find it cute that you're continuing the pretense that you have any desire to give equal time to other religions aside from your own.

The shame of it all is that this bill currently has 31 cosponsors. Hopefully it will die, but who knows anymore?

4 comments:

just a bug said...

I thought there was supposed to be a SEPARATION of church and state. The religionists HATE the concept of church/state separation--it's a big thorn in their side. So I find it very telling that they put the word "inseparable" here:

"recognizes that the religious foundations of faith on which America was built are critical underpinnings of our Nation's most valuable institutions and form the inseparable foundation for America's representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures"

It seems to me that they're trying to lay a new foundation, one in which there is no separation of church and state. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but this resolution has my ears pricked because this is what the whole thing looks like to me: They start out testing the waters with some stupid resolution, just to see whether our elected representatives will vote for it or if they will they put up a fuss. If there's no fuss from our reps, they take a look at the public reaction. Acceptance by the public means that American citizens are not too upset about ditching the church/state separation concept. Strong support by the public means that American citizens are actively interested in getting rid of church/state separation, and will nominate/campaign for/vote for/elect officials who promise to work to get rid of church/state separation and while they're at it, chuck any other principals of the constitution out the window if they're unhappy with them.

It seems like this is a stepping stone for them, to see if it really is possible for them to OFFICIALLY abolish church/state separation somewhere down the road. Right now, they're gauging what kind of support the voters will give them. This resolution is really a poll of public opinion.

I hope I'm just overreacting.

Skemono said...

I thought there was supposed to be a SEPARATION of church and state.
You think that; I think that; everyone who's studied actual history and the documents of the founding fathers thinks that; any competent legal scholar thinks that.

Unfortunately, it's not that religionists hate the concept--they don't think it even exists. They think it's a fantasy concocted by atheists, Communists, and America-hating baby-eaters like the ACLU.

It seems to me that they're trying to lay a new foundation, one in which there is no separation of church and state.
Yeah. It looks like they're trying to get Congressional authority--and hence, legitimacy--behind the idea that there is no, and never has been, any separation of church and state. Anytime someone says "this is a secular nation" they can point to this resolution as though a word of it were true.

Anonymous said...

KNOW HISTORY people - "The phrase building a wall of separation between church and state was written by Thomas Jefferson in a January 1, 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association." - it's not a part of our constitution anywhere. "It seems like this is a stepping stone for them, to see if it really is possible for them to OFFICIALLY abolish church/state separation somewhere down the road." ---it never was official! Under the United States Constitution, the treatment of religion by the government is broken into two clauses: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. While both are discussed in the context of the separation of church and state, it is more often discussed in regard to whether certain state actions would amount to an impermissible government establishment of religion.

Skemono said...

"The phrase building a wall of separation between church and state was written by Thomas Jefferson in a January 1, 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association." - it's not a part of our constitution anywhere.
Neither is the phrase "separation of powers", but you'd have to be an idiot to think that the idea expressed by that phrase isn't to be found in the constitution. If you examine the constitution, and furthermore look at what the people who wrote it and debated it had to say, it is obvious what they intended was a separation of church and state.

"It seems like this is a stepping stone for them, to see if it really is possible for them to OFFICIALLY abolish church/state separation somewhere down the road." ---it never was official!
Of course it was. It's been official ever since the First Amendment was ratified. Just because you're slow on the uptake doesn't change that.

Under the United States Constitution, the treatment of religion by the government is broken into two clauses: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.
Well, there's also the lack of a religious test that can be applied to people in government, but yes.

While both are discussed in the context of the separation of church and state, it is more often discussed in regard to whether certain state actions would amount to an impermissible government establishment of religion.
In other words, whether or not certain actions would be a violation of the Establishment Clause, which you just noted is found in the constitution. You're defeating your own case here.