Friday, June 24, 2005

"The long liberal war against christianity." This was John Hostettler's description of of Democrat efforts to ensure religious freedom. I find that pretty funny when they take this martyr stance, because the Scriptures admonish christians that they are in a spiritual war. In Ephesians chapter 6 you can read all about the armor they are to take up, and the sword. Oh yes, there is plenty of talk in the Bible about warfare. And why not? According to Jerry Falwell, God is pro-war. I saw Falwell say, "let's go blow them away in the name of the Lord."

So a little detail for the above. Apparently the Air Force Academy is a religiously hostile environment. The fundies, in their political hubris, have made it so. Note I didn't say excitement, or exuberance. Everyone has the right to share their faith, no doubt. When I was a fundie(I know, shocking isn't it.) I was under the impression that the best context for that was either a question asked, or the freedom that a developed relationship allowed. In other words, it was meant to be by influence. Letting the light shine means just that. A religiously hostile environment on the other hand is the opposite. In other words, were it the Prince of Peace influencing the Cadets, the environment would not be hostile. So something else is motivating the evangelizing. So folk got wind, and I guess you could go to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State,, and read more about this particular situation, and demanded an explanation. One officer who complained was transferred, and cadets were being verbally abused in the name of the Lord.

So anyway, David Obey(D-Wi), decided to put an amendment on a bill that condemned unwelcome "coercive and abusive religious proselytizing." The Republicans voted it oput when Hostettler(R-In) made the comments he made, and he sparked some contention. So this week, after the Supreme Court ruled that some displays of the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in courts, Ernest Istook(R-Ok) decided to introduce a new amendment to the Constitution called the Religious Freedom Amendment. Hot damn!

Now I have to ask myself, why any one would want to amend a Constitution that says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech...or the right of the people peacfully to assemble." It's obvious that everyone in this country has the right to assemble, speak freely, and exercise their religion. It also maintains that NO law will be made to establish one. Or any. Which is why Thomas Jefferson used the phrase of separation of church and state. History at that time was replete with the horros of the blending of the two, and so the Pilgrims left England. So just what is Istook thinking?

I've been down this road on a previous blog. It is no secret that the religious right want America to be a theocracy. In fact, they think that was God's idea to begin with. I have discovered that their research to support this utilizes quotes from a self taught historian named David Barton. In Rick Scarborough's book Enough is Enough, his tome to support this theocracy, he quotes James Madison as saying, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." However, if you ask any James Madison researcher, you will find that this quote is entirely fabricated by the same David Barton mentioned above. And Barton admitted it. Rick Scarborough uses this same quote to establish that the founding fathers were after a theocracy. Scarborough though doesn't quote Madison's works directly. Instead, most of the quotes from that chapter came from another book written by another fundie who used as a source David Barton. At the least we have extremely poor and inaccurate writing by these fundies that distorts history in order to prove their point. Yet they, like Bush, conitnue to repeat their propaganda. Not the truth, but propaganda. Which is why Istook wants this amendment. What is in the Bill of Rights is not specific enough. They want to establish Christianity as the official religion. These fundies are sometimes called Reconstructionists. It makes an interesting Google search. Why else would they want to change what is so clear already? I would like to ask Istook if we could really spice up his amendment with specifics. In other words, would he still present it if it said. "To secure the Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Natives (peoples)and others' right to acknowledge (God(s)), Goddess(s), or no God according to the dictates of conscience: The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools. The United States and the States shall not establish any official religion nor require any person to join in prayer or religious activity." I somehow doubt it. ("peoples" and "God" are the original language.)

Obviouslty Hostettler is a whining martyr and a smokescreen. One needs little imagination to dig up the many statements the fundies have made about the warfare for the minds of children, the culture war, let alone the spiritual war. And they have gladly jumped itno the battle, yet theirs is to do away with our Constitutional Republic. The fundies may not get along with the secualr imperialists of the PNAC and AEI. Time will tell how that all falls out. Hoefully, it will all fall down. That will depend on us though.

I think there is much effort to alter our Constitution. They want to amend it to prohibit something that rarely happens on our land: flag burning. Representative Hoyer and co-sponsor Sensenbrenner want to amend it to do away with limits on Presidential terms. Istook wants to amend it as seen above. Does all this smell like the rose of freedom to you?


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