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March 04, 2006


Dave in W-S

That's why the NYT is the preeminent American newspaper - because they are able to interpret what was actually said to gain the deeper truth of what was really meant.

It's a God given talent.

Other Tom

These people would flip their lids over some of the utterances of, say, Washington, Lincoln and FDR.


Or Bill Clinton.


There are a lot of people that are very ignorant of religion in this country, especially on the left.

I was struck by this a few years ago when Bush was asked about gays (I think it was about gays on his staff) and said said something close to 'we are all sinners, and it isn't for me to judge someone else'. This was spun out in all sorts of fairly amusing ways, including MoDo writing a column saying Bush had called everyone in America a sinner.

Of course, that isn't the way that dogma is applied or used - Bush was talking about himself, not anyone else. That was his entire point, it is the point of the religious tenet to which he was referring.

Similar with Blair in this case. Blair's point is "God will be my judge", not "God told me to invade", but people that don't understand Christianity or religion in general will not get it, and don't want to.


Excellent post, it expresses my sentiments exactly.


It is a sad and bitter commentary on secularity that the existence within a political leader of spirituality is considered an appropriate and pejorative criticism of him.


Ah yes, Slick Willie; it is people like he who have created the need to invent a concept of judgement beyond the pale. I've compared him above, favorably really, with some honored forebears, honored at least partly because of their spirituality. It is so that Clinton invoked God in his speeches approximately twice as often as does Bush. Generally to black Christian audiences, true, but we know he's a chameleon. He certainly speaks the language, too, having learnt it from the cradle. Is his spirituality honest? Is it as he portrays it? And how about Hill?

Like I say, judgement beyond the pale.

Rick Ballard

Well, there is a little bit of evidence that the words of his mouth were somwhat inconsonant with the meditations of his heart. I'm thinking in particular of his remarks upon exiting an Easter service (bearing his 40# King James) as he returned to the WH to bare witness to a young intern.

Judge not doesn't mean don't use judgement, as I am quite positive that you know.


With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

John Kennedy - January 20, 1961

Soylent Red

The first thing that leapt out at me was that you don't "evoke" God, you "invoke" God. To "evoke" God would mean that you cause God. Leftist Freudian slip? I don't know. Hack journalists once again butchering the Queen's English. Yup.

Second, and more to the point, Christians believe in the notion of "just war". Just war is defined as defending innocents who cannot defend themselves, often at your own peril, and we are commanded to do it in various places. It mirrors and is founded in Christ's own sacrifice. Perhaps the NYT or AFP will explain how Iraq doesn't fit the definition of just war.

Or maybe they could simply explain, in their deep theological understanding, where Christ told Christians to turn the other cheek to genocide.

Lew Clark

This does continue to show the "echo" chamber" the far left leaning media live in. They really believe they live in the "People's Republic" where God is illegal. Granted, a majority of Brits are not actively religious, but they still like to have God handy, just in case they need Him. In the U.S., a majority still believe in God. So the media elite being incensed at Blair's reference to that entity that they hate, does not ring true with the populace. I may be naive, but I still believe more people in the U.S. and Britain have more faith in God, than left-wing politicians and their mouthpieces in the media.


Simple faith and the guinea stamp.

Cecil Turner

Just plain weird. I can see how this media tendency to twist statements to fit the desired meme would make public figures reluctant to hold forth. If so, it's certainly unhelpful.

Rick Ballard


As soon as you head down the just war doctrine trail you have the dim bulb leaders of the dying mainline denominations telling you it doesn't apply. Not to mention a very nice fight among Catholic bishops on the same points.

I agree with you but I can't imagine what hash the idiots who write for the MSM would make of it. You're talking about people who undoubtedly think that Augustine and Aquinas were contemporaries.


It appears that Mr. Cowell confused Mr. Blair's faith in God's ultimate judgment of his actions with a belief that God assists us in our decisions, up to and including a decision to go to war. God's help in making the his decision to go to war in Iraq was expressly advanced by the President IIRC. This might be the cause of Mr. Cowell's confusion.

It is interesting that its not a "lie" to confuse "breach" vs. "overtop" but it is a "lie" to confuse just which part of Tony Blair's relationship to God was invoked in support of his decision to go to war in Iraq.


Tex, you got me - who said whom was lying, and about what?

And are we or are we not in agreement that "overtop" and "breach" have quite different meanings, as the President himself may well have known?


Ah, right you are Rick. I recall having a two day long debate elsewhere with a Catholic over just war and whether or not the Church has always left the final decision to the political leaders on the ground that they have responsibilities and information not available to it. Of course, as I read it that is precisely what the Catechism says.(And if it didn't, rulers everywhere would have a different view of the Church and its followers, a rather unpleasant view, I'd say.)


Who said who?


Separation of Church and State does precede the anabaptists.

Cecil Turner

Tex, you got me - who said whom was lying, and about what?

Well, I'll go there. "Tony Blair has indicated that God influenced his deliberations . . ." is not supported by the excerpted text (and is a lie if that's what it's based on). The BBC's "he suggested his decision to go to war in Iraq would ultimately be judged by God" looks to be spot-on, though the ancillary remarks are a bit overwrought.


Well Tom, I don't think either are "lies" - just misinterpretations/misrepresentations. As you know, I'm not a big fan of the "Bush lied" meme. "Lie" implies an intent, and I'll admit that I see more motive to misrepresent in the levee case than in the Blair case. Who really cares whether divine judgement or divine assistance was invoked by Mr Blair? The main point was that he invoked the deity - not how he did it.

Still, both of us are entitled to our prejudices.

In the levee case, I think it is more of a word parse (one of your favorite hobbies, I know ;). Substitute the word failure for breach and the criticism becomes clear. What the video shows is that Mr Bush was informed of the potential for the failure of the levee system (whether by "breach" or "overtop" leading to subsequent failure), and this video, combined with the other warnings give to the President, make his statement that "no one anticipated the [failure] of the levees" something less than the truth. Failure of the system was anticipated and the president was informed.

That the President was "read in" to the extent he was was not revealed until that became politically advantageous. Then, voila, the new information suddenly appears. Its kinna like declassifying for political advantage.

Gary Maxwell

You as a child growing up in the sixties I heard a lot about how Christianity requires a christian to turn the other cheek. I guess I did believe a lot of stuff as a young adult. But then one day I realized that the story of Jesus using a whip to drive the moneychangers out of th temple was probably a better description for me of what God was trying to teach us. If its clearly immoral and wrong then its clearly immoral and worng and take whatever action is necessary to correct it.

It was only later that I discovered Thomas Aquinas.

Gary Maxwell

you = yes


Gary Maxwell

you = yes



Kindness to the wolf is suffering to the lamb. Someone should tattoo that message on the foreheads of mental weaklings like Carter.

Harry Arthur

Dw, possibly a minor nit to pick: This was spun out in all sorts of fairly amusing ways, including MoDo writing a column saying Bush had called everyone in America a sinner.

If Bush believes what I understand him to believe then MoDo was correct in asserting that Bush believes all of us in America to be sinners. But so what? The historic Christian faith asserts precisely that. All of which leads to Bush's actual point that she clearly missed, namely that he would not choose to suggest that his sins were less egregious to God than those of others.

I find it equally amusing that anyone would take issue with Tony Blair's comment that God will ultimately judge his (and by inference our) actions in this life. Again, this belief is an orthodox tenant within the historic Christian faith. It would suggest to me that there may be more than a few surprises on "the other side."

Cecil Turner

What the video shows is that Mr Bush was informed of the potential for the failure of the levee system (whether by "breach" or "overtop" leading to subsequent failure) . . .

TT, this is silly. In the first place, there's a world of difference between overtopping and breaching, as has been beaten to death in the previous thread. Overtopping does not imply a subsequent failure, and by itself is a relatively minor event (though serious, and could cause deaths). Breaching is a disaster. AFAICT, the President is correct that nobody anticipated a breach, and the expert who warned him in the video agreed:

Today, Mayfield told NBC News that he warned only that the levees might be topped, not breached, and that on the many conference calls he monitored, “Nobody talked about the possibility of a levee breach or failure until after it happened.”
Further, when you're calling someone a liar, most folks think you need to get it right. Here, not only wasn't Bush lying, he wasn't even wrong.

Gary Maxwell

I am not going to mark this OT since its clearly about church goers and how they may influence the vote in Ohio once again. I fine Eleanor Clift right about as often as Raw Story but she seems to be very worried that a guy carries a Bible with him to political events. And as she put it Ted Stickland is the "perfect" Democratic candidate.

Here is the link :


OHIO according to Clift


Ever clueless Clift. Man she sets my teeth on edge whenever I see her..UGH


Gateway Pundit posted this 12:03am last night:
"Unfortunately, the media has not been honest in its reporting on this story and the raging left is going nuts!"

This isn't about Blair but about resolution presented in
The Missouri House is looking at legislation to preserve and respect the Christian heritage of the State.

Here is the Resolution:

Whereas, our forefathers of this great nation of the United States recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation; and

Whereas, as citizens of this great nation, we the majority also wish to exercise our constitutional right to acknowledge our Creator and give thanks for the many gifts provided by Him; and

Whereas, as elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing respect for those who object; and

Whereas, we wish to continue the wisdom imparted in the Constitution of the United States of America by the founding fathers; and.....

You'll want to read the rest and

Another Rovian Conspiracy writes:

MO House Resolution Gets Immanentized
Now, KMOV and Atrios/Eschaton/Lord of the Open Thread don't link to the actual Missouri House Resolution... nor do they provide a link. After about 2 minutes, I was able to locate the pending resolution and the wording of the resolution is much different than how it is described by KMOV and Atrios.

IMHO Blair and others in Europe are coming to realize what the securlarization
of Europe has wrought, and many Americans are finally going to stand up and
stop the insanity.

I saved this last Wednesday. Very much worth the read:

An Ash Wednesday Confession
by Vanderleun at March 1, 2006 01:21 AM

It's purpose was to teach me to hate God.

........... Christian in crisis only. Only when my little happy world is darkened by something that seems to me at the time to bring down pain and confusion, do I remember God and seek Him. It's a shabby sort of religion, I know, but at least it is a religion of a sort.

It was not a religion of that sort during the several years I hated Him. It was a white-hot kind of religion. I sought out His hand and His works in all the dark reports that deluge us all on a daily basis. And I worked on it .

Pushing the Left, the LSM and their masters, the Democrats into this war is
a very "Rovian Plot" and the rejection of Sunday's Oscars picks by all the
yahoos out here must be drving them mad. That works for us.

Lew Clark

I don't think the resolutions go far enough. If we'd just go back to burning a few witches (Clift?) the rest might get their act together!


Well, if this story is true (it is from whirled nut daily so it may not be), they're going to go even crazier:
[quote]The American Legion, with 2.7-million members the largest veterans organization in the world, has launched a nationwide grass-roots campaign to support a bill in Congress that would stop the ACLU from receiving taxpayer-paid attorney fees in the many religious-establishment cases against the Boy Scouts, the public display of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of America's religious history and heritage.

The Public Expression of Religion Act, or PERA, would amend the Civil Rights Attorney Fees Act to withdraw the authority of courts to award attorney fees, or damages, to the American Civil Liberties Union, or anyone else, in lawsuits brought under the Establishment of Religion clause in the First Amendment.

Generally unknown to the public, the ACLU has received enormous attorney fee awards from judges in Establishment Clause cases.

The American Legion argues that not a single judge, as far as is known, has exercised the court's discretion to deny the ACLU's motions for attorney fees – usually at $350 an hour – to be paid by taxpayers.

This has been done in spite of the fact that the ACLU has incurred no actual attorney expenses, because its lawsuits are handled by staff or volunteer lawyers.

The Legion says the ACLU has used the threat of attorney fees to intimidate cities, counties, school boards and other locally elected bodies into surrendering to its demands to remove religion from the public square.

The ACLU recently has engaged in many lawsuits against the Boy Scouts' usage of public property, arguing the organization is religious because its Scout Oath includes a pledge of duty to God. [/quote]http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49098

Harry Arthur

You as a child growing up in the sixties I heard a lot about how Christianity requires a christian to turn the other cheek.

Gary, both are equally true but operate in different contexts. Turning the other cheek is an individual response, when personal attacks are directed at you. The striking of the cheek was a euphimism for a direct personal insult. Jesus is simply requiring that his followers not respond in kind. Also, good advice when engaged in public civil debate, IMHO.

I would add that this concept in no way demands pacifism either individually or corporately if you follow the context in which this tenant was given. Nor does the concept require you to stand idly by while those around you are being physically attacked or injured.

Nor I would further argue, does the concept ever apply to governments. Paul elsewhere clearly teaches that governments are instruments of God for good and that the weak should receive protection from those able to provide it.

The concept is similar to anger. There is righteous anger such as you describe in Jesus' cleansing of the temple and there is unrighteous anger and personal hatred that we are to avoid.

JM Hanes


Substitute failure for breach? If you're willing to change the words, you can prove anything you like!

"Overtop" does not imply structural failure of any kind. It implies a temporary storm surge. If levees had been overtopped, we wouldn't even be talking about Lousiana, we'd be getting updates on recovery in Mississippi.

Gary Maxwell


As often happens someone says it more eloquently that I.

In my own opinion, if jesus returned to Earth he would have little time or patience for the Jimmy Carters of the world.

Harry Arthur

Gary, the Ohio According to Clift link does not appear to be working. Is it just me?

Cecil Turner

If we'd just go back to burning a few witches (Clift?) the rest might get their act together!

She turned me into a newt!

I got better.

Gary Maxwell

Subsitute Blanco on tape saying the Levees were intact. Was he suppose to mobilize knowing the Governors fo the state was a Democrat and incompetent? Sheesh


Harry, it doesn't. It's online Newsweek and I read it last night.

Gary Maxwell

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11657613/site/newsweek/> 2nd try

Harry Arthur

Gary, I thought your posting was very eloquent. Just thought I'd add a bit of "nuance" since this is a concept about which there seems much public confusion; especially with a certain Georgia peanut farmer.

Rick Ballard

I think I would go with His "sell your cloak and buy a sword" advice at the Last Supper as being more instructive than flipping the tables. Although he did turn right around and tell them to stop using them on the Mount a few hours (and one Roman ear) later.

Sometimes I wonder if Romans 12 derives from that admonition to not resist the civil authority. As Kim notes in a slightly different context, Romans 12 does antedate Jefferson's letter to the anabaptists by some 1700 years. The church is always healthier when it pays attention to Paul's advice in Romans.


What I would like to know about the pacifist shift in the '60's is why it popped up in the mainlines at the same time that 'liberation theology' popped up with the RCs? They sure didn't attend seminary together. Gramscian drift?

Harry Arthur

2nd try works fine. Interesting article. Thanks.

"a newt?"

Gary Maxwell

Unfortunately for many of the "mainlines" it remains one of the few things of passion in their leaders. Not an attack on the membership of mainlines and I was raised in one. But there is a major disconnect there I believe between the elite and the members. Sounds familiar to another discussion we often have here.

Gary Maxwell

Who else but Eleanor Clift could write this:

"the legendary John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum."

Glenn was one of the stars of the S & L scandal and a charter member of the Keating Five. Metzenbaum was just on the wrong side of any fight of significance ever and no one thought him a leader ( or a legend except you know who).

Rick Ballard


That's a reference to my favorite Monty Python movie - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

It doesn't read quite as well as it watches.


I confess I would love to see that Old Testament God make a few appearances. Remember the scenes in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when the Nazi opened it?

That would have been a terrific "green halo" for Iranian madman speaking at the UN and for Jimmmmy's posturing for the UN.

Odd how the UN just keeps popping into my fantasies of God saying

I thank God for inspiring Al Gore to invent the Internet and now Cable TV - we get to use our "eyes to see" and "our ears to hear" and
they are too deranged to realize how they expose themselves every single day.

Will be a "fun" weekend if the likes of Robertson and Falwell control themselves don't offer up some inanity for the LEFT to cover itself.

Gary Maxwell

OT but too delicious to pass up. Filing dealines in Mississippi pass and Republican Chip Pickering ( Judge Pickering's son will have no Democrat opposition for his House seat). To many of you it will seem unremarkable. But let me explain. Couple the Democrats strategy of contesting every House seat with this failure. And then realize that along with Lousiana that Mississippi still remains a State that is overwhelming controlled by Democrats at the State level. They are probably 2 to 1 in control in the State House. Yet they could not find a candidate to run against him. The times have indeed achanged.



but "e not!" has a certain ring to it.


In the run up to Iraq some Bishops were clearly crossing the line. In part they were concerned about the beleagured communities in the ME. In part it was liberation theology. But in all cases is was misguided. No one elected them to decide.

Harry Arthur

Rick, superb thoughts.

I think I would go with His "sell your cloak and buy a sword" advice at the Last Supper as being more instructive than flipping the tables. Although he did turn right around and tell them to stop using them on the Mount a few hours (and one Roman ear) later.

See, context. To Peter: "Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword unto the sheath; the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" Later, to Pilate: "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews..."

I know Monte Python well (was being too subtle with the quote). My 18 year old daughter and I quote it to each other often. One of the greatest movies of all time, along with The Princess Bride. "My name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father; prepare to die."

"Of course I'm French, why do you think I have this outrageous accent?"

Cecil, this is your fault.


Princes Bride is chock full of goodies."Almost dead is still partly alive" is another.


Okay this is pretty funny AND encompasses many subject here in the last few days...the Alito "thank you note" s c a n d a l , GOD and that oldie but goody "Authoritarian Cult" theme...

from Taranto (here is the end)

"Now, Alito's defenders will doubtless point to Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, which stipulates that federal judges "shall hold their offices during good behaviour." Surely, they will argue, sending a thank-you note qualifies as "good behaviour."

But the note isn't the point. This is a scandal that may reach the highest levels--higher even than the White House. Note that second paragraph of Alito's note thanking people who "were praying for me." The clear implication is that God intervened to ensure Alito's confirmation. And although that allegation has yet to be proved, there is strong circumstantial evidence, to wit, Alito's confirmation despite the best efforts of John Kerry***. If a dummy like George W. Bush can beat Kerry, God knows God can.

What did the Lord know and when did He know it? Even as reliable a conservative as Andrew Sullivan is worried:

First, Supreme Court Justices should be very careful associating with overtly political entities, and you don't get much more political than Dobson. Secondly, Dobson himself read it out loud on the air to brag of his influence on national affairs. Thirdly, there is more than just a hint of a constitutional quo for a political quid in the letter. That kind of horse-trading undermines the integrity of the court and the impartiality of the justices. Look: I endorsed Alito. But I hoped his jurisprudence would not amount to a carte blanche for whatever the Christianists [sic] demand. The letter suggests otherwise.

Luckily, there is a way Alito can defuse the scandal. All he has to do is send a note to Sullivan thanking him for his endorsement. Then, when he casts a vote against same-sex marriage, Sullivan's pet issue, it will be clear that there is in fact no quo."

He didn't call him a "liberal".


I thought that was hilarious, too, ts.

I wonder if the Legion's efforts to knock attys fees out of PERA will gain steam...I should think some smart Congress critter should jump on that..If people only knew they were subsidizing the ACLU whenever they decide to get creches out of the town square, subsidies they can use for their other stuff like challenging the surveillance of AQ phone calls to Detroit.

Lew Clark

This will probably get me taken to the "tower" if the wrong people hear it, but I prefer a president that prays for God's guidance prior to a decision with global consequences, to one who would say "Prey tell me, Senator Kennedy, what would you have me do?"
Even considering that God and Ted do have the same opinion of the advice they render.

Cecil Turner

Cecil, this is your fault.

Guilty. And on that note, I'm off to take the family to church. Cheers.


Cecil and JMH

The catastrophic failure of the levee system in NOLA was anticipated by many people in the event of a CAT 5 storm. Everyone thought that NOLA had dodged the bullet when the storm veered to the east. We were all wrong - and we were not ready.

My point is that the emphasis on the distinction between "breach" vs "overtop" is a false point and that the President's use of the word "breach" in this context refers to a catastrophic failure of the levee system - not a few drops of water over the dam - so to speak. There was no adequate federal state or local plan for this disaster - or for similar disasters as made clear by the enormous Rita traffic jams a few weeks later. Homeland security is more than anti-terrorism. Perhaps we have now learned this.


This is not the time or the place but I don't think Jesus would agree with you.

"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' (Matt.7:21-23)

They know we are Christians by our love - I would suggest that the Georgia peanut farmer is closer to what Christ was talking about than I or other posters on this thread who suggest that the state should be a religious instrument. "Render unto Caesar...."

Just sayin...

JM Hanes

larwyn - On the Missouri resolution:

I am not the least bit anti-religious, but I don't know how anyone could argue that this is not an example of law "respecting an establishment of religion." Personally, I have no beef with prayer in school, or God in the Pledge of Allegiance, although I don't think it needs it, or a candidate campaigning with a Bible in hand, but I find the language in the Missouri resolution incredibly offensive in an instrument of the state.

From the initial assertion as to founding principles, which is patently arguable, to the last, which explicitly institutionlizes an article of religious faith, the resolution is unabashedly clear that its aim is not tolerance for religious expression in public life, but revivalism by law.

Despite the fact that the Christian majority was proportionately larger in colonial America than it is today, the founders deliberately declined to "recognize a Christian God" in law. The attempt to represent this effort to do so now as a legitimate exercise of majority powers and defended as consonant with founding intentions is spectacularly misguided both constitutionally and historically.


What have I missed? I see it as a non-binding, resolution, not a law, which simply acknowledges that a majority of state residents support volunaty prayer and religious displays on public property....


Why did Bush call for evacuation of NO LA if no failure of levee system was expected. Early reports were that Katrina had weaken and turned east and that massive destruction in NO had been avoided. If the levees had really been built to withstand category 3 they would have survived. It was known that there was some overtopping but it was thought that the levees would survive that.
MSM has taken facts out of context and try to bash Bush.

JM Hanes


Distinguishing between overtop and breach is not a false point, it rests on the perfectly reasonable assumption that words have specific meanings. Is that not, in fact, the very foundation of language itself? Indeed, any technical discussion of potential "failures" would serve virtually no purpose without precisely such distinctions.

Your observations about preparedness are also both reasonable and evident. The falseness here lies in conflating overtopped and breached in order to accuse the President of deliberately lying about what he had been told in advance of the storm -- and that is the undeniable thrust of the presentations I've been seeing.


I lived through the Glenn Metzenbaum era and believe me when I tell you we are glad that time is over. If Strickland thinks carrying a Bible is going to get him elected he is sadly mistaken. Clift sees and hears what she wants to. Her husband did as well. In the northern and southern part of the state people are saying Strickland Who? We will re-elect Mike DeWine. Also did you know that the dem running for Strickland's seat did not get his petition signatures in on time? Now he has to be a write in candidate. Rahm Emanuel was said to be very upset about that. Dems are losers in the state they're are like the three stooges.
As far as Religion -the Golden Rule works for me as well as weekly church attendance.
I am outraged that the ACLU would get any of my money.


Surely there is room here for camels to pass.


By the way, Patrick O'Brian translated the works of a French Catholic in the 1960's on the holy land in the time of Christ. The languages sparkle, the insights shine; I believe he possessed a time machine.


Why did Bush call for evacuation of NO LA if no failure of levee system was expected.

Because power and water would be out for days. Food would be in short supply, hospitals have trouble staying open, et cetera.

I live just outside of Mobile, Alabama on higher ground. But we still head north before every hurricane even though there is zero chance of being flooded out.

Believe me, living for 3-4 days with no power and water is not fun. Hell, even one day with no air conditioner is brutal.

Anyway, New Orleans still floods in heavy storms even though the levees hold.



My point was that this Resolution and if the reports of bill to prevent the ACLU from gaining "profits/fund raising" by bringing the blackmail type suits are all out there, on the front page, they will create lots of dialog.

That's why I used the "raging left" quote from the GatewayPundit
Post. I then added the Vandeleun post as it refers to "crisis Christians" who reach for God in
times of trouble. We are in troubled times and the LEFT with their "raging" is only swelling the ranks of the "We are not going to take it anymore" Christians.

We may not agree with each individual battle - but we will agree that the moves to push these issues to the front pages gets the
"left raging" and exposing themselves.

All the multicultural nonsense with NOW and NARAL overlooking the treatment of women in the muslim world is a great example. So let's give these protectors of the rants of hate filled Imans all the column space they need to explain why Imans may speak while Christians and the wrong kind of Jews are to shut up.

I have read reports that many schools are providing special rooms for muslim prayer and running programs where entire classes are taught muslim prayer. We need to demand an even playing field.

JM Hanes


"What have I missed?"

In this rare instance, I'm afraid I'd have to say pretty much every point I made. To characterize this resolution as a simple acknowledgement of a majority view is to ignore completely the explicit predicates which are laid out to justify it.

Indeed, I'd even be inclined to argue that the vote on this resolution itself constitutes an insidious form of religious test. Regardless of one's personal religious beliefs or lack of them, one could conceivably vote yes on the specifics of the resolution, as stated in the final paragraph, in perfectly good conscience. Unfortunately, that vote also constitutes a legislative endorsement of the specific religious principles and the questionable historic assertion laid out in the predicates.

There is a classic and difficult moral quandry as to whether a legislator should vote his conscience or the majority will of his constituents. I can hardly think of a resolution better, or more divisively, and perhaps even purposefully on the part of some, designed to throw such conflicts into high relief. Doing so on a matter which challenges the most profound regligious commitments of majority and minority both is, IMO, very nearly unconscionable itself. Even where the intent is not cynical, it seems almost wilfully, if not disingenously, myopic to me.

richard mcenroe

Omigod, the eeeeeevil Jeebus freeks have even infiltrated the Labor Party. No wonder the poor Muslims have to defend themselves...

Rick Ballard

"There is a classic and difficult moral quandry as to whether a legislator should vote his conscience or the majority will of his constituents."

Is that not a presupposition of a conflict which may not, in fact, exist? Might not the legislators involved suffer no such conflict?

It seems to me that you come close to treading upon states rights issues that although resolved previously in favor of the Feds have merit even so. I simply don't see a "religious test" issue being at issue here - unless one is to assign the ACLU's position to be such.


I thought Blair was passing the buck to God.

"Not my decision. God's plan."

Even baseball players don't do that.

JM Hanes


I'm plenty shocked that ACLU has managed to parlay its legal pursuits into de facto public funding, and I think that avowed feminists' abysmal failure to advocate for anything other than their own narrowly drawn political interests represents the height of hypocrisy.

Legislating voluntary school prayer (which I recognize that the Missouri resolution stops short of doing), however, won't remedy any undue deferrence to non-Christian religions. It will institutionalize religious observances of every ilk.

What's more disturbing, and potentially most dangerous, about such initiatives is that they would turn government & educational bureaucrats into arbiters of what constitutes both true religion and true prayer. The inevitable challenges to the decisions they make would ultimately require that either legislators or judges generate an official list of legally sanctified religions, and frankly, I don't want to see anybody in that business.



Apparently you fail to remember that the first amendment contains a free exercise clause as well as the establishment clause. There are many instances when a state interest overrides religious practices (for example Mormon polygamy) but a finding that a state interest does not override a religious practice does not mean that a religion has been established. This resolution goes far beyond protecting the state's interest in that it purposely uses an instrumentality of the state (the Missouri legislature) to recognize and promote the deity of a particular religion (a "Christian God"). No one would suggest that the Missouri legislators do not have a right to "...acknowledge our Creator and give thanks for the many gifts provided by Him" in their individual capacities - it becomes objectionable however when they do so in their capacity as an arm of the government.

As to the ACLU, fee awards are not made to lawyers, but to litigants. If the litigants wish to pay thier employees for bringing a lawsuit, how does this offend you?

richard mcenroe

Texas Toast — BRAVO! Marvellous disingenuousness! You should have a 'column' over at KOS.

Take a look at who makes what percentage of all those big class action suits John 'The Fifth Monkee' Edwards made his pile off.

Lawyers scamming class-action clients down to pennies on the dollar of their own award is a major industry in this country.


TT As I understand it most of these cases are resolved the ACLU way because it costs too much to fight them. They still get fees--bust smaller ones--when they win early on. In essence we are paying the ACLU with tax money to bring suits to force the secularization of society that most people oppose.

I say secularization because frankly I think the suits against the Boy Scouts because they encourage a belief in a higher being (no particular one BTW), the removing of the 10 commandments and creches from public places is not what I consider establishing a state religion.
JMH, I didn't pay much attention to the Whereases.I'll look again. I saw it as I said simply a resolution indicating what is undoubtedlt true--most people would like voluntary prayer and religious displays (avaiolable equally to all) in public places.

richard mcenroe

Rick Ballard — "Is that not a presupposition of a conflict which may not, in fact, exist? Might not the legislators involved suffer no such conflict?"

Is that not a presupposition that any given legislator actually has a conscience? Presumes a fact very much not in evidence, counsellor...


Whereas, our forefathers of this great nation of the United States recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation; and
True or false? I think this is true.Some of the founders were deists but the majority were clearly Christian and believed man's rights were God-derived.

Whereas, as citizens of this great nation, we the majority also wish to exercise our constitutional right to acknowledge our Creator and give thanks for the many gifts provided by Him; and
I think 90% of Americans do believe in God

Whereas, as elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing respect for those who object; and

Is this debatable? Is this more than saying everyone is free to express his religious beliefs and it is the legislatures' responsibility not to interfere with that.

Whereas, we wish to continue the wisdom imparted in the Constitution of the United States of America by the founding fathers; and

Would that every legislator made that his goal.
I am not a religious person by any means.In fact, for most of my life I'd say I was militantly for a very secular society,but I must say over the past decade, reading the works of people like Dalrymple and seeing what happens to societies in places like super-secular GB and Europe, I wonder if it isn't true that the sort of self-restraint and sense of personal responsibility necessary to make democracy work really can long exist without some spiritual basis.
I note with interest the Chinese government's dismay at the incredibly large number of Chinese citizens who are joining Buddhist and Christian congregations,despite their Government's strong disincentives to see anything higher than the State .

Rick Ballard


It is a hypothetical argument that would require a closer examination than circumstance might warrant. Put the alternative presumption is 'We all know..' when in fact, we do not.

Rick Ballard

But the, etc


I was not promoting the Resolution.

I was celebrating that these actions were taking the murmurs about the oppression of Christianity by the ridicule heaped on it, from the murmmurs onto the front pages.

The tiny cross is now removed from the LosAngelos emblem and it was reported on Fox, in a discussion about the fees the ACLU gets, that is was in the 100's of thousands.

I want it all on the front pages.
Dinocrat had a post yesterday that there is no core belief in the Testaments of Christianity that order forced conversion but there is in Islam. When our leading papers SUBMIT TO ISLAM - that scares me.

As I wrote Blair well knows that the mess that Europe is in with their muslim populations is "you can't fight something with nothing".

Wish I were not in phase 3 of this flu and could express this better.

I just want it out front so that Americans can see who stands where and they can decide if we want to spiral down to the secular society that is modern Europe.

JM Hanes

It might not test your religious or ethical views to vote for the Missouri resolution, but it would sorely test mine. I think it's far more reasonable to "presuppose" that such a conflict would exist for, say, a Jewish legislator representing what would routinely be a Christian majority, than to suppose it would not. I think it's more than reasonable to suppose that the initial predicate would constitute a stumbling block to anyone who questions the inerrancy of the controversial assertion, long associated with political Christian advocacy, it represents.

For decades, it has been almost impossible to bring up legitimate states rights concerns in public discourse without being immediately tarred a racist -- because the term was, in fact, cynically and routinely invoked to provide cover for those hoping to maintain a racist status quo. Now that Democrats' new found interests have finally led to the concept's political rehabilitation, I'd hate to abandon all caution to invoke it so quickly in service of another extremely divisive set of issues. You can do it, of course, but it may not help you achieved your desired ends, and the political costs may ultimately exceed both the actual benefits and the purist's intellectual gratification.

JM Hanes

Meant to direct last post to Rick.


Well, you may be right. Truthfully, I think this is a pandering resolution..but most are.National cheddar week; eat more beef week, etc.

I would hoever do what I could to recognize the inceasing feeling of the majority that they are being beset:That they cannot have a tiny historic cross on the LA shield while students in the classrooms are taking courses in how to be a jihadi and play acting a hdj to Mecca.
Attention must be paid.
Gays (and feminists) in Europe whose efforts to get legislative protection thru "hate crimes" legislation are now waking up as they watch polygamy an assertive Islam being given state sanction, permitting an even more rapid Islamicization of Europe, which surely poses a far greater threat to them than existed before the mind sucking idiocy of "multiculturalism" took root.


Thank you Clarice for

"Attention must be paid."

If these subjects burst onto the front page there will be those on each end of battle - I want to see the what it is the middle in the country wants. Most don't want to think about it and won't until forced to.

There is too much tolerance of the intolerant going on in this country. Who are the name callers and who are the ridiculers of people who hold traditional family and moral values dear. They used to be called "squares" now they are indentified as Christians.

Rick Ballard

Beginning with Samuel Adams - "Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness."

and continuing through John Adams - "Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand".

and paying attention to Calvin Coolidge - "Our Government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles, they cannot believe in our Government."

I can only say that there exist legislators who vote their convictions. Their convictions weigh as heavily as the Marxist convictions of any ACLU attorney who ever brought a suit to destroy the fabric of the US. A legislator's voice carries the weight of 'We the People' in a manner that the indoctrinated speculations of the ACLU never shall.

I made my feelings concerning separation rather clear when I referred to Romans 12 earlier. I would prefer that the government not delve too deeply into religious belief. But if it requires a legislature to turn back the idiocy of situational ethics propounded by the ACLU - then they should have known better than to start an unwinnable fight.

JM Hanes

Clarice --

"I wonder if it isn't true that the sort of self-restraint and sense of personal responsibility necessary to make democracy work really can long exist without some spiritual basis."

But we're not talking about a necessary spiritual basis here. We're talking about a legislative one.

In re Whereas #1:

It is telling that those arguing for a restoration of Christian values as intended by our forefathers are unable to cite our founding document itself as evidence of that intent.

Whether or not individual founders privately recognized a Christian God is irrelevant. They purposefully chose to do no such thing in the Constitution. References to the Divine in the Declaration, which are often employed in defense of foundational Christian values, have an equally compelling pedigree in both secular enlightenment thinking, and in concepts, like Epicurean "happiness" (not to mention democracy itself!) derived directly from the classics.

I have yet to hear anyone argue persuasively that there is anything exclusively Christian about our founding principles; in my experience most of those who promote that view simply believe it to be true because it accords with the values which they themselves may derive from faith. Indeed, one of the pivotal differences between Christian and Islamic tenets, for example, is the absence of political instruction in the first and its presence in the latter.

JM Hanes


Is it me, or are you somewhat less than your usually incisive, articulate self on this subject matter?

Frankly, when it comes to turning back the ACLU tide, I think cutting their pseudo public funding off at the knees will be a lot more effective than legislating prayer in schools -- with a lot less undesirable and/or unanticipated blowback to boot.


JMH and Richard M

Unfortunately, access to courts/justice is often severely limited by the ability to pay. Contingent fee contracts and awards of attorney's fees are but one "solution" - the main advantage of which is that they are a "market" solution not subject to political manipulation.

If you folks have a better solution, I would love to hear it.


I regard the Constitution as a legal document ordering daily affairs of the people and their government and the Declaration of Independence the justification for not only the break from England but as well for the very right to craft the document meant to order daily affairs and the relationship between the people and their government. I do not know how the Founders could have more clearly set forth the notion that all rights are God-given than this.
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, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

And as a Nation we have not yet abandoned this notion that our rights do not stem from Society or the Government but from something higher which cannot be taken from us. I think it the only explanation for the rapid shift from a segregated society to a desegregated one:the old system simply could not be squared with the spiritual beliefs of the majority.



Read it again.

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Governments are not created by "something higher" - they are created by the people. Governments derive no power from the creator. The firest amendment recognizes that the people stand between governments and the creator and that the government should have no power to interfere in the relationship between the people and their creator. The first amendment protects the state from the church and the church from the state - for the benefit of all the people, not the majority.

JM Hanes


I understand your point, and for the most part don't even really disagree. I just have a real gut reaction to things like the Missouri resolution. It strikes me as emblematic of just as real and raw a potential abuse of the legislative process and majority powers as any tactic the social relativists are claimed to have employed.

Rick Ballard

I do not want prayer of any sort mandated in school.

I do not want religion taught in any manner in school - not even comparative religion.

I'm surprised that you would shift the goal posts by substituting mandatory for the voluntary that is the express language of the resolution.

The Whereas portion:

"Whereas, we as elected officials recognize that a Greater Power exists above and beyond the institutions of mankind:

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-third General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, that we stand with the majority of our constituents and exercise the common sense that voluntary prayer in public schools and religious displays on public property are not a coalition of church and state, but rather the justified recognition of the positive role that Christianity has played in this great nation of ours, the United States of America."

seems only a recognition of the sentiment of the majority rather than an imposition upon any minority. My primary argument with your statement concerned the implication that the legislators could not have been voting their conscience with a perceived (on my part) supposition that you were saying "no right thinking individual could". If that was not the intent of the implication, then I apologize.

And yes, jerking the extortionate funding from the ACLU would be worth a hundred such resolutions.

Rick Ballard


My apologies - I read legislative and appended "mandate" although it wasn't there.

I quit for this evening - except for my remedial reading course.

JM Hanes

Interestingly enough, Clarice, the founders thought that the list of particular grievances in the Declaration was far more important than the intro. Indeed, that list got considerably more attention at the time. The Declaration itself didn't morph into what historian Pauline Maier calls "American Scripture" until Abraham Lincoln dusted it off to justify emancipation.

I would note for the record, however, that I am equally skeptical of efforts to divorce references to the divine in the Declaration from any and all of their religious roots. I would be among the first to agree that it deserves it's current, nearly sacred status, both legally and otherwise.


Well, then we end up closer all around on this issue than it first appeared.

JM Hanes


I don't have a solution to propose because I'm not knowledgeable enough to attempt it. The initial problem, however, as I see it is to arrive at an agreement that when doctors' malpractice insurance exceeds their salaries as a cost of doing business, market forces alone may not, in fact, be what's driving the equation. At the same time, I recognize that ability of lawyers to take cases on a contingency basis is certainly a de facto protection afforded those of modest means. The fact that "tort reform" is conceivable, however, suggests that tort law already represents a regulatory imposition on the marketplace, does it not?

JM Hanes


"Well, then we end up closer all around on this issue than it first appeared."

Even if not closer, we certainly seem to demonstrate that reasonable people can disagree on substantive issues -- and on the right no less! -- without ad hominems and excommunications. I note that I have yet to be slammed as a liberal, although on most social issues I'd say it would be a pretty accurate assessment, not an epithet.


Who in the Hell gives a flyin' Goddam whether Tony Blair invokes God or not?

Saddam was the patron of Satan, along with the Wahabbist criminals and their Stalino-Fascist go-alongs. If one takes the long view of history, at least Islam made some positive contributions to poetry, science, art, architecture, and literature. What in the Hell has Marxism contributed other than the horrific deaths of over 100 million innocent people?? Islam has contributed to humanity, Marxism has not!


"we certainly seem to demonstrate that reasonable people can disagree on substantive issues -- and on the right no less!"

Agree that it is delightful when there is no name calling and ridicule. Now we'll see how the same discussion is handled in the
"real world".

JM Hanes


Let's not, and say we did! :)

JM Hanes


No harm, no foul.

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