Monday, July 28, 2008

One Nation Under God

Did you know that each individual state constitution acknowledges God as our Sovereign? And I mean without exception. In light of the Declaration of Independence, this belies the idea of intended secular government--on both a federal and state level. Here's a list of the states, followed by the location of relevant passages in these documents:

Alabama 1901, Preamble. We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution. . .

Alaska 1956, Preamble. We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land. . .

Arizona 1911, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution. . .

Arkansas 1874, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government. . .

California 1879, Preamble. We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom.

Colorado 1876, Preamble. We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe.

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy. . .

Delaware 1897, Preamble. Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences .

Florida 1845, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty. . .establish this Constitution. . .

Georgia 1777, Preamble. We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution. . .

Hawaii 1959, Preamble. We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance. . . establish this Constitution. . .

Idaho 1889, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful toAlmighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings . . .

Illinois 1870, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose our form of government. . .

Iowa 1857, Preamble. We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings. . . establish this Constitution. . .

Kansas 1859, Preamble. We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges. . . establish this Constitution. . .

Kentucky 1891, Preamble. We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties. . .

Louisiana 1921, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy. . .

Maine 1820, Preamble. We the People of Maine .. acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity. . . and imploring His aid and direction. . .

Maryland 1776, Preamble. We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God or our civil and religious liberty. . .

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble. We. . .the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of theUniverse. . .in the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring Hisdirection. . .

Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom. . . establish this Constitution. . .

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings. . .

Mississippi 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work. . .

Missouri 1845, Preamble. We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness. . .establish this Constitution. . .

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution. . .

Nebraska 1875, Preamble. We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. . .establish this Constitution. . .

Nevada 1864, Preamble. We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom. . .establish this Constitution. . .

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. . .

New Jersey 1844, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors. . .

New Mexico 1911, Preamble. We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty. . .

New York 1846, Preamble. We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings. . .

North Carolina 1868, Preamble. We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those. . .

North Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain. . .

Ohio 1852, Preamble. We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common. . .

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble. Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty. . .establish this. . .

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences. . .

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble. We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance. . .

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island. . .grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing. . .

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble. We, the people of the State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution. . .

South Dakota 1889, Preamble. We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties. . . establish this. . .

Tennessee 1796, Art. I, Section III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience. . .

Texas 1845, Preamble. We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God. . .

Utah 1896, Preamble. Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution. . .

Vermont 1777, Preamble. Whereas all government ought to ... enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man. . .

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI ... Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator. . .can be directed only by Reason. . . and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other. . .

Washington 1889, Preamble. We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution. . .

West Virginia 1872, Preamble. Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of WestVirginia. . .reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God. . .

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble. We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility. . .

Wyoming 1890, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties. . . establish this Constitution. . .

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Deadly Diversity

1 in 3 Muslim students in the U.K. support killing in Islam's name:

The report of this finding, based on a poll of 600 Muslim and 800 non-Muslim students at 12 universities in the UK, and conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Center for Social Cohesion, will be released tomorrow as "Islam on Campus."

Among its findings of Muslim beliefs:

1.) 40 per cent support introduction of sharia into British law for Muslims

2.) One-third back the idea of a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on sharia law

3.) 40 per believe it is unacceptable for Muslim men and women to associate freely

4.) 24 per cent do not think men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah

5.) 25 percent have little or no respect for homosexuals.

6.) 53 per cent believe killing in the name of religion is never justified (compared with 94 per cent of non-Muslims), while 32 per cent say it is

7.) 57 percent believe Muslim soldiers serving in the UK military should be able to refuse duty in Muslim countries

8.) More than half favor an Islamic political party to support their views in parliament

9.) One-third don't think or don't know if Islam is compatible with Western views of democracy

The report echoes one released last year by the Policy Exchange which found 37% of all Muslims aged 16-24 would prefer to live under a sharia system.

In addition to polling of 1,400 students, the researchers visited more than 20 universities to interview students and listen to guest speakers brought on campus. The report notes radical Islamic preachers regularly deliver inflammatory speeches that target homosexuals and border on anti-Semitism.

The authors of the report note that campus Islamic societies have, in the past, been where some UK terrorists became radicalized. They cite Kafeel Ahmed, who drove a jeep engulfed in flames into a building at the Glasgow airport last year and died of his burns. Investigators believe he adopted jihadist beliefs while studying at Anglia Ruskin university, Cambridge.

This is an inevitable result of multiculturalism, "diversity," and pluralism, and should surprise no one. When you open wide the floodgates and allow into your borders those who do not share your paradigm, your language, culture, or values, a great expectation of societal cohesion and harmony becomes as realistic as a John Lennon song composed after he hit the hash pipe.

When a country embraces "The Other" in massive numbers it gives up its identity and becomes a new and altogether different entity. After all, why would "The Other" merge itself with you, when you're prefectly willing to let it devour you, instead.


I was checking my Sitemeter statistics, and I discovered that I've had recent visits to my blog from Seoul, the Philippines, and even Kenya (!).

As they say in Nepal, "Howdy, y'all!"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Secular Government?

We live in a time in which American history has become a casualty of secular influence. Our school textbooks tell us that, though Americans are a religious people, their government is secular. That may stand true as a present reality, but it only highlights how far the republic has fallen from its original heights. As I have elaborated elsewhere, our Founding Fathers were neither secular men, nor were they champions of godless government. Understand that secularism isn't a neutral position; it entails taking a specific side as much as Christianity does. provides several definitions of secularism:

1. secular spirit or tendency, esp. a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.

2. the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.

3. Religious skepticism or indifference.

4. A doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations.

So many of us spent our formative years having the notion drilled into our heads that American government is a product of the Enlightenment, of Deism, of sceptical thinkers who saw the evils of religion, and fled its dire influence. This is a modern myth with no historical substance. It allows the spirit of the French Revolution employment as a stand-in for the American Revolution--when in actuality, the former was the true secular movement, while the latter was a religious one.

People tend toward viewing historical facts through narrow, extreme lenses. They see the polar opposites--secularism on one end of the spectrum, and religiosity on the other--and dwell on these to such an extent that they forget the vast middle ground of viewpoints that lies between the two. The Founders eschewed theocracy, so the sole logical conclusion left to us is that they wanted secular government. Right?

Quite the contrary. They wanted non-denominational government, because they realized that the most important property a man or woman owns is his or her freedom of conscience. Denominational compliance through force of law destroys that freedom. They also looked to the sad model of their ancestors' trials and tribulations under the Church of England, in which people received jail sentences for reading the Bible and discussing it with friends in their own homes; in which Christians who deviated from Church norms earned the label of heretic, lost their lands and possessions, suffered banishment, and on rare occasions, became martyrs for their beliefs. They saw loosely bridled political power as a corruptor of religion, and they had ample reason for holding this view. A rejection of theocracy or enforced denominationalism is a far cry from irreligiosity.

Our system of government finds its expression in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. The Ten Commandments revealed God's general expectations for the Jews, while Levitical law specified the Decalogue for daily living. Our founding documents work in similar fashion. The Declaration is a sweeping statement of principles, while the Constitution takes those principles, accepts them as true, and codifies them in a binding legal code and framework for governance. I make this point for a simple reason: the claim to secular government must find its roots in these two documents. In other words, if our government is meant as a secular institution, then our founding documents necessarily must be secular, as well.

However, when we read the Declaration, we run up against a wall at the very beginning; for here we find acknowledgment of God in the first two paragraphs, and in the closing two paragraphs. How do we reconcile this with the notion of secular documents leading to secular government?

We cannot. This leaves us two options: rejecting the idea of secularism as our Founders' intention, or redefining "secular" as "that which embraces the existence, divine power, and will of God." The first is our one viable option, as the second is nonsensical and reminiscent of the atheist's redefinition of key words, such as "atheism," whenever the spirit of nihilism moves him.

I leave you with a handful of thoughts from John Adams, one of the principal Founders. They nicely illustrate his delusional character, if, indeed, we are beneficiaries of secular government:

"The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity…I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and the attributes of God." --June 28, 1813; Letter to Thomas Jefferson

"We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!"--April 18, 1775, uttered when he and others were ordered by a British major to disperse in "the name of George the Sovereign King of England."

"[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."--in a letter to his wife on the day of Congressional approval of the Declaration

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."--October 11, 1798

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Deism and the Founding Fathers

How many times have you heard that the Founders were Deists? Personally, I lost count long ago. I read it in books; I hear it on TV; I see the assertion on blogs.

It's everywhere, and it's complete hogwash.

I define the Founders as those who:

--signed the Declaration of Independence
--signed the Articles of Confederation
--attended the 1787 Constitutional Convention
--signed the Constitution of the U.S.A.
--served as Senators or Representatives in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791)

(* Including the members of the pre-Declaration Continental Congresses also is perfectly legitimate, though I don't have specific statistics on those individuals. These and the rest include some overlap.*)

Let's take the Declaration, first:

56 signers

26 Episcopalians/Anglicans
10 Congregationalists
11 Presbyterians
1 Catholic

Several who switched denominations or beliefs in later life:

2 Congregationalists/Unitarians
2 Quakers/Episcopalians
2 Episcopalians/Deists
1 Episcopalian/Congregationalist
1 Episcopalian/Presbyterian

The Articles of Confederation:

48 signers

18 Protestant, denomination unknown
12 Episcopalians
9 Congregationalists
4 Presbyterians
1 Catholic
1 Huguenot
1 Lutheran

Two who switched denominations or beliefs in later life:

1 Episcopalian/Deist
1 Quaker/Episcopalian

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and signers of the Constitution:

55 delegates/signers:

20 Episcopalians/Anglicans
10 Presbyterians
6 Congregationalists
2 Catholics
2 Methodists
2 Dutch Reformed
1 Lutheran

Several who switched denominations or beliefs in later life:

3 Episcopalians/Presbyterians
2 Presbyterians/Episcopalians
2 Quakers/Episcopalians
1 Congregationalist/Episcopalian
1 Episcopalian/Deist
1 Episcopalian/Congregationalist
1 Huguenot/Presbyterian/Episcopalian
1 Quaker/Lutheran


The Declaration of Independence: 56 signers; 2 Deists.
The Articles of Confederation: 48 signers; 1 Deist.
Constitutional Convention delegates/signers of the U.S. Constitution: 55 people; 1 Deist.

Even if we include Unitarians in the Deist category, this gives us 4 of 56 men who signed the Declaration and were Deists, which is Deism at its highest representative numbers. Furthermore, though 18th Century American Unitarianism denied Trinitarianism--specifically the divinity of Jesus Christ--it adhered to Christianity in all other regards, such as ethics, behavior, and culture. By today's standards, I think classifying Unitarians with the Watchtower Society and Mormonism is more accurate than placing them under the rubric of Deism, but I suppose the point is arguable.

So it's quite clear that the vast majority of the Founding Fathers were members of orthodox Christian denominations, not Deists. The numbers are neither debatable on this particular issue, nor even close.

Thus, the pertinent question arises: whence the origin of the idea that the Framers principally were Deists? I think the question has two answers. First, some people are liars; their goal is the belittlement of Christianity, in general, and the obscuration of Christian influence on the formation of the United States of America, in particular. Second--and more prevalent--is the reality that we have fumbled and dropped much of our history in a well of ignorance. Knowledge once accepted as true now has become controversial--not because we know more than in days of old, but because we know less.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

R.I.P. Tony Snow

I liked his commentary when he sat in for Rush Limbaugh, but I lost a lot of respect for him when he embarked upon his career as Bush II's propaganda minister. I think he genuinely believed in Bush, though from my perspective, he abandoned conservative principles in shilling for the administration. Still, I wish he could've lived a long life with his family. He came across as a good man, however misguided. I'm sorry he's gone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Killing Is My Business, and Business Is Good!

An abortionist who claims to have destroyed more than 20,000 unborn children and who once was Hillary Clinton's OB-GYN says he is doing "God's work" when he terminates a pregnancy.

"Embryos and fetuses spontaneously aborted – most, but not all of those 'canceled' by 'God' – are ... luckless human souls," wrote William Harrison, referring to an ancient poem describing the plight of mankind. "But a few spontaneous abortions occur in desired pregnancies with no discernable abnormalities. For those girls and women and their families whose circumstances would make their babies 'luckless human souls,' I 'cancel' them before they become babies."

Kinda like stopping payment on a check, right? I bet his favored tool is a big rubber stamp.

Here we have a devil in jackass clothing. "Spontaneous abortions" are a product of living in a world in which biology labors under the curse brought about by fallen Man. They're natural events, as even nature groans and trevails in pain like that of a woman in childbirth. What relation does this have to the intentional, premeditated taking of innocent human life? I see no comparison.

"Life is being terminated when a male wears a condom, or has a wet dream or 'spills his seed of life on the ground' or in someone's mouth or anus. Or when he ejaculates into the vagina of a woman who isn't ovulating or is post menopausal. The sperm are alive until they die. And the egg is alive until it dies. Each is a unique human life, etc.

This is abject stupidity. Now he's equating "Life" with "Human Life," as if there's no discernible difference. A sperm is not a "unique human life." Neither is an egg. A human life does not exist, until an egg is fertilized by a sperm. On its own volition, will a sperm become a fully-developed human? How about an egg? You'd think that Dr. Demented would know a little more about human reproduction than the typical fembot who believes that the only good baby is one who's no longer kicking.

"Anyone who has delivered as many babies as I have, and has seen hundreds of living and dead embryos and fetuses being spontaneously aborted as have I, knows exactly what we are doing when we provide an elective abortion for our patient. We are ending the life of an embryo or a fetus. Not the life of a person, but certainly a creature that might have become a person under other circumstances.

Comparing abortions to miscarriages is like comparing blowing my neighbor's head off to death by natural causes. And what does this idiot mean by "a creature that might have become a person under other circumstances."? Pray tell, what else might it have become besides a human? Hm? When someone says, "It wasn't a human, but a potential human," I simply ask, "What other potential did it have, dummy?" I think we reasonably can conclude that it wouldn't have grown into a mature platypus. This is akin to declaring, "My child might've grown into an adult, had I not enacted my right of "cribside cancellation."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

U.S. State Religion?

I found this website via a commenter at my blog. Having read through the material, I'm of the opinion that it's a carefully constructed argument based on a number of false assumptions. Such assumptions lead to faulty conclusions. I'll offer some quotes, followed by commentary:

The "...government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion...", according to Article 11 of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796, and passed by the United States Congress.

Article VI, Clause 2 of the U.S.A. Constitution states: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land...".

With "religion" defined as "belief in God or gods" (first definition, 1977 World Book Dictionary), the existence of an official U.S.A. state religion is evident from the word "God" found

(1) in the U.S.A. Declaration of Independence,
(2) in the U.S.A. Pledge of Allegiance,
(3) on the U.S.A. coins,
(4) in the U.S.A. national motto,
(5) in the U.S.A. national anthem, and
(6) in the opening of each session of the U.S.A. Supreme Court.

First, let me point out that the "Treaty of Peace and Friendship" was a diplomatic act; sometimes diplomacy leads to exaggerations or attempts at alleviating concerns of the opposing party. In other words, sometimes people present an inaccurate portrait of beliefs or values as a calming effect. I may not agree with such duplicity, but we all know it happens. ". . .not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. . ."? Please. All one needs do is read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, to be disabused of that notion. Second, I believe the assurances in Article 11 were of the nature that the U.S.A. isn't a theocracy, like the Barbary States. This is true. Third, the possibility exists that the controversial portion of Article 11 is a mistranslation or a paraphrase. Fourth, Article 11 doesn't exist in the above form in the Arabic text of the Treaty. Fifth, an 1800 State Department review of the English translation described it as "extremely erroneous." Incidentally, the Pasha of Tripoli rendered the Treaty null and void, when he declared war on the United States in 1801. So right away we have a premise built on shifting sands.

Constitutionally speaking, if treaties become the "law of the land," they lose that position when later nullified.

As to the characterization of "religion," the word usually is more expansive in its definition than mere belief in deities. Furthermore, recognition of God's existence isn't the equivalent of a state religion.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, long after the nation's founding, and the words, "under God," came later, still, in 1954. "In God we trust" didn't appear on U.S. coinage until 1864, and became the national motto in 1956. Though "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written in 1814, it didn't become the national anthem until 1931.

To summarize the author's first two assertions: the U.S.A. isn't a Christian nation, but it does have a state religion.

The Declaration of Independence, which has not been rescinded by Congress and is still in effect today, endorses Thomas Jefferson’s god for entitlement of Congress to their rights. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence.

This is like saying that Paul wrote the New Testament: it's simplistic, and only half-true. The Declaration was a statement of the Continental Congress. Each of its members played a role in what went into the document, and what was excised or excluded from it. Congress commissioned Jefferson as its author, due to his unique flair in turning a phrase. Congress had the final say on the document's completion. In fact, Jefferson objected when the other members took his wording and added conspicuous references to God, which he had neglected including. They noted his objection and overruled him, and so we have the Declaration with which we're so familiar. Jefferson deserves credit as its author, with the stipulation that he spoke for a whole group of people, not just himself.

Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence provides the following doctrine of the U.S.A. state religion:

(1) the Laws of "Nature’s God" entitled Congress to certain rights;
(2) all men are endowed by their "Creator" with certain unalienable rights;
(3) the Representatives of the U.S.A., in General Congress, Assembled, appealed to the "Supreme Judge of the world" for the rectitude of their intentions;
(4) the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged with a firm reliance on the protection of "divine Providence"; and,
(5) the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged to each other their "sacred Honor".

So recognition of God's existence, his creation of Man, and his endowment of Man with certain inherent rights is a religion? Really? Which religion?

The state religion of the United States of America is a religion with belief in Thomas Jefferson’s god. Thomas Jefferson was a deist. See The Deist Roots of the United States of America by Robert L. Johnson.

Here, we get into the nitty-gritty of the author's beliefs. His third assertion is that the U.S. is a deist country. But of course, this tortured conclusion rests on the presumption that Jefferson spoke for himself in the Declaration, rather than serving as mouthpiece for a committee. Was the average Continental Congressman a deist? No, most were devout, orthodox Christians.

Thomas Jefferson denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and the miracles that Jesus Christ performed as recorded in the King James Bible.

Sad but true.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter that the following are "artificial systems" "invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him" (Jesus of Nazareth): "The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy".

Here's where Jefferson fell into error. How can one be "ultra-Christian?" One is either Christian, or un-Christian. He's right about the immaculate conception, corporeal presence in the Eucharist, and Hierarchy (assuming he's addressing the Catholic concept), and wrong about everything else, as an honest reading of the New Testament attests. It's unfortunate that--were he alive, today--he'd make a fine candidate for the Jesus Seminar.

Thomas Jefferson’s definition of a "real Christian" is different than many other people’s definition of a "real Christian". Thomas Jefferson was a disciple of the doctrines of the Jesus of the Jefferson Bible but not a disciple of the doctrines of the Jesus of the King James Bible.

Notice how the author seems to be basing his understanding of America's religious character on the mistaken beliefs of one man: Thomas Jefferson. Why should I, as a Christian, care how a deist who rejected Christ's divinity defines a "real" Christian? Yes, he admired Jesus as a moral instructor. And yes, he denied Him as our Creator and Savior. Unless you believe that Jefferson was the Prime Mover of the Founders, or is representative of the typical Framer's religious views, I don't see how this is a compelling or even relevant point, though I agree that it's an accurate picture of his views.

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...". The First Amendment, signed in 1789, in effect stated that the existing U.S.A. state religion could not be changed. In 1789 and after 1789, Congress could make no law respecting an establishment of a U.S.A. state religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of a U.S.A. state religion, according to the First Amendment. The U.S.A. state religion was already established as of July 4, 1776, when Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

That's a tortured explanation of the First Amendment. The Framers wanted a non-theocratic government, one in which no denomination of Christianity rose to prominence over others, with state approval. The author's claim is that the First Amendment enshrined the very eventuality that it prohibited.

I see the author's argument as a house of cards. One slight breeze, and the whole thing comes a-tumblin' down.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Becoming Illegal

I received this in an email. Supposedly, it's an actual letter from an Iowa resident to his senator:

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you. My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car. If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington , IA

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Happy July 4, everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

PETA Monthly

Poor things. They're just hairy humans, only smarter.

And wardrobe challenged.

But then, so were Adam and Steve.

Imagine, Kong was going about his day, beating his chest, picking at the occasional irksome louse, and peeling bananas for the tribe. Once every couple of hours, he'd stop by the watercooler--I mean the river bank--for a refreshing drink. Mongo gave him some lip, so he broke his neck and thrashed his inert corpse until 3:00pm, at which point he attended a Powerpoint presentation in the tree canopy. Afterwards, everyone had some split treebark soup and played "toss the Howler monkey." This segued into hours of mundane data entry tasks and oral presentations of advertising ideas, which entailed much grunting and roaring. At sunset, Kong punched his timeclock and went home to the missus. Around 10:00 pm, two members of the jungle patrol arrived on a domestic abuse call. Turned out it was a hoax perpetrated by a disgruntled mountain lion who had a grudge against Kong for disturbing his sleep and vengefully hoped the authorities might whisk his little apelings away.

All this harmony exploded into cacophony, when the ugly, nigh-hairless two-legs burst into the village square with a strange, fire-spitting implement in his hand. Demonstrating the truth of devolution, he gleefully aimed the noisemaker at the villagers and belched death and destruction at them, until Kong and all the other creatures of Gaia's sacred womb lay twitching in crimson pools. Satisfied that his work was complete, he blew away the wafting smoke, surveyed his handiwork, and pried a yellow fruit from Kong's viselike grip. He took his time peeling the banana before popping it into his mouth and strolling into the trees. Nothing made him happier than a job well-done.