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 Post subject: Judicial Appointments and Religious Bigotry
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:13 pm 
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I wrote this for a different forum. A reader requested that I post it here.


*******************

Judicial Appointments and Religious Bigotry

One of the more bigoted and contemptible statements that a sitting President has said in several decades was uttered by President Bush.

“We need commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. Those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.” (June 27, 2002)

The Immorality of Violating an Oath

First, there is the fact that President Bush is acting in violation of the very Constitution he swore an oath to uphold and defend. That Constitution states, Article VI, Clause III, [N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

President Bush has sworn an oath that no religious test will be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in the United States. Yet, he stood in front of these reporters and announced that he will apply a religious test as one of his qualificiations in selecting judges.

Quite clearly, one of the requirements that morality places upon us is that we keep our promises. The person who makes a promise to others that he will do something, then refuses to do it, has done an act that no moral person can support.

The Immorality of Violating the Law

Another moral failing behind this act is that Bush is violating the law. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. A President who uses a religious test in his political appointments has violated the law. A moral person cannot always obey the law. There is no getting around the fact that those who hid Jews in NAZI-controlled Europe during World War II, and those who helped slaves escape through the underground railroad before America’s Civil War, were criminals. However, I challenge President Bush to stand before the country and say that the Constitution, in this respect, is an immoral document.

When faced with an immoral law, the first duty of any citizen is to speak against it and to seek to have the law changed. The Constitution provides an ammendment process for making such changes. Only when evil has taken control of the institutions for making and enforcing law and made any hope of change impossible is it permissible to violate an unjust law. It would be a strange argument indeed for a sitting President whose party controls the legislative and judicial branches to argue that evil has taken hold of the law-making bodies in this country, leaving him no choice but to violate those laws -- in this case, the Constitution -- rather than try to author a change.

The Immorality of Religious Bigotry

Yet a third moral failing behind President Bush’s words and deeds is that his words are those of a bigot.

We would easily recognize this if he were to say to reporters that he only intends to appoint judges who recognize that our rights come to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. An explicit refusal to consider a Muslim or a Jewish judge would immediately classify Bush as a religious bigot.

We look around the world and we see religious war and conflict, where religious differences result in countless deaths, and even more suffer brutal maiming every day. This violence itself is founded on the idea that those who belong to one religion can impose their religion on others. It is only to be expected that those others are going to resist. As the imposition becomes more burdensome and violent, so does the resistance. We have seen, time and time again, that there is no limit to the violence that one person can do to another while holding that he not only has the blessings of his God, but that he is doing precisely what God commands him to do.

There is only one road to peace. This is a road where decent people recognize that they must judge their neighbors by their actions, and not by their religion. It requires that citizens adopt an attitude toward their neighbor that, “I do not care what your religious beliefs are. As long as you are willing to treat your neighbors, such as me, with decency and respect, I will pay you the same courtesy. I will not seek to put you at a civil or political disadvantage, but treat you in all things as civil and political equals. I will no more ask the government to force my religious views upon you than I would tolerate having you use the government to force your religious views upon me. In our homes, we each practice our own faith. On the street, we practice mutual respect.”

This latter point speaks to a principle that all moral systems — religious and nonreligious — have in common, which is the principle that others are to be treated as the agent himself wishes to be treated. To do anything else defines immorality and injustice. This means tolerating the imposition of one’s own religion on others to the degree that one would tolerate those others imposing their religions on him or her. That is to say, not at all.

This principle does not require belief in a God. It is simply madness to expect others to tolerate what the speaker himself would find intolerable if it was done against him.

It means being as tolerant of a President who is only going to consider a person qualified to be judge if he believes that our rights come from God to the degree that one would be tolerant of President who announces that he considers anybody who believes in God to be unqualified to hold the job of Judge.

I fully expect that the President himself would be appalled by such a proclamation. He would immediately denounce it as unfair and unjust. He would be right. However, this means that a President who professes a policy of nominating only those who share his religious views, and those who support him in this, are also promoting injustice in their actions. They are not defenders of that which is good and right and just. They are the instigators of bigotry, injustice, and immorality on a national level.

We can only worry about a society that has degenerated so far into immorality itself that its people will listen to their leaders perpetuate bigotry, injustice, and immorality, and applaud them for it. In a democracy, the final line of defense against injustice rests with the people themselves. When those people give up the fight — when they join the perpetrators of injustice and applaud them in their efforts, then there is reason to worry how far into injustice a nation may sink.

The Hope of a Moral and Just Nation

Democracies can be unjust. When the Native Americans were forced off of their land, the voting public insisted that this be done. Where slavery in this country was a permitted and even protected institution, the people themselves voted into power those who would protect and defend slavery. Jim Crowe laws and the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II were laws passed by politicians who would have lost their political positions if they had not done what the voters wanted. In these cases, injustice and immorality that had its roots in the hearts of the people themselves.

In these cases, the people eventually came to their senses. They recognized that they themselves were supporting unjust and immoral causes. They reversed themselves, and when they did they reversed the course of government.

We can hope that they will come to see the injustice and immorality having leaders who say that, “Only people who share my religion are qualified to interpret the laws in this country. All those who do not share my religious beliefs are unqualified.”

We can hope that the people will come to recognize that they should view their own support for a President who says, “I will only appoint judges from my church or those closely aligned with it and cast out all others,” as they would view unjust those who supported a President who uttered the same words, but did not share that person's religious beliefs.

We can only hope that the people will come to recognize that if they would view the latter as immoral and unjust, that insofar as they support the former, they are supporting immorality and injustice.

We can only hope that they are the type of people who want to stand in opposition to immorality and injustice, and not be counted as one of its defenders.


Last edited by Alonzo Fyfe on Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:45 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:39 pm 
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I wrote this for a different forum. A reader requested that I post it here.


AND a wise reader that was, indeed. Thanks for posting it here.

I completely agree with everything you've written in it.

Quote:
“We need commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. Those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.”



Where and when did Bush say this? Can you give us a link?

I only wish the rest of America would set up and take note of what Bush revealed about himself and his presidency in that one transparent statement.

Welcome to the board!

Catherine

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 Post subject: Church and state are married in a hetero nightmare.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:55 pm 
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Welcome Alonzo, you seem a natural for this site. If you read some of the posts here you may find some items that can shock and awe you. Be sure to get the TVNEWSLIES newsletter delivered daily to your inbox. It has news and videos that the media dare not show.

Thanks Alonzo for this insight. We're sickened by this pretend president and his holy crusade to eliminate the just and fair from office. He has no love in his heart and no god in his soul. The first amendment rather than seperating church and state, upon careful interpretation, seems to protect the rights of the church within the state. This is why Bush uses religion as he knows that his rights are protected by the courts. This was a careful ploy placed by the founding fathers as was such terms as "WE THE PEOPLE". Upon query of this statement, it is obvious that it means an exclusive group of the elite who are deemed as "WE THE PEOPLE" and the rest of us are the obedient slaves and treated as such. Here is the first amendment.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What have they done to our right to peaceably assemble except to make laws about it and send their goons in to make sure they provoke an excuse. We have no voice and the president and political parties ignore all we say. Free to speak as long as it's what they want to hear. But don't speak out against the church. Oh boy, then you'll see the wrath of bog and his mercenaries.

There is a book out now called - God vs. the GAVEL by Marci Hamilton which describes how freedom of speech and the rights of the church are linked and what it means to those opposed to religious idealism. This is a short review.

The First Amendment is stirring second thoughts among scholars wary of the social and legal consequences of religious liberty. Hamilton investigates numerous contentious religious issues-from headline cases in which Catholic clergy have sought clerical immunity for alleged acts of child abuse to obscure episodes in which Sikh parents have protested against school policies preventing sons from carrying ceremonial knives. But all of the various episodes Hamilton chronicles ultimately underscore one simple thesis: Americans' right to believe whatever religious doctrines they choose deserves absolute protection; Americans' right to act on religious belief should end whenever such actions harm or endanger others. It will disturb some readers that Hamilton invokes her largely negative view of American religionists as justification for giving secular politicians expansive powers to curb religious excesses, but as religious belief continues to diversify in multicultural America, the urgency of the issues here raised guarantees Hamilton many interested readers. Bryce Christensen

Who would question a presidents motives when he invokes god as his guide to every thought? That Bush is a sly old fox. Only true cowards hide behind their bible and army.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:09 pm 
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That Bush is a sly old fox.


Sorry, old friend..I have to disagree with you on that statement. Bush isn't a SLY anything...especially a beautiful intelligent creature like a fox. Everything that comes out of Bush's mouth that makes him look sly is pure KARL ROVE and/or DICK CHENEY. I also think some of his meaner material comes from his mother, Mama Babs Bush...the one with the "beautiful mind." :roll:

I'm sure Bush hasn't given up that earpiece he uses anymore than he has given up booze.

Catherine

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:12 pm 
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Catherine wrote:
Where and when did Bush say this? Can you give us a link?


Thursday, June 27, 2002. Bush made the statement to reporters while he attended the G8 conference in Canada. It was made in response to the fact that the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals just ruled that "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional.

Alonzo Fyfe


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:23 pm 
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impressive, informative, and precise.....thanks for the post.

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 Post subject: Maybe it's Crazy like a fox?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:41 pm 
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Catherine, doesn't that make him sly by using these protections(Church and State) to get into this position where all he needs to do is act and the rest is done for him. And act poorly. Sly AND sly-my while being dumb and dumber.

Catherine wrote-I'm sure Bush hasn't given up that earpiece he uses anymore than he has given up booze.

Booze and his crack pipe.

Now that we know he has an earpiece, maybe we should make him strip down and do his speeches, naked truth to the world, so he can't use one. Knowing the secret service, they'd find an orifice whereby the shit that flows would have some true signifigance.

The truth is out there!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:44 am 
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Catherine, doesn't that make him sly by using these protections(Church and State) to get into this position where all he needs to do is act and the rest is done for him. And act poorly. Sly AND sly-my while being dumb and dumber.


Bush is a willing puppet for the larger PNAC, and buys into anything and everything they are and hope to be. He doesn't hesitate to say yes to anything they want. Rove, Cheney, and Bush the first are using him, and I certainly agree that he's a willing partner, but without them, and a few others, Bush is nothing but an emotional and intellectual wreck, a dysfunctional, brain-fried, spoiled, arrogant little turd who also suffers from that button mushroom syndrome. Alone, he's just a failed, frustrated, businessman who still seeks his father's approval.

Clumped together with the PNAC builders, and being so close to the psychopathic manipultator Karl Rove, he's lethal.

If all that makes him sly, I suppose he is. :P


Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:59 pm 
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“We need commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. Those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.”

Link: http://foi.missouri.edu/civilliberties/bushpledge.html

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:48 pm 
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Catherine wrote:


You research hound you! Thanks!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:57 pm 
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You're welcome!

Alonzo's editorial is one of the best I've read in quite awhile, next to Jesse's, of course, and I wanted to use it in other places. But until I had something I could actually link to Bush's having said those exact words, I didn't feel comfortable posting it elsewhere. Another example of the media failing to give a public hearing on such stupidity and madness.

The quote is at the very end of the linked report, so I had almost given up hope of finding it.

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:37 pm 
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Catherine wrote:
The quote is at the very end of the linked report, so I had almost given up hope of finding it.


I've spent weeks digging for single quotes or facts. Sometimes they're buried or purposely thrown down the memory hole.

That is an excellent quote BTW. I think that it'll have an effect on moderates who claim that those of us who see the creeping theocracy aren't chicken littles yelling that the sky is falling down.

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Catherine wrote:
You're welcome! Alonzo's editorial is one of the best I've read in quite awhile, next to Jesse's, of course, and I wanted to use it in other places. But until I had something I could actually link to Bush's having said those exact words, I didn't feel comfortable posting it elsewhere. Another example of the media failing to give a public hearing on such stupidity and madness.

The quote is at the very end of the linked report, so I had almost given up hope of finding it.

Catherine


First, thank you for this completement.

Second, if you post this elsewhere, please inform me as to where it has been posted.

An alternaative (much preferable by me, of course), is to link to the version on my web site:

http://www.infidelguy.com/alonzofyfe/sh ... ions.shtml

An advantage of linking to the web site, is that there I get to edit out some of the mistakes that I tend to write into a first draft such as this.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: It's Unculear
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:03 pm 
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Bush said- "America is a nation that values our relationship with an Almighty," Bush said. "Declaration of God in the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't violate rights. As a matter of fact, it's a confirmation of the fact that we received our rights from God, as proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence." That document, in which American colonists declared their independence from Britain in 1776, said the colonists had been "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."

Another Bushism. It's not unalienable, but inalienable. There is no such a word as "unalienable. One could construe the term Creator to be ones father and mother! They were the ones who fought for freedom. They were the ones who fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not god.

As the constitution says-
http://www.usconstitution.com/RightsofDemocracy.htm
Inalienable Rights
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 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. "

In their formulation by the Enlightenment philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, inalienable rights are God-given natural rights. These rights are not destroyed when civil society is created, and neither society nor government can remove or "alienate" them.

Governments protect inalienable rights, such as freedom of speech, through restraint, by limiting their own actions. Funding education, providing health care, or guaranteeing employment demand the opposite: the active involvement of government in promoting certain policies and programs. Adequate health care and educational opportunities should be the birthright of every child. The sad fact is that they are not, and the ability of societies to achieve such goals will vary widely from country to country. By transforming every human aspiration into a right, however, governments run the risk of increasing cynicism and inviting a disregard of all human rights.


BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS
Freedom of speech, expression, and the press.
Freedom of religion.
Freedom of assembly and association.
Right to equal protection of the law.
Right to due process and fair trial.

Nowhere does it say god should be enshrined in the bill of rights. Is he a citizen? Does he pay taxes? Does he vote? Or make the laws? The only right god has is as part of freedom of religion. Any religion, not necessarily the one from a vengeful, wrathful, jealous god of the Hebrews. ALL gods. This is why the ten commandments should not be placed in any public, government or justice building unless the rules of all religions in America are placed with equality along side the Hebrew laws of conduct. Oh yeah, Bush; we did not receive our rights from god. It was the founding fathers that laid down these rights. Again, our creator could be our forefathers.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Unculear
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:28 pm 
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DO.g

Sorry, but a slight correction is needed. The quote you provided comes from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

The Constitution does not mention God in any way, and does not mention religion, except to say that no religious test will be made a requirement to hold public office.

As for the Declaration of Independence, please note that this was meant as a persuasive document. A quality of a good persuasive document is that it appeals to what motivates people with a wide range of views.

Assume that you and I disagree over whether X is true. You think X is true, while I think that X is not true.

If I can show you that X implies Y, and also that not-X implies Y, then I can give you a reason to accept Y. I don't have to fight you about the truth of X -- we can disagree on X, and still agree on Y.

So, the Declaration of Independence speaks of a country and, indeed, to the whole world, with the certainty that those people hold a wide range of different views.

Where the Declaration of Independence speaks of a right of a people to assumping a position ". . . that the laws of nature and Nature's God entitles them . . . " this says that it does not matter whether you believe in a God or not.

"The laws of nature" implies that we are entitled. Nature's God implies we are entitled. Thus, we are entitled -- whether you believe only in the natural world or the supernatural world.

Also, consider the word "creator" and "created". These do not assume an intelligent creator. It is as intelligible to say that the a fallen log created a bridge across the chasm as it is to say that a person created the bridge. Things can be created either by natural forces as by a God or by man himself. So, the word "creator" makes no assumptions as to the existence of a God.

In the age of the enlightenment, many moral philosophers were trying to do in ethics what natural philospohers were doing in physics. Following a course illustrated by Gallileo and Newton, they thought it was possible to discover laws in nature to describe the world. These natural laws may or may not have been created by God -- that was not important. Regardless of their origin, we can find them and understand them by reason.

The Enlightenment thinkers were trying to find moral laws that we could discover and understand by reason alone as well. Like the physical laws of nature, its moral laws would apply to atheists and theists alike -- woudl apply to all people equally, and be independent of their particular religious beliefs.

An important part of the enlightment with respect to natural physical law was that the enlightened thinkers threw out the Bible and other religious text as an authority. If the Bible said that the earth was the center of the universe, and observation and science said that this was not the case, then observation and science won. Several enlightened thinkers paid with their lives for siding with science in disputes between reason (science) and faith,

Again, the enlightened thinkers followed the same course with moral law. If a study of man in a state of nature revealed moral laws not contained within the bible, or moral laws that contrdicted the bible, then it is what we find in nature that is real, and what we find in a book is, well, perhaps not as divinely inspired as we once thought.

Nowhere in the Bible will you read about all men being created equal. It is, at best, odd to hear people say that these are God-given rights when the Bible nowhere mentions a right to trial by jury, a right against unreasonable search and seizure, or a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Indeed, the Bible seems to be full of executions without trial, cruel and unusual punishment, and people made insecure in their persons and property at God's command.

How should we interpret the use of a plague that killed innocent children to help Moses convince a pharoah to "let my people go", if not the use of biological warfare against innocent people to secure a poitical objective?

The most striking difference is that between the First Commandment and the First Ammendment.

Where the First Commandment says, "Thou shalt have no other God before me,'

The First Ammendment says, "Thou shalt have whatever God thy damn well pleases."

The Declaration of Independence was written to respect all views -- those who believed in the laws of nature, and those who believed in God -- those who believed in a divine creator, and those who believed in accident.

The Declaration of Independence was written to respect all views. The government of the United States should do the same.


Last edited by Alonzo Fyfe on Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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