Beyond the Cusp

July 28, 2016

The State Versus Religion and Family

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In the most recent times there has seemingly been a war waged over who is responsible for raising children. This battle was best epitomized when Hillary Clinton came out and stated at the 1996 Democrat National Convention as if it were established fact, “It takes a village to raise a child,” (Full Speech Below). The entire speech may have been her best presentation despite her almost Al Gore like metered cadence throughout the entire speech though once in a while she appeared almost attached to or excited by what she was proposing and her meter increased briefly. But the advice that the village, a euphemism for the government, is vitally interested in the raising of the child is a direct threat to the stability and autonomy of the family. This has become the watchword for the school teachers who receive additional training through approved courses which instruct that the teachers and school nurse or other medical officer and the principal are the first line of defense against improper ideas and concepts from being introduced to children because parents have been known to introduce archaic religious “indoctrination,” their phrasing, not ours, which must be instead replaced with the new age socialized concepts where the whole society teaches that which is beneficial to the society instead and above that which is beneficial to the family. The society is known by another name, another reference and that is government. But before we can even address the war against parents and government as the first parent of every child, we must first look back at an earlier conflict between science and religion which morphed into a battle between government and religion and has brought us to the world we have today.

 

 

The first concept required is to realize that all relationships whether private, public, familiar, governmental, religious and whatever; can be studied as living entities where the healthy and most adaptable grows in scope, influence and power and the lesser entities wither and eventually die. The earliest times in human existence, even before Homo Sapiens appeared, the basic unit was the family. This was because most of the groupings were clan based and one could tell your stature, standing, history and almost everything else about you by your name as it was an indicator of to what clan from which you arose. Different clans would have cooperative agreements often sealed with the exchange of women to show good faith and create and actual binding between the two families. This also served genetic diversity thus avoiding to some extent the genetic failings such as hemophilia and other disorders. With time clans merged to forge stronger and more capable collections which would supersede the family or clan unit. These groups were the first tribes which granted greater genetic diversity. All of this arose before the first modern man but was instrumental to development of complex society. The tribes grew to include numerous clans with some better at hunting and others at gathering knowing what was and was not edible while still others showed aptitude for healing and tending the young. In these more primitive conditions there were those whose task was the care of the youngest children but as they grew they would be trained in the skill they showed the best attributes by others such as a huntsman would train the young hunters, the gatherers would train the next generation of gatherers and so on. Tribes also began the concept of history, then simply known as the story. The story was one which was uplifting and always made the hunters as great warriors defending the tribe and the gatherer who risked life regularly trying new untested fruits and vegetables and if they survived and approved the tribe would add another plant to their diet which could have allowed the tribe to use previously unexplored lands. Such a person who would live to old age was likely rare but one who had along with the oldest hunters who reached an age where their use became telling of the stories. These positions evolved to become the job of an entire group who were to be the first priests who would eventually weave a set of codes which made the first religions.

 

With the onset of herding and farming, the time of city-states appeared and by now the tribal leaders were chosen by some method of testing or perhaps a single family’s eldest surviving son at the time of their father’s demise became the next ruler and the age of government had begun. It is important to note that the family was the initial and earliest defined obligation followed by clan and then tribe. With tribe we had the loosest governmental forms but religion grew into an actual class with priests who may have also been a warrior class which led the defense or assaults taken on by the tribe. Finally, about the time of the first cities, which would soon become city-states, did actual government take root amongst mankind. This was the first time that there would be actual laws enforced with proscribed punishment or at least delegating the one who proscribed the punishment for a particular crime. There came formalizations with religion already having led the way in this and they were followed by government. There came positions assigned with likely the first being the close guards who protected the ruling figure, then the ranking members of an enforcement group, the forerunners of modern police and judicial system. Often times the judicial system was also run by the clerical priest class as they were also the most learned class. This started the initial conflict between religion and government, even when a wise leader tied religion and government, blurring the difference and thus granting themselves the highest position in governance and religion. This was exactly what the Pharaohs of Egypt did when they proscribed for themselves a godly aura and was closely imitated by the Caesars of Rome.

 

There were a few exceptions to the basic complete authority of the governing leader or even the governing and clerical leaders which we have discussed a few times before, and that was the Torah which was the founding document for the Israelites who became over time today’s Jews. The rules given approximately three-thousand to three-thousand-five-hundred years ago were the framing of some of the ideas used by the Founding Fathers when drafting the United States Constitution leading to the proposed tight restraints on the Presidency. Such restrictions such as a President being withheld from granting themselves property or wealth derived from their knowledge of government workings nor could they simply invent and apply laws without the consent of Congress and were made answerable to both the Congress or the Supreme Court should they stray from the defined limitations of their office. These concepts along with the right of a state to leave the Union if they would so choose and do so in a prescribed manner and other limitations on a President were badly damaged or destroyed by Abraham Lincoln who basically became the government during the Civil War as he all but declared formally a State of Emergency permitting the President all but unopposable powers. Still, the limitations which were first set in Torah, the laws given at Mount Sinai in the book of Deuteronomy 17:14-17 which found their way even presumably to the present day in limits on the President of the United States and were placed as the very first laws limiting the powers and impositions of Kings where it read:

14  When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,”
15  you may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of your own communities you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who are not of your own community.
16  Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You must never return that way again.”
17  And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.

 

Meanwhile, somewhere between the gathering at Mount Sinai where the Israelites responded to the coming giving of “The Law” said, according to many translations, “We will obey and we will listen,” and today in much of Europe and the developed world where the people would not even listen to the religious codes and laws, let alone obey them as religion has been supplanted by government and the new priests are the lawyers who believe themselves the ultimate interpreters and applicators of the law twisting it to their will and whim. At some point around the rise of Persia and the rise of Rome religion and government became permanently separated in what would become Europe and much of the rest which came under either Greek or Roman rule. This began the contest between the two main centers of power outside the family unit. At that time the two still crossed boundaries with government infringing on religion for their advantage and religion infringing on government very much to their advantage. A sign of both comes as part of the Inquisition. Where it was an obvious usurpation of prosecutorial powers taken into the hand of the Church striping that power for the priest class who acted as judge, jury and often executioner, their prosecutions were also abused by government to destroy adversaries or other challenges to the throne or regional power structures. At the same time King Philip II of Spain used the purification edicts from the Church in Spain to raise and launch the famous invasion fleet of the Spanish Armada against England and Queen Elizabeth I which ran afoul of vicious storms and the fleet of English gunboats which were smaller, faster and more maneuverable capable of passing between the huge troop carrying Armada frigates who when firing at the English fleet had their shot pass over the top of the low slung English ships and simply blasted the other Armada ships in their own fleet. Almost all of the Spanish ships sunk and the remainder limped home and that ended this threat to England and its Church of England, a Protestant Church closely tied to the Tudors after being created by Henry VIII. The creation of the Church of England was another perfect example of religion out of the needs of the ruling monarch. Henry VIII needed a divorce which the Pope refused him; so he made his own Church after he went home.

 

Spanish Armada of Giant Frigates Holding Hundreds of Troops and Cannon Ports Only capable of Shooting Over the English Fleets Comprised of Sleeker and Low Slung Ships with Deck Cannons and by the Hand of G0d Seen as the Weather

Spanish Armada of Giant Frigates Holding Hundreds of Troops
and Cannon Ports Only capable of Shooting Over the English
Fleets Comprised of Sleeker and Low Slung Ships with
Deck Cannons and by the Hand of G0d Seen as the Weather

 

Over the ensuing years as science explains more and more of the unknowns and all appears to be explainable, the place of religion has diminished in the developed world. The need for religion to explain those things we did not understand had been greatly diminished but the final understanding is just as far out of the grasp of science now as it has ever been. The question surrounding the why, what and who caused the explosion which science has named the Big Bang is unknown and seemingly will remain unknown for the foreseeable future. Using Einstein’s equation of E=MC2 where ‘C’ is the speed of light which is times itself and multiplied just by the weight of the objects in our own little solar system and one gets a very large number and should that computation be done for all of the presumed objects just in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and that number almost becomes unimaginable and finally, if we add the viewable estimated number of Galaxies which the Ultra Deep Field Hubble Telescope took of a postage stamp piece of the sky thought to be virtually empty by all previous observations and that number is unimaginable by the average physicist, let alone the rest of us (see image below).

 

Ultra Deep Field Hubble Telescope Picture Each Smudge and Pinprick of Light is an Entire Galaxy

Ultra Deep Field Hubble Telescope Picture
Each Smudge and Pinprick of Light is an Entire Galaxy

 

Using science as a weapon of ultimate destruction, government in the developed world has assailed religion attempting to make any religious belief or system presumably archaic, its practices the equivalence of a rain dance, the prayers comparable to a voice at a séance, and its commandments, covenants, decrees or other rulings as the equivalence to Ouija board revelations. Concurrently government has replaced religion as the determiner of right and wrong, the provider of charity, the reason for a Sabbath renamed weekend, collector of alms as an integral portion of taxes and slowly rendered any expression of religious observance unacceptable in public. About the only suppressive action government has yet to take concerning religion has been to make religion illegal. The reason is likely because should they actually make religion illegal, religion would likely make a comeback just because it was outlawed. Especially any reference to Judaeo-Christian ethics,codes, holidays, prayer, deity, prophet or Bible passage, the government put the final clasp subduing even the slightest religious thought from the marketplace of ideas. Meanwhile, ignoring the dangers, those in governments are permitting Islamic religious teachings claiming that it is study of culture and comparison of governance and civics. This plus an extra-judicial importance placed on a statistically insignificant threat posed by anti-Islamic acts which have remained relatively constant since 2002 after a noticeable rise in the second half of 2001 while anti-Semitism acts are rising in some locations many folds but these acts are minimized or completely ignored. There have been those who have theorized the governments’ in the developed world preferences for Islam stem from the Islamic anti-Semitic and anti-Christian ethos and actions. This may also be behind the initial rush for European and developed nations taking in of “Syrian refugees” while not considering taking in Christian refugees facing persecutions in the Sudan and other nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Finally we get to the family and the initial start of governmental infringements on the family unit. One of the initial assaults on the family used the equality for women fight to weaken any male claim of being better suited at any particular field of employment due to the differences which were previously thought to differentiate men and women. The most ridiculous of the denied differentiations was the strength requirement as it was agreed that strength requirements for men had to be restructured for women such that they required a similar percentile for women to be passed. One of the first to be altered was the strength testing to be a firefighter. The requirement for men to carry a full body double along with his fire suppression and breathing gear including wearing the mask down two flights of stairs and out of a building under fire simulated conditions had to be scalable. They had to take the weight of the dummy and scale it to meet the same percentile as women as it took for men to pass as well as scaled gear weight and so forth. This required new sized dummies and smaller breathing apparatus and other expenses just to train and test women applicants. The argument made by one Fire and Rescue company in court that in an actual fire the size of the person who may need be carried would not be scalable was rejected when they had a number of fire squad captains admit that they often set an order of people entering a building or if inside chose the largest and strongest to be tasked with such carries and thus the test really was not about actually carrying a real person from the building but actually a strength test and thus would meet those requirements for scalable testing. This argument was also the initial scaling of military combat arms testing including for Ranger, Green Beret, Seal and other special forces testing and training. The real aim was just as much blurring differences between men and women and removing any male dominated jobs from having such as their label. This blurring has continued that there exist work environments where the surname for all employees has been simplified to the unisex denotation using the letter ‘M’ for both genders. Then came the real punch to the gut, when some schools began to use a new picture book titled “Heather Has Two Mommies,” to depict that a family was not the conventional one of a Mom and one Dad. Such attacks were later continued with any combination which desired the status of a ‘family’ to be so denoted.

 

The gender wars and war on conventional definitions continued and we even saw women enter the military training at all levels until today women have been cleared to serve in any combat role even in actual combat condition, though this has not been tested to the best of our knowledge, not even in Europe where such equanimous ideas go to be tested. There was the court challenge against the classical definition of the family in a number of states establishing the right for other than heterosexual couples to adopt children. Eventually, we suspect, that multi-coupled relations will also seek equal rights in adoption as well as tax codes dealing with deductions for married couples where communal communities will be permitted treatment as what will likely be referred to as a ‘greater family’ or a ‘communal family’ and demand they receive treatment equal to a traditionally defined family. Eventually, through whatever means are required, the definition of what constitutes a family will be so weakened such that a person suffering from having multiple personalities will be able to be granted status as a family. Then, as with religion, the government will claim that they are the ultimate family and thus children will be raised by a licensed individual who will soon become a government employee much in the manner that teachers are now government employees. In an age gone-by, some name it the frontier age but really was anywhere a town was small enough and in an unpopulated area where there is no overseeing governance, when the citizens, particularly parents, desired a teacher who was knowledgeable in what was called the three ‘R’s (Reading, wRiting and aRithmatic, they were very adaptable) the wealthy peoples or person would hire a teacher and the one-room schoolhouse would be erected by the townsfolk and that was how early schooling was accomplished. Eventually the town would grow where grades by age groups, usually the young, middle and advanced groups, and multiple teachers were required, where in some fortunate places the wealthy people still provided the salary for the required teachers but eventually the entire community would jointly provide the teachers’ salaries with each parent paying their share according to the number of children they placed in school. This would eventually become some form of taxation collected by the governing body who also hired teachers and this will eventually become the department of child-rearing with the law eventually requiring all children to be raised from birth by the government.

 

Caring, educating and making every individual dependent on the state for everything from birth to death, cradle to grave care, thus makes everyone completely comfortable with doing exactly what the governing bodies demand. Just pray that by that time some overseeing the governing has been taken over by a self-repairing computer system and not by very fallible human politicians such as the wonderful and kind imbeciles who are elected or appointed in far too many societies for such to become all-powerful. Still, it is the nature of any organism, be it an individual organism, a collection of similar organisms, a collection of differing mutually beneficial organisms, a collection of balanced organisms, a collection of prey and hunter organisms, an organism composed of a collection of organ or any other imaginable system of organisms as such as today’s political class where they are dependent on others on which they prey (we are somewhat unsure which class they fall into to be honest) which exist in the many strata which we find defined in our modern society. The government grows by replacing existing and often very functional systems by meddling and regulating until they have subsumed the entire system and then they start to lower the expectations such that they are able to claim by the lowered standards how government run programs are superior. They will always point to the area where by their own defined criteria they prove to be superior. Often the criteria they point to first is inclusion as they will find groups which was at the margins or preferably outside the margins of the private run systems were capable of including and claim superiority due to the sheer numbers served. This has been evident most often with schooling where minorities of students are able to afford private school and the public education system serves all including those who would be unable to afford private school at the current cost. What they hide is that should they give parents a voucher which can only be used for attending private schools, that the very students they point to would easily be able to afford private school education. The truth is that there would be an entire market of schools which would educate children for less. The same would very likely be true in other government run institutions, but government has two basic advantages; first is they accomplish the assigned tasks with the minimal amount of effort from the people served and, even more importantly, they can make their providing of the assigned services required to be provided by government trained and licensed individuals thus making only government the sole provider by law/regulation.

 

The last thing which is an evil by which government grows and makes the government the beginning and the end in all places government desires to control is the power of laws made by fiat and without review by elected officials. The Federal Government is the most guilty of this intrusion and dictation over the people without review by the people’s elected representatives. This mechanism is known as regulations. The House of Representatives and the Senate will all too often pass legislation which sets goals and not mechanisms and then assign the flushing out of the how to accomplish these goals to a cabinet or department within the government to figure out who, what, where, when and how these goals will be defined and met. They do this without any input beyond the vague and often amorphous set of goals even leaving the final definitions of the goals and then formulate regulations. http://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10871/Sunstein/ target=blank>Cass Sunstein was appointed by President Obama to be his Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Regulatory Affairs and assigned to review existing Federal Laws and find those laws which would allow for new and varied regulations to be fashioned in order to complete desired acts, actions, positions and requirements desired by President Obama and his team of Czars so that they could accomplish policy goals without involving Congress. Many of the regulations which Cass Sunstein wrote will lay waiting for complimenting laws and regulations to be passed or written and then they will also be applied. Very few if anyone other than the President and his former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs actually know all of what was found, written and sitting waiting for the appropriate time that these regulations will be required for government to accomplish another expansion of its powers. The regulatory route is what is most vital for government to grow and expand into new and various areas.

 

Sometimes one is required to look back centuries and research deeply into cultures and societies in order to see that which has changed. One area where this is particularly true is printing. There have been some radical advances in printing made because of computers but that is more in preparation as when printing mass numbers of items such as newspapers and books, the methods used have remained very constant since the invention of moveable type which was where each letter of the alphabet and each number from 0 to 9 along with spacers and punctuation were made on individual pieces as blocks and thus could be arranged in any order. With enough of each particular block one could print many pages of the same letters very quickly. Before that invention printing was done by a specialist carving out a master copy reversed often in wood and it would be used but had a limit on how long they lasted. Additionally, the letters carved into the master were permanently in place and could not be used in another page. A whole new master would need to be made. Before this method, things were even slower as the only people making books were a few crafts-people known as calligraphers and specialist Monks trained in calligraphy. Books in these times as well as anything else we would print today and requiring more than one copy were all made each copy by hand individually. The Monks trained in calligraphy would spend their entire lives on one book if many, many copies were required and those who had the finest styling and abilities would be permitted to make copies of the Bible. Making a Bible was the highest form of calligraphy. There are still some who are studied in this art who are hired to make such books and these books are rare, often one of a kind, and are extremely expensive, some priceless. There are still books and scrolls made today by hand. Torah scrolls are one such example and are written by trained Rabbis who often spend years making a special Torah scroll and months making normal Torahs. Just for the record, the government used to hire private companies to make their respective printed material such as pamphlets, maps, tourist informational material, records of Congressional actions and other necessary items. Today most of these are printed by the government with a vast number done at their Pueblo, Colorado printing facility. Of course all money is printed by the government at the mint. Thus far, schoolbooks are written and printed by private companies often following set guidelines set by, you guessed it, regulations. These regulations are changed at intervals as the government, the Department of Education, change their requirements or decide to emphasize different concepts. From some of the most recent textbooks we have read, it appears that much of what we were required to learn in school has changed drastically and not necessarily for the better. Concepts such as whole word recognition which replaced phonics and sounding out worlds, new math or newer new math, and history as well as civics texts have changed drastically. There is a reason so many college educated students know so little about history and government which may make for great fun on the Lettermen Show but is less funny when these same people vote. The lack of making informed choices was made, if one follows the news, obvious to many ‘informed experts’ by the two choices made as the candidates for President by the two major parties. We believe it could have been worse, but it might have been better. Our closing remark is a quote from Thomas Jefferson. It may be a reference to Jefferson’s comment to his nephew Peter Carr, “State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.” As noted in Jefferson to Peter Carr, Paris, August 10, 1787, in Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 12:15.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 6, 2012

Why Did the Democrat Platform Omit G0d?

Way back in 2008 before the Democrat Party spun out of control the Democrat Party Platform read in the section titled Renewing the American Dream, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their G0d-given potential.” Now, flash forward disregarding everything in between to 2012 and the new version of Renewing the American Dream reads, “We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.” According to ABC News, a Democrat Party official clarified the change with the omission of the name of G0d explaining that, “The 2008 platform reference is ‘G0d-given’ and is about growing the middle class and making America fair, not actually about faith. The platform includes an entire plank on the importance of faith based organizations and the tremendous work that they do. Further, the language we use to talk about faith and religion is exactly the same vocabulary as 2008. I would also note that the platform mentions: ‘faith’ 11 times; ‘religion(s)’ 9 times; ‘church’ 2 times and, ‘clergy’ 1 time.”

Am I to believe their explanation that taking out any reference to G0d is equal in weight, meaning and respect for the Creator as using the phrases ‘faith’ 11 times; ‘religion(s)’ 9 times; ‘church’ 2 times and, ‘clergy’ 1 time? I guess it does not matter to the Democrat Party that this lack of reference to the L0rd our G0d will likely mean they have left a potentially large group of people feeling rejected. These are in addition to the others they have left when they slid away from being the party that stood for keeping Government out of our personal lives into the party of Big Government which dictates everything you do and don’t right down to what you eat, the size of the portions and so much more. The Democrat Party once ran a candidate for President of the United States who campaigned and followed through on a platform calling for lower taxes and a rebuilding of our military by increasing its numbers, abilities and modernizing it from top to bottom. This was the same man who declared, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” My how things have changed. Now we have a President who made the number-one task for NASA to be, according to Administrator Bolden who announced NASA’s mission as threefold in July 2010: (1) “re-inspire children”; (2) “expand our international relationships”; and “foremost” (3) “reach out to the Muslim world.” And to make sure that NASA does not return to any of its past glories, this same President has cancelled the plans for NASA to return to the Moon. As I said earlier, “My how things have changed.”

But why would one of the major political parties of the United States of America take out any reference to G0d from their platform. The Declaration of Independence makes specific references to our Creator as the origin of our rights. This reference to G0d is the foundation upon which the United States was founded. One can only question such an omission, especially when done intentionally as they could have gone back and corrected the lack of reference to G0d had it been an error of omission. Not doing so makes this an intentional act with obvious forethought. The only thing I can see as the reasoning for not having any mention of our Creator or the grace of G0d which has often been credited for American greatness would be a complete and total single-minded tunnel-visioned dedication to a misconception of the idea of a wall of separation between church and state. This would be a misconception of Amendment I which does not state, nor does anywhere in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, any of the other Amendments to the Constitution or any of the founding documents, that a wall of separation exists between Church and State. The phrase originates in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the leaders of the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 in reference to their fears of potential for religious persecution as they were a small sect and feared government interference.

Thomas Jefferson’s letter reads and can be verified here.

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson

Jan. 1. 1802.

A careful reading of Thomas Jefferson’s phrasing reveals that this wall of separation placed between Church and State, actually religion and Government, is a one way wall. The wall of separation guards the Church and religion from any influences or interferences by Government actions, laws, regulations, limitations and coercions. It says nothing that limits religious influence, persuasion or influence by Churches or religions upon the State. This prevents Government from establishing a preferred religion or an actual State Religion or making laws requiring or forbidding prayer or religious participation. What Amendment I does not limit is any influences by Churches or religions on the State. Should a single Church or an entire religion decide they wished to enter politics and run a candidate technically that would be permissible. Where the limits would kick in would be should a religion actually run candidates in sufficient numbers and actually win an unstoppable majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the President, they would then quickly run into the limitations of Amendment I. Despite the obvious popularity and near universal support it would take to win such majorities, this religion would still be denied any powers to give their churches or the religion itself any advantages in any way, shape or form. They would be prevented from giving their religious institutions any tax advantages over other religions, granting their church preferences of any kind not also guaranteed for all other religions, and they could not mandate or enact their cannon or other religious laws, customs, preferences, or any form of influence upon the public as all such actions would violate the wall protecting religion from the State. When we refer to the “wall of separation between Church and State” we would be far more accurate to say “wall of protection of the Church from the State”. But even going completely overboard in one’s zeal regarding separation between Church and State, regardless of direction, still leaves one to wonder if completely devoiding the Democrat Party Platform of any and all references to the Creator, G0d, the L0rd, or any reverential tribute to the source of our unalienable Rights. Perhaps the Democrat Party no longer respects either our unalienable Rights or the source thereof.

Addendum:

After receiving far more publicity and criticism than expected or bearable for their omission in mentioning the Creator, our G0d, in their platform, the Democrat Convention rethought this and has decided that to avoid further scorn it would be easier to simply bend to the pressure. It still says a lot about the importance the writers and thinkers behind the original draft of the Democrat Party Platform place on the founding concepts, ideas, ideals, and credit to something greater than ourselves which weighed so heavily from the Founding Fathers up until their 2012 Platform. One has to wonder if their hearts are behind their new wording or if it is simply another attempt to dodge responsibility for their true feelings.

Beyond the Cusp

June 4, 2012

War on Women or War on Religion?

Depending upon which side one stands politically determines how one answers this question. The progressive liberals are claiming that we are fighting a war on women where religious fanatics wish to impose their morality upon the society and deny women of their right to make determinations about their own bodies. The conservative religious people claim that the government is attempting to force religion to compromise their moral standing and provide health coverage for actions which they believe to be abhorrent sins. Needless to say, these two world views have absolutely no middle ground where both sides make some compromises while retaining a core of their political world view. These are diametrically opposing views which society will need to decide which one will be adopted as the policy of the country. Unfortunately, or possibly fortunately, we will not be holding any direct election on this question to determine what result we will adopt. On the other hand, the coming national elections on November 6, 2012, will allow us to elect Representatives, one third of our Senators, and a President who will together decide this issue for the entire country. There is even the possibility that the Federal Government will drop this hot potato leaving it for the individual States to decide. In many ways, such a result might actually be the preferred manner to decide this issue as the country is very divided with the divisions being strangely regional. It could be postulated that the only way that we can satisfy the majority of Americans would be to find a method of making this decision as locally as is feasible. But, should Obama Care or some similar national health initiative remain a part of our Federal Government, then this question will be forced to be decided nationally making it vitally important in deciding the future path of the United States. So, how should we address this question and what should be our compass which points our way forward?

Since we have raised this question at the Federal level of our governance, it will likely fall upon the Federal Government to find the solution. This makes finding our guidance much easier. Since any decision which is made will absolutely infuriate one side or the other, we are almost guaranteed that the decision will be challenged and end up in the Federal Courts. Once it falls into the realm of the Federal court System, the decision turns on the Constitution and the Amendments. In this case, the applicable section is the First Amendment which covers anything relating to interactions between the Federal Government and religious institutions. So, let us first take a peek at the wording of the First Amendment and find the relevant sections. The First Amendment reads,

<I><B>“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.” </B></I>

That makes the applicable language as, <I><B>“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”</B></I> This is a fine example of one of the greatest properties of the Constitution for the United States, it is written in plain language without resorting to Latin phrases or some forms or variations of legalese and states what it means in language everybody can pretty much understand. Where one can attain a College Degree in constitutional Law, such is not required to understand the main ideas and the intent of the writers who authored each section. So, let’s look at this and see what we can discern.

There are those who take the phrases pertaining to religion in the First Amendment and boil it down to the phrase “Separation of Church and State”. By simplifying everything to this phrase implies that the constitution forbids any interaction in either direction. The Government is denied the ability to establish any Church as the preferred or sole religion for all citizens as was often the case in Europe at the time of the founding of the United States. This idea also makes it plain that the government also is forbidden from outlawing any recognized religion, though it does leave blank how one determines exactly what rules define what differentiates religions from cults. Where we agree on what are the major religions, it has not always been that easy when it came to newer or the less recognized religions, which should be given validation and which were merely some form of cultic practice. There was a time in our history where it was debated whether or not Mormonism was an actual religion or merely a cult. If we were to examine intently every claim ever made for inclusion under the Government definitions for religious stature we would find that the actual definition is actually somewhat liquid. It would also show that as time passed we diluted the definition and requirements to be considered and be classified as a religion. This is not needed for this discussion but it does make for interesting postulations as to where we might be heading in defining religions in our future.

The simplification of the religion sections of the First Amendment to the phrase, “Separation of Church and State” also implies that religious institutions are forbidden from making inroads or even attempting to influence governance. The level of denial of religious influence on governance spans the scale from a complete and total denial of influence to a milder idea that religious institutions and figures may not use their religion or pulpit to force, coerce or influence the way people will vote. Simply stated, the agents of religion are forbidden from supporting candidates or political parties using the powers and influence of the church, the religion. So, we see that many people today who take this definition which was never used in any court documents or decision but actually stems from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 where Jefferson actually wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Jefferson’s actual words have a more traditional and parallel meaning to the actual words of the First Amendment than what they have been used to imply in modernity. So, if the First Amendment does not actually forbid any interactions between the Federal Government or other governmental levels and Religious Institutions, then what does it mean?

Let’s take one last look at the actual phrases from the First Amendment. They state,<I><B> “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” </B></I>The active object in this phrase is the Congress. The passive or recipient object is Religion. So, it directs the Congress to refrain from establishing a State Religion while also forbidding the Congress from taking any steps which might curtail, limit, impinge, or in any way adversely influence anybody from performing actions or observances of a religious nature. That is the entirety and limit of the statements about the relations between our Federal Government and our Religious Institutions. The Constitution places no restraints upon religion or religious institutions from influencing politics or governance. Should a church or religious group determine that all members of their institution or religion be required to vote in a certain way, they are allowed to attempt to have that influence. The restrictions we currently place on our religious leaders that in order to retain their tax exemption they must refrain from making political endorsements or sermonizing as there is a wall of separation between Church and State is erroneous. No such restraint exists within the constitution and if it does exist within the tax codes, then it is unconstitutional and could and likely should be challenged. There is no insistence that we remove religion from the public sphere or that religion must avoid any and all actions within the political sphere. The Founding Fathers fully intended, as is proven in the vast majority of their writings, that G0d, Churches, and Religious Institutions should have as great an influence upon politics and the government as they possibly can. They actually feared that a day would come where we would not allow religion to have a paramount influence on our society or our governance as in such a place morality would suffer and the society would be without the guarantees of common decency which was a product of religious observance. Looking at much we see in our modern world we are witnessing the truth of their apprehensions. Perhaps those men in the silly powdered wigs were not the clowns so many wish to make them out to be. Perhaps, their insistence that G0d and religion should hold a prominent place in both our lives and in the public square might not have been as quaint and outdated as many would have us believe.

Beyond the Cusp

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