Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Is the United States a Christian Nation?

April 7, 2009

What is a Christian nation?

This is a hell of a question to start out this debate.  But it’s the only way that we’ll make any kind of headway.  We have to define our terms before we set out or we’ll just end up in a game of semantics.

I think the best way of answering this is by comparing the United States to other nations around the world.  For example, clearly the United States is more influenced by Christianity than The Netherlands.  We have laws against incest and (in some states) sodomy because of our Christian influence.

However, a nation that is influenced by a group of people doesn’t mean that it is founded on their principles.  For example, would we say that the United States is a White nation?  Of course not.  In fact, that’s a great way of getting your ass kicked.  Even though the founding documents were written by white people, we do not consider ourselves a White nation.

What is a Muslim Nation?

A Muslim nation is a nation where Sharia (Islamic law) is enforced.   Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen all enforce Sharia law.  In these communities, religious law is civil and criminal law.  Often, beards must be worn at certain lengths and women must cover their bodies completely or they will face criminal charges from the state.

What about our history?

So do we enforce the Ten Commandments in the Bible?  Have we ever?  The answer is yes and no.  During the days of the Puritans, the United States was a much different country.  Witches were burned at the stake and adulterers were made to bear the infamous A.  But these laws were a distortion of our Constitution.

The First Amendment of the Constitution reads:

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.

Pretty clearly stated.  Our founding fathers escaped religious persecution to establish this nation.  The last thing they wanted to do was create a country that made all the same mistakes their homeland did.  Even though certain communities did adopt some Christian law into their governing arsenal, it turned out pretty terribly.  I think you’ll find few people willing to defend the Salem Witch Trials.

What about the law?

The Christian law never changes.  It was written in the books of the Bible 2000 years ago and there have been few amendments to it since.  However, our founding fathers purposely established this country in a way so that laws could change.  At the will of the people, through their representatives in Congress, we can change the laws by which we live.

Pound of Flesh?

Pound of Flesh?

The founding fathers knew the Bible.  Many of them were Christian.  But they purposely did not establish Christian law as United States law.   Even though many were devout Christians, the governing principles of the nation were purposely establish with no religion in mind.  Even though God/Creator/Supreme Judge is mentioned in some of our founding documents, there is no mention of biblical law or Jesus.

What about the faith of the founding fathers?

Many of the founding fathers were Christians and others were not.  Thomas Jefferson famously ripped every page out of the Bible that involved Jesus doing any type of miracle.  He believed that the supernatural aspects of the Bible distorted the moral teachings.  Jefferson even penned a new ending: rather than Jesus resurrecting from the dead, he is buried in the ground.

We cannot act like our founding fathers spoke in a unified voice.  There was dissension, there were disagreements.  I’m sure many of them thought that we should found a Christian nation.  However, that is not what they gave us.  They gave us a democratic republic.  A democratic republic where the will of the people reigned supreme and not the laws of their former homeland.

Fox Nation attempts to smear Obama

Fox Nation attempts to smear Obama

Conclusion

It’s easy for commentators on Fox News to say we are a Christian nation because we were founded by mostly Christian people.   But it’s not a debate that can take place in the 3-minute rush zone of a TV studio.  We have to address the issue from many facets, define our terms, and somehow explain the rich history of our nation.  The United States may be a nation of Christians, but it was not founded as a Christian nation.

Real News of the Day: Blagojevic indicted on Corruption charges, justice rears its ugly mug

April 2, 2009

A federal grand jury indicted former Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich, his brother, and their top aides on 19 Corruption counts for operating a “wide-ranging scheme to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government.”

PWN'D

PWN'D

Blagojevich drew controversy earlier this year for allegedly attempting to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat after the Junior Senator ascended to the Presidency.  Blago’s brother Robert, his fundraiser Christopher Kelly, former chief of staff Alonzo Monk, other former chief of staff John Harris, and Springfield political strategist William Cellini were named as co-defendants.

The US Attorney’s Office issued the following statement:

Since 2002, even before he was first elected governor that November, and continuing until he was arrested on Dec. 9, 2008, former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and a circle of his closest aides and advisors allegedly engaged in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government, according to a 19-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury. Blagojevich, 52, of Chicago, was charged with 16 felony counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal agents. He allegedly used his office in numerous matters involving state appointments, business, legislation and pension fund investments to seek or obtain such financial benefits as money, campaign contributions, and employment for himself and others, in exchange for official actions, including trying to leverage his authority to appoint a United States Senator, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Also charged as co-defendants in the same indictment are:

John Harris, 47, of Chicago, Blagojevich’s chief of staff from late 2005 until last December after he was arrested along with Blagojevich. Through his attorney, Harris, who is charged with a single count of wire fraud, has authorized the Government to disclose that he has agreed to cooperate with the United States Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this case;

Alonzo Monk, 50, of Park Ridge, a lobbyist doing business as AM3 Consulting, Ltd., and a long-time Blagojevich associate who served as his general counsel when Blagojevich represented Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District, and later managed his 2002 and 2006 gubernatorial campaigns, was his first gubernatorial chief of staff from 2003 through 2005, and later chairman of his campaign fund;

Robert Blagojevich, 53, of Nashville, Tenn., Blagojevich’s brother, who became chairman of his campaign fund in August 2008;

Christopher Kelly, 50, of Burr Ridge, a businessman and a principal campaign fundraiser who also served as chairman of Blagojevich’s campaign fund from early 2004 until August 2005. The indictment alleges that with Blagojevich’s knowledge and permission, Kelly at times exercised substantial influence over certain activities of the governor’s office; and

William F. Cellini, Sr., 74, of Springfield, a businessman who also raised significant funds for Blagojevich, in part through his role as the executive director of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association. Cellini had longstanding relationships and influence with trustees and staff members of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS), and he was associated with Commonwealth Realty Advisors, a real estate asset management firm that invested hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of TRS, the indictment alleges.

All six defendants will be arraigned on dates yet to be determined before U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel in Federal Court in Chicago. Blagojevich was charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, two counts of attempted extortion, and one count each of racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, and making false statements. The specific counts and maximum penalties each defendant is facing are listed separately.

The stiff arm of the law only rears its vicious mug every once in a while in American politics.  Today is a good day.

RWP Rating: Real Fucking Weird

Full Story: Huffington Post

Arkansas bill requires parental consent for tanning teens

March 26, 2009

The Arkansas state legislature approved a bill today that requires teens to bring parental consent forms to tanning salons before going under the blue lights.   The bill, proposed by Representative Bruce Maloch, received overwhelming bipartisan support, passing in a 34-1 vote.

YA, I FEELZ YA.

YA, I FEELZ YA.

The bill seems a bit arbitrary to me and assumes that parents simply cannot control their kids’ behavior.  As a parent, red flags should be going off when your child starts looking like a guido from South Jersey.   The logical step is to tell them that tanning will give you cancer and cancer will turn once healthy skin cells into ravaging hellhounds.

No fines have been established for tanning salons that do not comply with the new law.  So it’s really more of a “pat your representative on the back for no fucking reason” bill.  Populism at its finest.

RWP Rating: Unusual

FULL STORY: http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2009/mar/26/teen-tanning-bill-approved-no-penalties/?news/arkansas

Ban on Stealing Urine needed in Ohio

March 26, 2009

Ohio is about to pass one of the strangest bills I’ve ever heard of.

Here is the backstory:  Shawn Koser, a firefighter in Ohio, went to a movie theater with his 10 year old daughter.  After the movie, Koser went into the bathroom to take a piss and noticed one Alan D. Patton collecting urine from the urinals with a foam cup.  Koser was floored and went to the theater manager to see what could be done.

Black beans and carrots?

Black beans and carrots?

It turns out that Mr. Patton is a registered child sex offender.  Patton admitted later that he was drinking the urine.  Excuse me while I force the vomit back down my throat.  Patton is clearly fucked up beyond belief, but what he was doing isn’t illegal.

That’s about to change.  The bill on the floor in the Ohio state legislature will make collecting urine or any other bodily substance without privilege illegal.  Blood, bile, semen, pus, saliva, and, of course, urine should be covered by the law.  A vote is expected early next week.

Creating a new law just because of the individual actions of one person is a bit over the line.  But with the advent of the internet and increasingly fucked up pornography just clicks away, these types of activities could actually be on the rise.

RWP Rating: Real Fucking Weird

FULL STORY: Dispatch Politics

Dear New Jersey: You can’t be this stupid

March 24, 2009

A group of fourth grade students from New Jersey currently want the state to declare the tomato as its official vegetable.  Apparently, there is a fourth grade teacher at Warren County’s Memorial School that wants to not only teach her students that tomatoes are vegetables, but to legislate it as such.

Still a fruit in all 50 states.

Still a fruit in all 50 states.

I don’t understand the lesson here.  Is she trying to teach her students that government officials are morons?  That at the whim of cute kids and sycophant lawmakers, we can change fruits into vegetables, eyes into ears, and Stephenie Meyer into Shakespeare?  War is not Peace and 2 + 2 does not equal 5.   At least for now.

RWP Rating: 4/5 Bizarre

FULL STORY: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/03/a_group_of_fourthgrade_student.html