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I think we should ban together to show what "Strict Construction" and Originalism really mean in the law.

Clearly since Bush promotes it as what his CONservative base wants, they all think they want it.

It is time to teach them the old lesson of be careful of what you want because you just might get it.

The religious right thinks that since in this century they started to convince some of their own cultist politicians that the U.S. is a "christian" nation, and thus we should use the word "god" on our money and in our pledge and that Christmas should be a holiday.

Perhaps it is time to give them a little history lesson.  To teach them that "Strict Construction" & "originalism" may not really be what they want in their jurists.

If the  "strict constructionalists" and "originalists" look to the founding fathers to find out how to interpret the constitution and what they meant when founding the country -- wouldn't it be instructive to them if we pointed out the writings about religion at the time the country was founded?

In particular, I'm thinking of the documents where our founding fathers specifically declared that the U.S. is NOT a Christian Nation.

For example:

Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;  as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

or how about some of Jefferson's comments?

I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.

or

Christianity [is the] most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.

oh, or

The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.

How About John Adams?  

The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
 

or who said:


The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.

How about James Madison:


What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.

Perhaps we should start to discuss what types of cases we should be taking up to remind our "strict constructionist" and "originalist" jurists of the true intent of the founding fathers.  It will take years to get to the Supreme Court -- but what fun it will be all the way there to completely annoy all the fanatics and watch them try to fight for their own delusional beliefs.

Originally posted to Rhonda on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 08:52 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good For You (none)
    I totally agree that the separation of church and state was manifest in the founding of this nation.

    Unfortunately, the Religious Right has their own websites claiming links to Christianity in almost everything they see. It's a case of ignoring anything that disagrees with them, and selectively finding justification for their case.

    I would give you a link, but I don't really want to give them the publicity. If you are curious, you can find them on google easily enough by asking about christian founding fathers. What is neat when you go to that search are the number of places that debunk the claims of the religious right.

    Remember, these are not critical thinkers. They know the answers they want before they frame the questions. They don't hear what you have to say, unless it agrees with them.

    A President in his own league. The Bush League!

    by Tuba Les on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:28:06 PM PST

  •  Here's one little quiz the wingnuts hate to see... (none)
    because, obviously, it doesn't quite fit with "their" version of history.

    http://ffrf.org/...

    •  Great Test! (none)
      I got 20 out of 21! Missed the question about which group/colony practiced freedom of religion.

      I have to admit, I got lucky on a few of the answers.

      A President in his own league. The Bush League!

      by Tuba Les on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 01:21:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  and then there's the abolition of parties (none)
    and bringing back the 1-man filibuster. that african americans counting as 2/3 of a person for the purpose of redistricting would royally fuck southern states too.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 09:52:52 PM PST

  •  Congrats on a winner. (none)
    I was thinking that a relly good Progressive version of the Rightie's Flag lapel-pin would only cost 5 cents plus the glue and pin to stick a nickel on your lapel. The new Jeffersonian Nickel designs are really attractive [almost as attractive as his cussed insistence that people, not God are the power that creates our government.] Oh, and they're made in the U.S.A. which is not the case with most of the flag pins seen in the lapels of "True Americans."

    I've admired Jefferson's independent streak for years. I have to admit that anyone [of his time] who cut up a standard Bible to create his own version is my kind of guy. There's an awful [and I DO mean awful] lot of 150-200AD power politics inscribed in the current version of the book.

    There are religious questions that I have always wanted answered... Where did Mrs Cain come from?.... plus Why is Joseph's patrilineage [father to son geneology] traced back with such care and at such length when he had nothing to do with the production of Jesus yet Mary's matrileage is pretty well blank ??? Etc Etc...

    It seems obvious to me that the MALE is the only sex that matters in the Bible [and the Quran and other holy texts too]. This is not by accident. The winners get to write the history of the world. Lysistrata is the only woman who actually won a conflict - for a while. The others have all been fought by males. The women are mere plunder and chattels - vessels for creating more males. It seems terribly wrong-headed to cavalierly dismiss the abilities and strengths of half the world's population merely because they lack the all-important organ dangling between their legs. ... but I digress.

    I, personally have my own ways of touching God and it doesn't depend on any validation provided by a well-paid "holy" suit-filler to get me there.

    I love the idea behind this post and would happily volunteer some snark time if needed.

    I am a nobody, and nobody is perfect; therefore, I am perfect.

    by daddybunny on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 10:04:22 PM PST

  •  OK (none)
    so who DID say "The Christian Church has set up..." ? I need to know!
  •  Great plan (none)
    See you at Gitmo!

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