Sunday, December 7, 2014

Military Increasingly Intolerant of Christianity?

Here is a post from Todd Starnes' Facebook page. It doesn't need a lot of comment.

I just received an email from one of our readers who was on board a military transport. He was reading a copy of my book, "God Less America." 

He told me an officer scolded him for reading the book and ordered him to put it away. She accused him of attempting to proselytize while on board a military aircraft.

The reader did as he was told. Later in the flight he began reading on his Nook. The same officer demanded to know what he was reading. 

"So long as it's not the same book, I'm satisfied," she said.

This is what I meant when I wrote in "God Less America" that President Obama was turning our military into a social engineering petri dish.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Is the Current Administration Guided by Our Founders?

This is only one of many examples, some of which can be found within either party, of the federal government taking too much power and done so in an unconstitutional manner.

Recently, the President and Congress got together (in this case, all Democrats) and decided to exempt Congress and Congressional staff from much of what is required in the Affordable Care Act (AFA, or "Obamacare"). This is something the act seems to specifically disallow.

But more important, our government is supposed to be guided by the Constitution. And in order to truly understand the Constitution, one should also understand the Federalist Papers, which were a sort-of discussion among some Founders of what the then-upcoming Constitution should do. James Madison ("father of the Constitution") said this in Federalist 57:

"I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America -- a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it." (emphasis mine)

How many of our current members of Congress and the Executive Branch have every read the Federalist Papers? How many of them refer back to those documents now and then? My estimates would be a very small number.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

God vs. Copyright vs. Public School Teacher... AGAIN

The previous post in this blog was about public school officials who changed a famous song, God Bless the USA, to remove the word "God." This, of course, is a violation of U.S. Copyright law. But it's also just plain silly that the school somehow believed it inappropriate to utter "God" in a public school. Our history is rich with references to God and it is clear our Founders had no intention of removing God from public life when they wrote the Constitution. (Thomas Jefferson, from whose letters we get the phrase "Separation of church and state," and who is typically regarded as one of the "least Christian" of our Founders, even approved the use of the Bible and the Watts Hymnal for practice reading in Washington, D.C. public schools.)

Now another similar issue has arisen in Albemarle County’s Broadus Wood Elementary School (Virginia). A 5th-grade school teacher wanted to use the song We Are the World in a school performance. But, apparently thinking that "God" may not be mentioned in school, she altered this line:

We are all a part of God’s great big family

so that it became this:

We are all a part of one great big family

And she dug a little deeper in verse three of the song, changing this line:

As God has shown us by turning stones to bread

to this one:

We can’t let them suffer; no we cannot turn away

One has to wonder what this same teacher would do if students were studying the Declaration of Independence. Would she change "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights" to simply say "endowed with certain inalienable rights"? Our Founders knew that if our rights come from man rather than God, then man (or a teacher) can take our rights away.

Read the full story on the site below:

http://bearingdrift.com/2012/04/18/worldly-albemarle-county-teacher-deletes-god-lyric-from-we-are-the-world/

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Copyright Violation Is OK if You Are Just Removing "God"

Most Americans know the song "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. It was at the top of the charts for a long time, and is even used at official immigration naturalization ceremonies.

But it was deemed inappropriate at a Bellingham, MA elementary school. They wanted to use the song, but were afraid someone might be offended by the use of the word "God" in the title and lyrics. Note that there were no complaints about the song. School officials decided to change it to "We Love the USA" instead.

There are hundreds of posts on the blog you are now reading about the silliness of thinking that saying "God" in a public school is unconstitutional somehow. But apparently school officials were so afraid of possible suits by the ACLU or the Freedom from Religion Foundation that they did their own preemptive strike. And they were so worried that (apparently) they decided they could violate copyright law. Some aspects of copyright are confusing, but at the bottom of almost any published sheet music are words saying that no one can change or adapt the work without written permission of the publisher.

Composer Lee Greenwood said:
“Maybe the school should have asked the parents their thoughts before changing the lyrics to the song. They could have even asked the writer of the song, which I of course would have said you can’t change the lyrics at all or any part of the song. The most important word in the whole piece of music is the word God, which is also in the title God Bless The USA. We can’t take God out of the song, we can’t take God out of The Pledge of Allegiance, we can’t take God off of the American currency. Let us also remember, the phrase God Bless the USA has a very important meaning for those in the military and their families, as well as new citizens coming to our Country. The song is played at every naturalization ceremony behind The National Anthem. If the song is good enough to played and performed in its original setting under those circumstances, it surely should be good enough for our children.” (as found on FoxNews: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/school-removes-god-from-lee-greenwood-song.html)

No court decision has said that you can't use the word "God" in a public school. And CERTAINLY the U.S. Constitution doesn't say that. Our Founders took no actions that would make one think such a thing. Please, people! Read the Constitution!

UPDATE (unconfirmed, but from a good source): The school has reversed itself and will use the song now. I did not hear if it will be the original version, with God, but I assume so.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Banning Heaven from Street Names - Is That In the Constitution?

People across the nation were inspired by some of the heroic deeds of the first responders, as well as other police and fire personnel and various volunteers after the attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. One Brooklyn firehouse lost seven firemen on that day, and they naturally want to honor them. The city named a nearby street for them: "Seven in Heaven Way."

You readers know what's coming next, right? An atheist group is complaining to the city about the sign, demanding it be changed. "Heaven" is a Christian concept, they say. Well, that's partly right. Heaven, or similar concepts using other words, are part of many religions. But Heaven is not part of atheism.

According to an article in New American:
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission noted, "There are cities that have religious connotations in their names. Why not a street. Do they want us to rename Los Angeles, Corpus Christi, and St. Joseph?” Added Land,  "In a country where 85 percent of the people say they are Christian or claim to be Christian, should it be surprising that you name cities and streets with religious terminology?”

That makes sense to me. Our Constitution specifies (in the Bill of Rights) that Congress may not make a law establishing a religion, and the provision is being applied to our states as well after a Supreme Court decision. But clearly a street sign requires no state law to be passed; it is a decision that cities make for a variety of reasons, and such decision do not require statutes to back them up. Even if they did, there is a difference between recognizing religion and establishing a religion. We have "Armed Forces Day" each year, but every citizen is not required to be in the military, for example. And many, if not most, cities have a form of Martin Luther King on a street name (sometimes on several). But the residents of those cities are not all black.

Read more here:

Atheists Complain Over NYC Street Sign Honoring Fallen 9-11 Firemen