Our world screams, “Paradox!!!”

Just a couple interesting thoughts for you. Someone sent me the following quote by Thomas Jefferson:

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are a gift of God?”

Consider then, this man, who obviously had some affiliation with religion and God, proposing the “Wall of Separation”, aka separation of church and state. Why would a man who said the previous quote propose such a thing, unless he obviously had the safety of religion (as well as government) in mind? Now this is not a direction I originally pondered, but track with me on this. Some people propose that separation of church and state was not to protect government from religion, but religion from government. It is ironic to me that such a wall of separation would be so paradoxical, because in commanding that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” (First Amendment), Congress just does that. It respects the establishment of religion. In realizing that religion must be protected from government, our Forefathers forged within the bill of rights a wall that cannot be torn down. Religion in our country is free. You are free to believe what you like. And that is good. Free will is good, and freedom of choice is an inherent right that has been given to us. (Now what you do with that choice is another matter) So, I believe that the Founders  did include religion into the creation of our government. Because of their own personal religious beliefs and mindsets, and because they did not want government to tamper with faith, they created a wall to protect the freedom of belief, paradoxically by prohibiting government from making laws that respect religion (go figure). And in that act, they disprove that religion was not included in the creation of government. Purely by prohibiting overtly religious laws, one can argue that religion took a part in the creation of our government, even if only in a negation aspect.

Now, obviously, I don’t think that such a wall is impossible to bypass. Whether one chooses to acknowledge the fact or not, people carry their religion with them wherever they go. To say that the First Amendment nullifies religion within government is poppycock. But to say that the 1st Amendment nullifies government within religion is not. Government is not allowed to interfere with religion, but religion is allowed to interfere government. But then again, I define religion as a system of beliefs, not something that requires a holy book or a deity. Just something you believe that moves you to act a certain way. So principles like secularism or atheism I consider to be religion of sorts. And I consider such principles, as well as Christian ones, to influence politicians and politics. That’s just my two cents. Your thoughts?

Sources: Justin, Bill Van Workum, Wikipedia, and Cornell University

Help, by the Book.

      Most of us are going to universities and collages next year and will be facing all kinds of expenses. According to a 2005 study by the Government Accountability Office, they have found that book costs have nearly tripled over some two decades. The state of Washington has just passed a law “requiring textbook companies to disclose prices and other relevant information when they market books to college professors in the state.” Lawmakers  hope that professors will pick more reasonably priced textbooks, so students can afford them. This law is a good step toward lowering textbook prices. Well for now we just have to deal with the pakage of getting a good education, which includes high textbook prices.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/01/opinion/01tue3.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Blogging and Your Freedom of Speech

        Blogger Josh Wolf has become quite famous these past few months. Apparently, he attended an Anarchist rally in San Francisco last summer, and filmed the whole thing. During the rally a cop was injured and a police car was damaged. After posting the footage on his blog, FBI agents showed up at his house, demanded that he give them the tape, and tell them who the people at the rally were. Wolf refused and claimed that since he is an Internet Journalist, he should be protected under the first amendment. However, he was thrown into prison for failure to cooperate with an investigation. After much deliberation he was released on April 3rd, 226 days later. The U.S. Attorney’s Office never thought of Wolf as a journalist. The FBI wanted him to tell them the names of the people responsible for the damage, but Wolf refused. The U.S. Attorney’s Office finally broke down, and said that he did not have to testify. Instead he had to release his footage, and swear that he had no knowledge of any criminal activity at the rally. Wolf agreed.

        The point of this is to let all of you bloggers out there know that you need to be careful of what you post. I tend to agree with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we are not official journalists. Sure we are reporting the truth and giving valid opinions, but if that made us journalists then anyone could be one. We need to be respectful about what we blog, and realize that our words can have consequences.

 

Source: Rolling Stone Magazine

Call to Arms/Want to Help?

I’m currently engaged in debate with fitnessfortheoccasion right now, and one of our current topics is whether religion has any place in government. This blog is not so much to give my own opinion as it is to see what you guys have to say. Do you believe that separation of church and state is a good thing for our government? Do think that religion should be a part of all government action? Does your opinion fall somewhere in between those two extremes? If you’re in anyway interested in answering those questions, please do so, and also include why you believe what you do. That being said, I was going to say what I thought about the subject, but on further consideration I have changed my mind, because I don’t want my opinion to influence your answer. I will share my beliefs on the subject, but I guess it’ll have to wait till I get some comments, if I do get comments. I also wanted to ask another important question on the subject of religion in government. I made a remark about religion being rampant in our nation’s founding, and fitness disagreed with me. So what do you think? Did religion play a part in how our government was created? And if so, how?

I sincerely appreciate anything you guys have to offer on any of the topics mentioned above, and everyone is invited to respond. So please do. 

Still Fighting.

Abortion is a much debated issue among our society today. Abortion is bascially any premature expulsion of a human fetus. Just last week on Wednesday, April 18 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a 5 to 4 vote. This law was signed by President Bush in 2003 and was finally passed. This law makes “any abortion in which the baby is delivered feet-first past the [baby’s] navel outside the body of the mother, or in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, before being killed.” Although, this is a step towards eliminating the mass masicure of babies; it does not stop the killing. As Christians we have the responsibility to voice our opinons. The unborn child is does not have voice, so we need to be that voice. Yes, this was a victory, but the abortion battle still needs to be fought.

http://www.nrlc.org/press_releases_new/Release041807.html

A Violent Necessity

            Are there times when war is a must? If you ask the Bible, the answer is ‘absolutely.’ Pose the question to History: ‘clearly and without a doubt.’ Now turn to a fellow American in, say,
New York City. He is likely to vehemently shake his head and cry, ‘War is never the answer!’ It seems that the Past would beg to differ, and every youth is admonished to always remember the Past.

            Take a moment to think about preceding wars. The War for American Independence was fought for the rebels’ freedom. The Civil War was waged for the liberty of every man, regardless of his external hue. The World Wars raged to protect the identities of numerous countries and cultures. Korea and
Vietnam, though unpopular and protested, were also efforts to guard the helpless.

            Now look at the present. The War on Terror is highly and loudly- and most often rudely- criticized, but one must observe the whole picture. Yes, enemies, soldiers, and nationals have perished as a result, but their deaths were not in vain. Freedom is costly. Perhaps costlier than anything else in our mortal world.

            Are war, violence, and rebellion necessary? Many times, I would conclude that they indeed are. I will qualify the aforementioned by mentioning that I do not in any way condone senseless killing or reckless violence. But the accomplishment and preservation of liberty more often than not contain substantial amounts of resistance and opposition. Tragically, these actions typically lead to violence.

            But I suppose that is the price to be paid. And I have a feeling that those who have perished would agree that the end result is very much worth the cost.

 

Inspiration: Notes from a Spinning Planet:
Ireland
, page 93

Jessica’s Law

Jessica’s law is a momentous regulation that is currently being proposed. This law would put further restrictions upon sexual offenders. It will place the condition of a minimum of twenty-five years in prison and electronic monitoring for the rest of the predictor’s life. Also, the offender of a child younger than twelve years old will result in death or life in prison with no opportunity for parole.
Objections to this law seem to be beside the point of punishing these criminals. Some say that it would be too emotional damaging for young people to testify in court, but a child can easily be told the reason for this trial. A young person testifying in court is worth justice being served. People also say that it would be too costly for the state. Don’t you think that your money is worth these sexual offenders serving the correct punishment? In America, the punishment is supposed to fit the crime. Jessica’s Law satisfies the punishment of sexual assault.