You Know, I Used to Just Get Upset About What the Post Was Reporting...

I can understand a difference of opinion, and the first example is just that. I’m disappointed, but whatever...

U.S. SenateAn editorial in today’s Post lambastes certain members of the Democratic party for daring to stand up to little George and his Republican cronies. Their stance is that by voting against Bush’s grotesquely irresponsible Iraq reconstruction package, they’re endangering our troops and not living up to our responsibilities to the Iraqi people.


George Bush is the one not living up to his responsibilities to the American people. His obviously deliberate plan to willfully create a deficit so as to be able to claim helplessness when it comes time to cut social programs (Reaganomics, anyone?) is reprehensible. Anyone voting in favor of this package without explicitly tying it to repeal of Bush’s tax cuts — to say nothing of seeking greater international cooperation (which, granted, is a step closer with today’s passage of the U.S. proposal to the Security Council) — is kowtowing to that very plan. Kudos to John Edwards for coming out and saying that he will not vote in favor of the spending package.

Supreme CourtNow on this second one, the Post’s apparently decided to abandon reason altogether. In their intelligence-free editorial “One Nation Under Justices,” they’re saying the Supreme Court should concentrate on figuring out a way to weasel out of the Pledge of Allegiance case rather than actually dealing with the issue at hand. I quote: “The easiest way out, and maybe the healthiest outcome for the country, would be to reverse the case on jurisdictional grounds, given the questions as to the plaintiff's standing.” And again: “The key to affirming the pledge and other such ritualized invocations without disrupting the larger relationship between church and state is for the court to focus on the nondevotional, patriotic context in which the words appear.” In other words, their goal should be to find a way to keep “under God” in there — regardless of the merit of the case — so we can just put this ugly issue behind us. They attempt to claim that the presence of passing references to God in other national documents and traditions shows that it’s all okay; they even go so far as to cite the national anthem, which is pretty shaky — yes, there’s a reference to God in the original poem, but since when has anybody sung anything beyond the first verse?

The thing that the purists don’t want to recognize is that yes, society changes. No, the “founding fathers” would not have interpreted the establishment clause the same way we must today; they most likely could not have conceived of anybody not acknowledging the supremacy of God — to the extent that atheism (or even agnistocism) existed, it was so alien a concept as to be beyond comprehension. But with the advent of reason, of scientific observation, our society does include these philosophies, not to mention any of a number of other, non-monotheistic belief systems, all of whom are explicitly excluded by the phrase “under God.” As the courts have decided that the establishment clause requires a so-called “separation of church and state,” this phrase cannot remain in the Pledge of Allegiance, particularly given the instructive nature of our school system. Frankly, I think the whole idea of a mandatory pledge of allegiance to a piece of cloth is stupid — I pledge allegiance to nothing save myself — but that’s another argument: Do we have the right, as a nation, to demand allegiance — which naturally implies agreement. Isn’t that why we have a First Amendment?

As to removing “God” from other aspects of government, I’m all for it. Frankly, “In God We Trust” is patently false; it necessarily implies that we, as a people, trust in God. All I need to do is provide one American who does not trust in God, and I have logically disproven the assertion. Nothing wrong with saying I trust in God — either believing it or saying it — but to make a blanket assertion that we all do is ridiculous.

On the good side, there’s a great column by Richard Cohen blasting the flagrant lies still being espoused by the Bush regime. Actually, it strikes close to home, being closely related to an essay I’m working on for the fall issue of Inkblots (though no promises — first I have to finish it). But in the meantime, give Cohen a read.


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