The Constitution; Flawed or Just Outdated?


I have to say it is both. But for the sake of argument let’s just say it is just outdated; there is usually less offense taken from this perspective but there is offense taken none the less. I am constantly amazed and offended when so many people get so deeply offended at any criticism of this document. As if it were sacred scripture or something. That however does not floor me as bad as the offense people take at any hint of criticism of any of its writers.

Let’s just consider what should be undisputed facts and not my opinions, this document was written by politicians, it was written to or towards the English Crown; or at the very least with the King in mind. It was meant to define to the King what the new system of government these revolutionaries where setting up I would think as a show that they weren’t going off half cocked but that they had a plan. Regardless it was written by men who just won the freedom to govern themselves, men who were now free from English rule.

The Constitution was written for a government that would govern 13 independent colonies. Leaders of this revolution were awarded colonies to govern on their own,  independent of each other without a Federal government in the respect that we have today, this aspect is the source of one of it’s biggest flaws I will get to shortly. But their were only 13 colonies not 50 states. It was written in 1787 before there was a president, two years before and it was written by the Continental Congress. At that time the colonies had governors who were appointed by the King. Continental, important term here because it refers to a body of government in the North American Continent i.e. a separate one from the one on the European Continent. It was written by a Congress who wanted to be able to have authority of the colonies that were governed by the Crown. These men did not want those appointed governors to have any authority over them. Remember this was all done in succession from the Kings rule. These were all men with a common goal of independence.

Those fact are key here, especially the fact that these were men with a common goal. They were working together; this is not the mindset of today’s Congress, but then again they are still of the mindset of not being ruled by anyone; remember their was no President at the time and wanted the king to have no authority over them. They didn’t want a future President to either, they still had a nasty taste in their mouth from the monarchy.

To my main point. Those men were working together, they had a common goal; why would the allow for a Congress of different goals and ideals, and one that had 4 times the number of members in it when writing this document? It is obvious to me that they never considered the possibility that there would ever be 50 states, resulting in a larger body of government of men who were not trying to reach a goal of independence? This document was a war-time set of rules, not a document defining a set of rules for a completely independant  nation. (Here is a good place to point out that at the time only white Christian men who owned land had the right to vote, in other words all votes were cast by men of the same mindset, values and ideas). I sincerely doubt these men ever considered a nation of such diverse religious and political beliefs. These men allowed for men of different variations of the Christian faith, men with a belief in god. Yes they allowed for differences in the worship of god but they assumed everyone believed in god in the first place. They left no room for non believers. This fact is abundantly clear by the Declaration of Independence which yes does not mention religion or even suggest religiosity, it does specifically mention god and it does directly refer to god.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

These first words were specifically directed at the king; a king who believed he was appointed by god. The founding fathers were disputing the fact that the king was any better than they were.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

These words were also directed at the king; a king who believed he was given the authority to speak for god to them. They were telling this king that only god had that authority, that god never gave any man that authority. They were not just taking authority away from the king they were giving authority back to god.

But back to the political body of Congress itself. The Constitution was written with a common goal in mind. these men considered that there would someday be differences in political agendas, which is why the allowed for it in the Bill of Rights. they considered that men would worship god in their own way, and they may have even considered there would be men who wouldn’t worship at all but they did not allow for this in these documents; not believing in god was a crime punishable by death in this new America, these rights they were assuring were for god fearing (white) men only. In other words they never considered that citizens that weren’t white, god fearing and male would ever have the right to vote or would ever be voted for; that women or non white, non believing men or women would ever be part of this body of government. These differences in beliefs result in differences in politics. I am pretty sure they didn’t consider that Congress would be voting on abortion rights; gun control (remember they wanted citizens armed in a country that was occupied by the king’s army). They weren’t considering that someday Americans would seek to arm themselves against them, they were men who shared the desire to not be ruled by a foreign monarch, men who wanted to make sure that no one would ever have authority over them; remember there was no president at the time, they I believe assumed that the future president they were allowing for was, like them, a man with the same goals of being free from foreign rule, while not leaving room for error if this elected president was in fact an agent of the crown who could then take back the authority they had taken away; remember the governors of the colonies were all appointed by the king; they were forming this new government from the top down, not the bottom up. They fulling intended these governors would be replaced with elected ones with the same end goal of separation from the crown.

 

So let’s look at the holes these fact created in this sacred document.

  • any member of Congress can filibuster. A filibuster is nothing more than a member of Congress running out the clock. It isn’t as painless as a quarterback running out the clock to prevent the opposing team from getting another chance to score; for starters the House play clock is several hours in comparison to the NFL’s 15 min quarters. Congress’ strategy to prevent the opposing side from scoring is to talk until the clock runs out and there is no time for a vote. Ted Cruz once read Green Eggs and Ham and talked about his kids for over 14 hours to run out the clock.
  • Congress can also decide to vote against a bill without even reading it. This is equivalent to a judge passing sentence without a trial because he knows that a jury won’t convict. In other words the whole democratic majority rule thing doesn’t apply in Congress, defeating the whole reason the people elect politicians to represent them in the first place.
  • A bill for background checks for someone buying a firearm for example can also have in it a section that states abortion would become illegal if the bill passes. Let’s walk past the fact that one law has absolutely nothing to do with the other; a Senator who was elected because of their policy on gun control would most like vote no on this bill because they also have a right to choose policy. These deliberate conflicts in policies are intended to do exactly what they end up doing; prevent the passing of legislation put up for a vote by the opposing party. And these conflicting parts of a bill can be tacked on to a bill that has already been submitted by the opposing party leaving no room for them to choose not to submit it. In other words legislation is voted on so no one can argue that a bill was not considered.
  • The Presidential duty to appoint judges, emphasis on the word DUTY. By rules of this very Congress the President has an obligation to make sure our judicial system has enough judges to assure Americans their 5th Amendment right to due process, and the right to a fair trial. The idea of this system is that everyone is entitled to an unbiased judgement from the courts. A judge isn’t supposed to have personal views influence decisions; they are supposed to pass judgement based on the letter of the law. In the case of the Supreme Court of the United States however this is the  highest authority of what the letter of the law is. The President has a duty to appoint these judges but according to democratic policy Congress is supposed to approve this appointment to assure that once again the majority will rule, to assure that one individual does not have absolute authority. Today’s Congress has simply decided they again won’t do what is the thing under  job description for Senators and vote for the people who voted for them, are flat-out refusing to do their job. The majority doesn’t rule then does it? Any other employee in any position in any other establishment would and should be fired for refusing to do their job. Hell my 3-year-old twins grandson’s get sent to the wall when they refuse to do what they are supposed to. Imagine if a teacher refused to teach, a teacher that just sat at their desk in a classroom of students saying nothing. Imagine a fireman who refused to turn on the hose he was holding standing in front of a burning building full of people who were locked inside. Imagine a pilot of a commercial airline refusing to fly the plane full of passengers who had no way of getting off the plane. Imagine a mother refusing to parent a child, a parent who just sat there watching tv while their baby was lying in a crib unable to feed itself. Imagine a President who refused to get out of bed; who decided they didn’t want do anything all day while an enemy troops were landing on our shores. Imagine a bank manager who refused to unlock the doors; who decided they just wanted to sit in their office all day playing solitaire on their computer. All these people would lose their jobs. But; no one can fire a member of Congress. Even Presidents can be impeached for minor violations like lying about an affair, but a member of Congress? Nope, they can spend 14 hours reading a children’s book to the most powerful assembly of elected officials in the worlds most powerful nation.

I would be willing to bet that our founding fathers; while writing our founding documents; while founding our system of government considered that their successors would be such immature, irresponsible, apathetic and deceitful manipulators of their hard work; of their dreams and of their ideals.

 

No Representation Without Taxation


The Revolutionary war began when Americans refused to pay taxes without being represented. They coined the phrase ‘No Taxation Without Representation’.

Well I think it is high time and equally valid to state that there should be No Representation Without Taxation.

 

To argue that religious institutions aren’t represented is absolutely not true. To use as an argument for this that we have a separation of church and state due to the First Amendment is equally false. There is no separation. And the First Amendment was written to protect religion from government not to protect government from religion.

Let me give you a good example;

Congress has a Congressional Prayer Caucus, a Chaplain of Congress (with an office in the Capitol) elected by Congress and paid with tax payers money. Military Chaplains are also paid with federal tax dollars. How again is this the separation of Church and State? How is this not a violation of the First Amendment? It isn’t.

Congress has had a Chaplain since 1774, no that is not a typo, the office of House and Senate Chaplain came to be before the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration Independence was written.

Here are the requirements for Tax Exempt Status per the IRS

Tax-Exempt Status

Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):

  •  the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;
  •  net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;
  •  no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;
  •  the organization may not intervene in political campaigns;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

IRC Section 501(c)(3)

All organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:  

  • their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual;
  •  they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests;
  •  they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation;
  •  they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

 

Congress even wrote special legislation regarding the IRS’ right to audit churches and religious institutions;

Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church

Tax Inquiries and Examinations of Churches

Congress has imposed special limitations, found in section 7611 of the Internal Revenue Code, on how and when the IRS may conduct civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. The IRS may begin a church tax inquiry only if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes, on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing, that an organization claiming to be a church or convention or association of churches may not qualify for exemption, may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business (within the meaning of IRC § 513), may otherwise be engaged in taxable activities or may have entered into an IRC § 4958 excess benefit transaction with a disqualified person.

Now let’s look at how much this elected office pays;

Total Salary Expenditures

 

I fail to see how being an elected member of Congress does not influence legislation.

From an article by Paul Singer, USA Today;

“We do what we can to make sure that legislation emerges with what we believe to be American, Christian values,” said caucus member John Fleming, R-La. “We believe that a democracy is only functional if there is a certain level of virtuousness among the nation. Freedom also requires a certain responsibility and that requires a certain moral code. The moral code that we as Americans have lived by for over 200 years is based on what? The Ten Commandments.” 

Rep Randy Forbes VA  and a dozen other Prayer Caucus members traveled to North Carolina in March to launch an initiative called PrayUSA, asking government officials and other to sign a resolution calling for prayer. The initiative is part of “a tactical strategy to effectively challenge the growing anti-faith movement in our Country,” the foundation says.

And the foundation blog advocates strongly for the defense of conservative Christians like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was briefly jailed for refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

“Criminalizing Christianity is not the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers,” reads a blog post on the foundation website about the Kim Davis saga. “Sadly, the balance of power in our country is being undermined within the legislative branch and increasingly supplanted by both executive fiat and judicial tyranny. The government was never designed to replace God and therefore, does not have the authority or right to redefine the laws of nature or of nature’s God…..  We are fighting for our freedoms—silence and inactivity will leave us vulnerable and open to further attack. Christian…it is time for us to wake up and be engaged!”

How is this not influencing legislation?

 

 

While the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the a House and Senate Office of the Chaplain stating that it is a tradition and should be respected it is important to remember that slavery was considered a ‘tradition’ as well.

MARSH v. CHAMBERS, 463 U.S. 783 (1983)

CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.(1)

 A statute providing for the payment of these chaplains was enacted into law on September 22, 1789.

Clearly the men who wrote the First Amendment Religion Clauses did not view paid legislative chaplains and opening prayers as a violation of that Amendment, for the practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress.

It can hardly be thought that in the same week Members of the First Congress voted to appoint and to pay a chaplain for each House and also voted to approve the draft of the First Amendment** for submission to the states, they intended the Establishment Clause of the Amendment to forbid what they had just declared acceptable. In applying the First Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, it would be incongruous to interpret that Clause as imposing more stringent First Amendment limits on the states than the draftsmen imposed on the Federal Government.

This unique history leads us to accept the interpretation of the First Amendment draftsmen who saw no real threat to the Establishment Clause arising from a practice of prayer similar to that now challenged. We conclude that legislative prayer presents no more potential for establishment than the provision of school transportation, beneficial grants for higher education, or tax exemptions for religious organizations.

A paragraph from writings by James Madison point out that Madison was concerned about respecting the religious rights of all religious sects;

JAMES MADISON: The tenets of the chaplains elected by the majority shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.

Though Madison did see the payment of the Chaplain by the National Treasury as unconstitutional, what he deemed a violation of the First Amendment was the appointment of a Protestant, not the appointment of a Chaplain.

 

Is The Supreme Court Ruling On Hobby Lobby Right Or Wrong?


I know that my readers and those that know me will assume they know which side of this issue I am on. But they will be wrong.  I have never been shy about my contempt for religion and though this Supreme Court Ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s objection to the company insurance covering 4 kinds of  ‘contraception’ on grounds of protecting their religious freedom I don’t necessarily see this as a religious issue; and the Supreme Court doesn’t see it as only a religious issue, it is a moral one.

It is important to understand that the objection is not against all contraception, it is against Plan B (the morning after pill), Ella (which works up to 5 days after sex) and 2 different IUD’s (Intra Uterine Devices). The argument is that these are aborticides and not contraception. Though I can see their view on Plan B and Ella I do not agree that IUD’s are aborticides, none the less this is the argument.

Here is the section of the ruling that I find to be the most important;
(3) HHS argues that the connection between what the objecting parties must do and the end that they find to be morally wrong is too attenuated because it is the employee who will choose the coverage and contraceptive method she uses. But RFRA’s question is whether the mandate imposes a substantial burden on the objecting parties’ ability to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs.The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. In fact, this Court considered and rejected a nearly identical argument in Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U. S. 707. The Court’s “narrow function . . . is to determine” whether the plaintiffs’ asserted religious belief reflects“an honest conviction,” id., at 716, and there is no dispute here that it does. Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U. S. 672, 689; and Board of Ed. of Central School Dist. No. 1 v. Allen, 392 U. S. 236, 248–249, distinguished. Pp. 35–38.

Let’s pull out this sentence and look at it on it’s own; The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. From that sentence let’s pull out the words moral philosophy. 

I will say that my own personal views on abortion are very conflictive. I think that morally abortion is wrong except in cases of incest and rape. However I do agree with a woman’s right to choose, to a point. This all boils down to ‘when life begins’ dilemma. I am of the opinion that an embryo is not ‘alive’ but a fetus is, this means that after 8 weeks I think abortion is murder. I also feel that by 8 weeks there is no reason why a woman would not have made the decision to have a baby or not. That being said the difficulty lies in what is moral and what is immoral. I find it rather hypocritical of Christians to preach morality given the immoral acts of God throughout the Bible. However we happen to agree on the immorality of abortion, but disagree on when life begins. I admittedly commend the owners of Hobby Lobby for standing by their convictions.

BUT; when I pull out this sentence It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. I have to say hold on. It is this stance of the Court that enables acts like female genital mutilation to not be illegal. Morality must be judged when it is inflicted on another human being. I a woman wants to cut off her own clitoris that is her business, but when she cuts of the clitoris of another female this is immorality at it’s peak. The same applies to circumstances involving keeping someone alive by artificial means and a loved one wants to pull the plug but another loved one cries it is against their religion to do so. If the person being kept alive would not want to be kept alive that way then pull the plug, in turn if the person being kept alive had the religious belief that it would be wrong then don’t do it. This goes for acts of rape and incest as well as any oppression of any other human being or acts of violence against them. One cannot commit an immoral act upon ones self.

 

 

Supreme Court Rules Town Council Prayer Constitutional


The Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the Town Council in Greece N.Y. to continue their practice of prayer before their monthly Town Council meetings, ruling it was not unconstitutional. It was the opinion of the justices that because the council welcomed all faiths who wanted to invoke prayer at the meetings they weren’t violating the First Amendment. It was their opinion that it wasn’t the fault of the council that the town was predominantly Christian and that they should not be expected to extend the invitation to clergy outside the county. The council was more than willing to welcome and in fact encouraged  Buddhists, Hindu’s, Jews, Muslims and even Atheists who wished to invoke prayer before council meetings to do so, I guess the fact that Atheists don’t pray escaped them.

It was also the opinion of the courts that they would uphold the long-standing tradition of seeking guidance from our creator when making political decisions that was started by our founding fathers over 200 years ago. They actually applauded those who were wise enough to seek this divine wisdom that would help them to uphold our countries morals and values that have shaped our political system from the beginning.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that deny a womans access to birth control and to legal and safe abortions. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws regarding the teaching of creationism in public schools while prohibiting the teaching of evolution. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that weren’t passed concerning the violence against women. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that keep effective pain relieving drug marijuana away from those with cancer and other chronic pain patients.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect the religious practice of female genital mutilation. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect the religious practice of polygamy involving underage girls that are denied education past the eighth grade. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect priests found guilty of raping children. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect commanding officers who don’t prosecute  rapists in the military.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that don’t provide freedom from religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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