Humorist Jerry Clower once said that some people are educated beyond their intelligence. But it’s not so much that the smarts are not there.
It is simply that for some the garbage forced into their heads over the course of their lives obscures the otherwise obvious facts of life. Colleges, the media, and Hollywood have all rammed down our throats bizarre ideas and concepts that slowly erode good common sense.
College classrooms have “ethics studies” and “gay studies,” among others. These are not classes; they are agendas. The media is highly selective of what they report and in what light they cast their stories. They do not report, they select.
Perhaps Hollywood is the worst, releasing so much junk that it is almost impossible to shield children from a false view of life that’s as unrelated to reality as their science fiction movies. They are not entertaining, they are indoctrinating.
One place we should not have to worry about garbage spewing from is our courts. Unelected liberal judges, however, thrive on thwarting the will of the people and nowhere are there decisions more mistaken than when God is involved. The battle over the Ten Commandments, public prayer, indeed anything Christian is so utterly ridiculous it defies reason.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is quite clear. It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
You will note the above plainly prohibits the government from establishing a national religion. In other words, the government cannot close down my Baptist church and force me to attend a government-sponsored First Church of the United States. But the second part of the clause is the key: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The meaning could not be clearer but so many lack the basic thinking skills to see it.
A park ranger cannot greet visitors with “Merry Christmas.” A local mayor and city council cannot display the Ten Commandments in City Hall. An inner-city school teacher cannot open class with a prayer. Why? Because those that followed in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers twisted and warped the First Amendment into something it is not.
During the 20th century, the Supreme Court began a war on the Establishment Clause. In the case of the Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District vs. Grumet, Justice David Souter said that the “government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion.” But it does — or at least one branch does. The courts clearly prefer irreligion and seem bent on forcing everyone else to this view.
This failure to understand the simple meaning of the First Amendment has forced students to forgo traditional Christmas programs, prayers at football games, and even term papers that touch on their religious beliefs. There is no “free exercise thereof” when a child cannot sing a Christmas carol.
Those who do not believe do not have to participate — they have that right. But they have no right to prevent everyone else from the “free exercise thereof.”
Those opposed to any mention of God hide behind a falsehood created in our courts — that the clause means not freedom of religion, but freedom from religion. Michael Newdow is the perfect example of someone who buys into this falsehood. He’s whined about all sorts of issues, from “under God” in the Pledge to prayer at President Bush’s recent inauguration. Even hearing a public prayer, he claims, violates his rights.
Newdow says that he became aware of the eminent threat God poses to the United States while inspecting his spare change. "One day I was just looking at the coins — (that) is what brought this up,” he said. “I saw 'In God We Trust' on my coins. I said, 'I don't trust in God,' what is this? And I recalled there was something in the Constitution that said you're not allowed to do that and so I did some research. And as soon as I did the research, I realized the law seemed to be on my side and I filed the suit. It's a cool thing to do. Everyone should try it."
The fact that this sounds like the statement of a 14-year-old should tell you something.
Roughly 80 percent of Americans view the Ten Commandments favorably and I doubt they really care if this guy is offended or not. His sensibilities do not trump everybody else’s beliefs or rights.
But this is not a one nut job show. The ACLU (I think that stands for Anti Christian Liberal Union) boasts a membership of over 300,000. They’ll fight tooth and nail to batter some poor town into submission just because a single local resident feels like others are forcing their religious views on him or her. But the threatened local does not need to call in the ACLU to advise him. I’ll be glad to give him some advice. Cut the umbilical cord, grow up, and realize that nobody cares that you take offense in how they believe and what they practice. Chances are they don’t like what you do, either.
How did we reach this point where people being offended even registers in the national discourse? Are so many of us that shallow that we really believe life revolves around us? But of course it is much deeper than that. The “offended” excuse is the mask of a much deeper, and troubling, agenda.
Liberal thinkers simply want to see the destruction of traditional moral values, to place man (themselves) at the top of existence as the keepers of all moral wisdom. And since God’s, from Whom all morality comes, is the ultimate value system, liberals have no greater fantasy than the eradication of any mention of His name.
This is yet another good reason for smaller government. The less we have under the control of politicians and bureaucrats in our city halls, our state capitals, and Washington, D.C., the less the loonies who get offended so easily will be able to bring lawsuits against any mention of God.
In determining what our founders truly intended, we must look back to the document that gave birth to our country: the Declaration of Independence. “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 … ” Though Jefferson originally wrote “sacred” instead of “self-evident,” both are correct.
They are sacred truths and they are quite obvious. Unless, of course, you are too “educated” to see them.Jeff O’Bryant is an amateur historian and holds two degrees, a bachelor’s in education and a bachelor’s with honors in history. He is a columnist and staff writer for The Catoosa County News and can be contacted at email@example.com.