Wednesday, December 28, 2005


More on the Separation of Church and State

The blog below is taken from an e-mail in response to a question about the fictional wall of separation.


The original concept of federalism was to erect a governmental system that shared power between the national government and the individual states. The Bill of Rights was added to pacify the claims of the anti-Federalists that the new Constitution would trample all over the rights of the states and individuals. Thus, a proper reading of the First Amendment would show that there is no conflict on the issue of school prayer since it was not the national government that created or mandated it.

As Justice Potter Stewart wrote in his dissent in Engel v. Vitale:

"With all respect, I think the Court has misapplied a great constitutional principle. I cannot see how an 'official religion' is established by letting those who want to say a prayer say it. On the contrary, I think that to deny the wish of these school children to join in reciting this prayer is to deny them the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual heritage of our Nation." (Justice Potter Stewart)

We do know that the activist Warren Court established in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS et al. the principle that the Constitution is a living and breathing document that needs to be interpreted in context of the present times. This idea has held force in many cases since so long as the outcome is liberal. Thus the liberals would be in an odd situation of arguing that precedent holds if today's court sought to reverse Engel, (or Griswold, or Roe) even though the current court might say that the nation believes otherwise. In reality, a conservative court would go back to the original intent of the Founders and the Congress that brought in the 13th and 14th Amendments.

Liberals today like to argue that the Fourteenth Amendment extended the Bill of Rights and imposed them on the States. This is pure fabrication. The Fourteenth Amendment was designed (intent) solely to protect the recently freed slaves and their basic rights as individuals:

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section. 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

The sticky bit is in section 5 as it appears to give Congress sweeping powers in light of today's liberal concept of government. But when compared with the texts of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and with the fact that the Blaine Amendment of the late 19th century (that specifically would have extended the First Amendment to include all states in that it would deny public fund support of sectarian schools and was thus part of the anti-Catholic bigotry prevalent at the time) was consistently defeated, liberals can only argue the "time and place" interpretation of the Constitution which means that there are no constants. This, of course, fits nicely with the liberal idea of moral and cultural relativism. If Congress and others thought and believed that the Fourteenth Amendment meant that the Bill of Rights now trumped any state laws in the respected areas, the Blaine Amendment would never have been proposed. But the history of the Blaine Amendment shows that Congress did not believe that the Fourteenth Amendment had imposed the Bill of Rights on to all states.

In Griswold, Justice Douglas rambled on essentially making up the right of privacy and rested his argument on his creation of said right by the Ninth Amendment. His argument is flawed since the Tenth Amendment specifically gives the States rights to regulate actions and create laws. If any state should choose to be silent on a given matter, then Douglas' argument would seem to hold, but since the state of CT legislated against contraception as it was entitled to do under the Tenth Amendment (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people), Douglas made himself a Cafeteria Constitutionalist.

Unfortunately, some states, especially Western ones, added Blaine amendment type language into their charters and constitutions. These may be removed through the political process.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Are anti-Christian Crimes Hate Crimes

Someone stole our nativity scene last night. All that are left are a few small pieces that were broken off of the corner. Despite this act, I doubt that the ACLU and other lefties will want to view this as a hate crime. However, with Christ, we will continue to keep Christ in Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


News Press prints Edited version of Seeley Silliness

Click here if you are curious as to what was kept.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Seeley Silliness

Dick Seeley, a local resident, wrote a letter to the editor of the Glendale News Press this past Sunday attacking someone who had attacked the ACLU and the latter's constant anti-religious bent.

Mr. Seeley wrote, "In essence, religion is a private matter, a matter between an individual, his church and his God. The basic thrust of the ACLU is to support freedom for all religions by prohibiting singular religious displays on public property, property such as city halls, public schools and other public buildings and areas. This objective, and others, lead the author to state in his article that the ACLU 'is the most dangerous organization in America!'"

Mr. Seeley's grasp of U.S History is shoddy, at best. It was not until the bizarre decision of Engel v. Vitale (1962) when the fictional wall of separation between church and state was erected and forced on local and state levels of government. Seeley rests his argument for the separation on the words of James Madison, the primary author of the U.S. Constitution. But until 1962, the courts, states and local governmental bodies correctly interpreted the First Amendment to apply solely to the federal government.

As Professor Thomas E. Woods notes in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, the Blaine Amendment of the 1870s attempted to extend First Amendment restrictions to the states, yet it failed to garner enough votes on several occasions. Later, "in the early twentieth century, issues of church-state relations arose in the supreme courts (of six states) and, in each case, when the court mentioned the federal Constitution at all it was to deny that the federal government had any role to play in church-state issues at the state level."

The actions of the ACLU in its attacks against public displays associated with Christmas logically find their roots in the Engel decision of 1962. Those who understand United States history in its totality are correct to argue that the ACLU's actions in question run afoul of the great traditions of the United States of America and the intentions of the Founding Fathers as a whole. Local governments that decide to erect nativity scenes would be acting in a way that the Founders would have deemed to be consistent with the United States Constitution in general and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments in particular. However, challenging the Engel decision is probably cost-prohibitive. So, I hope those who drive by my Glendale home and similar homes appreciate the nativity scenes that are keeping Christ in Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Whoa! Canada!

The embattled prime minister of Canada, Paul Martin, has recently proposed getting rid of all handguns in Canada. Whether or not this is a politically popular idea is irrelevant so long as Canadians still believe that one of the primary purposes for government is the protection of lives. Countries, such as Australia, that have recently banned different types of guns have seen an overall increase in violent crimes. Why? Crimimanls don't surrender their weapons when law abiding citizens do. What is even more frightening is that I cannot find any stats on Australia through a simple Google search from the Australian government post 2002. The Fraser Institute shows that silly gun laws actually lead to more violent crimes. P.M. Martin should pay attention.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Arnie's Choice

I'll make this brief - no one should be surprised by Arnie's choice for his new CoS. I've said and written it before, but I'll do it again: you cannot trust politicians who have either left the Catholic Church or are pro-choice. They, generally speaking, have traded their eternal values for temporal ones.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Smacking the Pac-10

As a traditionalist, I argue that USC should be playing Penn State (well, actually Ohio State since I would have never let PSU in the Big 10) in the Rose Bowl.

But we are stuck with the BCS that only assures us that it will, by its generally controversial ranking system, match the top two teams in its championship game.

Oregon, by virtue of its position in the BCS final standings, should be in the Fiesta Bowl. I think that in the future, if a team like Oregon is not picked due to its perceived weak travel-fan base, it should still receive the BCS money, and the school that replaces it (Notre Dame) should receive whatever money Oregon gets in its game (this year it is the Holiday Bowl). This rule would apply to all conferences. Thus, the Fiesta still gets its draw, but the better team earns the cash.

And, by the way, anyone who thinks Penn State and "the" Ohio State University are better than Oregon are nuts. Oregon's only loss is to the #1 team in the country. Neither PSU or "the" can argue that!

Friday, December 02, 2005


Captain B's Latest

Click on the link above to read the original and see the VERY funny picture!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Thank you too, Capt. Bourland

I sent some cigars to Captain Bourland, USMC in Iraq for him and his him per his request. Here is his thank you note:


Thank you so much fo the stoags! With Operation Steel Curtain finishing up we have begun to enjoy those cigars you sent. (The enemy) is on the run (and) our last op has dealt the insurgents a severe blow. Because of great Americans like you we can do what we do so well. Thank you for your support.

"Semper Fi"

Gary Bourland
Captain - USMC


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