Atheist is Suing Against “In God We Trust” on Currency — Perhaps We Simply Don’t Deserve to Use It

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A California atheist, Michael Newdow, will be in a federal court in Cincinnati arguing that the presence of the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 by infringing on his religious freedom.1,2  He’s ignoring the prominence of religious belief in our republic since its beginnings.  As George Washington said in his farewell address:

“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports… Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?  And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”3

The courts will continue to ponder this thorny issue of how to allow expressions religious belief in our public lives without violating constitutional rights.

Putting that aside, a review of where our U.S. culture is headed strongly suggests that using the motto “In God We Trust” is giving ourselves more credit than we deserve.  Oh sure, we made slavery illegal in this country in the 19th century – a mere eight centuries after “both Saint Wulfstan and Saint Anselm successfully campaigned to remove the last vestiges of slavery in Christendom” 4 (unfortunately, it resurfaced later in more “enlightened” times).  And we started allowing women to vote in 1920, or twenty-seven years after New Zealand did the same and we were also later than ten other countries.5

But, we have had legalized murder of the unborn for 44 years resulting in about 59 million victims6 not counting the physical risks and emotional scars suffered by the mothers.And our latest creation, where we think  the state can redefine the institution of marriage (something not created by the state in he first place) and toss Natural Law out the window with same-sex “marriage.”

These are strange ways to prove we believe “In God We Trust.”

 

 

1 – “Does God have a place on money?, by Chris Graves, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/18/2017.

2https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/house-bill/1308

3https://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/WashingtonFarewell.html

4 – “Bearing False Witness,” by Rodney Stark, Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA, 2016.

5 – “First 15 Countries To Grant Women’s Suffrage, http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/first-15-countries-to-grant-women-s-suffrage.html

6 – http://www.christianliferesources.com/article/u-s-abortion-statistics-by-year-1973-current-1042

7 – “In a series of 1,182 abortions which occurred under closely regulated hospital conditions, 27 percent of the patients acquired post-abortion infection lasting 3 days or longer… Researchers have reported that 3 to 5 percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of the operation’s latent morbidity… Other countries which have legalized abortion have seen the same dramatic increase in ectopic pregnancies…

“Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor… Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style.”  From The After Effects of Abortion,” http://www.abortionfacts.com/reardon/the-after-effects-of-abortion

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Clinton Math: Extreme Carelessness Does Not Equal Gross Negligence

Hillary Clinton’s mismanagement of highly sensitive information as Secretary of State has resulted in ten other people being prosecuted for similar actions in the past — but not her — according to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in a Fox interview last week.

Last year, General David Petraeus was found guilty of “the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, in the form of notebooks he shared with his lover and was given a sentence of two years probation and a $100,000 fine.1  Even though the attorney for Eric Snowden called Petraeus’ punishment “a slap on the wrist,”1 she must be really astonished at FBI Director James Comey who described a longer list of more dangerous errors on Hillary’s part.  It included his admission on July 7 that her server was less secure than gmail.  Yet, he did not move to prosecute, saying she was only guilty of “extreme carelessness.” According to Giuliani, that equates to gross negligence which, by law, requires consequences.

Going back 42 years, President Nixon was compelled (and rightfully so) to resign after his Watergate cover-up.  As a protector of the Constitution, he attempted to be above the law when he interfered with the investigation of a break-in which he likely did not initiate.2

His mistake was serious.  Not only was it illegal, but it irreparably damaged the nation’s confidence in his ability to lead.

Ms. Clinton, on the other hand, actually engineered the violation of statutes regarding classified State Department information and lied under oath.3  When her husband talked for thirty minutes with Attorney General Loretta Young in her personal plane a few days prior to Comey’s decision, it added to appearances of favoritism.4  Even without this Ill-advised meeting, it should seriously undermine her ability to lead PLUS it has put our nation at risk internationally to the point that she is “blackmailable” by foreign governments5  — a much more far-reaching impact than Nixon’s error.

How she can still be considered a legitimate candidate for our nation’s highest office after she put herself above our nation’s security defies logic.

We have come across something more flawed than the new math of the 1960’s and the current Common Core.  It’s called Clinton math where one’s position in office magically changes the final outcome regardless of the facts.

The distortion of logic gives us this:

Extreme Carelessness + Lying Under Oath + Bill Clinton + Loretta Young = free, I mean, three.

 

 

1 –“At issue are ‘black books’ — eight notebooks in which Petraeus kept highly classified information that the government says included ‘the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings, and defendant David Howell Petraeus’s discussions with the President of the United States of America.’”

“That description comes from court documents that were filed along with the plea deal. The documents also included an email in which Petraeus promises to give the black books to Paula Broadwell, his biographer with whom he was having an affair.”

“The government also said that Petraeus gave false statements to FBI agents about giving Broadwell the notebooks, and that he also falsely swore when he left the CIA in 2012 that he did not have any classified material in his possession or control.”

“The black books were found in 2013, after the FBI conducted a search of Petraeus’ house. They had been sitting in an unlocked desk drawer, according to court documents.” From “Petraeus Sentenced To 2 Years’ Probation, Fine For Sharing Classified Info,” by Bill Chappell, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/04/23/401672264/gen-david-petraeus-will-be-sentenced-thursday-over-secret-notebooks, 4/23/2015.

2 – “Early in the morning of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested inside the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), located in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. This was no ordinary robbery: The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards, raising “hush money” for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members. In August 1974, after his role in the Watergate conspiracy had finally come to light, the president resigned.” From “Watergate Scandal,” http://www.history.com/topics/watergate

3 – “Oops, When Clearing Clinton, FBI Accidentally Proved She Committed Perjury,” by Claire Bernish, http://theantimedia.org/hillary-clinton-perjury/, 7/6/2016.

4 – “Bipartisan Disapproval Follows Bill Clinton’s Meeting With Loretta Lynch,” by Carrie Johnson, http://www.npr.org/2016/06/30/484192533/bipartisan-disapproval-follows-bill-clintons-meeting-with-loretta-lynch, 6/30/2016.

5“(Breitbart News National Security editor Dr. Sebastian) GORKA: Right, which means that she is blackmailable. We know more than 100 emails contained classified information, some of, them TS/SCI, the highest level…

HANNITY: SAP.

GORKA: SAP, special access program — which means that she could be blackmailed by anybody, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran. She was sending classified emails from outside U.S. territory on multiple servers using multiple devices. That means she could be — the second she gets into office, they give her the football with the nuclear codes. North Korea, Iran starts blackmailing her. She should recuse herself from any public office, Sean, instantly!

HANNITY: Colonel Peters, do you agree with that assessment?

COL. RALPH PETERS, U.S. ARMY (RET.), FOX MILITARY ANALYST: Well, yes, I certainly do. And when this all broke — you know, my — I just remembered my interactions with the old KGB in Moscow and here in Washington at meetings. And you know, the Russians must have been stunned. They probably thought it was all an elaborate CIA hoax at first, that no American secretary of state would do this, would be this stupid.” From “Gorka: Hillary Proven Vulnerable to Blackmail by Foreign Governments,” http://www.teaparty.org/gorka-hillary-proven-vulnerable-blackmail-foreign-governments-174700/, 7/6/2016.

Supreme Court’s Logical Decision to Uphold Women’s “Right” to Murder in Texas

In a 5-3 decision released today, the Supreme Court ruled against a Texas law which had two provisions governing abortions in that state.  As much as those of us in the pro-life crowd are understandably disappointed, the ruling makes sense in our self-centered society.

The easy part of the law first.  It required the physician to have hospital admitting rights within thirty miles of his death office.  Texas is a big state with a lot of rural territory.  It’s especially difficult in the western half of the state to be within thirty miles of a hospital.  It would put a very real burden on those wishing to kill an unborn child.  This provision is more appropriate in densely populated areas like New Jersey, Connecticut, Chicago and southern California.

The other section of the Texas law requires abortion “clinics” to be held to the same standards as surgical centers are.  How ridiculous!  These are locations where it’s guaranteed that at least 50% of those entering will die.  Mandating that these places of death have antiseptic  conditions would be like forcing gang members to use only sterile knives and bullets.

Murdering the unborn is nasty business.  Nothing can be done to make it civilized.

Some Topics Which Incite Liberals to Attack First Amendment Right of Free Speech

  1. Defend a timeless moral values or institution such as marriage
  2. Suggest that current climate change is not primarily caused by humans
  3. Attempt to hold a political rally for a Republican candidate in a liberal city as occurred in Chicago yesterday evening when a Trump event had to be cancelled for security reasons

Before we go any further, let’s remember the inalienable rights which are protected by, not granted by, the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”1

(Second refresher, “inalienable” means something that can neither be taken away from nor given away by the possessor.)  Freedom of speech is a basic right.  Slander and libel aside, individuals do not forfeit the right to express their opinions simply because they are not in sync with a local majority.  As John Stuart Mill reminded us:

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”2

Current  Trend

Three examples of the topics listed at the beginning.

  1. “Ben Carson, the noted pediatric neurosurgeon, has become the target of a petition by Johns Hopkins students who want him removed as the medical school’s commencement speaker this spring… Last Tuesday, he told Sean Hannity of Fox News that “marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA3, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.”4 He withdrew later.
  2. “One group of climate scientists is trying a different approach. Dismayed by what they see as a lack of progress on the implementation of climate policies that they support, these 20 scientists sent aletter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.”5
  3. “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled one of his signature rallies Friday, saying he didn’t want to see ‘people get hurt’ after protesters packed into the Chicago arena where it was to take place… Protesters at the rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rushed the arena floor in jubilant celebration after the announcement that he was calling off the event due to security concerns.”6

Those  Whose  Rights  Were  Violated  Are  Not  the  Only  Ones  Robbed

Universities have aided mankind’s progress by promoting open, civilized debate.  When this process is impeded, all are lessened.  John Stuart Mill cautioned:

But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”2

When it comes to Freedom of Speech, all ideas matter.

 

 

1https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

2 – From Mill’s essay “On Liberty,” Chapter II “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion, http://www.econlib.org/library/Mill/mlLbty2.html

3 – “The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States. It works to abolish age-of-consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors and campaigns for the release of men who have been jailed for sexual contacts with minors that did not involve coercion. The group no longer holds regular national meetings, and as of the late 1990s—to avoid local police infiltration—the organization discouraged the formation of local chapters.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Man/Boy_Love_Association

4 – He apologized to those he did not intend to offend with:  “Now perhaps the examples were not the best choice of words, and I certainly apologize if I offended anyone . . . But the point that I was making was that no group of individuals, whoever they are, whatever their belief systems, gets to change traditional definitions. The reason I believe the way I do, I will readily confess, is because I am a Christian who believes in The Bible.”

Yet, we also have “In fact, it was liberal Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor who brought up the issue of bestiality during this week’s oral arguments on a gay-rights case, openly asking if the extension of marriage laws to gays would open the courts up to lawsuits demanding equal marriage rights by polygamists and those who engage in bestiality.”

From “Dr. Carson Banned from a Commencement Speech,” by John Fund, 3/29/2013, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/344291/dr-carson-banned-commencement-speech-john-fund

5 – Going further: “None of the Grijalva 7 was found to have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort, yet there have been significant career consequences for some.”

“The demand by Senator (Sheldon) Whitehouse (D-RI) and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science.”

“The role of these 20 scientists is particularly troubling.  The consequence of this persecution, intended or not, is to make pariahs of scientists who are doing exactly what we expect of researchers: to critically evaluate evidence and publish that work in the scientific literature.”

From “A new low in science: Criminalizing climate change skeptics,” by Judith Curry, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/28/new-low-in-science-criminalizing-climate-change-skeptics.html, 9/28/2015

6 – From “Trump cancels Chicago rally, says he didn’t want to see anyone hurt,” by FoxNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/12/trump-cancels-chicago-rally-says-didnt-want-to-see-anyone-hurt.html, 3/12/2016

Gov. Christie Should Listen to Benjamin Franklin, Sen. Paul “Gets It” — Privacy Matters

For some unexplained reason, Gov. Chris Christie has received praise on news channels for his confrontation with Sen. Rand Paul during the opening Republican debate two days ago. Regarding the issue of the NSA’s gathering of widespread phone data, the governor was attempting to justify this post-9/11 practice because he believes it is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.

Sen. Paul countered that such data collection is contrary to the Fourth Amendment which states that:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (1)

Court Cases Regarding Privacy

In their heated exchanged, Gov. Christie relied on an emotional appeal and did not mention the court case which those in favor of such literally unwarranted data searches often cite. In Smith v. Maryland in 1979, the Supreme Court ruled on a case where a phone company monitored the phone calls a robbery suspect made for three days. Its 6-3 decision declared that the pen register installed on his phone was not a “search.” (2)

Since then, the Court has held “that a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.” In contrast to this, good points raised by the dissenting judges in Smith included Justice Potter Stewart’s that phone numbers are an “integral part” of communication and part of the communication’s “content.” Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote “privacy is not a discrete commodity, possessed absolutely or not at all.” (2) The battles continue to this day. (3) It’s important to understand that in 1979 the Court was not anticipating the advances in technology allowing current widespread data collection (“metadata”).

Gov. Christie is Not in Tune With His Constituents

The public continues to desire freedom from invasion of privacy. As recently as last year, it was reported that the 47 million residents of California and New Jersey (ironically, Gov. Christie’s home state!) were said to have an expectation of privacy in the areas of bank records, phone records and even garbage; all of which have been tried in various courts since the Smith v. Maryland decision. (2)

Two Points Which Would Simplify this Debate

The 9/11 attacks on our country have had an ongoing ripple effect on public opinion and legislative actions. Well-intentioned people in authority such as Gov. Christie fervently want to protect us from a repeat of that terrible day. Unfortunately, they end up submitting the rest of us to the dangerous philosophy that “the end justifies the means.” To his credit, Sen. Rand Paul has tirelessly tried to stop this ever-encroaching power of Big Brother.

In summary, we would all benefit from Benjamin Franklin’s quote:

“People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” (4)

1 – https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

2 – “Smith v. Maryland Turns 35, But Its Health Is Declining,” by Hanni Fakhouri, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/06/smith-v-maryland-turns-35-its-healths-declining, 6/24/2014

3 – Court cases include United States v. Miller (deposit and bank records) and California v. Greenwood (privacy of garbage left on the side of the road for pickup), Ibid.

4 — http://www.whatourforefathersthought.com/Quotes.html

Regarding Private, Family Matters

“Government should not intrude on private family matters,” said President Obama in January 2011.1

“About 78% of Canadians believe that abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor.”2

”In May, 2012, the White House announced President Obama’s opposition to a bill to prohibit the use of abortion to kill an unborn child simply because the child is not of the sex desired by the parents. The White House said that the government should not ‘intrude’ on ‘private family matters.’ (H.R.3541)”3

The message is clear: proponents of baby-killing want to hide behind the “private, family matter” facade as a justification to fighting restrictions of abortion.

As a pro-life individual, I must disagree with them because abortion is an intrinsic evil as it denies the most vulnerable humans of their inalienable right to life. This affects all of society. Abortion is the ultimate child abuse.

Speaking of issues involving families, I am also in favor of laws criminalizing spousal and child abuse in order to protect these vulnerable individuals.

But, then, why isn’t the “pro-choice” crowd opposed to laws dealing with abuse? After all, these are private, family matters.

1 – from “Obama recalls Roe v. Wade, backs abortion rights,” by David Jackson, USA Today, 1/23/2011
2 – from “Misconceptions About Abortion,” http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org. Ironically, the next sentence reads, “Human rights are guaranteed for everyone and are not subject to the whim of the electorate.”
3 – http://www.nrtlc.org, October 2012

From Our “Unifying” Government: Revised Gun Form Creates Profiling Opportunities and Other Misuses of Data

It may have taken 15 years for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to amend its gun-purchasing form and another two years for it to make news, but news it should be.

Form 4473 requires gun purchasers to identify themselves as being either Hispanic, Latino or not and also to choose the appropriate race from among Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white. While gun dealers interviewed by the Washington Times said that the law does not require disclosure of race to buy a gun, to not comply is considered an ATF violation.1

That the “OMB’s (Office of Management and Budget) race and ethnicity standards require agencies to ask both race and ethnicity in a specific manner, and agencies may not ask for one without asking for the other,”2 does not soften this invasion of privacy.

Background

To attempt making sense of this policy, the origins of this data-tracking should be given. In 1997, the OMB issued a revision to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data. The ethnicity and race classifications were to be used in the 2000 Census and “other federal programs should adopt the standards as soon as possible, but not later than January 1, 2003, for use in household surveys, administrative forms and records, and other data collections. In its Supplementary Information the notice stated, “Data were needed to monitor equal access in housing, education, employment, and other areas, for populations that historically had experienced discrimination and differential treatment because of their race or ethnicity.”3 The Obama Administration’s tremendous dislike of the Second Amendment makes “equal access” an unlikely motivation here!

So, where does this leave us?

It leaves us subject to data gathering that is out of control, but we already knew that from other federal examples.

This arrogance of this policy was summed up by Evan Nappen, a private practice firearms lawyer in New Jersey, to The Times, “This issue concerns me deeply because, first, it’s offensive and, secondly, there’s no need for it. If there’s no need for an amendment, then there’s usually a political reason for the change. What this indicates is it was done for political reasons, not law enforcement reasons.”1

From an Administration which shows nothing but disregard for our Constitution, at least it’s consistent.

1 – from “New Policy States That Gun Buyers Should Declare Their Race, Ethnicity,” by Sarah Fruchtnicht, 9/17/2014, http://www.opposingviews.com
2 – ATF spokesperson Elizabeth Gosselin’s emailed response to the Washington Times,” Ibid.
3 – Federal Register notice of October 30, 1997