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

Needle Exchanges Without Rehab Requirement: Society’s “Too Big to Fail” Bailouts for the Addicted

Origins  of  “Too  Big  to  Fail”

The financial debacles of the last few Administrations have brought years of debates about whether “Too Big to Fail” subsidies from beleaguered taxpayers are causing more harm than good.The belief was that, while it was not the taxpayers’ fault that these institutions were failing, the average citizen should “take one for the team” with large financial assistance or risk company bankruptcies and massive job losses.   It has become a sort of hostage situation: “you fix the consequences of our greed or you’ll suffer more than we will.”  Fortunately, many in power are becoming more skeptical of these ransoms.

Unfortunately, there is another scenario where we citizens are being told to do something intuitively counterproductive or face dire consequences even though we are not the cause of the problem.  Drug addictions produce much physical and financial pain to users and frequently to non-users who have property useful for purchasing drugs.

It must be the belief of many social engineers that the human condition regarding addictions is hopeless2 just as Obamacare’s contraceptives and abortifacient policies express the notion that humans cannot suppress sexual urges.  Back to drug addiction: instead of an all-out strategy to help those who wish to regain control of their lives, needle exchange programs are funded by some local governments in order to reduce the additional consequences of irresponsible behavior.3  Those consequences include the spread of hepatitis C and HIV and not only to the substance abusers themselves.4

Financial  Bailouts:  How  Well  Have  They  Worked?

Some of the early federal rescues occurring either after a company failed or before it did have had mixed results at best.  Lockheed (1971), New York City (1975) and Chrysler (1980) settled accounts eventually and may have even yielded a return on taxpayer investment.5

Then there was 1989 Savings & Loan crisis:  “The Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act authorized $293.8 billion dollars to finance the folding of numerous failed S&Ls. The final tab for the bailout was roughly $220.32 billion. Of that total, taxpayers were responsible for about $178.56 billion; the private sector covered the rest.”5

Bailouts have digressed resulting in the “Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) which disbursed $700 billion dollars in Federal (taxpayer) money to clean up the mess because of the financial crisis of 2008.  In many cases, a profit was returned to the federal government.6  However, the bailout did not come to the aid of the average person who was essentially being held hostage again.  Instead, it rewarded those whose mismanagement created the crisis.  Such was the final analysis of TARP.7

Drug  Addiction  Bailouts:  Needle  Exchange  Programs  (NEP)

These programs had their beginnings in Europe during the 1980’s.  San Francisco, Tacoma, Portland and New York City implemented theirs before 1990.By early 2015, there were roughly 200 NEP’s in the United States.Most articles on the subject list data on the reduction of the previously mentioned diseases and other hazards.  Some will state anecdotally that drug usage has not increased with NEP’s in their communities along with a few testimonials of how the NEP encouraged a few to consent to rehabilitation.

Rationalization  Doesn’t  Warrant  Most  Bailouts  or  NEP’s

Even though entering rehab is not a stipulation of receiving free, sterile needles, supporters of NEP’s maintain their actions don’t condone drug use.  However, basic human nature comes into play with both financial bailouts and needle exchanges.  Without legal commitments to reform selfish fiduciary actions, what’s to keep businesses or banks from taking unwise risks — only existing laws which may be insufficient.  They will simply continue to operate as they have believing that a safety net will be thrown in their direction to neutralize the consequences of their actions and the innocent may or may not be spared.

The same goes for those who take unwise risks with their health; and therefore, endanger the health of the rest of us.  Very little will change as long as the focus is on blunting the natural consequences of bad decisions instead of encouraging the responsibility to change destructive habits.

The desire to stop the spread of any infectious disease is certainly noble.  However, before resorting to just any plan, we must remember that “The end does not justify the means… It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances.”10  Needle exchange programs must be modified greatly to be in concert with solving the root cause of the problem of substance abuse and to ensure that “NEP” stands for ‘not enabling people.”

 

 

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_big_to_fail

2 – “This is an understandable argument; however, drug use is not going to end. Therefore necessary measures should be taken in order to help this unsafe practice become a bit safer.”  From “Needle Exchange Programs: Making a Risky Behavior Safer,” by Kimberly Swan, https://www2.cortland.edu/dotAsset/122267.pdf

3 – The most recent occurrence of this: “Campbell County officials made the right decision to support the creation of a needle exchange program to give to give heroin users access to clean syringes.  Studies have shown that, when implemented properly, needle exchanges can limit the spread of diseases including hepatitis C and HIV. Supporting needle exchange programs is not the same as condoning heroin use; it’s good public policy that protects us all from the potential spread of deadly infectious diseases.”  Part of a Cincinnati Enquirer editorial, 5/7/2016.

4 – “These diseases do not remain confined to the network of individuals who are injecting drugs, but are transmitted to their spouses, families and communities.”  From: “Column: Needle exchange programs not only help addicts, but the public, too,” by Dr. Judith Feinberg, http://www.wcpo.com/mobile-showcase/op-ed-needle-exchange-programs-not-only-help-addicts-but-the-public-too

5 – From “History of U.S. Gov’t Bailouts,” https://www.propublica.org/special/government-bailouts

6 – “Bailout recipients,” updated 5/23/2016, https://projects.propublica.org/bailout/list

7 – “Study:  Bank bailout didn’t boost small business lending,” by Stephen Gandel, http://fortune.com/2012/11/14/study-bank-bailout-didnt-boost-small-business-lending/, 11/14/2012.

8http://luxury.rehabs.com/iv-drug-use/needle-exchanges/

9 – “More States and Cities Consider Needle-Exchange Programs to Reduce Spread of Infection,” by the Join Together Staff, http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/states-cities-consider-needle-exchange-programs-reduce-spread-infection/, 3/31/2015.

10 – Taken from paragraphs 1753 and 1756 of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000.

“Birth control best way to avoid unwanted children”

Thus read the headline for a letter to the editor, in the May 10, 2015 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“Unwanted children” – a commonly used term of complete detachment and one of the most condemning of our time.

The presence of these “excess” children is not because we have insufficient resources in our wonderful planet. Rather, it’s from a simple lack of love which views children as a penalty to be avoided when having fun in bed.

It’s a problem of priorities. I’m a fan of professional sports. However, it’s discouraging to see a preponderance of ads in sporting event broadcasts selling sex aids to those of us in the normal, declining activity years, but who are still healthy. Also, there’s no shortage of tax money to assist well-to-do team owners and athletes make even more money – while vulnerable young lives go wanting because of our collective indifference.

This is not to suggest that couples should have unlimited children. There are responsible and healthier ways than chemical means to space children, but that is not the purpose of this article.

Our society’s philosophy has digressed into a self-centered strategy. It reduces the gift of human life to a commodity which is to be managed in the same way we choose pets, breed cattle for market or adjust hunting seasons to prevent animal overpopulation.

Dealing with “Unwanteds” Past and Present

Designating some human lives as “unwanted” has led to the greatest mistreatment of peoples throughout history starting with Biblical accounts. But it is certainly not restricted to pre-modern times. Hitler always comes to mind as the king of savagery, yet his 6+ million murders and countless tortures could be argued to take second place to Stalin’s at least twenty million killings including the seven million by forced famine in 1932-33.1,2 Numerous “ethnic cleansings” is the recent euphemism for eliminating unwanteds.

Our Shame

Our nation is not innocent. Lives lost through displacement of the American Indians/ “Native Americans” including “The Trail of Tears” in 1836 has stained our country’s soul.3

Even today, we get rid of “unwanted children” through the efforts of “clinics’ such as Planned Parenthood whose founder Margaret Sanger wrote: “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

She also wrote about immigrants and the poor: “They are…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ’spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

“Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease…Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks [of people] that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant.”4

We ridicule the barbarism of times past, yet we have proven that technology without wisdom leaves us with no more reason to be proud than our distant ancestors. We must eliminate the term “unwanted children” from our vocabulary for us to be pointed in the right direction.

1 – “Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Primary Megadeaths of the Twentieth Century,” http://necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm

2 — http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/stalin.htm

3 – “The Trail of Tears,” http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears

4 – “7 Incredibly Shocking Quotes From Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger,” Becky Yeh, http://www.lifenews.com/2015/02/23/7-shocking-quotes-from-planned-parenthood-founder-margaret-sanger/, 2/23/2015

Insulted Girlfriend and Advice Columnist are Oblivious to the Real Disrespect

The Tuesday April 7, 2015 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer printed Carolyn Hax’s advice to a young woman who had been dating a guy for five years. She is currently living with him and they are planning to be married.

The Perceived Problem

She was upset because she had learned from a previous girlfriend of his that he had taken this woman on a first date “to a really expensive restaurant (one I have expressed an interest in, but that he always said cost too much). On our first date we went to a mediocre restaurant.”

This led her to write “I feel like crap since I found this out, like he thought she was better.”

Ms. Hax brought up the possibility that perhaps “he was in better financial shape back then, or dumber about how he spent his money.” She added he might have not taken her “seriously when scheduling that first date,” then later changed his mind about her. She tried to help “Second-Class Citizen” gain confidence by saying she shouldn’t need a fancy restaurant to feel good about herself.

The Real Problem

Sadly, this exchange completely missed the most serious issue in the couple’s relationship and one that most “liberated women” of today fail to realize. The lack of respect did not stem from the trivial issue of those first dates. Rather, it began when she accepted the deceptive and cleverly wrapped belief that truly modern women show their power and independence by allowing men to use their bodies without the proper commitment of lifelong fidelity due to a lady.1 Major contradiction.

The Solution

“Second-Class Citizen” and millions like her could prevent serious damage to their sense of self-worth by recalling the lesson from the famous dialogue attributed to either George Bernard Shaw or Winston Churchill, depending on the source:

“ Madam, would you sleep with me for a million pounds?”
“My goodness, Well, I’d certainly think about it.”
“Would you sleep with me for a pound?”
“Certainly not! What kind of woman do you think I am?!”
“Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”2

The dignity of the human person dictates that no one is to be used by another. When a guy lives with a woman in all ways married except the vows, he is doing just that.

1 – Assuming that artificial contraceptives are used in most unmarried living arrangements, the decreasing respect for women was predicted in 1968: “Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” By Pope Paul VI, in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, section 17 under “Consequences of Artificial Methods,” http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

2 — http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/what_kind_of_woman_do_you_take_me_for_madam_weve_already_established_that_c/, 11/22/2009

“Unemployment Rate” and “Infant Mortality” Are Dangerously Misleading

The Internet Age has made information abundantly available in a way not even imaginable a generation ago.  But like most things in life, an excess brings drawbacks.  The flood of data being thrown at us can cause us to forego rational processing in self-defense.  As a result, it can provide opportunities for us to be bamboozled on critical issues.

“Unemployment  Rate”

The term “unemployment rate” was useful at one time.  Back in the simpler days of a “dog-eat-dog” business mentality, it gave our more benevolent federal government the information it needed to gauge funding for assistance programs and so forth.

Now, with a “dog-eat-employee” climate, many workers are pushed into less than full-time status.  So, Big Brother repeatedly ignores that and tells us cheerfully that the unemployment for June held steady at 7.6% which is below the 10% of four years ago.

This disregards the fact that part-time workers increased by 322,000 to 8.2 million. Consequently, we actually have an unadjusted rate of 14.6% for “labor underutilization.” And, as Gary Burtless, a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brooking Institute adds, “Of course, none of these indicators tells us the number of full-time or part-time workers who hold jobs in occupations that are far below their occupational and educational qualifications levels.”1

We can’t fix the problem when we can’t define it.

“Infant  Mortality”

This statistic is the most deceptive of all of the numbers tossed at us periodically.  A week ago, the Cincinnati Enquirer ran its usual Sunday headline feature on a local issue.  That week’s article, “A Crying Shame,” described some of the regional increases in early childhood deaths and an organization, Every Child Succeeds, which is trying to improve the chances of our little ones.2

A noble cause indeed.  It also mentioned the number of “at-risk pregnant women waiting for services.”  However, the data was presented in the standard format: “deaths before age 1 per 1,000 live births.”  As a parallel to the unemployment segment, “back in the good ol’ days” when unborn babies were properly respected and cared for by most, “deaths per 1,000 live births” was an accurate way to judge pediatric progress. Unfortunately, the 6.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in the U.S. in a recent year2 is but a tip of the iceberg risk facing the most vulnerable humans.

My approximation of a revised “baby mortality”:  Due to the fact that abortions are estimated,3  I will use the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life’s approximation of 1,212,400 abortions to be joined with the U.S. Census data showing 3,999,386 live births in the U.S. for 2010.  This gives us a baby mortality of 303 abortion deaths per 1,000 live births.

Our motto should be, “Every Child Born, Then Succeeds.”

 

1 – Jennifer Waters, www.marketwatch.com, The Wall Street Journal, 7/5/2013
2 – Mark Curnutte, “A Crying Shame,” Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/7/2013.  The article included data from many countries (e.g. Canada 4.9, Russia 9.8, Bolivia 39.9, India 47.2 and Nigeria 78)
3 – “…there are no laws requiring abortionists to report to any national agency the numbers of abortions they perform,” Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, www.mccl.org

The Press Protects the Obama Administration With Subtle Tactics, Too

Blatant favoritism for the President is not the sole strategy of his friends in journalism.  The pro-Obama segment of the press (i.e. the majority) seems to know that when the mistruths are too obvious, they can establish instant battle lines which are less likely to hoodwink the unsuspecting.  Conversely, the subtle may accomplish more toward the news media’s goal of projecting a creatively positive image for an Administration whose actions are anything but admirable.

Key issues can be simply ignored or, better yet, printed where they are less likely to be seen.  In that way, it can be said that the story was reported – even though it was essentially invisible.

A recent case occurred in the Kentucky Enquirer (sister to the Cincinnati Enquirer).  The Benghazi hearings began on May 8th with the expected party line split regarding its anticipation.  Those in favor of the Administration were trying to minimize any expectation that serious wrong-doing would be exposed.  Meanwhile, their opponents were convinced that evidence of willful, or at least negligent, fatal decisions would finally come out.

The ramifications of this issue are important enough to warrant everyone’s attention.  The nation must know definitively whether or not those in positions of authority were doing the right things both on 9/11/2012 and the months leading up to it.  Accountability is the key to preventing future tragedies.

So what was the headline on the front page of the May 9th edition of the Kentucky Enquirer?  — none other than “Feeling Stressed Today?” with colorful red and white emphasis.1  The sub-heading mentioned that “Kentucky has all the ingredients that can lead up to a nice raging case of stress,” but that the area “makes for a really, really, really, good place to retire. [Page A6]”  That’s nice.

Where was the article on the Benghazi hearings?2 … On the bottom of Page A3 — and next to two small ads, one about used cars and the other on replacement windows.  Everyone knows that topics of great importance are to be placed next to cosmetic surgery and male enhancement ads.

 

1 – The Enquirer changed its format two months ago to include “more bold graphics.”  (in order to distract readers of its reduced emphasis on covering issues of substance?)
2 – “Ex-diplomat tells of Benghazi attack,” by Donna Cassata of the Associated Press, Kentucky Enquirer, 5/9/2013

Don’t Let Economics Fool You Into Rationalizing Wrongful Actions

The article in last Monday’s Cincinnati Enquirer read “Advocates push for syringe exchanges.”It described an advocacy group’s concern that an increase in intravenous heroin use by white males was leading to higher rates of HIV and hepatitis C.  They were going to approach the Hamilton County health board with a request to set up a syringe exchange.  Their request included a program “to offer clean heroin preparation materials, such as cotton and a small heating dish commonly referred to as a spoon or cap, as well as two applications – either nasal spray or an injection – that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose by restoring the victim’s breathing.”2

As much as we white males might appreciate a little recognition in our politically correct society, this is detrimental to everyone.  Money is an important aspect of our lives, but we must not allow it to obscure the real issues.  Just because “Naloxone kits cost about $40,” and “bought in bulk, syringes cost pennies” plus “the lifetime cost of treating a hepatitis C infection can run from $350,000 to $600,000” are not reasons to forget that the real problem is addiction.

“Used needles are frequently discarded by heroin users in public spaces…” was another reason given to create a needle-exchange program.  While this might partially reduce innocent citizens from being exposed to danger, it is still a case of treating a symptom and not the “disease.”   Citizens face greater overall risk from the crime that ensues from addicts’ needs.  Next, we’ll be hearing about federal subsidies under the HHS mandate to lower the cost of heroin, and thus, reduce crime…

And that “187 municipalities across the United States have needle-exchange programs” (according to program advocates) isn’t jermaine to the argument either.  “Everyone does it” didn’t work when we were teenagers and it doesn’t work in the adult world despite political rhetoric to the contrary.

Why do destructive or disordered behaviors tend to bring out the “enabler” in us as a society?  Instead of facing a social problem squarely, we lean on “they can’t help the way they are wired” or “we’ll appear judgmental.”  If we’re going to help fellow citizens improve their lives, let’s attack the root causes.  In the end, it will lift them up and ultimately all of us.

 

1 – Cincinnati Enquirer, by Mark Curnutte with Terry DeMio contributing, 4/8/2013
2 – The use of the word “victim” is a clever euphemism.  For example, if one drives a car too fast for the conditions and loses control of the vehicle, is the driver a “victim” of the laws of physics?