Friday, December 07, 2007

We pledge allegiance to the Bible. The Old Testament shall be our sole and only Constitution.

Since this has been religion week here we might as well cap it off with a comparison of the speeches by one great man 47 years ago and one not-so-great man just yesterday.

On Sept. 12, 1960 John F. Kennedy gave speech on religion to a group of Protestant clergy outlining his philosophy on that subject and what he saw as the role of the church and the state

But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected president, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

Yesterday Gov. Mitt Romney outlined his own philosophy on religion in our society and though it was meant to echo Kennedy's words, at least in form, in truth it stands in stark contrast to Kennedy's views.

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.


I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test — even by indirection — for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it.


Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed as much for liberty. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America's sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve freedom, for us and for freedom loving people throughout the world. America took nothing from that Century's terrible wars – no land from Germany or Japan or Korea; no treasure; no oath of fealty. America's resolve in the defense of liberty has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of freedom.

To sum up and paraphrase both speeches:

Kennedy- "I am a religious man but my greater loyalty is to our constitution. The separation of church and state is absolute. The government protects our liberties including our freedom to worship as we see fit."

Romney- "I am a religious man and acknowledge that there is a separation of church and state but it shouldn't be enforced in any meaningful way. Liberty is derived from religion and not the other way around.

Forgive me but I'll take Kennedy's America over Romney's any day of the week.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Doesn't it do anything but snow up here? We've had a blizzard every day for the past two months.

Amongst the myriad of proof signifying the increase in global warming I'd like to point you towards a couple of stories. The first was in today's Big O entitled Big, wet storms may become new 'normal.'

The steamy tropical belt around Earth's midsection, birthplace of the powerful storm that pounded the Northwest this week, is expanding much faster than scientists studying global warming expected.

It's now as wide as climate models suggested it would be at the end of this century, new research shows. The rapid growth is another sign that bigger storms carrying more rain may become the new "normal" in the Northwest, especially in fall and early winter.
Snabby's been blogging about the recent Storm of the Century(tm)
this week.
Apparently those of us in the Northwest are going to see more of this. So we got that going for us.

Perhaps more troubling are the findings of NFL Meteorologists- NFL Meteorologists Warn Steaming Black-Guy Heads Occurring Later Every Year.

NEW YORK—Steaming black-guy heads, the traditional sign of approaching winter for generations of football fans, have been occurring later in the season with every passing year, a fact that may be evidence of a climatic change with long-term effects on football itself, top scientists in the meteorological department of the National Football League said in a study released Monday.

"The phenomenon of weather-related African-American supracranial vaporous emission, or 'Steaming Black-Guy Heads,' as it is colloquially known, occurs when cold dry winter air comes into contact with hot, humid, shaven heads of football players, causing their personal water vapor to condense and rise on a column of heated air," the statement read in part. "It is then observed by network cameramen, who overwhelmingly choose to film African-American players due to the dramatic contrasts that result—especially when the player in question is backlit—and beamed to millions of households during time-outs, replay reviews, and other stoppages of play. The viewers then realize that winter has come to America."
Will it be possible for even George W. Bush to ignore this latest scientific evidence? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I know. I also know that anyone who disputes the verdict of an Inquisitor is guilty of heresy.

The great thing about despising the League of Morality Poobas & Religious Whiners that seem to be everywhere these days is there are so many different ways that we lesser angels can stick it to the man. Whether you're driving them bonkers by insisting on using the phrase "Happy Holidays," or spending a few hours refreshing your children's understanding of the science of evolution you're really spending very little effort or energy in the pursuit of driving the Ratzingers, Dobsons, O'Reillys and Donohues of the world absolutely bonkers.

Personally I plan on doing my part this holiday season by taking my kids to see the film "The Golden Compass" which opens this weekend. The protests/ calls for boycott by the "Catholic League" make it THE film to catch for those of us who A) recognize Bill Donohue is a crazy son-of-a-bitch and B) recognize that our children's moral upbringing doesn't hinge on the vigorous application of dogmatic religion. Apparently we aren't alone in that last observation. There are even some Catholics who recognize this as relected in this review of "The Golden Compass."

I want my children to understand that human beings and institutions are fallible. That sometimes those who claim moral authority can traffic in corruption and abuse. I want them to be angry at every wrong perpetuated in the name of God. To question authority. To be feisty troublemakers for positive change. I've told my daughters that no one knows for certain that there's a God or a heaven. I always thought that was the beauty of faith -- that it rests on our willingness to believe in the things we can't prove, to consider, when we look up at the stars or contemplate the elegance of a DNA sequence, the possibility of a higher architecture. I hope that my daughters will find contentment and community in their religion. But I would rather they grow up to be kind, generous unbelievers than sanctimonious, blindly dogmatic Christians.

Amen to that last sentence and pass the popcorn. I'm going to the movies.