Friday, December 03, 2004

Support Theocracy Or I Will Compare You To the Taliban!

This is awesome. Take a look at what this would-be theocrat has to say about the ACLU after its case against the Pentagon ended the Pentagon's unconstitutional support of a religiously-exclusive organization:

In fact, capitulating to the ACLU – America's version of the Taliban – is
certain to give aid and comfort to our enemies around the globe.
Let's consider this piece of craziness for just a moment. The Taliban was a repressive regime which took control of a nation through violence. The ACLU is non-profit organization committed to preventing the government from oppressing the people through support of civil rights. The Taliban forced women to wear burkhas. The ACLU fights discrimination against women. The Taliban executed people by hanging in soccer stadiums. The ACLU prevents the wrongly convicted from being executed. The Taliban created a theocratic Muslim state run according to Shariah, or Muslim law. The ACLU fights attempts by various theocrats to turn the US into a theocratic state run by religious law.

Hmm. They seem pretty different to me. Maybe the similarities will become clear as I read further. Also, since most fundamentalist Muslims see the War on Terror as a conflict of Christianity against Islam, I fail to see how reinforcing that America is a nation with a secular government (note: not a "secular nation," because most Americans believe in some form of god or gods, but a nation with a secular government that does not promote any certain faith or lack thereof) will give "aid and comfort" to our enemies around the globe. In fact, does this guy seriously think that Kim Jong Il, the mullahs in Iran, al-Sadr, and Osama Bin Laden really care whether or not the Pentagon supports the Boy Scouts or not? Oh, that's right, he probably does. I'm thinking like a member of the "reality-based community" again.

We should, because the decision would appear to contradict the president's own
stated policies toward faith-based charities.
Remember when Bush told us he believed effective religious charities should not be blocked from receiving federal grants and support? If ever there was an effective charity that encouraged faith, it's the Boy Scouts. But that is precisely the reason the
group has been targeted by the ACLU and penalized by the Defense Department.
Here, the author exposes the truth behind the lie of government support of "faith-based" charities. Supposedly, these charities would put aside that spreading their faith is their core mission to serve the needy without proselytizing. But everyone knows that's BS. And the author makes it clear when he accidentally says, "If ever there was an effect charity that encouraged faith, it's the Boy Scouts." He is clearly making the argument that faith-based charities should be given federal money to encourage faith, which is specifically what Bush claims they won't do. The First Amendment, in an attempt to avoid the US becoming a theocracy like the Taliban, expressly forbids such things: "Congress shall pass no law supporting an establishment of religion." If this isn't a frank admission that the Boy Scouts is an "establishment of religion," I don't know what is.

By that token, I think a good argument can be made that Bush should be impeached for proposing and implementing the faith-based initiative. After all, the President's oath is not to the people but to "defend the Constitution," and by peeing all over the First Amendment and trying to destroy it, he is attacking the very thing he has falsely sworn to protect.
The Boy Scouts stand for everything we consider decent in America today.
This is the kind of organization that represents the values the Pentagon is
supposed to be defending. If not, what are we fighting for in Iraq and
Afghanistan? If it is to preserve the ACLU and its perverted values, we might as
well give up now. That's not a cause the American people will get behind.

Wait a minute. Discrimination based on religion is one of the values "we consider decent in America today?" Obviously this guy does. And a lot of evangelicals do. But a whole hell of a lot of Americans, I daresay, the majority, support the idea of religious freedom as expressed in the First Amendment. What is more American than the document on which the nation was founded? Where do our ideals come from if not from that?

And the Boy Scouts represent "the values the Pentagon is supposed to be defending?" The Pentagon serves under the President, who is bound by oath to defend the Constutition. The First Amendment, part of the Constitution, guarantees religious freedom in this country. So, how can anyone possibly make the argument that an organization that expressly discriminates based on religion "represents the values the Pentagon is supposed to be defending?" Because the Constitution clearly dictates otherwise.

In fact, it's time for Americans to recognize the ACLU for what it is – a
determined enemy within, a fifth column adversary, an anti-American army of
litigators, a band of narrow-minded secular fundamentalist extremists who must
be fought as if our very lives depended upon victory.

There ya go! Finally, a conservative admits his true goal, to utterly destroy those who disagree with him. How can those who fight for civil rights in a country founded on the principle of civil rights be said to be against that country? What the hell does "narrow-minded secular fundamentalist extremists" mean? First off, choosing to believe something without evidence to the exclusion of all other possibilities, as Christians do, makes it laughable for them to label anyone else as "narrow-minded."

Secondly, the ACLU deals with the law and civil rights, which, in America, are defined by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as being secular. Not pro-religious, but also not anti-religious. Wanting to keep religion out of goverment protects everyone's religious freedom, including Christians, but Christians just don't realize it. If there were no First Amendment and America had decided, for instance, to become an Anglican nation, the evangelicals, Baptists, and Pentacostals would be the first ones agitating for religious freedom! They only want to tear down the separation of church and state because they assume that their religion will become the official religion. They would not be so sanguine about it if that were not true.

I like the use of the word "fundamentalist." What the hell is he talking about? With religious groups, we know that fundamentalism is the line of thought that the religion has become corrupted over the years and that it is necessary to return to the base scriptures of that religion, such as the Bible for Christianity and the Koran for Islam. But what does it mean to call the ACLU fundamentalist? America is governed by the Constitution and has been since its founding. There's nothing to go back to. The ACLU fights the government to prevent the government from violating the peoples' civil rights as granted by the Constitution, but that's not at all the same thing.

"...who must be fought as if our very lives depended on victory." And here we go again. All-or-nothing, do-or-die, good-vs.-evil, "Kill them all. God will know his own" kind of thinking. Polemics like this lead to the bombing of abortion clinics and the killing of abortion doctors. There's a word for that: terrorism. This is exactly the kind of thinking that Muslim terrorists do to arrive at the conclusion that they have to strap a bomb to themselves and walk into a US marine checkpoint. Who is giving comfort to the enemy now? He makes it even more explicit further down when he says, "The ACLU is the enemy. It must be destroyed." Not defeated. Not beaten. "Destroyed." Replace "ACLU" with "Jews" and see who you might imagine saying something exactly the same.

Nothing short of a grass-roots uprising by the American people is going to
change this decision and future decisions that will rob you of your liberty –
one court ruling at a time.

I will never be able to understand how Christians can confuse the government not promoting your religion with the government robbing you of your liberty to practice your religion. The Pentagon hasn't gone to war with the Boy Scouts. The courts haven't outlawed the Boy Scouts. Members of the military, their children, and everyone else are just as free to participate (if they are Christians) in the Boy Scouts as before. The government, through the Pentagon, simply won't be paying for it with government dollars anymore. That's all. By that logic, since the government doesn't pay for and give me space to hold Star Trek fan club meetings, my liberty is being robbed too. In fact, anything that you would like the government to pay for that it doesn't somehow robs you of your liberty. If we're going down that road, I wouldn't mind the government paying for me to stay home and goof off on the internet all day. (Which isn't far from the case now, but they make me come into the office to do it).

We also need to force President Bush to explain the actions of his Cabinet
in siding with the ACLU over the Boy Scouts. Like the war on terror, there is no
middle ground in this war, President Bush. You're either with the ACLU or you're
against it. You're either with the Boy Scouts or you're against them.

You're either with the Constitution or against it. And sorry, Charlie, but all Presidents take an oath to defend that document, not your right to have the government promote your religion. And Bush didn't "side with the ACLU over the Boy Scouts." Bush loves to give money to religious organizations in defiance of the First Amendment. But his administration was forced to uphold his oath and obey the Constitution this time instead of his personal religious beliefs, since it was a fight they would clearly lose in court, as the Constitution is pretty unambiguous on this matter. His administration did not side with the ACLU over the Boy Scouts. It sided with the Constitution over the Boy Scouts. That's his job. If you don't like it, change the Constitution. But if you don't like the Bush administration defending it -- which they rarely do, and only with great reluctance -- then you're in trouble, because what you don't like is essentially what the President's job is.


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