Seems like every day, almost every hour, something new and mind-boggling hits the air. Another big accounting scandal. Another controversial court ruling. Another suicide bombing in Israel, and another town taken over in retaliation. We’re starting to get almost immune to shock now, with each new breakng story. Yeah, there’s another one. So what else is new?
And through it all, the Shrub has yet to disappoint me. He keeps doing exactly what I would expect from someone of his ilk, no matter how much I might fervently wish that he wouldn’t.
For example, his answer to peace in the Middle East is to join Israel’s refusal to deal with the existing leader of the Palestinian people. Granted, the man may not be the popular choice, and his motives and history are certainly questionable, but when one is dealing with a country (or a group of people that really want to someday *be* a country), one must work with the person in charge, regardless of how one might personally feel. It’s a pity that the Shrub has felt the need to flip flop on his earlier insistence that America is not out to choose a leader for the Palestinian people. Apparently, in the Shrub’s eyes, it’s only a democracy if the person elected falls under his approval.
And then there is this pesky little issue with the Pledge of Allegiance.
First of all, I think that the lawsuit that brought this up in the first place is incredibly idiotic. A person who listens to other people take a pledge but is not required to do it herself is not undergoing injury – not unless she faces retaliation from her peers and/or teachers for not mouthing along with the rest of the class.
But regardless of the way in which it began, I am incredibly relieved that the issue has finally been raised to the courts. Because (and I realize that this makes me unpatriotic and evil, eeeeeevil, I tell you), I fully agree with the decision. Those two words should never have been put in the pledge to begin with. They were only put in there in the first place during an era where if you didn’t agree with the government, you were branded a communist. All hail the freedom of speech, blah blah blah. But the point is, those two words do not belong anywhere in a pledge of allegiance, *especially* in a country that clearly states that its people are granted freedom of religion. They are unconstitutional, and no amount of political bandstanding; no amount of protesting and hollering and wringing of hands can change that fact. And all those little politicians out there hollering out the pledge, or holding prayer sessions, only serve to drive the point further home.
Not that my agreement with the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court means diddlysquat, of course. It’s an election year, so all those in office are jumping onto what amounts to a hugely political bandwagon, and I’m sure that the ruling will eventually be overturned, or else conveniently ignored. . After all, those words “under God” apply to everyone, right? And I’m sure all those bleeding-heart politicians would be just as protective if the word for god was something else, like, say, Jehovah. Or perhaps Allah. Yep. They’d be right out there on the capital steps supporting that one (since it all means the same thing, after all).
But my beef today is with the Shrub. Of course. Because the Shrub, in his infinite (lack of) wisdom, proved once again why I have absolutely no respect for him. This quote is taken from an article posted on MSNBC today:
President Bush on Thursday said the ruling was “out of step with the traditions and history of America” and promised to appoint judges who affirm God’s role in the public square.
I can hold onto my optimism and hope that someone on Shrub’s staff – someone who is slightly more intelligent than the Shrub (and that can’t be all *that* hard to find), will quickly take the idiot aside and point out Article VI, p. 3 of the Constitution which clearly states the following: "but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Or in other words, a judge should be selected based on his or her ability to be fair and impartial; to uphold all laws, especially what is written in the constitution, no matter how unpopular those laws might be, and belief (or lack thereof) in God should have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it at all.
Freedom *from* religion is just as important, if not more so, than freedom *of* religion. The right to freedom of religion doesn't just mean that we are all allowed to attend whatever church we want, or believe in a supreme being and call it whatever name we feel. It also means that we are free to not worship, to not believe in a god, and to not be required to profess otherwise in the name of patriotism and the American way.
But then, it’s a selective view of the world they’ve got, down there in Washington.. Democracy only exists if the American government previously approved the person being elected. And freedom of religion is only applicable if you believe in a god – and only then if it’s the god that the Shrub (and all the other congressional idiots) believe in too.