Sunday, June 27, 2004

Me Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The faith of our fathers
Sat Jun 19, 4:54 PM ET
By Jay Tolson 'Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country, without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel."

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Thus wrote Benjamin Franklin in his 1782 pamphlet, "Information to Those Who Would Remove to America." At least one thing hasn't changed since Franklin penned those words: America remains a godly nation. Among advanced industrialized countries, it is easily the most religious. Some 60 percent of its citizens say religion is very important to their lives, about six times the percentage of the French. But the divine looms even larger in most Americans' hearts than those figures suggest. Some 90 percent say they believe in God--94 percent if you add those who revere a "universal spirit" --while less than 1 percent call themselves atheists or agnostics. It is very possible that an American might still live to a ripe old age without meeting an atheist or infidel. Some say the mystery of American religiosity is contained in a paradox: America is a godly nation because it has kept church and state separate, at least in the sense set forth by the Constitution. "Congress," the First Amendment famously begins, "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . . " Perhaps the greater mystery, though, is that those two clauses did not produce conflicts during most of our history, even though religious sentiments and symbols liberally suffused the public square and much of civic life. But if most Americans have long approved of their civil religion, why have some in recent years found it so objectionable? Much confusion and litigation have arisen from the perception that America's founders intended religion to be strictly a matter of private choice that should never impinge upon public life. That may be as much a misunderstanding of the founders' intent as the view that the founders intended to create an explicitly Christian nation. According to Purdue University historian Frank Lambert, in his book The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, both extremes fail to acknowledge that America had two different sets of spiritual fathers. The "Planting Fathers," particularly the Puritans of New England, sought both to practice their own brand of Christianity and to found a Christian state. Establishing Congregationalism, they supported it with taxes and compelled their chief magistrates to govern "according to the rule of the word of God." The southern colonies, meanwhile, generally enforced Anglicanism, while the middle colonies worked out more pluralistic arrangements. But some 150 years after the Puritans signed their charters, a different group of national leaders, the Founding Fathers, hammered out a new national compact, this one guaranteeing that the state would have no voice in determining matters of conscience. Clearly, much had happened in the years separating the Planting Fathers from the Founding Fathers. While many of the colonial elite had been touched by the skeptical scientific rationalism of the Enlightenment, even greater numbers of common folk were transformed by a powerful religious revival that swept through the colonies in the 1740s. Called the First Great Awakening, it emphasized individual religious experience and subtly challenged the authority of the established sects. By the time the Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia, most of them knew that the people of the new United States were too diverse to be forced into conformity with a national church. Yet the founders never sought to drive religion from the public realm. The words they spoke, the symbols they embraced, and the rituals they established--from state-declared days of thanksgiving to prayers at the start of Congress to military chaplaincies--all made clear that even semiofficial acknowledgment of divine providence was not only acceptable but good. This public piety was distinctly nonsectarian and centered upon what might be called a benevolent theism. But as James Hutson, chief of the manuscript division of the Library of Congress (news - web sites ), argues in his Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, whether they were old-line Calvinists or liberal deists, the Founders believed divine will legitimized their institutions and laws and made citizens more willing to respect them. Even Thomas Jefferson, who thought most Americans would become rationalist Unitarians within a generation or two, considered the acknowledgment of providential authority essential to public virtue. Contrary to Jefferson's rationalist prediction, Americans became even more enthusiastically religious. As University of Notre Dame provost Nathan Hatch shows in The Democratization of American Christianity , during the 70 years after the Revolution, America became an avidly evangelical nation. Baptists, Methodists, and Disciples of Christ not only competed with the older churches but soon outpaced them. "The Congregationalists, which had twice the clergy of any other American church in 1775, could not muster one-tenth the preaching force of the Methodists in 1845," writes Hatch. The Second Great Awakening further weakened clerical authority and blurred doctrinal lines. Populist, revivalist Christianity spread hand in hand with Jacksonian democracy, bolstering the American creed of liberty, individualism, and equality. At the same time, says Yale historian Harry Stout, "Evangelicalism became the extension of nationalism by other means." Just as western expansion acquired sanction as divinely ordained "Manifest Destiny," other national issues assumed theological dimensions. The fight over slavery pitted abolitionist Christians against pro-slavery Christians, each citing Scripture to support their positions. In his greatest speeches, Abraham Lincoln acknowledged God's providence and sought God's support of the Union. As the 19th century closed, the Third Great Awakening got underway, this one inspiring many of the Progressive reforms of the era. Whether fighting corporate monopolies or promoting women's suffrage, the reformers, writes Samuel Huntington in his new book, Who Are We?, "stressed the moral necessity of eliminating the gap between institutions and ideals and creating a just and equitable society." Later, civil rights leaders drew heavily on biblical language to attack the last institutional props of racial inequality. Yet even in the late 19th century, social and intellectual developments began to disturb the broad consensus behind America's civil religion. Waves of immigrants--many of them Jewish or Catholic--found America's civil religion too conspicuously Protestant for their own comfort. And as institutions like schools began to receive public funding, many wondered what prayers or even Bible reading was doing in the classroom. "Unbelief." At the same time, the spread of Darwinian evolutionary principles and new "liberal" interpretations of religious texts sparked a reactive defensiveness among Protestants, with the fundamentalist movement its most militant expression, its leaders deploring a growing godlessness in the public sphere. Battle lines hardened as the 20th century progressed. To many Americans, the Cold War struggle against a militantly atheist ideology required fortification of America's own religiosity. In the Eisenhower era, writes legal scholar Stephen Bates, "Congress opened a prayer room in the Capitol, made 'In God We Trust' the official national motto and required its inclusion on all currency, and added 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance." But secularists scored victories, too. In its 1962 decision in Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not sponsor specific prayers in the classroom. The next year, the court barred state-sponsored Bible readings in schools. And last year, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that "under God" had to be dropped from the Pledge of Allegiance, a decision the Supreme Court overturned on a technicality last week. The courts, however, are a clumsy instrument. Some scholars see the aggressive secularism of litigants going far beyond simple support for the First Amendment. University of Tennessee-Chattanooga humanities Prof. Wilfred McClay, coeditor of Religion Returns to the Public Square, views hard-line secularists as determined to see "unbelief established as the only permissible expression by the state of any disposition toward ultimate things." Ban all traditional expressions of ceremonial deism in the public sphere, McClay says, "and you are going to have a sizable minority of citizens who are going to feel alienated from their own country." Perhaps even a majority. A Pew Research Center poll four years ago found that 70 percent of respondents believe it important to have a president with strong religious beliefs. Yet many Americans find that religious convictions are best kept under civil wraps. (Fifty percent say they are uncomfortable when politicians discuss how religious they are.) Secularists often ignore the fact that civil religion has long served as a prod to civic conscience and as a check on national hubris. As McClay points out, "Expressions like 'under God' in the pledge suggest that the nation is under judgment and subject to higher moral principles. Even people deeply suspicious of civil religion ought to appreciate some sort of higher restraint."

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Saturday, June 19, 2004

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

-John Kenneth Galbraith

Terrorist Group Hezbollah: Endorses Michael Moore's Anti-Military Film

We've said from Day 1 that Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" was an attempt by Moore to undermine the War on Terrorism so he could achieve his political goal of defeating President Bush.

To further bolster that argument - that Moore wants nothing more than for the U.S. to lose the fight against terrorism - today's London newspaper "The Guardian" reports that the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, is trying to help promote the movie.

According to the U.S. State Department, Hezbollah is responsible for the deaths of over 300 Americans as a result of terrorist attacks committed by the group. The most notorious was the horrific 1983 Hezbollah attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon.

Moore Lies

Michael Moore's Letter To Al Jasneeza

Friday, June 18, 2004

A Trick Of The Tail (Banks)

Bored of the life on the city of gold
He'd left and let nobody know.
Gone were the towers he had known from a child,
Alone with the dream of a life
He travelled the wide open road,
The blinkered arcade,
In search of another to share in his life.
Everyone looked so strange to him.
They've got no horns and they've got no tail
They don't even know of our existence.
Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
That lies in the deep distance, he cried
And wept as they led him away to a cage
Beast that can talk, read the sign.
The creatures they pushed and they prodded his frame
And questioned his story again.
But soon they grew bored of their prey
Beast that can talk?
More like a freak or publicity stunt.
They've got no horns and they've got no tail
They don't even know of our existence.
Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
That lies in the deep distance, he cried
And broke down the door of the cage and marched on out.
He grabbed a creature by the scruff of his neck, pointing out:
There, beyond the bounds of you weak imagination
Lie the noble towers of my city, bright and gold.
Let me take you there, show you a living story
Let me show you others such as me
Why did I ever leave?
They've got no horns and they've got no tail
They don't even know of our existence
Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
That lies in the deep distance, he cried
And wept.
And so we set out with the best and his horns
And his crazy description of home.
After many days journey we came to a peak
Where the beast gazed abroad and cried out.
We followed his gaze and we thought that maybe we saw
A spire of gold - no, a trick of the eye that's all,
But the beast was gone and a voice was heard:
They've got no horns and they've got no tail
They don't even know of our existence
Am I wrong to believe in a city of gold
That lies in the deep distance
Hello friend, welcome home.

Do evangelical Protestant fathers really know best?

A Paper On The Subject by Bradford Wilcox

Who Would Al Queda Vote For Bubba? Posted by Hello

A 2002 survey by pollster Frank Luntz of Ivy League professors found that only 3% are Republicans while 57% are Democrats. 84% voted for Al Gore in the 2000 election versus 9% for George Bush.

6% of these Ivy League profs said they were “somewhat conservative,” while 30% said they were “somewhat liberal” and 34% said they were “liberal.” That’s 64% liberal or somewhat liberal versus 6% somewhat conservative (note that none said they were “conservative”). That’s a 10 to 1 margin.

2.4 Million cross AZ border in 1 year

UC Irvine-Graduation Jihad

Bush Should Never Had Waited For UN Permission-The WMD's Live!

The Big Lie-A Democratic Straw Man

Lieberman Calls Fight Against Terrorism in Iraq a “War of Values”
And Warns of the Potential for a New “Evil Empire”

Christian Persecution Alive And Well In China

Former homosexuals and their
supporters will be accused of hate speech simply because they
advocate alternatives to homosexuality.

Oppose the Kennedy/Smith
"Hate Crimes" Amendment #3183

The Senate may be considering a "hate crimes" amendment offered by
Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) during debate of
the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2004.

You should OPPOSE this "Hate Crimes" amendment for the following

· According to Traditional Values Coalition, hate crimes
legislation is dangerous to free speech, freedom of religion, and
freedom of association - Canada and Scandanavia have already moved
to suppress the criticism of homosexuality with laws making it
a "hate crime" to criticize or speak against homosexuality in any

· Hate crime legislation violates the fundamental
Constitutional protections of equal justice by promoting unequal
justice under the law.

· Hate crime legislation creates a two-tier system of justice
where some "victims" are more equal than others under the law. This
unequal justice makes one motivation for assaulting a person more
heinous than another.

· Hate crimes account for a small number of total crimes. Of
the supposed hate crimes reported, a significant number are not
violent crimes, instead they are insults or intimidation.

· Hate crimes legislation is a top priority of homosexual
activists in their desire to gain federal protection as a minority
group under federal law. This hate crime bill will be used to force
Christian business owners to accommodate homosexual and
transgendered workers as well as to punish individuals who may be
critical of homosexual sodomy.

· According to PFOX, hate crimes legislation does not
specifically include ex-gays so that former homosexuals and their
supporters will be accused of hate speech simply because they
advocate alternatives to homosexuality.

There is not much time to act. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU CALL YOUR
including the Smith Amendment #3183. Please call the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard, (202) 224-3121 and ask for your TWO (2) U.S. Senators.

You can also send an email to your two U.S. Senators by using TVC's
CapWiz service

If you are from Virginia, contact:

Senator George Allen (202)224-4024
Or email him at his website at
Or fax him at 202-224-5432

And Senator John Warner (202) 224-2023
Or email him at
Or fax him at 202-224-6295

Please take a moment to refer your friends and colleagues to this
email. Our great strength comes from all of you, and your
willingness to help spread the word! When you ask your email circle
to be involved, it truly makes a difference.

(If any of these links don't work for you, please cut and paste them
into your internet web browser, thanks!)

It's Time For American Jews To Open Their Eyes

The True Face Of The Left Wing

God Tells Kerry To Shut Up

Russia Warned US of Impending Saddam Attack

I guess the Dog and Pony Show on the Commission concluded too early!

Dem.'s promoting voter registration with free beer giveaway

Although it is billed as a bipartisan event, it is widely known that younger voters vote Democratic by a wide margin. Those addicted to big government should like the free suds too.

Friday, June 11, 2004

I'm Outta Here! Posted by Hello

The After Party! Posted by Hello

Congratulations Amanda! Posted by Hello

Amanda's Eighth Grade Graduation Posted by Hello

Amanda Perry! 2 Posted by Hello

Amanda Perry! Posted by Hello

Friday, June 04, 2004

Squeals! Posted by Hello

Can we get in now? Posted by Hello

Ella's Kindergarten Ceremony 6 Posted by Hello

Ella's Kindergarten Ceremony 5 Posted by Hello

Congradulations! Posted by Hello

Ella's Kindergarten Ceremony 4 Posted by Hello

Ella's Kindergarten Ceremony 3 Posted by Hello

Ella's Kindergarten Ceremony 2 Posted by Hello

Ella's kindergarten Ceremony Posted by Hello

Ella's Father's Day Project Posted by Hello