I thought I'd share with you this very well-written response to Liam Payne by a gay teen, regarding Payne's controversial defense of Mr. Duck. (Phil Robertson) Just click here.
Republican Presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, continued to demonstrate why we need more history education in this country, in his interview Wednesday night with Jon Stewart.
Minnesota Representative, Michelle Bachmann, still holds the lead with respect to Republican ignorance of American History, with her comment that the Founding Fathers ended slavery.
But Huckabee is a close second. He started off the interview by reiterating his support for theologian, David Barton, a right-wing lunatic known for peddling his belief that separation of church and state is a myth to simpletons and the occasional white supremacist organization.
David is, I think, very much a historian, and I love his stuff, because he documents everything with source material, and he’s very specific about dates and times and he has a lot of original documents — Federalist Papers, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence...
Notice that Huckabee incorrectly calls Barton a historian, but I'll let that pass, since it's normal for Christians to confuse theology with history. But, I will point out that Barton has zero history credentials. In fact, he barely even has academic credentials, since his degree is actually in religious eduction from Oral Roberts University.
What Huckabee likes about Barton is that Barton challenges the belief that the Founding Fathers intended to separate church and state.
There’s a perception among many that this is a completely secular nation and that the Judeo-Christian worldview was not a very significant part of our creation. I think it was, and that’s what I believe he’s trying to do...Separation of Church and State was a phrase that didn’t appear until a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in  1804, and it was written to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut.
This is an argument frequently used by Republicans. The logic seems to be that since the phrase wasn't used until after the constitution, then the constitution couldn't possibly have meant to separate the two.
This is a preposterous and nonsensical argument. Jefferson used the phrase to easily sum up what Madison established with the First Amendment. Actually, we know that Madison, who authored the First Amendment, wanted to go much further than what the amendment actually states. Madison wanted to disestablish religion at both the federal and state level - the amendment only separates the two at the federal level. The 14th amendment later did it at the state level.
Huckabee, not really understanding the constitution, tried to change the subject, and turned to an earlier document for support.
Well, listen: take the Declaration of Independence, which was the establishment of our nation as an independent country.
Oops, he got the wrong also. The Declaration of Independence did not establish our country, the constitution did.
When it says, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,' if you read the early state constitutions, the states — and originally our government was supposed to be a rather weak, limited, and local form of government, with not a whole lot of power at the federal level.
Incorrect again. Yes, the states were suppose to have more power and the federal government less power, but that was not "our government," it was the Confederation. Huckabee conveniently forgot that we corrected that mistake with the constitution, which created a completely different government - the United States of America.
But in the state constitutions, there are some surprising things regarding the establishment of the government, to make sure that there was a Christian — or a Judeo-Christian — there were often these very explicit languages in the constitutions of states in New England that would probably not recognize those constitutions today.
Yes there are some very surprising things in those state governments. Things like no Jews, Catholics, or Atheists. Is that what Huckabee wants to return to? Which of those groups would he like to eliminate? I'm sorry, "eliminate" is too harsh. I meant, which of those groups would he like to reduce to second class citizenship? I know how PC Republicans like to be.
Thankfully, the 14th Amendment prohibits that today. How inconvenient that must be to Republicans - although it was Republicans who passed it following the Civil War.
Huckabee continued with an extended rant:
Now, what we’ve done over the past 240 years is, we have moved more and more power to the federal government. Let me be fair: this isn’t a Democrat / Republican thing, because Republicans have been just as adamant about moving that power more and more toward the federal government and away from cities and states. The danger is that, the closer you are to the people being governed, the more likely you are to get it right, because when you govern more locally, and in a more limited way
Madison disagrees with constitutional scholar Huckabee. Madison and the Founding Fathers were actually highly suspicious of democracy, precisely because the people would trample on the rights of minorities. It's why Hamilton saw democracy as "mob rule." And it's why Madison wanted the federal government to be able to veto laws passed by the states.
Jon Stewart rightfully called Huckabee out for his support of Barton. Stuart challenged:
But you’re gonna run for President and you call him a historian who you think should teach our children in public school. Now, that is the intersection of state and religion that makes some people — non-evangelical Christians — uncomfortable.
Huckabee responded with more gibberish that was edited out of the broadcast:
Some of us, Jon, are uncomfortable with the idea that we have history books today in which there is more material about, let’s say, Madonna, than there is about George Washington. That’s the thing.
Wow, I'd like to see that book. It's a common Republican tactic. When confronted with logic and reason that you can't respond to, make shit up.
I have no problem with people being ignorant about history. People have lives. They don't have time to read all the scholarship that's been produced on the subject. But at the same time, people who don't have the time to be smart, shouldn't pretend they know something, shouldn't run for president, and certainly shouldn't cite pseudo-historians, who preach to white supremest groups and Nazis.
Copyright © By Jay Jordan Hawke, April 7, 2011.
Jay Jordan Hawke is author of "A Scout is Brave," a novel about anti-gay bullying.
I'm not sure I entirely understand the sacredness of the First Amendment to the constitution in America. As far as I can tell, it is simply a tool used by the cruel and bigoted majority to harass, torture, and terrify a minority. Maybe my lack of appreciation for fundamental rights comes from the fact that I am a minority and hence don't know what it's like. I've never experienced the joy of being able to call someone a name, and relish the power I have over them as they begin to cry. If I called someone a "breeder" in the town I grew up in, I wouldn't be here today. If I expressed even an inkling of my true beliefs, life would have been even more intolerable for me than it was.
Alexis de Tocqueville expressed in best in his class work, Democracy in America.
Chains and executioners: such were the crude instruments on which tyranny once relied. But civilization has today brought improvement to everything, even to despotism, which seemed to have nothing left to learn. Princes made violence a physical thing, but today’s democratic republics have made it as intellectual as the human will it seeks to coerce. Under the absolute government of one man, despotism tried to reach the soul by striking crudely at the body; and the soul, eluding such blows, rose gloriously above it. Tyranny in democratic republics does not proceed in the same way, however. It ignores the body and goes straight for the soul. The master no longer says: You will think as I do or die. He says: You are free not to think as I do. You may keep your life, your property, and everything else. But from this day forth you shall be as a stranger among us. You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you… You will remain among men, but you will forfeit your rights to humanity. When you approach your fellow creatures, they will shun you as one who is impure. And even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they, too, be shunned in turn. Go in peace, I will not take your life, but the life I leave you with is worse than death.
Not surprisingly, de Tocqueville coined the phrase "tyranny of the majority."
Several recent news stories in the past couple of weeks have reinforced my fear and suspicions of the exalted First Amendment. A high school newspaper in Wichita, Kansas, published an opinion piece calling on gay kids to be executed. School and district officials defended the piece by appealing to the almighty First Amendment. Case closed. Discussion over. About a week later, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment was so sacred that anti-gay demon, Fred Phelps, could spew his hatred at a soldier's funeral. And yesterday, the Advocate published an article about a school in Arizona that arrested a bullied gay 5th grader for saying he wished he had a gun to use against the bullies who ruthlessly savage him on a daily basis.
When the law protects the cruel and the vile, and exonerates such abominations like Fred Phelps and other anti-gay bullies, then I will not worship it. I'm a second class citizen in this country. A piece of filth like Fred Phelps has more rights than I do. So, forgive me if I don't give a crap about his civil rights being violated right now. When I am at least equal to his ilk before the law, then maybe I'll start to worship the precious First Amendment.
Read the article that sparked today blog here.
Copyright © By Jay Jordan Hawke, March 12, 2011.
Jay Jordan Hawke is the host of On the Edge and author of the awarding winning Two-Spirit Chronicles, which includes: Pukawiss the Outcast, A Scout is Brave, and Onwaachige the Dreamer.