When you can’t even read the Constitution

I clearly hesitate to wade into arguments and battles that just can’t have any resolution in a public forum. They are also discussions I thoroughly like having in small groups or with individuals.

But when an argument is so poor that it causes me to almost throw my computer across a room, I need to say at least SOMETHING on the matter.

Gay marriage.

I will not say anything about it.

Except this.

This column gets something right… and wrong.

What it gets right: There is an obvious clash that has finally come to a head where “freedom of religion” clashes with “human rights” or “civil rights” and that just simply doesn’t end well, in my opinion.

What it gets wrong: A very dumb reading of the first amendment.

The column quotes a legal center from Harvard on the first amendment:

“While the First Amendment was intended to protect individual freedom of religion, speech and assembly, as well as a free press, corporations have begun to displace individuals as its direct beneficiaries. This ‘shift from individual to business First Amendment cases is recent but accelerating.’”

The First Amendment actually says this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The amendment itself does NOT delineate between “individual freedom of religion” and simple “freedom of religion.” It is a dissection by a think tank to get the amendment to shrink freedom of religion to the smallest possible point.

The clash between “freedom of religion” and “human rights” is at full boiling point right now.

Let’s just read the constitution fairly. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Getting Jesus Off the Slopes

This article talks about yet another fight over having something overtly Christian in a public place and offending atheists and other non-Christian groups.

Whether a statue of Jesus should be allowed or not… I have no idea. Just looking at the picture in the article, I would say I’m offended by the portrayal myself. That’s an ugly statue. But I digress…

This is the paragraph I loved in the story:

“I could just say, `Hallelujah,”‘ Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said Wednesday. “It was very obliging of the judge to let it proceed.”

That is just funny to me. An atheist, who doesn’t believe in God (my assumption, anyway), saying, literally, “Praise to God!”

That will keep me smiling for a long time.