Cherry's Blog

"The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them." Hosea 14:9b

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Remember Malvo? Probably not.

Flashback: Almost a year ago, I predicted in one of my IDS articles that after finding out the DC sniper was a black Muslim, the media would drop the story like a hotcake. They did. But think about this: If the sniper had been white (as media pundits had foolishly assumed), the Scott Peterson case would seem a soundbite in comparison to the media attention that would have been devoted to uncovering male Caucasian aggression. We'd hear about the trial for years to come, much like the isolated Timothy McVeigh case. Every channel, every broadcast would have focused on the white aggressor. When they found out it was a black Muslim, well, that was the end of that. I ask this though: Was it a memo sent out to the media to drop the case or was it the media's vast inherent bias that signalled the end of the Sniper reporting?

Mr. Tibbs comments on Evansville Courier and Press's support of treason.

Quote of the week runner-ups:

"If Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore were a
self-styled artist who soaked his Ten Commandments monument in
urine, he might have been allowed to keep it on display in the
courthouse and gotten an NEA grant to boot." --W. James Antle III

"Today I stand before you not because I've done anything wrong.
I stand before you because I've kept my oath." --Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Absolute Best Quote of the Week:

"I'd love to play the field and run around." --Bill Clinton at Shea Stadium (pun intentional)

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Mississippi Supreme Court Rules an Unborn Child is a Person

Steven Ertelt says: The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that an unborn child is a person and wrongful death lawsuits may be filed on her behalf.

The 10 Commandments debate continued:

Edward Fudge says this:

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees religious liberty with two clauses: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If asked what these two clauses mean, many Americans would respond that they mean whatever their authors meant when they wrote them. History makes plain what the founders meant. They intended for the newly-formed federal government to keep its nose out of religion within the various states, leaving the states to do just about anything they respectively wished.

Ten of the original 13 colonies had official ("established") state religions, including Anglicanism, Congregationalism and Protestant Christianity in general. Under the First Amendment, the states remained free to designate official state churches. States could levy taxes in order to support the official state church, pay its ministers and build and maintain its meeting-places. So far as the First Amendment was concerned, states could discriminate against all forms of religion other than their own established churches. (Some states themselves passed laws that prohibited these things and they were free to do that as well.) But whatever individual states might do, the First Amendment said that the federal Congress -- the law-making branch of the national government -- could neither promote one form of religion above another (the Establishment Clause) nor hinder any particular religion (the Free Exercise Clause).

I disagree with the remainder of his argument, but I think this historical lesson is telling.

The American Family Association's President, Tim Wildmon has this to say:

I don't see this as a federal issue. It is a state issue. The people of Alabama elected Justice Moore. He has a history. They knew what they were getting. And with his position comes responsibility for the decor of the building grounds. It's none of the federal government's business. How this monument is "establishing" a state religion in beyond me. Does Roy Moore force anyone to read the monument? No. Are people who come before the Supreme Court of Alabama forced to recite the Ten Commandments before they have a trial? No. Is there a First
Church of Roy Moore with required attendance for those who visit the building? No.

Wildmon raises the question of what an establishment of religion really is. To me, establishment is either the creation of a new religion or the endorsement of one religion over all the others. Such an endorsement would entail mandatory worship and acknowledgment of the state-endorsed religion. If a government does none of these things, it is not establishing a religion. I fail to see how placing a ten commandments plaque qualifies as "establishing" a religion. Rather it is recognizing the historical influence the Decalogue played in the founding of our government. How silly of the ACLU to act like our government is just now incorporating these commandments into our legal system. History leaves no doubt that our nation was formed out of Judeo-Christian influences.

Wildmon and Fudge both point out that this is a federal government versus state government issue. The first amendment is specific in that Congress shall not establish government. Later, the fourteenth amendment was used so that certain amendments applied against the states, this being one of them. Using our rational brains though, can't we acknowledge that the Founder's intention was that states should have the right to operate independently of the federal government, with only a few exceptions (post office, etc)? The 9th and 10th Amendments make this clear. In other words, the fear was not a government religion. The fear was a federal government religion that was compulsory on all the states.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Another example of typical leftist behavior: If people won't give in to you, torch their property and don't take personal responsibility for your actions!

I'm still trying to get over this guy's haircut, but he has an article worth reading, on how close the U.S. is to becoming a socialist state.

One comment in particular worth noting:

Of the $10.4 trillion U.S. economy, 19.5 percent is federal spending, more than four times higher than in that bastion of capitalism and individual freedom, the People's Republic of China, where the government only controls 4.7 percent of the economy. Add in the 12 percent controlled by state and local governments, and we have an American economy which is almost one-third given over to government of one form or another.

And a counterargument to the counterargument:

(from Marvin Olasky, editor of World Magazine)

"The American founders and their successors clearly felt free
to depart from the particular civic statutes of ancient Israel,
but they largely based our legal system on biblical moral law,
so there's nothing heinous with showcasing the most famous
statement of that moral law. Almost all Alabama citizens recognize
the Ten Commandments as something special, and displaying them
(as opposed to a cross or a passage from the book of Romans) is
largely inclusive, since Jews and Muslims -- as well as Christians
-- revere the words from chapter 20 of Exodus. Furthermore,
the First Amendment was designed not to keep state rotundas
Bible-free but to keep the federal government from establishing
a denomination (like the Episcopalians) as the preferred group to
which state-required taxes and tithes had to flow. Even with that
amendment now applied to states through the 14th Amendment, no one
is alleging that Moore in his court decisions has replaced Alabama
state law with Leviticus, or that those who do not honor the Ten
Commandments are silenced in his courtroom."

Plain Truth Commentary has a good counterargument to my previous posting:

Should the Ten Commandments Be Posted in Courtrooms?
A listener sends us this question:

I know that the founders of our constitution believed in the God of the Bible. Why then should judge Moore of Alabama be required to remove the Ten Commandments monument? Is there a fair way to allow judges to acknowledge the God of the Bible and still not favor one religion over another?

Our answer:

You are asking "should" in what context? In the context of the United States, its constitution, freedom of religion and religious expression -- or in the context of what we Christians believe? The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently ruled that there is no fair way to favor one religion without giving the same opportunity to another. It is for this reason that many towns and cities invite and encourage Jewish, Islamic and other religions to put up their own displays at Christmas -- because the nativity scenes that are traditionally part of municipal decorations are obviously pro-Christian.

Some Christian churches and ministries make a big issue of Chief Justice Moore, and point to the possible removal of the Ten Commandments monument as another sign of the moral downfall of the United States. However, another Christian perspective is to realize that if we claim American citizenship we Christians should live within the laws of these United States. Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court placed the 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument in the state judicial building two years ago. However, Chief Justice Moore is also a citizen of the United States, and a federal appeals court has ordered the Ten Commandments memorial removed. Federal courts attempt to speak for all of the states as freedom of religion is a right all American enjoy. While Christians do not agree with immorality that may be encouraged by freedoms granted under the first amendment, that same freedom allows us the right of assembly and Christian speech, the right to proclaim Christ electronically, in the press, in churches and privately in homes -- without having paganism oppress or obliterate Christianity. The United States is not a Christian nation, but it is either the best, or one of the very best nations in which to live as a Christian and advance the gospel. But no nation on this earth is completely Christian.

Further, it is ironic that conservative Christians are fighting to protect a stone monument to the Ten Commandments. While some Christians venerate objects or locations as holy, and emphasize works and performance, conservative Protestant Christians have rejected those ideas, emphasizing instead the the holiness that comes from the presence of Christ in one's heart. This theology of salvation by grace through faith stands in stark contrast to the legalism of commandments written in stone -- symbolic of an obsolete covenant that was nailed to the cross some two thousand years ago. Christians would do well to choose battles that are in keeping with their faith -- and put their efforts into sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even under the old covenant, the people of God were commanded not to worship gods of wood or stone -- and that includes 5,300-pound monuments.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Lately, the Supreme Court has tried to appease minorities by ignoring the Constitution's intent and has in turn been hurting the majority as well as our health as a nation.

Case in point: the Supreme's one sentence mandate that Justice Roy Moore remove the 10 Commandments from government property.

The Supreme Court seems to think that religion has no part in government. Boy, are they wrong. You see, our nation, the small 227 year stint that it is, started as a prodigy, a project contingent upon certain elements and would be doomed to fail if these elements were tweaked with or removed. For example, our forefathers strongly believed that if religion was absent from government, our health as a nation would deteriorate, even collapse. Some quotes to prove my point:

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their firm basis, a conviction...that these liberties are the gift of God?" --Thomas Jefferson, the author of the infamous phrase 'wall of separation between church and state'

" is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand." --John Adams

"...the longer I live, the more convinced I become that God governs in the affairs of men..." --Benjamin Franklin

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible." --George Washington

But this is begging the question. Were the founders right? Would our nation erode if morals and religion were abandoned? Several factors seem to indicate they were right:

1. The obvious: our founders established this nation on Christian principles and it worked. Our democratic project of a nation not only succeeeded, it prospered so that the United States has become more successful, more powerful than any nation ever to habitate the earth. Even more so than the Roman Empire.

2. In order to remove religion from government, the Supreme Court has had to make dumb, nonsensical rulings that stray from Constitutional intent. Whenever these justices ignore the document that binds us all together, they are leading our nation to moral decay, practically begging U.S. citizens to ignore and mock the document which is the source of every freedom we enjoy, every safety we experience, and every shred of order we have in this country.

3. What will serve the place of religion? There exists no true absence of religion. The only substitute is paganry and atheism. These are religions in themselves and have never proved prosperous for any society in history. Rather, they have led to moral and political degredation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Apparently the work to ban partial birth abortion is not quite finished. The Susan B. Anthony email listing I received says:

The Senate passed the bill (S.3) on March 13th with the Harkin amendment attached. The Amendment endorses the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision. The House passed the bill on June 4th without the Harkin Amendment or any other amendments.

The problem - the bill must now go to a joint committee so that the language (specifically the Harkin Amendment) can be addressed (and removed). However, pro-abortion Senators have refused to agree to the appointment of a House-Senate conference committee.

So, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which will restrict a brutal procedure that partially delivers the unborn child before crushing the skull and extracting the body, cannot be sent to the President!

This isn't right! Six babies each day are being brutally murdered by this horrific procedure.

Contact your Senators today urging them to support a conference regarding the language of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

An intelligent challenge to the claim that Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship is the panacea to our nation's prison problem.

Apparently studies reflect poorly of the program's effectiveness for reducing recidivism. In reality, participants in the program were more likely to return to their life of crime.

Mark A.R. Kleiman writes:

The poor result of InnerChange doesn't mean that no faith-based prison program could work, but it does mean that this one hasn't, at least not yet. It joins a long line of what seemed like good ideas for reducing recidivism that didn't pan out when subjected to a rigorous evaluation. Maybe my own pet, literacy training, wouldn't do any better in a real random-assignment trial. But that's why you do evaluations; they tell you things you didn't want to hear. If you're honest, you listen to them.

I don't often agree with Slate articles, but this time, I think they're right on.

I am finishing up my last week at IU and will also be helping my best friend as she prepares for her wedding on Saturday, so please bear with me if my posts waver in frequency this week. I will do my best to get some posts up, so keep checking!

Ann Coulter defends her argument that Joe McCarthy never hurt anyone by his allegations of Communism within the U.S. government.

FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) News: Tapes Reveal Cal Poly's Deceptions, but Injustice Remains

Audiotapes in the possession of the Foundation
for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) show that a student at
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) was unjustly punished
for posting, in a public lounge, a flier that some students considered
"offensive." FIRE came to the defense of the embattled undergraduate
student, Steve Hinkle, in April 2003. Despite FIRE's efforts to resolve
the case amicably and discreetly, Cal Poly persists in its injustice,
its deceit, and its abandonment of its moral and constitutional

"There are at least three terrible wrongs here," said Greg Lukianoff,
FIRE's director of legal and public advocacy. "First, Cal Poly tramples
on the First Amendment rights of its own student. Then, they hold a
kangaroo court and trample on his due process rights. Finally, they
shamelessly evade and distort the facts of what actually occurred.
Fortunately for the truth, and unfortunately for the Cal Poly
administration, we now possess the tape recording of Hinkle's sham
trial. This scandalous and revealing case is fully documented."

Read Cal Poly's shameful defense of their egregious acts. Angry about collegiate infringement of first amendment rights? Let Cal Poly know:

Warren J. Baker, President, Cal Poly: (805) 756-6000;
Cornel N. Morton, Vice President for Student Affairs, (805)
Ardith Tregenza, Director of Judicial Affairs: (805) 756-2794;
Robert Griffin, Cal Poly Foundation;

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

An internet friend reminded me that it is time I refresh everyone's boycott list of French goods. I'll admit, I have not been 100% rigid about this boycott (French companies make the best make-up), but like you fellow patriots, I too will make a better effort at making sure those treacherous pansies continue to take a hit in the pocketbook.

Regarding the short list of "FRENCH-OWNED COMPANIES" published as evidence of the depth of French investments and products in the U.S., two of those companies, Total Gas Stations and Houghton Mifflin, were recently purchased by U.S. companies and are now U.S. owned. Some of the other companies on that list are American based with American employees supporting their American families. Thus, if you choose to boycott French products, please only target companies labeled "Product of France."

An online group called Hero Builders has an cute picture to help us enjoy this boycott. I will picture this French guy next time I reach for that Maybelline tube of mascara. Hero Builders also remind us that:

The quickest and most effective way to assist America and get back at France is dump all your stock in French companies traded on the CAC, NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, etc.

Sock it to 'em, Patriots!

Jeff Melton, a Green Party candidate, writes the following in a letter to the editor of Bloomington's Herald Times:

The latest chapter in this long, sad period of world history is the Iraq war. Though ruled by a brutal dictator, Iraq was not a military threat. Years of war, sanctions, and weapons inspections had ensured that Iraq had no "weapons of mass destruction" or other significant military capability, and the Bush Administration knew it. Their deceptions concerning Iraq's alleged efforts to acquire nuclear material from Niger are only the most well-publicized of many lies designed to portray Iraq as a threat.

And, given the U.S.'s long support for dictators around the world and its current repression in Iraq, if you believe that it overthrew Saddam Hussein to bring freedom to the long-suffering Iraqi people, I've got some swampland in Florida I'd like to sell you. What Iraq has that is of interest to our government and its corporate patrons is not "weapons of mass destruction," but trillions of dollars worth of oil. Coincidentally, Mecca is not far away.

To this my friend John Stewart Mill (1806-1873) writes:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself".

Apparently, men are natural born cheaters. Pooping in your pants and passing gas at will are also "natural" behaviors. Doesn't mean we can't curb such behavior in order to act appropriately in society.

Sometimes, environmentalists have a good point. Other times, however, they are rather extreme in their stances, alienating themselves from the general population who would otherwise be persuaded to adopt pro-environment measures. Case in point.

ELF torches new developments, leaving signs saying: "If You Build It, We Will Burn It". As my elementrary education major friend says to her young students, "That is not OK. Make another choice". Wacko environmentalists--burning buildings is NOT ok. Make another choice. Preferably one that does not involve killing or vandalism.