U.S. Constitutional Paradox
The people, government and courts of the United States can get very strange. Our money says plainly on the back “In God We Trust.” In the declaration of Independence mentions of “God” we given. In the constitution “freedom of religion” is granted.
We now currently have several actions and resulting court cases that are putting all of this heritage into an ultimate test.
In the 1950’s we added “One nation under God” into our pledge of allegiance and that is being challenged in the courts. President Bush and many politicians are supporting the right to keep this in the pledge, so are most of the American religious organizations. The Supreme Court is going to hear that case in the near future.
In Alabama they recently put up a “ten commandments” monument in a court house, but a high court ruled that this monument must be moved from public area to private area. A high justice in the Alabama court refused to comply and he is on suspension and faces losing his job. That case will not be going to Supreme Court so it is over and done with. The monument must be moved and the Judge faces penalties and other actions for refusing to comply with the prevailing court ruling.
In a third action, prompted mostly by the religious community, President Bush signed a bill in to law that was approved by Congress not once, by at least twice. The last time it was passed President Clinton vetoed the bill. President Bush favors it. This bill would make late term abortions that result in partial birth illegal and the doctors who perform them will face fine and other penalties. The Supreme Court is going to hear that case, the basically modifies Roe v. Wade, another court case that made abortions legal in the U.S. many years ago.
In this last case the “right to life” people often site the Ten Commandments, which the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court has already ruled can’t be viewed in public areas of the Alabama Courthouse. One of the commandments says: “Thou shalt not kill.” Although some of the same people supporting the limitation on abortions (if not the outright idea of making them totally illegal) usually support the right to the death penalty for repeat criminals.
The death penalty was struck down time and time again by various courts for being “cruel and unusual” as a form a punishment, which also violates the U.S. Constitution.
A lot of these say people who favor the commandments, favor abortions, favor the death penalty and favor keeping the pledge of allegiance as it currently is also tend to favor putting people in the electric chair or gas chamber. That’s a religious paradox in it self and worthy of another rant somewhere down the line!
Government seems to want to decide who gets put to death and who doesn’t. Right now our government has sentenced a lot of young men to death in Iraq without due process of law. That seems to be some vague form of post-birth abortion. War is hell. People die in war. This is a war. We send them there. The chances that they will day are modest. Let us also remember that not one person has connected Saddam Hussen or Iraq to 9-11 so this has nothing what so ever to do with Bin Laden, Al Queda or the World Trade Center. This has something to do with the President Bush the son finishing the job President Bush the father chose not to do. Once again, that’s a paradox for a whole ‘nother rant we can get into way down the line...
The paradox here is that the courts are going to tackle making kids in public schools say or not say “god.” The courts have already decided that we can’t view the ten commands written by “god” in public places of the Alabama Court House. The courts are also going to decided if government can regulate the choice of a woman and her doctor making a safe medical choice. Meanwhile government, without the choice of your mother, father or doctor, is deciding if young American’s will face Russian Roulette to death in Iraq.
The idea behind the constitutional protection of “freedom of religion” is to keep different religions from affecting law. On the day Muslims become a majority in the U.S. pick pockets may face losing a hand to swift justice with a knife, because that is the way they seem to perceive punishment! Women are supposed to be stoned for adultery.
The idea is to keep religious views out of legal requirements so that people don’t have to say “hail Mary” before they sit in a court room. So that Jews facing the Inquisition don’t have to convert to Christianity. So that Buddhists or Jehovah Witnesses or Christian Scientists don’t have to follow some rule dreamed up by the Catholics or Presbyterians!
The paradox of American view is going to face some potential realities in the near future as a conservative Supreme Court who refused to over turn the block of the “Commandments” issue like good, conservative, religious old boys are supposed to do (and obviously didn’t) are now going to decide the fate of “One Nation Under God” and a new twist on anti-abortion laws.
This is going to be very interesting.
How these right wing boys pick and choose their fights, sure is a real paradox or logic!