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In response to:

No Longer a Republican

WRH Bill Wrote: Dec 22, 2014 12:30 PM
I think Pres. Obama is violating the Constitutional separation of powers, but Congress would be doing the same if it tried to carry out all of Barber's wish-list. Like it or not (and I don't), Obama does have some legitimate Constitutional powers, including the right to veto legislation he doesn't like, which would probably include all of Barber's list (barring a 2/3rds majority to override a veto which the Republicans don't have and are not likely to have). And as a member of the "secular right," I'll acknowledge Barber's right to refuse to vote for anyone except "Bible-believing Christians" if that is his choice, but even if they win, they will still be violating the Constitution themselves if they try to establish "Bible-believing Christianity" (or any other religion) as the official, mandatory religion of the U.S.
*NowI I'm offended. I haven't gotten my check from George Soros. I'm being stiffed! (When I post right-wing thoughts on other venues, I sometimes get accused of being paid off by the Koch Brothers. But the Kochs are stiffing me too!)
I'm 61 years old. Is that old enough to remember the previous golden era you refer to? As best I can recall from my childhood, even then there were people who preferred to wish "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" rather than "Merry Christmas," and it didn't seem like much of an issue. And I didn't say anything about being "superhumanly smarter" than anyone else; indeed, I made a point in my post of noting that I don't share the militant atheist view that religious believers are ignorant fools.
I have some trouble with your own line of reasoning. Christmas is a holiday. Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, the Muslim winter holiday whose name I forget and others are all holidays. So the general term of "Happy Holidays" is indeed "inclusive" of Christmas along with the other winter holidays. If you have such a preference for hearing ONLY about Christmas, I suppose you can huddle in a social cocoon of fellow believers who will never acknowledge the existence of any other holiday. Doesn't seem very fitting for the "season of good will," though. Or is "good will" only owed to fellow Christians?
I'm a non-theist-- I don't believe in God, though I don't view people who do believe in God as ignorant fools. So obviously I don't believe in Christmas as the birthday of the Son of God and savior of humankind. However, I celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas, and I am not at all offended if someone wishes me "Merry Christmas" or sends me a Christmas card with a religious message or image. If there really is a militant atheist campaign to wipe Christmas as a religious holiday out of existence, I don't support it. However, I also have no sympathy for militant Christians who are offended if someone wishes them "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas". The midwinter holiday season is hardly an exclusive Christian invention, but rather is common to many cultures and beliefs; and, as is often noted, many of the customs we associate with Christmas, including the Dec. 25 date itself, actually derive from earlier "pagan" traditions. (Which is why some *very* militant Christians, from the early Puritans to some minor sects today, actually refuse to celebrate Christmas.) Anyway, as I see it, "peace on Earth and good will to men" is a good sentiment regardless of what you think the "reason for the season" is. If you offer me good wishes for the season, I'll accept them and reciprocate, regardless of whether you couch them in terms of "Merry Christmas," some other holiday such as "Happy Hanukkah" (which my wife celebrates, and I enjoy watching her light the candles and sing) or a more generic "Happy Holidays". On the other hand, if you want to carp and quibble about exactly which holiday is being celebrated, then Bah Humbug to you.
I might possibly agree that certain aspects of the Constitution are obsolete and worthy of revision. (For example, the impeachment process has never worked very well, because "high crimes and misdemeanors" are not well enough defined, and because the Congress which the Founders hoped could function like an impartial court is instead a partisan institution in which each party is prone to treat its own officeholders differently than those of the other party. We could use a better mechanism for trying and penalizing real wrongdoing by officeholders.) But in general I'd rather keep the Constitution as is than subject it to any general revision process such as a new Constitutional convention. And I sure don't want officeholders deciding that they are entitled to ignore or defy the Constitution because, in THEIR personal opinion, it is "obsolete".
Regarding the supposed obsolescence of the Third Amendment: Can I take it that you would raise no objection if a squad of U.S. Army soldiers showed up and informed you that, since their barracks and mess hall was overcrowded, they were going to sleep in your spare room and on your couch and eat from your kitchen, whether you liked it or not? If the Third Amendment is obsolete, it's because nobody is trying to violate it any more-- but the principle would still be valid if the government DID try to quarter troops in private homes. The Second Amendment, on the other hand, is considered "obsolete" by some, not because nobody wants to violate it, but because so many people DO want to violate it.
Regrettably, one part of the above article is kind of obsolete. That would be the line, "According to her logic, the first Amendment is outdated because our founding fathers never foresaw the power of the internet, broadcast or cable television, radio communication, or mass-distribution of printed materials." It used to be true that you could draw an ironic comparison between liberals' disdain for the Second Amendment, and their fidelity, despite social and technological change, for the First Amendment. Nowadays, however, an increasing number of liberals and left-wingers seem to feel that the First Amendment is ALSO obsolete; that freedom of expression for people and ideas they don't like should be swept aside.
In fairness, while I certainly don't agree with Prof. Penrose or wish her any success, I do have more respect for people who openly advocate repealing the Second Amendment than for those who say "yes, I support the Second Amendment too" while trying to "interpret:" it into meaninglessness or simply quietly ignore it.
As an individual voter you can make that choice if you insist, not to support a non-believer for public office, though I view it as a bigoted choice. However, I hope you are aware that the Constitution forbids making belief in God an absolute requirement to hold office "no religious test").
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