Conservatives: A chance to sound off and explain

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Or... as you put it... power over healthcare.

    He created a Department to combat terrorism. Unlike Clinton who went around creating special White House Task Forces to investigate drug use in sports.

    Indeed.
     
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  3. shrubby pegasus Registered Senior Member

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    454
    bush didnt create the department, if you recall the dems originally proposed and bush shot it down. then when he realized it sounded good and people would like him for it, it suddenly became a great idea.
     
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  5. top mosker Ariloulaleelay Registered Senior Member

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    458
    No - because we the people would hold the power to fire those who made bad descisions. With private insurance companies, they are allowed to set the rates, they are allowed to control who and does not have healthcare. With a government that works for the people and their betterment (I should have made the analogy of a "tool" - it is used by us), an informed electorate can fire those who make bad descisions. With private healthcare, there is no sense of responsibility or even ethics towards the people of the united states, only profit.

    A little personal update: I went ahead with getting the medecine, and at this point, I am set very far behind in my finances, and will not be able to pay rent - all because ten pills that I absolutely need cost $150.

    Ah, but I digress, universal healthcare is afterall, a socialist idea. Why shouldn't large pharmacutical companies be able to make enormous profits off of human suffering? That's the American way!

    1. The Department of Homeland security was not created to combat terrorism, it was created to react to a threat/attack.
    2. This is not about Clinton. He is completely irrelevent to this conversation.
    3. The Department of Homeland Security is basically a federal force of uniformed security guards meant to keep the people in line. TSA anyone? Have you tried to park in a loading zone (not even leaving the vehicle, simply waiting for an arrival.) Whatever heappened to that ideal of free and unrestricted travel? We are giving up our liberties to become more safe when a government can never protect against terrorist attacks. It's your most simple fascist strategy.



    Still no reply from madanthony on anything relevent on this thread I see...
     
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  7. crazy151drinker Registered Senior Member

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    1,156
    "Liberal means one who continues to hold the constitution and bill of rights as the most important document ever produced by the US government"

    I guess Liberal has many definitions. Some would say that it is for those who want change, whereas conservatives want things to stay the same.

    And as far as supporting the Constitution, the current state and size of the Federal Government (and its Extreme Level of Power of the States [due to federal funding no less]) is hardly within the ideals of the Constitution. Lets not get into the various 4th Branches of Government- ie the EPA, the DEA, Social Security and others.

    I would be a Liberitarian if it wasnt for their unrealistic foriegn policy ideals. Social stuff they have down pat. "Leave me alone."

    The ACLU would represent Stalin if they could.
     
  8. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Top_Mosker:
    You're right about that. When Bush lost the 2004 election I was all like "Yippie". Wait, that didn't happen. And if you have law enforcement on your side, and health care in your pocket... Call me paranoid, call me drunk, but I think you got a dictatorship!

    They shouldn't. Health care should be heavily regulated, not completely controlled by the Government. The Government should not be making what will become known as "Government Asprin". Governments are really bad at a lot of things, the last thing we need them to control is health care.

    I quote you: "it was created to react to a threat/attack."

    "Combat may take place under a certain set of rules or be unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Convention, the code of the Knights of the Round Table, and the Marquess of Queensberry rules."

    Oh but he is. You said "Conservative does not mean states' rights and a smaller government anymore." And I responded with the fact that Dems seem to meddle in sports and create special White House Task Forces to handle these sporty situations.

    I agree with that.
     
  9. Democrats want to help everyone and they are not afraid to take my money to do it. Republicans are all for helping people but with as little extortion (taxes) as possible. When I refer to the liberal elite, I am referring to the self-appointed liberals who believe that they have the right to tell me what to do because they are only trying to help others. I am sorry but the reasons for their actions are not justification for their actions. In Dallas, liberal elites have decided that smoking is bad and now it is illegal for any restaurant to allow smoking sections. They have decided that their health concerns are more important than the individual property owner’s rights. I feel that if you are concerned then you do not have to eat there. That it is permissible to vote with your dollars but that it is wrong to remove a property owners rights without compensation.
     
  10. Undecided Banned Banned

    Messages:
    4,731
    Hello Crazy…been a while:

    1) States vs Federal Power
    Liberal- Federal Power bigger Gov
    Conservative- States Rights smaller Gov


    The Gay marriage amendment seems to contradict that, I thought marriage laws were a state matter in the United States? Both liberals and conservatives in the United States are the same when it comes to using their “political capital”.

    The Current Admin is in reality a Fiscal Liberal with Conservative Values. Not a TRUE Conservative!!

    This administration is acting like a liberal yes, but the substance of its platform is anything but liberal. Firslty the president is spending like crazy, a “liberal” would increase taxes to make sure that at least the balance of payments would in balance; this administration has the worst of both worlds, increasing spending and increasing debt. This president is doing the worst of worlds, cutting taxes to ridiculous levels, and then increasing spending to ridiculous levels. Sadly too many fiscal conservatives are too pussy to vote for the other guy. I wouldn’t say that Bush has conservative values, restricting individual freedom is not a conservative value, but he sure has done it, from Patriot Acts, to his attempts to restrict marriage.
     
  11. Undecided Banned Banned

    Messages:
    4,731
    Democrats want to help everyone and they are not afraid to take my money to do it.

    Which of course is only rational, sure the Democrats can go to far in helping other people, but at the very least they attempt to keep the finances in order so they can help others. I would say that Democrats don’t use the visa card as much as the GOP.

    Republicans are all for helping people but with as little extortion (taxes) as possible.

    The GOP is not for helping people; it is for helping those who can do it on their own while leaving the rest in its wake. Little taxation is just as bad as too much, because a nation does have expenditures, and true republicans would try to cut spending and taxes in tandem to keep the finances in order, not this new Elitist Republican party who wants it all. Higher spending and lower taxes, which leads to debt, which will eventually lead to a economic collapse in the future.

    When I refer to the liberal elite,

    The “liberal elite” are the least of your worries…think about the conservative one for a while? You don’t think they exist? LOL!
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,142
    Source: Washington Post
    Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29266-2005Jan22.html
    Title: "Bible Breaks at Public Schools Face Challenges in Rural Virginia"
    Date: January 23, 2005

    In another sign that "elitism" is more comfortably at home among conservatives, a curious fight has erupted in Staunton, Virginia, at McSwain Elementary School. Every day, students leave the public elementary school and attend a half-hour worship session at Memorial Baptist Church, on the far side of the playground.

    Nor is this sort of thing unusual in Virginia; for some 65 years at least, weekday Bible classes have been part of the education in Augusta County. The practice is now being challenged. A group of parents has asked the School Board to modify or end the program:

    The concern seems to bear a certain merit; Virginia school officials are so determined to raise standards that they've asked for an exemption from the federal "No Child Left Behind" policy because it's slowing them down (see related post).

    Virginia has seen remarkable advances over the last eight years in aspiring to their Standards of Learning program; at the outset, only two percent of Virginia's schools were fully accredited; now some eighty-four percent meet that mark.

    An interesting question is implied by Ms. Riddell's concern: Is our children learning?

    Or, more directly, what are the children learning? Can faith in Jesus be scored according to No Child Left Behind, or even the commonwealth's own Standards of Learning?

    As a matter of resource allocation, is this the best use of school time? What are the priorities?

    While Bible classes in public schools were once common; in 1948, however, the Supreme Court decided in McCollum v. Board of Education that such lessons violate the principle of chuch-state separation. A few years later, in Zorach v. Clauson, the Court approved classes held away from school premises, ruling that while the practice might be educationally unwise, preventing such a practice would be hostile to the religious freedom to abandon wisdom.

    According to the Virginia Council of Churches, weekday Bible classes are held in about twenty locations throughout the state, mostly in rural communities along Interstate 81, and encompassing over 12,000 students.

    As a personal comment, I don't know whence comes this myth of taking children out of the city to raise them. Certainly there are problems specific to the urban and suburban environment, but in this situation we see the challenges of rural diversity.

    Growing up in a small town in Pierce County, Washington, I recall a strange heirarchy: blacks were anathema unless sports were on the line. Hispanics and Asians? To its credit, the community around me was so simplistic that exploiting Asian math skills, or Hispanic car-theft skills, or whatever the going stereotype was, proved too complex to be worth the bother. White was right, and anything beyond that was blasphemous.

    And in Virginia, those escaping the cloistered fear of the cities, or the vampiric sprawl of suburbia find themselves not-so-far removed from conventional society, but subject to an unfamiliar convention. Long-accustomed to having their way, some in Virginia see no reason to adjust in deference to changing times:

    In a parochial school, those who opt out of religious services are not looked down upon with disdain; rather, my religiously-obliged fellows often envied the hour or ninety minutes spent in quiet reflection, devoid of thought, awash in scrawlings of heavy metal lyrics and goth-romance poetry. Some would even trade Mass for time to do schoolwork.

    However, dissent was not tolerated; the school occasionally organized political activism among students, and no counterpoint was tolerated.

    In the public schools, such conditions cannot be. The question does not seem to center around church and state, as it would under McCollum, but rather hinges on the definition of school resources. To remove the activity from school grounds, yes, but to use school time? Is time a resource, and is "school time" proprietary of the schools?

    Liberal answers would say, "Yes", though it is hard to conceive of the conservative response without first shortening the actual school day by a certain period (as much as forty-five minutes) in order to exclude that midday period in which students are not using school resources; e.g. Are teachers paid as part of their teaching duty to supervise the students' transit?

    Furthermore, on the question of, "Is our children learning?" we might consider which sixteen out of which one-hundred schools have yet to meet Virginia's Standars of Education. Ms. Riddell's concern regarding the propriety of Christian education in the school day becomes vital if one can show a strong correlation between schools offering midday religious education and those lacking full accreditation.

    The question of propriety and Standards does find some credibility in Harrisonburg, where a mere 30 minutes of religious studies per week was abandoned in favor of achievement and standards. Staunton school officials, while confident in the constitutionality of their program--including the paying of religious teachers through church contributions--are nonetheless considering the Harrisonburg decision.

    Harry Lundsford, superintendent of Staunton's schools, pointed out that the school does not encourage participation. Children who do not attend stay in the classroom to do artwork or remedial studies. "Generally, new work is not started, because the majority would fall behind."

    This is a turning of an old argument more familiar to suburban schools, or in an urban bilingual setting: Do we raise the standards for our less-accomplished students, or lower the bar for our proficient and even excellent students?

    • • •​

    Perhaps most disturbing is the attitude put forth by Jack Hinton, that the will of the people outweighs all considerations of law, efficacy, and result. Democracy, as the adage says, is the last refuge of the scoundrel, and while we need not imagine Virginia parents supporting religious instruction in the public schools ill-intended, we can certainly wonder at how the democratic process should be construed to give freedom in the form of institutionalization. Andrea Oakes, a parent with two children in the program, says the basis, while Christian, is not of the Jonathan Edwards fare:

    Or, as parent David Cook--who also experienced these classes in his school days--explained, "It equates to six minutes a day of school time ... How that would be detrimental to standards of learning, it's hard for me to fathom."

    If only all arguments about education were so simple; in many cases, the discussion does not reach this far. The politics of accountability, popular in the 1990s, placed more and more fault for the shortcomings of public education on the backs of teachers, many of whom would beg, borrow, or steal six minutes of classroom time if afforded the opportunity. But Mr. Cook's point should not be dismissed outright; the flip-side is that if the thirty minutes plus transit time have no negative effect, we can certainly wonder what positive effect that half-hour is having in Harrisonburg.

    A scholar for the Freedom Forum looks again to the teachers as the source of controversy:

    In other words, concerns such as those voiced by Ms. Ward or Ms. Diduch ought to be put to the teachers, who are failing in their duties.

    If that sounds perhaps a bit odd, you're not alone.

    We can only hope it's so simple.

    Those who don't feel a loss missing out on the good stuff that comes when a public school teaches repentance and submission to Christ in order to reinforce Sunday school have two options: shut up, since it's the will of the people that the government should institutionalize a religion, or miss out on the extra opportunity awarded some students based on their religion.

    Either way, it seems a misappropriation of public education resources, but those who object would no more wish to sound elitist in rejecting this opportunity to have Sunday school taught week-round than they would in sounding elitist by telling underprepared students to blame the will of the people in their communities and stop asking for breaks like job retraining, corporate remedial writing, and other obligations paid for by consumers in order to pave over the pitfalls of poor decisions made in history. After all, each individual chooses for his or her own self, and the issue of whether or not that individual was responsibly prepared to make such choices evaporates come their eighteenth birthday. No ceremony, no rite of passage: wake up one morning, and you're screwed.

    And in the end, the question remains: "Is our children learning?"

    After all, I still don't know how you give a grade for religious faith.

    There must be a reason the question is so rarely asked.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Morello, Carol. "Bible Breaks at Public Schools Face Challenges in Rural Virginia". Washington Post. January 23, 2005; page A01. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29266-2005Jan22.html

    See Also -

    O'Dell, Larry. "Va. Educators Seek 'No Child' Waiver". WashingtonPost.com. January 18, 2005. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18042-2005Jan18.html
     
  13. android nothing human inside Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,104
    Conservatism is reactionary liberalism that likes the aesthetics of tradition. That is, it wants to uphold the past using the methods of modern democratic liberalism. Better than conservatism thus is Traditionalism, which cannot be mentioned on most bulletin boards without censorship (as we have seen here).

    Liberalism, as one person suggested, aims for more state control; one way to say this is that all philosophies aim for more control, but liberalism by its egalitarian nature embraces a central, powerful state in applying "moral positive" changes. I do not believe either liberalism or conservatism has any answers for any of us, regardless of your beliefs, as neither will achieve what it claims to value.
     
  14. btimsah Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    665
    I would say the "media bias" is determined by the location from which the media is giving the news.

    The higher populated area's, with larger news organization's are typically much more liberal than middle america. Every day comon folk if you will.

    A prime example is middle america's loathing of Gay marriage. They hate the idea. Now, look at how the media handles it. It's a great idea! This is how it's seen here, anyways.

    Abortion, the media think's its a womans right. It is, but middle america does not. Lol.

    Basically, the way I see it is the liberal east and west coast media are more liberal than the smaller media outletts. However, the larger outletts get more play and thus we all hear them.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,142
    (Does a lack of a title make this titless?)

    There is something very curious about that juxtaposition. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong. Who are the everyday common folk? Middle America?

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans live more and more in metropolitan areas.

    Key Dates: Population Concentration Ratios, United States: Year; Urban/Rural

    1870: 25.7% / 74.3% (1)
    1900: 39.6 / 60.4 (1)
    1920: 51.2 / 48.8 (1)
    1950: 59.6 / 40.4 (64.0 / 36.0) (1)
    1990: 75.2 / 24.8 (1)
    2000: 80.3 / 19.7 (2)°​

    Everyday common folk are urban and metropolitan.

    Excellent examples, indeed. Undertaking journalism as a career is, as the Armstrong Williams scandal and, to a lesser degree, the Maggie Gallagher discussion illustrate, not like other jobs in certain ways. Certainly we all have our responsibilities, but journalistic credibility is a sensitive issue. Williams thought as a businessman, and that was his downfall; Gallagher just didn't think it important enough to mention.

    Bearing that in mind, if we consider, say, journalism and free-speech issues, we begin to understand the perception among many conservatives that some ill-intended liberalism has subverted the information exchange. It is conservative economic policies which put the demands on news outlets to create a product worthy of commercial consideration. That the liberal ethic happens to side with free expression is something of a coincidence. Additionally, since journalism intends to inform decision making and action, journalists have certain obligations. And here is where another perception of liberalism in the media comes from.

    The facts simply don't help the conservative cause with gay marriage. Compared to what the nation's "values" hope to produce, gay marriage is a good idea. Compared to how the nation expresses its "values", there is the appearance of some conflict.

    Eliminating the religious argument, which can certainly be documented in journalism, but weighs exceptionally little in terms of commentary, analysis, and editorial policy, erases any justification broader than personal distaste for denying homosexual marital unions.

    In the case of a woman's right to choose, yes, that is the fact on record, according to the highest court interpreting the Supreme Law of the Land. The conservative simplification is much the same regarding abortion as it is in the argument over gender, equal rights, and partners. Conservatives simplistically demand a "single gay gene". Likewise in arguing over Roe v. Wade, they don't understand a woman's right because they don't see "one specific right" enumerated in the Constitution. Yet the "activist judges", as many conservatives call them, looked at the relevant portions of the Constitution and decided that between the various factors, a woman's right to govern her own body was, indeed, protected.

    Thus, it's not necessarily any media bias according to politic, but rather a coincidence of political label with the outcome of factual consideration.

    I would add to your excellent examples the evolution debate. The idea of teaching "Intelligent Design" as an "alternative theory" to evolution is absurd. All ID "theory" does is point out the incomplete portions of evolutionary science, and ID offers no testable hypotheses toward its advancement. Without those hypotheses to test, there is no science.

    There is a unique superficiality about the conservative political assertion that equivocates ridiculously. My personal, thematic question to GOP supporters especially is, "It's all the same, isn't it?"

    It's a recurring theme with the GOP. Theological assertions are the same as fact. Intelligent design is similar enough to science to be a viable alternative. Lies are the same as opinions. Adherence to the Constitution is violating the law. It all comes down to a simple disagreement between conservative political assertions and facts. But since conservatives want their opinions to be held as valid, they just whine that it's elitism. When we pause to think about it for even a moment, "elitism" as the GOP accuses it means refusing to validate an opinion not derived from fact.

    • • •​

    Something about memory goes here. Americans, collectively, when acting as a sociopolitical organism, have a ridiculously short memory span. Liberals don't know how to address the problem, and get caught up in it: the DLC that raised Clinton to power is a perfect example--they played the political game very well but abandoned the principles that give liberalism its credibility in the first place. So willing were the Democrats to play the hustle that they became moderate Republicans.

    The GOP, however, attempts to exploit the American memory gap. Many Republicans would settle for civil unions for homosexuals, yet it was less than a decade ago that conservatives rallied a concentrated effort against a single state governor because he chose to endorse and recognize civil unions in his state.

    And it works.

    Who does America trust to keep them safer? The guy who missed the terrorists on the inbound, imagined weapons in Iraq, openly disdains the U.S. Constitution (which he has sworn to protect), and who so stubbornly botched the Iraqi aftermath that it appears very nearly deliberate.

    Yeah. Go figure.

    Listen to Republicans rail against Michael Moore. What they're banking on is that people won't go look up the historical detail to find out that Moore is generally correct to a remarkable degree. Which debate repeats an device discussed earlier: Even Ann Coulter referred to a website criticizing Fahrenheit 9/11 instead of listing her own complaints when asked during a cable-news analysis spot. The problem with that site, though, is that it's very superficial; I cannot imagine watching a film to that degree. No, narrative does not need to match the visual so exactingly. And that difficulty--"how to watch a movie", or "how to read a book", in the case of Al Franken's critics--seems to possess Moore's critics. What it comes down to, though, is that it would be one thing to agree or disagree over how we interpret the facts, but I'm reminded of an encounter between Michael Moore and Bill O'Reilly, in which the latter demanded an apology on behalf of the Bush administration for Moore's "lies" concerning the flights of possible witnesses out of American jurisdiction. O'Reilly's basis for demanding an apology satisfied his own perception of Moore's issue, but it didn't address the discussion of the issue before the movie, included in Moore's Dude, Where's My Country? The point put to Moore was the one he questioned in the book. O'Reilly was pushing a straw man instead of regarding the facts on record. How is that valid? Ah, yes, "middle America" swallows it up, or some-such. There is a difference between disagreeing on the "meaning" of the facts, and arguing whether the facts are even the facts. On the one hand, I tend to blame right-wing radio, but there's something to be said for the people who gobble it up and, well, what goes in must come out, so we shouldn't be surprised at the amount of pure excrement in the conservative political discussion.

    The consistent point in all of it is that the conservative discussion is rich with hyperbole and opinion both, and its palatability comes from its malleability: without any facts to harden the case, you can shape it to say whatever you want, and if conservatives are inconsistent or downright hypocritical, they just saturate the market with the current version and hope people forget what they said once upon a time, or even last year or last week.

    Or, at least, that's my theory on the "media bias" perception.
    _____________________

    Notes:

    Linked files are .pdf downloads.

    (1) U.S. Census Bureau. "1990 Population and Housing Counts: United States (CPH-2)", 1990 Census of Population an Housing. See http://www.census.gov/population/censusdata/table-4.pdf
    (2) Hobbs, Frank and Nicole Stoops et al. Demographic Trends in the 20th Century. Washington: U.S. GPO, 2002. See http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/censr-4.pdf
    ° The year 2000 ratio was calculated from numbers describing "metropolitan" and "nonmetropolitan" populations, rather than "urban" and rural".​
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  16. Karmashock The Doomslayer Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    390
    The middle class is those with enough money and power to get most of nicer things their civilization has without the power to largely influence the politics of that civilization... at least individually. This has always been the core and bed rock of American society.


    The elite or upper class are those that have material and personal power. This group tends to control things directly or indirectly in most countries even if they are democratic.

    The lower class is that group that has neither the money nor the power. They have never run any society as far as I know. They tend to be pawns of the elite if they have any influence over the national politics of any country. In some cases the middle class uses them too, but again, they rarely do anything alone. If the other classes are contented, then there is unlikely to be a problem.


    These are the classes, as I understand them.


    As to current US politics, there is a spit in world view. Each side is using its resources as it sees fit to advance that world view. Currently, the side represented by the dems is ceding power to the side represented by the reps.



    If there are true questions on the matter, then I'm happy to address them. I read the first page or so of the thread and saw more snide incriminations then open questions. So I just answered the original question of the thread.

    Love and peace, Karmashock.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,142
    Virginia Republican Aims For Elitism

    Conservative Elites Demand Special Rights
    Virginia Republicans seek to make public prayer a right

    In a state where students are still instructed in the ways of the Bible as part of their public-school experience, Republican lawmakers from Virginia hope to ice the cake for Christians yet again.

    The House of Delegates approved Carrico's measure last week, 69-27. The bill, HJR 537, faces review in the state Senate Courts of Justice Committee. Proponents are not optimistic about the chances, but intend to fight for the bill's adoption into law.

    Concerns about religion in schools are growing. Officials in Staunton, Virginia, recently voted to continue sending their elementary-school students to Bible study where they learn to repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness.

    Carrico, a retired state trooper, would lecture children on the Bible when speaking against drug and alcohol use. "I think the American people and the courts have been saying that the wall in the separation of church and state has gone too far," said Carrico, "and it's suppressed--I'd even say oppressed -- the Christian faith and silenced it."

    As Virginia sees its religious majority breaking, officials seem desperate to reinforce their waning natural advantage. Here we have an extraneous layer proposed for specious logic. It seems hard, in a country that just saw eleven state majorities vote for religious sentiment and against equality, to claim the Christian voice is oppressed or silenced. It is hard, in a state where elementary (public) school children are given regular Biblical indoctrination, to claim the Christian voice is oppressed or silenced. Delegate Carrico seems to be either overreacting, or fundamentally dishonest.

    It would seem that Carrico's proposal is a feel-good law, an attempt to have something to smirk about. Other than a confusing tangle of lawsuits, it's hard to imagine what this proposal will bring people that they don't already have.

    The wording of the law, of course, is important. If the law is constructed so that people have the right to pray or not, unmolested by others, there will be little harm done aside from an increase in the number of Christians charged with hate crimes. When Staunton schoools considered their Bible program, James Harrington, the head of the school board, expressed his concerns: "If we were talking teenagers, it would be less of a concern to me. The system requires a 6-year-old child to occasionally defend his or her belief system to teachers and classmates. It doesn't happen often, but the system is vulnerable to occasional lapses. We don't have the luxury of leaving it up to our best hopes."

    And this is the general concern. As it is, large groups of students choosing to pray could compel other students to answer for not participating, as Harrington notes of the Bible curriculum. Such molestation needs to be addressed before the things that empower it are given special privilege. After all, if one was free to pray or not without molestation, those schoolchildren calling on non-participants to answer for their beliefs would become criminals.

    We might recall an old case in which a New York college professor, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, won a suit against his employer after being subject to disciplinary action for making certain statements deemed outrageously irresponsible. Dr. Jeffries won, and conservatives nationwide were upset. The ruling, according to conservatives, stated that "Black men cannot be racist". At the heart of the issue, though, is focus and demand. If inequality in society demands a person to examine a situation, they have certain leeway. "Stop the Nigger" vs. "Stop Whitey!" Think about it. The former works against equality, while the other appeals to equality. It comes down to "stop the advancement of equality" vs. "stop the advancement of discrimination".

    So just think about what that means. On the one hand, razzing a child for not praying in the classroom would be unfair, even a crime if the right to pray or not without molestation was directly codified. But the response, that such bullies are, say, "Stupid, delusional idiots with their mental-masturbatory fantasies about Jesus Christ" would not necessarily qualify as the same offense.

    No wonder this is about the right to pray, and not the right to pray or not. Christians and their supremacist ideology are vital contributors to conservative elitism. Having a right, says such a proposal, is not nearly good enough. "We want to feel good about giving it to ourselves again," imply the bill's supporters, "so that we can create a whole mess of legal difficulties for ourselves and blame it on our neighbors".

    Extraneous, unnecessary, and inspired by a spurious argument, such reactionary elitism could be better devoted to a substantial issue facing Virginians.

    At least we know what's important to Virginia Republicans, though.

    (Note on edit: Viewing HJR 537 online, we find that what needs to be amended about Virginia's constitution is its standing endorsement of Christianity. The amended text seems particularly extraneous in its context.)
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Helderman, Rosalind S. "Va. Proposal Would Make Prayer a Right". Washington Post. February 17, 2005; page B01. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30695-2005Feb16.html

    Morello, Carol. "Bible Breaks at Public Schools Face Challenges in Virginia". Washington Post. January 23, 2005; page A01. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29266-2005Jan22.html

    See Also -

    Virginia General Assembly. "HJR 537: Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute". February 4, 2005. See http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051 ful HJ537H1
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005

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