Reading the news this past week, one could easily conclude we have lost our minds as well as any remaining connection with our Founding Fathers. Three headlines thrice prove we are heading down three wrong roads.
Is someone joking? Could 27 words be any clearer?! “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Just because Washington, D.C., has a pistol problem (with its ban on handguns), the court shouldn’t penalize the rest of the country by resetting national precedents based upon biased constitutional interpretation. The Bill of Rights either encompasses the privileges of every citizen in every amendment or none at all. Back then, even other contemporaneous state gun laws aligned with that federal measure.
As Chief Justice John Roberts asked, “If it is limited to state militias, why would they say ‘the right of the people’? What is reasonable about a total ban on possession?”
Thomas Jefferson concluded, “A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.” That is why Jefferson could encourage his nephew Peter Carr, “Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.”
God in the news
I was also saddened this past week to read about the comic in the University of Virginia’s pre-Holy Week, school-sanctioned student paper. The Cavalier Daily published a cartoon that pictured a naked man smoking a cigarette in bed with a woman in her underwear who asks, “Come on God, be honest – did you really get a vasectomy? I can’t let Joseph find out about this.” The man, who is now revealed as God, replies, “Well, Mary, you’re f—ed.”
How abhorring it is when the freedom of the press is abused to demean the biblical God and the most sacred couple in Christendom, especially right before Easter. If the cartoon depicted Allah or Muhammad, there undoubtedly would have been a national decry of bigotry. Yet it seems in vogue to disgrace Christianity, and so it was brushed under the rug of contempt and barely highlighted by any news agency.
One can only imagine how the university’s eminent founder, Thomas Jefferson, might have regarded such a shameful posting. These types of religious polarities are the exact opposite of what he hoped for that academic institution. He actually expected a respectful unity in diversity on the campus: “And by bringing the sects together, and mixing them with the mass of other students, we shall soften their asperities, liberalize and neutralize their prejudices, and make the general religion a religion of peace, reason, and morality” (To Thomas Cooper, 1822. ME 15:405).
Speak of God and prejudices in the news, I might as well throw in my two cents about Obama’s relation to his pastor. My primary qualm is this: If Obama’s patriotism doesn’t prompt him to challenge his own pastor’s extremist views for more than 20 years, how can we trust his judgment to confront extremists’ views as president for the next four years? One’s church and friends reflect one’s values and beliefs. We simply can’t trust that lack of judgment and inability to confront in the highest office of the land. Since the Revolutionary War and the Barbary Conflict, U.S. presidents have fought to counter anti-American sentiment. We need a president who can oppose unpatriotic radicals, not shrink back in the face of their adversity.
Gays in the news
Lastly, I was appalled when I read the American Family Association report that on Friday, April 25, several thousand schools across the nation will be observing a “Day of Silence,” or DOS, which is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools. (DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group – the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.)
Is encouraging or teaching about homosexuality what our forefathers expected for the public education they founded? Even the most liberal among them opposed it. For example, Thomas Jefferson drafted a bill concerning the criminal laws of Virginia, in which he proposed that the penalty for sexual deviance should be unique corporal punishment. Jefferson’s views were indeed representative of early America.
“Whosoever shall be guilty of rape, polygamy, or sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro’ the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least” (Bill 64, 1779). Can you imagine a statesman proposing such a law today?
While I’m not of course espousing such treatment, I do believe that we should equally and adamantly oppose such aberrant sexual behavior from being condoned or commemorated in our public schools through textbooks or a so-called “Day of Silence.”
You can check to see if your local schools are on the DOS observance list. Whether they are or not, write their administrators to inform them your family will be boycotting the event if it takes place in your vicinity.
To each of the social dilemmas in these three news stories (regarding guns, God and gays), a remedy can be found by turning back the clocks of time and consulting our Founding Fathers. They started this great experiment we call America. It seems to me their wisdom is still fit for us to run it. It is, after all, upon their greatest work that public servants are called to fulfill their oath of office, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States …”