What part of the 1st Amendment does Bryan Fischer not understand?
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer recommended that the United States adopt an immigration policy based upon the Bible, meaning that all immigrants must convert to Christianity and completely leave behind their native practices, beliefs, culture, and language.
If we “did immigration God’s way,” Fischer said, that would mean that “those who came to our shores would be expected to adopt our religious values and traditions — that would mean Christianity and not Islam — and they would leave behind their religion and their god.”
“That would mean leaving behind Islam and Allah,” he explained, as well as adopting Judeo-Christian values, which means they they would not be allowed to complain about the sale or consumption of bacon or the inability to obtain Halal foods.
“If this were to happen,” he concluded, “we would have one god, we would have one law, we would have one culture, and we would have one language.”(Right Wing Watch)
You can watch the gory details above…ironically, it ain’t the first time Fischer’s gone off-the-rails like that; he did the same thing back in 2011 and went so far that the American Family Association yanked his words from their site, albeit so that they could clean the words up later on.
Normally, I don’t like to touch the issue of race directly as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about recently in Time Magazine but there’s a blurb about what he wrote over at Crooks & Liars and it is well-worth reading, if not for any other reason than to make you think about the topic at hand. Quoting the excerpt over at C & L:
This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor. Of course, to many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor is synonymous with being a criminal. Ironically, this misperception is true even among the poor.
And that’s how the status quo wants it…
The U.S. Census Report finds that 50 million Americans are poor. Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals. So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured by distracting them with emotional issues like immigration, abortion and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long.(Time Magazine via. Crooks & Liars)
If you think about it, Kareem Abdul Jabbar nails it right on the head and reminds us that one reason why you see politicians and other Americans attempt to demonize people along various lines is not just to keep us divided but also to keep working-class Americans of all stripes from wanting to help and support those at the very bottom of the economic and societal ladder. Put simply, we Americans need to break and shatter the status quo once and for all and that means all of us of good will, all of us who seek to build a better society for our fellow Americans, need to really start working together..and the sooner, the better.
There’s an interesting article over at Daily Kos concerning liberal nationalism, and I’m of two minds reading it. On the one hand, the kind of liberal nationalism espoused by DK writer Ian Reifowitz (what he refers to as ‘civic nationalism’) is and should be an essential part of what makes America such a unique country. On the other hand, it – like any other form of nationalism – can be abused if in the wrong hands and that is a concern that we have to consider.
In a sense, this topic reminds me of an MSNBC commercial with former host Martin Bashir from a few years ago when he talked about the balance of community and individualism that makes America such a unique country; as long as we can keep that balance, America will still be a great country.
A few years ago, Gallup conducted a poll which asked which American institutions were the most trust-worthy..and they found that the most-trusted American institution was that of the United States military (78% according to Gallup).
If you think about it, this makes sense: there is, quite frankly, no other institution in America today that is as professional, committed to their work, trustworthy and willing to put country before self than our men & women in uniform. I mean, name me one other American institution that has had more of an influence on the broader American society over the decades….go on, name one. I’ll wait..and no, Congress doesn’t count.
…anyway, they’re proving my initial point once more, as pointed out in a recent Bloomberg News article, with several plans afoot on how to deal with climate change over the next few decades. Now, you might wonder: why in Sam Hill is the military thinking about this issue and not the myriad of others that they may have to deal with…well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it is that they plan for everything. Trust me when I say that the U.S. military plans for every singly fricken’ potential event on this great earth…and, given their cautious nature, they plan in triplicate…and they plan those plans in triplicate…you get the idea.
The amazing part…they do this without concern – most of the time – about who the occupant is over at 1600 Pennsylvania; now, that’s not because they don’t respect the civilian leadership – they most certainly do – but because it ain’t in their job description to do otherwise. At the very least, let’s hope that our civilian leadership could someday improve themselves so that someday some other American institution can take the top stop…at least, we can hope.
…and you wonder why minorities tend to look at law enforcement with abject suspicion? Here’s another reason:
Police morale in Fruitland Park, Florida has been shaken after a deputy chief and officer resigned when the Federal Bureau of Investigations identified them as members of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement presented Chief Terry Isaacs with copies of a confidential FBI report last week that allegedly identified Deputy Chief David Borst and Officer George Hunnewell as members of the KKK.
Earlier this year, a Florida Klan leader boasted to WFTV 9 that the organization has “police officers, paramedics, judges…everywhere.”
However, Chief Isaacs would only tell reporters for the Orlando Sentinel that the pair belonged to a “subversive organization,” because he did not believe he was authorized to release the results of the report.
“It’s a tough situation. He was my assistant,” he said, adding that he never witnessed any behavior that would lead him to believe former Deputy Chief Borst was in the KKK. “But I’ve read the report, and it’s convincing.”(Raw Story via. Crooks & Liars)
You know, forget the fact that they were outed as Klan members after being hired…here’s another question that should be asked: who did the pre-hire background vetting on these individuals and why didn’t they pick up on it then?
There’s a reason – among many – why I like reading Booman Tribune’s articles; case in point: his criticism of a recent Daily Beast article in which the writer over there (Jedediah Purdy) criticizes the supposed ‘anti-democratic’ nature of the Supreme Court. As I read the article, I’m of two minds: on the one hand, the court – and the broader federal judiciary – suffers at times from not-so-much an anti-democratic bias but an ‘non-open’ bias; that is, the Courts aren’t as open as we might – in broader society – want them to be.
On the other hand, that’s one of the reasons why the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government is still the most popular branch of American government and one reason is precisely that reason; because the Courts have managed to stay above the partisan fray (never mind the fact that all federal judges are appointed by one branch and confirmed by another), the public has been willing for years to give the judiciary a pass while the other branches don’t get a similar pass. There’s also the essential – if pained – truth of American law that while Congress may write the laws we live under in this great republic and the President (and by extension, the Executive branch) has the power of enforcement, it is the judiciary that gets the final say on what those laws are, how they’re enforced, etc. It is a solemn, if misunderstood, power, and while we may fret and bitch and moan about what the Courts have done over the years, it is a price we Americans, thankfully, are willing to pay for responsible governance.
During the course of a calendar year, there are several constants, one of which is that the month of June marks the final month of a typical Supreme Court term and as we’ve seen numerous times over the past few years, it can be a very interesting month for the Court’s resident Kremlinologists, who watch every case that comes down from on high with the same needle-nose attention normally attributed to plane crash investigations.
This month is no exception: there are seven cases that the Court has yet to release decisions on that could have wide-ranging effects on America as a whole. Those seven are:
- National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (12-1281), which could potentially all-but-gut a president’s power to recess appoint individuals to federal executive offices
- McCullen v. Coakley (12-1168), which could restrict state laws preventing abortion protesters from harassing women who wish to exercise their rights under Roe v. Wade; although the case only focuses on these abortion buffer zones, the effects of the case could reach well into other areas of free speech and protest
- Riley v. California (13-132) and United States v. Wurie (13-212), which could expand the right of law enforcement to have broad-ranging searches of individuals arrested for any potential reason
- Harris v. Quinn (11-681), which could prohibit public sector unions from requiring non-union individuals working in a union-represented shop to pay agency fees to the union in question; if the Court rules in this case as they did with a 2012 case (Knox v. SEIU) the Court could declare such fees unconstitutional, which would allow non-union members to keep the advantages of working in a union shop without having to pay for that representation
- Bond v. California (12-158), which could nullify the ability of the United States to enter into treaties and other international agreements by blocking the federal government’s ability to enforce said treaties within America’s borders..never mind the near-century of Court rulings that give Washington precisely that power. If the Court rules for Bond, the government’s power to enforce legally binding treaties could be sharply curtailed – which is, ironically, a long-held conservative goal.
- Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby (13-354), which raises the issue of whether employers can refuse to comply with federal laws requiring their insurance plans to cover the costs of birth control. This case could have really bad consequences for Americans, especially in regards to recent cases involving racial discrimination, gender discrimination, Social Security and LGBT rights by requiring government to show that any law which potentially could burden a corporation’s “religious freedom” to survive strict scrutiny. The fear on this one is that religious freedom – already being used in some quarters as a cudgel to discriminate against Americans – could become an even bigger cudgel, potentially nullifying a broad swath of constitutional law.