"If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. Period." Those words will haunt Barack Obama through the remainder of his term, and probably achieve eternal life in books of memorable quotations.
Obama's words will levy even more contemporary embarrassment and political immortality than George H.W. Bush's "Read my lips. No new taxes," or Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." (Bush probably believed his "no new taxes" pledge when he said it, but he reversed his policy so soon that it sounded like a lie.)
Obama's famous line is worse than those of the others because it was a gross lie about something that matters to millions of Americans and costs them lots of money. His line is also unforgettable because he repeated it so many times (37 times according to PolitiFact), and because his staff knew it was a lie when they put it on the teleprompter and notepad for Obama to read. more >>
Something significant happened last week when the Supreme Court considered the issue of public prayer: a few of the Justices gave Americans an unusually candid peek behind the judicial curtain, revealing some provocative opinions on the role of faith and the purposes behind the First Amendment's religion clauses. The case was Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway and it centers on the practice of the Town to open its monthly board meetings with prayer. The Town has invited, without limitation, members of the public, including clergy, to deliver a short prayer at those meetings, but gave no restrictions on content or theme. The lower court ruled that, despite the fact that invocations were offered from persons of a variety of different faiths, the predominance of "sectarian Christian prayers" meant that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment had been offended. That decision was appealed, and in oral arguments before the Supreme Court last Wednesday, some of the Justices took the occasion to travel outside the facts of the case and to offer up a fascinating, and somewhat troubling, view of religious liberty in our nation.
Justice Stephen Breyer commented, "in my own opinion … a major purpose of the religion clauses is to allow people in this country of different religion[s], including those of no religion, to live harmoniously together." Later, as counsel for the parties continued their arguments, Justice Elena Kagan picked up on those comments and remarked, in a similar vein, "[p]art of what we are trying to do here is to maintain a multi-religious society in a peaceful and harmonious way."
No one would deny the benefit of societal peace and harmony. The point, though, is whether those goals are what really energized and directed the Founders to recognize in our First Amendment the notion of religious freedom in the first place. To the contrary, my reading of the historical record tells me that religious freedom was recognized at our nation's founding as a good in itself. The consensus back then was that a belief in, and acknowledgement of, a sovereign God was an inherent liberty and privilege, indeed a spiritual duty, originating not from government, but from God. When Justices Breyer and Kagan (and I would surmise a few others on the Court as well) indicate that "peace and harmony" is the goal, then we can predict, ironically, that a very un-peaceful assault on faith will result. After all, under the view of Breyer, Kagan, et al., the concept of religious freedom would be ultimately reduced to a kind of de facto social bromide, permitted in practice only to the extent that it can keep the masses quiet. Such a utilitarian idea reduces faith in God to a mere social component for the courts to protect, or not, whichever way they wish, as long as the perceived goal of community harmony is being pursued. more >>
The dictionary defines the word "church" as "a building that is used for Christian religious services." If that is true, and most of us would agree with that definition, than how can atheists have a "church?"
It appears to be some kind of English import to America. Two British comedians have started something they call Sunday Assembly. The "Assembly" defines themselves as "a godless congregation that celebrate(s) life. Our motto: live better, help often, wonder more. Our mission: to help everyone find and fulfill their full potential. Our vision: a godless congregation in every town, city and village that wants one."
Not unlike most religious' organizations, the Sunday Assembly has a type of doctrinal statement. Its statement of non-faith goes like this. The Sunday Assembly: more >>
Christian minister Cindy Jacobs, described as a "respected prophet" in her online biography, made a prediction in 2009 that the Philippines would either experience a period of "greatness" or "some troubled times." While Jacobs' 2009 video prediction has gone viral amid the island nation's current calamity from Typhoon Haiyan, a Taiwanese animation news company that went mainstream due to its 2009 Tiger Woods coverage has challenged the self-declared prophet's "vague" predictions.
The latest death toll for Philippine victims of Typhoon Haiyan was placed at 3,621 on Friday, while the number of injured was reported at 12,165, according to CNN, which also noted that another 1,140 people had been reported missing.
"Sickness, hunger and thirst have settled in here with the sticky, humid heat and stench of rancid flesh hanging over the apocalyptic scene," reported CNN on what Typhoon Haiyan had done in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban. more >>
Darryl Woods, of College Park, Ga., could not believe what he was reading.
It was a permission slip from his child's charter school for the upcoming "holiday program."
"We will begin rehearsing popular American holiday music (such as Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad and Santa Claus is Coming to Town) during music class," the music teacher wrote in the letter. more >>
The Second Amendment and natural marriage have a lot in common. Does this surprise you? Let me walk you through it.
Do you remember Melissa Harris-Perry's remarks that she made in April 2013?
"... we've always had kind of a private notion of children... We haven't had a very collective notion of 'these are our children.' ... we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities." more >>