Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Here is an excerpt from a recent comment:

"Oh yeah. If you do not believe in the separation of church and state, then I think you are truly unAmerican."

As for the name calling, there are many who take offense at being called unAmerican or unpatriotic. These are hot button labels that seem to get a lot of people boiling mad, and it seems to really bother those on the Left, probably because these words tend to hit a proverbial nerve. I mean, if you call an unattractive person dumb, he'll probably shrug it off, but call him ugly and he'll get upset. Calling a liberal unAmerican amounts to the ultimate insult. The only thing that gets Ted Kennedy more red-faced is a nice bottle of single malt.

For me, the label is insignificant and hollow. I am 6'2" tall, so calling me unAmerican is akin to calling me short. It makes no sense, seems rather laughable and reflects a degree of ignorance in the accuser. But it does give me a nice chuckle.

It's not the first time, mind you. There have been many on the Left who have graced this website and they all have the same arguments. My readers will surely recognize these canned talking points which leads me to ask, if the Left so adamantly believes in their cause why wouldn't they champion it with a little more originality?

But I do, in a way, pity those who have no comprehension of what it means to be American, in much the same way I pity a child who wields his daddy's gun like a toy, unaware of the danger in carelessness. You know the inevitable is coming. Indeed, the Left seems to wield our freedoms in the same manner.

I believe in the Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed by it, but I also believe that the Constitution must be protected and defended vigorously, not just in taking up arms against those who wish to destroy It, but also in taking care not to neglect or abuse the freedom that It provides. With freedom comes an immense responsibility and part of that is the responsibility of self-restraint. The Left has failed to grasp this concept and so our freedom becomes abused. So it hardly bothers me when someone like that calls me unAmerican. It is the equivalent of me calling someone unmotherly. How can I possibly fling that accusation when I have no idea what it means to be a mother?

Os Guinness once said: "Faith requires freedom, Freedom requires virtue, Virtue requires faith and so on ad infinitum." In the context of today's society he seems to be dead on, which is why this quote is a central theme in my book. So I take a few days off to travel "deep-in-the-heart" and I leave my faithful readers to ponder those words, the words of an Irishman born in China who knows what it means to be free, to be American. God bless you all.


Anonymous said...

I don't actually mind when people call me unAmerican. I take it as, okay, America's a cool country, but I don't associate myself as much else but an individual, so I just dislike labels, positive or negative.


Re: Your top left tag hinting that Osama bin Laden may have recently died of Typhoid Fever is no real surprise, if true.

Ayman al Zawahiri has been the "Talking Head" for the Terror Group for many months, and no substantial change is expected.

One Down, One to Go, if the leaked
story to French Newspaper L'est Republicain proves valid. reb

The Loop Garoo Kid said...


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble; and to petition the government for a rdress of grievances."

This is the first and greatest amendment and the second is liken to it.

Speaking of canned arguments, you decry labeling yet much of what you post consists of "the left this and the left that."

Being unAmerican isn't a label, it is a status of those whose interpretation of the First Amendment is restrictive.

The King of England was also the head of the Church of England and the framers of the Constitution wre not only aware of that fact, but also were mindful of England's history beginning with the reign of Henry VIII, the creation of the Church of England, and the history that followed that creation which occurred beginning slightly more than 250 years before.

We have close ties to Great Britain but her Majesty is a Brit and is also unAmerican.

The separation of church and state is the first cornerstone upon which our republic is founded. So I favor banning prayer in schooland I believe that Alabama's Chief Justice, Roy Moore, was in error.

I lose no sleep about "In God We Trust" appearing on our currency and elsewhere nor am I troubled by the words "One nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

But if you do not believe in the separation of church and state then the best for which you can hope is the current state of affairs in Great Britain. At worst, you may experience the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Taliban.

You write: "I believe in the Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed by it, but I also believe the Constitution must be protected and defended vigorously from those who destroy it, not just in taking arms against those would destroy it, but also in taking care not to abuse or neglect the freedoms it provides." I agree w/ your first clause although I do not understand your use of the word "but" as opposed to "and."

Your reason then falters b/c freedom cannot be be abused. Yes, w/ freedom comes responsibility but lack of self restraint is not freedom.

In fact, I believe that you only accept freedom so far as your own beliefs are concerned. Clearly, you believe that "freedom of speech" as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States is not "freedom of speech" but "abuse of speech." This explains your position on the ACLU.

Then you go on to say "the left this and the left that."

Read more of Snake Hunters and perhaps you will understand that the flogging of a group w/ labels does little to advance your opinion w/ critical thinkers. It is merely preaching to the choir.
The choir does not need convincing.

So lay on your position regarding church and state. I can only hope for both of our sakes it is more cogent than your position on freedom of speech.

Let me close by posing this question to you: is virtue possible without faith?

Freedomnow said...

As an atheist I have no desire to live under religious rule. However, I am a minority and respect the rights of the majority to make references to their God.

To them this God is real and their faith is important to their beliefs. I dont think that I have the right to tell them that they shouldnt openly express their faith.

Invariably the trolls of the Internet and hardcore leftists at rallies make comparisons to the Taliban that are completely unwarranted.

I have read thorough Washburn's blog and havent found a single hint that he is a religious extremist. Religious belief is not evidence of extremism.


The Book says:

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things unseen".
Let's all hope for "A continued multiplicity of religious sects, so that No One Sect Can Ever Become A Majority, To Oppress and Persecute The Rest".

BOTH Saudi Wahhabism & Shi'a Iran insist on their Devine Prerogatives...
To Dominate All The Others.

That's the bloody difference!

Go to:

John Washburn said...

Freedomnow, well said. Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome here anytime.

Loop, once again I feel you have misrepresented my position. You somehow seem determined to paint as someone opposed to free speech. I think I've explained myself. Free speech and harmful speech are two very different things.

We both stand by the Constitution, and since you brought up school prayer, we'll stick with that one. Banning school prayer must be done, in your opinion, because it amounts to Congress establishing religion. I understand the argument, Congress funds the schools, etc. But it's a stretch at best. I think it amounts to Congress limiting the free practice thereof. We'll let the folks decide.

Remember, many of the very people who wrote the Constitution (including Jefferson) attended church services underneath the Capital dome. I hardly think they meant for prayer to be banned in school.

As for labels, I never cried out against using them. I have a problem with you using them incorrectly, and basically misnaming what I am. I use Left to describe one's sociopolitical positions. If you chose to label me Right, I'd be ok with it. In fact, I'd wear that badge with pride. Why do those on the Left have trouble doing the same?

As far as religion, my point is that it doesn't hurt to have religion in society or in government. I didn't specify a particular religion. Nor do I support a national religion. I think Guinness was making the same point.

Religion and Virtue? It seems the anti-religion crowd has already answered that. Banning the ten commandments? Come on! What possible harm can come from the ten commandments? Have we not based many of our laws on them? Would you oppose teaching the ten commandments to school children? What if it was done outside of the context of Judeo-Christian religion? Would it still be too much church involvement in the school? Does teaching the ten commandments violate the establishment clause? Would you support NOT teaching the ten commandments because they are too much a part of Judeo-Christianity? If so, then I believe you have answered your own question.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Mr. Washburn:

Point by point:

Our SC has differentiated between "free speech" and "harmful speech" the latter being, as you cite, falsely crying fire in a crowded theater. Speech w/ which we may not agree, even though it's subject is action which may be unlawful, is stil free and lawful.

Again, if the court were to draw the line on language that is merely offensive, then we would have activist judges, no?

I am old enough to remember mandatory prayer in school, although I was young when it was banned. What prayer do you suggest? Silent prayer. What happens in the Chem lab when Achmed takes a TO to pray #2 of 5 and the beaker explodes?

Mandatory or voluntary prayer necessarily practices exclusion. The risks far outweigh the benefits. Remember, we are talking about children gardes K-12. Does a first grader appreciate why the kid in the desk next to him is not saying the Lord's Prayer?

What possible harm can come of the Ten Commandments? None at all, provided you do not wish to live in a secular nation but instead prefer a theocracy. The argument is the same as the free speech argument. There is nothing wrong w/ the Ten Commandments except that are an expression of religious law. Judeo-Christian though the majority of us may be, we must eschew the politics of exclusion.

Labeling people left or right is fair to partly useless, unless it is completely useless. What you said is that you are proud of being "right." I would be proud of you if you were correct.

Clearly virue is possible w/o faith. If you do not understand that concept, I question your understanding of faith--not whether you think you have faith but as I understand true faith, it does not lead to easy certainty.

Weigh the costs, weigh the benfits.

Morality is personal, right? I think we, as a society, are better off avoiding the legislative imposition of morality, de jure or de facto.

Caveat: The legislative prohibition of every crime does not
have morality as a foundation.


Expand Your Caveat, councelor.
Just curious. reb