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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

Monday, February 28 2005

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

A liberal bastian is getting— or rediscovering—religion?

A feature article in Sunday's New York Times, by David D. Kirkpatrick, is interesting for at least three aspects. First, to me and I think any critical observer of the American mass media, it interests because it seems to bend over backwards to accommodate Christians in general and conservative or evangelical Christians in particular. Second, as my short summary comment on it on my Xnmp website puts it, it represents a departure from current liberal orthodoxy. The third aspect of interest is the wealth of information it conveys, all of which adds up to a stunning rebuke and refutation of the common position of liberal columnists, editorialists, and pundits who claim today's intermingling of religion and politics is an innovation.

As a "sop" to conservative/evangelical Christians, it may indicate that the Times may be trying to regain some of the ground lost in the Kerry campaign when it seemed the establishment Democrats could care less about the heartfelt issues that most concern serious believers in most of the varieties of Christian faith practiced in the United States (not just evangelicals like Southern Baptists but Catholics and Eastern Orthodox as well). In this, it seems to echo the recent change of heart we think we saw in New York U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, who in the past few weeks has called for finding common ground between pro-life and pro-choice voters and, perhaps even more significantly, called on Democrats to support displays of religious sentiments in the "public square." This seemingly takes aim at public schools that sometimes teach Islam as a cultural option while prohibiting any reference to Christ or Christianity in anything the schools allow around the "winter holidays," aka Christmas.

The "liberal orthodoxy" of recent years has been promoting the idea that America was intended from its founding to be a secular society. Against which thesis yesterday's Times' feature says: "the founders never guessed that courts would construe the First Amendment to forbid public displays of religion like prayer in the schools." Though the article couches this statement in several "qualifiers," like, "But the 18th-century religious views of the founders hardly fit into contemporary categories like evangelical Protestant or secular humanist. Nor, historians say, do the great leaders' public expressions of faith necessarily tell us much about how their notion of an ideal relationship between religion and government." Still, that statement on its face is a strong refutation of the course the United States Supreme Court started down in banning Bible reading and prayers in public schools in the early 1960's.

Some of the "wealth of information" the article conveys is summarized in these quotes: "Gordon Wood, a professor at Brown and historian of early America, agreed that the founders never imagined a culture as secular as ours. After all, many states had tax-supported churches well into the 19th century. 'They definitely did not contemplate this kind of what we might call "extreme," where a minister or a rabbi [praying] at a public school graduation is considered to be a violation of separation of church and state...We have built that wall much higher than any of them, even Jefferson, would have anticipated.'" (Emphasis added by this writer.)

And there is more that's equally "mind-blowing" coming as it is from the New York Times. If you want to read the the rest, check it here.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005

One bad apple...

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples.The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching." Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

Christian one-liners:
People are funny. They want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Sent by Carl Essex   

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