Gun's don't kill people. People with guns kill people.


"No body could have done a better job than Obama, with the economy he was handed —including me!" —Bill Clinton—

Monday, August 25, 2008

What Evil Lurks In The Hearts Of Men?

The cruelty of the Taliban in Afghanistan was an appalling spectacle, with its public executions for minor slights against the Quran. It was guided by the narrow intolerant views of men called Ayatollahs. In their fervent, fanatical and absolute adherence to the literal interpretation of the Quran they turned Afghanistan into an absolute hell. Their religious pronouncements in the form of fatwahs were absolute and binding. They had the power to call for the assassination of writers like Salman Rushdie that they say blasphemed Islam.

While the rise of that particular expression of Islamic fundamentalism was obviously abhorrent to Americans sensibilities and its sweeping disregard of individual freedom, as it was much noted in the press, a less obvious, more insidious and even more disturbing rise of narrow-minded religious inspired intolerance was under way in this country by Fundamentalist Evangelicals.

The assault on the American Constitution by these so called Fundamentalist Evangelicals has been relentless over the past several decades and they now form the base of the Republican Party. Their narrow, literal interpretation of the bible is the basis of their socially conservative political agenda. And just like their Islamic counterparts they heaped derision and contempt on anyone who disagrees with their narrow political social agenda.

They are the driving force behind the movement to change our Constitution to overturn Roe vs. Wade and a women's' right to choose, to prevent the marriage of gays, protected under the fourteenth amendment, the criminalization of burning the flag, protected under the first amendment, and forcing prayer in school, which violates the separation of church and state.

In their twisted logic they and they alone are the keepers of all things good and righteous. Gays are labeled as a deviants undeserving of equal protection and bereft of rights that are unalienable to the rest of society. They rail at abortion and applaud the death penalty. They are jealous in guarding their expression of free speech in school, in the form of prayer which they would impose on believers and non-believers alike, but, say that free speech does not extend to those who would burn the flag as a statement of political protest.

Such socially driven assaults on the Constitution are not new, and notably there is only one such amendment that was added (the eighteenth) to the Constitution and that was ultimately repealed. (by the twenty-first).

The bedrock of this country is the protection of its citizens from the over-reaching intrusion of government into our daily lives.

The Bill of Rights protects the freedoms of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom of assembly; the freedom to petition; and prohibits unreasonable search and seizure; cruel and unusual punishment; and compelled self-incrimination.

The Bill of Rights also prohibits Congress from making any law respecting establishment of religion and prohibits the Federal Government from depriving any person of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness or property, without due process of law.

In Federal, criminal cases, it requires indictment by grand jury for any capital or "infamous crime," guarantees a speedy public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy.

In addition, the Bill of Rights states that "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other(s) (rights) retained by the people," and (the ninth) reserves (gives) all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States.

In other words if its not enumerated in the Constitution, the assumption and rule of law require that the people(s) rights supersede any denial of rights by the government. The government cannot say because its not enumerated you don't have the right. The presumption is exactly opposite you inherently and automatically in fact do have all and any rights not enumerated. For example the right privacy which is not specifically enumerated.

Conversely anything the federal government does that it is not permitted by the Constitution is unconstitutional because all powers not given explicitly to the federal government are reserved to the people or the states, according to the Tenth Amendment.”

When I was young, before the age of television we listened to the radio, there was one program in particular that made an impression on me, it was The Shadow.

At the opening of the program a deep sinister voice would always ask; Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? And then answering his own question the announcer would say, The Shadow knows!

The Shadow was a vigilante who used his power of hypnotism to cloud the minds of ordinary men and render himself invisible before the evil doers.

What brought this to mind was the recent one hour interview of Barrack Obama and John McCain by Pastor Rick Warrens and his question, Does evil exist? And what should we do about it?

McCain was rather simple and direct in his answer; We should defeat it! And named Islamic terrorism as the transcendent evil facing us.

Obama was more thoughtful and introspective and in part of his answer he cautioned that in confronting evil we should take care not to do evil in the name of trying to do good.

It touched on a the Christian idea of the duality of human nature. We are at the same time, the devils we fear, and the angels we want to be, something I fear that was completely lost on the host and his audience.

The point is, that in America, no one can take these unalienable rights away, like the Islamic Fundamentalists did in Afganistan, not the God that bestowed them in the first place, or the self righteous American Ayatollahs that claim to represent Him on earth.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? God knows!

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