Rossi’s lawyers rest (in peace)

[NWPT48]Week one trial wrap-up: Dino Rossi lost the election, and now he will lose his election contest lawsuit. Justice will be served.

I’ll follow up with a more detailed analysis, but I just want to reiterate for a moment my sense that this entire trial is sham. The GOP spent good money on good attorneys, and you can be sure that going into their opening arguments they had a pretty good understanding that this was a lost cause. But they decided to drag the state through it anyway (and I’m guessing again, in the inevitable Supreme Court appeal), simply because they believe they can use this as a forum for scoring political points in the court of public opinion.

That may be true, and that may constitute shrewd political strategy. But it is fundamentally dishonest, shows great disrespect for the law and the courts, is counter to the very purpose of the contest statute, and in the long term, may be very harmful to our democracy.

Rossi and his surrogates have tried to argue that the Legislature couldn’t possibly have intended to make proving a contest this hard, but I believe that by their very disregard for the statute, they are proving the wisdom of its authors. The bar was set so very high, exactly to prevent contests from being abused for pure political gain in the way the Republicans are now frivolously attempting. Yes, Rossi has every right to pursue a contest, but he also has the responsibility to the voters of this state to drop his challenge and concede, when faced with the reality that he cannot prevail in court. And that reality became absolutely obvious to all but the most impartial observers weeks ago, when the Democrats produced their list of offsetting illegal votes, making it impossible for Rossi to prevail, even on his own dubious proportional deduction theory.

But instead of conceding, Rossi’s attorneys concocted a bold opening statement, filled with bold lies, promising proof of stuffed ballots and other fraudulent acts on the part of King County Elections officials. They have not only failed to prove these charges, they failed to present a single scrap of direct evidence to support them.

Unable to actually put Rossi in the Governor’s Mansion, the Republican’s focus has been to make Gregoire’s win a Pyrrhic victory. Listen to the right-wing blogs and talk-radio… they’re laughing at Democrats for failing to prove their case to the public, even as the GOP attorneys flop in court. This has been a week about smearing Democrats in general — and King County in particular — and they intend to harvest the anger and suspicion they’ve lovingly sown, in upcoming election battles against Ron Sims, Maria Cantwell, and Democratic candidates across the state. Utilizing their own peculiar political alchemy, the Republicans have managed to transform the consolation prize — public opinion — into a trophy more coveted than the Governor’s Mansion itself.

One can only hope that like their leaders in the other Washington, our local GOP has also overreached. Sims is as formidable a candidate as David Irons is weak, and voters will clearly see Cantwell’s main opponent as the Bush/Delay/Frist agenda, regardless of who Karl Rove eventually recruits to run against her. Beyond these two elections, memory of this contest will fade, and Gregoire will eventually run for a second term on the basis of her record in office, not the baseless charges of fraud that have been irresponsibly leveled against her.

And the big loser in all this — in court, at the polls, and in public opinion — will be Dino Rossi. That is, if justice extends outside the courts.

Comments

  1. 1

    JDM spews:

    (…) and they intend to harvest the anger and suspicion they’ve lovingly sown (…)

    well put, I’m sorry to say.

    I see more and more wingers posting that if they don’t get their way (judges/election/”islamo fascists must all die” etc.) they must be willing to get their way through force. Given the uncomfortable preponderance of their numbers, I find myself wondering if a civil war is in our future.

  2. 2

    I hate yellow journalists spews:

    “But it is fundamentally dishonest, shows great disrespect for the law and the courts, is counter to the very purpose of the contest statute, and in the long term, may be very harmful to our democracy.”

    Whaaa!!! Go fuck yourself. You are just a poor sport, admit that the democrats would have done the same thing if roles were reversed and you would have supported them 100%. You aren’t fooling anyone, however it is pretty pathetic that even after you have lost what little credibility you had, you keep trying to sink lower.

  3. 3

    spews:

    JDM, the public is noticing the GOP overreach, nationally. I can’t wait to see what happens when Brownback filibusters the stem cell vote. Not only do they have to explain to the country why they hate medicine and science, they have to somehow explain that judicial filibusters are bad, but legislative filibusters are GREAT!

    (Yes, I know Frist and Co. have made it clear they view them differently–I’m talking about how they explain the difference to a public that barely knows what they are.)

  4. 4

    spews:

    yellow @ 2

    so Rossi’s the one who’s pushing the contest beyond all reasonable limits, and GOLDY is the poor sport?

    Keep consoling yourself that Democrats would have done the same thing, despite having–does this sound familiar?–no evidence whatsoever. That’s a dodge to avoid looking at what is ACTUALLY happening–not hypothetically, factually.

  5. 5

    G Davis spews:

    JDM @ 1…Given the uncomfortable preponderance of their numbers, I find myself wondering if a civil war is in our future.

    Lots of folks love to talk the *revolution* talk, the question is how many of them have the balls to walk the walk?

    I wouldn’t lose any sleep over a batch of blowhards… ;0

  6. 6

    Nindid spews:

    G @5 The question is not how many of them will stand up, the question is how many of them will be silent while others destroy our democracy.

  7. 7

    I hate yellow journalists spews:

    Good lord I bet you think that our founding fathers were wrong for standing upto a 2% tax increase and forming this country. Well guess what FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! you have to fight for your freedom or you will lose it, if that means armed rebellion than so be it. Call it treason call it whatever you will but remember only 2-3.5% of the population fought in the American Revolution the others were like you “hand-cuffs don’t feel too bad once you get use to them, why do we need freedom?”

  8. 12

    headless lucy spews:

    If American voters are so stupid that they will actually vote for these clownish dildoes time after time what is the alternative? I just don’t know. What is the purpose in raising a child and educating them if they are forced to live in a world run by these horrid freaks?

  9. 13

    Doc spews:

    Freedom is not free, is the dumbest comment continually uttered by the right. To say it places one in the “not very bright” category.

  10. 15

    marks spews:

    Headless @12

    What is the purpose in raising a child and educating them if they are forced to live in a world run by these horrid freaks?

    Too easy:

    What is the purpose in raising a child if they are forced to live in a world educated by a horrid freak like Headless Lucy?

  11. 16

    headless lucy spews:

    I can’t help but think that these people(Republicans) need the fear of God re-established in their souls. “Cold dead hands ” is doable.

  12. 18

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose. spews:

    headless lucy @ 17

    You are why we need education reform and mandatory performance audits followed by mandatory firing of mediocre “educators”.

  13. 20

    marks spews:

    All @all

    While my slam is uncharacteristic, in the case of Headless he deserves it. His postings are always spiteful. He epitomizes the hate and contempt that one can devolve into when overexposed to alternate realities.

    I would not want my children withing the same ZIP code as him.

  14. 21

    spyder spews:

    I apologize to Ginger Baker for putting him into this context. But somehow all this sniping and bickering and dysphemic language made me think of this song, and with some substitutions it describes the whole of these posts.

    Pressed rat and warthog have closed down their shop.
    They didn’t want to; ’twas all they had got.
    Selling atonal apples, amplified heat,
    And pressed rat’s collection of dog legs and feet.

    Sadly they left, telling no one goodbye.
    Pressed rat wore red jodhpurs, warthog a striped tie.
    Between them, they carried a three-legged sack,
    Went straight round the corner and never came back.

    Pressed rat and warthog have closed down their shop.
    The bad captain madman had told them to stop
    Selling atonal apples, amplified heat,
    And pressed rat’s collection of dog legs and feet.

    The bad captain madman had ordered their fate.
    He laughed and stomped off with a nautical gate.
    The gate turned into a deroga tree
    And his pegleg got woodworm and broke into three.

    Pressed rat and warthog have closed down their shop.
    They didn’t want to; ’twas all they had got.
    Selling atonal apples, amplified heat,
    And pressed rat’s collection of dog legs and feet.

  15. 22

    zapporo spews:

    Marks – Fantastic Job! Kudos!

    The Dems are really in a bad spot. It’s quite obvious, even to the general public, that Dino received a bad deal. Considering the stacked deck, I’m really suprised this hasn’t been shut down by now. So the Dems really need a win in court, but the Republicans win regardless of the trial outcome, if only from a dramatically re-energized grassroots base.

    Let’s go beyond the law to the point of equity. This election should have been continued as a runoff between Chris and Dino. Our election system, even without King County incompetence –
    * provisionals stuffed right into the Accuvote
    * print on demand ballots
    * supervisors that just can’t recall
    * votes lost
    * certification docouments forged
    * magical mystical ballots appearing 11 different times
    * At least 90 votes yet to count

    just isn’t designed to work with a “129″ vote margin.

  16. 23

    Donnageddon spews:

    marks @ 15 THE SET UP

    “What is the purpose in raising a child if they are forced to live in a world educated by a horrid freak like Headless Lucy?”

    marks @ 20 THE PAY OFF

    “cteristic, in the case of Headless he deserves it. His postings are always spiteful. He epitomizes the hate and contempt that one can devolve into when overexposed to alternate realities.”

    RFLMAO!! Keep ‘em coming marks! Self – deluding ironic humor is my favorite!

  17. 24

    Donnageddon spews:

    marks @ 15 THE SET UP

    “What is the purpose in raising a child if they are forced to live in a world educated by a horrid freak like Headless Lucy?”

    marks @ 20 THE PAY OFF

    “cteristic, in the case of Headless he deserves it. His postings are always spiteful. He epitomizes the hate and contempt that one can devolve into when overexposed to alternate realities.”

    RFLMAO!! Keep ‘em coming marks! Self – deluding ironic humor is my favorite!

  18. 25

    Donnageddon spews:

    Zapididoodah @ 22 So Zapster, you have no respect for the law of the land, I see. You like most neo-cons hate America and the rule of law. If you don’t get your way, you invent schemes to try and get it.

    A constitutional scholar you obviously ain’t.

  19. 26

    zapporo spews:

    Yellow @ 9 – I can appreciate your quandry. I too fell into this trap. May I be of assistance?

    Torrid is a deluded liberal geek.
    Stipulated. Impact? (tj 5/27/05) Nothing you write will change that. Nothing you can do will bring him back to mainstream.

    TJ Substantive comments? Definitely not.
    TJ Cogent reasoning? Questionable.
    TJ Half-hearted liberal jabs? Definitely!

    I hope this helps.

  20. 27

    Donnageddon spews:

    Zapididoodah @ 26 A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF SELF REFERENTIAL HUMOR!

    “TJ Substantive comments? Definitely not.
    TJ Cogent reasoning? Questionable.
    TJ Half-hearted liberal jabs? Definitely!”

  21. 28

    zapporo spews:

    Don – Please go back and read my post.

    If the law doesn’t work, then we need to change it. Example – The election reform bill recently passed in Washington. To say that the law is perfect, anticipates every possible situation, and should never be changed ignores reality and is rather disengenuous on your part.

    Consider all the animosity generated and dollars wasted on this election contest, as Goldy so vividly points out. Adding a provision for election run-offs when the margin of victory is less than a pre-established margin would benefit both parties, would likely restore some confidence in elections, and might even cut down on some of the bitter animosity especially present here.

  22. 29

    Donnageddon spews:

    Zapididoodah @ 28 “cut down on some of the bitter animosity especially present here.”

    Zapster, read 27 for your answer.

    Why do neo-cons hate America?

  23. 30

    zapporo spews:

    Don – That would be “disingenuous” in my previous post. Which perfectly describes your “Zapididoodah” comments. I’ll be happy to put it all on the line for you though.

    I love this country and what it stands for. I believe in freedom, democracy, and fair, honest elections. I’m greatly distressed by our enormous national debt, reliance on foreign energy sources, insatiable appetite for foreign goods, and our relatively modest educational performance compared to the rest of the world. Our nation has strayed far from its Christian roots towards secular humanism, much to its detriment. I detest people that whine, carp, and defend the indefensible while offering no workable solutions of their own. Draw your own conclusions on that one.
    Introduce competition to improve our educational system, drill in ANWAR but not before raising CAFE and doing more to encourage conservation and the use of renewable energy sources. Encourage sustanable conservation, but not at the absolute cost of American jobs. We can do both. Work in a bipartisan manner to end budget deficits. We do not need to be the world’s worst debtor nation. There is so much more that we can do to secure our future.

    Back to you Don.

  24. 31

    Donnageddon spews:

    Sure, zapster. I’ll bite.

    1st. “That would be “disingenuous” in my previous post. Which perfectly describes your “Zapididoodah” – No, it would be irony and hypocrisy on your part. As for me and my “Zapididoodah” comment, I am not a hypocrite. You can call me anything you like. I assume “zapporo” is not your real name, so my twisting it harms you as much as raindrops falling in Madagascar. Get real, zapster, you ain’t gaining any ground with that crapola. BTW Donnageddon ain’t my real name so twist it as you like. No harm, no foul.

    2nd. You have quite a long list of “I love America” qualities posted there. Must say most sound reasonable, if true. Except this : “Our nation has strayed far from its Christian roots towards secular humanism, much to its detriment. “

    What you are describing there is not only a myth, but s description of a theocracy, not a democracy. Your hatred of America is showing. Read your bible if you wish, b ut the minute you try to legislate with it, I will do everything I can to stop you. You see, that is the difference between us. I love America, and it’s constitution. You seem to have another agenda.

    3rd. “drill in ANWAR but not before raising CAFE and doing more to encourage conservation and the use of renewable energy sources. “ Drilling in ANWAR deos absolutely nothing for this country, except damadge its natural resources and stuff public money into pockets already overflowing with them.

    4th. “Work in a bipartisan manner to end budget deficits. We do not need to be the world’s worst debtor nation. There is so much more that we can do to secure our future. “ Sadly, until the republican party boots the neo-cons out of it, we can never accomplish that. You cannot negotiate with fascist, radicals.

    Zap?

  25. 32

    All tools here, and yet there are still screws loose. spews:

    Don this country was started by Christians wether you like it or not, to deny that is to ignore fact and history.

  26. 34

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 2

    We won’t admit that because it isn’t true. The GOP brand of sore losing/lying/crying wolf/crying is unique, and will not be duplicated by anyone else.

  27. 35

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Rossi is destined to be an asterisk — unelected, unloved, and unremembered — in our state’s history.

  28. 36

    headless lucy spews:

    Kill the head and the body dies,but not if you’re headless. Destroy e and another will rise!

  29. 37

    Donnageddon spews:

    All Fool @ 32 I suggeswt you open up a history book sometime, you dimwit!

    Their own words. Are you calling the founding fathers liars? Why do you neo-cons hate America?

    Thomas Jefferson:
    I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.

    letter to William Short

    “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” — Thomas Jefferson (letter to J. Adams April 11,1823)

    John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11 states:
    The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.
    Thomas Paine:

    I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible).
    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of…Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”
    From:
    The Age of Reason

    Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to ‘God’ to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator’s name by (attaching) it to this filthy book (the Bible).

    It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.

    Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins…and you will have sins in abundance.

    The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.
    James Madison:
    What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.
    Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.
    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. – letter to William Bradford April 1, 1774

    Ethan Allen:

    That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words.In the same book, I am denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian. – Reason, the Only Oracle of Man and A Sense of History

  30. 38

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 7

    “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”

    Neither are streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, schools, and such; but I’ve yet to meet a Republican who doesn’t want to use all that stuff for free. Or more precisely, at someone else’s expense.

    Just watch red-eye TV — all you see is infomercials about getting rich using OPM. (Other people’s money.) Not hard to figure out where this mentality comes from.

  31. 39

    Donnageddon spews:

    C’mon Goldy, release my post. I am not sure what word I used, but I will be more careful next time.

    Thanks

  32. 40

    headless lucy spews:

    “me” The M is stuck… Fuck Republicans. I hope your children die because you opposed stem cell research. In fact, that should be a law. No stem cell therapy for Reps and their progeny. I hate Reps.

  33. 41

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 12

    Just sit back and wait for them to lose their money in the real estate bubble. It won’t cure their stupidity but it’ll be fun to watch!

  34. 42

    zapporo spews:

    Don, you prove my points quite aptly, far better than I ever could.

    You responded to my points, but provided no solutions of your own.

    Your comments regarding this country’s Christian Heritage is further proof of secular humanism run amok — it is quite obviously objectionable to you that I pointed to this nation’s Christian heritage and those Christian founding fathers which provided the first ammendment to the constitution, not a theocracy. I can’t tell whether your ignorance of history is due to perspective or is quite willful.

    ANWAR will provide millions of barrels of oil with very little additional ecological impact, far less than the Alaskan pipeline. Even if you don’t agree, then how would you solve the problem post haste? Let’s start with conservation, higher CAFE standards, and go from there – Let’s find the middle ground and fix the problem. Doing nothing is not a viable productive option.

    I could just as easily add that as long as you support crooked elections, I will oppose you to the very end. More pragmatically, both parties need a dramatic swing to the center to work on the problems that this nation faces. To say that it’s just the outer fringe from one side or the other belies reality.

    Again, I’ll throw this out – We have enough goverment already – ~40% of GDP. Let’s hold the line on spending, create a business friendly environment, cut pork on all sides of the budget, and work on making government more efficient. This is doable.

  35. 44

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 14

    “Freedom is not free” is slang for OPM. The idea is to send other people’s children to make the ultimate sacrifice in foreign lands so you don’t have to make a financial sacrifice at the gas pump.

  36. 48

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Comment on 28

    “Adding a provision for election run-offs when the margin of victory is less than a pre-established margin would benefit both parties, would likely restore some confidence in elections, and might even cut down on some of the bitter animosity especially present here.”

    I like this idea. Florida ’00 and Ohio ’04 come to mind.

  37. 50

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Comment on 30

    “I detest people that whine, carp, and defend the indefensible”

    BINGO! So does Goldy — that’s why HorsesAss exists. So do the liberals and anti-trolls who frequent this thread.

    Soooooo … why do you trolls do it?

  38. 52

    N in Seattle spews:

    tool/loose screw @32:

    I don’t know whether nonsubscribers can read articles from the archive of The Nation, but I’ll test the possibility by posting a link to Brooke Allen’s Our Godless Constitution (February 21, 2005). Read it and weepget back to us.

  39. 53

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Cogitation @ 30

    “Encourage sustanable conservation, but not at the absolute cost of American jobs.”

    Now this is a really interesting contradiction. Let’s take a specific example to see if it works. Back in the 70s, Washington’s forests were being logged roughly 5 times as fast as they could regrow trees.

    I’ll have to make up some numbers (for illustration purposes) because I don’t remember the real ones. Let’s say logging employment during the overharvest period was 200,000 jobs. Let’s say the forests could sustain, on a long term basis, 40,000 jobs. Let’s say the logging continues at the 200,000-job pace until the last tree is cut. Let’s say further that taking down all the trees damages the forests beyond repair, i.e. they don’t grow back. Then you’ve got 0 jobs for the rest of forever.

    Which is more, 40,000 jobs forever, or 0 jobs forever?

  40. 54

    headless lucy spews:

    This country was started by murderers who accepted help and later killed their benefactors. We haven’t forgotten or forgiven.

  41. 56

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 39

    I don’t hate Repubs, but when the revolution comes, can I have their guns after the National Guard pries them from their cold dead fingers? Thanks.

  42. 57

    David spews:

    marks @ 20: I don’t know whether “headless lucy” is a ‘he’ or a ‘she’, but I agree with your assessment. A left-wing troll is no better than a right-wing troll.

    headless lucy: STOP! Please either contribute something positive and substantive when you post, or keep it to yourself.

  43. 58

    headless lucy spews:

    I love yellow journalists and I hate Republicans and I will shut you up quick if you open your stupid mouth in my presence!

  44. 59

    Donnageddon spews:

    Until my post on the Christian-America myth is released, I wilol comment on ANWAR and post hast solutions.

    Zapididoodah @ 42 “ANWAR will provide millions of barrels of oil with very little additional ecological impact, far less than the Alaskan pipeline. Even if you don’t agree, then how would you solve the problem post haste? “

    Post Haste? Are you kidding? If we started drilling in ANWAR right now (which we aren’t) we would not see a drop of oil for 10 YEARS! Lots of death and destruction can happen in that time.

    My suggestions? Put a tax on OIL till it reaches 10 dollars/gallon for non commercial users. Use the money for REAL mass transport ([post haste that means buses, which with gas at 10$/gal will have plenty of room on the roads. Quit giving tax breaks to companies for buying SUVs. Pump capital into research for non polluting renewable energy resources. BIODESIEL! Windfarms, Solar cells.

    We can do these now. ANWAR is a boondoggle to pump public funds into pockets already overflowing with them.

  45. 61

    Donnageddon spews:

    Dedicated to All fools and zapididoodah

    Our founding Fathers speak. You call them liars, and I will ask you why you hate America!

    Thomas Jefferson:
    I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.

    letter to William Short

    “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” — Thomas Jefferson (letter to J. Adams April 11,1823)

    John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11 states:
    The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.
    Thomas Paine:

    I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible).
    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of…Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”
    From:
    The Age of Reason

    Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to ‘God’ to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator’s name by (attaching) it to this filthy book (the Bible).

    It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.

    Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins…and you will have sins in abundance.

    The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.
    James Madison:
    What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.
    Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.
    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. – letter to William Bradford April 1, 1774

    Ethan Allen:

    That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words.In the same book, I am denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian. – Reason, the Only Oracle of Man and A Sense of History

  46. 63

    zapporo spews:

    Lucy- So that’s what you do for fun? Pervert.

    N – I read the article. I guess “Endowed by their Creator” was just a fluke? My post is not about enforcing one’s religious view on others, what I am talking about is a moral code, a framework for doing good works, an innate desire to build, to do good and righteous things, that we are regrettably losing sight of.

    “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”
    George Washington

    “The name of American, belongs to you…[and] with slight shades of difference, you have the same religion.”
    –George Washington in his Farewell Address to the American people, Paragraph 10; September 17, 1796

    “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”
    –George Washington in a speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779

    God works wonders now and then; Behold a lawyer, an honest man.
    Benjamin Franklin
    (for Don)

  47. 64

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Thoughts on ANWR … under the most optimistic projections it contains 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil … the U.S. uses over 7 billion barrels a year … so ANWR at most contains enough oil to supply current U.S. consumption for 2 years. A more realistic projection is half that.

    In reality, it would take at least 10 years to get ANWR oil to market, by which time Prudhoe will be nearly depleted, so the ANWR oil will only replace Prudhoe with no net increase in U.S. supplies.

    ANWR, at full production, would supply only 5% to 10% of U.S. needs. The U.S. would still have to import half or more of its petroleum.

    U.S. oil production has been declining since 1970. By the time ANWR production comes on line, U.S. production will be less than it is today even with ANWR’s oil.

    Still believe drilling in ANWR will result in U.S. energy independence and an end to oil imports? Yet, that’s exactly what many GOP supporters believe. Presumably they’re also the people who believe Iraq was behind 9-11 and WMDs were found in the Iraqi desert. They probably believe Bigfoot exists, too.

    Even George W. Bush and his advisors don’t believe ANWR will provide America’s energy needs. They have their eye on something else: Canada’s vast tar sands, which continue 30 times as much recoverable oil as the most optimistic ANWR estimates. They — and the oil companies — are pushing for rapid development of the tar sands, despite the high expense and tremendous environmental damage that mining tar sands entails.

    Tar sands also explains Bush’s hostility to the Chavez regime in Venezuela. You see, the world’s tar sands contain several times as much oil as ever existed in conventional deposits, and the planet has two gigantic tar sands deposits, each containing more oil than the Middle East — one in Canada, the other in Venezuela.

    Instead of encouraging development of energy technologies that are cleaner, renewable — and not necessarily under the control of oligopolies — Bush wants humanity to remain dependent on fossil fuels for centuries to come. That’s the real significance of his energy policy, which focuses on ANWR in the short term, and Canadian and Venezuelan tar sands over the long term (i.e., the next 100 years).

  48. 65

    David spews:

    re: screwy tools @ 32, and zapporo @ 41 (and the response from N @ 51):

    Gawd, here we go again. America was not founded as a Christian nation. It is not a “Christian nation” now, and never has been, except in the sense that most Americans are also Christians. America is a nation of religious freedom and religious pluralism, not religious government.

    Furthermore, our Founding Fathers were not Christian; they were not at all like today’s Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christians. They were Deists. Spiritual, certainly (most evident in the Declaration of Independence), but not Christian.

    Here’s what Jefferson said about Christianity:

    I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.

    And Thomas Paine:

    I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible). . . . The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.

    And James Madison:

    Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

    John Adams, in 1797, signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate. Article XI states:

    the Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.

    Cites:
    http://www.theology.edu/journa.....histor.htm (excellent)
    http://www.postfun.com/pfp/worbois.html
    http://monotheism.us/
    http://www.infidels.org/librar...../myth.html

  49. 66

    David spews:

    Arrrgh…if I’d left the cites (links) out, maybe my post re “Christian nation”/founding fathers wouldn’t be held up. Oh well.

  50. 68

    DEK spews:

    To JDM who claims the Dems would have brought the same suit if Gregoire had lost by 129 votes: Probably so. It would depend on the results of a statisticsl (and representative sample) or survey of felon voters as well as statistical (and representative sample of any other class or subset of challenged votes. If the results showed that Gregoire won then a suit would be proper. According to Adolph and Hancock-no reason not to do it right. Why didn’t Rossi do it right? Or did he? Why would great and expensive Rossi lawyers spend their time entering evidence that on a credibility and relevance scale of 1-10 (10 the best) would be about a minus 20 when good credible and relevant evidence is there to be had. There is only one possible answer. The good stuff is bad for Dino and he knows it. Why don’t the Dems use the good stuff now? Even though the burdon of proof is solely on Rossi, the Dems are coming up with the good stuff.

  51. 69

    Donnageddon spews:

    Although my post regarding the Christian-American Myth has no links (just citations) It must have a word like “Social-yst” in it. I have no idea what word it is.

  52. 70

    David spews:

    zapporo @ 61:
    “N – I read the article. I guess ‘Endowed by their Creator’ was just a fluke?”
    The founding fathers were Deists—spiritual, but not Christian. The Declaration of Independence also contains references to “the Laws of Nature” and “Nature’s God,” you’ll recall; but nothing about a Christian God. Nothing in the Constitution, either.

    My post is not about enforcing one’s religious view on others, what I am talking about is a moral code, a framework for doing good works, an innate desire to build, to do good and righteous things, that we are regrettably losing sight of.
    Hokum! This nation seems to be getting more religious, not less. Anyway, moral codes are generally laudable (who doesn’t want their children, neighbors, elected officials to be moral people?), but they vary from religion to religion (as does the vocabulary they use). Which would you impose? (Of course, if it’s an innate desire to build and do good, why do you turn to religion to encourage it? Rather, why do you think the government needs to?)

  53. 71

    N in Seattle spews:

    Zapporo, “endowed by their Creator” is, in this context, a red herring. It comes from the Declaration, not the Constitution. The latter is the document on which the foundation of the United States rests.

    And even if we consider that particular phrase, it can be taken to mean a one-time deal — however it is that we as a democratic people have had these attributes bestowed upon us, from there on it’s solely up to us as human beings to maintain and interpret them. Given that our forebears freed themselves from the British Empire, said Creator has no place whatsoever in the Constitution that they wrote to guide our nation into the future.

  54. 72

    David spews:

    btw, zapporo, George Washington? Not so Christian. He attended Protestant Episcopal Church services with his wife, but unlike her he never took communion. The Reverend made a remark in one sermon essentially reprimanding Washington for not celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and after that Washington stopped coming to church at all on sacramental Sundays. Asked later about his religious views, the Reverend replied “Sir, Washington was a Deist.” (not a Christian.) Washinton did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance at his deathbed, and uttered no words of a religious nature there. Even though he probably made some crowd-pleasing public pronouncements, he was not about making this country a Christian nation.

  55. 73

    Alltools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    David @ 69

    the fact that he was quoted as saying “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”
    –George Washington in a speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779

    That shows that he was a follower of Jesus Christ, in most circles those people are called Christians. Sorry you were too blinded by your lack luster form of “truth” to draw that concusion, but gosh darn it that is a FACT!

  56. 74

    Alltools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” – George Washington

    OH OUCH THAT HURTS!!! care for a little hoof in mouth?

  57. 76

    JDM spews:

    tj@3:

    JDM, the public is noticing the GOP overreach, nationally.

    Yes, on +- .5% high profile issues. The remaining BushCo malfeasance is entirely unknown to most folks, and rw media wurlitzer incessantly drumbeats junk with intention of blurring the remaining 99.5.

    Given the now well entrenched, tried and perfected GOP control of voting (eg. machines/key state loyal Sec of State’s etc.) procedures, I don’t think it’s possible for a sane non-GOP candidate to win a national election. That Ohio ’04 has never gotten MSM attention is a testament to that fact. The Ohio coin-gate episode motivated me to re-read the Edison/Mitofsky and one of it’s better summaries. It speaks as loudly as ever to large scale fraud. Only difference is now, after weeks of hearing babbling Wa. State wingers howling, it pisses me off more.

    A few days ago (forgot where) I saw stats on US public’s belief regarding Al Quada association w/ Sadam/Iraq broken down by network. Fox was (rom memory) +70%, all the others significantly lower.

    Anyway, just an example. But personally, I’m not so endowed with optimism US public is on the verge of an awakening.

    GDavis@5:

    IMO, it’s not about balls but rather lack of brains. They don’t have a stupid recognition gene. These guys think dropping a nuke on some “islamo-fascist” country is the “natural” thing to do!!!

    No, these guys are criminally insane. Don’t underestimate their capacity for mindless/random/wanton pillage. How did Christ put it… “Forgive them father, for the hapless bastards don’t have a goddamn clue”

  58. 77

    headless lucy spews:

    Reps. are an occupying force that must be expelled from our country and the debts they are incurring in our name need to be repudiated and any business entity that supports them must recompense us for their depradations. That will end this whole thing quickly. Microsoft and Bill Gates in particular owe the Aerican people a huge apology—— and billions of dollars.

  59. 79

    headless lucy spews:

    How could a company with the stature of Microsoft politically support such moronic assholes as they do? Whose in charge? Anyone?

  60. 81

    Alltools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    Zapporo-

    Guess we won, they changed the subject that’s what they usually do when the undisputable fact train comes rolling in.

  61. 82

    John spews:

    The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.

    That’s a great quote. Megachurches anyone? The more things change the more they stay the same…

  62. 83

    Donnageddon spews:

    All fools and zapididoodah, when you are through congratualating yourself for your mutual self-delusions, read @ 61 and @65 above.

    Nation founded on Christianity indeed!

  63. 84

    Alltools here, and yet there are still screws loose spews:

    http://www.christiananswers.ne.....-g011.html

    this too.

    A Portion of George Washington’s Personal Prayers

    “O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.”

    “I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.”

    “Make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life,…”

    http://blowthetrumpet.org/GeorgeWashington.htm

  64. 85

    David spews:

    screwy tools @ 73 & 74 (with applause from zapporo @ 75):

    Okay, you quote Washington saying that “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” That doesn’t make him a follower of Jesus Christ. Are you kidding? I’m Jewish, and (assuming schools in the 1770s were mostly religious in nature) I could have said the same thing. C’mon, guys, take the blinders off. The man was a Deist. Heck, even the reverend at the church he attended with his wife said so, flat out. Wishful thinking won’t change it.

    You also quote Washington saying that religion maintains morality. Fine; let people be religious. But don’t forget that his idea of religion was probably a lot different than yours. Deism posits that God made the world and left, so it’s up to us to act morally and make the world a better place. Wow, that’s pretty close to secular humanism even. Washington didn’t say you needed to be a follower of Christ to be a moral person. Not even close.

    So, you didn’t answer my questions: What moral code would you impose, exactly? And why should that be done by or through government, instead of privately by individuals, families and religious communities?

    How’s that foot?

  65. 86

    headless lucy spews:

    Zapporo– On SP you would be banned from commenting. I would ban you here. It’s a war now and you are expendable.

  66. 90

    Ted Smith spews:

    “The GOP spent good money on good attorneys”

    No and No. The Republicans only have tainted money. And a “good” attorney is ethically obligated to tell his/her clients the truth when the client just doesn’t have a case. A good Bar Association would discipline each and every one of them, but we just don’t have a good Bar Association in Washington.

  67. 91

    David spews:

    screwy tools @ 84: the first link you provided is the better one; at least it has citations. But all the “evidence” there that Washington was Christian is inferences made by other people who wanted to believe he was Christian. Not very convincing. The second link, with “George Washington’s Personal Prayers,” isn’t cited at all . . . I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if that’s been made up or misattributed, because it’s so out of character with his actions in his private life (e.g., regarding his church and his death).

    Here is a good, comprehensive analysis of whether Washington was a Christian. He was a private man, and made few references in his correspondence and other writings to Christianity (note: thousands of letters, not one containing the name Jesus Christ). He didn’t explicitly profess to be either a Christian or an unbeliever. However, according to the people who knew him and his religious beliefs best, it appears he wasn’t a Christian.

    Washington was religious, to be sure; but not a Christian. He was certainly not a fundamentalist Christian in any way—if anything, he was a sometime Episcopalian, and not even that according to the rector of his church. Why don’t you believe the reverend? DO YOU HATE EPISCOPALIANS? OR ALL CLERGY?

    P.S.: Did it escape you that the Treaty of Tripoli (the one that said the U.S. is NOT a Christian nation) was negotiated and written under Washington’s administration? (It was signed by President Adams shortly after he took office). That doesn’t mesh with the idea that Washington was a Christian President interested in starting a Christian nation. Because he wasn’t.

  68. 92

    zapporo spews:

    Lucy – It’s war here. You’re stupid. It’s self-evident.
    Go ahead, take a clown bow for the audience.

    Your posts on Sound Politics (www.soundpolitics.org) are most inane. There are junior high school kids that reason with more fluency and logic than you ever will, even if one were to consider the cumulative impact of your entire lifetime of posting.

    Did you stuff a crayon up your nose in Kindergarten?
    Just curious. I’m trying raally hard to understand the nature and cause of your stunted intellectual abilities.

    Actually, I think you’re just pissed off because I congratulated Marks on slamming you hard.
    Don’t worry, you’re still a little doozy, this too will pass.

    Cheers!

  69. 93

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Comment on 68

    “To JDM who claims the Dems would have brought the same suit if Gregoire had lost by 129 votes: Probably so.”

    Wrong. Gregoire would have conceded. I’m not in a position to say how I know, but I know.

  70. 94

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Thanks to all who invested time, effort, and research into debunking the wingos’ false claim that the Framers intended to create a “Christian nation.”

    The reason for the 1st Amendment is clear: Many early Americans were refugees from European religious persecution. They wanted two things: (1) Freedom of worship, (2) no state religion.

  71. 95

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Hey, if nothing else works for ya, try Casey Treat (the reformed drug addict). He preaches that Jesus wants you to be rich. Lots of wingers in his congregation … Zap and his pals should fit right in.

  72. 96

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Which brings up this question: Are all right-wing fundies ex-addicts, abuse victims, or others who need an emotional crutch — or just 1/2 of them?

  73. 98

    zapporo spews:

    Don @94 –

    “They wanted two things: (1) Freedom of worship”. I stated that this nation has “Christian Roots”. You and your compatriots have flogged the dog on this one. You’ve taken it all over the map to imply everything from imposing religious beliefs to every signer of the Declaration of Independence being a fundamental Christian. All of which ignores historical reality and misses my point of a Christian moral framework versus secular humanism. So be it.

    But hey, I’m certain that you’re going to have just as fun with the fact that this nation also has very strong Jewish roots. Have fun!

  74. 99

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Here are some examples of the healing powers of speaking in tongues:

    1. Cutting taxes increases revenues and reduces deficits.
    2. Giving tax breaks to the rich creates jobs.
    3. Killing Iraqi civilians makes them free.
    4. Spewing more pollution makes the air cleaner.
    5. Denying kids access to birth control prevents premarital sex.

    I’m sure I could think of lots more but I wanted to spend only 15 seconds on this.

    Hey, I have an idea, let’s have a “Speaking in Tongues” contest! The object is to come up with the most inane Republican b.s. you can think of. See examples above for illustration.

  75. 100

    RossiSux2 spews:

    ANNOUNCING FIRST ANNUAL HORSESASS.ORG “SPEAKING IN TONGUES” CONTEST! Post entries below.

  76. 101

    Donnageddon spews:

    Zapporo, as the words of the founding fathers themselves have stated. They were not Christins. They were Diests, and as such, they share much more with secular humanism than christianity. If you refuse to believe their own words, that is your choice. But you are only fooling yourself.

  77. 104

    headless lucy spews:

    Stefan (The SF homo/ “father”, don’t make me laugh)bans people all the time if they say things he doesn’t want to hear(Like taking money from Karl Rove)So why not ban these conservative dickheads from HA?

  78. 105

    David spews:

    zap @ 98, let’s review:

    You said @ 30: “Our nation has strayed far from its Christian roots towards secular humanism, much to its detriment.”

    screwy tools chimed in @ 32: “this country was started by Christians wether you like it or not, to deny that is to ignore fact and history.”

    Don objected, and you hollered @ 42 that denying “this nation’s Christian heritage and those Christian founding fathers which provided the first ammendment to the constitution” (both emphases yours) “is further proof of secular humanism run amok”.

    So N and Donageddon and I went about documenting—proving—that your claims (and the parallel claims of screwy tools) are self-serving bunk. (I can see that proving things with evidence isn’t a familiar task for Republicans in this state.) The founding fathers were not Christians, and this nation has not been moving from “Christian roots” toward secular humanism; if anything, the opposite is occurring as Christian zealots are trying to capture the religiously-neutral government that our Deist founding fathers set up.

    And after all this, it turns out you’re in denial and you’ve learned nothing:

    “I stated that this nation has ‘Christian Roots’.”

    How many ways must we say it? The roots of this Nation are not Christian. Our Nation was not founded on Christian beliefs.

    And despite all the evidence that you are wrong, you claim that anyone who disagrees with you “ignores historical reality and misses my point of a Christian moral framework versus secular humanism.”

    Again: the historical reality of this great country, the country I love, is that it was not founded on a Christian moral framework; it was founded on a Deistic moral framework (akin to secular humanism combined with belief in a God not involved in our affairs). You have it precisely backward! You should be glad this country, with its non-Christian underpinnings, has allowed your religion to thrive so well.

    I close with what I wrote @ 65: America is a nation of religious freedom and religious pluralism, not religious government. And it should stay that way.

  79. 107

    marks spews:

    David @104

    America is a nation of religious freedom and religious pluralism, not religious government. And it should stay that way.

    I agree with your summation. The fact that these United States had such a diversity of religion (mostly Christian) was the reason the Constitution had the First Amendment added under the Bill of Rights.

    Actually, I find this debate a bit misleading. I see Church and State separation as one issue that has bifurcated into questions of crosses on public land and allowed government use of the Judeo-Christian term “God.” A number of smaller branches commingle with it, but for ease, I will lump them into the two.

    A cross on public land is not by itself an endorsement of Christianity. Were it so, Arlington National Cemetery would need to be razed. No, the public owns the land, and there is no infringement of a person’s right to practice their religion. Hence, a cross is fine, so long as a menorah and/or statue of Buddha and/or any other religious article can be displayed on public land. Sort of an equal access clause. Further, banning one means banning all, something that may also be unconstitutional since it can be shown to infringe on the right to practice religion.

    The SCOTUS says it is unconstitutional for prayers to be held in an organized, sanctioned way on a public school campus. I agree, primarily because one religion will end up placed before people who may have a different religion (at this point I would inject the voluntary participation idea, but it is late for me and I am tired). If you were to have a non-denominational multi-deity prayer, what is the point of having it? Like this:

    Our (state your supreme being[s]), who art in (state your afterlife destination[s]), hallowed be thy (name/form/function[s]).

    Our currency “In God We Trust” and “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance have garnered much attention. Should those be disallowed? I think I will let the SCOTUS decide that, as I am not that good at sophistry.

  80. 109

    headless lucy spews:

    If the draft is reinstated all this crap will stop on a dime. Reality has to kick in eventually.

  81. 110

    headless lucy spews:

    I still hate stefan shartwatski for banning me from his blog.What’s he afraid of? Gay ass SF REP.

  82. 111

    Ruth spews:

    If you want the truth about God…..ask Him and read the bible. You will never find the truth from people…..they are not perfect…..or from religions….they are groups of people. This country is blessed because we are a christian nation.

  83. 113

    DamnageD spews:

    Donnageddon @ 37

    It’s about damn time someone pointed out that America and “Christianity” NO NOT go hand in hand.

    Points and quotes known throughout history are so easily dismissed when they do not fit the political climate. Did our founding fathers have faith? You better believe it! Did they understand that canned belief (like what we’re seeing now) is a poison fed to the masses; you’d better believe that too!

    You fools that think that segregation, hate, and intolerance is okay in the “house of God” (aka. your friggen soul)?You have completely had your brains scrubbed out and replaced with cupcakes. Our “Fathers” knew and understood what religious persecution was all about…and it’s what we will likely face in the near future.

    God help us all…

  84. 114

    Donnageddon spews:

    DamnageD @ 137

    Thank you, but David had many of the same quotes and evidence, I was just FIRST (in your face David! :) )

    I think this is a point that needs to be made, but I do not think the Democratic party has the gonads to do it. Religion is still dangerous ground for any politician. And that is sad. Every time I see a politician, whether Right Or Left, speak of God… I replasy it in my head as if they were talking about Zeus, or Jupiter, or any other Gods that have been forgotten.

    I am an athiest. This does not mean I know the ultimate answer (life the universe and everthing), but I reject all religions to date.

    I was raised a Christian (Catholic), but in college I ACTUALLY READ the Bible. I was aghast! What horrific hypocricy! What Balderdash. If it was true, then count me OUT!

    We need to help people lose their primitive delusions and get on with making a truly moral and just world.

    I think God, whoever she may be, would like that.

  85. 116

    Bartelby spews:

    Marks @ 107
    “Actually, I find this debate a bit misleading. I see Church and State separation as one issue that has bifurcated into questions of crosses on public land and allowed government use of the Judeo-Christian term ‘God.’”

    Am I wrong in wondering if this is yet another whopping catch from the right wing red herring farm. What serious secularist group has ever opposed crosses (other than the flaming variety) on public property? This canard is so common that you can find multiple entries on urban legends pages; even the ACLU has had to deign to acknowledge such patent nonense with an entry on the FAQs section of its webpage.

    Not that apocryphal provenance ever deterred a wingnut, of course. Remember the “attack on Xmas” propaganda campaign of last December? Neat trick that: Christians as victims. Utterly unsubstantiated, of course, but it made great sound bites.

    Next time you hear such a claim, ask for a few examples. Not to say that I don’t trust the folks that say Sponge Bob is a queer proselytizer, but it never hurts to try to verify.

  86. 117

    zapporo spews:

    David, Don, and Others,

    I had about two pages written to try to respond regarding your misperceptions of what was written and intended and what is actual historical truth. But at this point, nothing I can say would make any difference to you. Obviously using the word “Christian” in the context of this blog is like fishing with dynamite. Exciting perhaps, but not terribly effective at getting results.

  87. 118

    Donnageddon spews:

    Zapporo, mythologies, and historical innacuracies are hard to defend. I admire your attempt.

    Take Care

  88. 119

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 104

    No, let ‘em come over here looking for trouble — and let’s make sure they find it.

  89. 120

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Comm ent on 110

    Don’t feel bad. I was banned from Free Republic. (Gee I wonder why???)

  90. 121

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Comment on 107

    When Alabama’s ex-Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore put the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, he didn’t have equal access in mind. In fact, he refused to allow displays representing non-Christian religions. Do you believe for one instant that the so-called Christian conservatives are interested in giving equal treatment to other religions? Not on your life! The whole point of their movement to involve government in religion is to impose their brand of Christianity on the entire country. The whole point of demanding public school prayer is to indoctrinate the nation’s children with the idea THEIR religion is the only true religion. That is why liberals adamantly oppose them.

    References to a non-denominational “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, on currency, etc. are different. These references are cultural in nature, as distinct from the practice of religion, and therefore permissible in the eyes of the SCOTUS.

  91. 123

    Donnageddon spews:

    RossiSux2 @ 121

    “References to a non-denominational “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, on currency, etc. are different. These references are cultural in nature, as distinct from the practice of religion, and therefore permissible in the eyes of the SCOTUS.”

    I understand where you are coming from, but I still find the labeling of our currency, Pledge, etc. with Mythology offensive. At the least it is shamefully silly. Why not put In Santa We Trust on everything?

    But I am asking for too much rationality of SCOTUS and the coal mining rabble that votes red.

    I kid.

  92. 124

    David spews:

    Wow—one religious issue gets wrapped up, and we get a new one!

    marks @ 107: thank you for the kind words. I agree with your take on school prayers, too, but I think you’ve made a mistake regarding crosses on public land.

    You wrote: “A cross on public land is not by itself an endorsement of Christianity. Were it so, Arlington National Cemetery would need to be razed.”

    There’s a big difference between personal gravestones and other public property. A person’s gravestone (with a symbol chosen by his or her family members) is personal expression, not government speech. Even in a nominally public national cemetery, a cross, crescent, star, etc. on an individual’s gravestone is not a government endorsement of that individual’s religion. (Bartleby @ 116 is half-correct about this, too; the ACLU website has a FAQ stating that “The ACLU is not pursuing, nor has it ever pursued, the removal of religious symbols from personal gravestones.“)

    But you and Bartleby are both misinformed as to whether government can Constitutionally erect a cross (or a creche, menorah, Budda, etc.) on public land like a park or at a public building. That does constitute a government endorsement (establishment) of religion; it doesn’t matter if you change the religion or add more different ones.

    Church-state separation under the First Amendment is bifurcated into the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. They go hand-in-hand: the establishment clause says that government can’t establish (endorse, promote, favor) any religion; the free exercise clause says that government can’t interfere with your right to practice your own religion.

    So, for example, a city can’t put up a cross in a park (establishment), but it also can’t stop a church group from having a prayer meeting in that park (free exercise). Similarly, schools can’t post crosses or the Ten Commandments in schoolrooms (establishment), but individual students can pray in school to their hearts’ content (free exercise, especially before tests).

    Hope this helps to clarify.

  93. 125

    David spews:

    RossiSux2 @ 121:
    “References to a non-denominational ‘God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, on currency, etc. are different. These references are cultural in nature, as distinct from the practice of religion, and therefore permissible in the eyes of the SCOTUS.”

    Don’t be too sure, especially about the Pledge of Allegiance (where “under God” was added in 1954, I think, during the height of the McCarthy era, in order to distinguish ourselves from godless communism.) Remember the religious fervor over the recent Pledge case? I think a lot of people think of “under God” as more than “cultural” in nature. (It’s not just patriotic— its a daily religious affirmation!) The issue is still unsettled.

    “In God We Trust” has been around a lot longer, and is as much historical/traditional as religious now. That motto isn’t likely to have any serious legal challenges.

  94. 126

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 107

    If the Framers were Christian moralists, they weren’t very good ones, because some of them owned slaves and committed adultery with their slaves (e.g., Jefferson comes to mind). The Framers enshrined and perpetuated slavery in the Constitution as a sop to the southern colonies to get them to join the Union; that smells like secular pragmatism to me. You can’t reconcile Christian principles with support for slavery or slave ownership, period.

  95. 127

    David spews:

    Bartleby @ 116 refers to the portrayal of “Christians as victims.” I, too, have noticed this odd persecution complex among vocal Christians. They’re by far the dominant religious group in this country, and yet they keep complaining they are oppressed and mistreated and not given a fair shake. (Imagine how they’d feel if they really *were* a marginalized, discriminated-against minority…like what if they were all gay?). And their misguided solution seems to be repeated attempts to transform the U.S. into a ‘Christian nation.’

    Anyway, I have figured out the solution to their problems. Christians need their own Christian homeland. Just like Jews have Israel, Christians need to have a place to call their own. I was thinking, say, Wyoming; but I guess they’ve already chosen South Carolina. So: good luck! May God be with you.

    Fox News has more on this.

  96. 128

    Donnageddon spews:

    David @ 125

    Actually “In God We Trust” was added to our currency during the 1950′s at the same time as the Pledge was desicrated with a mention of God.

    ” bill H R 619 was approved by President Eisenhower on July 11, 1955 and specified “… that at such time as new dies for the printing of currency are adopted in connection with the current program of the Treasury Department to increase the capacity of presses utilized by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the dies shall bear, at such place or places thereon as Secretary of the Treasury may determine to be appropriate, the inscription “In God We Trust”, and thereafter this inscription shall appear on all United States currency and coins.”

    http://asms.k12.ar.us/armem/martin/

    If this is in error, let me know.

  97. 131

    Scott spews:

    I know more and more people who have quit going to church since the Repukelicans have taken over the pulpits.

    Personally, if I had a choice between going to Heaven and spending eternity with the like of Jerry Falwell or Ralph Reed and going to Hell, I’d MUCH rather go to Hell.

    And all this talk of a revoultion… PLEASE! The Repukelicans are chickenhawks. They don’t fight. They SEND someone to fight. They’d never FIGHT themselves. They’re cowards.

  98. 132

    marks spews:

    Scott @131

    Are you related to the commenter @130?

    Bartleby @116

    Am I wrong in wondering if this is yet another whopping catch from the right wing red herring farm. What serious secularist group has ever opposed crosses (other than the flaming variety) on public property?

    Atheists Win!!! Congratulations…

    apocryphal provenance Nicely worded…sort of like the ACLU striving for consummate prevarication.

    David clarified your error on the ACLU over a cross in a cemetery and goes on to say:
    But you and Bartleby are both misinformed as to whether government can Constitutionally erect a cross (or a creche, menorah, Budda, etc.) on public land like a park or at a public building.

    In the specific wording used, I agree. However, if an artifact is donated by a group as in the case of Mt. Soledad, paid for by private funding, it is a judicial over-reach to read that as somehow an endorsement of religion.

    RossiSux2 @121 explains why equal access is important in context. If Mt. Soledad had several symbols, the Atheists may not have won.

  99. 133

    RossiSux2 spews:

    marks @ 132

    Christians vs. Atheists:

    “Councilman Scott Peters, whose district includes the cross, said he would uphold that.

    “‘As a public official, I promised in December with my hand on the Bible, so help me God, to uphold the Constitution, and I can’t ignore what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is doing,” Peters said.’”

    Some Christians don’t have difficulty figuring out what the Constitution means.

  100. 134

    marks spews:

    RossiSux2 @133

    Some Christians don’t have difficulty figuring out what the Constitution means.

    Unlike the Alabama Chief Justice, who went contrary to the rulings against his block of granite. Some method of adhering to the ruling should be made, and the dolt in Alabama thought he was above the law. Good riddance, IMO…

  101. 135

    reggie spews:

    Scott @131

    Obviously you don’t go to church or you would know that church attendance is up. Way up in fact since 9/11. Hasn’t got anything to do with right wing agendas. If your left wing boobs want to leave the church because of some “extremists” let them. That would seem to be the typical left wing response, Broad stroke religion as some neo-con plot.

    plenty of apolitical churches out there….you just have to spend the time to find them….

    Headless Lucy at 12…..you’re talking about Jim McDermott right?

  102. 136

    RossiSux2 spews:

    reggie @ 135

    Let’s see … liberal church attendance … we have a head-up-his-ass country preacher in the Carolinas telling parishioners they can’t belong to his church unless they vote for Bush … we have several head-up-their-asses Catholic bishops noisily refusing communion and threatening to excommunicate politicians who don’t support their political agenda … why would any liberal want to belong to a church that preaches:

    1) hate
    2) exclusion
    3) right wing politics

    I thought churches were for worshipping God??? I thought Christianity preached love, forgiveness, tolerance??? Yeah, when narrow-minded partisan haters take over the pulpits, it’s time to find a different place to worship.

  103. 137

    Convinced spews:

    I have been reading this blog for a while and the one thing it has convinced me to do is invite every person I know who is politically undecided, a mushy in the middle moderate or just generally politically uninterested to come view it.

    The wild rhetoric, the devolved language, the threats, the baseless accusations, the wild rants, and the simple moronic immaturity of the supporters of the far left liberal ideology promoted here does more than anything I could possibly ever say or do to convince them to make up their minds toward conservatism.

    I would invite any conservative that visits here to also invite every family member, friend, coworker and neighbor to spend just 30 minutes reading the tripe posted here.

    Then, ask them if this is truly reflective of the people with whom they want to be associated by political party or ideology.

    Ask them to wonder why such extremism not only hasn’t been soundly denounced by that party’s spokesman, but appears to be encouraged.

    Ask them to consider that this is where the next generation of spokesmen, representatives and elected officials will come from.

    Ask them to think whether this is what they want for our country.

  104. 138

    David spews:

    marks: I wrote @ 124 that “government [cannot] Constitutionally erect a cross (or a creche, menorah, Budda, etc.) on public land like a park or at a public building. That does constitute a government endorsement (establishment) of religion”. You replied @ 132 that as long as government doesn’t do the erecting, it’s okay.

    I appreciate your nitpicking; but you are wrong on the law. Even if a private person or group put up a religious symbol on public property, the government is not entitled to allow it to remain. Letting it be there is no different than putting it there as far as the establishment clause is concerned; it’s an unconstitutional religious endorsement.

    Take a couple of for-examples. Someone wants to install a large cross at Victor Steinbrueck park in Seattle, or Riverfront Park in Spokane, or Mt. Rainier National Park. Do you think it’s okay to put it up (on public land) without permission? (If so, why don’t I just build a house on public property? Hey—free land!) If you do need official permission, getting it would be a pretty concrete (and Constitutionally disallowed) endorsement.

    Or look at a public school classroom. The teacher wants to put a crucifix on the wall. But the teacher is a public employee representing the state, and can’t encourage religion or any particular religion in the classroom. The crucifix is not allowed. By the same token, an anti-religious poster would not be allowed; government must remain neutral to religion.

    You wrote: “it is a judicial over-reach to read that as somehow an endorsement of religion.” Far from it. It is basic Constitutional law. I’m disappointed that you would impugn the judiciary and call this overreaching or activism. It’s not—it’s necessary judicial protection of our religiously-neutral public spaces.

    [Note: There are currently legal fights going on about installations of the Ten Commandments donated to cities across the country ~50 years ago. There is no question that they couldn't put them in today; the only defense being raised for keeping them is that now they're "historical." We'll see.]

  105. 139

    RossiSux2 spews:

    Reply to 137

    Hey goofball, while you’re at it, why don’t you also ask them if what they want for our country is:

    1) Starting wars on false pretexts,
    2) American troops coming home in body bags,
    3) Trillions of dollars in deficit spending,
    4) Massive corporate corruption,
    5) Raping and polluting the environment,
    6) Exporting American jobs to third world countries,
    7) The worst employment record of any president since Hoover,
    8) Eliminating health and pension benefits for workers,
    9) U.S. government sponsored torture and murder of innocent people; arrests without charges, imprisonments without trial; FBI agents snooping in libary and personal records; bribing journalists and censoring the media,

    If you like corruption, warmongering, and fascism — you’ll love the Republican Party!

  106. 140

    marks spews:

    You are talking about the Texas Ten Commandments (among others that were rolled into a single case). We will see where the 9 Justices who see an artistic rendering of Moses carrying two tablets in their courtroom go with it…

    In a similar context, we allow public displays of art, generally contracting someone to build some gaudy structure of intricate design. The Neanderthal in me says that is a waste of public funding, yet sometimes the product is breathtaking. A design that includes a Star of David as part of the intricacy, or a series of crossed beams, etc. is inconsistent with the Constitution? Religion trumps art in the public domain?

  107. 141

    David spews:

    marks, you ask whether publicly commissioned or displayed art “that includes a Star of David as part of the intricacy, or a series of crossed beams, etc. is inconsistent with the Constitution?

    Well, is it a religious symbol or isn’t it? If it’s just art, even if it’s star-shaped or has a lot of intersecting lines, there’s no issue. On the other hand, if it’s, say, a very pretty, artistic crucifix, it’s still not permissible. If it’s ambiguous, then it’s ambiguous, and the lawyers will have something to fight about.

  108. 142

    marks spews:

    David, reminds me of the “I’ll know it when I see it” standard. Anyway, good arguments.
    BTW- If we’re to keep from becoming persona-non-grata here, we’ll need to start insulting each other gratuitously…

  109. 143

    Stop their CATerwauling, spay/neuter ALL Pet Libs spews:

    So, a public cross is a great big ‘no-no’ but “Cross in Piss” is celebrated and paid for with tax dollars; a replica of the Pieta should be “BANNED, I say, BANNED! you hear me zealots???” but ‘Mary smeared with elephant dung’ is “art” and also paid for with tax dollars.

    And you wonder why we call you hypocrites.

    The name fits.

  110. 144

    N in Seattle spews:

    pathetic CATerwauler,

    If you can’t comprehend the difference between a specific religion’s artifact erected on public land, and a work of photographic art exhibited in a museum (Andres Serrano, the artist, had financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, but not specifially for creating “Piss Christ”), you certainly can’t comprehend what hypocricy is.

  111. 145

    reggie spews:

    RossiSux2 at 136

    I think I said that there are plenty of APOLITICAL churches in our community. If one wants to worship without being hammered with a political message it isn’t that hard to find a church that is APOLITICAL. I can help you by telling you that the Antioch Bible church would not be a place for Apolitical worship. i don’t go to church there for just that reason If my church did become political it would be my choice to either help them change that policy or go to another church that wasn’t political.

    And while we are at it….left wingers have their own extremist hammering home political messages from the pulpit. Jesse Jackson’s name comes to mind. His views on Jewish people is one for the books.

    As I see it, it goes both ways. But your reply to my post just made Convinced’s point on 137 valid. (not that it needed your help)

  112. 146

    Donnageddon spews:

    STOP Eugenics @ 143 “‘Mary smeared with elephant dung’ ”

    You don’t even realize that this is a POLITICAL statement regarding how Repugs have polluted religion?

    Sad, very sad.

  113. 147

    Dr Quest spews:

    If you’re talking about Jackson’s “Hymietown” comment, at least he didn’t say anything about Hollywood.

  114. 148

    Puddybud spews:

    David I have a question for you But first read about Jesse Jackson: Jackson’s most notorious anti-Semitic comment came in 1984, during his first run for the presidency, when he made what he assumed was an off-the-record comment to a black reporter in which he called Jews “Hymies” and New York “Hymietown.” He publicly apologized for that, and in ensuing years has made efforts to overcome Jewish mistrust of him and his motives. He has been largely excused by the media, even as Jackson insists that whites like the recently defeated Charles Pickering are unfit for government office because of racist views they might have held 40 years ago. < -- National Review Online. Such hypocrisy!!! I worked on his 1988 election campaign, before I woke up and realized what he really is, a shyster.

    But if Semites are from Shem, then isn't Abraham a semite? If Abraham is a semite, then are not Arabs Semites also, as Ismael also a semite? If in Genesis Shem is described as the father of the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Aramaeans, Sabaeans, and Hebrews, then how can the term anti-semetic be thrown at Arabs? Just Checking.

    David: I am back from a three day hiatus, vacation, anniversary celebration. We saw that bad accident on I-5 North just north of Marysville. David, I noticed you posted on the Sabbath. What’s up with that? Go to the open thread for the other questions regarding PacMan.

    To all of you: If you feel that it’s okay to take what someone else takes as their highly respected religious symbols and make fun of them in “art” you are warped. If you are so stoopid to see that it makes one upset and you call it “art” you are sadly mistaken in your discussions on your fellow man. I can see why Convinced is convinced. And you want me to respect you and you show no respect for other symbols is sad.

    Just Checking

    Pudster

  115. 149

    Puddybud spews:

    David: Part of my post above was missing. I asked “I see you posted your first answer to me on the Sabbath”. What’s up with that?

    Darrell

  116. 151

    Jean spews:

    Why Rossi Should not be Governor:

    Rossi made the race close with millions of dollars from a group called BIAW who gets their funding (supposedly to be used for ‘rebates’ to business that they cover under a sub scheme of Labor and Industries) from the Wash. State Government and use the majority of it to try and push their extremist views down the throats of everyday citizens.

  117. 152

    Jean spews:

    BIAW BEHIND DEVIOUS OPTIONS TRYING TO UNCOVER VOTE FRAUD.
    WHY ROSSI SHOULDN’T BE GOVERNOR
    Rossi and Vance have spent the past 4 months literally crying and getting the BIAW to do ‘devious’ options trying to uncover ‘voter fraud’ but as of now, nothing has come out of it except that the Republican Party is infuriating the vast majority of the state’s electorate.