Posts tagged ‘Constitution’

June 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince Giordano

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple. It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines,” –Sgt. Maj. Michael Barrett, the top non-commissioned officer of the Marine Corps, on the repeal of DADT.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

November 13, 2010

DADT: Splitting Apart Families, Students, and Our Souls

by Vince Giordano


Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.

They can’t serve our country openly.


What’s worse, these laws that legislate discrimination teach bullies that what they’re doing is acceptable.


Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens, why shouldn’t they?


My time in the classroom has had me listening in to what students talk about and most notably how they address one another.  In each one of my classes yesterday, for example, there was at least one instance of someone being called gay. I thought of Andrew Marin and instantly asked a few probing questions about their gay assertions. My second question is usually “do you know that my uncle is gay?” Most student usually do not look up at me when I ask them this and burrow down, trying hard to possibly hide their embarrassment. I don’t take what they say personally and I usually sit down near them and talk through with them about what they are saying and feeling inside when they throw about a usual “he’s gay” assertion.

Most male students are nervous of the possibility of a gay male student hitting on them, touching them, or openly pursuing them. I ask them if this has ever happened to them or anyone they know. I haven’t heard of one student who has had an example of this happening. Truly, the irrational fear of being hit on has found a place in many people, young and old, of white or of foreign descent, and is in dire need of direct addressing.

Some other students then assume fellow students of theirs are gay by the way they dress, who they hang out with, and by other various behaviors they see and judge. One boy said yesterday that he thought a female student he knew was gay because she hung out with all girls. I asked him what if this girl had been abused and raped by her father, uncle, or other male in her life and never wanted to be touched by a man or be around one if she didn’t have to. Instantly, the boy said that that treatment of the girl is totally wrong. In the end, we sometimes never really know.

I don’t know if that sparked a light bulb moment for him, and ultimately that is beyond my powers, but I hope to instill in the students a few things. One, when I am their teacher, each student will be treated by one another with respect and not isolated, put down, or demonized. Second, I want to get across that the label of “he/she is gay” is so ingrained that we don’t even think about its ramifications or where it comes from.

I still am not convinced after studying the scriptures from both sides of the ideological aisle what my final view on same-sex attraction, marriage, or DADT is. What I can stand for is not treating students, citizens, or normal human beings as second rate citizens, looking to talk about these issues first theologically and then politically, and seeing these large, complex issues just as they are: large and complex and needed to be seen under the scope of a human, Godly lens along with the Constitution (which doesn’t say anything about who one can or can’t marry).


October 21, 2010

Quote of the Week

by Vince Giordano

In a letter to a friend in 1816, Thomas Jefferson mocked “men [who] look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched”; “who ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment.” “Let us follow no such examples, nor weakly believe that one generation is not as capable as another of taking care of itself, and of ordering its own affairs,” he concluded. “Each generation is as independent as the one preceding, as that was of all which had gone before.”

This quote came from a Newsweek piece detailing the continued Constitution worship by the Tea Party.

September 26, 2010

Constitution Worship: History into Scripture, Men into Deities

by Vince Giordano

I see this in Glenn Beck. I hear it from people who don’t fully even understand the document (myself included in my lack of comprehension but not with its worship). But it is real. And the below picture captures my thoughts to a T.

Lexington at the Economist describes this semi-religious practice:

The Declaration of Independence and the constitution have been venerated for two centuries. But thanks to the tea-party movement they are enjoying a dramatic revival. The day after this September’s constitution-day anniversary, people all over the country congregated to read every word together aloud, a “profoundly moving exercise that will take less than one hour”, according to the gatherings’ organisers. At almost any tea-party meeting you can expect to see some patriot brandishing a copy of the hallowed texts and calling, with trembling voice, for a prodigal America to redeem itself by returning to its “founding principles”. The Washington Post reports that Colonial Williamsburg has been crowded with tea-partiers, asking the actors who play George Washington and his fellow founders for advice on how to cast off a tyrannical government.

Sure, we all see bits and pieces of that in the videos we see (which indeed in part are bias), the stories we hear, and in the political arena in our midsts. The contemporary “Leviathan”, known as the big large monster of America’s overarching government, is in the Tea Party’s cross hairs. Lexington notes the paradox amongst the Tea Party, which whether you align yourself with them or not, can be fuel for secession:

But many of the tea-partiers have invented a strangely ahistorical version of it. For example, they say that the framers’ aim was to check the central government and protect the rights of the states. In fact the constitution of 1787 set out to do the opposite: to bolster the centre and weaken the power the states had briefly enjoyed under the new republic’s Articles of Confederation of 1777.

American Exceptionalism lives on the notion that our founders were 1) all Christians (which has been debunked) and 2) were almost above the normal man 3) set on a special mission by God and 4) were some of the most exceptional men on this earth, meant to establish a very exceptional country. You can see this in Sarah Palin’s rhetoric, in pockets of the TP, and in many churches. I don’t intend this at all to brand the TP as all American exceptionalists, but the very philosophy is AE is dangerous, arrogant, and at best not fully aligned with truth and history.

The framers were giants, visionaries and polymaths. But they were also aristocrats, creatures of their time fearful of what they considered the excessive democracy taking hold in the states in the 1780s. They did not believe that poor men, or any women, let alone slaves, should have the vote. Many of their decisions, such as giving every state two senators regardless of population, were the product not of Olympian sagacity but of grubby power-struggles and compromises—exactly the sort of backroom dealmaking, in fact, in which today’s Congress excels and which is now so much out of favour with the tea-partiers.

Hard core followers of the right loath Thomas Jefferson – see the Texas school board. We have to remember the founders were humans, made by a perfect G-D but drifted towards an imperfect existence. The same goes for the disciples of Christ. I see humans first in their original good nature but unfortunately later tainted by our decisions.

As for the constitution worshipers, this goes past the document written in the 18th century to the one written in the Middle Ages. AE is born out of a view that G-D providentially ordained our founders to form a Christian nation. As much as that may be common thought when one sees the brandishing of the 10 Commandments (law) above court houses and “Under God” in our schools pledges, such a notion is, again, poppycock at best and dangerous towards our nation and our worldwide neighbors in its worst moments.

August 10, 2010

Defending The Fundamental Right To Marriage

by Vince Giordano

Ted Olson brings it: conservative style and in a very polite way, too. When was the last time you heard someone talk about such a hot button issue so calmly? He seems to be confident in what he is saying, doesn’t feel threatened by these polemic issues, and feels protected by our Constitution. Money quote:
“We believe that a conservative value is stable relationships and stable community and loving individuals coming together and forming a basis that is a building block of our society, which includes marriage.”

He brings up so many good points yet clings to our Constitutional fundamentals. Thank you, Ted. Even the host wonders how he ever lost a court case.

July 4, 2010

Revolution within the Constitution

by Vince Giordano

Morgan Meis discusses part of the Constitution detailing the abolishing of a destructive government by the people. This could be what the Tea Party thinks of:

In essence, it argues that the American people have a right to make up a new form of government, of whatever sort they like, any time the old forms of government seem like they aren’t working. Needless to say, this is an incredibly bold and incredibly dangerous proposition to put forth. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the document, was — along with his colleagues — perfectly aware that he was opening a massive can of worms with this principle of revolution and self-rule.

That’s why the next sentence in the Declaration comes right in to qualify the situation, to dampen down the radical impact of these thoughts. Jefferson writes, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” We have a right to abolish any government and to establish a new one under any principles we fancy, but it is a right that only a fool would actually exercise.

July 2, 2010

Differing on the 1st Amendment

by Vince Giordano