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Sounds like Judeo-Christian values are a little like Sharia, eh?

To The Daily Sun,

It seems that Steve Earle would like a say in what I write about. From his hole in Hill, he seems clueless regarding America's ongoing religious culture war, where religious crazies poison the environment with their political Christianity. My letters were responses to Demakowski and Ewing. If they want to say things that's just propaganda, I'll want to rebut them. I present the academic view; the Constitution is based broadly on enlightenment values which have classical and Renaissance inputs. I am talking about the actual text of the Constitution. If Mr Earle can find one sentence in the Constitution that reflects any Biblical doctrine, have at it, Hoss! Texas' Tom Delay says the Constitution was written by God. Tea Potty Time!

Mr. Earle is clearly doesn't know that the European Enlightenment was all the rage in the coastal and university regions of America. America's distilling of that enlightenment movement underlies our Constitution. For instance, the idea of separate powers in government is derived from the ancient historian Polybius' writing on the mid-Roman Republic's form of government in a section of his "The Histories" called "The Constitution of the Mid-Republic [1], and Baron Von Montesquieu's wildly popular "The Spirit of the Laws." [2]

Steve thinks going back some 1,000 years helps him, but it hurts him. The founders declared a new order for the ages. Into the trash heap with the old! The Old Legal Order of the Ages is the religiously intolerant Judeo-Christian governments that predated the U.S. Constitution. Religious test-oaths for public service, church attendance requirements, religious tests for trade membership, "approved church" membership requirements for public servants, church and state alliances, and more. Europe became Christian much by force of law, force of troops and the stripping of civil rights of religious dissidents. In 380CE, Emperors Theodosius and Gratian issued their decreed which legally wiped out religious diversity and any religious diversity that remained. Recorded in 16.1.2. of the Theodosian Code of Law the edict stated,

"We desire that all peoples subject to uur benign empire shall live under the same religion that the Divine Peter, the apostle, gave to the Romans, and which the said religion declares was introduced by himself, and which it is well known that the Pontiff Damascus, and Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic sanctity, embraced; that is to say, in accordance with the rules of apostolic discipline and the evangelical doctrine, we should believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute a single deity, endowed with equal majesty, and united in the Holy Trinity. We order all those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic Christians, and considering others as demented and insane, we order that they shall bear the infamy of heresy; and when the divine vengeance which they merit has been appeased, they shall afterwards be punished in accordance with our resentment, which we have acquired from the judgment of heaven."

These kinds of religious laws actually began under Constantine the Great but Theodosius set it in stone for the next 1,300 years; a Judeo-Christian tradition of an intolerant religious hegemony. A violence plagued tyranny that took possibly 100 million lives in wars, imprisonments, tortures, beheadings, burnings, banishments, and more. The enlightenment helped end all that. So you can have your European Christian tyrants and I will take the "new order for the ages". When the Reformation came, it didn't get better except there was a new choice of crazy and they had the printing press which the Enlightenment had a ball with. Protestants and Catholics murdered each other by the millions until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. How are those Judeo-Christian Values workin' out for ya? Want more? Let's take a look at our colonial religious order which is noting more than more radical religious laws on the books. The Virginia Charter of 1610 stated in these clauses,

"2. That no man speak impiously or maliciously, against the holy and blessed Trinity, or any of the three persons, that is to say, against God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, or against the known Articles of the Christian faith, upon pain of death."
"3. That no man blaspheme Gods holy name upon pain of death......"
"5. No man shall speak any word, or do any act, which may tend to the derision, or despite of Gods holy word upon pain of death:...Nor shall any man unworthily demean himself unto any Preacher, or Minister of the same..."[3]

Sounds like Judeo-Christian values are a bit like Sharia, eh? Well, duh. We still have Christian Sharia nuts all through the religious right and Tea Potty Land. I have an essay on line which examines all the "Judeo-Christian" laws and requirements in over 40 colonial compacts, charters and constitutions from 1610 to 1767 called "The Colonial Religious Order.[4] Nobody in their right mind would want any of these Judeo-Christian "values" except religious fundamentalists. A statute in the Carolina Charter of 1665 states, "No man shall be permitted to be a freeman of Carolina, or to have any estate or habitation within it, that doth not acknowledge a God, and that God is publicly and solemnly to be worshiped."[5] So when someone says Judeo-Christian values, I know what they are. Old Order. Old Hat. Old Equipment. Past its sell-by-date. Probably moldy.

[1] http://thelatinlibrary.com/law/polybius.html
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/montesquieu/
[3] http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/694
[4] http://www.stopthereligiousright.org/constitution2.htm
[5] http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/nc04.asp

James Veverka


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Take time now to look at shades of spring; say hello to spring

To The Daily Sun,

I usually write a letter to the editor that is political. Today is different.

People come all over the world to see our foliage in the fall but the mountains with the leaves starting to pop on them is so much more beautiful. I wonder if it is because it only lasts a week.

Well, it is happening now. We will be getting some rain soon and the leaves will pop. The mountainsides will be breathtaking. I will enjoy my ride to work and home.

I tried to take a picture once. I stopped on the side of the highway and used my phone, which is not a very good camera and did not do the view justice.

Take the time now. Drive the highway and look at the sides of the road and mountains. All different shades of green, dark green, mint green, lime green with shades of light rust.

Take a moment and do it now as in a week the shades of green will be one shade and the breathtaking beauty will no longer be here.

Say hello to spring.

Linda Riley


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