Letter Submission

To submit a letter to the editor, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters must contain the author's name, hometown (state as well, if not in New Hampshire) and phone number, but the number will not be published. We do not run anonymous letters. Local issues get priority, as do local writers. We encourage writers to keep letters to no more than 400 words, but will accept longer letters to be run on a space-available basis. Editors reserve the right to edit letters for spelling, grammar, punctuation, excessive length and unsuitable content.

 

'Violence by religion is the reason we have sparation of church & state'

To The Daily Sun,

Bob Meade is incorrect. He is wrong about the purpose of the First Amendment. The First Amendment didn't just ensure there would be no state-run religion, but ensured there would be no religion-run state.

Thomas Jefferson understood the First Amendment as establishing a secular, religion-neutral republic. To the Danbury Baptists he wrote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

Now Mr Meade may think he knows more than Jefferson and maybe he thinks he knows better than James Madison, too, the "father of the Constitution." Mr. Madison reminisced years after the Philadelphia miracle when he wrote to Robert Walsh, dated March 2, 1819, stating, "The civil government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state." Notice Madison stresses separation of the church — from — the state.

Article Six of the Constitution is actually the precursor of the establishment clause of the First Amendment (Jefferson's Virginia Religious Liberty law of 1786 is its precursor). It states, after requiring an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." In fact, the statement, "so help me God" is not in the constitutional oath of office for the president. It's English tradition — an anachronism.

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story authored the major work, "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States" in 1833 and said this about the ban on religious tests: "The remaining part of the clause declares, "No religious test shall ever be required, as a" qualification to any office or public trust, under the "United States." This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any religious test, or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off forever every pretense of any alliance between church and state in the national government. The framers of the Constitution were fully sensible of the dangers from this source, marked out in the history of other ages and countries; and not wholly unknown to our own. They knew, that bigotry was unceasingly vigilant in its stratagems, to secure to itself an exclusive ascendancy over the human mind; and that intolerance was ever ready to arm itself with all the terrors of the civil power to exterminate those, who doubted its dogmas, or resisted its infallibility."

Maybe Mr. Meade knows more than Justice Story, too. As you can see above, Justice Story was concerned with the same things found in Mr. Vervaeke's statement, "Violence by religion is the reason why we have a separation of church and state in this country." So did James Madison in his "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments" of June 1785, which laid waste to Patrick Henry's bill to have the State of Virginia support Christian teachers.

It is clear that Mr. Meade believes in the revisionist history of the Christian right wing but the courts don't see it his way at all. Furthermore, the Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1798, is something the Christian right would like to make disappear. Article 11 states, "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen — and as the said states never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Yes, Mr. Meade, this is what is taught in high schools and universities around the nation and the globe. The only place where your one way wall doctrine is taught is in private religious schools and universities that embrace the historical revisionism of the Christian right.

James Veverka
Tilton

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 361

Pat Buchanan - Trump right about trade predators

Is America still a serious nation?

Consider. While U.S. elites were denouncing Donald Trump as unfit to serve for having compared Miss Universe 1996 to "Miss Piggy" of "The Muppets," the World Trade Organization was validating the principal plank of his platform.

America's allies are cheating and robbing her blind on trade.

According to the WTO, Britain, France, Spain, Germany and the EU pumped $22 billion in illegal subsidies into Airbus to swindle Boeing out of the sale of 375 commercial jets. Subsidies to the A320 caused lost sales of 271 Boeing 737s, writes journalist Alan Boyle. Subsidies for planes in the twin-aisle market cost the sale of 50 Boeing 767s, 777s and 787s. And subsidies to the A380 cost Boeing the sale of 54 747s. These represent crippling losses for Boeing, a crown jewel of U.S. manufacturing and a critical component of our national defense.

Earlier, writes Boyle, the WTO ruled that, "without the subsidies, Airbus would not have existed ... and there would be no Airbus aircraft on the market."

In "The Great Betrayal" in 1998, I noted that in its first 25 years the socialist cartel called Airbus Industrie "sold 770 planes to 102 airlines but did not make a penny of profit." Richard Evans of British Aerospace explained: "Airbus is going to attack the Americans, including Boeing, until they bleed and scream." And another executive said, "If Airbus has to give away planes, we will do it."

When Europe's taxpayers objected to the $26 billion in subsidies Airbus had gotten by 1990, German aerospace coordinator Erich Riedl was dismissive, "We don't care about criticism from small-minded pencil-pushers."

This is the voice of economic nationalism. Where is ours?

After this latest WTO ruling validating Boeing's claims against Airbus, the Financial Times is babbling of the need for "free and fair" trade, warning against a trade war. But is "trade war" not a fair description of what our NATO allies have been doing to us by subsidizing the cartel that helped bring down Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas and now seeks to bring down Boeing?

Our companies built the planes that saved Europe in World War II and sheltered her in the Cold War. And Europe has been trying to kill those American companies.

Yet even as Europeans collude and cheat to capture America's markets in passenger jets, Boeing itself, wrote Eamonn Fingleton in 2014, has been "consciously cooperating in its own demise." By Boeing's own figures, writes Fingleton, in the building of its 787 Dreamliner, the world's most advanced commercial jet, the "Japanese account for a stunning 35 percent of the 787's overall manufacture, and that may be an underestimate." "Much of the rest of the plane is also made abroad ... in Italy, Germany, South Korea, France, and the United Kingdom."

The Dreamliner "flies on Mitsubishi wings. These are no ordinary wings: they constitute the first extensive use of carbon fiber in the wings of a full-size passenger plane. In the view of many experts, by outsourcing the wings Boeing has crossed a red line."

Mitsubishi, recall, built the Zero, the premier fighter plane in the Pacific in the early years of World War II.

In a related matter, the U.S. merchandise trade deficit in July and August approached $60 billion each month, heading for a trade deficit in goods in 2016 of another $700 billion.

For an advanced economy like the United States, such deficits are milestones of national decline. We have been running them now for 40 years. But in the era of U.S. economic supremacy from 1870 to 1970, we always ran an annual trade surplus, selling far more abroad than Americans bought from abroad.

In the U.S. trade picture, even in the darkest of times, the brightest of categories has been commercial aircraft.

But to watch how we allow NATO allies we defend and protect getting away with decades of colluding and cheating, and then to watch Boeing transfer technology and outsource critical manufacturing to rivals like Japan, one must conclude that not only is the industrial decline of the United States inevitable, but America's elites do not care.

As for our corporate chieftains, they seem accepting of what is coming when they are gone, so long as the salary increases, stock prices and options, severance packages, and profits remain high.

By increasingly relying upon foreign nations for our national needs, and by outsourcing production, we are outsourcing America's future.

After Munich in 1938, Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax visited Italy to wean Mussolini away from Hitler. The Italian dictator observed his guests closely and remarked to his foreign minister: "These men are not made of the same stuff as the Francis Drakes and the other magnificent adventurers who created the empire. These, after all, are the tired sons of a long line of rich men, and they will lose their empire."

If the present regime is not replaced, something like that will be said of this generation of Americans.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 503