Friday, March 26, 2004

What it Says

Amendment 1. Proposed September 25, 1789; ratified December 15, 1791.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...

If Congress passes a law that says we are a nation "under God" then Congress has taken sides in the discussion as to whether or not there is a God. To require a group of school children to then affirm Congress' decision is forcing a religious concept on those children. It seems pretty clear to me.

If the Supreme Court says, "Dr. Newdow, sit down. You're incredibly silly for being here." I would probably agree with them. I think it's an incredible waste of effort and resources. In fairness though, I say that about a lot of issues with which I disagree. Dr. Newdow doesn't need to get your permission or mine to exercise his constitutional rights. It bothered him and he pursued it at his own expense and expertise all the way to the Supreme Court. That's his right. I still disagree with him on the importance, but then I'm a White, Protestant Christian, traditionally raised, so there is no doubt in my mind that the God being invoked is mine. I can afford to be cavalier about it.

As silly as I think Dr. Newdow is though, I have to say that I think he's absolutely right. I also think he's going to lose. Despite what the Constitution says, it means what five of nine justices says it means.

I predict the Supreme Court will allow under God to remain in the Pledge. Millions of kids will continue pledging their little hearts away, never giving any thought to what they're saying, just as they have for the past 100 years. I would like to propose some additional wording to the pledge. They can be tacked onto the end. Here's my proposed sentence: "And I promise to vote in each and all elections."

It would give it a lot more punch than invoking an indifferent God who really doesn't take sides in national disputes.
Friday Pet Blogging

Beauregard's an odd cat. Maybe all cats are odd. I don't know, this is my first. I grew up with dogs. We now have 11 years together. The person giving him to me gave me a line of bullshit about how he was from championship Maine Coon stock.
Maine Coons can get big, real big. Beauregard stopped growing at about 12 pounds. I realized Beau was not a Maine Coon at about 3 years of age when I visited a friend with a real Maine Coon like this one here.

I consider myself fortunate with Beauregard. He has a lot of character. He also enjoys people. I've had parties where it was wall to wall people, and Beauregard gets right in the middle. He doesn't like being treated like a stuffed animal. You may stroke him briefly, in an admiring sort of way. He is a cat after all. He doesn't like being picked up though. How would you like it if strangers 100 times your size picked you up and held you closely. He's not rude about getting away from you, just insistent. He doesn't run away from you once he's free either. It's not you he's rejecting. He just doesn't want to be picked up by a giant he's just met. He likes being on the same level as the company, so he sits on the back of the sofa, or the chair, or the stereo, or on top of my computer as I type--if I let him.

He greets me at the door when I get home, and follows me from room to room, talking. He has a rather small voice which sounds more like chirping than meowing. If I go to the garage, he follows me and hangs out while I putter. In the most charming of ways, he is my constant companion.