Friday, September 16, 2005
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The "Establishment Clause" of the
First Amendment to The United States Constitution
A federal judge in Sacramento ruled Wednesday that reciting the
Pledge in public schools is an unconstitutional endorsement of
religion. The ruling was immediately denounced by conservative
religious groups, and is certain to be appealed. U.S. Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales vowed that the Justice Department will
fight to overturn the ruling. As a substantive issue, the Pledge
ranks right up there with flag burning. Congress added the words
"under God" in 1954 at the suggestion of President Eisenhower.
This was at the height of the communist witch hunt, at which time
the public equated communism with atheism. A half-century later,
we might note, the chief enemies of freedom are far from Godless.
President Bush last night began by declaring "a faith in God no
storm can take away." He told the nation "We will do what it
takes, we will stay as long as it takes," to rebuild. That was
the right thing to say, but after the Iraq screw-up, the Katrina
screw-up, and the tax-cut screw-up we're in for hard times.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Harrisburg, PA denied the Dover
Area School Board request for a summary judgement. The trial
will begin as scheduled on September 26. The legal team that
represents the 11 parents who filed the lawsuit welcomed the
decision. The lawsuit challenges a decision by the Board to
require biology teachers to present "intelligent design" as an
alternative to the scientific theory of evolution. The lawsuit
alleges that "intelligent design" is a religious theory that lies
far outside mainstream science. Who is the "intelligent
designer"? The answer makes it clear that this is just religion.
2018? In 1961 John Kennedy promised the Moon "before this decade
is out." From a standing start, America was on the moon in seven
years. Now, after 44 years of "space progress," it's gonna take
twice as long? What are we looking for? NASA says they'll find
water, hydrogen and "valuable commodities." On the Moon? Go on!
Maybe someone takes that seriously, but he's not writing this
column. We've got robots on Mars right now. Put a few of them
on the moon. They don't break for lunch, or complain about the
cold nights, and they live on sunshine. Space exploration with
humans is about over. The bills won't come due until Bush is
safely out of office. Stick the next administration with an
impossibly expensive and pointless program and let them take the
blame for ending human space exploration. This is a poison pill.