October 20, 2010

Separation of Church and State?

Tell me: is the faux-amazed “wow” response a new left-wing talking point?

****
update: related. The WaPo has updated its story to reflect O’Donnell’s actual answer, though without acknowledging that its earlier report was intentionally misleading.

Transparency. Truth. Journalism!

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:06am
121 comments | Trackback

Comments (121)

  1. I don’t think it’s faux-amazement Jeff. It’s bien-pensant education credentialism on display.

  2. Soi pissants, they are.

  3. You’re right, Ernst.

    The point is, it’s mannered, and obviously so.

  4. Although, on further reflection, some of it may indeed be fake. After all, how is one supposed to signal one’s allegiance to the credentialed elite except by parrotting other right thinkers.

  5. It’s not a talking point so much as it is a script.
    Says a lot about people when they need to have their exclamations provided for them. Says a lot that isn’t good…

  6. how is one supposed to signal one’s allegiance to the credentialed elite except by parroting other right thinkers.

    It’s pied piperant.

  7. meant to quote Ernst there…

  8. Oh, come on. I mean, geeze, it was Widener. It’s not like it was a REAL law school. You can’t expect a non-Ivy League proto-shyster to know everything

  9. proto-shyster….heh

    Wait, are you talking about law school or Jurnalizm skool?

  10. BTW: Media Felch of the Week:

    A “political icon”, quoth Clintonista and faux-journalist Stefanopoulos, about – get this – Shortshanks?

    Reporter, please….

  11. Between this and the 1773 debacle, you’d think that people who get caught with their pants down so often would start to realize that they may not be the most informed bulb on the strand. However, I guess that notion conflicts with their worldview, so onward they go, from one stupid reaction to the next.

  12. Quick: name the 54th state!

  13. The smart set is the smart set cranky. Actual intelligence or real accomplishment have nothing to do with it.

  14. The WaPo has updated its story to reflect O’Donnell’s actual answer, though without acknowledging that its earlier report was intentionally misleading.

    Someone called “macaca” on them.

  15. 54th? 54th State is Africa. Where all the african americans are.

  16. For example, the Constitution is just like Prego spaghetti sauce. If the smart-set says it’s in there, then it’s in there. The fact that idjits like you me and Christine O”Donnell insist on a literal reading of the 1st Amendment just shows how unsophistacated we rubes are.

  17. A certain political orientation brings on the added benefit of unlimited self-esteem.

  18. Thou shalt not challenge the Diviners of the Mystic Penumbrae.

  19. sorta off topic muse of the day:

    I’ve often wondered why progressives insist on the broadest possible interpretation of the First Amendment while insisting on the narrowest possible interpretation of the Second Amendment.

  20. Thou shalt not challenge the Diviners of the Mystic Penumbrae.

    Nor the Emanations therefrom, lest Ye die to Polite Society.

  21. That’s easy Blake. You can’t out-argue a .45.

  22. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but I know which one I’m reaching for when the zombies come shambling up the driveway.

  23. I prefer bottles filled with a mixture of gasoline and petroleum jelly Squid.

    I just hope I can throw them hard enough to get the plastic to break.

  24. Tell me: is the faux-amazed “wow” response a new left-wing talking point?

    Seems to be. It’s amazing how much pretentious condescension can be squeezed into one little syllable…

    Waooow!

  25. Waooow!

    The sound eminating, as the wall of ignorance surrounding a vacuum cavity fractures.

  26. What the secular Left doesn’t get (and goes apeshit when called on it) is that Atheism is its own religion.
    The bigger proggies I’ve met proselytize harder than any jehovans and genuflect to its altar, The State, like fundamentalists with snakes.
    Tomorrow they will read again from the Book of Keynes, misinterpreting it like leviticus.

  27. NPR reader wisdom:

    The point is not whether the Constitution guarantees a “wall of separation” between church and state. The point is, O’Donnell is clueless about the Constitution. Technically, she was right, but she had no idea she was right.

    NPR commenter “Sprayman” knows this, how? They get schooled by the likes of Mark Levin (and commenter “ChrisRC” who spelled it out for them in black & white), and all they have is, “Well so, OK, she was right about that, but she’s still stoopid.”?

  28. OT.

    Benoit Mandelbrot passes away, aged 85. Mathematician, orginal thinker and definately last of an old school of intellectuals.

    He was the Godfather of Fractal Mathematics … was a fixture at IBM’s Watson Institute in Armonk, New York. Farewell great teacher.

  29. If the smart-set says it’s in there, then it’s in there.

    It’s an adjunct to intentionalism: If they, harboring all that is Right and True, say they intend well in spite of doing and supporting harm, said intents win.

    It’s so satisfying, so self-reinforcing, so progressing.

  30. NPR commenter “Sprayman” knows this, how?

    Because he didn’t know it, and he’s Sprayman: genius progressive, politically-active champion of Social Justice! And she’s a doofus Christian who once wanted to bang Satan.

    Q.E.D.

  31. THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER INTERPRETERS BEFORE ME!

  32. As old Ronnie said, “… [T]hey know so much that isn’t so.”

  33. you gotta keep ‘em separated

  34. is the faux-amazed “wow” response a new left-wing talking point?

    No, it’s more like the secprogg version of the Church Lady’s “Superior Dance.”

  35. I thought there were 57 states, in a subtle nod to the wife of kept pool boy, U.S. Senator, and Vietnam veteran John Kerry

  36. church and state, matter and anti-matter, Palin and Sullivan.

    It’s just scary.

  37. Intent needs to be divined by those who know the higher wisdom of the Higher Criticism.

  38. you gotta keep ‘em separated

    Feets, the primary concern at the time the Constitution was ratified was that the federal government would (a) establish an official state church (with all the evils that gives rise to) or (b) interfere in the practices and teachings of existing churches, e.g., everyone must use THIS edition of the Bible or must use THIS prayer book or perform baptisms in THIS manner.

    Because that’s what you had all over Europe. Much of our idea of freedom of religion arose from the pushme-pullyou relationship between England and Scotland: during the times that Scotland was under English rule, the English would insist that the Presbyterian Scots use the Anglican prayer books, and the Scots weren’t having any of it.

    In fact, the context of Jefferson’s letter to that Baptist church concerned their worry that the government was going to interfere in their worship, prompting Jefferson to remark that there ought to be a wall of separation betwixt the two to prevent the state from screwing with churches.

    But the proggs now use that non-canonical point of non-law to extirpate religion from the public square: not because of their fidelity to the First Amendment but because they don’t want any ideological competition from the Bible-thumping God-botherers, who tend to cling to their Bibles instead of to the incandescent genius of their superiors.

    You want to crowd out the secprogg lies? Get rid of the idea that the danger lies with religions breaching the wall into the State apparatus instead of the other way around.

  39. “Dont’ cross the streams’ though, Joe, you can throw feets into that stagnant pool of contempt though

  40. And anyone who tells you different is just a nutter who’ll never be one of the Elect.

    In fact, they probably believe that God assumed material form in order to die on a cross. How stupid is that?

  41. oh. that’s mostly just part of an offspring song dicentra

    it gets in your brain something awful

  42. And she’s a doofus Christian who once wanted to bang Satan.

    Bill Maher is getting banged by Satan now, and lovin it.

  43. Bill Maher is getting banged by Satan now, and lovin it.

    I knew Mrs. Cleaver died, and so did Mr. C, but Bill Maher too?

  44. Bill Maher is getting banged by Satan now, and lovin it.

    He’s been listening to too much Nine Inch Nails, I think.

  45. you gotta keep ‘em separated

    No, you just have to keep one from establishing the other. Nothing to say they can’t sit at the same dinner table.

  46. No, you just have to keep one from establishing the other. Nothing to say they can’t sit at the same dinner table.

    They can even sit side-by-side at the table, as long as they don’t fight.

  47. By the time you hear the sirens
    It’s already too late
    One goes to the morgue and the other to jail
    One guy’s wasted and the other’s a waste

  48. thank you Mr. mojo some days it’s so lonely to be a lone little pikachu on the staunchy windswept plain

  49. oh. that’s mostly just part of an offspring song dicentra

    Must be after my time. Lately, I’ve been digging on Chopin’s short piano pieces–waltzes, nocturnes, impromptus–and they don’t have any words at all.

  50. Hey, I broadcast out of L.A. County. Satan comes by the studio and give it to me in the ass.

  51. Since Entropy brought Hayek up again…

    I got thinking about that Rove quote “It’s not like these people have read … Hayek[,]” and I realized just how assinine stupid and out of touch Karl Rove is. U. Chicago Press sold out of it’s back stock of Road to Serfdom and orderd up a new print run. Just who in the hell does Karl Rove think was buying all that Hayek if not tea-partiers?

  52. Can somebody tell your most intellectually challenged reader(me) Why a document–the Constitution that is written in black and white can be read in so many shades of grey?

  53. Im a reporter, most of you know that.
    That was a good-sized snafu on the part of Evans, a Herculean piece of dishonesty on the part of his editors that they didn’t, as of a few minutes ago, note that the story had been substantively corrected. It’s one thing to take something to the active from the passive voice, add a comment, correct a supporting piece of context, but when something is changed all together….that is altogether absurd.

  54. Are you a “reasonable person,” irongrampa…?

  55. And now I see I mixed my tabs up. Neeever mind!

  56. I’ve always thought myself to be, Mr.g. But I was brought up seeing things pretty much black and white, with few shades of grey.

  57. I was brought up seeing things pretty much black and white, with few shades of grey.

    oh my a bitter clinger

  58. Isn’t the real question whether one is or is not a reasonable man by late Eighteenth Century standards?

  59. And does a reasonable man ask for the salt when he means pepper, or name his dog boy? [scurries away!]

  60. If by that you mean a VERY proud American, then you bet yer ass I’m a bitter clinger. With no apologies.

  61. sorry left out /sarc off mr. grampa

  62. No offense taken at all, I got it.

  63. irongrampa asked why people can take from the text what the text (as a product of some intending agency) never intended. The answer is, because we’ve broken the link between intent and meaning, declaring the former irrelevant while declaring our own providence over the latter.

    All it takes, then, are enough “reasonable people” — that is, an interpretive community that has been empowered to do so — to insist something means what it was never meant to mean.

    We still have certain rules, of course: the meaning they create must seem plausible based on the wording of the text (or, if not, based on some ancillary text written in a letter to Dansbury Baptists, etc.), so that they can claim that no, of course they aren’t simply trying shoehorn their own desires into the text, but rather that the text, if you turn it just so (and if you bracket what its writers and ratifiers intended) says exactly what they say it does, and therefore must “mean” what they say it means.

    It’s an idea based on a faulty understanding of language. And once it was accepted, the end result was inevitable.

  64. Just in time for Halloween, the “Living” Constitution.

    Think Frankenstein.

  65. irongrampa, I’m a proud bitter clinger as well.

  66. My wife just got her carry permit and I am getting her a cute Browning. She digs it.

    And I guess that makes us bitter clingers.

  67. The NRA: enabling bitter clingers since 1871. Join me. We define STAUNCH.

  68. Well, Jeff, after reading that, it’s now clear to me why politicians make me want to throw things after listening to the bulk of them. To say that A doesn’t mean A is illogical on it’s face. No logical conclusion can be drawn from an illogical premise, at least in my world.

  69. irongrampa, if the living breathing constitution is the “monster” then the Tea Party, bitter clingers, Scalia and other conservatives/classical liberals are Inspector Kemp and the townfolks storming the castle. The MSM is collectively Igor.

  70. That’s easy Blake. You can’t out-argue a .45.

    ITYM “out-shout”, because I’ve never seen a leftist actually attempt to argue, just try to drown out or silence opposition.

  71. What the secular Left doesn’t get (and goes apeshit when called on it) is that Atheism is its own religion.

    On the way to work this morning I saw a car with a 1′ square sign in the back window that read “ETHICAL ATHEIST SECULARIST”. I’ve never seen an Icthus magnet or Jesus bumper sticker that big.

  72. Connecticut and Massachusetts (not being “Congress”) had established Congregationalist Churches until 1834 and 1818, respectively. Not much of a “wall” there, in my estimation.

    Also, around these parts Widener Law School is referred to as “Lawmart.” Those students will likely hear similar laughs and jeers (similar to their own) when they start trying to find jobs.

  73. The most curious part is that the text of the Constitution is apparently amenable to limitless contortions, but Supreme Court opinions “interpreting” the Constitution are hewn in stone.

  74. I’ve never seen a leftist actually attempt to argue, just try to drown out or silence opposition.

    That’s because the Elect are so convinced of their own orthodoxy that the heterodox is treated as heretical. You don’t need to argue when your episteme closed about a century ago.

  75. Sorry, that was a farrago of fail. This gentleman will be rightfully shunned.

  76. gentleman meaning Mr. Levin?

  77. ernst: can I borrow your boa?

  78. cynn: unpack, please.

    I know it spoils the joke, but some of us are stupid bitter clingers, remember?

    Regards,
    Ric

  79. Can’t give it justice.

  80. It’s your joke.

    Or am I mistaken?

  81. #65

    I did a little research on Google (very little) regarding the language in the establishment clause and I saw the Jefferson info and his letter to the Baptists telling them that forever more their manger scenes shall be banished from within the set back from the public right of way while simultaneously assuaging their fears that they would not be discriminated against in favor of other religions.

    Then I see that James Madison gets the (almost) last word as author of the establishment clause… because a biographer says so. The biographer declares it is almost certain Madison authored the final wording… which is odd, because Madison’s most heated opponent; Fisher Ames had to; at the very least, approve the wording…. so while maybe Madison “authored” the establisment clause… certainly he had to edit it to Ames liking, or Ames would not have brought it to a vote. And Ames would surely be no supporter of the establishment clause as it is read today.

  82. ummm that the Baptist’s: would be discriminated against

  83. Not surprisingly, this separationist rhetoric returned to fashion in the 1830s and 1840s and, again, in the last quarter of the 19th century when waves of Catholic immigrants, with their peculiar liturgy and resistance to assimilation into the Protestant establishment, arrived on American shores. Nativist elements, including the Know Nothings and later the Ku Klux Klan, embraced separationist rhetoric and principles in a continuing, and often violent, campaign to restrict the role of Catholics in public life.

    Again, in the mid-20th century, the rhetoric of separation was revived and ultimately constitutionalized by anti-Catholic elites, such as Hugo Black, and the American Civil Liberties Union and Protestants and Other Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, who feared the influence and wealth of the Catholic Church and perceived parochial education as a threat to public schools and democratic values.[10]

    Let me be clear: Various strains of political, religious, and intellectual thought have embraced notions of separation, but a particularly dominant–perhaps the most dominant–strain in 19th-century America was this nativist, bigoted strain.

    In short, the terms “separation of church and state” and “wall of separation,” although not necessarily expressions of intolerance, have often been closely identified in the American experience with the ugly impulses of nativism and bigotry. These phrases, in our cultural and political experience, have been so freighted with nativist and bigoted connotations that I believe we must reconsider the propriety of their continued use in legal and political discourse.

    From my link at 24, above.

  84. My wife just got her carry permit and I am getting her a cute Browning. She digs it.

    And I guess that makes us bitter clingers.

    I’ve had a carry permit for five years, along with a trusty Smith & Wesson 342. And I’m an NRA Life Member.

    Bitter clinger to the bitter end!

  85. I read the article at 24. It was enlightening, and I now have a little more ammunition when someone talks about “separation of Church and State being in the Constitution.” I knew it was not there, but now I know more about the why of the whole thing.

  86. I think that the ACLU has gone overboard on the removal of all religious symbols from public life, as have other secularists. However, I one of those evil Xianists, so my opinion is probably suspect.

  87. “There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.” – G.K. Chesterton

  88. I think that the ACLU has gone overboard on the removal of all religious symbols from public life, as have other secularists. However, I one of those evil Xianists, so my opinion is probably suspect.

    Well, I’m not an evil xianist and I agree.

    Part of the issue is that the more Burkean non-believers aren’t likely to become politically active over this or just about anything involving religion. I wouldn’t say we’re a silent majority but around this blog specifically I’ve come across plenty of agnostics and atheists who seem to feel similarly.

    Maybe we could hold a bake sale or host a site where we all posted pictures where we were celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah with friends or family.

    Or, more likely not.

  89. Jeff, spot on at #86, but instead of intollerant 19th century protestants we now have intollerant 21st century secularist…or should I say statist (which is their true faith).

    Is calling something the “21st” century even allowed any more?

  90. So the “wall between church and state” common wisdom has its roots in anti-Catholic bigotry?

    Next you’re going to tell me their views on “race” are effectively indistinguishable from those of segregationists.

  91. Just who in the hell does Karl Rove think was buying all that Hayek if not tea-partiers?

    All it took was a recommendation from Glenn Beck. He tends to sell lots of books that aren’t his.

    I am getting her a cute Browning.

    I lived just down the road from the Brownings. Yes, the real ones. The kids were a few years older than me, and they had a reputation for being really nice people. Their house wasn’t too ostentatious, either.

  92. Part of the issue is that the more Burkean non-believers aren’t likely to become politically active over this or just about anything involving religion.

    Actually, I share your opinion but I’ve gotten ticked off to the point where I will. I’m free not to go to church every Sunday because Christians decided they wouldn’t stone people for failing to toe the line. I appreciate that. In contrast there’s what I’ve seen over the last decade: an inexplicable decision by the left to impose two defacto state religions: Islam and Gaia worship.

    There are hundreds of Christian sects in this country; the odds of them agreeing on anything enough to impose any of it on the rest of us are slim. The lefties, with their dedication to “hey hey ho ho, western civ has got to go”? I think they’re unified enough to make their preferred faiths stick.

  93. A “cute Browning” better have at least a .380-sized bark. Jeff Cooper, on the .25 ACP… “If you must carry a .25 ACP caliber pistol, do not load it. For if you load it, you might use it. And if you shoot somebody with it, and they find out about it, they’re likely to be very upset with you.” A 9mm costs less to feet than a .380 nowadays; the .45 ACP is expensive and heavy to haul around. A good choice better-performing alternative to 9mm is the .40 S&W that I’m partial to nowadays.

  94. feet = feed, natch.

  95. A nice graphical chart is worth a couple three million votes. Now, GET OFF OF MY DAUGHTER~!

  96. Actually, I share your opinion but I’ve gotten ticked off to the point where I will.

    We have ourselves the seeds of a movement then.

    Sweet.

  97. I have no idea what Cynn is talking about. Would someone (preferably Cynn) enlighten me?

    Or not. And prove my point.

  98. serr8d — I’ll give up my .45 XD Compact when you pry my… well, you know the rest.

    I don’t know what it is, but that gun just feels right when I shoot it.

  99. I own .45 ACP’s 3 to 1 over this little Sig .40 I picked up last quarter. But having ran a couple boxes through it, I’m liking what I’m seeing. That little .40 moves right along. And it can haz RAILS~! (all my .45’s are the no-rail versions…you know how much an internal laser costs to put in one of those suckers?)

  100. If you spent more time at the range, you wouldn’t need a laser sight [grin].

  101. Actually, this, rail mounted, is more effective than a laser. At night, it’s also a weapon.

  102. I’m picking up a new rifle for deer season this year. Yes, I’m very excited.

  103. Get something with a big bore. That Guernsey sub-species of White Tail doesn’t go down easy!

  104. I was going to work in something about the threat of feral cats in Cheeseheadlandia, but then I remembered “Brett Favre to Randy Moss” was the obvious retort, so I thought I should quit before I fell further behind.

  105. That’s a despicable lie, Ernst. We don’t shoot cows. We ride them as we drunkenly shoot neighborhood pets.

    Don’t know what I’m picking up actually. I’d appreciate suggestions. Promised my 303 to my younger brother and he’s actually going out this year so I have to make good.

  106. I like the Remington 700 in .30-06, but I’m traditionalist.

  107. That’s on the list, Ernst.

  108. Dittos to the Remington. I have a 700 .30-06 and an 1100 12g for trap shooting. Love em both.

  109. If you could get Congress to issue you a Letter of Marque and Reprisal so that you could properly confront the Odocoileus virginianus menace, you could get yourself something with real stand-off capability. We need to deny our precious timber resources to these invaders! Russ Feingold might be scared enough to help you out; Maybe Oberstar next door, but don’t know if Pelosi is in touch with reality enough. Anyway, I think you need something like this. Governor tested, Governor approved!

  110. I swear I closed that link. Hmmm. Time to stop being a foocky guff and go to bed.

  111. I’ve got one of these ( an older version) in .308 which has been fine though I liked the .270 pump version I used to have better.

  112. I have a left master eye so have always shot lefthanded though I’m a righty and hunt brushy areas so never got into bolt actions too much.

  113. What’s wrong with a left-handed bolt?

  114. Nothing wrong with them. When I was interested in the possibility of a LH I was much younger and there were only a couple available and they ran to more money, couldn’t justify it as I don’t need the extra accuracy. Besides which now I rarely get a chance to hunt and have not been North enough to get into the rifle area of my State in many years. It’s all shotgun where I am now.

    I’ve only got one bolt action now. A Siamese Mauser I had converted over to shoot 45/70.

  115. I am a lefty, shoot righty, and am left eye dominant. Learned to shoot on RH guns, so I got used to the ejection of the spent cartridge across my body. Weird, but it works for me. Now anything else seems odd.

    I play golf righty, too. Supposedly this is a benefit as my left (stronger) arm is the “pull arm” on my downswing.

  116. #118
    Except for an HK 91 which doesn’t eject so much as launch with great enthusiasm the spent casings. The loft and angle of which will put said casings right in the middle of your forehead. Which are hot.The casings, I mean.
    And I know this how?
    Don’t ask.

  117. Stephanie (#76)

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I want to meet that woman! I really needed a laugh today, and you supplied it…

    TLD

  118. The XDs have rails, serr8d. Itty-bitty ones up front under the barrel, but they’re there.

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