Now I will correct Chuck.
The First Amendment DOES NOT SAY "a religion," "a national religion," "one sect or society," or "any particular denomination of religion." It is religion generically that may not be established.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
About the word "thereof":
An overlooked aspect of the free exercise clause is that it looks back to the establishment clause for its definition of "religion". The establishment clause says that Congress may make no law respecting the establishment of religion, while the free exercise clause says that Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise "thereof". Logically, the word "thereof" must have the same content as the object to which it refers. Accordingly, what counts as religion for one clause MUST count as religion for the other. The free exercise clause makes no sense unless the word "religion" is read to encompass more than a church, denomination, or sect. As the free exercise clause pertains to religion generically, the word 'thereof', being placed where it is, clearly signifies that the establishment clause does likewise.
The National Day of Prayer is a constitutional violation in that the congress officially endorses religion generically (and so it does not matter if it's of just one religion, though promoting "Jesus" as they do is especially egregious). If federal judges weren't the cowards they are, and the court system wasn't politically fixed as it is to protect right-wing politicians who reap huge financial & voter rewards by pushing a pseudo-theocracy upon all of us, they would stop using "standing" as an easy way of avoiding these issues THEY KNOW are unconstitutional actions of government.
"Believing... that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, 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." ~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802. ME 16:281
... nothing fails like prayer... a pure waste of time and energy... If it is to be, it is up to ME... not anyone or anything else... wake up world...
If we all pray for the economy to get better, and it doesn't, will we be told next year to pray even harder?
Good piece Irene, I agree completely. The same goes for county and city governments. If anyone needs suing, it's the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Pima County is listed as an "Official Gold Sponsor" at PimaNDP.org, the local chapter of Focus on the Family's National Day of Prayer task force. Get the scoop at the Meetup.com website of the Tucson Atheists:
"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
--Gospel of Matthew
And as to the effect of this most-definitely-unconstitutional Day of Prayer, please note that on last year's Day, the Dow Jones dropped 900 points in the "flash crash". Dark clouds and thunder indeed!
First, I feel I need to correct your assertion that "The freedom to practice—or not practice—a particular religion is one of the privileges we enjoy in the United States." Freedom of religion is not a privilege, it is a right guaranteed under the Constitution in the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishing of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." There's nothing in the Constitution or the 1st Amendment that prohibits the government from establishing "A National Day of Prayer." In addition, the establishment of "A Day of Prayer," either by a state or the federal government does not violate the individuals' right or "freedom to practice—or not practice—a particular religion." We can still "gather at churches, synagogues, mosques or even parks to exercise our beliefs," and we can still "choose whether or not we pray or believe in God."
There's no violation of the "Establishment Clause of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ..."), because Congress is not making a law respecting the establishment of a religion. Rather, what Congress is doing is designating a particular day for individuals to pray, if they choose to pray. It is clear that the "Establishment Clause of the First Amendment" is meant to prohibit Congress from making a law that would establish a religion. It does not prohibit Congress from making a law to honor all religions, which is what a National Day of Prayer does, nor does it prohibit any state from making a law that would either establish a particular religion, prohibit a particular religion or prohibit all religions. Moreover, the "Establishment Clause of the First Amendment" specifically refers only to Congress, or the federal government, not the states.
After all, establishing a "National Day of Prayer" does not force anybody to pray, or to believe in God or anything else. However, according to you and the FFRF it's okay for everyone else to be forced to accept your beliefs, even though what Congress has done clearly does not violate the Constitution.
Hey Corvi: It seems to me that the entire health-care plan passed by Democrats was based on what was once the preferred GOP policy--until Democrats embraced said policy, and it became another step toward socialism.
The two parties seem to be dead set against any idea from the opposition that might work. This was expressed best by JD Hayworth, when he said, if elected he would vote against anything proposed by a Democrat, evidently no matter how good an idea it might be. That shows real deep thought on the issues. Fortunately, he lost.
"we are getting back to our roots." Yes! And with modern efficiency.
Check out Local Roots Aquaponics, here in Tucson:
We are involved with the Tucson AquaPonics Project and are very excited about the future of AP here in the desert. Way to go Casey!
Local Roots Aquaponics LLC
Hi Irene, good article. Apart from aquaponics.com there are many more out there that are really helping out people on Aquaponics and of lesser commercial interest.
There are many Australian sites and even a growing community in United States that are actively involved in Aquaponics, like http://aquaponicscommunity.com/
I actively involved in Aquaponics since 08 and promoting it locally where I stayed. I did redesign the siphon to make it more reliable and easily made to improve Aquaponics.
You can check me out at http://affnan-aquaponics.blogspot.com
Great article. US citizens are totally behind the the mustangs and burros and want them on our public lands. It's the sports hunters and cattleman that truely believe public land belong to them solely. They are pressuring the BLM to remove wild horses and burrosand using state wildlife agencies like Arizona Fish and Game to voice their opposition to the horses.
As long as the public is informed and engaged in the true contribution of the wild horse to our ecosystem like the spread of seeds through their dropping and keeping forest fires in check by consuming grasses, it think common sense will privail.
Remember, wild horses and burros are our living symbols of freedom. Become active in the wild horse community. Attend a lecture on Arizona Wild Horses and Burro on March 26, 2011 at the Bear Canyon Library 1pm-2pm.
Geez, Larry, I can't top that. Well, except to say that just about everything you said reminds me of the droppings left behind by the cattle that are released on the land that the Mustangs are removed from.
So much misinformation, so little time to correct it.
Fertility control is prohibitively expensive if conducted at a level needed to keep horses and burros from ruining the health of our public lands. Adoptions lag far behind the growth of the herds, which is about 20% a year. Horses and burros are not native to North America and have no natural predators whatsoever. Mountain lions - which, by the way, exist in abundance throughout much of the West and have not been wiped out by people and habitat destruction - are capable of taking colts in the spring and occasionally an adult animal, but even the lion is largely ineffective at overtaking and bringing down full grown horses. Any limiting influence on their population growth will have to be supplied by humans, which guarantees controversy.
Organizations devoted to protecting the ecological health of our wildlands do not support the feral horse liberation movement, which is what we seem to be facing. The Wildlife Society (professional and academic organization of wildlife biologists), National Wildlife Federation and some members of the Audubon Society have spoken out for the need to control feral equine numbers on public lands. But neither these NGOs nor the government biologists with public trust responsiblities for the health of our public lands are any match for the romanticists and animal welfare activists who are determined to ignore or reject any facts they find inconvenient. Celebrities and journalists with little knowledge of the issue only amplify the misinformation and prevent us from getting any nearer a workable solution.
At least four government and private audits have concluded that BLM's roundups are conducted in the most humane manner possible. The Office of Inspector General concluded that BLM has done a good job with a very difficult situation. What has turned this program into a disaster is Congressional meddling to satisfy a frenzied animal welfare lobby.
The 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act made it illegal to kill, capture or harrass the animals. Prior that law, there were few protections for "wild" horses and burros, and their numbers were controlled by "mustanging," in which private individuals captured and sold them for eventual slaughter and processing into cordovan leather, pet food, meat for export and a number of other products. (See John Huston's 1961 film The Misfits with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe for an illustration.) The 1971 law also required the Bureau of Land Management, which manages most of the lands feral horses and burros occupy, to inventory the numbers and locations of existing herds, designate Herd Management Areas (HMAs), determine appropriate population levels and keep the herds within their HMAs at environmentally sustainable levels. The Act provided for sale and adoption of both horses and burros and specifically authorized euthanasia as a tool to prevent them from over-populating and destroying the range.
The 1971 Act might have worked reasonably well had Congress refrained from meddling with agency operations and given the agency enough annual funding to carry out its mandates. Instead Congress routinely caved in to pressures from horse lovers who were opposed both to the round-ups of excess animals and their subsequent slaughter. By the 1980s Congress’s annual budget appropriations for BLM began routinely prohibiting the killing of any animals that were not old or lame. This meant healthy horses and burros had to be rounded up and cared for at private facilities where they received feed and veterinary care paid for by BLM. Soon much of BLM’s budget for the wild horse and burro program was going to keep excess animals in pastures and corrals on private farms around the nation. Meanwhile, horse lovers were upset over the round-ups, which they perceived as brutal and traumatizing to the animals, and they were not happy that the number of animals in confinement was fast approaching the number left roaming free on the range. Both BLM and Congress started turning a blind eye to the Act’s requirements to keep populations at biologically sustainable levels and within their HMAs because it was cheaper to leave excess animals on the range than to pay for costly round-ups and long-term boarding. It also kept horse lovers off the backs of BLM and Congress, but that didn’t work well for other stakeholders. Private ranchers, public grazing lessees, wildlife groups, state game commissions and land departments, military ranges and other federal agencies including national parks and wildlife refuges were seeing their landscapes hammered by horses and burros that were known to be above their allowable levels and often went where they weren’t supposed to be. BLM was never especially good about keeping the animals inside the HMAs, but persistently allowing excessive populations was looking like willful neglect of duty. BLM cited a lack of adequate funding. States began taking BLM to court in order to force them to comply with the 1971 law. Arizona’s Game and Fish Commission took BLM to federal court on three separate occasions to force removal of excess feral burros in the western part of the state.
The presence of horses and burros on our public lands can only be justified as cultural resources associated with the settlement of West, much like longhorn cattle and Winchester repeating rifles. As such, their presence should be confined to limited areas so they cn serve as the museum pieces they really are. Most if not all of the “wild” horses and burros on our Western lands are from feral livestock that once belonged to humans but was turned out or escaped. As non-natives, they are not compatible with North American ecosystems and are exceptionally hard on a landscape that did not co-evolve with them. With solid hoofs and meshing incisors, they harm native plants, soils and riparian areas in ways native wildlife do not. Whereas a deer will nibble new growth from a tree, a horse or burro simply eats the tree. In Arizona, the problem has traditionally been with burros, but more recently horses have become a serious threat to forest lands in east-central Arizona. Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest faces having to host horses that have escaped from the nearby Apache reservation due to a judge’s decision a couple of years ago, and as the US economy went into free fall many horse owners were unable to care for their animals and took to dumping them on the reservation and in the national forest.
Believe me, nobody simply want to go around killing horses, nor does anyone want to lock them up in horse concentration camps where they cost the taxpayer tens of millions each year. What some of us do want is the application of science, math and economic to the problem, instead of emotion and politics. The science tells us we can't effectively contain feral equine populations through fertility control, and it's prohibitively expensive to even try. (Animal welfare activists are welcome to supply the funding.) The horse lovers' lobby has suggested putting them on private ranches, which would be fine except that there aren't enough private ranch owners to take them all, or anywhere near all. Adoptions have historically trailed far behind the animals' natural reproduction rates.
The 1971 Act could not have passed without authorizing euthanasia as a tool for controlling numbers that exceeded what can be controlled by other means. It did so for a reason: the arithmetic of horse reproduction mandates it. What Congress has given us is a program that is scientifically, mathematically and economical unworkable, and they did so by ignoring their own federal law.
And will someone please tell me the purpose of cutting $2 million from BLM's budget just to say Congress is unhappy with BLM? What exactly does Congressman Burton want BLM to do besides, as he stated, not kill any horses?
Go ahead, animal lovers. Have at me.
thanks for your time and consideration of thse matters, irene!
minor correction: the reason mountain lions can't control the wild horse population is because they are gone from most areas where mustangs roam, wiped out by people and habitat destruction.
Thanks so much. I am, currently, a winter visitor to Tucson. You expressed my thoughts and feelings. Way to go, Old Pueblo!!
I own a house in Tucson, but live in the Midwest currently. I was in Tucson during the shootings. I was miles away at the time, blissfully enjoying the zoo at Reid Park with my grandson, daughter and son-in-law. A close, special family moment. Precious really. The shooting left an ache in my stomach and heart unlike past similar events. Maybe it is the connection to a town that is so easy to fall in love with. The people here are also easy to fall in love with. There is a tolerance toward individuality that is hard to match in Tucson. Life will go on as it always does. But these events, in order to truly honor the victims, must not only teach us survivors something...we must be changed by these events, and move on with life with greater positivity. Otherwise the likes of the inspirational and amazing young Christina Taylor Green has died in vein. And that would be another tragedy. To be inspired is one thing. To act upon inspiration is another.
I totally agree that our society should not be glamorizing teenage pregnancy. Actually, we should be encouraging sex out of marriage for anyone or pregnancy outside of marriage. However, one is hard-pressed these days to find anything of a wholesome nature in entertainment. So we might want to start with that.
I taught at TUSD's TeenAge Parent Program for six years in the '90s. The first thing you need to know is that TUSD high school counselors did not send the "good" students to TAPP; they only sent the "non-students" there to get them off their rolls. We did get a few students (both male and female) who already knew how to be students, but they were few and far between.
For those years, the staff worked hard to fill in the educational gaps for those students who were highly at-risk even before they came to us. Add to that the care we took in giving these young parents the opportunity to learn how to be good parents. For the most part, we were successful.
AZ should be ashamed of the teen-pregnancy rate which is now 3rd highest in the nation. But shunning these young parents and their children is not the answer. Education is the answer--on all fronts. I know that TAPP does a great job in this area.
While I was there only one of the former babies came back as a parent/student, and even then it turned out he wasn't the father of the baby. So you see, TAPP is not only educating the young parents academically, but those young parents figure out a way to keep this happening for their children. I call that success!
Finally, do some research on the ages of the fathers of babies born to teen mothers. You will find a disgusting trend. The mothers' ages can range any where from 11 to 19, while the fathers' ages range from 14 to 51.* Men are raping little girls. So think again with you want to place blame on the young girls who are carrying the babies of grown men. You want the girls locked out of society? Well then you'd better do the same for the men who are preditors!
*Figures taken from a NC study in 1995. http://www.epi.state.nc.us/SCHS/pdf/sb-7.p…
What nonsense. Family planning is of immediate importance to the families themselves, and where women have greater rights, they have control over their fertility. Handing out condoms at the street fair has nothing to do with that, and marginalizing pregnant teens is truly brain-dead.
Wow. Um, Karen, I am not by any means a proponent of teenage motherhood, but whether they are pregnant or mothers or WHAT, all children in the state of Arizona are entitled to a free, appropriate education until high school graduation. Forcing young pregnant students to leave their "brick and mortar" schools will lead to isolation and possible lack of motivation to finish school. Many of the problems of our world stem from lack of education...and especially lack of education for females. Education is a social imperative and as a former teen mother myself, I can tell you that my Master's Degree (along with the rest of my education, which I acquired after having two children) is what is keeping me (and my children) from being a poverty statistic.
im amazed you and tusd want to quarintine the pregnant girls and you want to block them from a education? This isnt a virus that they carry, its a future taxpayer, and such needs to be in school preparing for the future.
The first mistake was made by the child by getting pregnent, dont make a 2nd mistake by treating it as something more than what it really is.
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