American history

Does Religious Freedom Matter Anymore?

On this date in 1786, the Virginia General Assembly enacted one of the most important initiatives in our nation's history — the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom. Today, Governor Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation celebrating the Statute and Senator Bill Stanley (R-20, Moneta) and Delegate Chris Peace (R-97, Hanover) gave speeches in their respective chambers to bring attention to this day. This amendment to our state constitution was the foundation for our First Freedom as defined in the U.S. Constitution a few years later. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson — it is one of the three accomplishments for which he wanted to be remembered and engraved on his tombstone; the others being author of the Declaration of Independence and founder of the University of Virginia — the Statute recognizes that our right to exercise our faith

. . . can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience.

It adds:

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

As attacks on the religious liberty of Americans continue to grow, it is important to remember the real meaning of the term and take the opportunity to educate our friends and neighbors who may be buying into some of the secular left’s notion of "separation of church and state." For example, we often call our First Freedom a "constitutional right to religious freedom," but the reality is that this freedom comes from God and is simply to be protected by the constitution; it doesn't come from our constitution.

It is important to note that we have the freedom to be involved in "civil capacities" and express our "opinions in matters of religion" in these capacities. This is particularly important to remember as the radical secular left in Virginia has attacked us for our support of pro-life and pro-family legislation as a violation of "separation," something that flies in the face not just of the Statute but over 230 years of American history. This is not only our right, it's our duty.

This year, we are supporting initiatives that we hope will restore the real meaning of Jefferson's Statute. One, an amendment to the state constitution by Senator Stanley — working with Senator Bill Carrico (R-40, Galax) — would seek to reestablish our rights as citizens to pray at public government meetings, a longstanding tradition that the secular left has sought to stop, successfully in many cases, throughout Virginia.

Of course, one major threat to the freedom of all Americans is the federal government's mandate that citizens fund the birth control of others through President Obama's health insurance scheme, a mandate that is currently being challenged in nearly 30 lawsuits across the nation. While the secular left and abortion industry call this mandate about "access" to birth control, the truth is that it requires a redefinition of the word "access" to mean "paid for by somebody else at the expense of their freedom of conscience."

President Obama "Amused" Over Spending During His Visit To Richmond

As a native Richmonder, I think it's great when a sitting president visits, no matter which party he represents or, frankly, how bad a job he's doing. After all, sometimes the bigger the trouble he's in, the greater the media attention — and this city can use all the publicity it can stand. So, it was great to see the anointed one here last week, although it was puzzling since we have no hotly contested campaign. On the other hand, maybe that's why he was here, given how toxic he's become to Democrat candidates, who lack no excuse to outrun Air Force One when they see it descending into their states. But it was especially pleasing to see Mr. Obama's motorcade route lined with "Cut Spending" yard signs, courtesy of Americans For Prosperity (I have relatives who live in one of the houses that agreed to plant the signs). Mr. Obama didn't see it the same way, although he said he was "amused" by the signs. But he was really out of touch. He alluded to Virginia 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor, in whose district he was, and the GOP call to cut spending and tax rates, when he said, "the numbers don't add up."  

While the leader of the regime may or may not have been "amused" he certainly was hypocritical: the numbers don't add up? As if his numbers — trillions and trillions of dollars of debt that resemble a banana republic — add up? Actually, "adding" is the wrong word. His policies are subtracting — subtracting the prosperity of countless Americans — and he's lecturing us on keeping our more of our wages? The fact is, every major tax cut in American history (including those under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and George W. Bush) has created millions of jobs and increased federal revenue through a thriving economy. The simple message of the yard signs is correct. When revenue goes up and deficits linger, it's a spending problem, not a tax problem. 

What's really amusing is that the president thinks extending the 2001 and 2003 tax rate reductions will "cost $700 billion over 10 years," as if keeping your hard earned money is an expense to the government, while he spent nearly $800 billion in one day in February 2009 when he signed the "stimulus" bill. Lots of money for no jobs. Sorry. That is nowhere near amusing. It's downright sad and an abysmal waste. Hypocrite, indeed.

He may have been amused, but his record is nothing but sad.

October 28, 1964: Ronald Reagan Gives "The Speech"

Forty-five years ago tonight, a call was sounded that lives on and is as true today as it was then. More so. Ronald Reagan: Great president. Better prophet? Here is what is simply known as The Speech in its entirety (29:33). Enjoy.

The Great One gives the Great One. Perhaps the most memorable political speech in modern American history, it launched the career of America's greatest modern president on values and policies that resonate now more than then because they are the enduring principles of a constitutional, limited, God fearing government . . . the simple principles upon which the country was founded.

You Think ObamaCare Is Bad? Wait To You See The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child!

If you think ceding your freedom to choose your doctor to the government is bad, or forcing medical professionals to perform services contrary to their religious beliefs (such as abortion) is reprehensible, or eliminating employees' rights to a secret ballot in determining union representation is undemocratic, or the suppression of free speech through the re-institution of the "fairness" doctrine is unconstitutional, or if any of the other numerous proposals of government consumption of individual and family rights under consideration by the fringe left that controls Washington, D.C., concerns you — as they all should — then just wait until you hear about the . . .

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

If you think Washington controls too much of our lives now (not to mention what might happen in the next four years) wait until decisions about your child come to you from New York. No, the capital isn't reverting to the Big Apple, where it was when George Washington took the first presidential oath of office. But if the U.S. Senate approves the UNCRC, and the U.S. becomes a party to it, you may want to hesitate before you sign your children's permission slips or allow them to go to camp until you hear from the U.N.

In fact, the order won't come from U.N. HQ in New York, but from Geneva, Switzerland, where a U.N. commission will sit. These are the same clowns who gave us five-year-old masturbation.

Okay, enough from me. Let's turn it over to Terry Beatley of Lancaster, who is with ParentalRights.org, a Web site you should see to further educate yourself on the most serious assault on parental rights in American history.

The same folks that once put Syria in charge of its human rights commission and advocate for teaching five-year-olds masturbation, want to tell you how to raise your children.

Come this General Assembly, Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown) will co-patron a resolution for Virginia to formally oppose this treaty's ratification by the U.S. Senate. If ratified, it will represent the greatest loss of state and national sovereignty in our nation's history.

There also is federal legislation: H.J. Resolution 42 and S.J. Resolution 16, the parental rights amendment, would guarantee the rights of parents to raise their children without government interference. Ask your representative and U.S. Senators Mark Warner (804-739-0247) and Jim Webb (804-771-2221) to co-sponsor this legislation, and for the senators to oppose the  the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

McAuliffe Slams Warner And Kaine As Partisan? Hear It Here!

This morning on Richmond's Morning News With Jimmy Barrett (WRVA-AM in Richmond), Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe made a comment that may have slipped through the cracks to most, but here's my take on it: He slammed the two men whom he hopes to succeed — fellow Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. That can't go over too well with Democrat primary voters.

Here's what happened: Barrett asked T-Mac about charges he's carpetbagging. As usual for a rookie candidate, he went on too long. He listed a line of successful Virginia politicians who were not born here. Instead of stopping there, couldn't contain himself and continued:

"I think you want the next governor . . . who hasn't been part of these partisan battles down in Richmond. If you're happy with the way things have gone I'm probably not your guy." (Hear it for yourself by clicking here for a interview menu page or here for the podcast download.)

What's immediately hysterical is that this comes from Bill Clinton's DNC chairman, where McAuliffe was one of the most partisan figures in recent American history. So he's going to be the one to end partisanship? (Wasn't Barack Obama supposed to have ended that by now, anyway?)

But here's where T-Mac slams Virginia's latter day Democrat icons: They've been running the show the last eight years! Partisan and not getting things done? Warner, another self-proclaimed non-partisan, can't be happy with that. Is T-Mac blowing his cover? Is he criticizing Kaine, the new DNC chairman (by definition, the Democrat partisan-in-chief), for trying to do both jobs at once? 

Maybe he has a point. He's either brutally honest and candid or he's slamming them for his short-term political gain. Either way, Virginia's two most prominent Democrats, as well as the rank-and-file, won't like that, whether true statements or not, whether he meant them like that or not. 

He may backtrack, but at the least, he's admitted it takes two to tango — a governor and a legislature. But media, pundits and liberal interest groups have told the public the last eight years that the roadblock to Nirvana in Virginia has been House Republicans. So, however he spins it, Terry McAuliffe has laid at least some blame on the last two governors. Not quite what we're used to hearing, is it? 

Congrats To Jim Moran: Porker Of The Month!

Remember U.S. Representative Jim Moran's outburst to a constituent who simply asked if he would agree that everyone in Washington should take responsibility for the mortgage crisis? Virginia's 8th District Congressman blew up at the constituent and said she didn't know what she was talking about. At the same meeting he also said, "In the long run" the government was coming after all of your money (see our comment and video, here).

Such great leadership and statesmanship can't be ignored. Thankfully, it hasn't. Representative Moran, brother of Delegate Brian who is seeking the Democrat nomination for governor next year, was awarded the "Porker of the Month Award" for November by Citizens Against Government Waste.

CAGW gave Moran the award, presumably against stiff competition, for this remark:

Now, in the last seven years, we have had the highest corporate profit ever in American history, highest corporate profit. We've had the highest productivity. The American worker has produced more per person than at any time. But it hasn't been shared and that's the problem. Because we have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in this simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth. And they may be able to sustain that for awhile, but it doesn't work in the long run.

Quite an achievement since then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, around the same time, promised to "spread the wealth around." But CAGW President Tom Schatz made the case for Moran (see news release, here):

Rep. Moran's punitive conclusion about creating wealth reflects the prevailing ethos of the current Congress. His remarks offer a window into the soul of the congressional leadership and offer a bare-knuckled preview of the kind of confiscatory policies taxpayers can expect now that there are even fewer fiscal conservatives on Capitol Hill. This Congress intends to reward hard work and productivity with a government-mandated ‘sharing' program.

So, we are sure we speak for millions of Virginians from Alleghany to Accomack and from Westmoreland to Wise and everywhere in between: Congratulations, Congressman Moran! You've made Virginia proud! 

More P.C. Madness: Brandeis Professor Reprimanded Simply For Stating Historical Fact

Nat Hentoff better watch it. The well known pro-life, but liberal, columnist (see here) now is after radical leftist campus enforcers of political correctness who are attempting to silence a 48-year distinguished history professor at Brandeis University — the college named after the U.S. Supreme Court justice known for his fierce defence of free speech. Hentoff recently chastised Democrats for their abortion on demand platform (see our comment here). Invites to swanky parties attended by liberal elites assuredly will evaporate from his mailbox. Hentoff, though, has consistently exposed such hypocritical fanatics. Again, we've been prescient. After several posts on this topic, Hentoff's nationally syndicated column today addresses an incident that truly defies credulity: Brandeis  History Professor Donald Hindley, who has taught there for 48 years with not a complaint on his record, was teaching class one day in his course on Latin American politics. At one point he made a historically accurate, albeit sad, fact that some Americans used to call Mexican immigrants "wetbacks." Mind you, he wasn't calling Mexicans that. He wasn't apologizing for that fact. He simply stated an unfortunate truth in the context of teaching his class.

A student complained, the administration took offence and now Professor Hindley may be on the verge of losing his job. Instead of explaining to the student the facts of life and being an adult, the university provost is on a child-like rant himself. But, the scary thing is, he has real authority, complete with reprimands, demands and threats to Professor Hindley. It's as if you cannot say, "Blacks once were slaves in America." How can we educate young people, much less publicly discuss important issues as a nation, if we're not even allowed to accurately teach history?! He made a simple statement of fact. But liberal extremism not only wants to stifle free speech, it wants to whitewash history, a history you'd think they want exposed so we don't repeat terrible mistakes. Read today's column by Hentoff here. Rather than rare, occurrences such as this are much more rampant on campuses than widely realized.

As terrible as this horrible twin scourge of whitewashing history and restriction of free speech, there is one thing sadder: The ruination of a man's reputation. But that's not of consequence for America's Animal Farm gang — anything, anything at all, to advance their addled, lockstep ideology.