well, I meant something like shooting at paper targets, like you see in the cop movies, and like I did in boyscouts once. I don't see anything wrong with hunting, provided you eat what you kill, but if I were to own a gun, it would probably only be used at the shooting range against those paper targets.
Posts: 557 | Registered: Aug 2001
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Be that as it may, you're missing the point. The second amendment is not to protect the people against environmentalists who want you to stop hunting. It's to protect you against the government.
Now, typically, the government protects you from itself. That's the way it should be, so that no one can take advantage of a naive public like the United States public.
But should a "flexible" view of important restricting documents like the Constitution be accepted, the government stops protecting the public and starts taking advantage of it, stealing from it, oppressing it, and the only way to get it to stop...
...is to possess arms with which to oppose it.
(By arms I mean firearms, not the limb that comes down from the shoulder. Not that those aren't important, rather that the Framers wouldn't really have expected the government to take them away.)
And, of course, the idea that the armed American populace could possibly defend itself from the government without the defection of the military itself is one of those laughable fictions that you see in apocalypse novels. Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999
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And why is it a laughable premise, Tom? Because the American military is imbued with god-like powers that make it unbeatable? Because military training makes a soldier invulnerable, or because military thinking can't be done by civilians?
The truth, Tom, is that the reason an "armed" populace couldn't stand up to the military is that the military has superior weaponry, superior war-waging technology.
Why does the military have this technological advantage? Because of people like you, Tom, who warn of the soul-stealing effects of modern firearms.
When the government cycles into oppressive mode, who do you think will be remembered as the revolutionary heroes who toppled the tyrants, us "up in arms" Steels' or you "guns steal my soul" TomDavidsons?
[This message has been edited by Steel (edited December 16, 2002).]
"Why does the military have this technological advantage? Because of people like you, Tom, who warn of the soul-stealing effects of modern firearms."
Well, no. If people like ME had any influence, we wouldn't have a military, either.
But it's because of people who think that it'd be a mistake to let common citizens own tanks and heat-seeking missiles -- i.e. the vast majority of people in this country -- that the American citizenry doesn't stand a reasonable chance of overthrowing the government without a military coup.
The military has a technological advantage because they have been in competition with hostile nations for many years. The military needs an advantage if we're going to stop people who violently oppose us. The American people get the hand-me-down and watered-down stuff because we don't really need it. And even if there was another revolution and the people went up against the military, and even if we all had tank-busting rockets and assault rifles, we'd still lose. We don't have the training, coordination, bases of operations, or supplies to wage a war against our own military. We'll just have to hope it never comes to another revolution.
Posts: 9945 | Registered: Sep 2002
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"The truth, Tom, is that the reason an "armed" populace couldn't stand up to the military is that the military has superior weaponry, superior war-waging technology."
I beg to differ. A group of CIA agents can take out an entire platoon BECAUSE of their training. Weaponry isn't the only big advantage. The training is a huge advantage. You would have to be a fool or really belligerent to say that's false.
[This message has been edited by Wetchik (edited December 17, 2002).]
"If people like ME had any influence, we wouldn't have a military, either."
Why would you not want a military? How would you defend yourself against terrorism or flat-out invasion? The entire country could be put into slavery and nobody would be able to stop the ones who would do it.
If you were king, Tom, would you run things differently? No guns, no soldiers? No military power, no police men? No nuclear weapons? It's a wonderful dream, TomDavidson. But how long would you stay king?
[This message has been edited by Abyss (edited January 13, 2003).]
What would it gain them? My country would be rich not as a consequence of its accumulated assets, but from the labor and ingenuity of its people. Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999
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JTK's right--they could come and steal your factories, enslave your people, and profit from free labor and technology. If all else fails, they could simply kill all your people.
Posts: 9945 | Registered: Sep 2002
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I'm sorry to write this ; but actually, most peoples wouldn't be willing to die for anything on earth (save, perhaps, for their wife/husband and children... and even for this, not all of them would be willing) There are indeed some brave enough to face death for ther ideals ; but there are FEW of them. Too few, I must say. But you can't expect everyone to be like this - human nature makes almos all of us want to "survive at all cost" (otherwise we wouldn't be here today, trusting good ol' Darwin )
Posts: 117 | Registered: Dec 2002
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The very precious few would die for something. Most value their life more than anything else. It's in our sinful human nature. To bring Christ into it, he teaches up to not be afraid to die if the cause is right.
The following is copied from an unnamed author on another internet forum. I wish I could say I did the research and constructed the following history, but I can't. Suffice it to say that the source material can be verified in the Government website: the Annals of Congress, as given by the author of this history of the development of the 1st amendment.
Amendments Offered in Congress by James Madison June 8, 1789
"The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed."
Amendments Reported by the Select Committee July 28, 1789
"No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed."
This Select committee wording was then considered by the House in August 15, 1789
"Between paragraphs two and three insert `no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed'"
There was then a proposal to add "national" before "religion".
We're then told:
"Mr. Livermore was not satisfied with that amendment [the proposal to add "national" before "religion"]. He thought it would be better if it were was altered, and made to read in this manner, that Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience."
The proposal to add "national" was withdrawn. Then
".... the question was taken on Mr. Livermore's motion, and passed in the affirmative, thirty-one for, and twenty against."
Then, in the House on August 21
"On motion of Mr Ames, the fourth amendment was altered so as to read "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe on rights of conscience." This being adopted, the proposition was agreed to."
The above is all the record says, no account of the debate or reasoning is given.
The above was passed to the Senate, which considered it on Sept 9, 1789. The Senate record says:
"Proceeded in the consideration of the resolve of the House of Representatives of the 24th of August, ...
"On motion to amend article the third, to read as follows: "Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, ..."
Again, no debate or reasoning is recorded.
Mon Sept 21 Senate and House agree to send delegations to meet to resolve the differences on several amendments. They come up with the final wording as follows, which both Senate and House agree to and pass to the States. Again, neither the Annals nor Journals give any account of why the various changes were made.
"Art. III. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
[Note, it is article 3 because 2 and 1 didn't pass the States, so article 3 become the 1st article in the BoR.]
No doubt we can all read into the above what we see fit given our biases :-)
With my own biases I'll say the following. First, most of these wordings are far broader than simply preventing Congress instituting an established Church. Note the repeated phrase "nor to infringe on the rights of conscience".
Second, it seems the word "establish" was used in a fairly general sense, not just refering to an Established church, since they talked about establishing "articles of faith" or "a mode of worship" also. One could argue that a Bill requiring teachers to lead students in saying "I pledge allegiance to ... one nation under God" is establishing a mode of worship.
Third, note that the very broad phrasing "no laws touching religion ..." passed the House by a clear majority. Thus, there was a lot of support for very broad interpretations.
Given all of the above, it seems to me that, unless they all changed their minds at the last minute, which seems unlikely, they did intend a broadly interpreted 1st Amendment that told Congress to steer clear of passing any law on the subject of religion.
Okay... I hate to say this, but... so what? Your "history", however accurate, has little to do with the matter at hand, and your reasoning is riddled with holes.
You pull out the phrase "nor to infringe on the rights of conscience." If the government could not infringe on the "conscience" of any religios group, my brother could go out on a boat, rape and pillage the country side, and the government couldn't put him to trial as long as he claimed Odinism. To outlaw rape and pillage, why, to an Odinist that's denying them an Afterlife! That would be like outlawing chasity and virtue to a Christian!
However, we also know that rape and pillage are wrong. People who do such things must be punished. Therefore, this phrase does not appear in the first amendment, and is also not particularly useful in this little debate.
You say: "One could argue that a Bill requiring teachers to lead students in saying ' pledge allegiance to ... one nation under God'is establishing a mode of worship."
Well, yes, teachers forcing students to say that WOULD be forcing religion upon the kiddies. But the Pledge I know doesn't read anything like that.
"I pledge Allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God; indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
Nowhere in this carefully worded Pledge is one forced to worship a God. Oh, He's mentioned, but as an abstract quality of our good Nation.
No one is forced to 'pledge allegiance to one nation under God', but everyone should pledge allegiance to Our Good Republic.
I really don't care if God is in the pledge of alliegance. For one fact I DO NOT want a pastor running the government or do i want a poiltician running my church. I'm not a hyprocrit I just have my reasons.
Posts: 33 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Yes, we had this argument, and I left it, because you were not willing to accept that the the wording meant anything other than that the government can't make any laws regarding religious establishments.
As I said before, your argument has no merit.
The history of the amendment clearly shows that the framers meant that:
"No religion shall be established by law"
"congress shall make no laws touching religion"
"congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship"
And finally codifies these in the final form:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"
Where "respecting" means "having anything to do with" and "an establishment of religion" means no "religion, articles of faith or mode of worship shall be established"
The wording is intentionally broad, and the 1954 law placing "under God" in the pledge is unconstitutional.
Do you want to go back to discussing "de minimus" or do you want to argue that God isn't a religious concept?
Steel: The pledge requires that the speaker pledge allegiance to a republic which is: "one nation under god." That is an article of faith.
To require that an atheist acknowledge the existence of God is to force him to say "My belief system is wrong". Would you like to be forced to say "I'm wrong" every morning?
I didn't accept your definition for good reason, Glenn. Here's what "establishment" means in the context of the first amendment:
quote:2. esp. The ‘establishing’ by law (a church, religion, form of worship). (See ESTABLISH v. 7.) a. In early use, the settling or ordering in a particular manner, the regulating and upholding of the constitution and ordinances of the church recognized by the state. b. In 17th-18th c. occasionally the granting of legal status to (other religious bodies than that connected with the state). c. Now usually, the conferring on a particular religious body the position of a state church.
Clearly, the pledge of allegiance doesn't do any of these things. Any other definition of "establishment" is illogical.
And once again, I find it funny that everyone has a problem with "under God," but no one has a problem with requiring children to swear loyalty to the government, which is obviously a violation of free speech.
I noticed this discussion as soon as it popped up, I read it a little, but I have been refraining from commenting for a long time, Because I think the whole point of the thing is moot. We of hatrack, who consider our selves enightened, shouldn't really have to stoop so low as to play tug of war over this issue like the rest of the stupid country. That being said, I'll attempt to cut the rope in two. The constitution is a living document, that means it changes with time. The basic ideals are still right, but it must be translated and added to. Morality and ethics, not law, determine what is right. Furthermore, what's right is all we should be paying attention to. So it's foolish to argue over what was meant by the letter of the law when it was written. Let's instead argue over what the law Should mean. Here's what I think it should mean: First, I should be able to say the pledge of alliegance if I want to, and so should anybody else. Second, Whether it does or does not contain the word "God" is irrelevant; No one should ever be able to force me or my children to say the pledge of alliegance. For nationalism is, in and of itself, a sort of religion. Third, My tax money should sure as hell not be going to pay the whole school staff to interupt their classes (which are very very important to the education of my children) for 2X(maybe 500 people)= 1000 minutes every single school day so that every child in the school can learn that patriotism is just a normal, everyday thing, not particularly more important than the rest of the day, not an act of voluntary sacrifice, just another thing the teachers force them to do.
Posts: 1103 | Registered: Apr 2002
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