TwitterFacebook

Outrageous Outrage of the Day

Wingnuts • Views: 1,591

The wingnut sites are all hyperventilating about President Obama’s speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, in which he ad-libbed a quote from the Declaration of Independence — and left out the words “by their Creator.”

The Weekly Standard’s Jeffrey Anderson, in a post dripping with horror, asks the all-important question: Does President Obama Think Our Rights Come from Our Creator?

On Friday evening, when President Obama addressed the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, he quoted that passage as follows (on the clip at 22:30): “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal [pause], endowed with certain unalienable rights: life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In Obama’s version, there is no “Creator.”

Only two plausible explanations spring to mind. One is that President Obama isn’t very familiar with the most famous passage in the document that founded this nation; that even when plainly reading from a teleprompter, he wasn’t able to quote it correctly. The other is that President Obama doesn’t subscribe to the Declaration’s rather central claim that our rights come from our “Creator” (also referred to in the Declaration as “Nature’s God” and “the Supreme Judge of the World”).

The religious right is kinda cute when they’re mad.

First of all, as I pointed out above, those words were not in Obama’s written speech — he ad-libbed them. It seems incredibly stupid to claim that this reveals some important fact about Obama, but hey — this is the Weekly Standard. It’s what they do.

But there’s a more important point behind this latest silly outrage, and it has to do with the constant efforts of the religious right to destroy the wall of separation between church and state.

Fundamentalists love to point to the Declaration of Independence to support their claims that the founding fathers intended the United States to be a Christian nation, because of passages like this one. But the Declaration of Independence, although it’s a stirring call to arms and a powerful statement of principle, does not carry the force of law.

When it came time for the founders to delineate those rights in an official, carefully worded legal document, they drafted the United States Constitution. And the Constitution, with deliberate intent, does not mention “God” or a “Creator” even once. It explicitly rejects the idea of an “official” US religion; makes it illegal, in fact.

The Weekly Standard seems to take it as an objective fact that our rights come from God, and wants everyone to be outraged at Obama for suggesting otherwise. But without the magnificent US Constitution, created by human beings who understood the perils of state-sanctioned religion, there would be no guarantee of rights whatsoever. And without the tools of law enforcement, also created by human beings, there would be no way to enforce these rights, or punish those who would take them away.

You may wish to believe that the rights enumerated in the Constitution were inspired by God (that’s your right, after all), but they were conceived and written down by human beings, some of whom were Deists who did not believe in the Christian idea of God at all.

This insistence that human rights can only be granted by God is one of the fronts in the religious right’s constant battle to delegitimize the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment; and that’s why they’re beating the outrage drum so hard over this.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
Is America Dreaming?: Understanding Social Mobility
Brookings Fellow Richard Reeves explores inequality and opportunity in America with Legos, using them to explain the chances for economic success of Americans born at the bottom of the economic ladder. Reeves shows the chances that the poorest fifth ...

8 minutes ago
Views: 23 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
How an Extreme Athlete Uncovered Her Genetic Flaw - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
In other words, Kim was right. "I'm beyond impressed," says Michael Ackerman, a geneticist at the Mayo Clinic. He specializes in inherited heart disorders like ARVC that can cause sudden death at any time. Such diseases make for people ...

1 day, 6 hours ago
Views: 240 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
sagehen
Doctor Who Spoiler Thread
For those who want to post immediately... live... without having to hide spoilers behind the button.

3 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 428 • Comments: 98
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 6
EiMitch
Escapist: Maniac Cop
escapistmagazine.com Link broken? The gist is that this is an impressively sarcastic review of an old slasher flick based on the "unrealistic" premise of a cop abusing his power to murder people.

4 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 306 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Hyped Up On Ganja
Hunt for German neo-Nazis was ‘complete disaster’
BERLIN (AP) -- Police and security services in Germany's eastern state of Thuringia bungled the hunt for three neo-Nazis, who years later turned out to be the main suspects in a far-right murder spree. Story

5 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 470 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Rightwingconspirator
A Lizard’s Regenerating Tail
Don't ya hate it when that happens? You feel so short for a month. Anoles are curious little lizards capable of ditching their tails when they feel threatened. This self-amputation, called autotomy, takes about 25 days for the tail to ...

5 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 337 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
CriticalDragon1177
Io9 - Everything You Need To Know About Lemuria, The Lost Continent Of Lemurs
Esther Inglis-Arkell talks about the weirdest lost continent myth, I've ever heard. Its the only one I know of that ever included giant telepathic lemurs. No seriously! In 1858 a young zoologist, playing around with an idea, came up with ...

5 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 470 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 6
Laughing Gas
Scumbag “HBD believer” claims Michael Brown charged officer
WARNING: LINK TO HATE SITE He links to some ijreview, a right wing site: This guy makes me sick.

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 1,247 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
BadExampleMan
“Growth” and Some Jellyfish
This piece was basically just to use up some scraps I had sitting around. I liked the way the frit lace turned out but I didn't really have a use for it. I've been on a jellyfish kick lately. This ...

1 week, 5 days ago
Views: 478 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 2
 Frank says:

I can gross out anybody in this room. -- Said during a concert at Mount Holyoke College in the early 1970s.