Christine O’Donnell really needs to do better than this.  Part of going to Washington must include basic understanding of what’s makes our government work.  She really isn’t prepared on the most basic of levels.  Ms. ODonnell is correct.  Senators don’t have to memorize the Constitution, but they should have some basic knowledge of key ideas.



Christine O’Donnell really needs study harder.  According to the Wall Street Journal:

Ms. O’Donnell attacked her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, for insisting that public schools teach evolution but not “intelligent design,” which posits that life forms are too complex to have evolved through natural processes and must have been created by a conscious being such as God. Mr. Coons, the New Castle County executive, said that public schools could not teach intelligent design or similar theories, like creationism and creation science, because they were “religious doctrine” rather than science.

“That is a blatant violation of our Constitution,” Ms. O’Donnell said. “The Supreme Court has always said it is up to the local communities to decide their standards.”

That’s generally true–except when it comes to teaching religion-based nonscientific theories of human origin. In 1968, the high court struck down an Arkansas law prohibiting instruction in evolution. In 1987, the court invalidated a Louisiana statute requiring that “creation science,” an antecedent to intelligent design, be taught alongside evolution.

Ms. O’Donnell likened Mr. Coons’s position on evolution to those of “our so-called leaders in Washington” who have rejected the “indispensible principles of our founding.”

She lacks facts on such a basic level, it makes her unqualified for office.  I felt sorry for her watching the video.  We are aware that the words in the Constitution do not say ‘separation of church and state.’  However the courts have continued to reaffirm this interpretation.  Jefferson’s writings also support separation. 

58 Thoughts to “Christine O’Donnell and the Constitution”

  1. I never said highly educated experts were running the show. I quoted Cato as wanting an exlected official that was 10 times smarter than he was. I threw in something about skill level.

    I don’t think any one person caused a disaster. To suggest that one person or even one congress or one president caused a disaster simply overlooks the complexity of government.

    I sure don’t want to put some no-nothing in there like Palin, O’Donnell, or Angle to make matters worse. Having a bunch of sound bytes just doesn’t make good government.

    I also don’t see a disaster. A disaster was the oil leak, Katrina, etc.

    I think I will see a disaster if what I think is going to happen happens. Fortunately the dumb asses will be seen as that once the bullets get real…in other words when all the people with big mouths get to see how things really work and how getting along with others to get things done is the place to start.

  2. Wolverine

    Moon, I did not say to preach faith as science. Teach comparative religion. What I was trying to say is that our children — and even most of us — do not get enough exposure to the specific tenets of the various religions found in this country and around the world. As we all know, those religions have been and will continue to be a key player to some degree or other in our national affairs and in international affairs. Most humans are “religious” in one way or another. Even atheists hold “religiously” to their views.

    I posit, therefore, that many of the bitter arguments in which we often find ourselves have partially as their origin a lack of understanding of religions different than our own — as could be demonstrated most likely by the tabulations from that religious knowledge test you posted some time ago. Teach our Christian kids in a purely academic way what the Talmud and the Koran are all about. Teach our Jewish kids to be able to define the difference between Protestantism and Catholicism and between fundamentalist/evangelical Protestantism and so-called mainline Protestantism. Teach our Muslim kids about the basic tenets of both. And so on and so forth. Don’t preach to those kids with bias for or against. Educate them all away from a lack of sure knowledge and the socio-political misunderstandings which evolve from that lack; and do so all wrapped up in a clear understanding of the meaning the First Amendment and the absolute uniqueness of our system in that regard in human political history. Education, in my opinion, could serve as an important peacemaker.

    I recall as a young kid from a very fundamentalist Protestant background having a public school history teacher dare to bring in representatives of other faiths just to explain the facts and differences. The initial reaction in the classroom from those kids was, in effect, that my religion has it right and yours is wrong. But, by the end of a session, the bias had lost out to utter fascination with exposure to a world somewhat different than their own. When the rabbi came, it suddenly dawned on me that this guy, despite the differences about a Messiah, came from almost the same place I did in many respects. For I had been brought up at my mother’s knee, in Sunday School, and in Vacation Bible School in a situation in which the stories of Moses and David and Solomon and Samuel and Elijah and Elisha, inter alia, were as familiar to me as Bugs Bunny and the Lone Ranger. I remember feeling like, because of common elements in our respective upbringings, I and that rabbi were virtually like branches of the same Israelite lineage. — and me without a single drop of Jewish blood. The Ten Commandments which I learned by heart were the same Ten Commandments which governed his life. So, how could I ever hate a guy who looked at the story of David and Goliath in much the way I did, even if we disagreed on the end result of the whole thing? It’s called education.

    1. When the subject of intelligent design comes up…that deals with throwing faith in with science. I don’t think it has any place in public school. I am all in favor of teaching comparative religion as an elective to high school students. Before then, there really isn’t time and I am not so sure that most students have the maturity to study it. I had something similar as a high school junior. It wasn’t particularly well taught so the more academically mature students got more out of it than I did. I was more socially mature, if you get my drift. The reading Koran or Bhagavad Gita wasn’t what I planned to do on a weekend.

  3. Wolverine

    Moon, how then would you explain to a student that part of the Declaration of Independence which says “endowed by their Creator” and which was written by Jefferson himself? That expression virtually endorses the idea of a “creation.” In our unique system of freedoms, also immensely helped by Jefferson, you are not obliged to accept it as truth; but academic knowledge would certainly help you to understand its origins.

    We may be short of time; but, in my view, the current divisions in this society may require that we make the time in order to guarantee social peace. We are more diversified from a religious standpoint than we have ever been in our history, and the misinformed debates seem to show to me the bad side of a lack of knowledge. This academic exercise does not have to be as complicated as a course in the seminary. Just give the kids the basics to understand the differences, and maybe the arguments might come back eventually to a more civil level.

    1. @Wolverine,

      I wouldn’t. It is self evident. Creator implies an open concept of an higher power. As for a creation, that is very open ended and should offend no one.

      I don’t believe we are further apart at all. Catholics aren’t murdering protestants and protestants aren’t murdering catholics in order to snatch kingdoms. We aren’t lynching leaders of upstart religious groups like what happened to Joseph Smith.

      I just do not want anyone’s (Including my own) religion as part of public policy making. There seems to be a continual fight to move religions out of the home and the church and into the public square. It doesn’t belong there. A couple hundred years ago maybe. Everyone in a small town was the same religion. If there were a few Jewish shoemakers, they didn’t mind. They were used to keeping their mouths shut over the centuries, for safety sake. Things have changed.

  4. Wolverine

    Believe me, Moon, we are moving apart psychologically in all this. As atheist Scott Bridges noted in that article I cited previously, many people in this country seem to focus, for instance, on every story of a pedophile Catholic priest and forget that there are thousands upon thousands of priests and nuns out there who are honest and moral and do everything they can to bring sympathy and aid to the suffering and underprivileged. In our modern misfocus they seem too often to get lost in the shuffle of negative publicity. That’s what Bridges meant by a “rational” approach to religion. I might add that the same goes for those Muslims in America who do not support jihad and wish simply to practice their own religion in peace. What I am looking for is not so complicated. Knowledge can bring tolerance in my book.

    1. Wolverine, so what is your solution to all this?

      Apparently my notion of keeping religion out of the public square and letting everyone do their own thing as long as they hurt no one isn’t the answer.

      The pedophile priests are a story because there was a coverup that lasted for decades, maybe longer, by those who were entrusted to not let things like that happen. Watergate was a burglary also until there was a massive coverup. Now we read about the same atrocities going on in Germany, Ireland, etc. Institutionalized child sex abuse does tend to ruin the reputation and cause people to talk.

      There is an old military expression which I am sure I don’t have to remind you of…about remembering that one awwww sh!t ruins 100 atta boys….

      And it is too bad that the thousands of decent priest, nuns, monks, boys scout leaders, coaches, teachers, etc are somehow tainted by the actions of a few perverts and creeps. I agree. I don’t know what is to be done about it though.

  5. Wolverine

    Moon, re your last para in #57. It is very sad, indeed. Some fifteen years ago, Mrs. W and I were on vacation in the beautiful area of Traverse City, Michigan. We came upon a small Catholic church in the countryside and stopped in to see what the Mass was like in that place. The priest was a small, elderly man with the rosy face of a cherub. At the end of the Mass, as the final procession started down the center aisle, many small children exited from the pews and made a beeline for that country priest, laughing and smiling, some holding his hand as they walked down that aisle in a cloud of joy. Mrs. W, a lifelong Catholic, remarked that she had never seen a church processional so happy and joyful.

    Nowadays, however, we both wonder if, under the pressure of contemporary publicity about clerical pedophilia, that procession has turned into one of circumspection and apprehension and if the kids are taught, for the sake of their beloved priest, to stay in the pews and not express their joy.

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