Highlights and Commentary
* Paganism??? Yes! Gingrich: "I think this is one of the most critical moments in American history. . .We are living in a period where we are surrounded by paganism."
* Miracle from God's Hand = American Revolution = Proposition 8? Yes!
Huckabee told the audience he was disturbed to hear President Barack Obama say during his speech in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday that one nation shouldn't be exalted over another.* Thomas Jefferson wanted "God" in government? Yes!
"The notion that we are just one of many among equals is nonsense," Huckabe said. The United States is a "blessed" nation, he said, calling American revolutionaries' defeat of the British empire "a miracle from God's hand."
The same kind of miracle, he said, led California voters to approve Proposition 8, which overturned a state law legalizing same-sex marriages.
Gingrich . . . said the ties to religion in American government date to the Declaration of Independence, when Thomas Jefferson wroteJefferson's reference to "inalienable rights" does not describe a government that enforces religious doctrine, which Jefferson did not endorse. Instead, Jefferson used that language to invoke the concept of "natural rights," which posits that certain rights exist outside of any constitutional or legislative instrument.
that men are endowed by God with certain inalienable rights.
Conservatives, however, say they abhor the recognition of rights that do not arise from a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution or narrow understanding of "the" intent of the Framers (as if they left a paper trail of complete agreement). Using Jefferson's broad language and his embrace of natural rights, one could reasonably argue that "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" encompasses things like same-sex marriage, abortion, and paganism, regardless of the text of the Constitution or the framers' intent. In addition, the Constitution itself contains several important provisions that protect the generalized concept of "liberty" from infringement. This constitutional text supports recognition of a broader set of rights and liberties than conservatives usually acknowledge.
* God "Hearts" the USA more than any other place on the Earth? Yes! Huckabee: "I am not a citizen of the world . . . I am a citizen of the United States because only in the United States does citizenship start with our creator."
That's pretty powerful stuff, especially considering that "God is not a respector of persons." For purposes of law, the Constitution extends citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Neither the citizenship clause nor the Constitution mentions God or the "Creator."
By the way, the citizenship clause reverses the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, which held that whether "slave" or "free" blacks were not "citizens" of the United States. Was this ruling divinely inspired?