Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 10, 2006
By: Steve Waldman

Besides the image of the eloquent 1,235 pound cheese being rolled up to Thomas Jefferson standing at the White House door, my other favorite visual image from this Washington Monthly piece is of young James Madison and Patrick Henry sparring in committee in the Virginia legislature. Madison would have been 33, Henry a prominent figure at 48. Henry thought he was being a moderate by proposing that the state support all religion and not just the Anglican church. Madison thought any state support of religion was a threat to religious freedom. By using tax dollars to pay for religious support, Madison reasoned, you were taking their property in order to support a faith with which they disagreed.

The titans squared off, and Henry won at first. Then Madison went back out in the field and helped organized grassroots opposition especially from the evangelical Christians who then turned the tide against the proposal. Just think of how much faster Madison could have worked if he could have hired Jack Abramoff to get the Indian tribes to weigh in too.

Steve Waldman 2:33 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (8)

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Bet thhose evangelicals are banging their foreheads and saying "Doh!" now...

Posted by: craigie on March 10, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus (again, pronounced Heyzeus)! Gale Norton announces her resignation (before she's indicted in connection with Abramoff), and this is all anyone can come up with?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 10, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II, you have been bitching, and bitchy, on nearly every thread I have read today. Pray, tell, what crawled up your ass and died?

Posted by: Keith G on March 10, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

"By using tax dollars to pay for religious support, Madison reasoned, you were taking their property in order to support a faith with which they disagreed."

Would you agree with the same argument when it comes to taxpayer funding for the liberal trinity of political campaigns (the father), public broadcasting (the son), and the arts (the holy gh
ost)?

Posted by: jimbo on March 11, 2006 at 4:40 AM | PERMALINK

"By using tax dollars to pay for religious support, Madison reasoned, you were taking their property in order to support a faith with which they disagreed."

Would you agree with the same argument when it comes to taxpayer funding for the liberal trinity of political campaigns, public broadcasting, and the arts?

Posted by: jimbo on March 11, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

ust think of how much faster Madison could have worked if he could have hired Jack Abramoff to get the Indian tribes to weigh in too.
Steve Waldman

As opposed to, say, having Andy Jackson to hand to simply exterminate them?

Same freedom-loving guys who wrote some pretty inflamatory language about the necessity of obliterating the indigenous peoples into the Declaration of Independence itself? Them?

Posted by: CFShep on March 11, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

Would you agree with the same argument when it comes to taxpayer funding for the liberal trinity of political campaigns (the father), public broadcasting (the son), and the arts (the holy gh
ost)?
Posted by: jimbo

Well, no. Here's what comes to mind:

www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-briefs8.5mar08,1,1649046.story?coll=la-news-a_section
Homeland Security to Add Religious Center
From Times Wire Reports
March, 8 2006

President Bush has ordered the creation of a center for religious initiatives within the Homeland Security Department, part of his government-wide effort to open federal contracts to religious organizations.

Other federal departments such as Justice, Education, Labor and Health and Human Services have such centers.

******

$2.1B in the last fiscal year to tax-exempt overtly religous groups with, practically speaking, no oversight at all.

Who ever it was challenged me to point out bribery the other day...well, look no farther, jackass.

So once more:

Our form of democracy is bribery, on the highest scale. - Gore Vidal

Posted by: CFShep on March 11, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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