March 26 2008 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Wednesday 26 March '08 National show

  • Religion has become part of the campaign, for example Obama and Hillary's pastors, Hillary's prayer group.
  • Article: Turkey's leaders weigh legal moves to fight suit that would close their party.
    "The Islamic-oriented government is considering legal measures to stop the chief prosecutor from disbanding the governing party on charges of undermining secularism."
  • Article: Clashing Over Church Ritual and Flag Protocol at the Naval Academy Chapel.
    "On Sundays at the Naval Academy Chapel, at a few minutes past 11 a.m., the choir stops singing and a color guard carrying the academy flag and the American flag strides up the aisle.

    Below a cobalt blue stained-glass window of Jesus, one midshipman dips the academy flag before the altar cross, and the other dips the American flag.

  • Guest: Tara Ross, lawyer, writer. Co-author, "Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State". Is the cross above than the flag? What General George Washington would say about the latest clash between church and state - The Naval Academy color guard is "dipping" the American flag below a cross during worship services, reports the NY Times. She does not agree it is a secular state; it is religious although it is not of any particular denomination like the Church of England; if they were secular they would not have ordered a day of Thanksgiving. She said several of the first Congresses approved money for Christian missionaries to Indians and paid for chaplains in the Congress.
  • "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."
    The First Amendment
  • "... The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. "
    Article. VI., Constitution
  • On the topic of Washington's religious sentiments, Thomas Jefferson wrote in his personal diary entry for February 1, 1799, "when the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the Government, it was observed in their consultation, that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address, as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so.

    "However," Jefferson noted to his diary, "the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice." Jefferson concluded that Washington "never did say a word on the subject in any of his public papers, except in his valedictory letter to the Governors of the States, when he resigned his commission in the army, wherein he speaks of 'the benign influence of the Christian religion.' I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets [in Washington's confidence] and believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that [fundamentalist Christian] system than he himself did."

  • "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
    Treaty of Tripoli, November 4, 1796.
  • "Madison even objected to government giving money to churches to care for the poor. It would be the beginning of a dangerous mixture, he believed - dangerous both to government and churches alike. Thus, on February 21, 1811, President James Madison vetoed a bill passed by Congress that authorized government payments to a church in Washington, DC to help the poor.

    In Madison's mind, caring for the poor was a public and civic duty - a function of government - and must not be allowed to become a hole through which churches could reach and seize political power or the taxpayer's purse. Funding a church to provide for the poor would establish a "legal agency" - a legal precedent - that would break down the wall of separation the founders had put between church and state to protect Americans from religious zealots gaining political power.

    Thus, Madison said in his veto message to Congress, he was striking down the proposed law, "Because the bill vests and said incorporated church an also authority to provide for the support of the poor, and the education of poor children of the same;..." which, Madison said, "would be a precedent for giving to religious societies, as such, a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty."

    " Thom.
  • "Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

    It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

    Washington's Farewell Address 1796.
  • Bumper Music: Mother Freedom, Bread.
  • Freedom of / from religion.
  • "... that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone"
    Thomas Jefferson, 1777 "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia".
  • Clip:
    "You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops and I am for the President — chase them all over the world, if it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."
    Jerry Falwell, CNN Late Edition, 24 October 2004.
  • In a February 10, 1814 letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, Jefferson addressed the question directly. "Finally, in answer to Fortescue Aland's question why the Ten Commandments should not now be a part of the common law of England we may say they are not because they never were..." Anybody who asserted that the Ten Commandments were the basis of American or British law was, Jefferson said, mistakenly believing a document that was "a manifest forgery."

    The reason was simple: British common law, on which much American law was based, existed before Christianity had arrived in England.

    "Sir Matthew Hale lays it down in these words," wrote Jefferson to Cooper, "'Christianity is parcel of the laws of England.'"

    But, Jefferson rebuts, it couldn't be. Just looking at the timeline of English history demonstrated it was impossible: "But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here, then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it....

    "We might as well say that the Newtonian system of philosophy is a part of the common law, as that the Christian religion is," wrote Jefferson. "...In truth, the alliance between Church and State in England has ever made their judges accomplices in the frauds of the clergy; and even bolder than they are."

  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: 8-Year-Old Bosnian Girl Was Actually Sniper. Bouquet of Flowers Hid Semiautomatic Weapon.
  • Article: Bandits kill 3 UN drivers in Sudan. About 30 miles from where Thom was. World Food Program. Get out there and get active, call Congress, tell them to put pressure on China.
  • Bumper Music: Freedom's Finally Mine, Keith Urban.
  • Thom will be broadcasting the show live from KMPT Missoula on Friday 28 March. Guests on the show will include Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Montana Senator Jon Tester and, as usual, Senator Berne Sanders. He will also be giving a free talk at the Holiday Inn Parkside at 200 S. Pattee St. in Missoula followed by a book signing.
  • "I know a lot of liberal critics like to snicker at the slogan 'fair and balanced,' but, in fact, we take it very seriously," he added. "My feeling is that a lot of time 'fair and balanced' means giving the conservative point of view because that doesn't get reflected in the mainstream media. In this particular case, I thought 'fair and balanced' meant giving more of an explanation of Obama's point of view."
    Chris Wallace, "Fox News Sunday" host.
  • Morality is a fundamental human thing, religion came later.
  • McCain just said we can no longer rely on Middle East autocracies for stability. Thom will get clips and a transcript and discuss the speech tomorrow. His changes in health care would make it even worse. Hillary and Obama would improve health care, but don't go far enough.
  • Guest: CNS Editor-in-Chief Terence Jeffrey. The healthcare plans of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as a model for moving forward on healthcare. Thom's pneumonia, his doctor could not fit him in until mid April, he survived on medication his travel doctor had given him. He surfed the net and found ZoomCare. Jeffrey said that anything that removes the personal relationship with the doctor is bad.
  • Bumper Music: Tonsils in Taiwan, Jim Terr, Blue Canyon Productions.
  • John McCain's health care system is alarming. It includes:
    • Reform the tax code to eliminate the bias toward employer-sponsored health insurance, and provide all individuals with a $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) to increase incentives for insurance coverage. Individuals owning innovative multi-year policies that cost less than the full credit can deposit remainder in expanded health savings accounts.
    • Pass tort reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits and excessive damage awards. Provide a safe harbor for doctors that follow clinical guidelines and adhere to patient safety protocols.
    • Build genuine national markets by permitting providers to practice nationwide.
    • Make patients the center of care and give them a larger role in both prevention and care, putting more decisions and responsibility in their hands.

    John McCain.

  • Bumper Music: Mr. Radio, ELO.
  • Article: Hoarding by banks stokes fear over crisis.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Washington. Upsurge of violence in Iraq. General Petraeus is scheduled to testify in House and Senate. Some right wing shows have put him on, the spin is that insurgents know he is going before Congress and that is why there is an upsurge. The surge is failing because the Sadr truce is unraveling. Is Petraeus laying the groundwork for entering politics? The White House is pushing him onto the media. Thom would love to have him on the show. Sudan news. UN radio invited her to go there with them in May. Executing people is part of genocide, starving people. Joint chiefs of staff, Cheney, Hadlee meeting. Need for withdrawal for consolidation and evaluation. Al Malaki said that militia forces will be spared if the surrender within 72 hours. Poulson, Congress, he believes investment banks should have the same scrutiny as banks for loans, we will work through this situation and go on to new heights as we always do. Temporary program for liquidity. The Finance committee want to look into Bear Stearns. "Unsustainable home price appreciation... the correction was inevitable". Bank hoarding. Gravel has turned Libertarian. Obama speech in New York about finance tomorrow, home state of Hillary.
  • All you know is wrong segment: Guest: Frank Viola, "Pagan Christianity?" Are the roots of Christianity Pagan? He's Christian. First century Christian. Pre Pauline? His co-author is one of the most quoted authors on Christianity. Few church traditions have anything to do with Jesus. Christianity borrowed pagan practices. 325 Constantine became emperor. The great unchurched, 120 millions Christians. Paganism vs. Dominionism. The roots of hierarchical structure are in Babylon. Clergy/laity division post Christian. Jesus condemned hierarchy. Churches are now businesses. Thom's trip to India. Thom washed some feet in stead of giving a speech. People are still attracted to Jesus but turned off by church.
  • Bumper Music: Lawless Avenues, Jackson Browne.
  • Article: US: Court deals blow to international treaties.
  • Yesterday's Supreme Court decision. 5 conservatives + Stevens ruled 6:3 that if the US signs a treaty, it doesn't actually become law unless the US also passes legislation ratifying it. The case concerned a footnote to the Geneva Conventions on consular relations. In Southern Sudan, they visited the US consular's office in Juba. They would have been required to let Thom call an ambassador or consul if he was arrested. The US pushed for it. It could apply to GATT and NAFTA.
  • "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
    Article VI of US Constitution.
  • Bumper Music: Piggies, George Harrison, Beatles.
  • Article: Outsourced passports netting govt. profits, risking national security.
  • Health care. Common Risk. Effect of tax deductions.
  • Bumper Music: Time Has Come, David James.
  • Conservative, Libertarian world view.

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