Friday, February 18, 2005
Daniel J. Summers
Well, I'll start with the “not so fast”… This is a local issue, so if you're reading from somewhere other than Montgomery, AL, this first part may not make a whole lot of sense to you.
The Montgomery County school board has fired Chris Baxter from his head coaching and athletic director positions at Lee High School. He is currently under investigation for an “inappropriate relationship” with another employee there at the school. I know Chris, and I have a hard time believing that he has done some of the things of which he has been accused - I believe this whole scenario is a misunderstanding. On top of that, I feel that the school board's action, based on a request from the principal of the school, is too hasty. Chris is currently on administrative leave from the school, where he also teaches. If he didn't do what he's been accused of doing, why should he no longer be the coach? And, if he did do it, why should he still be a teacher?
I hope that everything is cleared up quickly, and that the school board will reconsider its hasty actions. True, Lee had their first winless season in recent memory this past season; but, it takes time for a coach to build a program. (The program was obviously already in trouble, to be bringing in a new coach in the first place.) Chris has worked hard to realize his goals of being a successful teacher and coach, and to take that away before the investigation has been completed goes against the traditional “innocent until proven guilty” modus operandi that we Americans pride ourselves on using.
Now for the two great lines. The first comes to us courtesy of Phyllis Schlafly, as she talks about the way feminists are using normal men's elevated view of women against them…
When will American men learn how to stand up to the nagging by the intolerant, uncivil feminists whose sport is to humiliate men? Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be.
And, Thomas Sowell, as he discusses the “free speech” claims being bandied about by those upset at Ward Churchill.
Freedom of speech does not imply a right to an audience.
I wish I was able to say that much with that few words…
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Daniel J. Summers
As a resident of Montgomery, AL, I'm privy to the much to-do being made over the granite Ten Commandments monument that duly-elected Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court had placed in the capitol. A Federal judge has ordered it be removed, and Justice Moore is refusing. The stage is set for a pretty large showdown very soon. As you can probably tell from my links and my previous entries, I'm a pretty religious person. However, I'm going to approach this from a purely humanistic viewpoint.
The Ten Commandments were the foundation for Jewish law. These commandments are recorded today in our Holy Bible, and the first four reference God or holiness (no other gods, no graven images, God's name in vain, and keeping the Sabbath holy). The remaining six are good precepts even for those who do not subscribe to any form of religion. These are no different from other historical laws, such as the Code of Hammurabi, and other collections of laws.
Several of our founding documents reference concepts found in the religious commandments. The Constitution, Article I, Section 7, recognizes Sundays as a day apart (much like commandment 4). The Declaration of Independence, in the first paragraph, recognizes Nature's God, and in the second, recognize the Creator - both are capitalized and singular, in line with the 1st commandment. Furthermore, The Magna Carta, a body of English law upon which our Constitution was based (and, coincidentally, predates the 1611 KJV by nearly 400 years), contain references to the one and only God in the Preamble and section 1.
We have also been told as of late that we should accept all religions, including the ever-peaceful Muslims. The prevailing world view of many people is that there is good in everything - and, judging from recent rulings by various courts and the politically correct culture that has pervaded our country, this is the way the government should look at things.
Given that references to most of the overtly religious commandments are in our country's founding documents, and the fact that we are supposed to find the good in everything, I see no reason for this marker to be removed. Justice Moore's personal beliefs should not be brought into this argument. With the 1st Amendment to our Constitution (in the Bill of Rights) prohibiting government from preventing free exercise of religion, the Federal judge's ruling that it must be removed is un-Constitutional, and will be found as such if it is appealed.