The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution says:
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.
Notice that the very first words of the very first amendment do two very bold things:
*They deny Congress the power to establish any religion. The Christian Founders easily could have recognized Christianity as the basis for America and said that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion besides Christianity…” But the Founders held true to their principles. They knew that genuine liberty must include tolerance of all religions.
*Then notice that the 1st Amendment also says that Congress shall make no law “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.
These two parts of the first sentence of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, the document creating the freest society in world history, speak volumes about the open-minded, two-sided and forward-thinking nature of the Founders of America. They truly understood the concept of liberty.
Now we have a legal battle over a Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who has refused to issue a marriage license to a homosexual couple on the basis of her Christian religious convictions. She was jailed but is now free. (According to Wikipedia.org, Davis is a Democrat who earns $80,000 a year as county clerk.)
And so we wonder: Is the Supreme Court decision last June that made gay marriage legal in all 50 states a blanket order for all county clerks to issue marriage licenses even to homosexuals whose marriage, and even their very orientation, these clerks oppose on religious grounds? Or is Davis allowed under the Constitution the “free exercise” of her religion? Because, after all, other officials besides Davis could be authorized to issue the licenses.
Nikitas3.com would say the latter, and that states must make accommodations for people like Davis. The US Constitution places no limits on Americans’ personal lives as long as those lives are carried out within the statutes. That is intentional. The Founders could have barred homosexuality constitutionally on the grounds that the Bible proscribes it, as homosexuality has been a crime in many cultures throughout history. But they did not. Because they did not make Christianity the official religion nor did they constitutionally prescribe or proscribe any personal choices that Americans may make.
Now the leaders of our nation in 2015, and of our states, should reciprocate this legal open-mindedness by refraining from imposing any law that undermines or suppresses closely-held Christian beliefs, like those of Kim Davis.
America is built on tolerance. That is why we have become such a successful Constitutional republic and have become a historical melting pot of ideas, cultures, principles and lifestyles. Therefore the beliefs and principles of Christians obviously must be included in that tolerance.
And finally it is important to remember that Christians have been some of the most discriminated-against people in history. Many Americans seem to have forgotten that fact because of the times in which we live. Now would be a good time to remind them.
Here is today’s September 11 commentary:
Today is the 14th anniversary of the terror attack on the World Trade Center. How time flies.
This is a good time to talk about an environmental factor that contributed to the destruction of 9/11. One of the great eco-travesties of the last 50 years has been the hysteria over asbestos, a fireproof mineral that can be ground up and used to coat surfaces to retard flame. Over and over we have been told that the slightest hint of asbestos threatens us all.
Baloney. I, Nikitas, spent my childhood playing in a basement where the heating pipes were wrapped in asbestos. Some of it was exposed in a crumbled state. Tens of millions of kids had similar basements and asbestos was everywhere. It had been used for decades for many applications, particularly around furnaces and even as shingles on houses. We kids were exposed to it constantly yet I have not heard of one single death.
The people who were adversely affected were the asbestos miners and the asbestos factory workers who toiled with asbestos all day, every day, over many decades, and who breathed it in constantly year after year after year.
After this heavy exposure led asbestos to be declared dangerous and banned for further use we have seen decades of obsessive asbestos removal at enormous cost, with the removers wearing protective space suits and acting like asbestos is the Black Death. But the frenzy over asbestos is just another eco-fraud designed to instill fear and raise money for the “greenies”.
Now here is another aspect to the story. This is an excerpt from Steve Milloy of Junkscience.com writing on Foxnews.com just days after the collapse of the two World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001:
Asbestos fibers in the air and rubble following the collapse of the World Trade Center is adding to fears in the aftermath of (the 9/11) terrorist attack. The true tragedy in the asbestos story, though, is the lives that might have been saved but for 1970s-era hysteria about asbestos. Until 30 years ago, asbestos was added to flame-retardant sprays used to insulate steel building materials, particularly floor supports. The insulation was intended to delay the steel from melting in the case of fire by up to four hours.
…In 1971, New York City banned the use of asbestos in spray fireproofing. At that time, asbestos insulating material had only been sprayed up to the 64th floor of the World Trade Center towers. Other materials were substituted for asbestos. Though the substitute sprays passed Underwriters Laboratories’ tests, not everyone was convinced they would work as well.
One skeptic was the late Herbert Levine who invented spray fireproofing with wet asbestos in the late-1940s. Levine’s invention involved a combination of asbestos with mineral wool and made commonplace the construction of large steel framed buildings. …Levine’s company, Asbestospray, was familiar with the World Trade Center construction, but failed to get the contract for spraying insulation in the World Trade Center. Levine frequently would say that “if a fire breaks out above the 64th floor, that building will fall down.”
That appears to be what happened (on September 11), according to Richard Wilson, a risk expert and physics professor at Harvard University. The two hijacked airliners crashed into floors 96 to 103 of One World Trade Center and floors 87 to 93 of Two World Trade Center. Instead of the steel girders of the towers lasting up to four hours before melting, the steel frames of One World Trade Center lasted only one hour and forty minutes, while the steel frames of Two World Trade Center lasted just 56 minutes before collapsing. (end of Steve Milloy excerpt)
OK, so once again we have the truth about these ecologists. If asbestos had been used all the way up to the top, the World Trade Center very well might still be standing today. We should never believe anything that these environmentalists say. It is they who are killing us, not things like radiation (another hoax) and ‘global warming’ (another hoax) and danger from ‘fracking’ (another hoax).
In another case, dioxin was the Dow Chemical product that environmentalists for decades called “the most toxic substance known to man”, creating fear and scandal, particularly in the famous Times Beach, Missouri case. But the dangers of dioxin have been debunked, most notably in a front-page article in the New York Times in 1991. Since then we have heard nothing about dioxin. The ecologists simply moved on to another hysterical rant. And another. And another.
Remember the wild claim that there is radioactive radon gas in every home basement in America? Or that the “the hole in the ozone layer” was going to swallow the earth (remember that thing?) Or that power lines cause people living near them to develop cancer? Or that modern bio-engineered food crops are dangerous to our health? Or that PCBs are deadly? The list goes on and on. The apocalyptic frenzy of the environmentalists is bottomless.
These eco fear stories are all flat-out false or grossly exaggerated. ‘Climate change’ itself is the grandest hoax of all. All of these crises are being manufactured for two reasons – to instill fear and control people through fear and emotion, and to raise money for environmental groups. But then look at the list at the bottom of this commentary to see how the major ecologists of the 1970s were absurdly incorrect in their end-of-the-world predictions.
Our lives are vastly better today than they were before modern technologies came along, the same technologies that ecologists criticize every single minute of every day.
If you want to live in the natural, unspoiled world of the 18th century, with an average lifespan of 35 years, then go ahead. If you want to live in cold in the winter and stifling heat in the summer, and with a tiny and unpredictable food supply, without clean water or modern medicine, as people did for thousands of years, and as ecologists romanticize it, then go ahead and live in a poor nation with their standard of living. You won’t last long.
Meanwhile environmentalists are the last people who will live by their own standards. For instance, after telling us all to conserve fuel it is environmentalists themselves who fly around the globe to go backpacking and bird watching. They’ll drive 100 miles to hike up a certain mountain or paddle in a favorite river. They tout their stints in the wilderness but then they rush back home to the comfort of their oil-heated houses with the gasoline-powered car in the garage and full utility power from the nuclear plant.
They consume expensive organic foods when organic agriculture actually uses more land, capital, labor and water than traditional farming, and produces vastly smaller amounts of food, i.e., is worse for the environment than efficient corporate farms and bio-engineered foods. They then want to blanket the countryside with windmills and solar panels, the biggest environmental blight of all.
Friends, it is environmentalists themselves whom we should fear most. Period. End of story. Now just to remind you about the fraud from the enviro movement at the highest levels here is a doomsday list from top eco-leaders. Every one of these predictions made on the first earth day in 1970 has been proven spectacularly and laughably wrong like these 13 end-of-the-world forecasts (thanks to Reason.com for this list):
1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial
4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine
13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt
(Note from Nikitas: Hello, readers, Please consider contributing to this website through the “support this website” link at the upper right. I have spent an estimated 5,000 hours over 8 years building this site and have received only a total of $30 in contributions. Otherwise I have never earned a single penny from this site but have spent many thousands of dollars of my own money on it. Anything would be appreciated, even $5. Thanks, Nikitas.)