Sunday, March 6, 2005

The Ten Commandments

The Supreme Court will spend several months deciding whether it wants to ban the ten commandments from all public property. It apparently will take that long for them to check with the European Union to get their opinion on what our laws should be.

Some commentators have envisioned phalanxes of bulldozers unleashed all across the land this summer smashing existing monuments to powder, while others think this scenario is too alarmist:

The bigger danger to society would be if the monuments were allowed on public land, putting a huge crack in the wall between church and state, say opposition groups. "Our concern is that they would start increasing and the religious right would start marking places," said Christopher Arntzen, chair of the Gay and Lesbian Atheists and Humanists. "There's a danger to civil liberties. A lot of the religious right is directed against non-believers."

Christopher Arntzen has a point. If we allow the Ten Commandments to grace our public spaces as we have for the last two centuries, why, then the wall of separation between Church and state will surely crumble. Indeed, it's a miracle that it hasn't collapsed before now since all sorts of people have been inspired to turn this country into a theocracy by public displays of the Ten Commandments.

Why, we heard of a gentleman on a tour of the Supreme Court building where, ironically enough, the Ten Commandments are in evidence, who upon seeing them with his own eyes fell to his knees and swore an oath that he would single-handedly, if necessary, restore Christendom to the throne of government. We've also heard of countless schoolchildren who have let their gaze fall upon the Ten Commandments and consequently reverted to thumb-sucking and bed-wetting at night. We simply can't tolerate this sort of thing in a pluralist society.

Once the Court has banned the Ten Commandments, of course, there will be no stopping it. It will have no grounds for failing to abolish the under God phrase in the pledge, it will certainly have to ordain that all currency bearing the motto In God We Trust be removed forthwith from circulation, and it will perforce be compelled to prohibit all prayer, all mention of God, in public spaces and public events.

Thus will the secularists have succeeded in imposing their vision of a sanitized public square, scrubbed free of all residue of religious belief, upon the rest of the nation. A glorious future awaits us.

More on the Guiliana Sgrena Story

Little Green Footballs is all over the Guiliana Sgrena story, a story which seems to be something of a work in progress.

Segrena had originally insisted that the car in which she was traveling was moving at "normal speed", but now she acknowledges that they were swerving to miss puddles and going fast enough that they had almost lost control of the vehicle at one point.

She had also earlier denied that there were any lights or signals from the troops who opened fire, but now admits that the Americans had shone a flashlight at them as they approached the checkpoint.

She also claims that the soldiers fired 300 to 400 rounds from an armored vehicle at their car, but that many rounds would surely have shredded the vehicle and killed everyone inside.

If this keeps up her story and the account we've been given by American authorities (that the vehicle was rapidly approaching the checkpoint and failed to respond to commands and signals to stop) will be indistinguishable.

Giuliana Sgrena

That an Italian secret service agent died in the horrific events on the road to Baghdad airport is tragic. That Giuliana Sgrena, the released hostage and journalist who works for the communist daily Il Manifesto, is saying the things she is is execrable:

"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known," Sgrena told Sky TG24 television by telephone, her voice hoarse and shaky. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostages, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."

When the firing began she said that she remembered her captors' words, when they warned her "to be careful because the Americans don't want you to return."

Sgrena wrote that her captors warned her as she was about to be released not to signal her presence to anyone, because "the Americans might intervene." She said her captors blindfolded her and drove her to a location where she was turned over to agents and they set off for the airport.

She thinks she might have been the target. To what end? On whose authority? How did the soldiers know that she was in that car? If she was indeed the target then why did they let her survive and why did they render her first aid? Why does she credit the vague words of terrorists who kidnapped her and threatened her life, but discount the explanation of the Americans.

Sgrena states in the article that she thinks she may have been the target because the Italians apparently paid a high ransom for her release and the American policy is to not negotiate with terrorists. Does she think that therefore she was targeted for assassination? What would be the point? Does she really think Americans were willing to kill agents of an allied government, one which has been fairly steadfast in its support of the American effort in Iraq, out of pique?

Even if someone in the American chain of command did resent her and knew she would be in that vehicle, does Sgrena really think they would be so stupid as to risk being exposed by the troops who carried out the order? Does she really think that an American commander would be willing to risk an international incident by killing her? Does this woman even think at all?

She's a woman of the Left so we expect her to be eager to discredit the U.S., but to slander American military personnel with no evidence and without offering any answers to the above questions is simply beneath contempt.