Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rodda: "In the Interest of Historical Accuracy and Honesty, I Must Correct Myself"

Chris Rodda writing at the Huffington Post. A taste:
What is relevant about the members of that 1781 Congress who attended that church service, however, is that many of them were the very same men who, in 1778, wrote the oath signed by the officers of the Revolutionary Army -- an oath that not only didn't include the words "So help me God," but also left a blank space for each officer to fill in for themselves whether they were choosing to "swear" or "affirm."

17 comments:

Art Deco said...

but also left a blank space for each officer to fill in for themselves whether they were choosing to "swear" or "affirm."

They were accommodating to their anabaptists. This is of interest why?

Tom Van Dyke said...
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Exactly, Art. David Barton makes too much of obscure documents, but he's not the only one.

And "many of these same men" as members of the Continental Congress, also directly invoked Jesus Christ in its documents.

Let's also note the US Congress walking over to St. Mark's Chapel en masse at President Washington's inauguration.

The first thing George Washington did in his inaugural speech was to thank God on behalf of those gathered; the first thing the Congress did afterward was go to church. This is the point of these things, the Big Picture, not the Battle of the Factoids.

JMS said...

The First Amendment Establishment Clause protects the rights of individuals and faith communities to engage in religious worship as a voluntary expression of individual conscience and prohibits the government from appropriating those rights. Adding the words “So help me God” to an honor code oath violates the Establishment Clause because it infringes the freedom of conscience guaranteed to each person.

Tom Van Dyke said...
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Not if they can opt out, which they can. The story behind this bullshit controversy is sketchy--was anyone ever disciplined for not saying "so help me God?" Doubtful.

Did the professional agitators* at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation demand that "so help me God" be dropped entirely? If so, they only got half a loaf or less--that the facts on the ground were always that opting out with no penalty was always the case.

All that said, of course forcing someone to say SHMG is unconstitutional. The AF academy took 68 minutes to get back to the MRFF. It wasn't much of a fight.


To the historical point, that acknowledging the existence of God is an "establishment of religion" is a modern conceit, not the understanding of the ratifiers of the First Amendment. How for the Supreme Court will continue to go in that anti-originalist direction is anybody's guess.

"We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being."---liberal Justice william O. Douglas [1952]
_________________

*http://christianfighterpilot.com/blog/2011/05/18/michael-weinstein-gets-a-pay-raise-and-religious-freedom-suffers/

That article noted Weinstein has reaped heavily from the “non-profit” he founded and runs, allowing him to take home a paycheck of more than $250,000 in 2008 — nearly half of everything his “foundation” received (while Rodda simultaneously begged for donations, claiming Weinstein didn’t “even pay himself a salary”).

Weinstein seemed to take umbrage at the publication of his public financial data and threatened to sue this site for defamation. He apparently thought it was damaging to his reputation for people to know 46% of his “non-profit’s” funds went directly to him – a shocking number when compared to reputable non-profits as documented at Charity Navigator, for example. The legal threat seemed to be a weak attempt at intimidation, as it was obvious Weinstein had no viable case and he never moved on the legal threat (though he did file a frivolous complaint with the military, and he has repeated the open-ended threat). Of course, while he dispenses vitriol with ease, Weinstein apparently wilts in the face of criticism, as he has repeatedly issued legal threats against those who have the gall to point out his hypocrisy.

To the point, Weinstein’s own public documents showed his significant pay, the re-publication of which apparently disturbed him.

It seems Weinstein didn’t learn his lesson.

The very next year, Michael Weinstein, the sole-paid officer of his self-created “foundation,” paid himself a salary of $296,232. This represents a pay raise of more than 13% over his 2008 salary. In the same year, his MRFF increased its intake by only 0.95%.

In 2009, Michael Weinstein’s personal compensation represented 54% of the revenue of his own non-profit foundation.

(After two extensions, Weinstein finally filed his tax papers late in 2010 for the 2009 year, making this the most current information available.)

In justifying his substantial compensation, Weinstein said the development of his pay included “studies of various other organizations and comparable services available elsewhere.”

Can you name any reputable non-profits whose leaders pocket more than half of the money their organization brings in?

Michael Heath said...

Jon Rowe,

Your credibility suffers when you associate with serial liars and defamers.

There's a massive difference between a credible forum that attracts competing, compelling, arguments with a forum where one side seeks objective truth as you strive to achieve with a competing side that continually demonstrates no scruples in advancing their political cause. A cause that also seeks to promote their theocratic privileged ideology, at the expense of our individual freedom.

Tom Van Dyke said...
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Michael, which facts do you wish to dispute?

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yeah, that's what I thought, Michael. It wasn't right for you to come onto this blog and call me a liar. You want to litigate the finances of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Michael? Chris? The floor is yours.

I just found the 2010 tax return.

http://www.christianfighterpilot.com/articles/files/mrffirs2010.pdf

Unless you want to argue the document's a phony. I see contributions were down, "Mikey" Weinstein's personal pay down to $218,000, Chris Rodda's former compensation of ~$40,000, as "research" no longer listed.

You want to give the Weinsteins the "Rodda treatment," the anal exam she gives every word David barton writes?

Bring it, bro. Otherwise get off my back.

David Schuster said...

The disputes in the comment section reflect that this blog post is simply making a statement. The founding fathers were accommodating of various religious beliefs. Is it an just observation, or supposed to be good or bad? We are often told to be proud of our separation of church and state, but the New Testament is the source of all Law. Isn't that why the President swears/affirms his oath of office on it?

Tom Van Dyke said...

Mr. Schuster, our blogbrother Ray Soller has done extensive work on "So Help Me God"

http://americancreation.blogspot.com/2011/04/eh-could-anyone-hear-george-washington.html

even serving as a research consultant to [in]famous atheist Michael Newdow. GWash likely didn't say it, and it's not in the constitutional oath.

On the other hand, Washington did "swear" on a Bible. So the answer to your question

We are often told to be proud of our separation of church and state, but the New Testament is the source of all Law. Isn't that why the President swears/affirms his oath of office on it?

is--as with many of these things--in some ways yes but strictly speaking, no.

jimmiraybob said...

Michael

It's probably best to not get in Tom's way when he's in the process of changing the conversation from what would be relevant to the post to one that poisons the well against Rodda and the MRFF. It's his schtick and he only gets cranky when challenged.

An, now he's gone gotten a picture of one of his facts. He's on a roll.

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"
- Bluto, 1978

Michael Heath said...

jimmiraybob writes to me:
It's probably best to not get in Tom's way when he's in the process of changing the conversation from what would be relevant to the post to one that poisons the well against Rodda and the MRFF. It's his schtick and he only gets cranky when challenged.

An, now he's gone gotten a picture of one of his facts. He's on a roll.


Mr. Van Dyke's responses to my post further validate he's not even cognizant of the most objectionable fallacies he depends on in this post. I have no regard for him given his lack of honesty, no confidence he's capable of making compelling arguments, and no confidence he has any desire to stick to honest engagements in the future. He's already demonstrated why countless times.

Instead my post is directed to someone who I do respect, Jon Rowe, largely because I've learned a lot from his posts. I especially think we need more researchers and purveyors of research who don't avoid the religiosity of those who contributed to enlightenment thinking and liberal democracy but instead keep those facts in the set of premises needed to better understand our history, the reasons behind our successes and failures, and the lessons we should learn.

Because of my gratefulness and respect for Jon, I want to see his success in this area match his contributions. I find that to be a difficult task if he continues to associate with the likes of Tom VanDyke and a few other less prolific bloggers at this site.

An independent observer would wonder why anyone with credibility who associate with demonstrable trolls bent on mutating history and current events to promote their political agenda. It's difficult to even discern credibility when looking into a cess pool the first times.

And I have no problem with those leveraging history to promote political agendas - I see that as a positive attribute we should encourage. Instead it's the dependence on falsehoods and logical fallacies which sickens me.

David Schuster said...

Thank you for your response. I am new to the blog and have already learned quite a bit. It seems that the debate is surrounding the phrase "so help me God", rather than the separation of church and state, as I had assumed. Do you lend any credence to the idea that all land-owning American males were deputized in their home state? Therefore, no additional oaths were administered in Washington. This is the basic theory put forth by Johansson in the "Bait and Switch History of Fraud".

Tom Van Dyke said...

Michael, you blather on and on about the right wing on other blogs. Can't take it when it's your own left-wing ox being gored.

People should know what a fraud the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is, and I'm going to tell them everytime it darkens this blog's door.

Your attempt to shout me down isn't going to work. I have told no lies.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Blogger David Schuster said...
Thank you for your response. I am new to the blog and have already learned quite a bit. It seems that the debate is surrounding the phrase "so help me God", rather than the separation of church and state, as I had assumed. Do you lend any credence to the idea that all land-owning American males were deputized in their home state? Therefore, no additional oaths were administered in Washington. This is the basic theory put forth by Johansson in the "Bait and Switch History of Fraud".


David, I'm afraid these weeds

http://templeton01436.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-bait-and-switch-history-of-fraud-by.html

look a little tall for this blog, and I haven't heard the theory.

I will say that GWash thought oaths essential to keep men accountable to a higher power.

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.---Farewell Address 1796

Thx for your interest and I apologize for the people disrupting the discussion.