To me the ‘unalienable rights’ part of the Declaration of Independence means absolute rights that cannot be tampered with. Whereas the origin of these rights remain open to debate, the rights themselves are not. Pokey worries that without defining the origin-part, liberals will try to change shit. On that note, there’s as much Athens as Jerusalem in our founding documents so let’s begin by replacing ‘God-given’ with ‘Zeus-given’. Then let’s draw a really cool lightning bolt over the entire next paragraph and change the name of this thing to the Bill of Smites.
To benefit from the spirit of our Constitution we needn’t define the God-part. Our Founding Fathers (FFs) had a healthy dose of atheism, so they avoided naming the particular deity in question. The WHO who bestowed these rights is moot, and with good reason. The Age of Reason comes to mind, or the flip side Sharia Law. Of course, our FFs were more worried about the Church of England at the time. Damn Protestants. They understood God could be any God, Gods, or higher power. But please avoid cartoon Gods where prohibited.
Some believe these rights are bestowed by a bearded guy in the clouds while others do not. But one day YOU WILL ALL KNOW the glory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! To me the key is that these rights are inherent and irrefutable. Sure the FFs stated the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” comes from God, but then these same folks spent no small amount of time ensuring a clear separation of church and state.
To me unalienable means—
[Zano’s 17 page Ancient Alien rant rejected by the editor]
Whereas you, Pokey, are looking at colonial times from solely a Christian standpoint, I realize our founding documents were an amalgam. Sure it’s an amalgam with clear ties to The Bible but, taking a page from Ken Wilber, I believe our FFs were operating at a much higher level of consciousness than the norm for that time period. The idea of starting with some basic tenants that could not be overruled by anyone from a lower, or even a higher perspective was brilliant (no matter how you slice it). They were certainly light years ahead of either party today. They only used this fundamental origin-myth to protect the essence of their vision, not the least of which is that all men are Created Splenda. (Sorry, but I already changed that part, because Equal causes cancer.)
After all, they started this schitznik with We The People, not We The Children of God. The people had the sovereignty here, not the all-mighty, or the all-mighty dollar. That came later. The whole tug-o-war between a Christian Nation vs the Wall of Separation between church and state remains ongoing, then and now. I’m not an all-or-none thinker and the answer, as usual, lies somewhere in between:
“The founders were not as Christian as those people would like them to be, though they weren’t as secularist as Christopher Hitchens would like them to be.”
Let’s look at the rest of that phrase “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
To me life means breathing and stuff. The GOP seems to only find life in the womb sacred. Discuss any post-natal rights and they get all snotty. Post-natal drips? I believe The GOP has become a cult of death. Climate change? Nah. Dying oceans? Nah. Overpopulation? Nah. The need to shift to alternative energies? No thank you. We prefer a better life, through death.
Republicans love children and they show this profound Christian love by gutting education, child protective services, and all regulation of food and water. They always just want to turn their heads …and cough.
So in this nirvana of yours the church is supposed to take care of the mentally ill with prayer and with cookies? You don’t need to be insured, you don’t need medical care, you don’t need basic sick leave or any basic wage to function in our current society. You don’t need workers’ rights, you don’t need vaccinations from deadly illnesses…you know, the ones once eradicated through said vaccinations. You have the freedom to either die in the lobby without coverage or die in your designated sweatshop. That’s a wonderful interpretation of our Founding Fathers’ vision. You have the right to life…until our policies kill you. Mass extinction sold separately.
Is life longer and fuller without healthcare coverage? Do you really believe that?
“Just live a little. No really, just a little. That’s all we’re funding.”
—John Q. Republican
Let’s take liberty…no really, take it. James Madison extended the Constitution to include the Bill of Rights to protect said liberty. The Bush Administration essentially junked the thing indefinitely post 9/11.
And what about the War on Drugs? That shit-show cost us dearly. Ever heard of the Rico law? Your house car or cash can be confiscated by the police if they even suspect anything you or your family member might have done related to a drug offense. And you’re trying to tell me that having a well-funded emergency room in your town trumps all of these affronts? Isn’t it more likely you’re being duped? I think NSA is all we agree on this topic.
Suffice to say, once you can by picked up off the street by your government without due process, held indefinitely, and then tortured, uh, I think that might infringe on your liberties ….a tad.
“Never ever get a writ of Habeas Corpus.”
The Pursuit of Happiness
Let’s ignore my hedonistic view of happiness for a moment. Sex, drugs, and rock & roll sold separately. Christian “values” keep people from dying with dignity and it keeps them from having access to pornography while in hospice care—which is no small point when your last request is spiritual midget porn. If given a chance Christians would impose their version of happiness on us all. The FFs understood this part, even if you don’t. On a related note, I come from a long line of Impuritans.
One nonstarter is how a Christian Nation invariably tries to remove temptation. They would block even any chance of sin, which is a ridiculous approach to helping someone move toward spiritual growth. Try interviewing some altar boys to see how well that’s working out. This is also why the decriminalization of all drugs must occur. Did God remove the Tree of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden? Hell, he didn’t even block porn in that liberal Portlandia. Eve? Is that you burning frankincense again, you naked hippy chick?
I think there’s a big difference if you call something like healthcare an inherent right, but universal healthcare does seem to work in everywhere it has been tried. Sorry, but freedom didn’t die anywhere it’s been tried. The taxes associated with healthcare costs polled well in all 18 countries. Again, I think there’s a middle ground at play here, well, should our republican friends outgrow their middle school playgrounds. Pursuing happiness from poverty is possible but not always preferable. I don’t want to belittle the efforts of our churches, but they are not the whole picture—they’re not even the previews.
Rick Santorum, a guy cut from your cloth, would like to see the church prominent and powerful again. He feels the separation of Church and State only goes one way. He feels the government itself must be separated from any church, but churches can petition the government as much as they want.
—Our Founding Fathers amidst a collective face palm
And that was just their reaction to his latest sweater vest. If you recall the context back in 1776, our FFs obviously wanted a very clear separation of Church and State. Hey, why not shift the whole wall on our southern border back to where our Founding Fathers intended? …between Church and State. Lest we forget the church had full control of the West for many centuries. It was called the Dark Ages.
Back to the Other Main Point: The Constitutionality of Obamacare
I never said the individual mandate was a clear violation of the Constitution. I said I had concerns about that one aspect of that 1,000+ page law. I am not a constitutional scholar, nor am I an all-or-none thinker, so I am forced to leave that important task to our partisan Supremes. Any ruling that arises from your infallible document—the one handed to us from God himself—is deemed constitutional or not depending on the ratio of D to R appointed judges during said ruling. Funny how that works.
Meanwhile, Senator Orin Hatch (R) and Senator Fred Upton (R) have just proposed an alternative health plan, which is suspiciously similar to the ACA, minus the individual mandate. They want to give tax credits to compensate for this emergency room penalty. In their version you can keep coverage for your existing condition as well. But unless you counter the high risk pool with lots of other people that approach makes no sense (See: any other proposal by republican in the 21st century).
Things may go down as Starsky and Hatch are proposing, but essentially it will be Obamacare under a new name and without any viable way to pay for it. Of course, if we elect a republican president what we call the ACA will be the least of our problems.
Others have already come up with some individual mandate work-arounds, as previously mentioned here. I won’t strip millions of Americans from their healthcare coverage for a piece of this law that is not remotely fatal, for a piece of this law that is currently deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, for a piece of this law that may well be correctible. If you change ‘unalienable’ rights to unconscionable then I think you have a point.
How is having access to an emergency room destroying your freedom, Pokey? Could we afford the fire department needed if every household in the U.S. burst into flames? The government takes a lot of your paycheck and it always will, so why is this bit so hard to digest? How much of our check goes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, fire, garbage, infrastructure, schools etc? If you don’t have a kid, you still pay a school tax. If you don’t have a fire you still pay for that fire department. And now, if you don’t have a medical emergency there still an emergency room down the street should you need it. You peeps always complain about the money associated with a basic functional society, yet you ignore the fact you can’t unionize, get a raise, get time off, or get a life. Freedom…you’re doing it wrong.
Excuse me if I don’t want to pay for your ‘personal responsibility’ from my pay check. It’s a shared burden…like Fox News. If you don’t like it, live off the grid, nature boy. You’re making much ado about healthcare. And what are you complaining about? You and your ilk are winning. We don’t invest in infrastructure, we don’t take care of our most vulnerable, as we devolve into a third world nation. How do you folks twist reality into such a pretzel? Don’t ask me to get inside the head of a republican; I have weak constitutions. See? I just threw up on my amendments again. Oh and sorry, Pokey, but I changed some of the first part too:
We the Spoof Bloggers , in order to form a more perfect Onion.
What da ya think? Oh, and I already changed the Zeus part again. I’m kind of partial to Dionysius, but I’m still keeping the lightning bolt. It doesn’t have to make sense. Hell, republicans don’t.