The baby is getting ready for his last term of high school. The phrase “high school” makes sense for squirrels, because each grade meets in a different branch of the tree and the oldest squirrels meet in the top branches. But I digress. The point is, he’ll take Nutulus this year – squirrels need math too – and he was surfing his Blewberry for a teacher’s edition of the textbook. When I asked why, he said “I want to know what the right answers are, and the teacher’s edition has those.”
“Ahh,” I replied. “Like Herman Cain’s copy of the Constitution.”
He didn’t understand, because he’s not researching a thesis in 21st Century Political Nuttitude. Maybe he’ll attend BPI when he graduates. But, again, I digress. I’d like to keep digressing, because explaining it to the baby already made me grumpy. Oh well.
It seems Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has the teacher’s edition of the First Amendment. The one with the Right answers. Here’s what the ordinary edition says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof[.]
The teacher’s edition apparently adds this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, unless that religion includes a code of laws, and some of its adherents have committed acts of terrorism, and is called Islam.
That’s about the only way to make sense of Herman Cain’s claim that communities have the right to ban mosques. Here’s what he told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday yesterday:
Cain — “Let’s go back to the fundamental issue. Islam is both a religion and a set of laws – Sharia laws. That’s the difference between any one of our traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.
Wallace — So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque…
Cain — Yes, they have the right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon their particular religion. There is an aspect of them building that mosque that doesn’t get talked about. And the people in the community know what it is and they’re talking about it.
Okay then. I wonder if he realizes that the Catholic Church has a Code of Canon Law. It includes acts that are also covered by civil law – such as abortion and divorce – and provides its own set of judicial procedures, rights, and sanctions. Many other Christian churches also have bodies of law governing their members’ conduct, with their own judicial procedures, rights, and sanctions. And those religions practice their law right here in the United States, separate from civil law. You can be legally divorced, yet unable to remarry in a Catholic ceremony, because the Church denied your petition for annulment.
Cain hasn’t proposed to allow communities to ban Catholic Churches or other Christian churches that have bodies of law, so apparently the problem isn’t really that Islam has its own body of law. Maybe the problem is terrorism:
I’m willing to take a harder look at people who might be terrorists, that’s what I’m saying. Look, I know that there’s a peaceful group of Muslims in this country. God bless them and they’re free to worship. If you look at my career I have never discriminated against anybody, because of their religion, sex or origin or anything like that.
I’m simply saying I owe it to the American people to be cautious because terrorists are trying to kill us, so yes I’m going to err on the side of caution rather than on the side of carelessness.
Except Christian groups have also committed acts of terrorism in the U.S., such as assassinating Dr. George Tiller in his Wichita, Kansas church, and six other assassinations since 1993. The New York Times reported over 100 bombings or acts of arson by anti-abortion terrorists from 1978 to 1993.
Anti-abortion terrorist Eric Rudolph, who identifies as a Roman Catholic and said he was trying to stop a “holocaust,” was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for five years until his capture in 2003. Rudolph pleaded guilty to several bombings, including the attack on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta that killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others, and the bombing of a Birmingham clinic in 1998 that killed off-duty police officer Robert Samuelson.
In December 2003, bank robbery fugitive and anti-abortion terrorist Clayton Waagner was convicted on 51 charges including threatening the use of weapons of mass destruction, after he sent 500 letters containing a white powder to Planned Parenthood offices. The letters said the powder was anthrax, and the white powder originally tested positive because Waagner had added an insecticide to fool the initial screening. Waagner identified himself as a member of the Army of God, a Christian terrorist organization.
But again, Cain hasn’t proposed to ban Christian churches, so apparently terrorism isn’t really the problem either. Apparently the problem is religions called Islam.
That’s the Right answer, in Cain’s teacher’s edition of the First Amendment.
Now ask why I’m grumpy.
Good day and good nuts.