Tag Archives: Constitution

Nix the ‘Christian nation’ talk

Rick Wilson once was a Republican Party activist and strategist. These days he shows up on TV to criticize what has become of the party of which he once was a proud member.

He showed up this past week to put down a notion espoused by right-wing nut job Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Loony Bin, who proclaimed her intention to turn the United States into a Christian nation.

Rick Wilson pours cold water on Lauren Boebert’s desire to turn America into a ‘Christian nation’ (msn.com)

Can’t do it, says Wilson.

He offered this brief explainer that I’ll just let stand on its own.

“First off, I need them to stop talking about the founders at this point,” he began. “If you stretch back to the Mayflower, this is a country that was founded on fleeing from the religious persecution of an official state religion. And when the constitution was being framed, we had states and we had leaders who all understood that this country was going to have a pluralistic approach to religion, which was to say, the government would neither condone nor suppress any religion.”

There you have it.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Constitution works!

Gerald Ford spoke a fundamental truth only minutes after taking office as president of the United States in August 1974.

“Our Constitution works,” President Ford reminded us, as if we needed reminding about the crisis that preceded his becoming president. His predecessor, Richard Nixon, resigned just as he was about to be impeached and tried (and likely convicted) for high crimes against the Constitution.

I want to remind everyone who worries about whether the Constitution will hold up under the pressure being applied to it these days by a former POTUS who all but vows violence if he is indicted for criminal activity.

I am going to remain somewhat calm about the strength of the Constitution. It did survive the Watergate scandal. President Nixon had to quit. President Ford took office as the Constitution had been battered and bruised by the calamity of Nixon’s abuse of power.

It survived then. I am going to continue to believe in the strength of the Constitution now as the nation awaits the outcome of several investigations into a former president’s effort to upend the “peaceful transfer of power” from one administration to the next one.

I will concede that the transfer of power was not peaceful. It was bloodied by the 1/6 insurrection. However, the transition did occur.

Our Constitution works, indeed.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Statement causes chills

A declaration by a member of Congress didn’t receive nearly the attention it deserves; therefore, I will try to rectify it with this brief blog post.

U.S. Rep. What’s Her Name — aka Marjorie Taylor Greene — the Republican from Georgia, recently pronounced herself to be a “Christian nationalist.” I can’t recall the context of her comment or the venue in which she uttered it. All I can recall is her saying, “If you want to call me a Christian nationalist, then that’s what I am.”

That is a frightening thing to hear from a member of Congress.

I shall remind you once again that these individuals take an oath to “defend and protect the U.S. Constitution.” Indeed, I took such an oath in August 1968 when I was inducted into the U.S. Army, so I have some exposure to its meaning. I took it to mean, and I do so to this day, that I protect what the Constitution sets forth in its governing policy.

Rep. What’s Her Name needs to understand, too, what it means … but she ignores the obvious tenet of our nation’s government framework. It is that the Constitution establishes a secular government. It says in plain English in Article VI that there shall be “no religious test” required of anyone seeking public office.

The word “Christianity” is nowhere to be found in that document.

I know I have whipped this critter bloody already, but I will keep doing so until it sinks in. Christian nationalism seeks to turn the United States into a “Christian nation.” It isn’t. We are a nation with a population that comprises a strong majority of Christians as citizens. Our government was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and I am totally fine with that.

I am not fine with the notion that our Constitution somehow contains language that mandates our laws be faithful to New Testament scripture. So, for dipsh**s like Rep. What’s Her Name to suggest that it does reveals a remarkable level of ignorance about the very oath she took to uphold.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This is on you, Wyoming

I want to direct these remarks to Wyoming Republicans who, when the ballots were counted last night, voted against the government they swore to preserve and protect.

They put their own party ahead of the country. They stood behind an individual who seeks to dismantle our democratic system of government. They rejected an incumbent member of Congress who, for the past several years, has voted consistently in favor of the very issues many in that beautiful state hold near and dear.

I have one friend in Wyoming. I don’t know how he voted, but my guess is that he did not vote for the individual who won more votes than Rep. Liz Cheney.

Cheney conceded in fine fashion Tuesday night, but she said something that is going to carry over for a long while. Cheney, who lost to a Donald Trump-backed primary foe, declared that “now the real work begins.”

Hmm. Real work? Would that include, dare I ask, a potential run for president in 2024 in a Republican Party field that might include the former twice-impeached POTUS?

Cheney lost her state’s GOP congressional primary for the right reasons. She lost because she stood for the rule of law and because she remains faithful to the oath of office she took, the one that requires her to protect and defend the Constitution. Her opponent, Harriet Hageman, won the primary for the wrong reasons. She won because she has adopted The Big Lie and because she is more loyal to Trump than to the Constitution.

That is the state of play in Wyoming these days.

Liz Cheney vows to continue to work toward preventing Trump from ever darkening the White House door. I wish her well in that effort. As for the Republican voters who turned against her because of her fealty to the sacred oath she took, they all have slathered themselves in shame.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Constitution Boot Camp? Yes!

Liz Cheney is a busy woman these days, serving as a Republican member of Congress who is critical of Donald Trump and suggesting that all new members of Congress take a remedial course on the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, we are electing constitutional nitwits to the very body that writes laws we all are required to obey. The Dallas Morning News editorial today took note of two individuals who clearly need a refresher course on the document they took an oath to protect and defend.

Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, according to the DMN, couldn’t identify the three branches of government, said that World War II was fought against European socialists and promised to use his Senate resources to campaign for Republicans, which the newspaper noted is illegal.

One more: Rep. John Yarmouth, a Kentucky Democrat, said the government “cannot go bankrupt because we have the power to create as much money as we need to spend,” the DMN said. Umm, wrong!

Liz Cheney wants to require freshmen members of the House and Senate to take a Constitution Boot Camp course to acquaint them with the document that serves as the governmental framework for our nation.

That’s a hell of a notion, right? These people swear on a holy book that they will protect the Constitution to the best of their ability but don’t know the basics of the document that our framers cobbled together to send this nation on its way to greatness.

As I survey the field of congressional candidates seeking to win their respective races in 2022, I shudder in fear that voters, indeed, are going to elect MAGA numbskulls. These people will be voting on measures that affect every single American. I don’t want them writing laws that affect me so directly.

The Morning News notes Cheney’s overflowing plate of issues and concerns, but adds, “When she gets done protecting our founding documents on the Jan. 6 House panel, we encourage her to implement the Congressional Boot Camp.”

We shouldn’t ever send dummies to Congress, but we continue to send these dipsh**s to Washington to vote on laws — and order us to obey them! — then make the new ones take a course on the Constitution.

The Constitution requires these folks to swear an oath to be loyal to the document. Shouldn’t they be required to know something about the document they will protect?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Bannon bellows utter bullsh**

Steven Bannon strode before some microphones outside the courthouse where today he was convicted of two counts of contempt of Congress and then bellowed one of the more ridiculous pronouncements I ever have heard.

“I stand with Donald Trump,” Bannon yelled, “and with the Constitution.”

Roll that one around, OK?

Has there been a president of the U.S.A. who understands less of the Constitution than Donald J. Trump?

The testimony we have heard from the 1/6 House select committee tells me that Donald Trump shattered the oath he took to be loyal to the Constitution and to democracy.

Well, suffice to say only that Donald Trump and Steven Bannon deserve each other.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

These Trumpsters told the truth

It is going to take me a long while to process fully what I heard this week in the televised testimony before the House select 1/6 committee.

We all heard several dedicated Donald Trump supporters set aside their personal support of the former POTUS and argue on behalf of concepts totally foreign to The Donald: the rule of law and the sanctity of their oaths of office.

Gabe Sterling and Brad Raffensberger of Georgia spoke the truth to power. So did Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers. They confronted Trump’s assertion that they could flip votes, overturn election results, “find” enough ballots to swing their states from Biden’s column to Trump’s.

They all voted for Trump. They were loyal to the man … to the extent of casting their ballots.

However, they refused to cross the line into lawlessness, which is what Trump wanted them to do. None of them would shirk their oaths of office. Speaker Bowers’s testimony was particularly riveting, as he said any notion of his forsaking his sacred oath was totally beyond his capacity as an elected public official.

Bowers, indeed, appeared to grow quite emotional as he testified before the House committee. It was, at some level, tough to watch. Then again, I was filled with pride that he continues to stand firm in his belief that he took the oath to protect the Constitution and to honor the laws of the land. He remained true to his oath.

As did Raffensberger, the Georgia secretary of state, and Sterling, one of his deputies.

They all demonstrated the incalculable value of public service.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Will Trump take Fifth? Hmm?

You might recall the several times Donald Trump has declared that “innocent” people have no reason or justification to fall back on the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the one that protects citizens self-incrimination.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we might get the chance to see if Trump really and truly believes it. You see, a judge has ordered the former POTUS, his oldest son Don Jr. and daughter Ivanka to testify — under oath — about their financial dealings that are under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney.

So, Trump will take an oath to tell the truth. If he has nothing to hide from investigators, he’ll talk. Isn’t that right? I don’t that’s going to happen.

His company already is under indictment for assorted felony accusations, such as tax fraud.

The walls appear to be closing in around Trump and his family. His son, Eric, already has hidden behind the Fifth Amendment, invoking it hundreds of times during questioning by prosecutors. Do you wonder what Daddy Trump told Eric after he left the conference room? Might he have called Eric a “loser”?

The smart money, based on what I have heard on the news, suggests that Trump’s lawyers will tell him to “not say a word.” His only option, therefore, is to invoke the Fifth Amendment.

But … hey. C’mon, Donald. An “innocent” man should be able to speak freely. Right?

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If only Trump knew …

I have sought to inform readers of this blog about the myriad reasons Donald Trump was so profoundly unfit to serve as president of the United States.

One of those reasons has been laid bare in recent weeks. It has been his total ignorance of the power of the presidency and vice presidency and the limitations placed on both offices by the Constitution of the United States, the document Trump and Vice President Mike Pence swore to uphold and defend.

Trump’s urging of Pence to “overturn” the results of the 2020 election on 1/6 illustrates so graphically the ignorance of Trump about the government he was elected in 2016 to lead.

Had he any notion of the limits of presidential power, or any understanding of what the Constitution allowed, he might not have demanded that Pence do what the VP knew in real time he could not do. Pence knew he could not overturn any state’s duly certified election returns. Pence knew the limits of his role on that horrible day, which was to preside over Congress’s task of certifying the results of a free, fair, legal and secure election.

I don’t want to say, “I told you so,” but Trump’s abject ignorance of government, mixed with his delusions of grandeur, have produced a case study in how unfit this guy was to have occupied the most powerful office in the land … and arguably the most exalted office on Earth.

Y’all saw it right here.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Christian nationalism perverts Christianity

I had not heard of the term “Christian nationalism” until I opened my copy of the Dallas Morning News this morning and read a lengthy but remarkably informative essay by Ryan Sanders.

Sanders, a member of the DMN editorial board, says essentially that Christian nationalism is bad for the country. Why? Because in his view the notion takes Christianity and its religious tenets to dangerous new levels.

The essay alludes briefly to the founders’ intent when they formed this government of ours. They wrote the constitutional articles, noting in the preamble that “We the People of the United States” sought to form a “more perfect Union.” It doesn’t mention God, unlike the Declaration of Independence, which refers to our “Creator,” which of course is a reference to a universal God.

The First Amendment to the Constitution lists freedom from several government mandates, the first of those was freedom from government-sanctioned religion; it instructs that “Congress shall make no law” that establishes a state religion.

I am fine with that. Christian nationalists, though, are not fine with it. They believe wrongly that the founders created a religious document when in fact they created a document that was as far from a religious governmental framework that one can get.

I encourage you to take a look at Sanders’s essay.

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2022/01/09/heres-where-christian-nationalism-comes-from-and-what-it-gets-wrong/

Sanders writes, for example: Christian nationalism isn’t attracting followers because it’s far-fetched. On the contrary, like all the most dangerous errors, it is attractive because it seems good. It is darkness masquerading as light, like the Apostle Paul warned. In modern parlance, we might say it is truth-adjacent.

The rioters who stormed the Capitol Building on 1/6 exemplified the horror of Christian nationalism. They sought to persuade the rest of us that they were to do God’s work by disrupting the 2020 presidential election certification. My goodness! They were acting at the urging of a defeated president and transferring his message into some twisted form of religious doctrine.

I must rank Christian nationalism among the list of existential threats to the very principles on which this nation came into being.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com