Friday Digest ‘So Help Me God,’ Maybe + More

Posted on Fri 11/08/2013 by

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The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?” –Thomas Jefferson (1781)

CULTURE, SCIENCE & FAITH

‘So Help Me God,’ Maybe

PP+_HandonBible_2013-11-08-b96385f7Following Mark Alexander’s column, “Obama’s End Run on Faith in the Military,” more than a few nationally syndicated columnists have offered their insights on the subject. Unfortunately, most are still responding to an original AP news release on a complaint from Michael Weinstein and his so-called “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” about the Air Force Academy’s Cadet Honor Oath, which ends with “So help me God.”

Clearly, Weinstein and the MRFF are dedicated to freedom from religion, not our constitutionally enshrined freedom of religion. But not a single mainstream media report has been filed on a much bigger issue than the Honor Oath.

As first noted by Alexander in May of this year, there are two more important oaths in the official Air Force handbook, the Officer and Cadet oaths, and “So help me God” has already been removed from those oaths. It was removed in 2011 and remains absent in the 2012 and 2013 handbooks. (Click to View)

As of yet, there has been no explanation from the Air Force, but the removals are in apparent violation of both federal law (5 U.S.C. § 3331) and the most recent directives from the Secretary of the Air Force. It is already understood that repeating “So help me God” is elective in military and civilian oaths, as the higher laws in the matter of oaths falls under our Constitution’s Article VI prohibition of any religious test for public office. However, it is no longer elective in the AFA Cadet and Officer oaths because the words have already been omitted!

There is no chance that these removals are “accidental,” and any military officers who approved the oath alterations could be subject to prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92 (IX), “Violation of a Lawful General Regulation/Order.”

This week, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Mark Thompson posted an op/ed in Time Magazine on the “So help me God” issue. Thompson’s Pulitzer was earned for a series he wrote that lead to enhanced military helicopter safety. Clearly it was not earned for his limited knowledge of military oaths.

Thompson asserted, “The formal American embrace of religion in civic government is a fairly recent phenomenon: ‘Under God’ was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. ‘In God We Trust’ became the nation’s official motto in 1956. In 1957, ‘In God We Trust’ was added to U.S. paper currency.”

He got the dates partially right, but the assertion that the references to “God” are a “recent phenomenon” is patently incorrect.

The most formative words in our nation’s most historic document, the Declaration of Independence, assert that Liberty is “endowed by their Creator,” not the gift of man, as Barack Obama and his Leftist cadres assert today.

The words “So help me God” were prescribed in oaths as early as the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789. But five months earlier, George Washington elected to use those words in conclusion to the first oath of office as president.

Invoking faith was a common theme for Washington and most other founders, as in these words from Washington’s farewell address in 1796: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensible supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. … Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths…”

The words “In God we trust” first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864, long before it was added to currency in 1957. And one of the earliest references to “In God We Trust” was in the last verse of our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” During the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key penned the words, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust,’” after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

Regarding the current controversy over the AFA Officer and Cadet oaths, a Freedom of Information Act inquiry is being processed to determine who removed the words “So help me God,” and why.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Obama Apologizes? Not Really.

PP_Sorry_2013-11-08-f99b7f03_mediumThe real effect that ObamaCare will have on our nation and its people is beginning to sink in. The news, of course, isn’t good, and it goes far beyond mere technical website issues. The number of people who were actually able to sign up on the new exchange was so abysmally low – just six the first day – that it became the butt of jokes across the media spectrum. HHS won’t release the real number of enrollees until later this month, presumably while they try to figure a way to spin the embarrassing underperformance of their untested, overpriced and poorly built website.

As of this week, at least 3.5 million Americans received notice that they will be dumped from their current insurance plans because those plans don’t meet the minimum requirements of ObamaCare. The president promised repeatedly that this wouldn’t happen, but it’s reality and it’s just the beginning.

Finally, however, that reality led to this curiosity: “I am sorry that [people who’ve lost their insurance] are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” An apology? Charles C.W. Cook observed, “This president doesn’t just come out and apologize. The Democratic lawmakers that met with him this week must have given him one hell of a dressing down.” And David Harsanyi quipped, “I’d rather have an apology for all the promises he kept.”

Well, it wasn’t really an apology. He also said, “Well, first of all, I meant what I said [about keeping your plan]. And we worked hard to try to make sure that we implemented it properly. But obviously, we didn’t do enough – a good enough job – and I regret that. We’re talking about 5% of the population who are in what’s called the individual market. They’re out there buying health insurance on their own. A lot of these plans are subpar plans. And we put in a clause in the law that said if you had one of those plans, even if it was subpar … you could keep it. … [But] even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get this letter cancelled [sic].”

So he’s “sorry” that his “assurances” put people in a predicament. But it wasn’t his assurances; it was his actions. And even so, he’s not sorry because those paltry few million people had lousy plans anyway.

Even if it were real, Obama’s pathetic and narcissistic pseudo-apology is worthless. The unlucky millions of Americans who have been kicked off their perfectly suitable plans will quickly discover, as many already have, that new insurance will cost more because of its comprehensiveness – the only virtue that matters to Obama. Studies estimate that insurance premiums will increase by anywhere from 99% to 250% in 45 states, with men and women below the age of 30 facing the brunt of the damage. There’s also a slew of new taxes and surcharges on medical devices, drugs, and health spending accounts that will further drive up the cost of insurance for everyone.

Congressional Republicans have been warning about these problems all along, and largely to no avail. As their holiday break approaches, the leadership has decided to remain silent as all these problems become public and ObamaCare makes the case against itself. Not surprisingly, this epic debacle has caused panic among the congressional Democrats who risked their political futures to support ObamaCare. May their creation hang like an albatross around their necks in 2014 and beyond.

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Your Support Means a Great Deal

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ECONOMY, REGS & TAXES

October Jobs Report: What Shutdown?

PP_EconomySlow_2012-06-08-digest-1The partial government “shutdown” in October had a negligible effect on unemployment. The good news from the delayed Labor Department jobs report is that 204,000 jobs were created last month, and the previous two months were revised upward by 60,000 combined. That means what had been anemic job growth is now merely tepid. So much for the economic disaster the shutdown would supposedly cause.

The bad news is that the headline unemployment rate ticked up a notch to 7.3%, and the greater U-6 measure rose from 13.6% to 13.8%. And NBC reports, “The civilian labor force tumbled by 720,000 and the labor force participation rate fell to [62.8%], its lowest since March 1978.” Many of the jobs created were also in retail, which means part-time with little or no benefits.

GDP growth, on the other hand, offered more good news. The economy grew by 2.8% in the third quarter. Four years after the recession “officially” ended, we’re finally seeing marginally respectable growth. Imagine what the recovery could have been without massive government spending and ObamaCare.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Missile Defense in Romania, and the Russians Don’t Like It

PP_Rocket_2013-11-06-8282a807_mediumThe Aegis Ashore missile defense system being built in Romania by the U.S. and with the cooperation of that country’s government is giving Russia a case of the vapors. The Russian government claims that this system is directed against them – an argument they have used to protest the development of any missile defense in Europe. But it’s not true. The Romanian defensive battery is designed to protect Europe from Middle Eastern ballistic missile launches.

Just the same, Russia is promising to deploy its own S-400 and S-500 anti-aircraft and missile technology in response to the U.S.-Romanian system. It’s a political move that Russia is hoping will spur the U.S. to limit or cancel its plans, and it has worked in the past. The U.S. under Obama has cancelled or severely reduced anti-missile defense plans before – most notably in Poland, which was a slap in the face to our allies there.

This new system is scheduled to go online in 2015, but it’s difficult to know if that will actually happen. Russia has worked in recent years to re-establish a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, and Barack Obama’s weak-kneed foreign policy has allowed them to do it. And perhaps the “flexibility” he promised the Russians upon his re-election means that he’ll cave once again.

Marine Corps Birthday

Sunday marks the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. On Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to create two battalions of Continental Marines for the War of Independence from Britain. In 1798, President John Adams signed the Act establishing the United States Marine Corps. The 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune, issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, directing that on Nov. 10 every year, in honor of the Corps’ birthday, the Order’s summary of the history, mission and tradition of the Corps be read to every command.

We at The Patriot Post offer our thanks for a job well done. For those interested in great items bearing the Marine Corps’ insignia, please visit The Patriot Post Shop. Semper Fi!

BRIEF OPINION

Essential Liberty

Columnist John Stossel: “Some things ought to be done by government: things like running courts, policing pollution and protecting the border. But most everything else should be left to private actors. Government offers guarantees on paper and promises in speeches. But government rarely delivers. Private companies did brilliant Internet work for President Obama’s election campaign. But when it came to his health insurance website, the president put government in charge. We saw the result. Markets aren’t perfect, but they allow for a world where prudence is rewarded and sloth punished, a world in which more people take risks and innovate. That’s a world where people prosper. Some prosper instead of waiting – and sometimes dying – while hoping government will eventually get things right.”

Political Futures

Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “If Obama were the CEO of a private company, writes George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux, ‘he would be sued, publicly lambasted by all the major media, perhaps hauled before an admittedly grandstanding Congressional committee, and possibly prosecuted, convicted, fined, or even imprisoned for fraudulent misrepresentation.’ But politics isn’t the marketplace, and politicians are held to a different standard. We entrust elected officials with far too much power, then routinely fail to hold them accountable when they abuse their power and betray that trust. Ultimately the only solution to the problem of faithless politicians is to put less faith in politicians. For as government gets bigger, citizens get smaller – and public servants become impossible to control.”

Faith and Family

Columnist Dennis Prager: “For at least two generations, countless conservative parents have seen their adult children reject their core values. … [M]ost parents with traditional American and Judeo-Christian values have not thought it necessary to articulate these values to their children on a regular basis. They assumed that there was no need to because that was true for much of American history, when the society at large held those values. … [O]ne of the founders of progressivism in America, Woodrow Wilson, … said in a speech in 1914, ‘I have often said that the use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.’ Eighty-eight years later, the president of Dartmouth College, James O. Freedman, echoed Wilson: ‘The purpose of a college education is to question your father’s values,’ he told the graduating seniors of Dartmouth College. Even now, too few conservative parents realize how radical – and effective – the university agenda is.”

For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Upright

Commentator Charles Krauthammer: “The president now is toxic. The thing is called ObamaCare. There’s no running away from it. It’s got his name on it. You see the president, you think about the policy and you know it’s a disaster.”

Demo-gogues

Barack Obama: “Nothing drives me more crazy than the fact that right now, there is great insurance to be had out there, choice and competition, where people can save money for a better product, except too many folks have not been able to get through the website. Now, this is like having a really good product in the store and the cash registers don’t work and there aren’t enough parking spots and nobody can get through the door. So we are working overtime to get this fixed.”

Village Idiots

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director Marilyn Tavenner: “[The ‘5%’ of Americans receiving insurance termination notices] can choose a different plan being offered by their insurer or they can shop for coverage in the marketplace or outside the marketplace. As insurers have made clear, they are not dropping consumers; they’re improving their coverage options, often offering better-value plans with additional benefits.”

The BIG Lie

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Immigration reform will reduce the deficit by $850 billion over the first 20 years. It’s good for the economy and the right thing to do. We hope the House will follow the Senate and take action.”

Braying Jackass

ESPN analyst Kevin Blackistone: “When you have military flyovers and the military symbolism that goes on in sports, I think you’ve got a problem.”

He also criticized singing the “war anthem” before games, by which he meant the national anthem.

Dezinformatsia

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: “[W]hat do Christian values mean to Republicans? It’s just a stepping stone, a footstool, to get exactly what they want in the political arena. They hide behind their plastic Jesus, quite often.”

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

Texas Democrat candidate for governor Wendy Davis: “I am pro-life, I care about the life of every child. … I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”

Of course, the new political star in the Lonestar State rocketed to fame for filibustering a bill to save the lives of babies older than 20 weeks gestation in the womb. And, after criticizing those who would seek political gain through abortion, she is now redefining the term “pro-life” for her own social justice ends.

Alpha Jackass

Activist Dan Savage: “There’s too many Godd— people on the planet. You know, I’m pro-choice, I believe that women should have a right to control their bodies. Sometimes in my darker moments, I’m anti-choice. I think abortion should be mandatory for about 30 years.”

Short Cuts

Comedian Jay Leno: “According to a new study out of Harvard, it is easier for people to be moral in the morning. They say people are more moral at the beginning of the day, but they become more dishonest as the day goes on. So when people say Congress is as dishonest as the day is long, we now have scientific proof.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

 

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