October 10, 2007

The Government Is Not You

by PG

When I get the American Family Association's emails alerting me to the latest outrage committed against Mom and apple pie, I usually read them, want to do the exact opposite of whatever they're advocating (which means that my next car is going to be a Ford, no matter how crappy the vehicles are) and then ignore them. Their latest crusade, however, is one being pursued at the highest levels of government: for the right of a 17 year old Eagle Scout to have the federal government write his religious note to Grandpa. According to several House Republicans, if a constituent requests a flag flown over the Capitol, and the Architect of the Capitol doesn't send a typed certificate for the flag with everything the constituent wanted on it, the solution is not to handwrite that message personally. No, that would be like expecting students in public schools to pray on their own time instead of having a special prayer time carved out of math class. Americans can't just exercise religion for themselves; they need the government to do it for them.

So the first email from the AFA yesterday notified me that the Architect had spat in the apple pie by refusing to put religious references in the certificate, but that the GOP was on the case. I was going to ignore the story, and then today I got a second email telling me, "Instead of stopping the censorship, Pelosi defended it. 'It's not about being anti-religion,' Pelosi said. 'It is just about what the Architect thought was appropriate for him to proclaim in a certificate.' By saying such, Pelosi approved the banning of religious references by Ayers." Of course, Architect Ayers neither can nor did ban religious references from being made on these flag certificates. As far as I know, nothing precludes someone from adding whatever he wants to the certificate. Indeed, the flag form from at least one Senate office does not have a space for a specific message, only for the name of the person/organization to whom the flag is being given, the special occasion being commemorated, and the specific date on which the purchaser wants the flag to be flown.

I don't expect much from the AFA, but again I'm disturbed that people who ought to know better are using the same kind of misinformation as the AFA. Republican Reps. Michael R. Turner of Ohio, Steve King of Iowa, Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado, Randy Neugebauer of Texas and Steve Pearce of New Mexico sent Pelosi a letter declaring that the rule against having religious expressions typed onto the certificate "censors our citizens' right to expressions of their faith." The certificate is not typed up for citizens' expressions of their faith, politics or any other belief; it's to give the information about when, for whom and why the flag was flown over the Capitol. Any citizen who wants to express his faith on the certificate can do so himself instead of demanding that the government do it for him.

October 10, 2007 05:12 PM | TrackBack

You expect Musgrave and King to know better? You're far more optimistic than I am.

Posted by: David Schraub at October 10, 2007 11:10 PM
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