Friday, December 10, 2010

My Congressman is a Twit

On December 6, Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam, along with Michelle Bachmann and other members of The Congressional Prayer Caucus sent a critical letter to President Obama. The problem? Obama doesn't refer to "God" often enough.
[D]uring three separate events this fall, you mentioned that we have inalienable rights, but consistently failed to mention the source of our rights. The Declaration of Independence definitively recognizes God, our Creator, as the source of our rights. Omitting the word 'Creator' once was a mistake; but twice establishes a pattern.
According to the Prayer Caucus, Obama is "doing a disservice to the people [he] represent[s]" and is "casting aside an integral part of society.

I suppose this means that the Framers of the Constitution also did a disservice to the American people since they didn't mention "God" or "the Creator" even once. I wonder what this gaggle of twits would say if Obama started making references to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," which is after all, where the Declaration of Independence grounds those "unalienable rights." No doubt they would howl like banshees.

The Caucus was particularly upset that Obama referred to "e pluribus unum" as our national motto. No matter that "e pluribus unum" is in fact a motto and it appears on the Seal of the United States that was adopted by Act of Congress in 1782. Apparently, we can throw out the will and sentiment of the Founding Fathers in favor of a Congress filled with reactionary Republicans that declared "In God We Trust" to be our national motto in 1956.

Of course the Caucus was eager to appeal to the Founders when they could quote mine something useful.
John Adams said, "It is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand." If Adams was right, by making these kinds of statements, you are removing one of the cornerstones of our secure freedom. We unravel the tapestry of freedom that birthed America.
That's right! By citing a motto that served the country perfectly well for 174 years, Obama is unraveling "the tapestry of freedom."

It is always interesting to track down the source of the Religious Right's favorite quotes. One might think that the Adams quote comes from his Inauguration Address or a speech to Congress. In fact it comes from a personal letter to his cousin Zabdiel Adams who was a minister and the context is quite interesting.
Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue; and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty. They will only exchange tyrants and tyrannies. You cannot, therefore, be more pleasantly or usefully employed than in the way of your profession, pulling down the strong-holds of Satan. (emphasis added)
So it is Obama's failure to heed a letter in which Adams was buttering up his cousin that is going to destroy our country.

The Caucus claims that in his statements, Obama "does not accurately reflect America and serves to undercut an important part of of our history."   An ironic accusation from group that is throwing American history down the memory hole as fast as it can.


  1. Loathe as I am, as a Bostonian, to criticize the Adamses - who the f*ck names a kid Zabdiel, even back then?

    He must have gotten into at least a few fights growing up!

  2. I'm curious about the letter from Zabdiel Adams to which John Adams was responding. Zabdiel may have volunteered to help John with the revolution so the quote comes from and John's attempt to give him the him the brush off.

  3. I'll look into it a bit. I'm nearly 54, lived here all of my life, and I've never heard of Zabdiel.

    I find it hard to believe that even religious twits of the 18th century could be that cruel!

  4. I think there was some ancestor named Zabdiel. Maybe his parents were hoping to be remembered in someone's will.

  5. No amount of money would be worth it!