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Was America Founded on Christian Ideals?

Monday, April 11th, 2005

I got this email at work the other day and it got me pondering on a years-long personal conundrum - were our founding fathers absolute, devout Christians and did they or did they not build the foundations of our government on conservative Christian principles?

I have always been under the impression that our founding fathers were Deists and Masons. It's not to say that they were not Christian, but that perhaps their world-view was a bit broader than your average, conservative Bible-beater. Those that were known to have actively studied Christianity I believed were merely, as Deists, reviewing it as part and parcel of their study of *all* religions and religious beliefs in their thirst of knowledge and personal truth.

However, in recent years there's been quite an uproar on the Christian front as the fight to have overtly-Christian iconography and ritual removed from public venues. The Christians' battle-cry is that our country was founded on Christian values, and to remove these things attacks the very heart of the principles this great country was founded on. Those on the other side of the coin say this country was founded on anything but - that, in fact, this country's forefathers were of the mindset that no organized religion should be more pertinent than another in a "free" country.

It would seem that the founding fathers, escaping a country of religious persecution themselves, would have gone out of their way to make sure the very mistakes they fled from were not repeated in their new, foundling country. It would seem this was their thinking when reading the very first amendment of our great Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I could spend pages rehashing the arguments over the correct interpretation of this amendment. Some believe it approbates the "separation of church and state"; some say it has nothing to do with that at all.

It would seem to me that our forefathers were looking to eliminate religious persecution - that they believed in a "free" country everyone should be able to think, act, believe and worship howsoever they saw fit. But does that mean our country was founded on Christian principles? That, though other religions and beliefs were acceptable, Christianity was seen as the prominent religion; so much so that our founding fathers embraced it and based all the rest of their decisions upon its morals?

According to an email circulating the online community this would be the case. My own research tells a different story, however - and I'll share that with you now.

I'd like to, first, state that my main reason for looking into the claims of this email is not to take a side on whether our country is fundamentally based on Christianity. While I have my personal views on that, it is not what urged me to show the other side of the coin. If, as I believe, these men were not Christian - if some were even adamantly not Christian - we do them a terrible disservice by eschewing their viewpoints to tout something they would have opposed. To take snippets of these brilliant minds' words and use them to further a cause they would not have supported were they alive to defend themselves is a disrespect the men who gave us this wonderful country do not in any way deserve.

I did not know these men. I cannot say whether they were or were not Christian, Deist or Agnostic. What I can do is look at a broader spectrum of their written words and personal letters to family and friends and compare them to the brief statements by them made in this email.

After reading these things, you will have to decide for yourself if you feel that you can, with 100% conviction, call these men fundamental Christians. You must determine if you feel it is right to add their name to the fight for "keeping" this country predominantly Christian or that they founded everything we stand for on Christian principles. If you feel even a shade of doubt, then it would be wrong to speak for these men and apply questionable morals and beliefs to their names - to do so would be to disgrace them.

The email is in italics. Quotations I have found are in bold. My excursus in regular font.

This is worth remembering, because it is true. Those of you that graduated from school after the early 60's were probably never taught this. Our courts have seen to that!

There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be. - Charles Sanders Peirce

I'm not claiming here to know the truth, but am simply offering more evidence for you to make your own assumptions.

This email asserts itself as truth - yet so do spam and scam emails. The credibility of this information is questionable at the start simply for the medium through which it is conveyed. Searching for this essay online turns up a number of results - but no where is a source ever identified. Some say "a friend sent this to me", others simply post it on a page with no identifying origin or explanation. If this information is so vital and truthful why has it never been published or acknowledged anywhere other than online journals and forwarded emails?

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? They all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society, immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation.

15 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were known Freemasons, importantly Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. 28 of the 40 signers of the Constitution were Freemasons or were affiliated with the organization, including George Washington, James Madison and Ben Franklin.

Robert Livingston, who was the Grand Master of New York's Masonic Lodge, swore in our first president, George Washington, who took his oath on a Bible from a Masonic lodge.

The American Bible Society was founded in 1816 in New York City; our Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 - hardly "immediately".

On September 11, 1777, the Continental Congress ordered 20,000 Bibles to be imported to American troops. This had nothing to do with the American Bible Society or the Declaration of Independence and the Bibles were not sent to American citizens, but to American soldiers. The law read as follows:

The Congress....Desirous...to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God's superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely...on His aid and direction...Do earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewailed our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God's righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.

This was done as aid for troops overseas by Congress after our Declaration had been signed and 39 years before the American Bible Society was founded.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, 'Give me liberty or give me death,' but in current textbooks, his preceding words are omitted. Here is what he actually said: 'An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.' These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Patrick Henry was a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this: 'It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.'

From what I have read and seen, Patrick Henry was, indeed, a devout and devoted Christian and fervently dismissed claims that he was Deist:

"The rising greatness of our country...is greatly tarnished by the general prevalence of deism, which, with me, is but another name for vice and depravity....I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and indeed that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory (being called a traitor), because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics....Being a Christian...is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast." - Patrick Henry

- "The Life of Patrick Henry of Virginia", A.G. Arnold, 1854

However, the radical Patrick Henry was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence so his importance in this issue is void.

A great number of political men in the late 1700s were fundamental Christians; no one is denying this fact. Patrick Henry is one of them. It lends no credence to the argument that this country was founded on Christian principles whatsoever.

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the front of his well-worn Bible: 'I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator.' He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.

It should be noted that while Jefferson considered himself a Christian, he was by no means a "traditional" Christian. Jefferson was a follower of Jesus Christ - and none other. He was against the hierarchy and rulership of the Church and spoke out most fervently on how he believed Jesus' teachings had been misinterpreted and abused.

In January 19, 1810, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Samual Kercheval:

"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." - Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was such a believer in Jesus' original and untainted teachings that he created was is known as "The Jefferson Bible".

It is said in Thomas Jefferson and His Bible that Jefferson's Jesus was not the Jesus of the Bible; in fact, Jefferson seemed not concerned with other aspects of biblical or Christian history but in shining light on what he believed were the true teachings of Jesus Christ:

Who was the Jesus that Jefferson found? He was not the familiar figure of the New Testament. In Jefferson's Bible, there is no account of the beginning and the end of the Gospel story. There is no story of the annunciation, the virgin birth or the appearance of the angels to the shepherds. The resurrection is not even mentioned.

Jefferson may have called himself a Christian because he believed the tenements of Christ, but it is plain that he did not accept or practice orthodox Christianity and was not a proponent of the Christian Church.

In a letter to his rival and friend, John Adams, on April 11, 1823, Jefferson said:

"One day the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in the United States will tear down the artificial scaffolding of Christianity. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." - Thomas Jefferson

To say that Thomas Jefferson would have attempted to found this country on a religion he vehemently denounced is absurd at best.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, 'The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.'

On July 4, 1821, U.S. Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, delivered a speech to the House of U.S. Representatives in celebration of Independence Day. No where in that speech is the above quotation found.

In 1821, the President was James Monroe. John Adams was one of our founding fathers who was president from 1797-1801; his son, John Quincy Adams was president from 1825-1829. The above is attributed to a "President Adams"; since this email is trying to prove that our founding fathers were devout Christians one would assume they are claiming this was said by the first John Adams. However, the only John Adams to give a speech on July 4, 1821 was John Quincy Adams - our forefather's son.

There is a quotation by our sixth president that mirrors the above and is attributed to John Quincy Adams, but there has been some argument in the past as to whether he ever actually uttered these words. This page, "Did John Quincy Adams ever say that the American Revolution...", researched by Jim Allison, indicates this is most likely untrue.

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, 'The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.'

Calvin Coolidge was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, nor was he a founding father of this country.

Perhaps Calvin Coolidge was a Christian and did say this very thing. It is possible that Mr. Coolidge was ignorant of the religious and spiritual beliefs of predecessors that had created the government 134 years before him. Regardless, it lends no further credence to the assertion that our country was founded on Christian principles. President Coolidge's observations of what these men did over a hundred years before him are likely as muddled as our own.

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: 'The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.'

On January 21, 1781, Robert Aitken presented a petition to Congress to allow him to print an "Americanized" Bible or as he put it "a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use in schools".

At the time the only Bibles available hailed from Europe and publishing a new Bible was prohibited without a special license from the British government. Aitkens sought to publish the first English-language Bible in America and appealed to Congress for permission to do so.

On September 12, 1782, Congress acted on the petition by "highly approving of the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken". This endorsement was printed in the Bible.

Congress did not vote to recommend and approve the "Holy Bible" for use in schools in 1782. It did, however, approve an English-speaking Bible published by Robert Aitken that was recommended, because of its easy readability, for use in schools.

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the 'Schoolmaster of the Nation.' Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: 'The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it is derived our nation, on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free Institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible, I make no apology.'

It is ridiculous to base an argument on our founding father's intentions on the words of a professor who based his entire career on morality. He may have been a bright man who did many wonderful things for the school system, but stating his beliefs on the nation's Christian roots is no more useful than quoting any semi-famous conservative Christian who's lived in the past hundred years.

McGuffey was no more present in the minds of our founding fathers than any of us. Simply because he was a devout Christian lends no proof to the fact that our country might be based on the religion. He isn't even a politician.

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the Scriptures: 'Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.'

From Harvard University's official website:
Although many of its early graduates became ministers in Puritan congregations throughout New England, the College was never formally affiliated with a specific religious denomination.

It makes one wonder how many of these other "106" were supposedly "Christian".

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: 'We have staked the whole future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.'

On the page Is it true that James Madison said...", it is noted that this quotation has not been able to be attributed to Madison from but one source - and that one is not direct:

...no such quote has ever been found among any of James Madison's writings. None of the biographers of Madison, past or present have ever run across such a quote...

However, many, many more quotes - some directly taken from letters written by Madison - paint a different picture. Does this sound like a devout, orthodox Christian to you?

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.�? - James Madison

I believe this quote by Madison describes perfectly how he feels about a religion being the foundation for government:

"[The] civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner or on any pretext infringed." - James Madison

This was said June 8, 1789 in an introduction to the Bill of Rights at the First Federal Congress. "...nor shall any national religion be established" leaves little wiggle-room.

James Madison believed that church and state should not intertwine, as he said in a letter to Edward Livingston on July 10, 1822:

"I observe with particular pleasure the view you have taken of the immunity of Religion from civil jurisdiction, in every case where it does not trespass on private rights or the public peace. This has always been a favorite principle with me; and it was not with my approbation, that the deviation from it took place in Cong[ress], when they appointed Chaplains, to be paid from the Nat[ional] Treasury. It would have been a much better proof to their Constituents of their pious feeling if the members had contributed for the purpose, a pittance from their own pockets. As the precedent is not likely to be rescinded, the best that can now be done, may be to apply to the Const[itution] the maxim of the law, de minimis non curat." - James Madison

It seems a mockery of his beliefs to claim that James Madison helped to found this country on Christian principles and morals.

To lend further credence to the idea that our country was not principally founded on Christian principles, Thomas Jefferson says this in his own autobiography:

"[A]n amendment was proposed by inserting 'Jesus Christ,' so that [the preamble] should read 'A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion'; the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination" - Thomas Jefferson

If most of our forefathers were Christians creating a Christian-based government, then who was this "great majority" that voted to keep the preamble open to all believers of all religions?

Today, we are asking God to bless America - but how can He bless a Nation that has departed so far from Him? Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks. Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country's Christian roots.

Most of what you have read in this email is falsehoods, misconstrued and improperly quoted text, and blatant misinformation. Much like Jefferson believed the Bible to a bastardization of the true teachings of Jesus, this and documents like it, make folly of the true intentions of our founding fathers by "revising" the truth to speak how they wish it to.

Let's you and I share the truth of our nation's history and let it be told. For example, in John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.'

This information shared is only a drop of cement to help secure a foundation that is crumbling daily in a losing war that most of the country doesn't even know is raging on, in, and around them...

The war is that fundamental Christianity wants to become the nation's religion-of-choice; that people like this want to impose their views and religious beliefs upon you - to the point of ignoring the freedoms this country was based upon. If these bigots win this "war" a dark hour will come to pass over America's freedom.

Please do your bit and share this with as many as possible and make the ill-informed aware of what they once had.

Do your bit and search out your own truths before heedlessly swallowing up the "research" of others - even in regards to this piece.

And please - begin to tell our children.

Instead, tell our children the truth - that it is fine to worship however you want to, but it is never right to push that religion on another or to use that religion to judge another as beneath you. Teach them that it is not the "American way" to force others in submission or to follow beliefs against their own in the name of religion - at least, it should not be.

Teach your children that regardless of whether our founding fathers were Christian or not, they should always follow their own hearts - wherever it may take them. Tell them to always fight for the right to follow those hearts as well, for that is what this country stands for.

(Note: If you would like to link this piece use this http://anima-x.blogspot.com/2005/04/i-got-this-email-at-work-other-day-and.html . This information can also be found on my website at http://skatoolaki.com/soap/shanna/foundingfathers-christianornot.htm.)

Thoughts on Fahrenheit 911

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Not that I really care if someone disagrees with me or that what I write might offend someone - obviously I rarely worry about that - but this is a sensitive subject. That said, I'd like to point out that when we talk about what we think and how we feel we should be able to discuss those differences without getting upset that someone else might think differently. What that means is, no fighting, kids. If you want to yell at me, go right ahead - it's my blog and I'll yell right back - but no one is going to bash anyone for their opinions in the comments. Capice? So play nice.

I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 on Sunday. I believe it's something that everyone should see - whether pro-Bush or anti-Bush. It raised some interesting questions and thoughts, and did point out some fairly irrefutable facts; things that anyone could learn about it with a bit of research (i.e. the Bush & bin Laden families being so tight, the US flying the bin Ladens out of the country a few days after 9/11, etc.)

That said, some of it, also, must be taken with a grain of salt - Moore has at his disposal the power of editing and, naturally, some of it is going to be his own opinion.

My personal feelings after viewing the movie were anger, outrage, shame and fear. And I wanted to know more. I wanted to talk to those that saw the movie and are for Bush - I wanted to hear their opinions and refutes of the claims. I'd like to hear from Bush himself and his administration - what have they to say about the claims being brought? I'd like to hear the other side of the story.

I want someone, somewhere, to tell me why we invaded Iraq. I want someone to prove to me, with actual facts, that we went over there and terrorized these people for reasons other than to line the Big Money's pockets. I want someone to tell me why, in 2000, our govm't said that Saddamn Hussein was not a threat and could not ever be a threat as we were monitoring him and had ways of stopping him from getting anything that would enable him to begin building "weapons of mass destruction".

I want someone out there to tell me how they believe the passing of the Patriot Act, and going against our own Constitution, was a good thing.

These were just my thoughts after viewing the movie. I watched innocent Iraqi civilians crying and screaming to god for help and mercy because we had destroyed their lives and homes and killed their families - I thought about why we were in Iraq - and I was ashamed to be an American. I saw the wounded young American soldiers and the mourning family of one who died - for what? - and I was ashamed to be an American. I can't get my mind around the fact that there was no reason for us to go over there. If there was, I can't seem to see it.

For me, I loved the movie. I respect anyone that uses their voice to speak out against what they believe to be wrong. Whether or not I did agree with Michael Moore isn't the issue - I respect him and his right to say what he wanted. Yes, I agreed with a lot of it and I thought it was brilliant. But even if I hadn't, I'd still give the man his props. Not many have the balls to get out there and say what's on their mind or to speak out when they feel injustice taking place. But for me, I was one of the ones applauding at the end.

I just wanted to share my thoughts after actually viewing it. I don't expect anyone to agree with me - these are my thoughts and mine alone and naturally they're not going to coincide with everyone else's. That said, I hope *my opinions* don't offend anyone; they shouldn't.

Crime in Baton Rouge

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

I wrote this piece last week and wasn't going to post it because, seriously, who cares about the crime in Baton Rouge?

Then a terrible thing happened at the Wal-Mart I used to visit at least once a week - a man getting arrested for shoplifting got the gun away from the police officer, a 51-year old woman, and shot and killed her. He also shot two people who were trying to help her, one of them a security guard. He then ran outside, carjacked someone outside and got away. He turned himself in just recently.

I can't tell you how many times I and my friends have shopped in this particular Wal-Mart late at nite, and all times of the day. It's not in the best neighborhood, but it isn't necessarily in a bad one either. I recognize the police woman - she was always there. After hearing about this, I thought my piece just might be relevant after all:

What in the hell is wrong with Baton Rouge? As if this fuckass sorry-excuse-for-a-city wasn't already visually ugly and full of ignorant, old-fashioned, horrible-driving asshats it now has to be one of the most unsafe places to live in the country.

Unknown to many people, Baton Rouge has pretty much always had a higher crime rate, per capita, than the sinfully renowned New Orleans. It doesn't appear to be improving.

As many of you are likely aware, last year found southern Louisiana gripped in fear and panic over a shadowy serial killer. The nameless monster we now know as Derrick Todd Lee was captured May 27, 2003 and the rest of the world soon forgot about Louisiana and its serial killer troubles.

It was a different story for the residents of my home state. Though two other murdered women were linked to Lee via DNA, bringing his total killed to seven, there were still too many unsolved murders floating around for anyone to be comfortable. What hasn't made the national headlines is that last month, April 28, 2004, Sean Vincent Gillis was arrested for the murder of eight other women in southern Louisiana. Looking at the timeline of the murders, this means that from 1994 up until February of this year, with the death of Donna Bennett Johnson, there were two serial killers on the loose and on the prowl.

All you can think at this point is, "That's the two they've found!" There are still unsolved murders that can't be linked to either of these men. If there can be two sickos out there at one time killing innocent people, why can't there be more? Louisiana is getting quite the reputation for churning out lesser life forms.

Everyone remembers the Washington Sniper, John Allen Muhammed. But does everyone remember where the Washington Sniper was from? That's right, Baton Rouge - born and raised. In an amazingly small number of years Louisiana, namely Baton Rouge, has managed to churn out three serial killers.

That's a lot of really sick people hailing from one location. Yet the number of serial killings is nothing compared to the simple old meat-and-potatoes murder that happens every day in Baton Rouge. Yes, every day in Baton Rouge someone gets shot. Every day. Just last week a co-workers' teen brother was killed in a drive-by; he was standing on his porch.

You might be reading this and thinking, "That's no big deal. It's a city - that's what it's like in every city." But this is Baton Rouge, people - it isn't like any other city at all. This is not New York or Chicago with miles and miles of concrete jungle and corporate skyscrapers. Baton Rouge's tallest building, its State Capitol, only has 34 floors. Public transportation is a joke for the fact that the city is so wide and sparse there are parts that buses just don't go to. I call Baton Rouge a "suburban city"; it is a fitting moniker. The people here have a small-town mentality, and if it weren't for the mighty Mississip flowing right through this place, it'd be a horrible choice for a state capitol. There's nothing showy or big or fancy about Baton Rouge. It's a big town with a bigger-than-itself title. The fact that crime is as rampant here as in the streets of New Orleans (which is much more a "real" city), or other real cities like New York or Washington D.C., frightens me.

Louisiana is second in the nation when it comes to stupid kids. No, let's be blunt here. We don't give a rats ass about education in this state - if we did, then we wouldn't have illiterate children graduating high school and more than half of the population now dropping out before they even reach high school. Second-to-worse. Could the influx of criminals coming out of southern Louisiana have something to do with our second-rate education system? I've got a hunch it just might.

Louisiana big-thinkers think the answer to wiping out the unlawful and murderous is to throw them in prison. Lock 'em up, and develop a life-with-no-possibility-for-parole system - that'll fix it right up. Yet it hasn't, and it won't. Louisiana prisons are full and getting fuller; low-level offenders are put back out in the street time and time again because there's just no room for them.

Perhaps it's time for a new approach. Let concentrate on our children, so that they don't grow up to be criminals. Let's stop the problem before it starts, rather than trying to put out a brushfire with a handkerchief. Creating bad apples then locking them all up when they began to rot is fruitless (forgive the pun). If we work harder at raising and educating our children, then maybe we wouldn't have so many Derrick Todd Lee's, Sean Vincent Gillis's, and John Allen Muhammed's running around.

What's the future for Baton Rouge? Who wants to raise a family in a town that produces serial killers and murderous criminals at such an alarming rate? Who wants to live in southern Louisiana at all with such people running around? What is it going to take for us to make a change for the better? When Baton Rouge is churning out two new serial killers every year, and hundreds of women have lost their lives, then will they wake up?

The Boob That Changed the World

Thursday, May 20th, 2004

So I've been thinking a lot lately about tits.

No, not just any boob, but one in particular; the boob that changed the world; or, at least, the rules of the FCC and the censorship of American media.

At the time, I commented little on the Super Bowl Boob Incident, for the simple reason than I had no interest in adding anything to the already over-sensationalized incident; which was exactly the shock-factor response the artists were hoping for when they pulled this little stunt. I could care less about the magically materializing mammary, or the fact that it was fuzzily flashed for less than a second on regular television. These things mean nothing to me; no one's going to go to hell for seeing a hastily exposed knocker, nor are your children's eyes going to pop out as their brains explode from lascivious sensory overload. Those that felt "seriously injured" by the incident really should get rid of their television sets and radios and separate themselves from society as they are obviously not able to cope with life. The only thing that bothered me about the exposed Super Bowl boob was that artists I formerly respected had stooped to over-the-top superstar shock-value antics. I really thought better of Justin, and Janet (Miss Boobie if you're nasty). That was my only real gripe about any of it.

However, the influx of stupidity brought about by the incident is another gripe altogether.

Janet Jackson's briefly exposed breast and sheathed nipple, at the time they made their appearance, seemed to herald nothing short of the end days. People were "appalled", "shocked", "mortified", "disgusted", and even "morally traumatized". Letters poured into the FCC expressing outrage and distress, and demanding punishment and accountability. One Tennessee woman even sued Janet Jackson over the "outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury" she and other viewers supposedly suffered after the fleeting, blurry glimpse of teat. Church-goers were mortified, and parents were furious that their children had been exposed to a naked breast on prime time television. America was up in arms over a tit; a blurry, barely-seen one at that. Breasts haven't been such a focus of indignation and conversation since the first Hooters opened its doors 21 years ago.

In response, the FCC cracked down - disc jockeys were fired, shows were cancelled, and all television and radio shows were forced to tone down in an effort to stamp out anything that could be considered "obscene" or "offensive". Like a bunch of five-year-olds, the FCC has sat us all down and said, "This is okay for you to watch and hear, and this isn't." Jackson's jug was one giant leap for ultra-conservative America, and a slap in the face of the First Amendment and our rights as Americans to view and listen to whatever we so choose.

As for the parents, I say, shame on you! With all of the terrible things out there that you need to be protecting your child from, and so many important parenting issues you should be concentrating on, you're going to take on some hazily exposed tit as your personal crusade? Let me tell you something, parents, had you not made such a big deal out of that boob, the kids never would've even noticed it; had they noticed it, they wouldn't have given it another thought. Children don't seem to suffer from the hang-ups most adults do about the human body.

Marlene Dietrich once said: "Sex: In American an obsession. In other parts of the world, a fact."

Foreign countries are renowned for having sexually explicit commercials and music videos; and nudity on regular programming is accepted. No big deal is made about it - it just is. Naked human bodies are an everyday thing, and not something to make a big deal about if seen on the TV screen. Perhaps if we weren't so staunch on trying to hide young people's eyes from natural, human bodies we wouldn't have such a prevalent problem of low self-esteem and physical self-loathing in this country. Perhaps if we didn't inundate young minds with sexual overtones in everything then scream bloody murder when a titty is flashed, we wouldn't have so many people growing up with sexual dysfunctions, hang-ups and confusions.

The worse thing about the entire knocker episode was America's reaction. Just another reason for the rest of the world to laugh at us?


Sunday, March 7th, 2004

They'd better fucking not!

The city of Los Angeles is "mulling over" a proposal by the company of Jose Cuervo to add the words "CUERVO NATION" underneath the Hollywood sign!

What in the hell is wrong with the L.A. city officials that they are even entertaining the thought of defacing such an important and beloved landmark? It can't be that they are hurting for money - as Jose Cuervo is offering to fuck up Hollywood's infamous sign for the measly sum of $1 million. One million dollars? To ruin something as enduring and grand as the Hollywood sign?

I just don't get it. Firstly, there has to be better advertising ploys for the Cuervo folks to piddle around with. Seeing "CUERVO NATION" stuck up under the Hollywood sign isn't going to make me want to drink tequila. In fact, if such an atrocity were to happen, I plan to ban the drinking of Cuervo products altogether in protest. I want nothing to do with a company that thinks itself important enough to be destroying national landmarks.

I'm not saying the Hollywood sign is the greatest landmark of all time - but I remember the awe and reverence with which I viewed it when I first went to California. Seeing such advertising stupidity stuck up under it would have ruined that for me completely. It's part of history, it's part of L.A., it should be left alone. And there are other reasons that this is entire thing is a BAD idea.

And if this does go through - what does that mean for the future of advertising, and our beloved landmarks? Can't you just see a gigantic "JUST DO IT" sign being stuck at Lady Liberty's feet? McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" carved into the rock above our forefather's heads on Mt. Rushmore? Hooters' could stick a "Delightfully Tacky Yet Unrefined" sign right next to the Lincoln Memorial. Or maybe even Quizno's "They've Got a Pepper Bar" on a giant banner strung across the front of the Alamo?

And it isn't the same as New York allowing Snapple to become the "official beverage of NY". They stuck vending machines in schools, they didn't deface any of New York's cutural landmarks.

Are historic preservationists going to let something like this happen?

Yes, I'm pretty pissed off about it - pissed off enough that I'm going right now to email letters to Jose Cuervo and the city of Lost Angels. I honestly in my heart don't believe this will happen - but I won't stand by silently and just hope for the best. It may seem like no big deal - like a small thing - but once one entity makes it okay to deface a national landmark or cultural attraction, every slimy advertising agency in the world is going to be on that idea like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat.

Halloween Isn’t Evil, But Spam Is

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Ooh! Ooh! Got a new junk email to share with you. The thing about this one that makes me want to kill laugh is just how hard they are trying to make you send this thing on:

Forward this to at least 11 people and see what happens on your screen you will laugh your head off!!!!!!!!!!! If you forward it to 11 people a video comes on your screen. This works. I don't know how...but it works. Somehow, from the return path generated, you'll receive something, and IT IS FUNNY!!! This is the coolest thing I have ever gotten. All you have to do is send it to 11 people and watch your screen, it is the funniest clip. I can't tell you what is but I was laughing so hard I almost fell off my chair!!! So, send it to those 11 people and watch.
Pass it around.

It works - really - pass it around - it's amazing. Please - fucking bite me. I know what it is on the clip... n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

In other aggravating news, a local rag posted a small, dim-witted editorial blurb that pissed me off. It read:

Time To Take A Stand
It's that time of year again when evil tries to rear its ugly head and duly influence our children by trying to take their souls. That's right, I'm talking about Halloween, the one night of the year we give free reign to the Devil. Even good Christians give free reign to this holiday and dress their children in ghoulish costumes. What is wrong with you people? Unless we take a stand against Halloween, the day will come when Lucifer himself will rule this country. That day is almost here - look at the evil all around you people.

It was posted on Nov. 10. So I wrote a response, because that kind of ignorant shit pisses me off. (Thanks Amb for bringing it to my attention):

You know, it's cool working for the same office as your man. I just heard his voice a few cubicles away. He's usually out in the field, but he has to stop in every now and again. Of course, he doesn't run over and talk to me - that would be pretty unprofessional. But I always smile when I hear him. He usually tries to work in his office time around lunch so we can have it together. I mean, really, isn't he the cutest guy you've ever seen? Allow me a few moments of gratuitous bragging, will ya? I've got me an adorably handsome, green-eyed, 5'4" Cajun whose main interests aren't football and big trucks; I'm a happy woman.

Added some new content to the left side over there - you can now see what mood I'm in. Lucky you, eh? This will change daily, or, knowing how moody I can be, numerous times in a day. Either that or I'll get bored with it and not change it for two months. But, anyway, it's there.

That's all for now. Have a Happy Hump Day!

Wine on Sunday

Monday, November 17th, 2003

I have taken up a personal crusade. It is something that has irritated me and even infuriated me since I first learned of its existence. I plan to write and rally and bitch and yell until the law that bans the sell of alcohol in East Baton Rouge Parish on Sundays is lifted!!

I refuse to accept a Christian ideal or preference being shoved down my throat by the government. The government should not be allowed to be religiously prejudiced. In fact, for all the ignorant outcries that we're taking "God out of America", I have this to quote, from our first president:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion."
- George Washington, Treaty of Tripoli in 1796

I might could even accept this slight aggravation on Sundays if it were not for the fact that this law is ridiculous - even, obviously, to those that uphold it. You see, you cannot buy liquor on Sundays - but you can buy BEER after 12:00 noon!! If this was such a huge religiously inspired regulation, okay. But the fact that they allow you to buy BEER simply because they were losing too much money banning all alcohol is a slap in the face. If the law can be bent, it can be abolished.

I happen to love a bottle of Chardonnay on a Sunday afternoon. It's one of my favorite treats. I can't tell you the times I've tried to purchase one - only to be reminded that I cannot purchase alcohol on Sunday. I used to do my grocery shopping on Sundays - and would stock up on all needed liquors for the coming weeks. Beer and much wine - but the wine always had to be put back.

Perhaps I am a Wiccan, needing a bottle of wine for an impromptu ceremony. I'm going to have to drive to another parish to get it.

This law is wrong. It's religiously discriminatory. It is shoving another's beliefs and ideals down the peoples' throats. It has no business being on the law books!! And this little hippie-heathen is going to do everything she can to get it off!