The following is a response to, "Will War Crimes Be Outed?" (by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith. The Nation. December 17, 2008):
We have a President, George W. Bush, who sold the invasion of Iraq first by tying Saddam Hussein and Iraq to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda; only it wasn't true, Bush knew it, and Bush openly and unapologetically to this day says, "So what?" He said it a few days ago.
We have a Vice President who says that the Bush administration would have invaded Iraq regardless of any tie to al Qaeda. This is even though the legislative resolution to use force is expressly aimed at those who attacked the U.S. Neither Saddam Hussein nor Iraq attacked the U.S. Hussein said some things and did some things that irritated the U.S., but he did not attack the U.S. in any way contemplated by the resolution.
That same Vice President, Dick Cheney, openly stated that the U.S. should go over to the dark side. He said that the U.S. should be evil. He wanted and wants the U.S. to be the evil empire. He also said just a few days ago that Barack Obama should use the torture that Bush and Cheney, et al., have used.
The long list of other things these two and their long list of accomplices in high crimes have done is written. The daily newspapers in the public library archives show the trail and all the charges. These two men and the others have gone beyond even the mundane pale time and again. What are people to do?
The secular laws are clearly muddy. The U.S. Constitution ties itself, as the highest law, to the international treaties to which the U.S. is signatory, placing those treaties into the Constitution. They are incorporated by the reference in the Constitution and not as inferior or subservient provisions but on an equal footing with all other parts of that Constitution. That Constitution though grants the President supreme power to pardon all crimes. It makes no distinctions. The only appeals would be to original intent or to the "living, breathing document" position where the Constitution changes with the culture to counter the strict constructionist, literal interpretation: Muddy.
The only thing in the mundane secular law that clearly can prevent Bush from effectively pardoning all the high crimes of the Bush administration before he leaves office is a retroactive Constitutional amendment undoing any such pardons. No Presidential pardons for the crimes of his or her administration are valid. Think about all the arguments about which acts are the official acts of an administration. No Presidential pardons for the crimes of anyone working within his or her administration are valid. Think about outsourcing. How about removing all Presidential pardons? Think about taking away a President's ability to offer amnesty to promote the peace after a civil misunderstanding: Muddy.
The whole body is secular, although there are stylized allusions to and even expressions of the non-secular. Regardless, they are by and large secular. They are not religious or sacred documents. There is language in them that is sacred. Mixing, however, makes the fruit of the whole tree less than desirable and less than sacred.
The Christian is forbidden from punishing George W. Bush or Dick Cheney or any of the others. It is the proverbial Satan who charges, prosecutes, judges, sentences (condemns), and punishes. The Christian doesn't even charge in that sense. The object of the Christian is not to lead to sadistic punishment. Any punishment resulting from the words of the Christian will be the sympathetic and empathetic pain that the repentant heart experiences. That pain and suffering is purgative of evil. It is not harmful. It is healing.
The pain and suffering George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have dished out and still are is not designed to lead to that knowledge (science). It is not a connection that they understand. Their hearts are too hard. Their brains are malformed. They think with the hind end, the lower, the reptilian. They were abused and have not overcome. They have been hardened into more and more selfishness – spiraling down, down, down (actually bottomless) with no light ahead at all.
The truth is that the U.S. Constitution and the other documents are more akin to Bush and Cheney's mentality than to Christ's. Bush and Cheney don't give a damn about the U.S. Constitution, but that Constitution allows for the twisting that can arrive, and has arrived in the minds of the likes of John Yoo (professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law who authored the official Bush torture memos) and his ilk, at Bush and Cheney's highly immoral positions and actions. Jesus's sermons and teachings do not allow that immorality. They don't allow for any twisting. Only a misreading, a less-than-full-context reading, a failing comprehension, claims otherwise.
Why is the supreme law of the United States of America the U.S. Constitution rather than the words and deeds of Christ? That Constitution's stated aim is a more perfect union. Why follow that aim with inferior writing?
The following is as liberal and progressive as it gets:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish that the words and example of Jesus Christ constitute the Constitution of the United States of America.
Why is this position not also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations?
The U.S. Constitution, U.N. documents, and other international treaties all fall woefully short. Everyone who reads this knows it.
If the law of Christ were written in every heart, there would be universal peace in its fullest context. There is no greater defense. Real safety and security lie in this message. Those who stand against that peace will never escape pain and suffering. They'll never completely relieve each other of the harmful pain and suffering they bring to each other. Rise above, fulfill, the U.S. Constitution.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US 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.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)