Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Friday, December 01, 2006

Keith Ellison, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Prager and the Mainstream Media

Newt Gingrich was having a love fest with Michael Medved Wednesday and with Dennis Prager Thursday, plugging his book, Rediscovering God in America. Gingrich’s book is yet another dishonest, revisonist attempt to prove that the founding principles of our American government are divinely inspired.

They aren’t.

This morning, Prager said that the bible is the unifying book of our country from which we get our values. Prager recently got worked up in a lather because newly elected Rep. Keith Ellison insisted that he take his oath of office by swearing on a copy of the Koran, not the bible. The reaction to Prager, including that from other conservatives, has been torrential. There is no legal requirement for anyone to swear on the bible or any religious document in order to become invested in their elected office or before testifying before a court of law. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what book you choose or don't choose to swear an oath on. There is no religious test for holding public office. Period.

What can you say to someone who keeps saying something that is demonstrably wrong?

If Prager is right, why did the founders bother to have the first Constitutional Convention? Why didn’t they just say, “Go read the bible. It’s all you need to know?”

The constitution is the founding document of the United States. Nowhere in the constitution will you find an explicit or implicit endorsement of any religion as an integral part of the state or as its inspiration. The US Constitution prescribes a secular government. The establishment clause of the First Amendment explicitly prohibits Congress from using the government to establish any religion.

To believe otherwise is to be on the same intellectual plane as Holocaust deniers. Or creationists. Or people who believe the earth is flat.

It was while listening to Gingrich, Medved and Prager that I had an epiphany about the term “Mainstream Media.”

For some years, conservatives have been beating the bias drum, portraying themselves as the true representatives of majoritarian values who are marginalized by “liberal elites” who control education, the entertainment industry and the print and broadcast media.

It occured to me that by using the term mainstream media, conservatives are ironically acknowledging that these media are the true vox populi who reflect the values and views of most Americans. The MSM, not conservatives, represent the mainstream of society. Most intelligent, educated people know that our government is secular, not religious. They know that an embryo is not a sentient, thinking being and is not deserving of the legal status of a person.

Conservatives are outside the mainstream, not because they are being victimized by the MSM, but because their core beliefs are not shared by most Americans. Misrepresenting historical fact as Gingrich does and engaging in the kind of pathetic sandbox debating tactics that Dennis Prager exemplifies in this debate with the ubiquitous public atheist Sam Harris only serves to make them irrelevant and foolish.

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