Columns Government & Politics Mark Silk: Spiritual Politics Opinion

Discovered letter exposes roots of Ronald Reagan’s ‘city on a hill patriotism’

President Reagan speaks at a rally in Minneapolis in 1982. Photo by Michael Evans/Creative Commons

(RNS) — Anyone interested in religion and politics in the U.S. needs to reckon with Ronald Reagan, whose presidency marked the emergence of the religious right onto the national scene. That white evangelicals in 1980 should have turned away from Jimmy Carter, the Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher they had backed four years earlier, to support a nonchurchgoing, divorced Hollywood actor was a remarkable and portentous moment in American political history.

Evangelicals have shown themselves capable of voting for candidates who exhibit few of the virtues they require of leaders, not least the current president. But Reagan was the first such candidate, and many still wonder if Reagan was merely an opportunistically seized vessel for the nascent movement of social conservatism that has reshaped American politics.

The answer is no.

Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty has come up with a hitherto unknown document that shows Reagan the president to have been a man of deep, traditional Protestant faith. It’s a letter he wrote from the White House to his father-in-law, Loyal Davis, when Davis was on his deathbed in August of 1982.

Davis, a leading neurosurgeon, was a nonbeliever. Reagan, who was very attached to him, used the letter to try to convince him of the truth of the Christian understanding of Jesus and the world to come. To gain “a greater life, a greater glory,” he concludes, “all that is required is that you believe and tell God you put yourself in his hands. Love, Ronnie.”

With its quotations from Scripture, its appeals to biblical prophecy and its expression of personal belief, the letter makes clear that Reagan had lost none of the faith that had shaped him in his youth.

Although Reagan’s father was a Roman Catholic and his parents married in a Catholic church, his mother had herself baptized into the Disciples of Christ the year before he was born and brought him up in the church. The Disciples emerged from the early 19th-century Restoration Movement, which was devoted to recovering the basic tenets and practices of the early church. Hoping to transcend denominationalism, they insisted on calling themselves just “Christians.”

A 1911 copy of “That Printer of Udell’s” by Harold Bell Wright

At the age of only 11, Reagan decided that he was ready to be baptized as the result (he later recalled) of reading “That Printer of Udell’s,” a novel published in 1902 by a devout Disciple named Harold Bell Wright.

Written in the spirit of Charles Monroe Sheldon’s 1897 best-seller “In His Steps,” “That Printer of Udell’s” advances a conservative social gospel program of helping the poor, but with distinctly restorationist elements. It is laced with criticism of doctrinal differences among the Protestant churches, and in contrast to Sheldon’s focus on the regeneration of individuals, Wright is concerned to show how Christ-like activity can make one’s community into a model for others.

The story centers on Boyd City, a prosperous Midwestern industrial town suffering from the ills of urban life — alcohol, gambling and prostitution. Thanks to the efforts of two men, a noble journeyman printer of lower-class origins and the pastor of “Jerusalem Church,” Boyd City is by the end of the novel transformed into “an example to all the world, for honest manhood, civic pride and municipal virtue.”

The influence of the Disciples only increased after Reagan formally joined his hometown church as a pre-adolescent. The minister, Ben Cleaver, became a kind of surrogate father, giving him advice, teaching him to drive, and helping him get into Eureka College, the Disciples’ institution of higher learning in Illinois.

There can be little doubt that Reagan’s adult worldview harked directly back to what historian Joe Creech has termed the Disciples’ “unashamed city-on-the-hill patriotism.” In other words, it was no accident that Reagan’s favorite political trope was to equate America with the city Jesus evokes in the Sermon on the Mount, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Not that Reagan came up with this himself. Its source in American rhetoric is the well-known address given by John Winthrop to the Puritans embarking for Boston aboard the Arbella in 1630. In latter-day political discourse, it was employed by President-elect John F. Kennedy in a speech to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1961.

But Reagan made it his watchword, using it in announcing his candidacy for president in 1979, in accepting the Republican nomination in 1984 and in bidding farewell to the nation in 1989. The image perfectly embodied his project of restoring America after the country’s defeat in Vietnam and the so-called malaise of the Carter years.

Being a city on a hill meant serving as that “light unto the nations” that the prophet Isaiah identified as Israel’s special role in the world and that antebellum restorationists had long since attributed to America.

As Reagan put it in his 1979 announcement, “A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.”

Let’s acknowledge that this ideal was not grafted by Reagan onto his political program as a mere rhetorical device. It was rooted in his own religious identity. One might say that his first city on a hill was Boyd City.

Nothing better expresses his restorationist vision than Reagan’s famous 1984 campaign ad, “Morning in America,” which was expressly designed to convey the idea that under him the nation had experienced a new beginning — or more precisely, was re-experiencing its beginning: “It’s morning again in America,” the voice-over intones. “Why would we ever want to return to where we were, less than four short years ago.”

Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a coarse version of the same message. Its protagonist may lack his predecessor’s religious underpinnings, but the evangelicals are still behind him.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

214 Comments

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  • Yes, Ronald Reagan was a “man of deep, traditional Protestant faith” who just happened to launch his campaign for president with a speech on August 3, 1980 near Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town etched in infamy for the murders of three civil rights activists in 1964 in which it was later discovered that members of the local police department were involved in the incident. In that speech Reagan pitched his racially-charged, dog-whistle “states’ rights” agenda, appealing to the worst instincts in the electorate and continuing Richard Nixon’s infamous “southern strategy.”

    Then there was Reagan’s gross negligence during the AIDS crisis which costs thousands of lives, the Iran-Contra scandal, the burgeoning debt in order to fund tax cuts for the rich, the attack on unions, not to mention Nancy Reagan’s reliance on astrologers in order to help her increasingly Alzheimer-ridden husband craft public policy.

    Yes, so much “deep, traditional faith” that even Jesus Christ would be hard-pressed to recognize it as such.

  • Yeah, too bad we didn’t have a real Christian like Hillary Clinton back then.

    What has Nancy Reagan and astrologers got to do with it?

    And, you can’t favor states rights or in fact the power of the people to amend the Constitution without being “racially-charged”?

  • Not when one’s constitutional understanding is so deficient that one is unaware that “states’ rights” is the default principle of our system of laws, federal power being merely a set of carve-outs.

  • We need more men like Ronald Reagan in our government then maybe we will survive as a country as a shining light to the world.

  • FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence):

    “Ronald Reagan called America ‘a shining city on a hill.’ Donald Trump calls it ‘a divided crime scene’ that only he can fix. … [But] he’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election. That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose.”
    – President Barack Obama, DNC speech, July 27, 2016.

  • Yes, a solid member of the UMC who attends church services regularly.

    Move along, these aren’t the droids that you are looking for.

  • Mark, in a recent article, you discussed Robert Bellah’s essay on civil religion in America. Do you think Reagan shared the restorationist beliefs of Evangelicals, with their penchant for (at least occasional) self-reflection, or simply proposed a civil religion he thought consistent with his personal views?

  • Negative Bob – yet again trying to diss others’ comments rather than make a reasoned argument in favour of a positive point.

    Don’t forget that Reagan was hardly the sharpest knife on the block (he was Margaret Thatcher’s poodle in many ways) – which may explain why his religion was “traditional” i.e. someone else’s rather than individual and thoughtful.

    And yes – traditional Protestant faith(1) regards astrologers(2) as servants of Satan(3).
    Deuteronomy 18: 10-12/Isaiah 47: 13-14

    It is a sad comment on the irrationality of humanity that anyone should take any of those three concepts seriously.

    BlockedByBobx2

  • You do not like Donald Trump because he is not a politician, and you are like this because you believe the Democrats who think that the President should be corrupted like them.

  • Monica, I think Reagan came by his restorationist views via his religious upbringing in the Disciples, effectively connecting with the embedded restorationism of evangelicals, going back to the Second Awakening. Whether or not he shared their penchant for self-reflection, his civil religious language appealed to them deeply.

  • Thank you. That’s interesting. I think most of us would have thought that Reagan’s religious language and symbols were stored in his passive memory, available for recall upon demand, but not in active memory, shaping his decision-making as they did, for example, for Jimmy Carter and perhaps Richard Nixon.
    I think many of us would say Mr. Trump’s religious language and symbols are stored in another part of his anatomy.

  • For those interested in what is being discussed, “Restorationism”, or Christian primitivism, is the belief that Christianity should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church to a more pure and more ancient form of the religion.

    The Restoration Movement is a Christian movement that began on the United States frontier during the “Second Great Awakening” (1790–1840), seeking to reform the church from within and “the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament.”

    There are three main Restorationist denominations in the U.S.: the Churches of Christ, the unaffiliated Christian Church/Church of Christ congregations, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

    Reagan’s father was of Irish Catholic descent and is said to have been a believer, but his mother Nelle Reagan’s devotion to her Presbyterian faith overpowered the household, and Reagan identified with being Presbyterian his whole life. The Disciples of Christ began as an offshoot of the Kentucky Presbytery.

    His religious views were simultaneously complex and simple, as this background material demonstrates.

    https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/the-intellectual-origins-ronald-reagans-faith

    https://spectator.org/57743_reagan-religious-tolerance/

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=38486

    https://hollowverse.com/ronald-reagan/

    http://www.beliefnet.com/news/politics/2004/02/reagans-penchant-for-prayer.aspx

  • What I was struck by this letter, which also appeared in the Washington Post was the ugly vitriolic hatred of so many people, who couldn’t resisted peeing on this private letter in the comment section of the Post.

    That’s how much these people have fallen from grace, from peace, from joy.

    If they let such ugliness be emitted from their keyboard, can you imagine what is in their interior conversation with themselves?

    No drugs or therapy will help these people. They will be a drag on society and their famlies for life.

  • So Jerry Falwell, at the Right Hand of G… I mean Reagan, is off the hook to you, then?

    And so Billy Graham, at the Right Hand of G… I mean Nixon, is off the hook to you, then?

    If the church messes up, God & Jesus are just gonna let “the ugly vitriolic hatred of so many people” fall upon the church, innit.

    The world rejects Jesus, the church is dead – it’s complicated.

  • No, my family is financially secure, we come and go in the US as we please. I don’t have any family here that are without papers. But there are plenty of reasons not to care for this racist bigot.

  • then explain your reason, (your true reason) why you dislike Trump, when Trump has put more money in your pocket?

  • Whereas your own comments exude ‘grace, peace and joy’? Your own keyboard has emitted no ‘ugliness’?
    “O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!”

  • Monica de Angelis, “Passive Memory, Active Memory: An Anatomical Comparison Between Ronald Reagan’s and Donald Trump’s American Exceptionalism”, PhD dissertation, University of Liechtenstein, forthcoming, E.T.A. November 2020 (you know, when Trump wins 2nd term).

    I kid you not!

  • Mr Reagan was not a man given to deep thinking. It’s hard to say that anything that he espoused was the result of serious reflection.

  • Ronald Reagan was apparently incapable of deep thought.

    What many considered indications of “deep traditional faith” in the 60s and 70s was ofen simply rote repetition of what they had learned in Sunday school or in catechism.

    Reagan’s rhetoric about the needy or gays certainly does not fit in with any real Christian faith that i know about, unless, of course, one subscribes to the statement of all of those pastors who believe that talking about social issues is not integral to the Gospel…….

  • Open your bible. Now. I mean it. And no always-worthless commentaries, either. … You got it? Good. Now, look it up, what does Matthew 5:1-2, 14-16 say?

    To you it says this:

    “Jesus … went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His Beloved American Conservative Christian Voters came to Him. He opened His mouth … saying, … ‘You, My Beloved American Conservative Christian Voters, are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden … Let your Light of American Exceptionalism shine before all earthlings in such a way that they may see your good Make-America-Great-Again works, and glorify your American Father who is in heaven.'”

    Whereas to born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard followers of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation, it says this – plainly & uncomplicatedly (so eat your hearts outs, John Winthrop & Ronald Reagan!):

    “Jesus … went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth … saying, … ‘You, My disciples, are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden … Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.'”

  • Alright, I got through that commentary in one piece. Phew. So, like, just one question for you, then? Who named you after Alexandria, Virginia, that city on the Potomac River, just south of Washington, DC?

  • The hatred oozing out of the left is astonishing. Every syllable.

    Can you imagine being married..more likely “partnered” to one of these types? Hell.

  • A born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation, I’m neither “Left” Wing, Right Wing, nor Chicken Wing.

    Only in football I’m “Left” Wing.

  • Are you afraid to answer the question or are you simply a die-hard Democrat and do not know how to decide for your self?

  • Hmm, me “simply a die-hard Democrat”? (Hear that, DNC?)

    Well, then, call this, I Nominate Tulsi Gabbard For President!

    Because of this, what she said last week.

    “President Trump and Vice President Pence … are now standing up to protect the 20,000 to 40,000 al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria, and threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists. … This is a betrayal of the American people, especially the victims of al-Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 and their families, first responders, and my brothers and sisters in uniform who have been killed or wounded in action and their families. For the President, who is Commander in Chief, to act as the protective big brother of al-Qaeda and other jihadists must be condemned by every Member of Congress.”
    – Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Democratic Party, September 11, 2018.

  • What do you base that on?
    Based upon your comments which have no argument nor citations; I would say that it is you that is short of brainpower.

  • Ronald Reagan was apparently incapable of saying anything you cared for.

    That, of course, is a different matter than Ronald Reagan being incapable of deep thought.

  • Mr. Reagan was not a man whose thoughts appealed to you.

    That’s a different matter than his being a man not given to deep thinking.

  • I believe what she offered was her personal opinion based on a deep longstanding hatred for Republicans in general, and Ronald Reagan in particular, rather than a carefully considered argument presenting facts and assembling them in a logical connectitude designed to establish her proposition.

  • Apropos communique “Parker12 [to] Alexandra 4 hours ago”:

    “What do you base that on? Based upon your comments which have no argument nor citations; I would say that it is you that is short of brainpower.”

    Ergo: “be cautious” yourself first, Miss Parker.

  • You have all you so-called facts wrong; they are standing for the innocent people, but of course you being a Democrat will try to twist this to your advantage by lying. President Trump more to remove ISIS than the past two administration, but of course you are blind to the evidence. Furthermore, you still have not answered the original question of why you hate Trump. Please try for a moment to be grownup and just tell us why you hate the president, not what the Democratic Party says.

  • Faith in the reality of the 21st century via the Great Kibosh:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • If you, Bob Arnzhole, were capable of such “logical connectitude” yourself, you would not hold the positions that you do – one of those positions being bent over for the NRA, feet wide apart.

  • Conservatives love to invoke “state’s rights” when they support discrimination and corrupt local practices. To attack civil liberties, labor laws, various regulatory frameworks. Which is why segregationists then and now love to invoke “state’s rights” as a matter of course.

    But they are always hypocrites on the subject. Especially when given states have a more expansive view of civil liberties than a conservative led federal government at the time.

  • I have far more respect for his successor as a person and politician.

    Unlike Reagan, GHW Bush served in rather hazardous combat duty in WWII.

    He was among various Republicans demanding Nixon resign, The Gulf War coalition was a diplomatic masterpiece for the time.

  • I do not like Donald Trump because he is incompetent, bigoted, dishonest and thoroughly corrupt. He was a lousy businessman, a trainwreck of a reality show host and a smarmy professional wrestling promoter.

    He is not a politician, that is not a good thing for a president. POTUS is not a position one expects to learn as they go along. Nor is it one where one can expect advisers and experts to be obsequious and rubber stamp whatever comes into your head.

    Trump has not suited to lead a PTA board, let alone the country.

    “think that the President should be corrupted”

    He is not tainted whatsoever with the ideas of knowing what to do in his position, keeping himself informed of matters, showing respect for democratic institutions or notions of having to adhere to rule of law.

    Of course sane people like having a president who knows what they are doing. You are not in that category.

  • Wow, really going in heavy on the bigoted assumptions. I can’t think of a reason people like Trump which is actually good for the nation.

    I find it funny that people are loyal to a man notorious for burning everyone associated with him. From investors, business partners, employees, customers, providers of professional services and his own family. I guess people like you are just too naive, uninformed or just plain stupid to know any better,

  • It is not even a thing to “invoke states’ rights,” Einstein. It is part and parcel of a federal republic. The default setting. It is federal power that must be “invoked” — provided it is specifically enumerated.

    You’re a bit behind the times…”states’ rights” have been the new darling of the so-called progressives over the last couple of years. Ironic that they are now fighting against the very federal overreach that they so adored such a short time ago. How short-sighted is liberal!

  • Of course it is. Its an argument one usually brings up when their views conflict with federal laws and SCOTUS precedent. You are just being a contrarian sourpuss there.

    “You’re a bit behind the times…”states’ rights” have been the new darling of the so-called progressives over the last couple of years.”

    If you were an honest sort, you would acknowledge that it depends on the issue.

    Conservatives raise state’s rights to support discrimination, rampant corruption, pollution, attacks on labor laws and federal regulations meant to protect the public, or attack the poor in general. “Small government” nonsense.

    Liberals raise state’s rights when state laws are more expansive than federal ones. Gay marriage was a big one prior to Obergfell, net neutrality, and Marijuana legalization.

    Out of curiosity. I would love to hear your examples of progressive state’s rights arguments.

  • Conservatives “raise states’ rights” (a misnomer but we’ll allow it for the sake of argument) when the feds enact laws concerning subject matter not specifically enumerated to them by the Constitution.

    You’ve heard my examples before, and I doubt you’ll understand them any better now than before. But certain states (or municipalities within states) obviously do not want to go with the current federal flow on matters of immigration. And the argument could well be made that they shouldn’t have to, for while the Constitution gives the feds the power over naturalization it does not give them specific powers over how illegal immigrants should be dealt with by and within the various states. The federal assumption of power over the entire field of immigration law, rubber-stamped multiple times by the Supreme Court, is a result of the overreach that progressives pine for — when they’re in power, of course.

    Without the federal overreach that made up out of thin air the “selective incorporation” of the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment, where such was clearly never intended by its drafters or the people who ratified it, you could have some gun-free states now. In certain states you probably could have at least some of the various encroachments on religious liberty that you dream of, depending on how far such a hypothetical SCOTUS would be willing to go in deeming religious freedom a fundamental right. And of course the blow dealt to labor unions this past June would never have happened – the states could decide for themselves about those matters.

    I know, I know… if you guys could just count on being perpetually in power you could then make up your minds about whether you actually want a federal republic or not — at least, those of you who know what a federal republic is.

  • Your intent was to “demean”, when you wrote, “Ronald Reagan was … incapable of deep thought.”

    And your intent was to “demean”, when you wrote, “Deep traditional faith … was rote repetition of [lessons] learned in Sunday school or in catechism.”

    And your intent was to “demean”, when you wrote, “[To] believe that talking about social issues is not integral to the Gospel … [is to] not fit in with any real Christian faith”.

    So, do you have any problem with “demean[ing] … Ronald Reagan … deep traditional faith … [and] the Gospel”? No, you don’t. And why is that? It’s because only the question – “Who named you after Alexandria, Virginia, that city on the Potomac River, just south of Washington, DC?” – is “demean[ing]” to you, and “demean[ing] … my parents”, you said.

    What about Ronnie’s “parents”, then? Isn’t your statement, “Ronald Reagan was … incapable of deep thought … demean[ing]” to them?

    And what about the “parents” of “Sunday school [kids] or [those] in catechism [classes]”? Isn’t your statement, “Deep traditional faith … was rote repetition of [lessons] learned in Sunday school or in catechism … demean[ing]” to them?

    And what about the “parents” of Christians who “believe that talking about social issues is not integral to the Gospel”? Isn’t your statement, “[To] believe that talking about social issues is not integral to the Gospel … [is to] not fit in with any real Christian faith … demean[ing]” to them?

  • Obama THINKS he’s a deep thinker.

    One pundit noted his speeches during his first campaign were so high-minded only bats could hear them.

  • Conservative raise states’ rights when matters that belong under the Constitution to the states or people are at issue.

    Liberals raise states’ rights when it suits their purposes – switch hitters.

  • HpO and I don’t exactly get along too well. That’s because I figured out who she works for. Please don’t tell me you’re naive enough to think she doesn’t know Gabbard is carrying Assad’s dirty water.

  • Considering the damage the Reagan administration did to some minority communities…his was a lousy personal religion that was. at its core, about defending whiteness and sexism in the name of the Lord.

    Given the factions and infighting going on in the New Testament among the “Primitive” Christians, I don’t see why people would jettison 1900 years of so of hard learned lessons from history to go restore that church.

  • I can see from your comment you are NO Bible Teacher that is for sure, and if you claim to be, know this you will be punished for teaching a doctrine contrary to Holy Scripture. You took the Sermon on the Mount totally out of context, like liberals do.

  • I live here because I like not having to carry a weapon at all times and always looking over my shoulder.

    I love my homeland, but in many ways this country is better.

  • The congregations that eventually formed the denomination the Disciples of Christ did so in 1906, so it’s difficult to say that those congregations were definitely an offshoot of the Kentucky Presbytery through Barton W Stone from 100+ years prior any more than they were an offshoot of the Presbyterians in Pennsylvania and Virginia or the Baptists which they encountered later. During those 100+ years the Stone-Campbell movement was an admixture of comings and goings of various personalities and congregations.

    I find it interesting that today the Disciples church has become the most liberal/progressive of the descendants of the Stone-Campbell Movement. They had a recent female Executive Minister, ordain their clergy & use the honorific Reverend, use instrumental music, and are close friends with most other progressive denominations; United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, The Episcopal Church, The United Presbyterian Church, etc.

  • REQUEST FOR INFO

    Betcha ya dunno how do these opponents of yours – not go about “defending whiteness and sexism” per se – but go about “defending whiteness and sexism in the name of the Lord.” Emphasis on the latter. Otherwise, give all your duped & gullible reading fans a for-instance or 3, pretty please sir. Think about it, however painful in your favorite fetal position while thinking on states of affairs in America: Mustn’t this Lord KingKong, or Lord of the Ring, be the seriously “white[st] and sexis[test]” of all “Lord[s]” in the 1st place, in order for her “name” to be invoked by them “White[s] and Sexis[ts]” for desired effects?

  • It IS your Statement of Doctrine, however, that Matthew 5:1-2, 14-16 – IN “CONTEXT” – says this Word of God to you:

    “Jesus … went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His Beloved American Conservative Christian Voters came to Him. He opened His mouth … saying, … ‘You, My Beloved American Conservative Christian Voters, are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden … Let your Light of American Exceptionalism shine before all earthlings in such a way that they may see your good Make-America-Great-Again works, and glorify your American Father who is in heaven.'”

  • There is more than one “Disciples of Christ”.

    The Stone-Campbell Restorationist tradition is named for Barton Warren Stone (1772–1844) and Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), recognized as its founders and early leaders on the Appalachian frontier in the early 1800s.

    There are three branches (“streams”) of the Stone-Campbell tradition: the Churches of Christ, Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120324100506/http://www.stonecampbellhistory.com:80/outline_of_the_new_history

    The denomination Nelle Reagan belonged to arose from the Kentucky Presbytery

    http://www.cumberland.org/hfcpc/presby/Kentucky.htm

    and has descendants in both modern Presbyterian and Stone-Campbell denominations.

  • My bad. Sorry about that. The response got stuck in an outgoing queue. Cheap phone.

    1. No examples of progressive states rights arguments from you. You didn’t want to back up your claim.

    2. Conservatives these days look to states rights to institute Jim Crow 2.0, just like they did with the original version. You made it clear in the past neither discriminatory argument gives you a moment of pause.

    3. Like conservatives, your views of immigration law are entirely informed by complete and utter ignorance of the subject. States have no say in immigration laws or their enforcement. It’s not SCOTUS which has controlled the issue, it is the Federal laws themselves. Sanctuary cities exist because they are permitted under Federal Law. As is non cooperation with ICE by local law enforcement.

    4. “you could have some gun-free states now”. Um, no. That was just winging ranting there. You seem to have a strange view as to what rights exist and do not exist under the banner if equal protection under the law. It’s not ignorance. It’s just wishful thinking on your part.

  • I just spit my coffee laughing when I read “No examples of progressive states rights arguments from you. You didn’t want to back up your claim.”

    That comment took real chutzpah given your track record.

    Sanctuary cities exist because the states cannot be compelled to act without compensation except for some very specific provisions in the Constitution.

    They will cease to exist when Congress passes legislation linking some funding a city needs and wants on compliance with Federal immigration laws or when a local official is indicted and tried for committing a crime by assisting a wanted individual to escape.

    The hardball will take place in the second Trump administration once the Resistance frivolities peter out.

  • Oh; kinda like that community organizer guy that dabbled in black nationalism and wanted to change the country?
    Got it

  • “Death’s Debt is Paid in
    Full

    Death’s debt is then and there
    Paid down by dying men;
    But it is a promise bare
    That they shall rise again. ”

    Al-Ma’arri
    , born AD 973 /, died AD 1058 / .

    Al-Ma’arri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2] He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth.

  • Good to know that you can’t even defend Trump’s actions on its own merits. Hence the default argument of bullshifting. Deflection because you are too spineless to defend Trump on his own merits.

    Comparing the two is like comparing apples to horse dookie. Obama annoyed you because he was black and democrat. Not much else. I don’t have to give a crap what you thought of Obama or what he did in office. Its never going to be relevant. But it really shows what kind of garbage you are willing to accept or sign off on. Speaks badly for your morals and character.

    Trump can’t even get through one term without the spectre of being tossed from office for rampant corruption and possible criminal acts. You apparently want everyone to ignore that to argue fictional garbage about irrelevant past figures.

  • Again – what has trump done that is criminal? Other than implementing conservative policies?
    I addressed your statement that trump had no experience and compared him to the Kenyan. You were okay with the black national organizer but not the white businessman nationalist. You again, have a very, very selective use of facts an recall.
    Your final point that trump can’t get through a day without getting pounded by someone proves my comments last week that you and others ridiculed about the silent coup that is taking place.
    Documents being released by the FBI this week prove the existence of the “deep state” and its resistance movement which you and others on this page celebrate; albeit traitorous to a duely elected president.

  • I’m sorry, but discussing Trump’s presidency does not automatically involve references to past retired irrelevant political figures. You addressed nothing. You sought to deflect and divert.

    The alleged gripes you had with a previous president don’t amount to proof the current one is of any value. I don’t ever have to recall anything about them here.

    “you were okay with [a bunch of unsupported opinions lacking factual support]”

    I am saying whatever you think of past events or my reaction to them is irrelevant garbage designed to deflect from the subject.

    If you wanted to know what I thought of Obama, check my prior posting history or get a time machine. I do not ever need to discuss them here or anytime there is criticism of the useless incompetent corrupt bigot currently in the White House.

    Get back to me when you grow a spine and can discuss what Trump has done in office.

    Until then, your posts are both useless and an indicia of low character. “But Obama/Hillary/Walter Mondale/Genghis Khan….” is a garbage argument in service of garbage people. The more you rely on it the less credible you get. The more you make it clear, you are simply immoral slime being evasive.

    “Documents being released by the FBI this week prove the existence of the “deep state” and its resistance movement which you and others on this page celebrate;”

    You are a liar as well. No citation to a source there obviously. More garbage.

    “Deep State” is the go to fictional excuse for Trump’s incompetence as a political leader. Trump is at war with any and all government analysts, functionaries and experts with any kind of experience. Mostly because when they show a modicum of professional integrity not to simply act as a rubber stamp.

    Trump has never been used to relying on actual experts or professionals. Preferring “yes men” and stiffing people who perform services on his behalf. He also is toxic to anyone who is duty bound by professional ethics in their field. Demanding they lie or break laws on his behalf. Its not the “Deep State” holding him back. Its his own incompetence, dishonesty and corrupt character.

    What is truly funny is that Trump considered his own hand picked staff, “the deep state” 2 weeks after that feckless NYT Op ed came out ridiculing him.

    ” albeit traitorous to a duely elected president.”

    People working in the WH are duty bound to the nation, the Constitution and laws first and foremost. Not to the person in charge.

  • Let’s just say she promotes conspiracy theories from 9/11 to Pizzagate, is unfamiliar with basic American English idioms and metaphors, and has never here expressed an opinion contrary to the foreign policy of the Russian Federation.

  • Your last paragraph is rather senseless.

    No one working in the White House has apparently gone to law enforcement with allegations of treason or lawbreaking.

    It has all been about policies – the choice between lawful options.

  • She sent me a Youtube link once claiming that the NYPD was in on it so they could all get cancer and pad their pensions.

  • I didn’t say he was acting criminal (yet). We already have clear signs of obstruction of justice, profiteering from his position and endangering US interests in service of a foreign power. More is yet to come. He isn’t a criminal at this time. But the outlook does not look good for him.

    The point was you were trying to refute the argument the president was incompetent, corrupt, bigoted and dishonest. You are just showing me he may or may not be a candidate for prison. Not the same thing.

    “You were okay with the black national organizer but not the white businessman nationalist. ”

    Funny I did not say any of that. By all means quote me.

    I called your claim about Obama unsupported fiction and irrelevant to the topic. But the presence of white nationalists in the Trump administration is not fictional and is relevant here. It shows he has no regard for our democratic way of life, rule of law or civil liberties. Sorry Sparky but there is no equivalent in liberal politics to white supremacists are to conservatives.

    Its also good to know you aren’t even trying to hide that conservatives and neo-nazis are now one in the same with Trump.

    Your need to lie about my position tells me you are simply not mentally prepared to deal with the issue like an adult.

    “I addressed your statement that trump had no experience and compared him to the Kenyan. ”

    No you didn’t. You simply lobbed crap at Obama, but were silent as to Trump or anything he has done.

    Still are.

    You can’t seem to defend his actions or even bother to address them. You are a liar and being awfully evasive here. Your attacks on the prior president does not mean ever proof the current one is competent. But I can understand that is all you have to work with. Trump is a truly garbage person. Better to attack than defend there.

    “Your final point that trump can’t get through a day without getting pounded by someone proves my comments last week that you and others ridiculed about the silent coup that is taking place. ”

    No it means the president is an incompetent, thin skinned, and quick to blame others for his lousy performance as a political leader. It means he is annoyed of honest representations of his actions. Akin to a lousy athlete blaming his equipment and referees for poor performance. It also means his supporters are liars looking for excuses for such actions with nonsense conspiracies.

    “Documents being released by the FBI this week prove the existence of the “deep state” and its resistance movement which you and others on this page celebrate; albeit traitorous to a duely elected president.”

    Again, not only untrue (citation please, for the last time), but proof of what garbage people come up with to cover for the president’s incompetence. Sorry buddy, there is no internal “resistance” or “deep state” messing up things for Trump. Just his inability to understand his position, its duties, limitations and the need for people other than “yes men”. Trump is at war with people with expertise, skills, knowledge, and professionalism.

    You contradict yourself. If you are blaming the mythical “deep state” for Trump’s failures as a political leader then how can he be more competent than a predecessor who was never accused of such inabilities?

    Obviously when you are lying through your teeth, being consistent or logical is not important.

  • Understood it, but it was largely junk: wild misrepresentations of fact, flinging insults, and wishful thinking. Usual Gish Gallop.

    Actually the article you linked to points to a possible strategy which could be employed on the left. It does not describe actual positions. Nor supplants the notion of the right wing’s constant invocation of it when attacking civil liberties.

  • “what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKjxFJfcrcA

  • Does not “describe actual positions?” ROFL! What is a strategy but taking an actual “position” in order to achieve a desired result? You’re too funny, Tater.

    But rather than make a point of your patent dishonesty, I’ll allow that that the article very likely DOESN’T describe any “actual positions” which you are able to decipher. Too many big words, and no references to excrement at all.

    You might want to peruse some more articles on the subject. The more you read, the better your comprehension might become:

    http://harvardpolitics dot com/united-states/i-believe-in-states-rights-do-you/

    https://ivn dot us/2017/03/02/democrats-use-federalism-states-rights-fight-trump-republicans/

    https://www.propublica dot org/article/tax-case-flips-the-script-for-democrats-and-the-gop-but-what-about-for-jurists

    https://wtop dot com/national/2018/01/ap-explains-trump-actions-re-ignite-states-rights-debate/

    https://thehill dot com/blogs/pundits-blog/state-local-politics/350078-were-all-for-supporting-states-rights-except-when-it

    https://www.businessinsider dot com/democrats-and-republicans-switched-sides-on-states-rights-2017-1

    I have more if you’re interested. Come out from under that rock and stay current!

  • “and no references to excrement at all.”

    Oh there were plenty of those from your prior post. 🙂

    So you couldn’t really name any and did a google search. LOL! You can do full links on this site. You don’t need to separate them anymore.

    Still comes down to something real simple:

    Conservative states rights arguments: in service of attacks on civil liberties and support of corrupt practices, in opposition to federal regulations and protections

    Liberal state’s rights arguments: Expansion of civil liberties, dealing with ineffectual or counterproductive harmful federal practices.

  • “States have no say in immigration laws or their enforcement. It’s not SCOTUS which has controlled the issue, it is the Federal laws themselves. Sanctuary cities exist because they are permitted under Federal Law.” Tater, you crack me up with your crummy reading comprehension. Of course I said just up above that “states have no say in immigration laws.” And the reason for that is… the federal government claimed a power it was not given over immigration in general. Did the constitution give the federal government power over what states do with illegal immigrants? No, it did not. So if not for the federal overreach that the progs USED to love, whole states could devise any policy they wished with regard to illegal immigration. No need to dispute with the feds or look for loopholes at all.

    “Um, no. That was just winging ranting there.” I beg your pardon, it is not. Gun control is not a new invention; in the 19th century there were localities all over the country, particularly in the west, which outlawed the bearing of arms within city limits and this was perfectly acceptable to the courts. It was only during the big federal power grab of the early 20th century and the invention of patent nonsense such as “substantive due process” and selective incorporation that the SCOTUS got the big idea out of the thin air to make the Bill of Rights, never intended by anyone (including the drafters of the 14th) to restrict anything other than the federal government, applicable to the states. You gained some stuff, but you thereby lost some other things including the ability to have gun-free states.

    The reason it all seems strange to you is that you, like most Americans unfortunately, were never educated about what a federal republic is. You have some vague notion that the fed gov and the states have co-existent power and the fed gov trumps the states when it chooses to act — which could not be farther from the truth, but is not surprising in a country where one out of every five citizens thinks the 1st Amendment guarantees the right to own a pet.

  • “I.N.C.H.O.A.T.E.”, you say?

    Immaculate? Yup.
    Nonconformist? Yup.
    Candid? Yup.
    Herculean? Yup.
    Overwhelming? Yup.
    Ardent? Yup.
    Therapeutic? Yup.
    Empirical? Yup.

  • I named several for you and that didn’t suit you. I supplied some cites to “back them up” and that didn’t suit you either.

    I thought you were the guy that liked to play smart by asking for “cites.” Which is actually a demonstration of your own weakness, for no capable debater goes into a debate without already knowing his opponents’ positions AND his evidence.

    What actually doesn’t suit you is having it pointed out that your position is garbage. Which will happen just about every time you engage me, so feel free to scroll past me as I do past you, having heard your entire repertoire many times already.

    “Still comes down to something real simple:” Yeah, the article from The Hill pointed out something like that — as a demonstration of the hypocrisy and long-term ineffectiveness of any position that does not either embrace or repudiate the whole of the Constitution’s federalism, openly and honestly. And since there is no way for you to do that, not understanding what federalism is, this is as good place as any for you to sit down and enjoy a coloring book.

  • LOL. Whatever works. You really didn’t. Your spiel on immigration law was inspired ignorant lunacy. Truly unhinged. Amusing as hell.

    Generally when a conservative invokes states rights they are trying to say “pro-discrimination” or “pro corruption”.

    I liked your cites. Probably the few times you use one well. Good job!

    I was just pointing out we can do full links now without posts being bounced. Helpful hint, not hostile response. 🙂

    Interesting thing regardless is that US v. Windsor represents the ultra rare time states rights arguments were used for a liberal cause and successful with SCOTUS. Then again as federal maws went DOMA was dookie on so many levels.

  • “Did the constitution give the federal government power over what states do with illegal immigrants? No, it did not.”

    Actually it did. But only if the states choose to cooperate. INA section 287 delineates the state and local role there. It’s the federal law which allows for sanctuary cities

    Explicit language in the federal statute.

    As I said, your argument was borne of ignorance on the subject.

    Your view of the 14th amendment and SCOTUS power is deranged by your desire to attack civil liberties of others. Not reality.

    Ironically Romania’s leader has the same ideas as you do. To remove the independence of the judiciary. Make it beholden to the legislature and executive in interpreting the law. It is widely seen in the EU as a step towards authoritarian unfree government. Go figure.

    .

  • Constitution, Einstein. Not “federal law.” Federal law must be grounded in an enumerated power in order to be legitimate. The very point you do not understand.

    And Romanians are seeking to amend their constitution. Not eliminate judicial independence. Only a virtual illiterate thinks there is something illegitimate about amending a constitution — without which there would be no independent judiciary at all, only a monarchy/oligarchy/dictatorship.

    You get goofier all the time, Tater. Have your walls and woodwork been checked for lead?

  • Generally when liberals spew about what conservatives “really” mean they are being bigots.

    My “spiel” on immigration law” may have been unintelligible to you, but it was the accepted state of affairs until the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s. Sorry, no movie for you.

    And I was all for the SCOTUS’ ruling on DOMA. Marriage laws were not the feds’ to monkey with. Too bad they subsequently contradicted their own position in Obergefell.

  • Bring it on, Aggiornamento (The Updating)! – is all I can say. Over there she’s got Nobody. Over here she’s got the same Nobody.

    Well, I’m a nobody-nothing, and I say, Bring it on, Madame Liechtenstein!

  • Reading your comment I have concluded you are a parrot of the Democratic party. Calling Donald Trump an incompetent, bigoted, dishonest and thoroughly corrupt is a Democratic position. Your comments indicate that you know of him in an intimate way, right?

    I also believe that you have NEVER read the United States Constitution because if you did, you would know
    that to be President one need not be a politician. Qualifications for the President of the United States are 1) be born in the United States, and 2) you must be at least 35 years old.

    Now if you wish to talk about corruption than we talk about Hillary Clinton the most depraved individual in America today with her husband and daughter right there by her side.

    Some thing’s President Donald Trump has done:
    1) He removed many regulations that caused many businesses to leave America or close their doors.
    2) Cut our taxes
    3) He opened the door to a full peace with North Korea.
    4) He has forced the United Nations to pay their fear share in World Defense.
    5) Put a slowdown on illegal coming into the United States

    Just to name a few things

    If you were not a parrot of the Democratic Party and thought for yourself than you would see the truth, but sad to say you are a bigoted Democrat who decides on pure hearsay and NOT facts. Use the brain God gave you.

  • examples of any deep thought from reagan would be deeply appreciated . they have eluded most since he first came on the political scene .

  • that is just the beginning of what HpO doesn’t know . and he likes to display that the world frequently .

  • ronald reagan was not a deep thinker . this is not news . if simple reality is demeaning then so be it . “facts,” as reagan liked to say, “are stubborn things.”

  • That’s nice. I guess it’s better for your ego than honest assessment kg the person you support. I find apologists to Trump to be funny in their delusions. Trump has never shown loyalty to anyone he has dealt with, not even his own family. Good luck with that. Rednecks talking about being “against elites” supporting a guy who lives in a literal gold plated mansion

    “Your comments indicate that you know of him in an intimate way, right?”

    He’s been a public figure in the news for decades. We all do.cute dodge Sparky, but silly.

    Your list of accomplishments and completely false garbage.
    1) He attacked regulations protecting the public and the livelihood of those who work for a living.
    2) He didn’t cut YOUR taxes. He created a heavier burden on those who work for a living so the uppermost wealthy could loot the treasury.

    3) North Korea played Trump. North Korea has not moved an inch. SK and China lifted sanctions on NK months before the summit. Trump has no bargaining power with NK.

    4) No he just lied about their contributions and got kiddie tabled from any meaningful actions going forward.

    5) Nope, our economy was doing that before Trump. All he did was turn ICE into a goon squad to harass people.

    So all in all you are lying though your teeth to support Trump. My guess is you just hang around Breitbart, Daily Caller.. Where the crowd is far less critical or well informed.

  • “What has Nancy Reagan and astrologers got to do with it?”

    which is what the nation wondered when it became known that nancy was using astrologers to set the president’s schedule .

    the power of the people and states rights are not the same thing . “states rights” has been the tool in american history to prevent people from getting or keeping power . it was the excuse for the civil war . it was the legal tool to defang the power of the 14th and 15th amendments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: thus making jim crow the law of the land for nearly a century . it is the cry of anyone who does not want the “necessary and proper” clause of the constitution used, and argues that only explicit statements there are possible .

  • Funny, but I am not the one who frequently comes out to support discrimination or seeks to treat entire classes of people as less then human. That is all you and your crowd.

    “You are intolerant of my intolerance! Whaaah”

    Funny and delusional.

  • You are trying to weaselword and back away from clearly erroneous statementd on your part. At this point it’s just your ego writing checks your intellect can’t cash.

    Same old pointless Shawnie.

  • “…the default principle….”

    that was the interpretation of john c calhoun, the senator from south carolina who gave the theory to the south that they had the right to secede from the union . that theory is yet used to take rights away from the people . the rights of the states could also be called “a set of carve-outs” .

  • That non questioning, blind faith is what was a “deep traditional faith”. Once a person started to actually THINK and to ask questions they were considered outsiders, apostates, renegades, scoundrels, scum, non-Christian. Christianity has really been about OBEDIENCE, not about inner transformation!

  • I found the reaction to my statement about Reagan to be funny. When he was around, no one, including most conservatives, thought that this man was capable of any kind of deep thought. Now. all of a sudden, these two commenters are up in arms because of what I wrote. Maybe they do not remember the Reagan presidency.

  • I grew up in a household where thinking and talking about matters of faith was encouraged. I graduated from high school the year that Vatican 2 ended. My young adult life, things were very different. In college (and it was not a Catholic school), I was engaged with priests and nuns who were very much into the spirit of V2, which included questioning and spiritual growth; a number of them were engaged in community activism. As a young mother, I was fortunate to be in a parish where the parish priest encouraged adult education and thinking and questioning. .
    I realize that V2 backsliding began with Paul 6, and then went into full gear with Paul John 2 and B16.

    More recently, I came to know a number of Episcopalians and ELCA members who do care much about spiritual growth and encourage questioning.
    In addition, Richard Rohr has been writing recently about early Christianity east of Rome, where spiritual growth was the focus. Western Christianity moved away from that, it’s true.

    So, I have to say that I don’t really agree with your last sentence. I think that it’s true about a certain type of Christianity, but not of Christianity in general.

  • “…never educated about what a federal republic is.”

    or perhaps you .

    there was no manual of what the constitution meant or what our democratic republic is . the official records of the debates of the convention were destroyed by the official secretary, william jackson . the only records he preserved for us were the records of the actual votes .

    james madison, who kept the most complete record of the proceedings of the constitutional convention, kept that record private until after his death . it was first published in 1840, over 50 years later .

    your assured statements of what the constitution means only tells us what you think it should mean .

    however, the only way we know what the constitution does mean is by the way the congress, the president and the supreme court have interpreted it over the 2 hundred and 29 years since .

    all the rest is simple opinion whether yours or mine .

  • “Federal law must be grounded in an enumerated power in order to be legitimate.”

    you discount the last sentence of secion 8 of article : “To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”

    what you discount does not make federal law illegitimate .

  • years ago people mocked nixon with “would you buy a used car from this man ? ”

    when nixon politically crashed and burned the g.o.p. saw they had a big problem so many went out and found someone who could sell you a clunker and you would buy thinking that such a nice guy would never do anything bad . he still has an incredibly positive, and totally undeserved, reputation .

    trump is only the latest and worst incarnation of reagan .

  • rote repetition, HpO, may be where we all start in school . but if that is all we have later then we do not have much understanding, and certainly not deep knowledge, of any subject .

    social issues are integral to the gospel . it demeans no one to note that . those who deny it suggest they have not read the gospels well .

    or maybe as jefferson cut out all the supernatural parts for his new testament, those who deny social concerns in the jesus’ teaching have just removed them from their bibles .

    for someone to say that is not to demean, it is simply to point out a reality .

  • Please go to your library, or visit Yale University’s Avalon Project online, and study the Federalist Papers. It is an extensive explanation by the primary framers themselves of what the Constitution was intended to accomplish, written in order to convince the various states to ratify it, and is regularly referenced by the SCOTUS in its opinions.

  • That was not the prevailing view for our first hundred years.

    It is not “necessary” for the government to exercise police power over the flow of immigants in order to establish a rule of naturalization, and they proved that by NOT doing so for a century.

  • No, that was the view of James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton who were the major players in the framing of our federal republic and our constitution.

    And no, the powers of the states could most certainly NOT be called a series of carve-outs. The federal government’s powers are powers originally possessed by the people of the various states and specifically delegated out to the feds.

    Get educated already.

  • Weasel-wording? Like trying to draw a distinction between a “position” and a “strategy” because someone demonstrated you didn’t know what you were talking about?

    I think not. But thanks for demonstrating that you don’t know the difference between the constitution and federal law.

  • It is not possible to divine the thoughts and motives of other human beings, as you regularly purport to do with everyone here who disagrees with you. You are thereby treating them, and me, as less than human.

    Funny, you are a bigot.

  • LOL! Whatever excuses help you sleep at night.

    It doesn’t take a psychic to read your long posting history or get to know your positions on various subjects. You tell us in your roundabout, goalpost shifting, indirect (but plainly obvious) style.

    “as you regularly purport to do with everyone here who disagrees with you”

    You meant to say people who disagree with me on the notions that discrimination, ostracism, and harm to entire classes of people under color of law are repugnant actions. Those people are by definition, bigots. People who are so prejudiced and hateful they seek not only to harm others with impunity, but seek legal privilege to do so.

    “treating them, and me, as less than human.”

    If you feel insulted because I frequently call out hateful, prejudiced and dishonest views, tough luck. It is treating you far better, and more as a human being, than you expect to treat others.

  • Yes I got it already. You really were out of your depth on that particular subject and are trying to work your way back to some face saving gesture. Typical Shawnie.

  • don’t disagree with a word of that. Little known fact? The person who persuaded him that Philadelphia Mississippi would be a good idea? Paul Manafort. These racists have been circulating for a long, long time. Evangelicals don’t care about that part, as long as it gets them the power they crave.

  • That is a fair criticism. Christians are no more a monolithic group then us Atheists! I should have said Evangelical Christianity has been about OBEDIENCE!

  • I have tried to be nice, but you are an ill-advised individual and not worth talking to any more because you cannot see the facts. Americans put him in office not that idiotic Hillary.

  • No you didn’t. You have been and continue to be a nasty lying troll whose sole response has been name calling and character attacks.

    Get back to me when:
    1. Mexico pays for that wall
    2. Kim Jong Un dismantles the Youngbyon Nuclear Reactor
    3. We have a tax plan which does not give away $1.5T to the idle rich at our expense
    4. Trump hires staff members who aren’t kleptocrats or incompetents failing upward
    5. Trump can bring himself to timely and unambiguously disavow and denounce neo-nazis

    About half the Americans who put him in office (but none of the Russians who did as well) apparently regret doing so. Hence his popularity has been hovering in the 30’s for months.

    Trumpies tend to suffer from anterograde amnesia, rendering them incapable of forming new memories since November 2016. Hillary has been gone for 2 years. None of which changes that Trump is still a garbage person and an incompetent president. Nor that his supporters tend to run the gamut of frothing at the mouth bigots to habitual liars.

  • As requested, more on the Great Kibosh:

    AND THEINFAMOUS ANGELIC/SATANIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

    “Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the
    first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being
    created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tin-kerbell” got around) and of course the
    jinn.

    Continued below:

    J

  • Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern
    day demon of the demented. (As do the Obamas, Bidens, Ryans and “Trumpers”)

    TheAbraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to
    do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty
    wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same
    to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals.
    Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders
    and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

  • 🙂
    Evangelical, some strains of Catholicism and of Orthodox Christianity — those are the ones that I know about, anyway……..

    You know, it’s interesting that people often tend to view groups to which they don’t belong as being monolithic. It’s rarely the case.

  • As requested, more on the Great Kibosh:

    The Apostles’ Creed 2018: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

  • Relax, I don’t feel insulted at all. I would be far more insulted if someone of your caliber were telling me how great I am, and unlike some I do not lose any sleep over the thought of some rank stranger calling me a “bigot,” knowing how very little it has come to mean. Little enough, in fact, to cause a majority of states in 2016 to turn their backs on the party that made it a mantra and has learned exactly nothing from its mistake.

    “You meant to say…” Exhibit A, for those with the brain capacity for irony.

  • As soon as the subject of the constitution enters any thread that involves you, you are automatically out of your depth, Tater Tot.

    You’ve been typing during office hours — there’s coffee to be made.

  • You are a hard-headed Democrat, who will NEVER believe anything anyone says if it is the truth, you would rather believe a lie.

  • You probably also spat laughing at the thought of a FIRST Trump administration.

    There are several montages on YouTube of smug, silly people doing the same thing.

  • “Federal law” (first and foremost), “independent judiciary,” “legislature,” “executive,” “SCOTUS power,” “civil liberties,” “unfree government…”

    And the list goes on with his every post.

  • That’s what happens when you cut and paste from AFL-CIO, Democratic Party, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State websites without a clue as to what any of it actually means.

  • You have been and continue to be a nasty lying troll whose sole response has been name calling and character attacks.

  • You really were out of your depth on that particular subject and are trying to work your way back to some face saving gesture. Typical Spuddie.

  • It doesn’t take a psychic to read your long posting history or get to know your positions on various subjects. You tell us in your roundabout, goalpost shifting, name-calling style.

  • You could put everything you know about Christianity that’s accurate into a paragraph.

    All the Abrahamic religions are about living according to God’s will, which is the purpose of mankind.

  • The phrase “the spirit of V2″ is code.

    The true spirit of Vatican II is contained in the documents it issued.

    What you describe as “V2 backsliding” that “began with Paul 6, and then went into full gear with Paul John 2 and B16″ actually describes the Pontiffs trying to implement the documents of Vatican II while “the spirit of V2″ types tried to become Anglicans but still call themselves “Catholic”.

    They even founded what used to be a newspaper to promote it: The National Catholic Reporter.

    It was so Catholic it got booted out of its space in its home diocese’s offices.

    Catholics recognize their church as Mother and Teacher.

    “Catholics” of “the spirit of V2″ only recognize what they personally believe.

  • Having to work so hard “saving his face” after saying dumb stuff is probably a big part of what makes Tater so unpleasant and vulgar, I think.

  • I am a rather straightforward person who has little patience for liars, ignoramuses and shills.

    I see you are still waiting for Mexico to pay for that wall or North Korea to dismantle all of its nukes.

    Have fun with that.

  • I have yet to see you make a coherent and factually correct or historically accurate take on the subject. (or most subjects)

    Whatevs. 🙂

  • i have lived with the federalist papers on my night stand for years now . i know it and love it .

    perhaps you need to refresh your memory of it .

    every state of the old confederation gave up much of its sovereignty to join the union . every state formed later under the guidance and authority of the federal union entered the union as a state with less sovereignty that it would have if it had tried to go it alone .

    no state has any right superior to the federal government . all states have a limited sovereignty to act on local issues until they interfere with the nation as a whole, or interfere with the rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution .

    and it was john c calhoun who attempted to define and promote states rights that had it that states had areas of competency that cancelled out the needs of the union . not even andrew jackson bought that manure, and said so in a brilliant presidential proclamation (also on the avalon project) .

  • Big whoop. You would not recognize a coherent and factually correct or historically accurate take on ANY subject. You don’t read, and when you do you don’t comprehend.

    Which is why I normally decline to address you unless you insist upon it. There is little sport in taking advantage of you.

  • Sorry but I do not buy your claim in the slightest. It is not possible to be familiar with the Federalist Papers without understanding what enumerated powers are.

    Go try to sell that baloney to Tater, who has never read the constitution in his life.

  • the national catholic reporter is still a newspaper, printed on newsprint . the paper was formed by the help if the kansas city diocese . eventually the bishop did ask it to leave its offices there . you bring this up from time to time as if there were something important to note there .

    we agree that the true spirit of vatican ii is contained in its documents . where we disagree, beyond your snide comment about catholics wanting to become anglicans, is on whether the immediate popes wanted to fully implement the documents of the council . if they would have the vatican would have lost a great deal of control . perhaps they would have lost the ability to keep things secret . a very important need of the vatican as we have found out .

  • is it surprising that a nation of 4 million citizens, 100 million citizens and 320 million citizens would act differently even with the same constitutional principles governing it ?

  • no . that was before millions got to see this disaster in action . coming in 2020 is the vote of folks who, in 2016, wanted anyone but hillary in the worst way . and that is exactly what they got .

  • So, you are all good with a conservative-led federal government cracking down on illegal immigration via border walls and stepped-up deportation, regardless of what may be the preferred policy of the states, yes?

  • and then the first congress voted, in one of its very first expenditures, to fund and build a light house in the carolinas . there is no clear way to get to that from any enumerated power in article one . to most believers in the myth of an originalist interpretation of the constitution that power does not exist . yet the many signers of the constitution in that congress who passed it, and washington who signed it, found no problem with a broad interpretation of the federal mandate .

    no one has ever said anything to effect that there are no limits . that only suggests that you don’t well know the arguments on both sides .

  • is it possible to do legally ? yes . obama deported more that any president before .

    is it a good policy ? totally different question with different answers . and a wall is a stupid waste of money and resources .

  • The building of lighthouses, meant to guide ships into coastal ports of course, is directly tied to the Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government power over (gasp!) international trade.

    I don’t think you’re up to this. Get a good night’s sleep. 💤

  • the commerce clause reads “to regulate commerce” nothing more .

    so i am glad to see that you have an inkling that a broader interpretation of the constitution is necessary . a baby step but a good one .

  • In that case I do advise you to write to the ACLU and complain about their stupid waste of money and resources filing lawsuits to stop what the feds supposedly have the legal right to do based on half-baked arguments like the “poisonous atmosphere created by the Trump administration “ and such nonsense.

  • Regulating commerce quite naturally encompasses the provision of infrastructure without which commerce would be all but impossible.

    But your point, even if it were valid, would in no way negates the principle of specifically enumerated powers.

    Good night.

  • the question is whether or not you understand enumerated powers . you seem to think that they are cut and dried points that only relate to narrow slivers of american life, economy and governance .

    they then and now were a tool for americans to use “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity….”

  • a little different subject . trump was stupid enough to signal in his campaign a ethnic focus on his immigration restrictions . of course he was sued .

  • no dictionary, common or legal, will give building structures as part of the definition of “regulating” .

    but again i applaud your beginning to understand that one must understand the constitution as allowing the government to move as the need may dictate, within the enumerated powers, but with a broad interpretation .

  • If you are a rather straightforward person who has little patience for liars, ignoramuses and shills, how do you live with yourself?

  • You are a total stupid, Democrat who refuses to use the brain God gave, making your head just a hat rack. Have a nice life of being stupid.

  • Your assertions are not merely that the enumerated powers are broader than I see them being.

    Your statements that the powers of states “could also be called carve-outs,” and that “no state has any right superior to the federal government,” and that we can not know what the framers of the constitution meant, tell me everything I need to know about your understanding of the nature of federalism and the constitution. They are the antithesis of the framers’ view that the powers delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are few and defined, exercised principally on war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce, while those which are to remain to the states are numerous and indefinite.

    They are also the antithesis of the 9th and 10th Amendments which were the caveats that made the foregoing eight amendments acceptable to the framers who correctly foresaw that many people like you would not understand federalism and would gravitate toward federal tyranny.

    Which is why I have no more interest in discussing it with you than with Tater.

  • There is only one Disciples of Christ denomination in the US and it grew from the union of the formerly separate Stone and Campbell movements in 1832. So yes, it arose from the Kentucky Presbytery, (as did all three of the current streams) but not directly, as the DoC denomination didn’t organize itself until almost 100 years later.

    History of the Disciples
    Early History
    The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) grew out of two movements seeking Christian unity that sprang up almost simultaneously in western Pennsylvania and Kentucky – movements that were backlashes against the rigid denominationalism of the early 1800s.
    https://disciples.org/our-identity/history-of-the-disciples/</blockquote.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Church_%28Disciples_of_Christ%29

    “The name, Disciples of Christ, is shared by three other groups, The Churches of Christ, the Independent Christian churches and churches of Christ, and the Christian Congregation.”

    The liberal denomination you’re referencing

    https://disciples.org/

    like other über liberal denominations has experienced a collapse in membership

    https://juicyecumenism.com/2017/08/31/disciples-of-christ/

    In 2008 there were 679,563 members in 3,714 congregations in North America, but by 2015 membership declined to 497,423 in 3,267 congregations, of whom roughly 177,141 people attended Sunday services each week.

  • just some very loud voices make it seem that way–not the least because those voices try to make people think that only those voices speak the truth .

  • You are flinging poo rather than supporting your argument. Which is expected given your flat out lying in support of your position and constant strawman and ad hominem responses. I may support liberal causes, but that doesn’t change the truth of what I stated. Your need to lie says little about the quality of character of conservatives.

  • Sadly, you are mistaken, neither of the other two streams use the name Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for their congregations.

    The DoC’s decline isn’t relevant to this thread.

  • The source I quoted says otherwise.

    You notice that the Christian Church has not incorporated “Disciples of Christ” into their legal name or description.

    The reason why is that when the Christian Church formed out of the Disciples of Christ movement, the congregations loosely related in the Fellowship of Christian Churches and Churches of Christ refused to enter such a “Christian Church”.

    They earlier had refused to follow the Churches of Christ in rejecting musical instruments in worship and missionary organizations as a matter of biblical principle.

    They later repudiated the openness of the Christian Church toward biblical criticism, theological liberalism, ecumenical involvement through “official” channels, and development of denominational institutions.

    Britannica’s article walks through some of the history:

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Disciples-of-Christ

    The shrinking of the denomination that adopted biblical criticism, theological liberalism, ecumenical involvement through “official” channels, and development of denominational institutions was mentioned since you noted it was liberal.

    The same pattern seems to follow that particular choice of options.

  • No matter what anyone says to you if he or she is a Republican, you will not believe because you are a hardheaded Democrat, who has NO KNOWLEDGE of how to use his own brain as you are brain-washed. There is NO help for you

  • Still with the ad hominem. I can’t help it if you have to lie so obviously in support of a garbage president. One who apparently is despised by most his own staff.

    So when did Kim Jong Un start dismantling the reactor at Yougbyon?

    How about that check from Mexico for the wall?

    Tell me more about the 500+ children still staying at ICE’s “luxury summer camp” with cages, barbed wire and sexual abuse.

    I can go on from there before even starting to get through trade wars with Canada and Ivanka Trump’s 2017 Chinese copyrights.

    Say goodnight George.

  • To Whom It May Concern Whose English is 2nd Language:

    According to Cambridge University Dictionary, “demeaning [is an] adjective [meaning] causing someone to become or feel less respected”.

    Likewise, according to Oxford University Dictionary, “demeaning [is an] adjective [meaning] causing someone to lose their dignity and the respect of others.”

  • “3 days ago”, post-trolling, Alexandra admitted after all, “I found [HpO’s] reaction to my statement about Reagan [‘Who named you after Alexandria, Virginia, that city on the Potomac River, just south of Washington, DC?’] to be funny.”

    Say again, “funny”. Not “demean[ing]”.

    “5 days ago”, however, Alexandra trolled, “You don’t know me, and you certainly did not know my parents. So why would you try to demean them like that?”

    Alexandra, Alexandra. Now you know why I poked you with a “Who named you after Alexandria, Virginia, that city on the Potomac River, just south of Washington, DC?” catalyst for this, your self-revelation.

  • “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization … throughout the United States” is the way the u.s. constitution reads . there was no need to have central organization of immigration in the early days of the country . now local governments simply don’t have the tools or resources to watch the borders .

  • You notice that the Christian Church has not incorporated “Disciples of Christ” into their legal name or description.

    That isn’t what I see in the Design for their denomination;
    5. The name of this body shall be the CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST).
    https://disciples.org/our-identity/the-design/

    I’m speaking from a long bit of research for a paper in seminary. I have relatives in Mexico who are members of the Churches of Christ, even a cousin who is a CoC minister, so the Strong/Campbell Restoration Movement was of interest to me when we were assigned a paper in US Church History.

  • I lived in DC during the Reagan years…saw him at church several times where he sat admist the congregation (until the assassination attempt) and from what I understood the Secret Service would not let him return until a separate place was installed in the church so neither he or the congregation would be put in harm’s way.

    He was a very friendly person. I remember a time when I was going through a tough time, and I asked the Lord to have someone give me a smile that day. Well. later that day, I was walking down Connecticut Ave. and was alone on the block when the police started blocking the side streets. I knew that, no doubt, the Presidential motorcade would be passing by. As it passed by, President Reagan flashed me a big smile and waved as if we were best friends. I will always remember that answered prayer…the how it took the President to do it that day. Of course, Pres. Reagan had no idea, but God did and that simple gesture is something I’ve never forgotten. He could had just looked straight ahead, but instead he made the effort to connect with a stranger…never knowing the profound impact it had on my life.

  • WaveDave, I used to work in DC while Regan was president. Once I actually saw him do exactly the same thing as his motorcade drove by. He was waving, smiling, and making eye contact with the passers-by.

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