Roy Moore Can't Seem To Grasp The First Amendment

Roy Moore Can't Seem To Grasp The First Amendment

Roy Moore's misinterpretation of the First Amendment is a grim reflection of Alabama's failing education system.
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December 12th, 2017 will be a pivotal day for the political landscape as Alabama votes in their special Senate election. In February of 2017, the nation winced as former Alabama senator Jeff Sessions became The United States Attorney General. In his absence, Sessions left behind Luther Strange to hold office until the election.

Strange thought that he had the Republican nomination sealed when he received an endorsement from Donald — along with the adorable nickname “Big Luther” — however, he was defeated in the primaries by Roy Moore. On the other side of the stratosphere, Democratic candidate Doug Jones is gaining traction and was even tied with Moore in one poll. On December 12th, Alabama will choose between Moore and Jones, and only a psychic octopus could predict the outcome. In the wake of this important election, I feel that it is necessary to stress that there has always been a separation of church and state in the United States of America.

If you have ever opened a history book or went to school, you have probably learned about the United States Constitution. It’s a handy dandy paper which sets guidelines that seem pretty reasonable, so we’ve been trying to follow them for a while now. In the Constitution, the founding fathers felt that it was important to establish that the United States does not have an official religion, so they put that tidbit at the top and called it The First Amendment. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free practice thereof.” This amendment is fantastic, I can openly worship Bryan Cranston and no one can stop me. This amendment seems like it would be hard to misinterpret, it blatantly states that the government cannot impede on religious practices, however, Republican candidate Roy Moore believes that the Constitution caters to Christianity.

In an interview with Vox, Roy Moore stated, “To deny God — to deny Christianity or Christian principles — is to deny what the First Amendment was established for. You see, the First Amendment was established on Christian principles.” (Stien, 1) The word ‘Christianity’ isn’t seen anywhere within The First Amendment, Moore’s argument is a perfect example that correlation does not equal causation. With this logic, one could argue that The First Amendment was also established on Buddhist principals because The Buddha encouraged his followers to explore other religions and respect other teachings. However, the Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” so that argument is immediately thrown out the window.

Roy Moore is so adamant about his position, that he’s been removed from positions of power twice: Once for refusing to remove the ten commandments from a courthouse, and the second time for refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He has also been quoted as saying that the ruling to legalize gay marriage was “Worse than the 1857 pro-slavery decision.” Which is a horribly inaccurate statement that downplays slavery and demonizes homosexuality. Moore argues that legalized gay marriage forces Christians to accept homosexuality, and therefore violates The First Amendment. Once again, Moore's entire argument is flawed because the constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

I firmly believe that there is some good in everyone. I do not think that Roy Moore is pure evil, maybe he even means well, but he is horribly uninformed. As I am writing this, I begin to wonder how could someone be so wrong about their own history? How would one misinterpret an amendment that clearly states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” And then it hit me.

As of 2017, 75 public schools across Alabama have been placed on the “Failing Schools” list, and that number has been steadily rising. According to a study by Wallethub, Alabama’s public schools rank 8th worst in the nation, and a steady decrease in teachers leaves our student to teacher ratio at 18 to 1. To top it all off, Alabama is the 6th poorest state in the country, and Donald wants to reduce education spending to 13.5 percent. AHHH. As a former student of the Tuscaloosa City School System, I have seen firsthand how schools in Alabama are underfunded. The schools cannot afford to buy new books, so the teachers either teach without them or make do with missing pages and dated information. Classrooms are becoming overcrowded which gives teachers less control over the classroom. In my sex ed class, I was taught that condoms are ineffective, and abstinence is the only preventative measure. At one point there was talk of removing art programs.

With all of this in mind, it’s not hard to believe that someone like Roy Moore, who also went through the Alabama public education system, would develop some strange notion that The First Amendment completely contradicts its own message. Maybe his misconstrued logic is the result of a flawed education system. Roy Moore isn’t out to infringe on the rights of others out of his own evil intent, he’s just been failed by his education.

In the polls, Roy Moore, who has been supported by the KKK, is still ahead of Doug Jones, who has prosecuted the KKK. So that is why this December, I urge every Alabamian to vote and to make a responsible decision. Regardless of party affiliation, just look at the two candidates, see what each one has to say. Remember that Roy Moore said that 9/11 was a punishment from God and that shootings are on the rise because we aren’t praying enough.

Remember that the founding fathers didn’t want religion anywhere near government. Remember the children in the system who do not want to fall into a downward spiral of adults not caring about education. Think about the children, please.

Cover Image Credit: CNN Video

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
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Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school. I’ll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted. Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I’m 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?” A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?”, I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week.” I let it roll off of my back, I’ve spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back”… but I think it’s time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister. She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn’t have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her. I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn’t though. I didn’t let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization. Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn’t directed to what we, in today’s society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one’s self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 ‘You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so. This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God’s creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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Sorry, SJWs, But 'It's My Truth' Is Not A Real Argument And Not Always The Real Truth

Just because you believe it doesn't mean everyone else does.

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Last week, Steven Crowder, a conservative commentator with the podcast show Louder With Crowder, posted a new video to his viral web series Change My Mind. The topic of this video was "There Are Only 2 Genders: Change My Mind." Regardless of your belief on whether or not there are two genders or not, I wanted to call attention to a word phrase that was numerously said throughout the course of the dialogue in the video between Steven and the brave volunteers who disagreed with him.

Watch, and see if you can find the phrase I am talking about. Steven Crowder even points it out himself.

The phrase I'm referring to, incase you didn't catch it in the first 15 minutes is "My truth."

The first guest to sit down was Danielle Skidmore, a Transgender Woman running for Austin City Council this year. Consistently throughout her argument for the existence of more than two genders she keeps telling him that "her truth" tells her that there is more than two.

"My truth" is not a legitimate argument. Just because it is how you view yourself, the world around you, and what makes sense to you does not make it true for everyone else. That is called your experience. The better phrasing would be "in my experience, I have come to believe," not, "I'm living my truth. This is why I believe it and why you should too."

Steven Crowder points out that he wants "the truth" numerous times to combat her "truth." Danielle Skidmore tells him that the truth is her truth. This is not how problems get solved or how we advance society. If we all believe "our truth" and refuse to look at "the truth" with facts and statistics that back it up then nothing will get accomplished. Anything that does will not be concrete laws or rulings because everyone will have their own way of interpreting it.

It is time we start as a country to base our laws on facts.

There is so much calling for miscellaneous laws that we already have one for, the right to, or the need for a law has no foundation to it. If we actually began looking at the laws we have and the background of them, we would find that most, if not all, cover a lot of what Equal Rights Activists fight for.

The idea of "my truth" is tainting society's way of thought, and how we comprehend the world around us.

People's truth does not always contain all the facts because of their bias and their unwillingness to see the other side. I fall to this too sometimes, and I have moments where I say something should not be a way because I just think that. This is wrong, and it should not be how our country is run.

Laws and policies need to be thought out with all the facts, and with the complete truth. "My truth" is not going to get us anywhere because not everyone has the same experiences and thoughts as that one singular person. The truth is the only way America can be promised just and rightful laws and protections.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtftZPL-k7Y&list=PL3e1orPYt_4ZHGjuivZFsyJ81RL7j7_E1

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