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.

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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10 Things Only Chem Majors Will Understand

Chemistry is Flourine Uranium Nitrogen!

Chemistry is a subject that is thoroughly challenging, but altogether satisfying and fun! Fun labs come with tiresome lab reports and interesting lectures come with frustrating tests. Whether you're in PChem or Orgo or Gen Chem 1, if you don't mind things that have a pH of 14, you've come to the right place.

1. When anyone asks you to smell something, you automatically start wafting.

Even when you're just cooking alone or trying on perfumes.

2. Who needs a social life when you could be studying chemistry instead?

But seriously, has anyone accomplished this?

3. Hate pickup lines, but these always work...

Chemistry Cat will always reign supreme.

4. We all secretly hope to find someone in chem class, so you can have ~chemistry~ together.

I used to make good chemistry jokes, but all the good ones Argon.

5. The frustration when you have to change your whole outfit so it goes with your closed-toed shoes.

Even worse when you can't get in your lab because you forgot to wear close-toed shoes that day.

6. That feeling when you take your safety goggles off.

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7. True hunger always seems to be experienced during lab.

It never seems to hit any other time of day...

8. The word "organic" doesn't mean what it does to other people.

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The Parkland Shooting Changed Me Forever, I Hope The Same Can Be Said About Our Country

Those who died on Valentine's Day should have had their flowers in a vase, not on their headstone.

Anger. Frustration. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Darkness. Confusion. Faith.

Those are the emotions that I have associated with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that took place on Wednesday, February 14.

I've felt complete anger for the situation itself and how the government has handled it. For me, it almost seems unfathomable that another shooting that resulted so catastrophically could occur after the attack that took place at Sandy Hook. I really thought something would change when innocent 5-year-olds died, but nothing did. Nothing has. And I fear nothing will.

The frustration that boils inside of me keeps me up at night as I contemplate the selfishness of those who believe their right to bear arms outweighs student rights to attend school in the absence of fear regarding death. It's not even so much just schools – everywhere I go I immediately scan the perimeters for an escape route or method of protection. Will I run to the door 10 feet from my left? Will I flip the table I am currently typing on to use as a shield? Or do I run to the bathroom that's 15 feet to my right and lock myself in, hiding in a stall. Every time I go to a movie theater I always check my exits and methods of running for my life.

The fact that I've considered wiping someone's blood who was shot next to me and putting it on myself to play dead more than 100 times hurts me to my core. I can't walk into a place without immediately considering my best chances of survival if someone was to come in with a gun.

I wake up in the middle of the night from complete heartbreak knowing that students younger than me have lost their lives because of a senseless act and that my school could be next. My heart shatters for the families of victims who lost their lives by gun violence. They were never able to say goodbye one last tight. They couldn't hug them tight, telling that person how fiercely they loved them. They couldn't comfort them in their last moments as they laid on the cold tile of their school classroom and took their last breaths. I cry at the thought of it happening to my brother in his classroom, or it happening to my mom while she's at the grocery store, or it happening to my dad as he sits at his work cubicle tending to his job. I feel my heart completely ache because there's never a chance of knowing when or if it could happen to you.

The sorrow that immerses me knowing that there's nothing I can do to make the situation better chills my bones. No amount of money raised will bring the life of someone lost back. No amount of prayers will ever replace the feeling of agony for a family who lost their son or daughter at the hands of a shooter. No amount of apologies will ever fill the void a family will feel knowing they can't tell the person they miss how much they love them one last time.

These students should have gone to school on Valentine's Day feeling loved by everyone around them; feeling excitement for the date they may go on that night with the guy or girl they have been crushing on; feeling thankful for the flowers and chocolates their parents bought them to show them that even if they don't have a significant other, they are still adored. But instead, they felt fear by people around them as bullets flew; they felt terror as to whether they would ever make it out of their school halls one more time; they felt relief and agony simultaneously as they made it out of the building while some of their classmates didn't. Those chocolates will remain uneaten. Those flowers will now be placed at their grave. And those cards will never be read.

Darkness has cast its shadow on my life in a way I could never have expected. I realized the situation of gun control was bad, but this shooting has shook me to my core. For several days, I couldn't see the light in this world – I couldn't understand how people were still going on with their weeks as if nothing happened. Although the dark has faded, it will continue to exist.

I have felt complete confusion as to how people can see the justification in owning assault rifles even though attack after attack has taken place. I can't understand how the government sees their people dying and won't do anything about it because an amendment made in 1791 allows Americans to carry guns. I don't understand how they turn their cheek away from the parents begging for change after they bury their child towards the NRA for yet another check to clear in their account. I can't understand and I never will understand.

But one thing that I can take away from all this is that I've seen the faith humanity can carry and give one another. Not even in the sense of religion, but faith in one another. I've seen hundreds of people within a community come together holding candles and singing songs to show both support and sorrow. I've seen young voices step up to the podium calling out the government and its greed while begging for change. And personally, I've seen how a terrible event can bring people together in the sense of donation for a family in need.

This is one of those events that I will carry with me in my heart for the rest of my life. It has become a pivotal moment not only for me, but I believe for this country. It's no longer adults carrying the conversations – it's students who were in that school now demanding change. It's young adults who understand what that feeling is like and what needs to be done to secure safety in this country. And it's the adults who stand on the side of change and who want to protect their people at all costs.

As a final note, I'd like to leave part of the speech Emma Gonzalez, a senior who attended the Parkland high school, spoke at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale:

"They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we're too young to understand how the government works. We call BS."
Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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