I couldn’t agree with you more – we should honor the Constitution every single day.
Unfortunately, the past two weekends I found myself surrounded by people who don’t seem to value the Constitution as much as I do. It was quite an unpleasant experience – but I suppose what goes around comes around.
You see, last year, I had to miss the big Religious Right conclave in Washington held each September because I was attending my son’s wedding. In penance, I found myself at two Religious Right gatherings this year. One weekend it was Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Conference; the next, the Family Research Council/ Heritage Foundation/American Family Association Values Voters Summit.
These two weekends were a lot like many of the events I had visited going back nearly 20 years to gatherings of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. For example, people still wanted to take pictures with me, to prove to the folks back home that even though their trip to Washington didn’t lead to a photo op with Barack Obama, they did get a snapshot or video with one of Satan’s imps. After one such session, a woman brought her 12-year-old son over and said: “now if you ever see Mr. Lynn on television, don’t believe a word he says.” I immediately told the youth: “listen to your mother.” The subtlety of that response (that is, don’t believe me when I say you should listen to your mother) may have been lost on mom.
What really bothers me about these events dripping with claims to
recapture America, defend the Constitution, and stop over regulation of
American life, is the bizarre spin they give on what “values” they are
trying to recapture. They talk about “freedom” and “liberty” and the
“Constitution” but are devoid of any reference to things that most of
us care about. That was clear from what former Speaker of the House
Newt Gingrich had to say, which I discussed on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” Friday, Sept. 10.
was also clear in a speech given by Delaware Senatorial candidate
Christine O’Donnell, who warned of over regulation of toilets
(restrictions on water use) and light bulbs (presumably, municipalities
that insist on purchases of “green” light sources). Several speakers ominously prophesied of military hospitals soon
being required to pay for sex change operations. I discussed all this on another episode of “The Ed Show,” on Fri., Sept. 17.
of these events featured strong efforts to link the demands of the old
Religious Right (prayer in the schools, school vouchers, anti-LGBT
policies) with the economic principles of the Tea Party crowd. These
movements are not synonymous, but there is enough overlap to be
concerned that their goal of seizing power across the political
spectrum might be achieved, which I discussed
with NPR, also on Fri., Sept. 17. There are pure “libertarian” strains
in the “tea parties” that certainly hate what they call “big
government” but are also appalled at the prospect that “big religion”
will try to regulate them from birth to death. The message from the
past two weekends is: take control and we’ll sort out our differences
later. Whether this marriage of convenience between these two
ideological strains is long lasting or short-lived remains to be seen.
it is dispiriting to many of us to see the Constitution which has
served us so magnificently for over 200 years reduced to a buffer to
protect against the excessive regulation of light fixtures. If that’s how these people want to “honor” our Constitution, so be it. But it is hard
to believe that the founders of this nation, a nation truly established
by the blood of heroes, could look at such an interpretation without
blanching at how fraudulent the new definitions of “liberty” and