-- As Does Any Response!
There's not much to add to your well reasoned (and hopefully unnecessary) response to a bill that will be patently obvious to a more than sufficient number of people how utterly harebrained it is. You are correct in observing the convoluted logic in this bill. Most of the statements in the bill are not even true. For instance, in paragraph (2) -- while it is true that it is self-evident that all men are created, it is not true that that is what the Declaration of Independence "declares." What it "declares" is -- all men are created equal. The bill misplaces the emphasis once again in the next line when it states, "The Declaration of Independence also declares that our rights are endowed by the Creator, and that governments are instituted among men to secure these God-given rights." One could paraphrase that portion of the Declaration this way: It is self-evident that men are born equal -- and that merely because they were born and do exist, they have the right to live, to go where they want to, and to try and be happy. That if others try to use force to take away those rights, an individual has the right to use force to protect them and has also the right to band together with other individuals to protect those rights. One doesn't have to know much about Deism to realize that the Declaration of Independence says little or nothing about the "Creator." One merely has to know a little bit about the English language. The term "creator" could mean, "the process that resulted in creating."
That is, of course, what any student of history knows that Jefferson did mean by using those words. However, even if it is no more than he might have meant that or that he also might have meant the Jesus Christ that Hochstatter avers -- it still fails as proof. The language of the Declaration does not go far enough to support Hochstatter's contention. And then so what if it did? So what if Jefferson did say the man gets his rights from Jesus Christ? He didn't and they don't -- but so what if he did? Still, how would it follow that the Theory of Evolution is "repugnant" to the Declaration? Or in error? About the only thing I could see as being repugnant to the Declaration of Independence would be a declaration of allegiance to King George III. Even monarchy is not necessarily repugnant to the Declaration -- merely any government that would be destructive of the above mentioned rights. And how would Jefferson saying that Jesus Christ gave me my "unalienable rights" make it a legal requirement for ME to believe that. The only legal thing the Declaration does is suspend the authority of the British Parliament and King George III over the American Colonies. As you point out, Hochstatter seems to confuse the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution somehow together. Except that he conveniently forgets about how Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. This portion of the Bill of Rights is the complete answer to everything Hochstatter says the Declaration of Independence says -- which it doesn't anyway.
I thought that the Creationist thing had been thoroughly and utterly discredited by now. I guess not to the extent that some whacko Senator can't still try to run one across.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "James Call"
Subject: Re: Laughingstock Creationism Bill -- In Me Own Back Yard!
Date: January 26, 2002 4:55 PM
your well reasoned (and hopefully unnecessary) response
Yes, as I mentioned, this one was just for fun and just for practice. I've intended to lay down how to write letters for stuff like this because I keep getting asked about how to do this. And I'll do this again, although writing letters is something I've always taken for granted. Perhaps I take it for granted because that's what we always did in our family: we wrote letters. At least we always said something when we saw that something was up. So since (I guess) some aren't familiar with this and many other aspects of activism, I intend to spend some time and effort going over the basics of activism and how to get things done and how to make yourself heard. I may not think too much of the group scene, but we are a social class and we can, as a force though not necessarily together, get a lot more done than most of us would even dream. I've seen it happen. Some of it can be done just by doing it and other things just simply happen and gaud does knee van no how!
No way to win friends and influence people, I know, but with friends like that, who needs influence?
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