"You should not be afraid of someone who has a library and reads many books; you should fear someone who has only one book; and he considers it sacred, but he has never read it." Frederich Nietzsche

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Bravo Clearly explains our country’s position on church and state per the founders And cuts the new so called speaker who should know about separation of church and state down to size on his backhanded bill

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Nothing new, I fear.

The Trump Whitehouse was packed with radical evangelical Christian nationalists - Pence, Pompeo, Perry, Sessions, DeVos ..... and the rest.

No wonder they think he was sent by the Lord

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Nov 2, 2023·edited Nov 2, 2023

Thank you, as always Heather. You are right on point tonight.

The "Originalists" of SCOTUS are obviously expressing there opinions as cut from whole cloth. The power to amend our constitution is as original as could be and is proof positive that the founders were aware that unknown future entities, conditions or objects could become necessarary to account for in the legal system, statute and application and understanding of the first ten ammendmends. The AR-15 is such an unknown and the belief expressed by Mike Johnson is expressly and originally unfounded and not allowed. I read the Federalist Papers some sixty- five years ago in a civics class and am a bit rusty, but the quote of Madison makes me wonder about the Federalist Society. Have they ever read the Federalist Papers?

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Nov 2, 2023·edited Nov 2, 2023

Junk Fish Johnson, MAGA head of the House, is burnishing his Trumpist credentials. Seeking to reduce IRS funding by $14 billion is as loony a ‘debt reduction’ initiative as was Trump’s ‘trickle down’ tax giveaway to the wealthy in 2017.

As for his Bible-thumping interpretation of the First Amendment, he is as screwed up as is Trump’s trampling of the Constitution.

In fact, at the time of the Constitutional Convention, various states either supported a specific religion and/or penalized a religion. I believe that Catholics in Delaware were discriminated against. Massachusetts continued to support a specific religion into the 19th century.

The Stench Court is steadily encroaching on the First Amendment’s clear separation of church and state, while Trump’s ‘Christianity’ is a mockery of Jesus’s New Testament message.

Johnson is a fitting leader of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

Sadly, his carnival freak show Is impeding such imperative needs as keeping the government open after mid-November, funding Ukraine (and Israel), and other matters associated with responsible governance.

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As far as MAGA Mike and the theocrat scum are concerned, Fundamentalism isn't a religion, it's a curse on mankind.

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“Only in Washington when you cut spending do they call it an increase in the deficit,” For an intelligent, successful man(M. Johnson) to pump this kind of non-sense, shows that he's pandering to and taking advantage of - a particular audience. The non-partisan CBO lays it out as plain as day that defunding the IRS is a bad idea. So this shows me that powerful rich people are at work influencing Congress to let them keep more than their share of income and put the tax burden on the working class. I remember when trump did that tax cut and the average Joe got a few hundred dollars while the rich got thousands, millions, and billions. This drove up the deficit and cut services to the public. 'But we ain't care. we could now afford to buy a whole carton of cigarettes and case of beer !'

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The Constitutional Convention was not a synod. The Federalist Papers did not originate from various church councils and other religious hierarchies. The Southern Baptist Convention didn't exist at the time, thankfully. Most of all, to my mind, what the framers intended over all of it, was that freedom of religion also brought freedom from religion, the latter being more important.

People like Mike Johnson use their religion. their god, to justify imposing their will on their fellow citizens, while shirking personal responsibility. People have used religion to that end for millennia. I believe that is exactly what the framers sought to avoid.

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I believe there is no greater danger from within the US government than Speaker (and Christifascist) Mike Johnson. I pray that the investigations that have already uncovered that he has never reported having a checking or savings account in his financial disclosure forms... that he “adopted without adopting” a 14 year old Black boy when he was 25... that he offered legal services to an anti-gay, conversion therapy organization ... continue and expose him for the extreme and possibly even perverted person he is... resulting in a Blue Wave in 2024 that weakens the GOP to a point of near irrelevancy... thereby saving democracy.

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It seems that every few years a new generation must fight this same battle. 😎

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Great recap on the accounting irony. The narrative is very thin. The House isn't hiding the motivations to protect the rich GOP donors. A double standard

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In order to make sure men had the right of conscience, the First Amendment to the Constitution reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

I worry that a strict interpretation of this would allow the Executive and Judicial branches free rein to regulate the way we practice religion... or choose not to.

Especially since authoritarians seem to favor the "unitary executive" and a Supreme Court that seems to distort history, becoming, in effect, an "activist court" beyond any checks or balances.

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How can we avert our eyes from Gaza? The punishment for nothing they have done that Netanyahu is inflicting on the Palestinians is ghastly. He was using Hamas as a way to keep the Palestinian Authority at bay. Antisemitism is on fire. We are witnessing the effects of what the egos of Putin, Netanyahu, Trump and their ilk do to 'civilization'.

'Israeli strikes on Gaza refugee camp offer glimpse of war’s destruction' (WAPO, excerpt)

JERUSALEM — Kamal Masoud was at home with his wife and five children on Tuesday afternoon in the Jabalya refugee camp. They were talking about how to survive a bombardment when the Israeli missiles struck.

“The entire area was wiped out,” Masoud told The Washington Post by phone, hours after a series of Israeli strikes devastated his neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip, flattening several residential buildings and leaving gaping craters in the concrete.'

'More than 110 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in the attack, according to doctors at two nearby hospitals, in what appeared to be the deadliest aerial assault by Israel since the war began. The final toll remained unclear, Palestinian officials said, because victims were still trapped under the rubble.'

'Masoud and his family survived. But 30 of his relatives were killed, he said, among them children as young as 2 months old.'

'Israeli strikes on Jabalya refugee camp kill and injure hundreds in Gaza'

“There is no safe place in the invasion,” he said of Israel’s ground operations, which have steadily expanded since Friday — part of what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the “second phase of the war.”

'The strike on Jabalya offers a glimpse of the destruction wrought across Gaza by Israel’s relentless air war, and the grave dangers facing civilians as Israeli ground forces move deeper into the enclave. At least 8,796 Gazans have been killed since the start of the conflict, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, and 22,219 wounded.'

'By geolocating the edges of the destruction and comparing it with satellite imagery, The Post determined that the scale of the damage spanned roughly 50,000 square feet — nearly the size of a football field — and that the strike toppled or scarred more than a dozen buildings. Debris from the explosion appears to have blackened rooftops in multiple directions.' (WAPO) See gifted link below.


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Put honestly or another way, southern Christian Republican Speaker Mike is a lying racist and fascist that wants to destroy our democracy by directing our government into mess with our religious freedoms and the right to choose what we do with faith, Sunday morning, our belief or denial in the supernatural, and Speaker Mike lies openly without contest from his Republican Party leadership about the impact of his tax policy, the IRS and the budget impact obliging the CBO to declare his blatant disregard for fact and the truth of his position on cutting the IRS budget to appeal to our most wealthy tax cheats.

Speaker Mike is another liar sitting as Speaker. Hastert and Agnew come to mind, both Republicans.

Clearly, Speaker Mike is a lying hypocrite on taxing the rich, the deficit impact of the IRS, inflation and deficits.

In layman’s terms, Speaker Mike is a Trump suck-up, willing to lie about numbers and tax policy, and he calls himself a conservative. What bull shit.

How tragic it is that we Americans again have a crook in the Speaker’s Chair; Republican Speakers Agnew and Hastert were prosecuted - here we go again.

Clearly, Republican Speaker Mike sucks up to Moscow and Putin and wealthy oligarchs. What’s what with Republicans?

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Dr. Richardson, you have presented us with a lesson on the “Freedom of Religion” as it was meant to be. Not as MAGA Mike is using the Speakership to promote his ‘religious beliefs’.

What I fear is that he is much worse than Kevin McCarthy. At least, when it came down to the wire, McCarthy did the right thing. He figured out a way around the MAGA crowd and kept this nation open. Kept the government from shutting down.

I fear that this is the first thing in MAGA Mike’s agenda. He has been told by Trumputin, and the rest of the MAGA republicans to shut the government down. It will be done now. Along with everything else they want to do

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Heather, I have been a free subscriber for a while, and I love your work. I joined to paid today just so I could comment on our new speaker and his perverted and wrong and dangerous views on church and state. I have I suspect, a somewhat unique perspective among your community here. I feel like I know Johnson and his type well. He is not most Christians or even Baptists.

1. I am a Christian.

2. I am a life long Southern Baptist(70 years and counting), often frustrated and embarrassed, but still there(see Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, the Falwells, et al.)

3. I am a life long Texan(also often frustrated and embarrassed, especially in recent years(see Cruz, Abbott, Paxton, et al.).

4. Church and state issues are near and dear to my heart, and are one of the few areas where Baptists have taken the lead historically in championing that separation Johnson rejects. Johnson is so, so wrong in my view.

While I agree with Johnson on some if not most of his THEOLOGICAL views, and try to live my life “based on the Bible,” as he so “modestly” stated, some of his positions even in theology are extreme, even for Southern Baptists(see new earth creationism for one example). There is nothing in the Baptist Faith and Message(Southern Baptists non creedal “creed”) that requires or even addresses that at all. That is a radical, weird, and unnecessary belief shipped in from even more fundamentalist groups like Pentecostals, etc.

I could talk theology and Biblical teachings all day, but I really want to talk about the separation of church and state. Johnson’s position on that are totally wrong, unChristian, unAmerican and especially unBaptist. His views are diametrically opposed to historical—-and in my view absolutely correct—-positions almost all Baptists have taken. Therefore, he is driving me crazy with his actions here. Your discussion of James Madison is so good, but I want to add a footnote. Madison was greatly influenced in his views and in his advocacy for the First Amendment by John Leland, a Baptist pastor in Virginia, and other Baptists. We believe in a free church in a free state. I tell everyone that when the church becomes entangled with the state, the church will be corrupted every time! See the USA over the last 8 years in particular to prove my thesis. Christian Nationalism which Johnson appears to be in up to his eyeballs(see a lot of other recent reporting) is wrong, wrong, wrong, and NOT a Baptist idea. In fact, just the opposite is what we have always believed and followed. Freedom means freedom to believe or not believe.

Sorry for the long post. He is 100% wrong on this point, and his Christian Nationalism is dangerous for our country. I say that as a “Bible believing, pretty traditional, Baptist Christian.” Mike Johnson thinks that is what he is, but he is not. For one thing he would not have tried to overthrow the government based on a lie. He is a radical of the highest order.

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