Religion has always been an important issue in America. The Founders in their wisdom thought to preclude the Federal government from both establishing a formal state religion and interfering in the free practice of private religion. The United States has also undeniably been a majority Christian nation for her entire existence as a sovereign entity. Of the two glaring examples of clashes between a religious group and the Federal government, one (Mormonism) was against Christian sect. The other, the intentional suppression of the various religions of the Indians, undoubtedly had a religious undertone but was at its heart about territorial expansion.
The importance of the religious beliefs of our leaders has by and large depended on circumstance. In times of great strife, the country has tended to turn to men of great genuine conviction: the eve of our greatest internal schism gave us Lincoln, and Reagan’s sunny and forthright beliefs were a welcome answer by many to the Evil Empire of the Soviets. Presidents have been devout and largely agnostic. We have elected a Catholic, a Quaker, Baptists, Methodists, and more than one argumentative agnostic. A few have undoubtedly not been believers, but still paid lip service to Christian values.
Since the election of Reagan, the Republican candidate’s religious conviction has generally been seen as very important in attracting the votes of the Christian conservative voting bloc not only in primaries but in general elections. There are solid arguments for it not only pushing George W. Bush over the top in 2000 but also for keeping Mitt Romney, a Mormon, out of the White House in 2012 by failing to show up in the voting booth for him. Then 2016 came along.
This is of course all brought to mind by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s tweeted photograph with Donald Trump after introducing Trump at a summit of religious leaders in New York, with Mrs. Falwell standing in front of a framed copy of an old Playboy cover featuring Trump. The tweet led to relatively predictable reactions from all sides.
The presumptive nominee’s religious beliefs (or lackthereof) have been a contentious issue in the Republican primary. He has struggled to garner the support of many evangelical leaders (though Mr. Falwell Jr. has announced his support). Perhaps owing to his perceived weakness on the issue of his conservative Christian bona fides, Trump has taken to attacking the left-leaning Christian bona fides of his presumptive opponent in the general election.
All of this seems somewhat beside the point, as we don’t have a presidential religious litmus test in this country. What we have, or should have, is a Constitutional fidelity litmus test. As a believing Christian (though admittedly a poor one of the non-denominational variety), what should it matter to me if a candidate lacks the belief that Jesus Christ died for my sins if that candidate shares the belief that even if he does devoutly believe in Christ it doesn’t matter to his faithful execution of the duties of the President? The personal value system necessary to restrain oneself to the Constitutionally enumerated powers of the Executive branch aren’t particular to Christianity, anyway. Some Christian values are even seemingly antithetical to that restraint, and Christians don’t have the market cornered on honesty and integrity.
And that’s the rub: neither major party candidate possesses the inherent character traits necessary in the Executive, and both are (nominally) Christian. Granted, there have been many Presidents who failed to live up to their professed values. But very few men do in general. What matters more in this particular election is how glaringly obvious both Trump and Clinton fall short of what they say they believe, and how clearly neither has even the inclination to fulfill the oath of office if they get to take it. A President’s religious beliefs may matter to voters, but an honest desire and intent to act within the confines of the office is what should matter most. That’s a lesson we should’ve all learned by now.
We should not equate the draft with voluntary service. We should not imagine that excluding women from the draft is a violation of their rights. We should equate the draft with government oppression.
The draft has not been enacted, and many do not see it being enacted in the near future. Even so, this is not an effective argument for the extension to women. The “it's ok because the draft will never happen” is a careless way to approach laws. We need to imagine what could happen, and the potential consequences.
The fact that “other countries” draft women is irrelevant. We aren't other countries. Our decisions should be based on who we are, not on who others are.
The draft will inevitably find a way to be unbalanced. No one need look farther back than the draft during the Vietnam War to see the power the Selective Service holds over a specific population.
We live in a time of fierce political polarization, and government agencies are used to persecute citizens of a particular ideology. In November, we face the choice between two individuals vocally naming their political oppositions as enemies. Look at the nominees and ask yourself if they would activate Selective Service. Then ask if they would send their own daughters or granddaughters. Will Clinton or Trump send the daughters of the elite?
The push for the Selective Service extension by feminists is contradictory. It is strangely a submission to oppression. Forcing women into government servitude in the military is a strange way to combat “patriarchy.” Nothing about the government coming to collect our daughters as conscripts demonstrates women's progress.
Feminists are failing to realize the position they hold regarding women being exempt from the draft is not one of degradation, but instead one of reverence. They are essential to the preservation of our nation.
On 05 November 09 Major Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people and wounded 30 others. In order to prevent another such incident on US Soil, an investigation was launched. The report cited many different failures on the part of the Department of Defense and the FBI. The report defined the enemy. The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs recommended that, “the DOD should define the enemy as Violent Islamist Extremism in order for the DOD to confront it effectively and efficiently.” Since the Fort Hood Massacre, violent Islamic Extremists have struck Boston, San Bernardino and recently Orlando.
President Obama has defined the problem as an “Assault Rifle Problem.” In order to effectively deal with the “Assault Rifle Problem,” President Obama wants to make it difficult for people on the “No Fly List” to purchase “Assault Rifles.” He thinks that if someone is too dangerous to be on the “No Fly List” that it should be too difficult for him to purchase an “Assault Rifle.”
The other problem that President Obama defined is the use of the phrase, “Violent Islamist Extremism.” He says that using the aforementioned phrase is a recruiting tool for ISIL and disenfranchises everyday young Muslims. He states that it is a betrayal of the US towards Muslims to use such an ugly phrase. He states that there is no military purpose for using such a phrase.
Contrary to what Obama stated today, there is a military use for the phrase. The military use is allowing the military to confront the enemy quickly and effectively. The ones who are actually being betrayed are the families of the Fort Hood, Boston and Orlando victims. Lives were lost in Fort Hood and still Americans are dying at the hands of violent Islamic Terrorists. We can trust that we are likely to be betrayed yet again before next January. An investigation was completed in the aftermath of Fort Hood and President Obama thinks that he is wiser than the investigators. Maybe if he actually implemented the recommendations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Boston, San Bernardino and Orlando could have been prevented?
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.