Ron Paul: Theocrat by his own words

Ron Paul: Theocrat by his own words

Ron Paul: Theocrat by his own words

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 2 2008 7:00 AM

Ron Paul: Theocrat by his own words

Before I even get to the content of this post, I will warn commenters right now TO KEEP IT POLITE. No swearing, and no name-calling. Comments like that will be deleted or marked as spam immediately.

If you disliked what I wrote about Ron Paul -- and many of you did, for reasons that had little to do with what I wrote -- then you'll hate what Joe M wrote at Merit-Bound Alley about him.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Advertisement

Back in 2003, Paul wrote an astonishingly ill-informed and ridiculous screed entitled "The War On Religion". It is incredibly fact-deficient, but does repeat many of the far-right memes so desperately spread by the likes of Bill O'Reilly and others at Fox News. Paul makes the same mistakes so many others do, saying that "the secular Left" feels that "religion must be driven from public view". That's just plain silly. Everyone I know on the left understands that doing so would be illegal and unconstitutional. The only people who say this, ironically, are the fearmongers on the right, trying to scare the base.

Rational people understand that the Constitution is pretty clear on this issue, and many court cases have stated it as well: the government cannot endorse a particular religion. That means that a courthouse, government office, or state building must allow any religion, and even those with no religion, equal access to display their beliefs, or lack thereof. If you want a Nativity creche, that's fine, as long as it's part of a greater display of symbols of other religions (and even -- gasp -- atheism).

Paul disagrees. He says that "[t]he justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few."

Baloney. The justification is the First Amendment. In my earlier post about Paul, I mentioned that people who deny evolution are prey to those who want to tear down the First Amendment, who want to teach religion in school. I didn't know at the time how Paul really felt, so my earlier post is even more justified now. From reading Paul's essay, it seems to me that he hadn't read the Constitution very well before writing what he did.

Advertisement

In his essay, Paul says, "Earlier this month, firemen near Chicago reluctantly removed Christmas decorations from their firehouse after a complaint by some embittered busybody."

"Embittered busybody"? Assuming the firehouse was tax-payer funded, that person was defending the Constitution! Paul's statement, and name-calling, is even more frightening considering that Paul has sworn an oath to defend the Constitution. Far from calling names, he should be standing behind the person who made the complaint.

Joe M's essay at Merit-Bound Alley makes it very clear -- with citations -- that Paul is fuzzy on the Constitution (Paul says it is "replete with references to God", when in fact God is not mentioned even once in the Constitution). Joe M's essay is well done, and exposes most of the fallaciousness of Paul's statements. If you are a Ron Paul supporter, I strongly urge you to read it.

And for those of you who say that Paul's personal beliefs will not affect his judgment, I ask you to read his essay very carefully. His own words read like those from a man who will cheerfully appoint judges to weaken further the Constitutional guarantee of freedom for and from religion. He clearly misunderstands the First Amendment to a profound degree.

It's too bad: in another essay, he makes some very salient points about religion and government, though he still accuses the "political left" of wanting a secular society, which is, again, baloney. The left, as a political party, wants people to be able to choose their faith, or lack thereof, freely, and not have the government tell them what they can or cannot worship. I see this a lot with Paul: he seems to make good sense in some issues, then goes off into Never Never Land with others.

And I stand by my earlier claim: Ron Paul is either a theocrat, or is a panderer to those who want one. Neither of those choices is what America needs.

But hey! At least he's better than Huckabee.