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  • Saturday, October 01, 2005


    One Nation Under Public Relations

    Sure, everyone says stupid things occasionally. Particularly when talking off the cuff or answering questions in front of a crowd. But then there are those moments that are clearly "Making shit up."

    Case in point is Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes' recent bumble:
    "Many people around the world do not understand the important role that faith plays in Americans' lives," she said. When an Egyptian opposition leader inquired why Mr Bush mentions God in his speeches, Hughes asked him whether he was aware that "previous American presidents have also cited God, and that our constitution cites 'one nation under God'."

    "Well, never mind," he said.
    Nice answer, except it's not true:

    I have some news for Ms Hughes: Not only does the US Constitution NOT mention God, but Article VI, Clause 3 states:

    "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

    So: not only did the Founding Fathers choose to leave God out of the Constitution, they ensured explicitly, in the base Constitution, that no religious test shall ever be required. Isn't is hilarious how "strict constructionists" fail to notice that clause?

    That is to say nothing of the 9th Amendment to the US Constitution:

    Amendment IX:

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    And that "One Nation Under God" motto came to pass in the 1950s, with the McCarthyites.

    This hard evidence that anyone in the upper echelons of any government would be so profoundly ignorant of the most fundamental aspects of their nation's charter is unbelievable. Her statement is on a par with saying we fought the Russians in the Civil War. Or, perhaps, there is a secret, theocrat Constitution, written by experts in Ignorant Denial, to which she was referring.


    [Addendum: I may have been a tad cruel with my illustration of Ms. Hughes and I'm puzzled as to exactly how the "facehugger" really fits in. My visual satiric vocabulary is still very much a work in progress. Please bear with my foibles as I work some kinks out. (No, not that kind of kink. At least, I don't think so...) I do seem to be getting more fluid with practice. Soon I will be able to make fun of things I don't understand with great confidence.]

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