Long ago scholars identified the arches and loops of John Locke’s fingerprints on the writings of James Madison. Evidence of this influence is often noted in Madison’s espousal of Lockean liberalism in the arguments set forth in the Federalist, particularly Federalist, No. 51. That Madison benefited from Locke’s analysis of the machine of government and its relationship to the virtue of a people is indisputable, but to describe all Madisonian philosophy as some sort of diluted mimicry of Lockean principles is lazy and incorrect. Madison, it has been said, was a “profoundly original thinker” and “no mere follower of the philosophers.” The design of this article, however, is not to expose the originality of Madison’s thinking; rather it is to note how in regard to his view of religious toleration (a term Madison despised as being, as Thomas Paine said, “not the opposite of intolerance, but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it.”)
The Pledge of Allegiance is often a controversial and, unfortunately, an unwelcome component in the public arena. Last month, on two separate occasions, guests at congressional political debates were angered by the hosts’ unwillingness to begin the debates with the Pledge of Allegiance and took matters into their own hands by standing up and reciting it themselves. Most disputes regarding the Pledge of Allegiance follow similar story lines, with one group opposed to reciting the Pledge and another in support of it. In the North Collins school district of upstate New York, however, the debate over the Pledge of Allegiance takes on a unique twist.
Same-sex married couples find themselves confronted by federal law when it comes to federal benefits. When these couples attempt to add their "spouses" to their federal healthcare plan, they are rejected, simply because while individual states may recognize same-sex unions, federal law does not. Joanne Pederson and Ann Meitzen have experienced this obstacle first-hand, and as a result, intend to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.
Keen observers of the political scene have noticed for decades, if not centuries, that when government policies create a problem, officials seldom rescind those policies. Instead they pile on new ones, which create additional problems, which they then attempt to fix with still more interventions, and so on, ad infinitum.
Earlier this year, a public school district in Arizona eliminated a radical taxpayer-funded La Raza studies program that was accused of igniting “racial hostility.” According to a group of teachers in Arizona, however, closing the program was “unconstitutional and restricts free speech.”
According to recent guidelines set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a report entitled, “International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education,” “It is never too early to start talking to children about sexual matters.”
Is it merely a coincidence that Election Day comes so soon after Halloween? The voting is always in early November, perhaps in consideration of farmers who may be busy harvesting crops through October. Whatever the reason, the campaigns are at or near their climax as witches, ghosts, and goblins appear on the scene and horror movies are on the TV and movie screens to try to scare the populace more than the politicians do. It's a tough challenge for the ghoulish creatures, since the candidates tend to run for high office on the principle that fright makes right.
A study in the medical journal, Pediatrics, reported on Monday that 10 percent of the sexually active students in New York City schools had at least one homosexual partner and that adolescents who had such homosexual relations reported a higher-than-average amount of dating violence.
The Obama administration has aligned the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI with militant abortion advocates in a concerted effort to target peaceful pro-life activists as terrorists and to characterize their lawful, free-speech activities as “violence.” At least, say pro-life leaders, that is the reasonable conclusion they draw from a training program sponsored jointly by the DOJ, FBI, Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion groups this past August in Portland, Oregon.