Jody Hice Is A Gibbering Moron

Congress needs to test each new member on the Constitution. Because Republican (surprise!) bumblers like Jody Hice just don’t know what’s in it, as usual:

Georgia Rep. Jody Hice claims Christians have been tricked into accepting the separation of church and state, calling constitutionally mandated church-state separation a “false belief.”

“Somehow we have bought into that false belief that our Constitution forbids us from being involved because of the so-called separation of church and state. I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that that’s not in our constitution. But it’s been said so many times that many Christians believe that we ought not be involved”.

For the love of Georgia. Congress. Shall. Make. No. Law. Respecting. An. Establishment. Of. Religion.

That’s there to keep your church out of my government. Make no mistake, you are free to be religious and be a representative. No one is saying that you can’t-but go ahead and nail yourself to that particular cross and complain that your stupid religion is under fire just because it’s not welcome in law.  And I’m not even going to get into his contention that religious societies would be more moral than secular societies. All I have to say to that is “Duggar”.

This is not a theocracy, crazypants. Learn basic civics before shooting your mouth off.

About The Head Seminarian

I went to war, I went to father, I came, I saw, and it is a mess. I wouldn't have it any other way. Shitty people amuse me, people who act like human volcanoes fascinate me like fine art. Life is beautiful, and it is under attack in a manner heretofore unseen in history. I might be writing a blog. Yes, that's all I am doing, now that I think about it. Even I forget sometimes, so we're cool.

Posted on June 18, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Ron, I’m not a religious person, but I am a student of Constitutional Law. I don’t understand how you can treat this like an open-and-shut analysis, like it’s really that superficial. It’s not. I will quote your illogical passage that I’m about to refute:

    “Congress. Shall. Make. No. Law. Respecting. An. Establishment. Of. Religion.
    That’s there to keep your church out of my government. “

    If all you’re going to do is just analyze the syntax of the words, and think you’re being authoritative, then you have your head way up inside a dark place.

    Like solving an algebra problem, let’s do a simple substitution. Let’s substitute “Apples” everywhere congress or government appears. And let’s substitute “Oranges” everywhere religion or church appears. Here goes:

    “Apples shall make no law respecting an establishment of Oranges. That’s there to keep your Oranges out of my Apples.”

    What? Forget politics. On this planet, in the plain language called English, you are flatly wrong, Ron. That sentence is only restricting what the Apples can do. It says nothing about what the Oranges can or can’t do. Nothing.

    Clearly that sentence exists in the First Amendment to keep the Apples out of the business of the Oranges, not to keep the Oranges out of the business of the Apples. It’s a one-way prohibition of intrusion, not a two-way prohibition. The wording of the First Amendment is NOT a wall blocking vision in both directions — it’s a one-way mirror blocking vision in only one direction. I mean….duh…hello? Put some smelling salts under your nose and try to gather your senses, Ron.

    I’ve never visited your blog…are you always so theatrical in your wrongness? Your technique of putting a period between each word of your assertion only draws more attention to your petulant outburst. Don’t you find it hard to type with balled fists?

    There are much much deeper and longer arguments, based on actual political philosophy, that you could have made that would be far more respectable as a grown-up conversation. Those philosophical arguments actually have validity. But you didn’t use philosophy, just excessive punctuation and mistaken elementary school logic. You attacked a very deep philosophical issue based on the wording itself, and you couldn’t even do that correctly.

    I wonder how many periods you’ll put between each word of your response to this basic algebra lesson.

    – Jack


    • You must not know Jody Hice like I do. He’s an Orange colored guy serving in the Apple’s seat. Do you think it is OK for Hice to govern by his Christian faith? He’s on record saying that Islam is not a real religion. He is not interested in secular government. He thinks homosexuality is a choice. He would like nothing more than to introduce his radical Christian beliefs into the public forum. Today’s version of separation should prohibit him from injecting religion into politics. Look at all the conversations we have had over prayer in public. If separation is not based on the First, where else would this idea come from? Are we not protected from him legislating his particular morality?

      I think you’re being a bit literalist in your interpretation. Church and state conflict runs both ways these days.


      • I don’t need to know Jody Hice or any other politician anywhere, in order to form my opinion on this. Hice is not governing on his own. He’s not legislating on his own. He’s participating in a Constitutional Republic called the U.S.A. If he’s doing what he said he’d do when he campaigned for the office, then his views are no more or less valid than any others in the wide wide world of society that have a place at the table. I could only agree with you if he campaigned as a pure secularist, and is now defying his campaign platform.

        You say “today’s version of separation” and “runs both ways these days,” as if the Constitution is a constantly-shifting bulletin board with thumb-tacked scraps of paper coming and going from it, changing with the fads of each generation. I view it as unmoving bedrock that forms a contract between the people and government. The original intent IS what it IS. There’s no “today’s version” or tomorrow’s version” in the philosophy of government that I believe in. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. You say I”m being too literal, but that’s only because I’m disagreeing with you. If I agreed with you, you wouldn’t care how literal I’m being. Besides… is meant to be a literal thing. If it’s shifty and adrift in the turbulence of public debate, then it’s not law — it’s arbitrary gossip. Here’s what Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) said in his 1790 book Reflections on the Revolution in France about the attitudes of fickle people who want to morph their society and its laws every generation to satisfy the current trendy whims of the youngsters that have just come of age:

        “One of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and its laws are consecrated, is lest the temporary possessors and life renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act as if they were the entire masters; that they should not think it among their rights to cut off the entail, or commit waste on the inheritance, by destroying at their pleasure the whole original fabric of their society; hazarding to those who come after them a ruin instead of a habitation…No one generation could link with another. Men would become little better than flies of a summer.”

        In order to accommodate structured and well-reasoned changes, our U.S. Constitution provides a lawful process called amendments. That’s how it should be changed, not by gradual redefinition from biased activists promoting their own self interest, or judges who are sympathetic to and influenced by those activists, and who then unethically use their judicial role to morph the law rather than just judge cases against the existing legislated law, and vote guilty/not guilty, or approve/disapprove. They act like unelected legislators by redefining laws in new precedent-setting ways, like a boat with no anchor or rudder — just going whichever way the fickle current is flowing this year.

        In the political process, there are elected representatives at all levels (neighborhood, town, county, state, federal) who bring all kinds of ideas and principles into their role. That’s called a pluralistic society. Look it up. Our form of government is not a Democracy, although in some ways it employs some principles of democracy. But the U.S.A. is a Constitutional Republic, with elected representatives serving in the executive and legislative branches. Your Jody Hice is not unilaterally “legislating his particular morality,” as you say. He’s not a legislature of one. He’s just one vote among many other representatives, and his job is to represent the views of the majority of voters in his district. And you ARE protected from him generally because you and your fellow citizens in his district can vote him out of office. If you think you’re alone in the misery of disagreeing with your elected representative, think of all the Democrat voters in Utah and Wyoming, or all the Republican voters in Vermont and Massachusetts. You’re not alone, Ron.

        You said, “If separation is not based on the First, where else would this idea come from?” Did you even TRY to research it, Ron? Try this:

        …or any number of other sources on the internet. Other sources will be more favorable to your opinion than the one I cited. But for you to superficially ask “where else would this idea come from?” just baffles me. GOOGLE it, dude. If you’re going to take a stand, put SOMETHING under your feet. ANYTHING.

        The phrase “separation of church and state” originally comes from the 1500’s in Europe during the Reformation, when governments were literally running the churches as an unethical way to assert exert force and repression on the citizens. The government absolutely has to be prohibited from exerting coercive force upon people through religious institutions. On that we agree, Ron. But it doesn’t mean I agree that religion should be barred from having any place in the public square. It doesn’t mean that I agree VOLUNTARY prayer in schools shouldn’t be allowed. It doesn’t mean that I agree the Ten Commandments can’t appear in a public building, even a government building. That’s blocking religion from government and the public, which isn’t what the First Amendment blocked. It blocked government from dictating rules to religious institutions, and from endorsing a particular religious sect as America’s Religion. Allowing some religious principles to enter the legislative process and be considered in the lawmaking process is not “making a law respecting the establishment of religion.” If those views make it into the majority view, fine. If not, fine. But no idea should be barred from being uttered. That’s not pluralism.

        The “wall of separation” metaphor came into use in America from a private letter by Thomas Jefferson, who was not even a participant in the writing of the Constitution or the Amendments in the Bill of Rights. He wasn’t even in the country at the time. Portions of that letter ended up being quoted by a Supreme Court Justice (Hugo Black) in his written opinion in the 1947 case called Everson v. Board of Education. Ever since then, many leftists (including you, apparently) thinks that 2-way word “separation” came from the First Amendment. It didn’t. You may wish it did, because it conveniently supports your loud atheistic activism. But it’s a farce. See:

        Now let’s get back to my reasoning about why the First Amendment doesn’t and shouldn’t prohibit religious views from entering the public arena, even in governmental legislative proceedings (to be considered with ALL other views). And notice that I’m not browbeating you with theology here. I’m presenting you an objective case about respecting healthy pluralism in a free society — “All Things Considered” (to quote NPR). That’s all.

        Once a government is established under a ratified Constitution, with limits placed on it for all the things it better not do to infringe on the liberties of the people, then a country full of people begins to live their daily lives under that Constitution. Ron, isn’t it true that EVERYONE should be able to participate in the arena of public opinion, voting for representatives for whatever reasons they wish, and some of them even running for elections, hoping to win seats in the Representative governmental system? Or only the people you agree with? The election process, and the subsequent legislating system, is like a great big free market of ideas. The ideas that a majority of folks agree with survive and flourish, and the ideas that a majority of people don’t like fall out of favor because they don’t attract votes in the next elections. This works just fine, although sometimes maybe it takes some time to adjust to changing public opinion. And definitely, there are always some people (in the minority) who feel their ideas and opinions are not heard. But that can’t be avoided, unless we want to eliminate all organized government and live in anarchy with our doors locked and stone walls with musket portals erected around our houses to defend against the hordes of lawless rioters. In a lawful society, sometimes the disgruntled don’t get their way…unless they can persuade others to make their views favorable to a majority of voters in the next election. What we SHOULDN’T do is to try to shut anybody up and tell them their viewpoint isn’t allowed to be heard. I shouldn’t shut you up; you shouldn’t shut me up; and neither of us should shut Jody Hice up. That’s pluralism.

        The only way I could agree with your obvious intention to shut Jody Hice up and ban him from expressing his principles in the way he votes and in the bills he perhaps sponsors is if he campaigned on a different platform than he’s now standing. If he disclosed his principles, whatever they are, when he campaigned and received votes, then he’s entitled to utilize those beliefs in his legislative actions. If you, and a majority of voters in your district don’t like what he does, then you vote him out. But don’t claim that he’s not allowed to use religious principles in guiding his legislative actions. THAT’s not what was meant by the First Amendment. It’s a one-way restriction (government cannot meddle in the business of the church), not a two-way restriction. Religious people have as much right as anyone else to bring their viewpoints into the public and compete like everyone else for majority favor.

        If you didn’t know all this stuff before you just posted your article telling Hice, in effect, that he doesn’t have the right to consider his religious views when performing his legislative acts, then YOU”RE the one shooting your mouth off. I have only scratched the surface in revealing to you some of the deeper aspects of the matter here. Most of the relevant factors in the “Separation of Church and State” issue are from the years BEFORE the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written. Try studying it, rather than letting your atheist instincts cause you to recoil from it and lash out at it. Understanding political philosophy HAS to include considering ideologies you don’t agree with and learning how they all intertwine. If nothing else, it will let you argue against them better.

        I’m not going to provide you any more logic or history or philosophy. If you care, you’ll seek more of your own. It would be perfectly respectable if you researched it and ended up building a more solid and substantial case for keeping religious-based morality out of government processes. But right now you’re only a waterbug skittering on the surface. You’re like Burke’s “flies of a summer.” If you have any deep thinkers among your two dozen followers, they’re probably not very impressed and aren’t inclined to spread the word about your blog.

        On the other hand, if you don’t care about adding depth to your rants, then you’re hopeless and my time here is wasted.

        – Jack


  2. We have a fundamental disagreement on how the Constitution functions. You are an originalist. I am not. I believe, like many jurists past and present, that it is a living document with implications beyond its original wording. When abortion rights were constitutionally protected, the decision was predicated on a right to privacy that was not enumerated. The decision to prohibit school prayer was most certainly based on the Establishment Clause. And very soon, gay marriage is going to be protected under the Fourteenth Amendment.

    That said, I admit that I was wrong in that I implied that Christians were not welcome in the sphere of debate because of the First. I am, believe it or not, respectful of what comes after the Establishment Clause. Your points about pluralism are taken and noted. I guess that I am very wary of the new religionists that we seem to be hearing more and more about. Christ, just yesterday Louie Gohmert was saying that Jesus’ law trumps our law. He’s not the only one who thinks this. So I’m a bit alarmed. That doesn’t mean I get to wield the Constitution in a manner that it should not be used.

    I certainly do not want to prohibit free exercise. I am sorry I gave that impression, and can’t give you any good reason other than the caveats above as to why I reacted the way I did. While we may disagree on scholarship, I think both of us love the Constitution-and I will strive to do better in being its steward, even if I didn’t mean to purposely disparage parts of it.


    • Ron, you are correct that I’m an originalist. I gave (too) many paragraphs explaining why I think adhering to the original intent of a Constitution (unless it’s duly amended) is the fairest way for all of us to live for centuries together. I have tons and tons more, from extensive reading of centuries of political philosophy of libertarians and natural law advocates. By comparison, you simply said “I am not.” But you haven’t explained why you think that a constantly-changing interpretive drifting is a better way to utilize the Constitution and peaceably share a prosperous life, generation after generation, under its stipulations. You said “many jurists past and present [believe] that it is a living document.” That doesn’t make them (and you) correct, just because. Only mothers of small children can get away with being correct “just because.” And only for a few years, before they owe their older children better explanations that just arbitrary force.

      You then listed three things to finish out your first paragraph, but do you think they explain why you believe a living constitution is the right political philosophy for America? Sorry, but they don’t. To me, all you’re doing by listing those three examples is saying: “Here are 3 things I agree with that were made possible by abandoning originalism and endorsing the idea that the Constitution is a living document. So that’s why I believe in a living Constitution — because by doing so I get lots of things I want.” That’s circular logic. By believing a certain way, I get more things that I like, so that’s why I believe a certain way. Frankly, that has the appearance of being somewhat self-serving. Hopefully you have something besides your own desired outcomes to use as justification for the PHILOSOPHY behind your beliefs. What is it?

      Getting back to your list of 3 things: For your reference to Roe v Wade, you said “the decision was predicated on a right to privacy that was not enumerated.” Obviously, you know that probably means that I don’t agree with it. But you do. That doesn’t make you (or those 1974 Supreme Court judges) right. For prohibiting school prayer, you simply asserted again your view that it was consistent with the First Amendment, despite all the paragraphs I took the time to write that gave extensive reasoning why that’s not the case. Why does your rebuttal to my rebuttal only consist of a one-sentence restatement of your view? Dude, you’re being a waterbug on the surface. Take a deep breath and dive down here with me, beneath the surface. Show me the deeper waters of your justification of unbounded growth in the purposes and powers of government, beyond just pointing out that many jurists past and present believe in a living Constitution (IMO, due to self-serving desires to get government unshackled from a set of “negative” rules, and re-armed with a positivist charter to grow and morph any way it likes).

      That’s my main reply back to you. Now I will go off on a related tangent:

      Regarding Roe v. Wade, a somewhat calm truce was reached between the two sides after that case, due to a standard clause called the Hyde Amendment that was developed by open-minded legislators by about ’76 or so. Its language has been cut-and-pasted into every government funding bill for any health or welfare-related agencies, prohibiting any taxpayer money from going directly towards abortion services. In other words, the Roe v. Wade ruling made abortion LEGAL in all states, but that doesn’t mean it should then become taxpayer funded. Can you agree with the logic? Can you agree that was a reasonable compromise, limiting the extent of the Roe v. Wade ramifications?

      Fast forward: Now what’s been happening under the Progressive-emboldened era since Obama got elected is that truce zone (a demilitarized zone, if you will) is being ripped away. Obamacare included mandates for government-subsidized health care coverage to include the cost of contraceptives — including the controversial variety called abortfacients. (Like the morning after pill.) The Hobby Lobby case boiled down to that. Hobby Lobby wasn’t against being mandated to provide prescription drug coverage that included contraceptives. They were generally OK with that. What their religious principles caused them to have heartburn over was that HHS’s implementation of Obamacare boldly included abortafacients too. That encroached into the truce zone.

      I’m wondering if you’re among those who viewed the Hobby Lobby case from the perspective that Hobby Lobby was imposing its religious beliefs on all of us. To me, Hobby Lobby wasn’t trying to get contraceptives outlawed. In fact, they weren’t even trying to get abortafacients outlawed. They were just objecting to being forced to pay for prescription drug coverage that includes a pill that they sincerely believe aborts a life. Hobby Lobby won that Supreme Court case. And you know what? Every single American woman who wants to take a contraceptive, even an abortafacient, can still do so. The Constitution doesn’t say that the government must pay for contraceptives for We The People. The protesters who held up signs saying “The government should stay out of our bedrooms” were overlooking one thing: If they want to keep the government out of their bedrooms, why are they expecting government to pay for their contraceptives.

      I bring this up because you admitted I was justified in my advocacy for healthy pluralism. You mentioned your wariness of the new religionists. Similarly, I am fearful of the “new progressivists” who suddenly could no longer politely stay on their side of the demilitarized zone in the middle of the Roe v. Wade battle. They had to push beyond just legalized abortion, and rub the Christian taxpayers noses in a perceived pile of brown stinky immorality. You may not agree that abortion is immoral, but can you respect Christians desire not to have to pay for something they earnestly abhor? Is that little thin truce zone too much to ask for?

      Can you objectively see that pluralism was dealt an unhealthy blow by these “new progressivists” ?

      (Again, notice that I’m not browbeating you with theology, just logical application of pluralism and plain ‘ol respect.)

      – Jack


  3. Jack, as a non-literalist I also have to accept things that are unpleasant to me. I believe in strict gun control. Hell, if I had my druthers, I’d criminalize them. One in two adults in this country are armed. But I accept that the Second Amendment has a clause in it that allows the people to bear arms. As you know, the amendment speaks of a militia, back when there was no standing army. It’s an outdated amendment. It’s not the only one. But there is a debate raging about the Second. Some people think the Second is there to protect from tyranny or perhaps it is a tool to foment a rebellion if the government gets “out of hand”. No. It is not there for armed resistance. Besides, bearing arms today for those reasons is a lopsided proposition; I’d like to see these armed “patriots” go up against said standing army. I’ve seen it in action personally. It is truly terrifying, the power of force that we have. AR-15s won’t save you. But anyway, what I was trying to say is that I must accept ideas that come from The Constitution’s wording that I do not support.

    Congress has abdicated a lot of its power to the Supreme Court. Passing amendments is nearly impossible given the political climate. Passing laws has become a mess too, thanks to an intractable opposition. But you know, I don’t think I want to see an amendment about abortion or prayer in the Constitution. The Court can and does handle these questions. They’ve been doing it for over 200 years. It seems to me to be more effective to interpret the existing language rather than go nilly-willy with amendments(not that that would ever happen in our two-party system). I can understand that going nilly-willy with judgments is just as distasteful to you. But we have to work with what we have.

    As for Hobby lobby, they were not just concerned with abortifacients. They were against IUDs and common pills that help women regulate periods, control PMS and more. The RFRA is a bullshit law and the Court should have stayed away. But, oh well. That’s why I keep voting Democratic.

    Our government is far from perfect. It is borne of blood and tears, and steeped in political intrigue. Yet we must do what we can. My philosophy towards the Constitution is based on the idea that we can’t govern a 2015 nation with strict 1787 principles. We live in a different world that no founder could have ever imagined. Amending the Constitution to validate laws sounds great, but it is unworkable. I’m just swept up in history’s march. It’s just not what we do. I’m merely being pragmatic. I admire you for being an idealist.

    My thinking is far less sophisticated than yours, and I am that bug skittering on the surface all too often. I am pleased that you have indulged me a little and challenged my rationale. Sometimes I am dead wrong. Other days, I hit the mark. I’m not in the business of educating. I’m hunting for the absurd and strange. I’m probably not your cup of tea, my friend. I do study things, though. I try my best to self-educate. And I’m glad you’re out there keeping me honest.


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