Apparently the first list I wrote a few weeks ago when I was so F-ing sick and tired of big mouthed closed minded people that live in their perfect world bubble where the rest of us can only imagine penetrating if we are lucky, while they sit at their keyboards spewing ignorance and hate as if it is truth across social media, may have derailed but didn’t actually stop ignorance or hate because I’ve been bombarded with idiot opinions and their continued ignorance … so today I have ‘amended’ the initial list of five (5) to ten (10) things that I’d like to clarify for these people.
6. “It’s my Constitutional right; you cannot change the amendments!” …oopsies, this is a little awkward, since by definition of the word, an amendment is actually a minor change in a document, it’s kinda in the name.
(a) You see the original US Constitution was approved on September 17, 1787, put into operation on March 4, 1789 and only contained a mere 10 Amendments; they are known collectively as the Bill of Rights.
(b) Since then the country grew, from the original 13 Colonies, and so did the Constitution making a total of 27 changes, which are actually called amendments, have been made giving us a grand total of 27 Amendments currently.
(c) And a fun fact: while most people are familiar with their first Constitutional Right and possibly a few more, it’s the 21st Amendment, which wasn’t added until 1933, overturning the 18th Amendment which was added in 1917 about that pesky prohibition, is the one that allows you the freedom to consume alcoholic beverages then slur your freedom of speech and possibly invoking ‘your right to a speedy trial’ which ironically is also an amendment clause added in 1974 to the 6th Amendment… all something to ponder over an ice cold beer.
7. “The United States is a Christian nation!” … Well no, no it’s not
(a) If this assertion is merely saying that most Americans are Christians, there might be an argument, however believe it or not there are presently 313 documented Religions and Denominations in the United States with 20% of the entire population calling themselves atheist, agnostic or having no religious affiliation.
(b) Not to mention that the U.S. Constitution contains no mention of Christianity or Jesus Christ. In fact, the Constitution refers to religion only twice: in the First Amendment, which bars laws “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and in Article VI, which prohibits “religious tests” for public office. Both of these provisions are evidence that the country was not founded as officially Christian.
8. Now we can’t speak of Christianity and Prohibition without talking about John F Kennedy now can we … nope.
(a) While his father Joe was allegedly associated with bootlegging during Prohibition (for the record no credible evidence has ever been found that links him to any illegal activities), JFK set his sights on becoming the 35th President of the United States; he eventually did so and became the youngest man elected to that office on November 8th, 1960.
(b) Kennedy selected Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas as his VP running mate not from want but need. Not only did he need Johnson’s strength in the South with the ‘Dixiecrats’ to win what was considered a close election, but also to overcome major political issues including Kennedy’s Catholicism.
(c) Though assassinated barely past his first 1,000 days, JFK still holds the title not only of the youngest President to die but also of becoming the only Catholic President in American history.
9. “Well then what Religion were all the other United States Presidents?” … glad you asked
(a) Nearly half of all Presidents were Episcopalian or Presbyterian while interesting enough, two of the most famous Presidents in American history, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, had no formal religious affiliation at all.
(b) Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd US President, was an American Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence; he lost his faith in orthodox Christianity at an early age, but continued to believe in an impersonal God as the creator of the universe.
(c) And like Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, was assassinated, but he also abolished slavery a hundred years earlier; was raised in a religious household and spoke frequently about a G-d, but never joined a church.
10. “So then does the Declaration of Independence set a precedent for Religion in Government?” …that’s grasping at straws.
(a) While Lincoln is infamous for the use of the most specific reference to the Declaration made from the opening sentence, “Four score and seven years ago…”, the second and most popular paragraph does have the word ‘creator’ in it: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ … however the opening sentence clarifies not the Christian God but ‘Nature’s God’; and ironically this quote has become a well-known statement on human rights rather than religious ones.
(b) Still confused, well the role of this ‘Creator’ is further explained in the Declaration’: ‘Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed’ …in other words, the Creator has NO role in government.
(c) Keeping in mind that the purpose of the Declaration was to inform Britain that the 13 colonies wanted to become independent. When government becomes abusive, the recourse isn’t to appeal to God: ‘Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness’ … again we see that the government rules at the pleasure of the people, not God!
While I can continue reciting facts that the United States is a not now — and never was — a Christian nation; and religion, or the lack thereof, is an individual belief, Thomas Jefferson actually said it best in 1802 when he stated:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their “legislature” should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
(which he amended from the original saying written in 1644 by Roger Williams—he stated ‘A hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world’)
And as you know I believe that regardless of your religious beliefs, race, nationality, sexual orientation, day you take out the trash or have your nails done, just like you, everyone else is just trying to do their best in this crazy world, fighting to stay alive and trying to find their own happiness, which may not mirror yours but it doesn’t make it wrong, just wrong for you, and that’s what makes you a fabulous individual!
These Fabulous Fun Facts are brought to you by the Founding Fathers of the United States and the letter ‘F’