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David Paszkiewicz Letter to Editor

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Guest Paul
Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment freedoms

The suggestion that David Paszkiewicz was defending the First Amendment is absurd. The First Amendment was adopted to protect the minority from being forced to endure the majority view in all things. Mr. Paszkiewicz is attempting to misuse the First Amendment --- turn it upside down, in fact --- to allow the majority to push its views on the minority. That is the genesis of his in-class statement that the public schools should teach "community values." Secular values yes, but not theology. And, not surprisingly, he has to distort history to do it, because his viewpoint does not come close to what the Framers had in mind, in fact it's diametrically opposed to their vision.

His fundamental fallacy is the mistaken notion that majority should rule in matters of religion. On the contrary and precisely the opposite, it is the individual who decides the fact, nature, extent and shape of worship. Whether, when, where and how one worships is not up to the majority in a country whose people are truly free. That is whole point of religious freedom. Religious belief, practice and affiliation are the sacred right of the individual, to be zealously protected from intrusion by the majority, no matter how large the majority may be. The smallest religion should be as free and as welcome in the USA as the largest religion. What Mr. Paszkiewicz and others are promoting makes as much sense as "the freedom to own slaves," which men of a previous era promoted. It is a complete contradiction in terms. Once one understands the fundamental fallacy behind it, everything else is obvious.

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I see the misunderstanding persists, and I'm just not a good enough teacher to show you how to correct it.

"Since when are uncaused events natural, according to any scientific understanding of the term?"

Uncaused events ARE natural; you're the one inisisting that causation is the key to describing something as natural rather than supernatural. There is no such requirement.

There's some brilliant logic.

I ask since when are uncaused events natural, and he responds that "ncaused events ARE natural."

Additionally, Calybos tries out another straw man "you're the one inisisting that causation is the key to describing something as natural rather than supernatural."

I restricted my statement to explanations, which Calybos declines to acknowledge. There is no such thing as a natural explanation that relies on "uncaused" as the explanation.

But Calybos will keep dancing away from that fairly obvious point until death from old age finally claims him.

"To a non-scientist such as myself, the term "naturalistic origin" seems to be a stand-in for "cause." You're saying that uncaused events have causes, it seems."

No, I'm saying that causation (or non-causation) has no bearing on whether something is a natural phenomenon properly studied in the realm of science.

lol

Let's review the tape:

"Uncaused events are a known phenomenon with a naturalistic origin, still under study."

Your explanation for that statement is not credible. You specified that uncaused events have a natural origin. It is far-fetched for you to suggest you were making a statement about whether or not causation determines a phenomenon is "natural". When you claim a "naturalistic origin" for uncaused events, your choice of words very much suggests that you have naturalistic (scientific) explanation in mind.

"Uncaused" is neither supernatural, nor particularly troubling, in the discussion of physics, any more than multiple dimensions are troubling--no matter how counter-intuitive to everyday life they may seem.

You have yet to explain why uncaused events are not properly understood as supernatural, other than with sublimely vacuous explanations like "Uncaused events ARE natural."

http://skepdic.com/begging.html

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Guest Guest
The suggestion that David Paszkiewicz was defending the First Amendment is absurd. The First Amendment was adopted to protect the minority from being forced to endure the majority view in all things. Mr. Paszkiewicz is attempting to misuse the First Amendment --- turn it upside down, in fact --- to allow the majority to push its views on the minority. That is the genesis of his in-class statement that the public schools should teach "community values." Secular values yes, but not theology. And, not surprisingly, he has to distort history to do it, because his viewpoint does not come close to what the Framers had in mind, in fact it's diametrically opposed to their vision.

His fundamental fallacy is the mistaken notion that majority should rule in matters of religion. On the contrary and precisely the opposite, it is the individual who decides the fact, nature, extent and shape of worship. Whether, when, where and how one worships is not up to the majority in a country whose people are truly free. That is whole point of religious freedom. Religious belief, practice and affiliation are the sacred right of the individual, to be zealously protected from intrusion by the majority, no matter how large the majority may be. The smallest religion should be as free and as welcome in the USA as the largest religion. What Mr. Paszkiewicz and others are promoting makes as much sense as "the freedom to own slaves," which men of a previous era promoted. It is a complete contradiction in terms. Once one understands the fundamental fallacy behind it, everything else is obvious.

Paul,

I just went back and reread Paszkiewicz's letter. Nowhere in the letter does he say he is defending his first amendment freedoms. He defends the people of the town of Kearny who have been maligned by this controversy. He then goes on to share quotes from Washington, Jefferson and Franklin in an apparent effort to demonstrate that they were not hostile to Christianity in the public square or in America's schools. "Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment Freedoms" actually appears above the words, "To the publisher". This tells me that the title was actually given to the letter by the publisher, not Mr. Paszkiewicz. Your argument is probably with The Observer or whover posted the letter. Hey, what was that you were saying about "horrid lawyering" in your last post? :blink: PS: About that slave owning thing, that's not very original and its old. It took the lives of of 600.000 Americans to end slavery in a bloody civil war (most of whom were Christians). By the way, did you ever read Uncle Tom's Cabin? It gave Scriptural basis for ending slavery and persuaded northerners to take action. It was the Supreme Court which entrenched slavery with decisions like Dred Scott etc. But of course, the Supreme Court is "infallible" Paul.

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The suggestion that David Paszkiewicz was defending the First Amendment is absurd. The First Amendment was adopted to protect the minority from being forced to endure the majority view in all things.

No, it wasn't. It was adopted to preserve dissenting political speech, keep the federal government out of religious matters (no reach to state level or below at the time), and to protect publishers from government censorship.

Mr. Paszkiewicz is attempting to misuse the First Amendment --- turn it upside down, in fact --- to allow the majority to push its views on the minority.

Where is Paszkiewicz supposedly doing that (leaving alone for now Paul's misrepresentation of the purposes for which the First Amendment was adopted)?

Matthew's mind? Or do you have a transcript or other suitable evidence this time?

That is the genesis of his in-class statement that the public schools should teach "community values." Secular values yes, but not theology.

Sounds like Paul thinks that the Church of Secularity could have its doctrines incorporated into a public school curriculum.

And, not surprisingly, he has to distort history to do it, because his viewpoint does not come close to what the Framers had in mind, in fact it's diametrically opposed to their vision.

The framers would be astounded to see the present-day federal control of local schools.

Do you have a background in law, Paul?

His fundamental fallacy is the mistaken notion that majority should rule in matters of religion.

And you have the quotations to prove it.

Or at least Matthew's memory?

Or maybe nothing but imagination applied to Pasziewicz's letter to the Observer?

On the contrary and precisely the opposite, it is the individual who decides the fact, nature, extent and shape of worship. Whether, when, where and how one worships is not up to the majority in a country whose people are truly free.

I provided a quotation of Jefferson where he appeared to clearly affirm that he recognized an authority of the states regarding religion which he did not recognize for the federal government.

The secularists, from what I can tell, seem to be ignoring that one hoping that everyone will follow suit.

That is whole point of religious freedom. Religious belief, practice and affiliation are the sacred right of the individual, to be zealously protected from intrusion by the majority, no matter how large the majority may be.

Religious practice is extensively limited by governments at every level.

Just try practicing the "Law Unto Myself" religion sometime and you'll see (or Rasta, or Ba'al worship, or any number of others).

The smallest religion should be as free and as welcome in the USA as the largest religion.

... to whatever extent they obey the law, which is significantly religious in nature, undergirding some religions implicitly and outlawing others implicitly (such as Brigham Young's vision of the Mormon Church, and Joseph Smith, Jr's before that).

What Mr. Paszkiewicz and others are promoting makes as much sense as "the freedom to own slaves," which men of a previous era promoted. It is a complete contradiction in terms. Once one understands the fundamental fallacy behind it, everything else is obvious.

And if you don't believe that, Paul will repeat it until you do.

There is no fallacy. To whatever extent majority beliefs are prohibited from being implicit in the law of the land, the Constitution contradicts itself.

The values of Marxism/Leninism, for example, are trampled in the First Amendment.

That's because a majority did not hold to those values when the Constitution was written and ratified.

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Guest Guest
No, it wasn't.  It was adopted to preserve dissenting political speech, keep the federal government out of religious matters (no reach to state level or below at the time), and to protect publishers from government censorship.

Where is Paszkiewicz supposedly doing that (leaving alone for now Paul's misrepresentation of the purposes for which the First Amendment was adopted)?

Matthew's mind?  Or do you have a transcript or other suitable evidence this time?

Sounds like Paul thinks that the Church of Secularity could have its doctrines incorporated into a public school curriculum.

The framers would be astounded to see the present-day federal control of local schools.

Do you have a background in law, Paul?

And you have the quotations to prove it. 

Or at least Matthew's memory?

Or maybe nothing but imagination applied to Pasziewicz's letter to the Observer?

I provided a quotation of Jefferson where he appeared to clearly affirm that he recognized an authority of the states regarding religion which he did not recognize for the federal government.

The secularists, from what I can tell, seem to be ignoring that one hoping that everyone will follow suit.

Religious practice is extensively limited by governments at every level.

Just try practicing the "Law Unto Myself" religion sometime and you'll see (or Rasta, or Ba'al worship, or any number of others).

... to whatever extent they obey the law, which is significantly religious in nature, undergirding some religions implicitly and outlawing others implicitly (such as Brigham Young's vision of the Mormon Church, and Joseph Smith, Jr's before that).

And if you don't believe that, Paul will repeat it until you do.

There is no fallacy.  To whatever extent majority beliefs are prohibited from being implicit in the law of the land, the Constitution contradicts itself.

The values of Marxism/Leninism, for example, are trampled in the First Amendment.

That's because a majority did not hold to those values when the Constitution was written and ratified.

The Framers consciously chose to distinguish between public policy like taxation (subject to majority will) and individual rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights (not subject to majority will). Parse all you like, this is the model that has led to an expansion of freedom over the past two centuries plus. It's not a contradiction, but a recognition that individual religious practices are personal, not properly the state's concern.

As for chapter and verse wherein Paszkiewicz made these remarks, I suggest you turn to the audio tapes. This is in response to the preceding post, too.

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Guest Paul
Paul,

I just went back and reread Paszkiewicz's letter.  Nowhere in the letter does he say he is defending his first amendment freedoms.  He defends the people of the town of Kearny who have been maligned by this controversy. He then goes on to share quotes from Washington, Jefferson and Franklin in an apparent effort to demonstrate that they were not hostile to Christianity in the public square or in America's schools.  "Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment Freedoms" actually appears above the words, "To the publisher".  This tells me that the title was actually given to the letter by the publisher, not Mr. Paszkiewicz.  Your argument is probably with The Observer or whover posted the letter.  Hey, what was that you were saying about "horrid lawyering" in your last post?  :P  PS:  About that slave owning thing, that's not very original and its old.  It took the lives of  of 600.000 Americans to end slavery in a bloody civil war (most of whom were Christians).  By the way, did you ever read Uncle Tom's Cabin?  It gave Scriptural basis for ending slavery and persuaded northerners to take action.  It was the Supreme Court which entrenched slavery with decisions like Dred Scott etc.  But of course, the Supreme Court is "infallible" Paul.

The Framers adopted a secular Constitution after a rigorous debate. The mere fact that novels Uncle Tom's Cabin are wonderful on many levels has nothing to do with the issue. As for the title of Mr. Paszkiewicz's letter, I merely said it was a misnomer, whomever may have authored the title.

What we're seeing is an effort to destroy religious freedom, just as Mr. Paszkiewicz said. What he doesn't realize, and apparently you don't either, is that he is leading the charge.

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Guest KearnyKard
The Framers adopted a secular Constitution after a rigorous debate. The mere fact that novels Uncle Tom's Cabin are wonderful on many levels has nothing to do with the issue. As for the title of Mr. Paszkiewicz's letter, I merely said it was a misnomer, whomever may have authored the title.

What we're seeing is an effort to destroy religious freedom, just as Mr. Paszkiewicz said. What he doesn't realize, and apparently you don't either, is that he is leading the charge.

You sound like a broken f - ing record.

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The Framers consciously chose to distinguish between public policy like taxation (subject to majority will) and individual rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights (not subject to majority will).

The framers consciously chose a federalist system.

Parse all you like, this is the model that has led to an expansion of freedom over the past two centuries plus.

Today's model is radically different from that instituted by the framers, in the wake of the 14th Amendment and some fairly broad interpretations in the high courts (which you should know something about).

Yet you invoke the framers anyway--inaccurately--and try to imply that I'm nitpicking.

It's not a contradiction, but a recognition that individual religious practices are personal, not properly the state's concern.

"The freedom to believe is protected absolutely. The freedom to act on one's religious beliefs is also protected, but such protection may be overcome by compelling state interests."

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/f...nlaw/frank.html

The latter clause results in a contradiction of your claim.

As for chapter and verse wherein Paszkiewicz made these remarks, I suggest you turn to the audio tapes. This is in response to the preceding post, too.

1) If you rely on the tapes, then you should be citing the tape involved (via URL or something).

2) Regardless, you should be including the relevant comments of Mr. Paszkiewicz to assist with verification of your claims (or is it that we're supposed to listen to every tape hoping to hear the part you're talking about?).

You're close to someone who has access to the recordings, if I'm not mistaken.

It's too much for you to transcribe the exchange if you're going to go public with accusations?

That seems very irresponsible.

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Guest Paul
The framers consciously chose a federalist system.

Today's model is radically different from that instituted by the framers, in the wake of the 14th Amendment and some fairly broad interpretations in the high courts (which you should know something about).

Yet you invoke the framers anyway--inaccurately--and try to imply that I'm nitpicking.

"The freedom to believe is protected absolutely. The freedom to act on one's religious beliefs is also protected, but such protection may be overcome by compelling state interests."

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/f...nlaw/frank.html

The latter clause results in a contradiction of your claim.

1)  If you rely on the tapes, then you should be citing the tape involved (via URL or something).

2)  Regardless, you should be including the relevant comments of Mr. Paszkiewicz to assist with verification of your claims (or is it that we're supposed to listen to every tape hoping to hear the part you're talking about?).

You're close to someone who has access to the recordings, if I'm not mistaken.

It's too much for you to transcribe the exchange if you're going to go public with accusations?

That seems very irresponsible.

Bryan, it wouldn't make the slightest difference how much proof I gave you. You've predetermined your conclusions, which is why I don't usually respond to your posts.

You're not stupid, so it's a shame to see you behaving like that.

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Bryan, it wouldn't make the slightest difference how much proof I gave you. You've predetermined your conclusions, which is why I don't usually respond to your posts.

You're not stupid, so it's a shame to see you behaving like that.

You are not responding because you can't keep up with him. :lol::P

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Bryan, it wouldn't make the slightest difference how much proof I gave you.

Regardless, it is improper for you to make such allegations without an appropriate amount of supporting evidence.

I can hardly imagine a state bar association looking kindly on that type of behavior from one of its members.

And here you are at it again. You're asserting without evidence that I would fail to properly weigh the evidence.

No doubt in your next post you'll just say that that you couldn't be bothered to provide that evidence because I surely would not weigh it properly.

:lol:

You've predetermined your conclusions, which is why I don't usually respond to your posts.

More like you know for sure I'll nail you for failing to support your claims. Case in point your preceding sentence.

You're not stupid, so it's a shame to see you behaving like that.

And you're a lawyer and you're supposed to be ethical--but here we find you arguing via the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem when you should know better.

What's up with that?

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Uh, look who's talking. Cosmology isn't philosophy.

Bzzt.

1. the branch of philosophy dealing with the origin and general structure of the universe, with its parts, elements, and laws, and esp. with such of its characteristics as space, time, causality, and freedom.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cosmology

See also:

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...t=200&p=43174

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Bzzt.

This reminds me of the whole whining about the meaning of "train" that happened before. :)

"In recent times, physics and astrophysics have come to play a central role in shaping what is now known as physical cosmology; in other words, the understanding of the Universe through scientific observation and experiment. This discipline, which focuses on the Universe as it exists on the largest scales and at the earliest times, is generally understood to begin with the big bang, an expansion of space from which the Universe itself is thought to have erupted ~13.7 ± 0.2 billion (109) years ago. From its violent beginnings and until its very end, scientists then propose that the entire history of the Universe has been an orderly progression governed by physical laws." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmology

This is what I'm talking about.

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This reminds me of the whole whining about the meaning of "train" that happened before. :rolleyes:

"In recent times, physics and astrophysics have come to play a central role in shaping what is now known as physical cosmology; in other words, the understanding of the Universe through scientific observation and experiment. This discipline, which focuses on the Universe as it exists on the largest scales and at the earliest times, is generally understood to begin with the big bang, an expansion of space from which the Universe itself is thought to have erupted ~13.7 ± 0.2 billion (109) years ago. From its violent beginnings and until its very end, scientists then propose that the entire history of the Universe has been an orderly progression governed by physical laws." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmology

This is what I'm talking about.

Heh. Note the "recent times" and the explicit reference to "physical cosmology" to which I had already referred (and Strife at the time ignored).

See post #206.

I knew that's what you were talking about. But I'm the one who brought up "cosmology" and it isn't what I was talking about. I was using the term in its normal sense. You interpreted the term in an different sense in order to argue against me.

Guess what? That's the fallacy of equivocation.

You flubbed up again, Strife.

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/equivoqu.html

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Guest AnaHadWolves

Mr. Paszkiewicz may worship whatever god, idol, lamp-post or bowl of Jello he chooses; that is his right. It is NOT his right, in a science class, to impose his values on a captive audience of students...not all of whom may share his particular brand of values, i.e., religion.

Were the class called "comparative religions", he MIGHT be able to offer an opinion on his religion viz-a-viz other religions in a dispassionate manner. However, making a claim of superiority of one religion above another is the height of arrogance...and, stupidity, imho.

From personal experience, I've found most so-called Born Agains to be inflexible, intolerent, arrogant and hate-filled...far from what I have been taught as an Episcopalian Christian. Matter of fact, I've even been told by these knuckle-draggers that I, an Episcopalian Christian, am not a "true Christian". What a load of manure!

No, Mr. Paszkiewicz, I don't deny that you have a right to practice your religion; I DO deny that you have a right to indoctrinate captive, impressionable, unwilling students by your rants. Keep your private thoughts private...please!

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Mr. Paszkiewicz may worship whatever god, idol, lamp-post or bowl of Jello he chooses; that is his right. It is NOT his right, in a science class, to impose his values on a captive audience of students...not all of whom may share his particular brand of values, i.e., religion.

1) Is it okay to impose the value that values may not be imposed in the classroom?

2) (History class)

3) How did Paszkiewicz supposedly impose his beliefs on others?

Were the class called "comparative religions", he MIGHT be able to offer an opinion on his religion viz-a-viz other religions in a dispassionate manner. However, making a claim of superiority of one religion above another is the height of arrogance...and, stupidity, imho.

What did Paszkiewicz say to claim the superiority of one religion over another?

(Be specific, plz)

From personal experience, I've found most so-called Born Agains to be inflexible, intolerent, arrogant and hate-filled...far from what I have been taught as an Episcopalian Christian. Matter of fact, I've even been told by these knuckle-draggers that I, an Episcopalian Christian, am not a "true Christian". What a load of manure!

Those stupid knuckle-draggers! How silly of them to think they're better than you when you're really way better than them! They are so arrogant!

No, Mr. Paszkiewicz, I don't deny that you have a right to practice your religion; I DO deny that you have a right to indoctrinate captive, impressionable, unwilling students by your rants.

What makes you think that the students were unwilling?

The student who lodged the complaint deliberately asked questions of a religious nature in class.

And again, in what way were students indoctrinated? Be specific if you can.

Keep your private thoughts private...please!

Teachers offer personal opinions very frequently in public schools.

Would you silence all personal opinions or just certain ones?

And where would you draw the line?

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
Paszkiewicz defends First Amendment freedoms

To the Publisher:

  It is my firm conviction that there is an effort afoot to undermine the very underpinnings of our freedoms.  Kearny has been characterized as a backward town inhabited by barbarians.  This is unfortunate, because Kearny (the town I love, have chosen to live in and serve) is nothing of the sort. It is made up of intelligent, hard-working, benevolent, tolerant people and it pains me greatly to see it maligned. In light of the current controversy concerning church and state in Kearny, I would like to share some thoughts from our founders.

  But first let me say this, the words “separation of church and state” cannot be found in our Constitution. The intent of the founders was to limit the government’s encroachment into matters of conscience and religion, not to exclude any discussion of religion from public life. The so called “wall of separation” is mentioned only in a letter to an organization of Baptists in Danbury Conn. in which Jefferson uses that phrase to assure them that he will not restrict their religious liberty. It is unfortunate that this is the only Jefferson quote on the subject that gets attention in the press. Allow me to share some more. The first group I’d like to share concern Jefferson’s beliefs.

  “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21, 1803).

  “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781).

  These next quotes concern Jefferson’s thoughts on the courts. I’m sharing these because they seem to have been prophetic. Jefferson’s worst nightmare has come true! The courts have been used to strip us of our liberty!

  “The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” (Letter to Spencer Roane Sept. 6, 1819).

  “You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all Constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy ... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal ... knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” (Letter to William Jarvis Sept. 28, 1820).

  It is abundantly clear to me that popular conceptions of our First Amendment freedoms have drifted far from what the founders intended. Jefferson is often quoted by the enemies of religious freedom who appeal to the decisions of tyrannical courts rather than the will of the people, the minds of the founders or the Constitution. Jefferson would be appalled if he were alive today!

  George Washington, the venerated father of our beloved country, also had some interesting thoughts on the subject:“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” (Washington’s speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779).

  “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly to implore his protection and favors.” (Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation Oct. 3, 1789).

  I would be remiss to fail to include quotes from another icon of the anti-freedom of religion crowd, Benjamin Franklin:

  “God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” (Constitutional Convention 1787).

  “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered … do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” (Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787).

  In 1749, Franklin put a plan together for public education in Pennsylvania and he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”

  In 1787, he helped found Benjamin Franklin University. It was dedicated as “a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the cornerstone.”

  This is a mere sampling of what was on the minds of our founders as they formed this great nation of ours. May we walk worthy of the great heritage they left us. Let us remember that it is in this context that we have preserved the freest nation on earth!

  In closing, with regard to this town being made up of unintelligent barbarians … if that is true, it is only because they share the same thinking as Jefferson, Washington and Franklin!

David A. Paszkiewicz, Kearny

The above appeared in the January 10th 2007 edition of The Observer

Dear Mr. P.

Please keep in mind that my Constitution is just as important to me as your Bible is to you.

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