Sara Palin’s Cafeteria Christianity
FlaglerLive | April 18, 2010
For now, the top illustration on the Letters page will always be a stamp, or a set of stamps, for a couple of reasons: letter-writing is not only a dying art (although here’s your chance to revive it in Flagler). It’s diminished the visibility of the philatelic arts. That’s too bad, considering the lost beauty and reduced exposure to our own or other countries’ stamps, which are small, bright windows into cultures around the world. We’ll feature our own favorites. If you’d like to share some of your favorite stamps, don’t hesitate to scan and send them in; the higher the resolution, the better. And if you have a brief story to go along with your stamp (stamps often being small repositories of their owner’s memoirs), send those in too: we’ll include the story with the stamp.
We start with the U.S. Post Office’s stamp on the Louisiana Purchase, for obvious reasons: FlaglerLive is something of a Lewis & Clark expedition for Flagler County and online journalism. The stamp was issued in 2003, back when a first-class letter cost just 37 cents. It was drawn by artist Garin Baker, a New York City freelance artist, muralist and illustrator.
As the USPS stamp synopsis had it, “The background of the composite stamp art consists of a map of the United States overlaid with a facsimile of the first page of the English translation of the treaty. In the foreground is a painting by Garin Baker that depicts the signing of the treaty. Livingston and Barbé-Marbois (with his back to the viewer) are depicted shaking hands; Monroe is signing the document. Two unidentified men observe the proceedings. Baker based his painting on a half-tone engraving of an illustration by André Castaigne. The engraving was executed by H. Davidson and published in the June 1904 issue of The Century Magazine. Castaigne’s original illustration appeared in the Rose of Old St. Louis, a historical novel about the Louisiana Purchase that was published in 1904 by The Century Co.”
Previous stamps commemorating the Louisiana Purchase, according to the USPS, include four stamps in the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition issue. The 1-cent, 2-cent, 3-cent and 10-cent stamps featured Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and a map of the Louisiana Purchase. A 3-cent Louisiana Purchase Sesquicentennial stamp was issued in 1953. Read the full background on the Louisiana Purchase stamp here.
Now on to your letters.
Sara Palin’s Cafeteria Christianity
Sara — the perky-mouth — Palin’s latest mouth-‘n-brain disconnect showed she has problems with understanding the religious beliefs of our Founding Fathers. It was the late Senator from New York – Daniel Patrick Moynihan – who said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts.” For the case in point, it should be “her own opinion” but not “her own facts.”
First. The document that is called the “Declaration of Independence” does not have that as its title. The title is: “The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of American.” (Notice the word “united” is written with a lower case letter “u.”)
Second. The opening lines of the 2nd paragraph state, “We hold these truths that all men are created equal. . .” The word “men” did not mean “mankind.” It meant “men” and only “men.” It did not include women or blacks. It certainly didn’t include native American men or Jews or Asians or any other class of people except that those that were wealthy colonists like Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hancock, et al. In some states it didn’t include Baptist or Catholic.
Third. The next most erroneously interpreted phrase by Cafeteria Christians is, “they are endowed by their creator . . .” The two words in contention are “their creator.” Notice the words are not: “the Creator.” Neither does it say, “the God of Creation” as Cafeteria Christians like Sara Palin would like everyone to believe. The words “their creator” does not point to the Christian God of the last few centuries. If the Founding Fathers were thinking of a “creator god” it was a Deist god, not a Christian god. The Founding Fathers were, for the most part, Deist — not Christians. There is ample proof they were Deists if someone were really interested in looking for such proof. For an excellent example of this proof, check out the so-called “Jefferson Bible.”
Fourth. The phrase “endowed by their creator” was originally written by Jefferson in lower case letters – as a noun. That phrase – with a lower case letter “c” (“creator”) was left that way by Franklin and Adams when the “Declaration . . .” was sent to the printer.
History does not record who changed the word “creator” – simple noun – into a proper noun – Creator — with an upper case letter “C.” It was either John Dunlop or someone in his printing shop on the night of July 4-5, 1776.
Fifth. The phrase, “endowed by their creator” is an indication that it means anyone’s creator. If the person reading the “Declaration. . .” were a Christian, then it would mean “The Creator of the world according to the Old Testament.” If the person reading the “Declaration . . .” were a Moslem, then it would mean “The Creator of the world according to The Koran. For the Moslem, that Creator would be Allah. The Hindu creator is the Lord Brahma.
Those Cafeteria Christians who claim the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a Christian nation should review their Commandments as given Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Both those versus have a this commandment: “Thou shalt not bare false witness.”
Russell A. Pizer
Will There Be a Doctor In the House?
Carol Gentry’s article, taken on face value, tells us what a good deal we will have when the cost of medical care is reduced because everyone buys health insurance. Her article sounds like it’s straight off the Democratic Party printing machine.
One of the items her article – and our Democratic friends in Congress and the Administration – does not address is: where will all the medical staff come from in the next four years to treat all these new entrants into the medical system? With reported shortages of doctors and nurses and hospital space, perhaps we could outsource our medical care for these 30+ million to another country. Or perhaps the government will decide who will get service based on a priority of care as defined by it — old people are provided care after young people, if at all; heart and lung problems are addressed before diabetic problems, but only for younger patients; “elective” processes can be delayed, especially for our older population in Florida. The list of possible scenarios is endless.
Good deal indeed.
H. Peter Stolz
Tea Parties and Race Baiting
Good luck on your new venture. I did read a lot of the content — the international articles were very interesting to me. I welcome another new outlet for the voices in Flagler County.
But, please think about this: Why would the “diverse” population attend a rally when they have already been told by the media and politicians that the Tea Party People are racist?
We cannot prove the negative – that we are not racist beyond having everyone over for good cup of coffee and showing the pictures on my wall and that the photos in our family album includes other races. My husband, Pat D’Aguanno, is a saxophonist whose biggest heroes are black and Latino. We don’t wear this on our sleeves. By the way, there were Hispanic attendees that you may have missed. We held the rally, open to all, but cannot force attendance by any group. The media’s continuous use of race-baiting tactics are hurting us all. We can have a political discussion about issues other than race, can’t we?
And, does the FlaglerLive forum participant really know what tea bagger means? It is a sexually derogatory term, disgusting. So much of the disgusting name-calling comes from the other side of the political spectrum, unfortunately.
But I do enjoy our debates.