Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Kennedy the Papist

Ramesh Ponnuru has another outstanding rebuke to Hitchens's veiled anti-Catholicism. Best line:
Hitchens's piece is only seven paragraphs long, yet somehow feels padded. And padded with the most mindless dreck I've ever read from Hitchens, whose coverage of religious issues has been getting lazier by the month. The Ten Commandments, he informs us, do not condemn genocide. (I guess Hitchens is a very strict constructionist.)

Oh, it gets meaner . . .


Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, neither did the US Consitution. Oops...

Anonymous said...

Hitchens is a lost soul. Some like him because he blasted Clinton and is pretty tough on Islam. He is about as secular and anti-God as you can get.

arrScott said...

It gets meaner, but not better. To wit:

Hitchens dismisses Justice Scalia's comment that "the principle of laws being ordained by God is ... the foundation of our legal system" as "gibberish" that "is in flat contradiction to the Declaration of Independence." Has Hitchens ever read the Declaration?

Better question: Has Ramesh Ponnuru?

No one who has ever read the Declaration could conceivably agree with Scalia. The Declaration says,

He has dissolved Representative Houses ... He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

Could the Founders have possibly made any clearer their revolutionary notion that sovereignty rises from the people and does not descend from God? Yes, they could have, and they did so, when they wrote:

... to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed ...

Game, set, match. The Declaration asserts that the laws of God entitle each distinct people to assume a seperate and equal station among nations. It asserts that God endows all men with certain rights, the protection of which justifies the formation of a state. Finally, they state their reliance on divine providence to protect American independence. But nowhere do the Founders claim divine ordination for the laws of the land. To the contrary, most of the same men went on to write the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, both of which state even more firmly that state and federal governments derive their powers solely from the legislative authority inherent in the sovereign people.

We the People ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Seems the Founders were pretty clear about who ordains the laws in this country. Scalia's opinion on the matter sets him at odds with the Declaration, the Constitution, and America's Founders, and on the side of King George III, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Mullah Omar.