Tuesday, July 15, 2003

From Ambassador Minikes

Yesterday’s editions of The Washington Times prints a letter over my name and title, purportedly coming from me (“The State Department’s corrosive culture”). It is a complete and utter fabrication and an impersonation by whoever wrote and signed my name to it. It was not written by or for me, and it expresses views that are diametrically opposite to the views I hold.

The fact is that never in my long career have I worked with a more dedicated group of professionals than those I have encountered in the Department of State led by Secretary Colin L. Powell — people who are absolutely committed to executing the president’s foreign policy goals.

It is a shame that your verification procedures allowed such a forgery to slip through and be printed.



Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Vienna, Austria

Preserving the institution of marriage

I’d like to express my support for Mona Charen’s Saturday commentary, “We … the justices.” Although Mrs. Charen’s article is specifically about Lawrence vs. Texas, it brushes the surface of a much more complex issue: allowing homosexual unions. I share the author’s disdain toward this possibility.

The institution of marriage is different from other socially created institutions. It was not created by the government but, rather, was inherited. The state simply began recognizing a long-standing tradition of humanity. Therefore, the government does not have the right to redefine an institution it did not create.

Allowing homosexual unions would be a step in the wrong direction. What’s next? Recognizing unions between humans and dogs? Turtles and turkeys? Whales and pumpkins? Where will it end? Society’s circle of inclusion is ever-expanding; nonetheless, the state must not give in to the whims and passions of the periphery.

Let me say this: I believe that most homosexuals are good citizens and worthwhile people. However, they, along with many others in our society, simply do not understand the ripple effects of recognizing homosexual unions. For example, more children would grow up in homes where the delicate balance of affection from a mother and a father (woman and man) would be absent.



Constitutional principles

Like 18th-century Americans, the people of Portsmouth, R.I., (undoubtedly Calvinists) formed a Bodie Politick agreeing to practice self-government in submission to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” also known as “all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given in His Holy Word of truth, to be guided and judged thereby” (“Cradle of democracy?” Culture et cetera, yesterday).

In short, 18th-century Americans wrote the U.S. Constitution to found a unique republic as Portsmouth citizens founded their Bodie Politick on the creation principle of self-government under the rule of law also called the rule of truth.

Federalist Paper No. 43 asks the question of the U.S. Constitution: “On what principle [can] the Confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the States…be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it?” “The … question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self-preservation; to the transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.”

Be assured the constitutional-law expert quoted, Roger Pilon, does not promote the foregoing truth of the U.S. Constitution. For he wonders where Jews, Quakers, Lutherans and Calvinists “would fit under the paragraph” forming the Portsmouth Bodie Politick. He thus reveals his lack of knowledge and understanding that all four groups share the very same “Holy Word of truth” as their guide for individual and corporate liberty that flows from self-government under its rule.

To be more accurate, Mr. Pilon should be referred to as a “constitutional-opinion expert.” In 1871, the first dean of Harvard Law School, Christopher Columbus Langdell, exchanged the rule of law in American legal education for the rule of man’s opinions when he invented “case law,” now the foundation of the shifting sand upon which the current national court system sits.

There is one constitutional provision that reads: “Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state, or infringe the rights of other citizens.” U.S. courts’ reliance on “the compelling State interest test” in “balancing interests,” rather than making judgments under fixed, uniform and universal law, fit under this paragraph, which, of course, is not in the U.S. Constitution. Yet “constitutional-opinion experts” freely adhere to the principles of this paragraph when teaching U.S. “constitutional theory.”

And whence cometh this paragraph? It follows the first paragraph of Article 39 of the Constitution of the former Soviet Union that reads: “Citizens of the USSR enjoy in full the social, economic, political and personal rights and freedoms proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR and by Soviet laws. The socialist system ensures enlargement of the rights and freedoms of citizens and continuous improvement of their living standards as social, economic and cultural development programmes are fulfilled.”



Misrepresenting the position of Americans United

The Washington Times accuses Americans United for Separation of Church and State of concocting a reason to oppose the Bush administration’s “modest and commonsensical” faith-based approach to drug abuse prevention (“Faith is a key,” Editorials, Sunday). We do indeed oppose the administration’s effort, but it is neither modest, nor common-sensical — and it is also constitutionally dubious.

It’s important for all Americans to understand that the administration’s “faith-based” drug-prevention plan is a small part of a broader scheme to divert public funds to churches to provide an array of social services. Far from modest, this sweeping policy change would force taxpayers to support religious institutions they don’t believe in and subsidize religious discrimination in hiring at participating houses of worship.

Thus, the Bush administration seeks to harness religion to accomplish the goals of government — an intrusion into the independence of houses of worship that all Americans ought to oppose. Surely, conservatives ought to be suspicious of any move that jeopardizes the integrity of religion, as well as the right of individuals to donate their hard-earned cash only to religious institutions of their choice.

Speaking as an ordained minister, I am well aware that religious groups have been responding to youth drug abuse for years, and many of those groups combine good science with their own personal religious message. They provide these services without prodding (or funds) from the federal government. In a nation that practices church-state separation, that is how it should be.


Executive director

Americans United for Separation of Church and State


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