The atmosphere of animosity that is prevalent in Washington, D.C., is unparalleled, and the partisan mentality between the two political parties is toxic. There does not seem to be a day when the representatives of the opposing parties are not at each other’s throats to make their point of view. The civility that existed between the political opponents has vanished, and there seems to be no hope of ending this feud.

These matters have become even worse with opinionated and dogmatic media that has chosen sides in this strife. On television, there is no news or any divulgence of information to common citizens, which could help understand the present complex political situation. A group of people sits in front of the camera and argues with each other about the same issues over and over again.

All these may seem to be hassling and arguments between two political parties based on their ideologies and dogma but these very animated confrontations may create a greater crisis leading to disarray in the governing of our country. Since the first mid-term election during the Obama administration there has been a constant tussle between the legislative and executive branches of government that is going to this day.

At that time, the legislative branch, which consisted of a Republican majority, made it very difficult for the executive branch to function, thus leading to delays in implementing laws and policies. When the turn around took place in the last mid-term elections, the same altercation has started, leading to spending of all the energy and time on one issue only.

The issue that has been affected the most in a very bad way is the foreign policy of the United States. Never before has the United States been out of the picture of the leadership around the world. A majority of the countries of the world look toward the United States when they need help against hegemony and tyranny. Our traditional allies are mocking us and adopting their own policies for the future.

China is trying to dominate its presence in Africa by building seaports in countries close to the continent so that they can reap the benefits of the African raw materials. It has built islands and military bases in the South China Sea to secure the trading sea routes. Russia threatens and dominates the Balkan countries and central Asian countries. Threatening Western Europe with gas embargo and the list goes on.

Not only this, but the humanitarian crises that inflict the world have also been neglected. The siege of the Kashmiri people by Indian armed forces since August has been a debacle, the genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and the religious oppression of the Chinese government against its Muslim citizens in northwest part of China are the few examples that needed to be mentioned.

It is imperative that the wrangling between the two political parties is stopped and bipartisan goals are carved out to serve the interests of the citizens of our country. At the same time, the arm wrestling and show of power between the legislative and executive branches of government has to be tamed and restrained so that we all can have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas.

(59) comments

public-redux

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the [public schools] and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” ~ someone said to be worth listening to

jsklinelga

public-redux

Would you direct that at congress? There is a difference between private prayer and group prayer. But this is an unfruitful conversation. Dr. Hague was commenting on the divide in this country and the political toxicity that is a by product. The divide stems from far deeper causes then prayer in schools or gay marriage or abortion etc. It comes from a heartfelt desire to honor God and Jesus Christ in our lives, in our schools and in our communities. With an abundance of tolerance we allowed certain changes within our culture, Such as stopping a practice that offended a few but was endorsed by thousands. The legitimacy of the decision was not considered.

But the pendulum has swung way to far and what we are witnessing is a natural backlash. Unless the same measure of tolerance is shown by those that are on the opposite side of the spectrum the division and toxicity will only intensify Now it seems far fetched but I would bet there will be public funding of Christian schools in the very near future, Also Jewish schools and Muslim schools. And that is just one aspect of contention. Changes will come. Either with peaceful tolerance and compromise or by chaotic and harmful civil disruption.

gabrielshorn2013

JSK, who is stopping anyone from worshipping their god as they see fit? Nobody! Unless, of course, you are advocating for State (National, County, Community) sanctioning or a religious practice over others (which you seem to be advocating). That is specifically prohibited by the establishment clause of the 1A. I can't understand why you continue with this argument. Do you really believe that upholding the Constitution will lead to civil unrest? Why?

public-redux

Gabe, I appreciate you picking up the baton. I’ve been making these same points to jsk for years. He either moves the goalposts (“prayer isn’t allowed” turns into “government sanctioned prayer isn’t allowed”) or retreats to “majority tyranny is okay as long as I agree with the majority. Otherwise minority tyranny is okay because tradition”. Lately he is using ‘community” as a synonym for government. According to jsk, a community can be a town, a county, a city, or a state but NEVER the country. For some reason, the United States is not a community but California is.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Jsk,

Does it really matter who wins the battle for this Country when Jesus Christ has already won the war for eternity.

public-redux

[thumbup]

Excellent point!

It may be that jsk is concerned that adults are less likely to adhere to his religion unless its claims are inculcated when they are children. If so, he should rest easy. Any idea that can easily shown to be true will gain adherents no matter their age when they first encounter it.

public-redux

No, I directed it only to hypocritical Christians. I can’t see how it matters where they work.

My turn: would you require members of Congress to attend a daily prayer? Should the Christian MCs kneel and face Mecca when the prayer is to Allah? Should the Protestants not be allowed to protest when the Catholics revere God’s rep on earth, the pope? Should

Look, I get that it irks you that your opinions aren’t deferred to or shared by a hundred million or more Americans. I understand that. Just follow my advice that you said was absolutely correct: don’t try to force your views on others via government.

public-redux

And to return to our conversation of Thursday, I really am curious why you are opposed to helping people escape poverty. What is up with that?

phydeaux994

So jsk, you and OP are blaming Religion, or lack thereof, for the Great Divide in America?? And it happened during the Obama Administration jsk? So you now Worship the Antichrist who will restore Christianity to America? The one that recently anointed himself the “Chosen One”? Donald J Trump? So if I decipher the last two sentences of your first paragraph jsk, you are talking about LGBTQ Rights, correct? And you support Trump because he opposes those Rights, the rest of his sins don’t matter to you? This is what you have been talking about these past months in your cryptic comments, your opposition to LGBTQ “concessions” you abhor. It all makes sense now.

gary4books

Public - [beam]

jsklinelga

Dr. Hague,

You can see these comments do not pertain to your column, yet they do. I was sure I would generate a number of rebuttal comments We are a divided nation. I threw out the typical talking points and received back the typical replies. But that is not going to bridge our divide. I am not sure it can be changed unless we get back to our founders real brilliance. A basic set of national rights for common defense, domestic tranquility, established judicial principles etc. but the freedom of individual communities and States to control their own social norms, school curriculum, etc.Unless we have that ability America will dramatically change. It is easy to see that the nation will continue to splinter if non- legislated mandates come from the federal level. And congress is forbidden to legislate anything concerning religion.

Gabriel posted that children are allowed to gather around the flag pole and pray. I do not want my grand kids to have to gather around the flag pole. That is my right if I live in a community that excepts that right. OP said there is a misunderstanding of the "establishment cause" He is correct. That is at the center of a huge movement to change the courts. This fight will only continue. The only question is will there be compromise or the continuing decline of America.

jsklinelga

a quick off topic follow up: Does anyone believe that Congress should have to gather around the flag pole outside to say and hear thier opening prayer each day? Or that "God save this court" should not be said each time the Justices of the Supreme court are seated?

Obadiah Plainsmen

The problem is not the Constitution, it is the 9 unaccountable life-serving people who are charged with interpreting it that screws it up. Elections have consequences, and RBG has not been feeling well lately. BTW the oral arguments on the biggest gun law to hit the SC since Heller will be heard on Monday.

jsklinelga

OP

RBG not feeling gives people hope that the balance will finally shift but that is somewhat of a horrible thought. I pray that we would never hope for another;s ill fortune. The real problem seems to be that the balance within SCOTUS has such a powerful impact on our country. That is not how our system was designed and that has certainly helped create the sharp divide in our country.

gabrielshorn2013

Sigh...jsk, meet me at the flagpole need not be taken literally. The students may meet anywhere on school grounds, including INSIDE the building. School officials should NOT be establishing such prayer meetings. However, there is nothing stopping them from participating in the prayers. You DO know that schools are leased for church services in off hours in Frederick County for religious purposes.

jsklinelga

gabe

Interesting comments and it starts to get at the heart of the real issue. Why should school officials NOT be establishing such prayer meetings? For much of our history religion and religious study was an integral part of school curriculum. My position is that it is not unconstitutional. It has been ruled that way but many feel that this was not only judicial overreach but an errant decision. The question would be does our constitution give the federal government the power to dictate to a community school system whether this should be allowed. This goes to the heart of the intention of the two prongs: free exercise and establishment. Curious for your thoughts

hayduke2

jsk -https://www.preceden.com/timelines/184634-the-history-of-religion-in-schools

gabrielshorn2013

Whose religion jsk? Baptist? Catholic? Presbyterian? Jewish? Muslim? Hindu? Confucianism? Pastafarian? What you are advocating is a school stating which religious practice will be observed, and I am assuming you want it to be Christian. That is establishment of a religion, which violates the 1A. Schools, or any other government agency are specifically precluded from doing so. However, nobody is stopping students from exercising their religious beliefs. Do Christians not wear crosses to school? Do muslim girls not wear the hijab if they wish? Can Jewish boys not wear yamakuls to school after their Bar Mitzvah? You name the religion and tell us whose freedom of expression is being suppressed. As for "meet me by the flagpole", those meetings can be held anywhere before, during, or after the school day, and are voluntary attended by the students. Why should a Muslim, Jewish, or (pick a religion) student have to sit through a school lead Christian prayer. Would it be ok if Christian students were forced to sit through a Zoroastrian service?

jsklinelga

Dr. Hague,

You are right that America is a force in the world. And "The atmosphere of animosity that is prevalent in Washington, D.C., is unparalleled, and the partisan mentality between the two political parties is toxic." And this will end up hurting America's world leadership.

This comment section is a perfect reflection of the country at large. Party line differences amplify with the hostility and personal insults and most points are just repetitive , redundant, media hyperbole.

And you are correct that it is unparalleled. We have had many politically toxic.situations in our history but never before have we had a cultural divide with underlying, opposing belief systems. America was always united in their belief and trust in God. That is no longer the case and this is what this current fight is really centered upon (abortion, gay marriage, gender transformation rights, prayer in schools. freedom from religion etc.). We assume nothing can destroy this great country. Abe Lincoln expressed an ancient truth. "A divided house cannot stand" And for the first time in our history we have become a divided house. The real question for the world and America is how can this divide be bridged.

public-redux

“The real question for the world and America is how can this divide be bridged.”

The big government types can cease and desist from their efforts to force their views on others. Revive the apparently antiquated notion that people know their own self-interest better than does government. Pretty simple really.

jsklinelga

public-redux

We finally agree. Did a small group of non elected, federal judges, have any right to tell a New York community that it could not allow a prayer in their schools? NO! It violated a very basic Constitutional principle that this country was founded on. Or that communities could not display religious symbols? Or that DOMA was unconstitutional? Or that communities must except gay marriage? The list goes on. You are absolutely correct. Now they want large Urban areas to be able to dictate to rural communities how their communities are shaped and what beliefs they are allowed simply because the large urban areas have more people (votes)

public-redux

Sigh. Prayer is allowed in schools. Government endorsement of religion is not. Communities can display religious symbols. Community governments cannot pick and choose which religious displays are allowed. Communities don’t have to accept gay marriage. Governments cannot discriminate against it.

“You are absolutely correct.” I know.

DickD

Better read what Gladys wrote below, Jim, because you are wrong. Not that I care, but why are you concerned about gays? Don't you believe ALL people have the RIGHT to live the way they want to? And why do you insist that this is a government of dirt, not people? " Now they want large Urban areas to be able to dictate to rural communities how their communities are shaped and what beliefs they are allowed simply because the large urban areas have more people (votes)." Apparently you don't believe in equal rights for ALL!

phydeaux994

jsk, you do realize that the partisan, toxic, mentality between the two Party’s and the deep, deep, hate filled divide in the Country has only happened since Trump decided to run for President in 2015 and started his series of hateful, racist, bigoted, White Supremacist promoting “Trump Rallies” which continue unabated until this day? It had started in 2008 with the Election of Barack Obama, America’s first President of Color but remained below the surface until Trump legitimized it in his very first speech on the “Golden Staircase” at the Trump Tower on June 16, 2015. And it was Mitch McConnell and John Boehner who had declared the Republican Priority to “take down” President Obama who was elected by a MAJORITY of American voters. Democrats have never declared that their #1 priority is to remove Trump from Office despite the accusations from the Republicans to do so. Any attempt to do so will be that of Donald J Trump himself by his misdeeds in Office.

jsklinelga

phydeaux994

The divide is much deeper. I voted for President Obama twice I detested Mitch McConnell's remarks. The divide is similar to a disease with barely noticeable symptoms until it erupts in full force. For me that occurred in the last years of Obama's presidency. Our country's drift from "freedom of religion" started in the mid 20th century when the Supreme Court started overstepping it's Constitutional boundaries and started mandating social changes outside the legislative process. The only comment that DickD has said recently that made any sense was that Trump's support came from selecting the judges. That is absolutely correct.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Let not your heart be troubled jsk. It will be bridged not human accomplishment or achievement, by Divine intervention

public-redux

I hope that gets recorded on someone’s cellphone.

jsklinelga

public-redux

In regards to your sigh above . You accused me of being dishonest but that whole line of reasoning is dishonest. Yes students can pray but not organized prayer. I want my grand kids to go to a school where organized prayer is offered . If the law of the community forbids it:we move. But I do not want some outsider making the choice and I certainly think it is blatantly unconstitutional for the Federal Government to prohibit organized prayer. There had been a slow erosion of fundamental rights over the last 70 years but now we are beginning to see a monumental sea change. Hence the divide that is tearing apart our country. With all due respect MAGA

hayduke2

Interesting quote -“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” Harper Lee

gabrielshorn2013

With all respect JSK, I believe public is correct on the religion in school issue. There is nothing preventing prayer in schools, not even organized prayer. They just can't use the school PA system to do so. Every school has a voluntary "meet me by the flagpole" prayer group that has an organized prayer before school. Can students not lead their own prayer sessions, or should a school administrator be required to lead?

hayduke2

Simple question for you jsk - which god? Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wicken ?

public-redux

Probably the one that the Catholics and Protestants have killed each other over for centuries.

DickD

Sad, but true, Gladys. Some even quote the Old Testament not realizing it came entirely from the Jewish or at least they act that way. Some don't even seem to realize Christ was Jewish. And there are many that don't accept the fact that Protestants originated in the Roman Catholic religion. There are exceptions of course, such as the Mormons.

jsklinelga

hayduke2

Answer to the simple question. We have the freedom of religion to choose what God we worship. The whole concept of the republic is individual States and communities shall have freedom of choice As far as the federal government: it overstepped it;s bounds. The founders declared from the start "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" The federal government has no right to legislate any choice or practice of religion as long as it does not disturb the other rights outlined in the federal Bill of rights. And SCOTUS certainly has no right to legislate. How did it ever make any sense that the rights of a couple people, even when it was not mandatory, should out weigh the rights of a million.(Engle v Vitale)

hayduke2

And yet, that is exactly what you are a proponent of. Why do you rejoice in the appointments of a more right leaning SCOTUS - because you support a Christian interpretation of the rights and want said rights to be emposed on schools and other institutions. Free exercise of religion is important but a separation of church and state is equally important. Rights are rights - equal rights is a cornerstone of the democracy.

phydeaux994

jsk, Trump is the antithesis of any Religion. No ones grandkids have ever had organized prayer in a Public School and the Constitution forbids it, as it should. Your contention the Trump will bring real “freedom of Religion” back to America is irrational. It never left. It is Protected by the Constitution. Your comments linking Trump and Religion are just baffling.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Has anyone taken the time to research the real key to the meaning of the "Establishment Clause" ? if you would you would know how James Madison felt about it since he wrote it. Religious faith is valuable for good government. But government is to treat individual religions equally, as long as they conducted themselves in an orderly manner.

DickD

Having just spoken to a small trucking company owner, I am wondering about our economy. Most say that it will merely be a slow down, not a recession. However, the owner of the trucking company pointed out that the contracts being worked on now we're originated three years ago. There are very few new contracts.

jsklinelga

Dr. Haque,

The first comment by Russian epitomizes the senseless, daily sniping that is hurting our country. But reading between the lines in your column you see a theme captured by the Trump campaign: MAGA. Hopefully that will not turn people off to the larger point. Both sides of the political spectrum, often through intense wrangling,, have helped make America the world's hope.

Your pleading for American leadership in the world to be fully restored. Amidst the current political turmoil. Is it not incredible what America represents to the citizens of the world. We were the first truly great nation ruled by the people. And a people ruled by a belief you help others. How many Americans have died fighting tyranny?

How many trillions of dollars of the people's money has been spent fighting poverty, disease,human suffering, religious persecution and genocide. A recent column mentioned Anne Frank. Although her demise was quite unfortunate millions of the Anne Frank's of the world greatest hope is America. And for that we should be abundantly thankful and extremely proud.

DickD

You need to write a book, Jim.

olefool

So why would you Jim want to give it all away to the Russians???? That is what's cooking just below the surface of our present cabal of politicians running the senate and white house.

DickD

Because Donald Trump said, he is the chosen one. Jim can't go against that, he is religious.

marinick1

[thumbup]

Thewheelone

Mr. Haque, I agree with much of your letter in that bi partisan harmony has been lacking for quite a while and that "The issue that has been affected the most in a very bad way is the foreign policy of the United States." However, you neglected to write that the current executive branch is in disarray and the leader of the free world is an inept huckster, who really does not understand history, and other matters that lead to the ability, as the Constitution indicates, for him to be the chief ambassador for this country. This train wreck of an administration starts solely at the top and the blame for the dysfunction rests securely on the the presidents' shoulders.

DickD

Great comment, wheel.

jsklinelga

thewheelone

Not only Ambassador but Commander in Chief. Inept Huckster? Dr. Hague mentions China's expansion. For years it has been known that Chiba has been guilty of stealing intellectual property from the US and that the trade agreements were grossly unfair favoring China. To remedy this was one of DJT campaign planks. He has vigorously attacked those problems with promising results. Do you think that would have happened in the last administration where the VP and Sec of State sons were,hugely, financially, beholden to China?

How about Russia? What about the uranium? Or that the Obama administration feared sending military aid to Ukraine so as not to provoke Russia. Inept plus corrupt was a term better suited for the last administration.

jsklinelga

and as a follow up concerning Russian expansion what of the recent, anti-Russian US defense systems in the works for Poland and Romania

olefool

Or the surrender to Turkey and the russians of our Kurdish allies, or Turkey's deals with russia for arms and air forces, or his love buddy Kim firing off rockets and calling him a dotard, or him withholding aid from Ukraine so they cannot defend their territory from the russians??? I guess you didn't know that poland and romania are both NATO allies, did you????

gabrielshorn2013

Olefool, so is Turkey, and has been since 1952.

phydeaux994

jsk, you have to be the most naive, gullible, denier on the FNP Opinion Forum, bar none. Your hatred for Obama has overwhelmed any semblance of reality exhibited by your daily Fantasy psychobabble. Peace.

hayduke2

jsk - seems I recall that Trump's daughter has taken advantage of the office to get several trademarks and the President endorsing a company that can access sensitive information ( Huawei )

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/business/ivanka-trump-china-trademarks.html OR https://www.androidauthority.com/huawei-google-android-ban-988382/ And I guess you know that those weapons Trump sent can't be used on the front lines right? https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/9/24/1887192/-Bad-faith-delivery-US-stopped-Ukraine-from-bringing-our-missiles-to-contact-line-with-Russia As I have said before, you buy his BS "hook, line and sinker."

DickD

Great comments both of you, Hay and Phy. But you have to realize Jim has his own little world where facts don't matter.

marinick1

[thumbup]

Russian

Tucker Carlson admits that Trump’s claim about his inauguration crowd size was false and says Donald Trump did it because he’s a salesman which lying is permissible

gabrielshorn2013

While your example may ring true russkie, there is enough of that 🐂 💩 on both sides.

Russian

Comrade I agree both sides of American politics are polluted with capitalist corruption Trump and Biden are both crooks

phydeaux994

gab, just for the record response to a claim a few days ago, Democratic House members have supported Trump Legislation 31% of the time, Democratic Senators 37% of the time since his Inaugeration. Mitch McConnell has not offered the same support for Trump Legislation in the Senate.

gabrielshorn2013

So, your team doesn't suck as much as the other team. Got it phy. I wonder what they still have in common.

phydeaux994

How often would Democrats have to agree with Republicans to not suck?? Compared to the 0% you claim 30%+ seemed to be pretty good. Oh well, for some nothing is ever good enough. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

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