Constitution

On American ‘Exceptionalism’

American politicians forever talk about the nation’s “exceptionalism,” a special greatness that sets the U.S.A. apart from all others. But this jingoism requires whitewashing much of U.S. history and ignoring much of the present, too, says Lawrence Davidson.

Confusion Over the First Amendment

Exclusive: The Blunt Amendment went down to a narrow defeat in the Senate on Thursday, but its contention that employers must be allowed to impose their religious beliefs on the medical insurance choices of their employees will remain a hot political topic – one dressed deceptively in the First Amendment, writes Robert Parry.

Santorum ‘Throws Up’ on JFK/Obama

Exclusive: Rich Santorum says he almost threw up reading John Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religious tolerance, and the GOP presidential hopeful sees sinister intent in President Obama’s plea that young Americans seek higher education. So, what would a Santorum America be like, asks Robert Parry.

The Roots of US Religious Tolerance

From the Archive: Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum’s accusation that President Obama follows a “phony theology,” one not “based on the Bible,” revives the right-wing notion that the United States must be a “Christian nation” and that “separation of church and state” is a “myth,” a topic that Baptist Minister Howard Bess addressed in 2011.

Madison: Father of the Commerce Clause

Exclusive: The Tea Party has been fueled by the idea that key Founders, like James Madison, opposed a strong central government and thus laws like “Obamacare” are unconstitutional. But Madison was the framer who devised the Commerce Clause upon which health-care and other reforms are based, notes Robert Parry.

Onward-Marching Christian Soldiers

From the Archive: In 2008, Rick Santorum declared, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Though sounding odd to many, Santorum’s Satan talk is common among right-wing Christians who have intervened in U.S. politics before, like President Clinton’s impeachment, as Frederick Clarkson noted in this 1998 article.

Santorum Abuses ‘E Pluribus Unum’

Exclusive: In 1776, when America’s 13 colonies were uniting to fight for independence, they adopted a slogan, “E Pluribus Unum, from many, one.” Now, GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum has hijacked the motto to mean that a diverse United States must live under a single Biblical code, notes Robert Parry.

Need to Talk Sense to Netanyahu

Recalling President George Washington’s farewell advice against tying the United States too closely to any foreign nation, Veterans for Peace urges President Obama to publicly warn Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu against attacking Iran with the expectation of U.S. military support.

Americans Abandon International Law

After a decade of “war on terror” rhetoric – and President Obama’s failure to reverse many of George W. Bush’s extrajudicial policies – the U.S. public has come to accept that American “exceptionalism” puts the nation beyond the reach of international law, as Nat Parry explains.

Theocracy Comes to Virginia

Exclusive: Virginia’s Republican-controlled government is moving to enact extreme anti-abortion laws based on a doctrinal belief that human life begins at conception, even if that judgment conflicts with the personal beliefs of many state residents — the latest round of America’s “Religion Wars,” writes Sam Parry.