Mark Hopkins & The Constitution

From Patheos:
Reverend Mark Hopkins, the former president of Williams College, urged the federal government to pass laws protecting the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Sunday). Hopkins argued that the Fourth Commandment ("Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy") should be embedded in American law in much the same way that commandments prohibiting murder, stealing, and "bearing false witness" were staples of the legal system. If that was not enough to convince naysayers, Hopkins emphasized Jesus' words in Mark 2:27—"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath"—to argue that the human body was created by God in such a way that it required a day of rest. "Men and animals," Hopkins wrote, "will have a better health and live longer; will do more work, and do it better, if they rest one day in seven, than if they work continuously." Since rest was a human right endowed by God, how could a nation with Christian roots not endorse the Sabbath?
We embrace what we like from our past and ignore the very unconstitutional thoughts of Williams's celebrated President. I am left wondering, to an extent, about how "correct" my current constitutional thoughts will seem in 50 years. Perhaps anyone who thinks the government should regulate marriage will be ostracized?


The recent political kerfuffle over Obama's intervention in Libya is the perfect Catch-22. As was inevitable, military equipment has been destroyed, and civilians killed - by us. We own this conflict in a way that no one can diminish - mission creep is going to get worse unless we have set up (privately) a CLEAR AND ABSOLUTE end of commitment.

If we hadn't intervened, you can bet the GOP would have made a huge fuss that Obama had let the rebels die (which is what would have happened by today). As it stands, they're criticizing him for getting us into another conflict, and that's one thing about being POTUS - sometimes you just have to take it on the political chin; it's part of the office's responsibility, and something I hope other presidents will emulate.

I am still an opponent of intervention - the success of Egypt is that they survived and made it work without outside help; while the dictator's survival in Libya/the crush of the rebels would have sent the wrong message, I don't think a doctrine of intervention is going to do us many favors either. These revolutions have been shown, absolutely, to work. Citizens should now concentrate on organizing for the next round of uprisings, with the knowledge that time allows evil regimes to consolidate power.

Lessons should be learned and absorbed; it's not wise for us to push this too hard, and certainly strategically stupid to open all of the rebels to charges of Western influence. We shouldn't make ourselves a propaganda boogyman, and I fear that's the ultimate effect of our actions.