John Ashcroft on Principles & Values
Former Attorney General; Former Republican Senator (MO)
All the great religions call on us to follow the Golden Rule: to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. Call me biased, but one of the best ways America follows this faith in a secular way is in the treatment we give to individuals with special needs. Without so much as mentioning religion, we strive to treat these most vulnerable members of our society the way we ourselves would like to be treated.
Let the mighty eagle soarJohn Ashcroft has a very pleasant singing voice.
Soar with healing in her wings,
As the land beneath her sings:
Only God, no other kings.
The 3-minute speech caused a firestorm of controversy. Critics accused Ashcroft of advocating a theocracy and trouncing the 1st Amendment.
Ashcroft assured his former colleagues on Tuesday that he could push his personal beliefs aside and enforce laws as they are written by Congress and interpreted by the Supreme Court even though he may disagree with them. “My primary personal belief is that the law is supreme, that I don’t place myself above the law, that I shouldn’t place myself above the law,” he said. “So it would violate my beliefs to do it.” If his religious faith ever were to come in conflict with his enforcement of the law, “then I would have to resign,” he said.
Ashcroft characterized his differences with Lee and Satcher as policy issues. He said he voted against Lee because of “serious concerns about his willingness to enforce” the Supreme Court’s decision limiting preferences for minority companies in awarding government contracts. Satcher, Ashcroft said, had backed AIDS studies in Africa that withheld treatment from some pregnant women with HIV to test the effect of a new approach.
A wealthy Asian man is said to have commissioned a work of art. "I want the art to represent good fortune," he said. The artist came back with a calligraphy, very beautifully done, with three large and terse statements:
At the time of my brother's death, Dad's reaction revealed to me how deeply our earthly fathers live in us. I knew he loved us, but that's not the same as witnessing the debilitating anguish that collapses a grown man. Wes was gone; the natural order was broken.
If the allegations are true, then the President has disgraced himself and his office, and should resign. The President must enjoy the presumption of innocence. Americans are skeptical, however, because of the poor track record of President Clinton and the low ethical standards of his Administration. The instant credibility accorded the Clinton allegations is a measure of how deeply compromised this President is in his ability to command the trust of the nation.
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Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.
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