Sep 16, 2009

Of Lies, Truth, Jesus and the House

Bill WilsonBy Bill Wilson

Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, also the Chair of the House Committee on Rules, has issued a memorandum entitled "Decorum in the House and in Committees." The reminder to all Congressmen comes in the wake of Republican Congressman Joe Wilson shouting "You Lie" to the man who occupies the Oval Office during his recent address to a joint session of Congress on socialized healthcare. Slaughter writes,

"The difference is one between political criticism and personally offensive criticism. For example, a Member may assert in debate that an incumbent President is not worthy of re-election, but in doing so should not allude to personal misconduct."
Then she lists the "cans" and "can't's" according to the House Rules and Manual. For example, Congressmen can refer to the government in general as "something hated, something oppressive"; the President as "using legislative or judicial pork"; to a Presidential message as a "disgrace to the country"; and to unnamed officials as "our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs." But Congressmen cannot refer to the President as a "liar", a "hypocrite", "cowardly", "intellectually dishonest", as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy", or allege "sexual misconduct on the President's part." Slaughter said the House rules are based on "Jefferson's Manual."

"Jefferson's Manual" was written in 1812 by Thomas Jefferson "as composed of the precepts of the Constitution." He placed in italic rules that were developed by the US Senate and in Roman typeface those that had been developed by Parliament. Jefferson said the rules would serve as a guide to set standards of operation and debate. Slaughter reminded her colleagues of Section 370, which states "the rule in Parliament prohibiting Members from "speak{ing} irreverently or seditiously against the King" has been interpreted to prohibit personal references against the President." So, at least to Slaughter, the current president is like a king.

Therefore, according to the Democrats in charge, if a president is lying, you cannot call him a liar; if he has been caught having an affair, you cannot say he was involved in sexual misconduct; if he is committing treason, you cannot call him on it.

What would Jesus do? In Matthew 23:33, Jesus said to the Pharisees, which were the political and religious leaders of the Jews,
"You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?"
He called them vipers many times. Jesus wasn't influenced by men's rules limiting free speech. He told the truth. The problem is that elected officials are so far from truth, that their rules even prevent them from speaking it.

Related Links

Joe Wilson Admonished, Accused of Racism on Same Day - Associated Content
Joe Wilson: Right-wing folk hero - Politico
Carter 'Racism' Claim Draws Widespread Criticism - FOX News
EDITORIAL: Joe Wilson's war - The Washington Times
The Jesus You Can't Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ - John MacArthur (Book)