Favorite

Editorials Feb. 24 

Uniting church and state Old-time Baptists supported the separation of church and state, but political conservatives hijacked the denomination a few years back, aligning it with the Republican Party and shifting its emphasis from keeping religion out of government to keeping Democrats out of government. That transformation of the largest religious group in Arkansas helps explain why any proposal for religious tolerance is apt to be received coolly in the Arkansas legislature these days. Indeed, the current legislative session has been pretty much consumed by theological differences, the Christian fundamentalist majority seeking to force its own beliefs on everyone else. Still, one might have expected that the House of Representatives would go along, if only reluctantly, with a mild resolution by Rep. Buddy Blair, D-Fort Smith, asking the House to affirm “support of the principle of separation of church and state.” This is no more than the U.S. Constitution and the Arkansas Constitution require. The House considers those two documents obsolete, evidently. Only 39 members voted for Blair’s resolution, 44 voted against it, and 17 didn’t vote, which is the same as voting no. Baptist Republicans like Mark Martin of Prairie Grove were in the vanguard of the opposition, though not all of the opponents were Baptists and/or Republicans. What will the schoolteachers who bring civics classes to the Capitol tell their charges after a vote like this? That religious freedom is no longer necessary, or desirable? Surely not. The principle is as important as it always was. Better to face facts and explain that a majority of the members of the Arkansas House of Representatives simply don’t understand what it means to be an American. And to point out that these exceptionally confused lawmakers are the fruits of term limits. Old-fashioned legislators and old-fashioned Baptists understood church and state better. Another screwball At last the turmoil of the Carolyn Staley administration is over. Now the turmoil of the Pat O’Brien administration has begun. Is there no competent, level-headed person to serve as Pulaski County clerk? O’Brien is harassing the office’s employees in the name of “personnel evaluation,” forcing those who want to keep their jobs to write essays for him on the subject of “an adversity that you have overcome in your life,” explaining how the adversity arose, how the writer overcame it, and the lessons learned from the experience. Not only does the required essay intrude on employees’ privacy — bra sizes may be next — it has nothing to do with efficient operation of the clerk’s office. What this sort of thing measures is not who is the best worker, but who is the best b.s. artist. Only other b.s. artists value that skill highly.
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

October

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Caution: government at work

    • The people of Arkansas need to keep demanding that our state government be accountable to…

    • on October 21, 2017
  • Re: Cotton to CIA?

    • Watching C-Span last week, they were talking about Cotton for the head of the FBI…

    • on October 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation