Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Very Original Intent, Or, Strict Reconstructionists

Nationally, we have to infer what the founders meant when they wrote the Constitution. We have to read between the lines, we have to read the tea leaves, maybe hold a seance, maybe read the document itself, maybe the Federalist Papers. But we just can't know what they meant by deliberately ambiguous phrases and s's that look like f's.
In Alaska, we still have some of the founders with us. One of the framers of Alaska's constitution spoke in opposition Friday to a constitutional amendment that would allow public funds to be appropriated to private educational institutions. Even so, our legislators are all, no, that's not what they meant back in the 50's when they wrote it, and if it was then they were wrong, and anyway, we're not going to appropriate any money, at least that's not the intent. Although, then, what the intent of changing the constitution is, is a little unclear. I'm pretty sure the next step will be to offer to fund private religious schools, until they find out they're funding madrassas (side note, spell check is resisting the spelling of madrassas that it just provided). They may not be for the separation of church and state, but I'm very sure they're for the separation of mosque and state.

By the way, this is in no way a criticism of private religious schools. We sent our kids to a private religious school, and we did it with our own money supplemented by garage sales and auctions, recycling cans and newspapers and the sale of wrapping paper, magazines, and car washes.

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