Monday, May 08, 2006

Another inane bill out of Congress

Here's another bill (S. Res. 458) that takes the cake. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has proposed a non-binding resolution that says the Senate thinks all American patriot songs, poems and oaths should be recited only in English. (Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS) has proposed parallel bill (H. Res 793) in the House.)

Here's the part of the bill that gets me:

Whereas the people of the United States are united not by race, ancestry, or origin, but by a common language, English, and by common belief in the principles prescribed in the founding documents of the Nation, especially the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
That’s a strange grammatical construction. The phrase places "English" before the principle of individual rights and constitutional government; while the "and" attempts to make the two equal, there's simply no way one's language can be made co-equal with one’s agreement with individual rights. It is like saying the most important thing in life is clean teeth, and freedom.

If every American and American immigrant really agreed with the principle of individual rights, I wouldn't care one lick what language they chose to sing the nation’s hymns in. I don’t know about you, but I am of the mind that the Star-Spangled Banner would sound great in Arabic.

Update: Graig at The Primacy of Awesome pretty much thinks the same way.

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