For the last several weeks, I have been following the news out of the UK about the Parliament’s vote on PM Theresa May’s foredoomed plan for Brexit, including one installment of “Prime Minister’s questions,” which, for obvious reasons, centered on the still-falling debris from the May government’s unprecedented 230-vote blow-up of Mrs. May's Brexit deal. It had all the tragic dignity of, say, Sophocles’ Oedipus trilogy: you know what is going to happen, but for that very reason, you simply cannot bring yourself to avert your gaze. I was all the more horrified because, knowing the Parliament vote was imminent and that it would be followed by the 29 March deadline imposed by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, I had begun some weeks before to read about the European Union (EU), Brexit, and
The second Pillar of the First Amendment’s temple is …
o The “free exercise” clause
… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …
Compared to both the linguistic subtleties of the “free exercise” clause and the consequent intricacies of the corresponding case law, the language of the “establishment clause” is as transparently simple as “Row, row, row your boat”. This exponential increase in complexity and subtlety is due to the fact that, whereas the “establishment” clause pertains only to government action vis a vis religious institutions, teachings, and doctrine, the “free exercise” clause pertains to the myriad ways in which the exercise of religion impinges, not only upon prerogatives of the government, but also upon those of individuals and groups.
Does anyone besides me remember Marshall McLuhan?
Like a lot of other people, I was drawn to McLuhan and his writings, beginning as a college sophomore in the late 60s and continuing into graduate school in the early 70s. When I was an undergraduate, everyone and their dog was reading Understanding Media. So, at first just to follow campus fashion, I bought the paperback edition of the book and began reading. I was captivated from the first paragraph of the first page. In fact, one of my most vivid memories of that time is of being in my room in my parents’ house and being totally engrossed in Understanding Media while a violent Kansas thunderstorm raged outside. I vaguely remember the air-raid sirens howling holy Hell, warning of an approaching tornado . But I did not come fully aw