It came as no surprise to me when I read in The Wall Street Journal (Mar. 31) that Iran is among “four countries designated by the U.S. as terrorism sponsors” who are recipients of $55 million from a “U.S.-supported program promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy…” You’d think that story would be up front and center in pop media, but it was completely overlooked. Nothing surprises me anymore.
The really scary part is that the US State and Energy Departments only have access to the titles of proposed projects. US taxpayer dollars were funneled through the International Atomic Energy Agency, at present headed by Dr. Mohamed El Baradei of Egypt. The WSJ said a top IAEA official told the paper that where the Technical Cooperation Program is concerned, there are “no bad countries.” And IAEA—part of the United Nations—took cover under “confidentiality agreements,” so there is no way to tell who else is getting our hard-earned dollars. While it may concern Americans that a country hoping to see the US suffer is building a nuke program assisted by American taxpayer dollars, that’s not the only issue here. The US taxpayer dollars that helped Iran (and Syria) build “nuclear energy” programs directly contradict a Supreme Court ruling with an opinion written by a “progressive” justice.
This occurred to me as I read Mark Levin’s excellent book ‘Liberty and Tyranny.’ Levin analyzes the impact of a decision that has led in the US to the removal of manger scenes from public squares at Christmas and the banning of any references to Christianity throughout US classrooms.
Levin wrote, “In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, Associate Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, writing for a 5-4 majority, asserted that ‘no tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion…The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.’” [pg. 31]
Now personally I think Black completely misconstrued that amendment, but never mind—that’s a puzzle for another column. We all know the reach of his decision in the U.S.—innumerable lawsuits, the removal of prayer from classrooms, the morphing of ‘Christmas Holidays’ to 'Winter Break. '
But I ask you to engage in a complex thought process. If tax dollars cannot be utilized in our own country to support any religious institution and if there must be a high and impregnable wall between church and state, how is it that American taxpayers have unwittingly forwarded millions of dollars to a nation ruled by Islamic law with a Supreme Leader as head of the theocracy? This ruling actually calls into question sending taxpayer dollars to any country ruled by theocrats.
Our own government is ignoring a Supreme Court Ruling we are forced to live by.
Our tax dollars, under both the Clinton and the Bush, ’43 administrations, went to a country that has declared an intention to eradicate our ally Israel. It is no secret that Iran would probably like to do the same to the US. We may, courtesy of those elected to defend our Constitution and our people, be funding our own demise by sending taxpayer dollars to countries like Syria and Iran operating under the guise of “peaceful energy programs.” Iran got more than $15 million.
I had a brief discussion with my soon-to-be son-in-law who is an attorney. He mentioned 3 tests applied to the Supremes' rulings. I read more about Everson vs. the Board of Education of Ewing Township, and I still believe that what applies to taxes in America should apply to foreign aid accrued via levying taxes on Americans. Centuries earlier James Madison argued, "[No] person, either believer or nonbeliever, should be taxed to support a religious institution of any kind."
I've been taxed, taxpayer funds went to Iran. Iran is controlled by clerics, with a Supreme Leader as cleric and governed by religious law. Ergo, the US government screwed up and not for the first time, violated the Constitution in an egregious manner.--Kay B. Day/4-6-09