Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The First Amendment

A book landed in my mailbox in DC titled National Sunday Law: A Shocking Glimpse Behind the Scenes, by A. Jan Marcussen.  It was sent to "Resident" at my address.  My guess is the author directed this to DC addresses in the hopes of garnering the attention of policy-makers (or did others receive this as well?).

The 70-page monograph (plus a handful of appendices) begins with an impressionistic portrait of a terrorist attack, presumably intended to describe September 11 in New York.  It then promises "an incredible journey behind the scenes" and "a shocking glimpse" of something.  The next page begins with a quote describing the (naive view of the) Genovese murder in New York -- "[t]hirty-eight people watched . . . and didn't care."  What we are to learn from reading this is unclear.  The monograph lacks a clear thesis, though reading between the lines on the pages I could stomach before discarding it, I gathered that (1) the United States was predicted in the biblical book of Revelations; (2) a host of evils is befalling the United States, from pornography to murder to neglect of elderly peoples to drugs to "abuse of women and even of babies" to "Prostitutes, homosexuals, and drug addicts," to AIDS; (3) the United States is on the verge of collapse and only christianity can salvage it.

Okay, so that's the thesis.  We need to become more religious as an antidote to violence (which is driven in part by religious zealotry).  That's not the only irony here.  Another:  quoting an unidentified "Jesuit priest," the author writes "'[t]o . . . with the American Constitution,'" which he sees as being abused to prevent necessary religiosity.  Of course, the very constitutional provision that prevents the establishment of religion (which I gather the author desires) is the provision that enables this monograph to be written and shared without fear of sanction.

P__ finds it a little scary -- a manifesto not unlike Kaczynski's.  I find it in equal parts amusing and gratifying.  Is this not the classic example of the First Amendment in action?  Good old-fashioned pamphleteering?


  1. For more on A. Jan Marcussen, the 7th Day Adventist minister and author see Your manifesto is from 1983.

    Why does this dude have a wikipedia page and I don't?

  2. I gather he then issued his Rev. ed. 20XX -- or else he is disturbingly prescient! The introductory paragraph was a clear description of September 11, 2001.