Nathan Tsoi is a computer sicence senior and Mustang Daily political columnist. His column, “First Things First” will appear every Wednesday.
Nathan Tsoi is a computer sicence senior and Mustang Daily political columnist. His column, “First Things First” will appear every Wednesday.

As Americans we claim to “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yet today it seems we have traded our heritage for these unstated truths, that all men are equal, that they have evolved from goo with equal rights, that among these are marriage of anything to anyone, life (after you’ve passed nine months) and the pursuit of our pleasures. We have exchanged the values which this country was founded on for our interpretation of freedom as it best suits the pursuit of our pleasures.

American values, as expressed by our founding fathers, form the basis of government and are embodied in documents like the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, sums up his contemporaries’ values concerning the formation of this great nation:

“The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He (God) has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses(1).”

In this excerpt from Mr. Jefferson’s writing to James Fishback, Jefferson expresses the necessity for Christian morality in the foundation of a functional society.  If Jefferson believed that which he stated,  his writings, including the Declaration of Independence, must embody this view of morality.

It is sad but true that our current leader does not share these same sentiments. Our leader has repeatedly stated that we “do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”(2)  He has even gone so far as to say America is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world” even though less than one percent of Americans are Muslims.(3)  The president, as the leader of this great nation, has an obligation to act on behalf of American citizens and should base his decisions on their values.  Citizens who hold in high esteem the values on which the United States of America was founded must speak out and share their values, lest they be handed over to the history books, never to return again.

At this very moment, you and I face the most difficult challenges this country has ever known. We engage at the dawn or demise of a new era of attacks on our core American values.  Just as the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th, 2001 created a unifying point for all Americans, who returned to their true American values in the weeks and months that followed, so again must we rally behind the attacks against our core American principles.  For example, we are faced with the threats of impending socialism, government control of once private companies such as General Motors, infringement of our freedoms such as our freedom of speech in light of proposed expansion to the hate crimes laws and the list goes on.

The time is nigh when you will be called to make a choice for truth or progressivism, to speak out and defend your freedoms or let them slip away.  It is imperative that you take a bold stand for the fundamental freedoms and truths held by the founders of our nation and embodied by its original governance.  You must speak out now, or there will be no one left to speak for you.

Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Nathan/Op-Ed Editors,

    What a horrible piece of writing and editing. Not only is this piece complete drivel but it’s also poorly written, and then poorly edited. The print version also is missing basic punctuation, and the first paragraphs are almost impossible to read.

    To the “author”:
    I understand that you were trying to make a “witty” use of the Declaration of Independence by switching in your twisted ideas, but it is both horrible thought out and executed. “Marriage of anything to anyone.” I’m not sure if you’re saying that people are allowed to marry things, or if gay people aren’t people but either way you’re a cretin.

    The “Obama is going to make America socialist!” is ridiculous and has been used again and again by conservatives as a scare tactic to get votes. It’s like Palin and her death panels, delusional.

    I can’t WAIT to read your next brilliant piece. I bet there will be plenty of awesome writing and sentences containing Obama + socialism, and Jesus + government.



  2. Yes, I understand this is an opinion article, but I would hope that you would be somewhat more informed than to refer to evolution as “evolved from goo” and to the issue of gay marriage, of a human being to another equally valued human being as “marriage of anything to anyone.” Anything? Very harsh and ignorant way of referring to another person.

    Also, one of our core values when establishing the United States was the separation of church and state. Not everyone is Christian and doesnt have to be. In the United States there are a number of not only different religions but ethnicities, backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, etc. It is a “CORE AMERICAN VALUE” that our laws should in no way reflect what one single religion believes. The United States does not endorse any single religion, for a “CORE” reason.

    Jefferson may have expressed the necessity for Christian morality in the foundation of the United States, he did not express the necessity for Christian RELIGION. Morality and religion are two entirely separate entities. Treat others as you would like to be treated is part of Christian morals. Celebrating Easter and Lent are part of Christian religion. And just because he condoned the morality of Christianity in a sole letter does not mean his entirely separate writing, The Declaration of Independence, condones the Christian religion.

    Lastly, my favorite statement is “He (God) has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain.” Brainwashed? Please read that over to yourself and google brainwashing.

    1. The most misunderstood principal regarding Separation of Church and State, is the it was created to protect the Church FROM the State, and it’s interference…not the other way around. This idea that somehow there was no basis of God in our history is a more “brainwashed” perspective than that of the author whom everyone is accusing.


        Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

        The Senate’s ratification was only the third recorded unanimous vote of 339 votes taken. The treaty was printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and two New York papers, with no evidence of any public dissent.

  3. I used to believe that people like you existed only in the news to scare people like me. Ironically, I was not scared until you became real. Please hide again.

  4. Why is it that creationists are so mad that life originated from so-called “goo” when Genesis explicitly states that God made people from dust. (and later cursed them to go back to being dust when they die). I never got that part… is dust SOOOO much better than goo?

    There isn’t anything in this article that isn’t a rehash of a baseless talking point by some conservative figurehead or media personality. Use your own brain.

  5. Can we say brainwashed? And unable to think critically in any form…

    I agree with some above comments. It is frightening like this actually exist. It’s beyond me that people think their religion is the RIGHT one. How could that possibly be when there are so many?

    Life will be much easier if you take ALL written documents and words with a grain of salt. Christianity serves a purpose for people, and some people are capable of picking what is right and wrong….meaning not believing the literal words of the bible. What ever happened to spreading tolerance and love, as your supposed “savior” would want?

    The sad part is that you’ll brush comments like this off for the remainder of your life and turn to other brainwashed people to polarize your beliefs even further. If you could at least try to meet people in the middle and reevaluate your extreme beliefs, you might come to find that tolerance and science can be just as fulfilling…

  6. “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
    Romans 13:something

    American revolutionaries performed treason, theft, espionage, and murder because they disagreed with the British HERITAGE of monarchy. Not only did they rebel against what the Bible clearly says was a God-appointed King, they performed cardinal sins to do it. Are these the wise founding fathers whose policies almost 250 years ago you say should still be just as applicable? Could they have made policy that worked very well for its time, but became out-of-date? Or were they perfect men with perfect ideas? Who somehow decided perfectly that women, black men, and white men who didn’t happen to own any land should not vote? And that non-whites were no better than animals or commodities? The DoI didn’t explicitly allow slavery, but the men who wrote it did.

    And two fun quotes:

    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”

    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

    -Thomas Jefferson

  7. And for the rest of the people that commented before me, do you think personal attacks are going to convince anybody? Even if you’re right, you’re still calling names and that just makes people even more set in their opinion.

    1. So being “called names” is why people stand up for hateful beliefs? Hmmm… the Religious Right does plenty of name-calling itself, so they are equally unproductive in that sense.

      Opinion columnists know they will be attacked for their opinions when they write hateful words… Apparently Nathan is so inclined to stand up for HATE that he feels anti hate crime legislation infringes upon his freedom of speech! He very well could be a target of hate speech/crimes, yet does not believe that we need to protect people from such. That’s absurd.

      1. I think you and I both know that just because one group does it doesn’t make it OK, and it definitely doesn’t make it effective.

        Attack his arguments, not his person. Insults are irrelevant and distracting. The second you make a discussion personal, you lose any chance of persuading them.

        You’re pissed about the state of equal rights, and so am I. The difference is that one of us is helping the cause and the other is hurting it.

      2. I am against hate crimes legislation. You see hate crimes are, by definition, already illegal. I simply fail to see what makes killing a guy over the color of his skin that much worse than killing him over the color of his motor vehicle. Both are terrible crimes that very much infringe on the victim’s right to live. That’s why murder is such a serious crime. Even without hate crimes laws, the state is either going to execute you or send you to prison for a very long time if you murder someone. It’s this way with lesser hate crimes too. Burn a cross in someone’s lawn? Trespassing and Vandalism. Hang a noose on their front porch? Trespassing and making death threats. Get a bunch of your buddies with baseball threats and harass voters of a certain race. Voter intimidation and assault with a deadly weapon. See, even though all of those are hate crimes, no hate crime law was ever needed to prosecute them.

        The problem with hate crime laws is that the never seem to apply effectively to all races/ethnicities/religions/sexes/genders/sexual orientations/etc. They ultimately just create a number of protected classes, which I find to be discrimination in and of itself. Why should a crime against a person of race x be punished worse than a crime against person of race y?

  8. In Act 2 Scene 3 of _Henry IV pt 1_ Hotspur reads aloud from a letter in which a nobleman refuses Hotspur’s request for assistance with the revolt again the King. Among the resons the nobleman gives are:

    … the friends you have named uncertain;
    the time itself unsorted; and your whole plot
    too light for the counterpoise of so great an

    To this resoned and, as history shows, correct assessment of the plot against Henry IV, Hotspur angrily calls out to an empty room, “you lie,” as well as accusing the nobleman of being “a pagan rascal” and “an infidel.”

    Shakespeare, meet the right wing.
    Right wing, meet Shakespeare.

    I take heart knowing that this odd coalition of neo-cons, evangelicals, etc., etc., etc., are themselves uncertain allies at an unsorted moment in history with a “revolutionary” plan that amounts to little more than wishful thinking and name calling.

  9. I am embarrassed that such an idiotic and horribly written article has been published in our university newspaper. The author shows not the slightest understanding of the issues which he addresses, or the ethical dilemmas surrounding them. I am shocked that any university student can misunderstand such a wide variety of subject matter to the degree demonstrated throughout this article. By the time students get to their senior year(s) at Cal Poly, they should at least have some basic knowledge of things like evolution, ethics, and politics. I can only hope that this author has somehow “seeped through the cracks”….

  10. My issue with the article is that it confuses the values of the American people with the values and principles of the United States government. Consider the first sentence, where it has a quote from the Declaration of Independence illustrating the traditional role of the United States government, which is to protect the life and liberty of Americans and to not interfere with their lives as long as they do not impede each other’s rights to life and liberty. But then the next sentence is a polemic against evolution, gay marriage, and abortion, and the rest of the article becomes mostly about how America needs to return to a Christian nation, with some sprinkles toward the end warning us about government intervention in the economy and in expanding hate crime laws, and how our freedom is at stake.

    I am a Christian and I am a libertarian, so I share some sentiment with the author about the values of the American people and I am staunchly against socialism. However, the article still reads like a confused rant. There is a difference between American values and United States government’s values. The Bush and Obama administrations’ stimulus packages, bailouts, and nationalization of car companies has nothing to do with the fact that the United States is not a Christian nation, as the author suggests. In fact, the United States was never a Christian nation to begin with; the First Amendment of the US Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…", and many of the Founders were actually Deists, not Christian. The government does not have the right to impose Christian morality or any other form of morality on the population other than the rules necessary to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people (i.e., no murder, no fraud, no rape, no theft, etc.). As Barry Goldwater said in 1964, "You cannot legislate morality." You can’t force people to have moral hearts. Morality is a value that comes from society, not a government.

    Yes, our government is overstepping its bounds in economic matters (I do not agree with the author’s stance on hate crime laws, however, or issues such as evolution and the government’s role in marriage), but the root cause of that has nothing to do with America’s departure from Christian morality. The argument is fallacious. The root cause of that is the United States government’s departure from its Constitutional values, which has taken place since FDR, and every administration from FDR onward shares the blame in our departure from our Constitutional values.

  11. listen poeple, yes we exist!!!(no, were not hiding agian!!!) now, what he said is a drammatic statement of what he believes. we all have a right to express or veiws. never once did the author use socilism or even obama in his artical. a good book to read if you don’t think we were founded on christian prinicples the 5000 year leap the comment.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *