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It’s Holy Week and Pesach, so we can ponder the following:

>March 30, 2007 – A belief in God and an identification with an organized religion are widespread throughout the country, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. Nine in 10 (91 percent) of American adults say they believe in God and almost as many (87 percent) say they identify with a specific religion. Christians far outnumber members of any other faith in the country, with 82 percent of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as such. Another 5 percent say they follow a non-Christian faith, such as Judaism or Islam. Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.

Equal rights

There’s a lot to complain about in this confused George Will op-ed. One could point out the limbaughesque caricature of “liberals”:

>Liberals, dolled up in love beads and bell-bottom trousers, have had another bright idea, one as fresh as other 1970s fads. Sens. Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer and Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, high-octane liberals all, have asked Congress to improve the Constitution by adding the Women’s Equality Amendment, which, like the Equal Rights Amendment before it, says: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

But I’d rather focus my attention on the following blaring confusion. Since Will can never be bothered to examine any of his opponents’ actual reasons for their views, he just makes them up. So he wonders why someone would need an equal rights amendment when the courts–you heard that right–found them to be a consequence of the 14th Amendment:

>March 1972 was a year after the Supreme Court cited the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment when invalidating a law that involved discrimination on the basis of sex. And March 1972 was 10 months before the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade.

I’ve lost count of how many columns Will has written undermining that very principle of constitutional interpretation. And he finds the very principle of such litigation–i.e., the kind of litigation that clarifies the proper interpretation of the laws–odious:

>If Kennedy and like-minded legislators think that the condition of American women needs improvements, they should try to legislate them. Instead, they prefer to hope that liberal judges will regard the ERA’s language as a license to legislate. But, then, support for the amendment testifies to the supporters’ lack of confidence in their ability to persuade people to support such policies.

And someone might point out that a constitutional amendment is a form of legislation.