“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ideological Warfare

"Not for nothing did the founders of the American republic insist that its functioning was unimaginable without the Christian religion. The purely negative aspects of the American constitution, namely the balance of powers that protects minority interests, means nothing without transcendent trust in something higher than the elements that constitute the body politic." Israel, The Hope of the Muslim World Spengler, Asia Times, Nov 20, 2007

He was referring in part to this quote by John Adams:
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798
I had a few paragraphs prepared but I'll let you draw your own conclusions .


  1. Learn the Noahite or Noah laws

    these are the basis of our nation...

  2. Ahhh....

    ...made only for a moral and religious people. ..."

    Which does not mean Christian, it means moral and religious.

    The two are not synonymous

  3. “ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
    • “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
    –John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

  4. Rat:
    Technically you are correct but contrary to the current Gramscian lies, the Founding Fathers were Christian and the morality was based on the Old Testament. So, when Mr Adams refers to a moral and religious people, would he be referring to Hindus or Muslims?

  5. So, when Mr Adams refers to a moral and religious people, would he be referring to Hindus or Muslims?

    YES, without a doubt, that is what he, Jefferson, Madison Washington and Franklin meant.
    They did not mince words, if they had meant Christian, they'd have said, Christian.

    Liberty and freedom are not restricted to Christians, nor is morality or religion.

    Without doubt Mr Madison was familar with Christianity. Had he thought that Christianity was the requirement, he'd have said so.

    Rather he did not mention Christianity, but morality and religion, in the abstract.
    As a Deist would.

    John Adams, The second president of the U.S. once said "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity," Adams once speculated, "This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it."

    James Madison, fourth president of the United States stated "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution." Madison added, "In no instance have...the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."

    Benjamin Franklin notes that during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, a motion to pray was voted down with only three or four members of the Convention voting for it. I think we can be assured that Biblical Christians would vote for prayer while drafting the Constitution of their newly formed republic. We can easily conclude that out of all the members of the Constitutional Convention only three or four were Christian.

    Ben Franklin, so famous and revered a founder as to grace the $100 ...

    Ben Franklin was a member of the Hell-Fire Club. Franklin wrote to Ezra Stiles, the president of Yale, saying he doubted the divinity of Christ, although he believed in his moral teachings. Franklin in his disdain for Christianity once said that "Lighthouses are more helpful then churches."

    George Washington, a professed Deist, refused either to take communion or to kneel in church. Washington stated that "The government of the United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion. The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or Mohammedan nation."

    Washington, the "Father" of the Founders, a professed Mason.

    In 1802 Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Constitution, wrote "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." During the eight years of his Presidency, Jefferson refused to issue a Thanksgiving proclamation. Jefferson later declared, "Calvin's religion was demonism. The God of Christianity is a being of terrific character-cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust. The Christian God is a hocus-pocus phantasm of a God, like another Cerebus, with one body and three heads."

    Jefferson relates a story about the drafting of the Bill of Rights:
    "Where the preamble (of the Bill of Rights) declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting the words Jesus Christ, so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion"

    The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindoo and the Infidel of every denomination."

  6. "Where the preamble (of the Bill of Rights) declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting the words Jesus Christ, so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion"

    The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindoo and the Infidel of every denomination."

    The United States of America was not founded as a "Christian Nation" but a moral and religious one.

  7. Morality, religion and government.

    Depends not upon the form of the religion, but the strength of the morality.

    Christians not on the ground in Athens, where the first democratic government was established in 490 BC/BCE.

    Which was, when I was young, "Before Christ"
    now it is "Before the Common Era".

  8. Seems to me that you found a nest of BS. Do you actually believe all of it?

  9. No, America is not a Christian nation and obviously the founding fathers did not provide for a theocracy but to think that they were all Deists or agnostics, or pagans like Jefferson and Franklin is ridiculous. Christianity was the religion of the colonies and like anything man is involved in, there had been problems between the various denominations. A situation had gotten so bad in New England that membership in a particular church was a requirement for inclusion in the community. The founding fathers were aware of these types of pitfalls and wanted to make sure that government had no religious requirements such as (Church Membership)in order to hold office.

    Saying that America was not founded as a Christian Nation (theocracy) is one thing but denying that it was founded by Christian men (with all that implies) is absolutely ridiculous.

  10. This post is going to be good. Who coined, "pass the popcorn?"

  11. Treaty of Tripoly:

    Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

    ... 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 tranquillity, 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.

  12. From the Library of Congress website:
    "The first two Presidents of the United States were patrons of religion--George Washington was an Episcopal vestryman, and John Adams described himself as "a church going animal." Both offered strong rhetorical support for religion. In his Farewell Address of September 1796, Washington called religion, as the source of morality, "a necessary spring of popular government," while Adams claimed that statesmen "may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand." Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the third and fourth Presidents, are generally considered less hospitable to religion than their predecessors, but evidence presented in this section shows that, while in office, both offered religion powerful symbolic support."

    And what do they say about that rascal Franklin?
    "Franklin Requests Prayers in the Constitutional Convention
    Benjamin Franklin delivered this famous speech, asking that the Convention begin each day's session with prayers, at a particularly contentious period, when it appeared that the Convention might break up over its failure to resolve the dispute between the large and small states over representation in the new government. The eighty one year old Franklin asserted that "the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth--that God governs in the Affairs of Men." "I also believe," Franklin continued, that "without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel." Franklin's motion failed, ostensibly because the Convention had no funds to pay local clergymen to act as chaplains."
    "God governs in the affairs of men."
    Doesn't sound Deist to me.

  13. Alexander Hamilton "We earnestly recommend that Friday, the 17th day of May next, be observed by the colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer, that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life appease God's righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ obtain His pardon and forgiveness." -Recorded in the Journal of Congress, 1776

    Patrick Henry "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." -Excerpt from writing on back of Stamp Act, May 176$

  14. I recall President Eisenhower stating at a press conference that the people had to have religion, 'and I don't care what it is.' While this didn't sound quite so bad then as it would now, it was greeted with great guffaws in the--I won't grace the position with the high term pagan--materialist wing of my extended family. :)

    This is a hard and complex topic.

  15. "John Adams described himself as "a church going animal"---which is a step up from a party going animal :)

  16. While then, there you go, whit.

    There were some Christians, there were Deists, there were Pagans in the Founding crew.

    A preponderance of Masons.

    They all mention Religion, often.
    They do not mention Christianity.

    Perhaps as individuals they did, but as a group, as Nationbuilders, they were not Christian.
    By decision and design.

    In the documents they left for posterity, even those you quote, bear not a mention of Christ.

    Just God, so yes, sounds Deist to me.

    ... most commentators agree that two features constituted the core of Deism:

    The rejection of revealed religion - this was the critical aspect of Deism.
    The belief that reason, not faith, leads us to certain basic religious truths - this was the positive or constructive aspect of Deism.

    Sounds like Intelligent Design, to me

    Critical elements of Deist thought included:

    1. Rejection of all religions based on books that claim to contain the revealed word of God.
    2. Rejection of reports of miracles, prophecies and religious "mysteries".
    3. Rejection of the Genesis account of creation and the doctrine of original sin, along with all similar beliefs.

    Constructive elements of Deist thought included:

    1. God exists and created the universe.
    2 God wants human beings to behave morally.
    3. Human beings have souls that survive death; that is, there is an afterlife.
    In the afterlife, God will reward moral behavior and punish immoral behavior. ...

    Individual Deists varied in the set of critical and constructive elements for which they argued. Some Deists rejected miracles and prophecies but still considered themselves Christians because they believed in what they felt to be the pure, original form of Christianity � that is, Christianity as it existed before it was corrupted by additions of such superstitions as miracles, prophecies, and the doctrine of the Trinity. Some Deists rejected the claim of Jesus' divinity but continued to hold him in high regard as a moral teacher

  17. Couldn't find Ike on UYube with the press conference quote I mentioned, but Here's Ike warnig of the military-industrial complex. What he really says is, we need it, but we got to keep it under control.

    The skunk odor in the air is that other nations have their military-industrial complexes as well, and the argument is the same on both sides of the fence---we must.

  18. Yeah T: In 1796 we tried appeasement. It didn't work and in 1805 the Marines had to go to Tripoli and kick their Barbary asses.

  19. " . . . the very words only of Jesus . . . will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man." -Excerpt from letter to John Adams, October 12, 1813

  20. "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison-1785

  21. "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." George Washington -Excerpt from Hailey's Bible Handbook "If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the constitution framed by the Convention . . . might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it." George Washington -To Baptist Churches of Virginia, May 10, 1789

  22. I honestly do not think the founders thought that much about their Christianity,no more than they thought that marriage was between a man and a woman. In fact, Christianity was part of their societal DNA.

    Any discussions were within the realm of Christianity, which extended from agnostic to devout. The Christian churches of Europe were part os the state, regardless of Catholic or Protestant, all Christian. Clearly, the founders wanted no part of that. They did not reject faith or Christian values. They rendered unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, without attribution.

  23. My point in the post was:
    Thanks to the ideological warfare tactic of a dumbed-down educational system, too many people believe that America was founded on anything other than Judaeo-Christian values. These otherwise intelligent and "educated" people do not seem to have the basic common sense or rational skill to see that the very laws that have been struck down were put in place by a Christian society. Most of today's high schoolers do not even know what "blue laws" are and the rest of us seem to have forgotten the days when America "shut down" on Sunday. Our young teachers, many of whom we increasingly see involved in sex scandals with their students, have themselves been educated and indoctrinated by a secular, leftist dominated system. In just a few short generations since World War II, America has run away from its Judaeo-Christian values even as it embraced every multicultural, humanist, new-age, feel good societal fad.

  24. I'm firmly of the opinion that reason doesn't lead to belief--in fact, the opposite--but experience of the holy will do so.

    Rudolf Otto(1869-1937) insisted that "there is no religion in which it(an experience of the holy, the numinous)does not live as the innermost core, and without it no religion would be worthy of the name" from "The Idea of the Holy'

    Moses on the mountaintop.
    Jesus of the transfiguration.
    Black Elk at the mount of the Dakotas

    "By numinous experience, Otto meant the sense of a presence much greater than oneself, something Wholly Other, which creates awe.

    Because humans are mythmakers by nature, we hold on to a numinous experience by objectifying or rationalizing it in myths, cults, and dogma. Prehistoric beliefs about spirits, in Otto's view, are an early effort to rationalize the numinous. But all such attempts attest to the fact that the numinous experience itself has already evaporated. Close analyses of the after effects are interesting and sometimes instructive, but , as noted earlier, the do not capture the primary effect." ---from 'The Spiritual Brain'

    Some current speculation has it that an experience of the numinous is actually an experience of ourselves, our normal consciousness being but a broken off fragment of 'the real thing'. You find this sentiment in literature about near-death experiences, shot through with it in fact.

  25. "We have educated ourselves into imbecility." Malcolm Muggeridge

  26. Deuce:
    I agree completely and wish that I could have said as well as you did.

  27. There is No Natural Religion
    The Author & Printer W Blake
    Man has no notion of moral fitness but from Education. Naturally he is only a natural organ subject to Sense.
    Man cannot naturally Perceive but through his natural or bodily organs.
    Man by his reasoning power can only compare things & judge of what he has already perciev'd
    From a perception of only 3 senses or 3 elements none could deduce a fourth or fith.
    None could have other than natural or organic thoughts if he had none but organic perceptions.
    Man's desires are limited by his perceptions; none can desire what he has not perceiv'd.
    The desires & perceptions of man untaught by any thing but organs of sense, must be limited to objects of sense.
    Man's perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception. He percieves more than sense (tho' ever so acute) can discover.
    Reason or the ration of all we have already known is not the same that it shall be when we know more.
    [this page is missing]
    The bounded is loathed by its possessor. The same dull round even of a universe would soon become a mill with complicated wheels.
    If the many became the same as the few when possess'd, More! More! is the cry of a mistake soul; less than All cannot satisfy Man.
    If any could desire what he is incapable of possessing, despair must be his eternal lot.
    The desire of Man being Infinite, the possession is Infinite, & himself Infinite.
    If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic character the Philosophic & Experimental would soon be at the ratio of all things, & stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round over again.
    He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only.
    God becomes as we are that we may be as he is.

    Note the Mormonesque tone of the last line--

  28. U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity
    The short-term American targets include passage of a $48 billion Iraqi budget, something the Iraqis say they are on their way to doing anyway; renewing the United Nations mandate that authorizes an American presence in the country, which the Iraqis have done repeatedly before; and passing legislation to allow thousands of Baath Party members from Saddam Hussein’s era to rejoin the government.
    A senior Bush administration official described that goal as largely symbolic since rehirings have been quietly taking place already.
    Bush, Wolfie, and Brennan have a Hell of a lot of blood on their hands for their foolish DeBaathification Pipedream.
    AGAINST ALL ADVICE to the contrary.
    Bush ain't nothin if he ain't one Bullheaded Boner!
    ...take Johnny Sutton for example!
    40 THOUSAND More innocent American Lives for that principled stand.

  29. "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --"
    Well, Bush IS religious...

  30. Baath reform spurs Iraqi uproar
    The reading of a controversial draft bill ends in shouts and fist thumping. The measure would ease limits on former members of Hussein's party.

    BAGHDAD -- Reforms that would ease curbs on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party rejoining Iraq's civil service and military appeared headed for legislative gridlock after attempts today to read a draft bill in parliament disintegrated into yelling and finger-pointing.

    It was the first time that Iraqi lawmakers had taken up any of the so-called major benchmarks that Washington has deemed crucial for the longterm cessation of sectarian violence and national reconciliation.

    The Iraqi cabinet approved changes to a draft of the law earlier this month.

  31. Again, whit, you quote a letter TO Mr Adams, not from him.

    duece is correct in that the basic principles of the Founders were Christian, that they saw things from a culturally Christian perspective, but it was an explicit religion that was rejected as a cornerstone of the Republic.

    The Founders believing in the inalienable rights or all men, not limited by religion or etnicity, excepting those that were property.

    Another example of varied applied morality, expoused by the religious, through the ages ...

  32. Behind Rice’s Shift on Leading Mideast Peace Efforts

    For Condoleezza Rice, the peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in Annapolis, Md., reflect her evolution from passive participant to activist diplomat.
    "All we are say-ing,
    Is give the Peace-Process a Chance!

  33. Complicating the issue further, it's hard to know exactly what Jesus would have prescribed for the polity, other than demanding Jews be better Jews. The only mention in the synoptic gospels I can think of is 'render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar'--open to various interpretations, a pragmatic approach, or on the other hand give Caesar nothing as nothing is his. Paul I think helped screw the goose by saying the powers that be are ordained by God, unfortunately echoing down the ages.

  34. Rat: You're right, my mistake.

    So this is the last I will write on the subject tonight. From WikiPedia:
    "In 1796, Adams denounced the deism of political opponent Thomas Paine, saying, "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will."

    The Works of John Adams (1854), vol III, p 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796.

  35. His name is hardly mentioned but I suspect the new MidEast Envoy, Mr. Tony Blair, has had a lot to do with the expected Annapolis photo-op and jaw jaw session.

  36. And I can't help but bore you to death by quoting this excellent letter from today's paper, touching on govmint and religion--

    "Doug Wilson(pastor of Christ Church and one of the founders of New St. Andrews college in our fair town) supports the implementation of death or exile for gay or lesbian people. He describes Confederate slavery 'as a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence' and claims that 'There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world'. He sneets equally at government (public) schools and democracy; he refers to Roman Catholics as 'Papists' and calls Mormons heretics.

    Within days of 9/11, he wrote 'A nation that defends herself with women in combat no longer deserves to be defended' (Doug Wilson has no military experience himself, of course,--bob)He leads his flock in imprecatory prayers wherein he begs God to squash Doug's "enemies" like bugs before his mighty throne. He is rigidly opinionated about gender roles in both spiritual and domestic realms.

    Jim Wilson, Doug Wilson's father, says this about his son:

    "The object was to take over the town with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but to do it in an underground fashion...One of the principles of war is surprise. You don't tell people what your're going to do. Doug told them and he gave them someone to shoot at."

    Jim Fisher(the editor) is of course free to (incorrectly) label me a bigot and I am equally free to (correctly) identify him as a latte-sipping, liberal appeaser. (:) ) The shopworn notions of peace at any price coupled with Fisher's missplaced accusations of bigotry may serve as a foundation for a hectoring editorial, but they are a poor model for congenial community living.

    I believe that silence is assent and cooperation is collaboration. I will not support, directly or indirectly, any organization, local or national, secular or religious, that defends and promotes racism, sexism or homophobia. I will not purchase their products, use their services, and most importantly, I will not be silent about who they are."

    ho,ho--I hear the war drums beating.

    The Lady has it right, but politics makes strange bedfellows, and I know the Christ Churchers helped the Moscow Greater Alliance(a totally secular group) to victory in our recent town elections. They don't want their taxes raised either :)

    There is a boycott going on against Christ Church owned businesses.

  37. Rat: I know you were just trying to get my goat when you pulled quotes from the occult website RealMagick: The Pagan Roots of American Democracy

  38. It was really high on the google search "ben franklin mohammedan church"

    I was looking for a quote where he said he'd let anyone come and use the pulpit in a meeting hall he had built in Phili.

    Follows the basic storyline, regardless of being Magick.

    The "religion" of the Founders was Masonic, which is multi-denominational, so I've been led to believe.

  39. "If there was a single message from Americans everywhere, however, it was that they cannot stand politicians."

    Hope lives.

    British paper takes a look at Americans and politics.

    Flyover Country

    Kind of an interesting article. Affirms that people can 'think for themselves'.

  40. I saw that article this morning bobal. I thought it was interesting and the writer didn't seem to think that flyover America was a bunch of interbred neanderthals.

  41. The folks in flyover don't seem particularily smitten with Hillary.

    Noahite Laws from wiki

  42. Ms Clinton seems to polarize many.

    I can understand the deep-seated animosity, but find it hard to fathom why anyone would seriously support her, based upon her own abilities.

    Her claim to fame is being married to Bill, through sickness and ill health.

    If being a serial rapist is a sign of mental illness.

  43. And it is a sign of a mental disturbance-it is mental disturbance

    But not quite as bad as this--from BC--

    Politicians the world over like to kiss babies. That's the trouble.

    Meanwhile, horrifying new details emerged last night of the attempt by suicide bombers to kill Ms Bhutto on her return home from exile last month. Investigators from Ms Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party said yesterday they believed the bomb, which killed 170 people and left hundreds more wounded, was strapped to a one-year-old child carried by its jihadist father.


    They said the suicide bomber tried repeatedly to carry the baby to Ms Bhutto's vehicle as she drove in a late-night cavalcade through the streets of Karachi.

    "At the point where the bombs exploded, Benazir Bhutto herself saw the man with the child and asked him to come closer so that she could hug or kiss the infant," investigators were reported as saying. "But someone came in between and a guard felt that the man with the child was not behaving normally. So the child was not allowed to come aboard Benazir's vehicle."

  44. From First Things (, 1995:

    God, Man, and H. L. Mencken


    Any serious analysis of Mencken’s religious views must also contend with his deep disdain for theological liberalism, his intuition (subsequently vindicated) that the quest for "relevance" would make a wreck of mainline Protestantism, and his defense of the dignity of the anti- modernist position articulated for years by J. Gresham Machen, whom he memorialized as "Dr. Fundamentalis" in the Evening Sun of January 18, 1937:

    The Rev. J. Gresham Machen, D.D., who died out in North Dakota on New Year’s Day, got, on the whole, a bad press while he lived, and even his obituaries did much less than justice to him. . . .

    What caused him to quit the Princeton Theological Seminary and found a seminary of his own was his complete inability, as a theologian, to square the disingenuous evasions of Modernism with the fundamentals of Christian doctrine. He saw clearly that the only effects that could follow diluting and polluting Christianity in the Modernist manner would be its complete abandonment and ruin. Either it was true or it was not true. If, as he believed, it was true, then there could be no compromise with persons who sought to whittle away its essential postulates, however respectable their motives.

    Thus he fell out with the reformers who have been trying, in late years, to convert the Presbyterian Church into a kind of literary and social club, devoted vaguely to good works. . . .

    It is my belief, as a friendly neutral in all such high and ghostly matters, that the body of doctrine known as Modernism is completely incompatible, not only with anything rationally describable as Christianity, but also with anything deserving to pass as religion in general. Religion, if it is to retain any genuine significance, can never be reduced to a series of sweet attitudes, possible to anyone not actually in jail for felony. It is, on the contrary, a corpus of powerful and profound convictions, many of them not open to logical analysis. . . .

    What the Modernists have done . . . [is] to get rid of all the logical difficulties of religion, and yet preserve a generally pious cast of mind. It is a vain enterprise. What they have left, once they have achieved their imprudent scavenging, is hardly more than a row of hollow platitudes, as empty [of] psychological force and effect as so many nursery rhymes. . . . Religion is something else again-in Henrik Ibsen’s phrase, something far more deep-down-diving and mud-upbringing. Dr. Machen tried to impress that obvious fact upon his fellow adherents of the Geneva Muhammad. He failed-but he was undoubtedly right.


  45. "The "religion" of the Founders was Masonic, which is multi-denominational, so I've been led to believe."
    That "Truepeers" had all that crap down cold.
    Too bad he was about 4 stories over my head.
    Pretty darned interesting stories, I'd bet.

  46. Throwing the baby out not with the bath water but with the bomb.

  47. Damn juicy stuff from Buchanan over at Drudge.

  48. And it seems like I was told just yesterday that this was to be the 'American Century'.

    • To prevent America becoming “a tangle of squabbling nationalities” Buchanan urges: No amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal aliens; a border fence from San Diego to Brownsville; Congressional declarations that children born to illegal aliens are not citizens and English is the language of the United States; and a “timeout” on all immigration.

  49. If you are a global warmer and argue with sceptics, here is a Primer on the arguments to make in reply. Likewise, if you are a sceptic, you can prepare yourself here, too, by anticipating your opponents arguments.

  50. This post is going to be good. Who coined, "pass the popcorn?"

    Yeah, that was my first thought too.

    Though I think a suit of armor would be better.

  51. Whit, for someone who tends to get his knickers in a knot over non-literalist interpretations of the Constitution you are imparting a whole load of bullshit into its reading with this yearning for a Christian reading.

  52. "Any serious analysis of Mencken’s religious views must also contend with his deep disdain for theological liberalism..."

    Reading amazon reviews I ran across these quotes from Sam Harris's The End of Reason (I haven't read it):

    "Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance - and it has no bona fides, in religious terms, to put it on par with fundamentalism." (21)

    "By their light, religious moderation appears to be nothing more than an unwillingness to fully submit to God's law." (21)
    "Religious moderates betray faith and reason equally." (21)

    "All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don't like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us." (20)

    As I said a year go, the first has obviously implications for our attempts to sell 'moderate Islam' as the true Islam.

  53. Course, it also depends on the religion in question.

  54. I.e., they all aren't inherently equal - which is why Eisenhower's aforementioned quote ("I don't care what someone believes, as long as they believe in something.") sounds nice, but is bullshit.

  55. Jihad, American Style.

    Indeed, Doug.

  56. I think in the European ages when the Catholic Church really had a grip, the system might very roughly be compared to Plato's ideal 'Republic'--the Catholic Church hierarchy representing the philosopher/kings, the various princes the guardians, and everybody else, my distant relatives, and probably yours as well, being the workers. Compared very roughly.

    The coming of democracy, and constitutional practice, being over the back of, or to the side of the Church. This is a complex topic.

    The Magna Carta, while I think it mentions religion, basically reeled in King John a bit, over the issue of raising money, and who from. Don't piss the barons off, being a good strategy in those days, for a sucessful king. The struggle between Parliament and King was a long drawn out affair thereafter, Parliament finally gaining the day. A complex topic.

    I sure wouldn't want to live in a Platonic Republic, if one ever was to exist. Plato seemed to be reacting to the chaos around him. Better to hie out for the territories.

  57. Given a choice of a republic or a democracy, one had better understand that the selection of a republic will be temporary if it cannot control the impulses towards greater levels of democracy.

    A republic understands that not all man are created equal in ability. A republic will stand until the day that democracy ends it, and that will presage the beginning of the end of democracy.

    The most current example is amnesty for illegal aliens. Made legal and given the vote they will serve their own interests by supporting those who promise benefits paid for by others. They will be supported by lawyers and courts and a corrupt notion of entitlements.

    The US has devolved away from being a republic. There is little of it left. Most people are ignorant of the difference.

  58. Indeed, Trish:)

    France, An Elected Monarchy

    Might be time to bet on the French franc.

  59. Thinking about ideological warfare, I recall this situtation.

    Two people, one we call Brother John Bunyan, and the other Sceptic, are on a Journey.

    Brother John has had a bee in his bonnet in life, and is certain that at the end of the Journey they will enter a delightful situation, called Celestial City.

    Sceptic, however, has his doots about this, and thinks Brother John has an over active imagination, and feels the Journey will simply end, with no Celestial City in sight.

    They agree on all other matters. When going through a desert, they both feel hot, tired and sweaty. On entering a wonderful apple orchard they both feel fortunate to be able to eat the delightful full fruit.

    Question then:

    Is there anything that could happen on the Journey, if one is a Brother Bunyan type, that would make you think, well, I was wrong about it, it's not like that at all, there is no Celestial City?

    Conversely, for Sceptic, is there anything that could happen that would make you certain that, aha, I was wrong, there is a Celestial City, worth the Journey, and I am certain of it?

  60. "The most current example is amnesty for illegal aliens. Made legal and given the vote they will serve their own interests by supporting those who promise benefits paid for by others. They will be supported by lawyers and courts and a corrupt notion of entitlements."

    The libertarian says: Get rid of the public benefits and entitlements.

  61. Welcome back Trish, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    You too, Ash.