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Carpathian and ilk vs. the First Amendment to the US Constitution

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Carpathian, sadly but predictably, in the face of remonstrance has continued his attempts to support ghettoising, stigmatising and silencing the voice of the Christian in public; making himself a poster-child of a clear and present danger to liberty in our time.

For example:

>>Religious activities should all be private.

Any prospects for religious conversion should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair.

There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings and that barrier to religion should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths.>>

Of course, conveniently (by redefining faith into an imagined projected blind fideism) such implicitly exempt their own faith, evolutionary materialist scientism and secular humanism and/or its fellow travellers.

But, such a mentality is strikingly at odds with the classic expression of protection of civil liberties found in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, Mother of democratic constitutions in our time. Accordingly, I replied and think that it is worthwhile to headline that response:

____________

The First Amdt, US Const
The First Amdt, US Const

>>>On the 1st Amdt US Const, starting with what Congress submitted:

Transcription of the 1789 Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing 12 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution . . . .

Article the thirdCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances . . . .

ATTEST,

Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House of Representatives

John Adams, Vice-President of the United States, and President of the Senate

John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Sam. A Otis Secretary of the Senate

Thus, we see the same grand statement style that structures the Constitution as a whole:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Arts I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS].

Such a style, of course, underscores that the part be interpreted in light of the whole in its context.

Instantly, we see an emphasis on the blessings of liberty, a theological, covenantal reference that points to the Reformation era biblically rooted understanding of the double covenant of nationhood under God and good government of the nation with the consent of the governed, equally under God. (The modern secularist notion of splitting apart God and People is alien to the frame at work, and it leads to pernicious misunderstandings.)

If there is doubt as to what Blessings of Liberty refers to, observe the Congessional proclammation of a national call to penitent prayer in May 1776, on the eve of the Declaration as already cited, which in the context of the double-covenant view is a clear acknowledgement of the emerging USA being founded under God:

May 1776 [over the name of John Hancock, first signer of the US Declaration of Indpependence] : In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom, virtue, and posterity.. . . Desirous, at the same time, to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely, in all their lawful enterprizes, on his aid and direction, Do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said 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 his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies; . . . that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our officers and soldiers with invincible fortitude, to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the continental arms, by sea and land, with victory and success: Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers, and the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions; to preserve and strengthen their union, to inspire them with an ardent, disinterested love of their country; to give wisdom and stability to their counsels; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable and permanent basis—That he would be graciously pleased to bless all his people in these colonies with health and plenty, and grant that a spirit of incorruptible patriotism, and of pure undefiled religion, may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the blessings of peace and liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from servile labour on the said day.

Then, after the key successful victories that brought the full-bore French intervention that was the strategic hinge of ultimate victory:

December 1777: FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of; And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence, but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defence and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a Measure to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops and to crown our Arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; That with one Heart and one Voice the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favour, and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole; to inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE; That it may please him to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People and the Labour of the Husbandman, that our Land may yet yield its Increase; To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand, and to prosper the Means of Religion for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”[i.e. Cites Rom 14:9] [Source: Journals of the American Congress From 1774 to 1788 (Washington: Way and Gideon, 1823), Vol. I, pp. 286-287 & II, pp. 309 – 310.]

By the next year, we see in the 1778 Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (which would be fought over in the 1860’s in a bloody civil war pivoting on the contradictions and compromises brought about by tolerating slavery):

And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union . . . . In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight, and in the Third Year of the independence of America.

In short, the double covenant view I am putting on the table is not a mere idiosyncrasy to be brushed aside as of no significance. Instead, the persistent refusal to acknowledge easily documented well-founded historic and legal-covenantal truth is what needs to answer to some serious questions.

In that context, dating the US Constitution in terms of both The Year of our Lord AND of the independence of the US gives a big hint as to the significance of the already cited declaration of Independence. Indeed, the Constitution patently set out to deliver on new reformed government under God that would hold the legitimacy envisioned in the second paragraph of the declaration, viz:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15, 13:1 – 10], 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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .

Note, the context of understanding law espoused is stated in the first paragraph: “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

That puts Blackstone’s point and that of Locke citing Hooker up-front, centre. Let us again cite Blackstone, as this was the primary legal textbook of reference in the era in question and for a century and more beyond:

Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being . . . consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws . . . These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly [NB: cf. Exod. 20:15 – 16], should hurt nobody [NB: cf. Rom 13:8 – 10], and should render to every one his due [NB: cf. Rom 13:6 – 7 & Exod. 20:15]; to which three general precepts Justinian[1: a Juris praecepta sunt hace, honeste vivere. alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. Inst, 1. 1. 3] has reduced the whole doctrine of law [and, Corpus Juris, Justinian’s Christianised precis and pruning of perhaps 1,000 years of Roman jurisprudence, in turn is the foundation of law for much of Europe].

The point should be clear enough, but to clench it over, let us note the precedent of the Dutch DoI of 1581 under William the Silent of Orange and against Phillip II of Spain, which was directly influenced by Vindiciae of 1579, and which makes it plain that Natural Law was understood in a specifically Christian [in fact Calvinist] context and used in the first modern declaration of independence in an unmistakeable way:

. . . a prince is constituted by God to be ruler of a people, to defend them from oppression and violence as the shepherd his sheep; and whereas God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges . . . then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view . . . This is the only method left for subjects whose humble petitions and remonstrances could never soften their prince or dissuade him from his tyrannical proceedings; and this is what the law of nature dictates for the defense of liberty, which we ought to transmit to posterity, even at the hazard of our lives. [–> note the direct parallel to the preamble, US Const] . . . . So, having no hope of reconciliation, and finding no other remedy, we have, agreeable to the law of nature in our own defense, and for maintaining the rights, privileges, and liberties of our countrymen, wives, and children, and latest posterity from being enslaved by the Spaniards, been constrained to renounce allegiance to the King of Spain, and pursue such methods as appear to us most likely to secure our ancient liberties and privileges [–> note the direct parallel to the US DoI].

Now, in that light let us look with fresh insights at the 3rd article in the Congressional Resolution of March 4 1789, latterly known as the 1st Amdt US Const:

>>Article the third… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;>>

1 –> Congress resolves and submits to the people for their ratification.

2 –> There shall be no grand federal landeskirk of the united states, building on the principle of Westphalia 1648 of locality in religion, adjusted to republican circumstances and with better protection of dissenters.

3 –> at this time of course something like nine of the thirteen states had established local state churches, the free exercise clause specifically protected freikirke.

4 –> Thus the letter by Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut, is properly to be understood as affirming that Jefferson respected this as setting up a wall of protection for freedom of conscience, worship and religion from interference by the state, especially the state in alliance with a grand landeskirk or some unholy cartel of such at state level.

5 –> In our time, where evolutionary materialist, scientism based secular humanism and its fellow travellers constitute a de facto anti-church cartel, American Dissenting Christians face precisely that kind of interference that this clause was intended to be a bulwark against.

>>or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;>>

6 –> Notice, freedom to speak and to publish through media are protected in exactly the context of freedom of faith and its expression.

7 –> Yes, the primary sort of speech and publication being protected is just what Carpathian and others of like ilk would trammel, stigmatise, ghettoise and censor in the name of protecting their ears and eyes from being reminded of Him who they are fain to forget and dismiss.

8 –> The irony of this is itself a rebuke to such a radical secularism.

>> or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,>>

9 –> This is of course, again in the direct context of religious expression with application to general expression.

10 –> Peaceful assembly implies in homes, in houses of worship, in public spaces, on the streets so long as the assembly be not riotous or a mob seeking to threaten.

11 –> And, again, Carpathian and ilk are found in the lists as enemies of freedom. A sad but not unexpected irony.

>> and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances>>

12 –> As in, it was a grievance that the Constitution did not sufficiently and explicitly protect Dissenters from encroachment by potentially hostile establishments that led these to champion a bill of amendments culminating in this one as first in the list.

13 –> So, again, we find the despised evangelicals helping to build liberty.

14 –> And, the power to petition challenges the Laodicean, self-satisfied mentality of power elites that tend to lock out unwelcome voices and views. (As in, Jesus at the church door, knocking and asking to be let in . . . instead of simply forcing his way in while posing on his authority as Lord of the church; as strong a statement of Divine respect for human freedom as one can ever find, even freedom to follow a march of folly.)

It is high time for fresh thinking.>>>

_____________

We need to understand what we are facing, and we need to realise that given what is happening on the ground all around us, this is not just an isolated crank, but someone blurting out without full understanding, an agenda — nay, “a long train of abuses and usurpations . . .” —  that is clearly increasingly manifest in our time.

We need to wake up and act decisively in defence of liberty, or we will be the generation that fails in the long and sometimes challenging relay of passing the blessings of liberty to remotest posterity. END

115 Replies to “Carpathian and ilk vs. the First Amendment to the US Constitution

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian and ilk vs the First Amdt, US Const, 1789

  2. 2
    harry says:

    kairosfocus:

    We need to understand what we are facing, and we need to realise that given what is happening on the ground all around us, this is not just an isolated crank, but someone blurting out without full understanding, an agenda — nay, “a long train of abuses and usurpations . . .” — that is clearly increasingly manifest in our time.

    We need to wake up and act decisively in defence of liberty, or we will be the generation that fails in the long and sometimes challenging relay of passing the blessings of liberty to remotest posterity.

    There is no doubt that “We need to wake up and act decisively in defense of liberty.” The first step in that process, for believers anyway, is to make a realistic assessment of what we are up against. And just what are we up against?

    And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”
    — Luke 4:5-8

    Note that Christ doesn’t correct the devil with, “The kingdoms of the world and their authority are not yours to give to me or anyone else.” How did the kingdoms of the world and their authority come to belong to the devil? The devil asserts, and Christ doesn’t dispute his assertion, that they have been “delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.” How did they get delivered into the devil’s hands? Well, God honors the free will of man. Misuse of our free will is what empowers the devil and hands these things over to the one whom Christ referred to as “the prince of this world.”

    I point this out to make clear that we are engaged in what is essentially a spiritual battle. It is one that most likely will increasingly become a temporal battle as well, but if our efforts do not spring from prayer and submission to the will of God, if our commander is not the “commander of the army of the Lord” (Josh 5:14) we are doomed to fail. Apart from our unity under the leadership of Christ, we will never conquer the prince of the world on his own turf. If we, on our own strength, by our own wits, playing by worldly rules and using worldly strategy, take on the prince of this world, we are doomed.

    To the extent that we boldly serve and prayerfully obey the commander of the army of the Lord, we will prevail. To the extent that we do this we take back what has been delivered into the hands of the prince of this world. Remember this:

    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
    — Mt 28:18

    The prince of this world is powerless before our unity in submission to the One to Whom all authority genuinely belongs. He Who is within us is greater than he who is in the world. (1 Jn 4:4). When we submit to His leadership we battle not with our own strength but with His.

    Christian political activity that doesn’t spring from prayer and isn’t determined to let Christ lead it, is doomed to fail in the long run. The prince of this world is clever, and will grant us a transient victory occasionally just to keep us fighting him with our own strength. We only battle with the strength of Christ when we wholeheartedly submit to and are unified under His leadership. As Christ Himself pointed out, our unity in Him is how the world will know it was God Who sent Him into the world. I think the world will come to realize this because He reveals His omnipotence through the unity of Christians who “hunger and thirst for justice.” Christian activists united under His leadership, determined to serve Christ in this way, by His strength, would change the world.

  3. 3
    liljenborg says:

    Carpathian is only following the traditions of the Supreme Court in their interpretation of the establishment clause of the first amendment:
    You can’t have prayer in public school classrooms.
    You can’t open a public school sporting event with a prayer.
    You can’t allow a valedictorian at a public school graduation credit his faith as a factor in his success.
    A church can’t rent a public school gymnasium.
    A group of churches can’t use a public park for a Christian music concert.
    A Bible study can’t meet in a public library.
    A home (private) Bible study that takes up too much parking on a public road can be shut down.
    A preacher on a public sidewalk can be asked to leave.
    A display of a cross on public parkland must be removed.
    A nativity scene cannot be erected at a public building.
    The Ten Commandments cannot be displayed at a public courthouse.

    To summarize: you cannot be a Christian in public.
    The “free exercise thereof” line simply becomes a bunch of throwaway words since many “exercises” of religion, from soup kitchens to inspirational concerts cannot be performed in settings where no other people are present.

    Human beings are social creatures. Much of what we do happens to be “public”, that is, with other people. Those of us for whom our relationship with God is the most important factor of our lives will, necessarily, live out that relationship in our public relationships and activities. The primary features of the Christian life are #1 Love God and #2 Love others. This will work out in how we treat our bosses, our coworkers, our employees, our teachers, our students, our children, our neighbors, the sick, the imprisoned, even the homeless beggar on the street corner. It will be a factor in the laws we seek to pass and the society we are a part of building. You cannot privatize the inherent value a Christian must put on other human lives.

    There is a reason a society based on individual rights and freedoms, like America, did not come into existence in polytheistic Rome, Hindu India, or Confucianist China, communist Russia, or Nazi Germany. Because the only the religious/philosophical foundation of Protestant Christianity will get you there. None of those “self evident” truths about equality and rights found in America’s founding documents are in any way evident in the polytheistic, pantheistic, or naturalistic worldviews of those other societies.

  4. 4
    Florabama says:

    “Carpathian and ilk” are just the latest face of the same old godless tyranny that has manifested itself throughout the ages since the fall of man until today. They would destroy all individual freedom to prevent their ears from hearing of the God they hate. But these tyrants don’t realize that it was their oppression that brought us the greatest leaps in freedom as expressed in the Reformation, Mayflower Compact, Magna Carta and the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps this latest resurgence of the same old face of tyranny will bring a new expression of true freedom that will take its place in the the line of these greatest expressions of God given human rights.

  5. 5
    Carpathian says:

    Carpathian:

    making himself a poster-child of a clear and present danger to liberty in our time.

    Seriously?

    I am all for liberty, yours and mine.

    If those liberties come into conflict, we have to compromise.

    As an example, if you open a school day with a prayer, the only proper way to ensure free religious expression is to allow all religions the same freedom to start that day with prayer.

    That means on day 1, we could have a Jewish prayer, day 2 a Christian one, day 3 a Muslim one, day 4 a Hindu one, day 6 a Buddhist one, etc.

    Once a round is complete, an atheist should be allowed to start the day with a presentation that religions tend not to be literally true and that no one will actually die in hell for not accepting a particular prophet’s teachings.

    This of course would only be allowed with the consent of the parents whose “consent” allows government the power to govern.

    Is that fair?

  6. 6
    Carpathian says:

    Florabama:

    They would destroy all individual freedom to prevent their ears from hearing of the God they hate.

    God can talk to me any time he wants and nothing could stop him, including churches.

    The reason I mention churches is that since a church can’t stop God from talking to me, then churches are not required to communicate with God.

    My point is that my problem is with religions, not God.

  7. 7
    Carpathian says:

    liljenborg:

    It will be a factor in the laws we seek to pass and the society we are a part of building.

    There’s the problem.

    I don’t want laws based on a religion I don’t adhere to.

    No one should have to live with that.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, you need to soberly compare what you have said above and elsewhere with the actual text and context of Amdt 1; bearing in mind that it is clear that a lot of judicial decisions in recent decades will not stand that light — to the point of now beginning to mount up as “a long train of abuses and usurpations” . . . 1857 was not the only time that happened. Once you do so, you will see precisely why the concern raised above has been made. All I will further say for the moment, is that the lessons of history are written in blood and tears; if we refuse to learn or willfully ignore them, we will have to pay much the same price to learn them again. And, I say that as someone whose very name has 1,000 years of history written into it, including judicial murder of a relative for daring to speak up as a legislator of Christian conscience and concern. Yes, even my very name is warning me when I see the sort of attitudes you have been surfacing. KF

    PS: Let me add a PS, noting first that I have already outlined how so much of the law of liberty we profess to support traces to precisely the Judaeo-Christian heritage that C so patently despises and demands to reject its moral frame of reference as an influence on the public, much less law. Here, we may see Locke, laying the ideas foundations for what would become modern liberty and democracy, by again citing “the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker” in his Ecclesiastical Polity as he builds on the created equally in the image- of- God/ neighbour-love principle of Moshe, Jesus, and Paul, highlighting from Aristotle that indeed even the pagans sense the force of the law written on their hearts:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. [–> Thus, we most easily perceive and regard this duty when owed to us, now we must see that others of like duty are owed the same . . . where our evident natural constitution, our surrounding world and our interior life join together in speaking to us through heart, mind and conscience, but are we inclined to listen?] From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    The real alternative to such — as is increasingly manifest all around, is might and manipulation make ‘right.’

  9. 9
    Florabama says:

    “God can talk to me any time he wants and nothing could stop him, including churches.

    The reason I mention churches is that since a church can’t stop God from talking to me, then churches are not required to communicate with God.

    My point is that my problem is with religions, not God.”

    All of that is totally irrelevant. It is true that you are putty in God’s hand and He can and will do with you as He pleases regardless of what you think or don’t think of Him, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the point that freedom requires you to tolerate religious expression. Being the totalitarian that you are, you would take away the right of others to practice their religion in the public square. You and Stalin are brothers and you don’t even realize it. Such is the dullness of thought brought on by the neglect of your creator.

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    It sounds like the only religion that should be granted freedom is evangelical Protestantism.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, an obvious red herring led away to a strawman distortion in pursuit of a turnabout accusation; indeed it is a blatant falsehood on the relevant history . . . as you know or should know. KF

  12. 12
    harry says:

    Carpathian,

    My point is that my problem is with religions, not God.

    I don’t want laws based on a religion I don’t adhere to.

    No one should have to live with that.

    If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church. There wouldn’t then be laws forcing people to become Christians. There wouldn’t be laws against many activities Christians consider immoral. Aquinas, believing that human law must allow some evils to exist for the sake of the greater good, put it this way: “Human laws leave many things unpunished, which according to the Divine judgment are sins.”

    Christians recognize that the purpose of law is not to control everything (which is more than can be said for the godless social engineers currently running the country), and that enacting laws against some activities that Christians consider to be immoral would be ridiculous and unenforceable. Wisdom permits, but does not approve of such things.

    There would be laws prohibiting taking the life of an innocent human being, i.e., the protection of law would be restored to the child in the womb. This was the case for over a hundred years in the United States. There would still be laws against theft, fraud, needlessly endangering the lives of others, and so on. We would call this state of affairs enforcing the natural law where it makes sense for the state to enforce it. You could call it whatever you wanted to call it.

    Nobody I know wants a theocracy. Much worse than that is the current “atheocracy.” Under it, in some states, one’s minor daughter can be counseled to obtain an abortion by total strangers without her parents’ knowledge or consent. She may then get an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or consent. Sometimes these abortions are botched and end up not only taking the life of one’s grandchild, but the life of one’s daughter as well. It wouldn’t be that way if the Christians prevailed politically.

    There is not and can never be proof that God doesn’t exist. That belief must be taken on faith. So atheism is a faith-based belief system. Under the current “atheocracy,” other faith-based belief systems, and certainly Christianity, are banned from the public school system while atheistic indoctrination is promulgated freely in public schools. Christianity is being driven from the public square altogether. This is because atheism has become the de facto state religion and is hostile to other faith-based belief systems. This state of affairs is blatantly contrary to the First Amendment. This situation would also change if the Christians prevailed politically.

    Some kind of morality will be imposed upon the public by law. In the case of the “atheocracy,” blatant immorality is also imposed upon the public. The “atheocracy” attempts to coerce people into paying for and/or participating in that which its godless social engineers know good and well violates the deepest convictions of these people. This is all government is to them: the means by which they impose their godless social engineering upon others. They would never admit it, but their attitude is: “Too bad for you if we convince your frightened teenager that the only solution to her problem is to get an abortion. Too bad for you if you consider that the murder of your grandchild. Too bad for you if the abortion is botched and we kill your daughter, too. All that matters is the implementation of our social engineering. We know what is best, not you. Quite frankly, you are nothing but another whining, bleating member of the human herd we have to manage.”

  13. 13
    Zachriel says:

    harry: If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.

    That is contrary to history. The very reason for the First Amendment was to prevent a repeat of past periods of religious compulsion and all that entailed in terms of persecution and violence.

    harry: Under the current “atheocracy,” other faith-based belief systems, and certainly Christianity, are banned from the public school system while atheistic indoctrination is promulgated freely in public schools.

    You seem to be conflating atheism with secularism. A religious society can have a secular government.

    harry: Christianity is being driven from the public square altogether… This situation would also change if the Christians prevailed politically.

    More than 90% of the U.S. Congress is Christian, with most of the remainder made up of other religious adherents, such as Judaism and Islam.

    harry: in some states, one’s minor daughter can be counseled to obtain an abortion by total strangers without her parents’ knowledge or consent.

    Let’s try an experiment. Try to look at the contrary view for a moment, even if you don’t agree with it. Can you explain why such laws have been considered necessary?

  14. 14
    Zachriel says:

    Carpathian: I don’t want laws based on a religion I don’t adhere to.

    As long as the law has a valid secular purpose, then it can generally pass muster. Someone may vote for a law against murder on religious grounds citing Exodus, and someone else may vote for it on practical grounds, while the courts could uphold the law as having a valid secular purpose.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, have you taken a few moments to actually read the OP and look at the sources cited? Absent that, your remarks will simply reflect the prejudices and indoctrinations of our day that turn on frankly suppression of history that does not fit the favoured narrative. I simply highlight, what is a right, how is such founded beyond might and manipulation make ‘right’ and how does that speak to the issues highlighted by the US Const 1st Amdt, 1789 and onward the DoI of 1776. KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Observe how studiously the original state documents — yes, even the calls to prayer that show context for the Blessings of Liberty and for seeing the underlying double covenant view of nationhood and government under God the author of rights and reference point for justice, were state issued documents — cited and contextualised in the OP above are being side-stepped. Also, let us see how the line by line breakdown of Article the third has not been cogently addressed. That speaks volumes. KF

  17. 17
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: have you taken a few moments to actually read the OP and look at the sources cited?

    tl;dr

    kairosfocus: Absent that, your remarks will simply reflect the prejudices and indoctrinations of our day that turn on frankly suppression of history that does not fit the favoured narrative.

    Fallacy, non sequitur.

    ETA: Okay, we scanned your original post, but it doesn’t seem to address the point we raised. Perhaps you could summarize your specific objections to our claim that Christians have enforced religious conformity in the past.

  18. 18
    StephenB says:

    harry: “If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.”

    Zachriel

    That is contrary to history. The very reason for the First Amendment was to prevent a repeat of past periods of religious compulsion and all that entailed in terms of persecution and violence.

    On the contrary, Zachriel, harry is right. If your read the first amendment carefully, you will notice that all the restrictions are aimed and government–none are aimed at the Christian religion: “Congress shall pass no law with respect to the establishment of religion” etc. In other words, when it comes to religion, the government is to keep its grimy hands off of it.

    The founders avoided two extremes, radical separation of God and government (secularism) and radical union of God and government (theocracy), proposing instead an intersection of God and government. Hence, God grants natural rights based on the natural moral law.

    Accordingly, Christianity is the only world view that teaches the inherent dignity of the human person and the attendant freedom of religious expression on the grounds that humans are made in the image and likeness of God. No other worldly institution or religion recognizes that formula. Not even the United Nations, and certainly not Islam.

  19. 19
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    More than 90% of the U.S. Congress is Christian, with most of the remainder made up of other religious adherents, such as Judaism and Islam.

    Yeah, and even Obama, our godless-social-engineer-in-chief, insists he’s a Christian when that serves his political purposes.

  20. 20
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: On the contrary, if your read the first amendment carefully, you will notice that all the restrictions are aimed and government–none are aimed at the Christian religion

    But that wasn’t the precept of harry’s statement, which was if Christians could enact any legislation they wanted. Historically, Christians have enforced religious conformity, often killing one another over arcane differences of dogma.

    Case in point:

    harry: Obama, our godless-social-engineer-in-chief, insists he’s a Christian when that serves is political purposes.

    Ah, no True Christian™.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN05jVNBs64

  21. 21
    harry says:

    Zachriel,

    Obama himself slipped up and inadvertently admitted he wasn’t a christian:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMUgNg7aD8M

  22. 22
    Zachriel says:

    harry: Obama himself slipped up and inadvertently admitted he wasn’t a christian :

    Gee whiz. People were saying he was Muslim, and McCain hadn’t gone there. That’s called a slip of the tongue.

  23. 23
    daveS says:

    harry,

    Obama himself slipped up and inadvertently admitted he wasn’t a christian:

    Goodness. Do you believe he was born in Kenya also?

    Kenya bids ‘welcome home’ to President Obama

  24. 24
    harry says:

    Zachriel, daveS,

    Learn to detect a joke.

    It isn’t Obama’s stupid sputtering when he doesn’t have a teleprompter that demonstrates he isn’t a Christian.

  25. 25
    daveS says:

    harry,

    Sorry. I’ve witnessed in person so many people claim that Obama is a Muslim/Kenyan/communist/Nazi, that it’s hard to tell the jokes from the straight lines.

  26. 26
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    But that wasn’t the precept of harry’s statement, which was if Christians could enact any legislation they wanted. Historically, Christians have enforced religious conformity, often killing one another over arcane differences of dogma.

    If there is one discussion you don’t want to have, it would be a comparison/contrast analysis of Religious killing rates (2,000,000 in 2000 years [1000 a year]) with secularist murder rates (300,000,000 in 100 years 3,000,000 per year). So, the secularists win that contest by a ratio of 3,000 to 1.

    If you include abortions to the secular murder rates, which is appropriate, we would add to the tally another 1,000,000,000 babies over 20 years. That’s 50,000,000 a year. So the aggregate murder rate for secularist ideologues compared to religious killings is 53,000 to 1.

    However, even with this lopsided result, we are still giving the secularists an undeserved benefit of the doubt. We are, after all, discussing all religions, not just Christianity. Christians killed primarily for purposes of self defense against Muslim aggression, which is not murder.

    The rate of Christian murders to Christian killings is negligible, probably one in a thousand. We can make that calculation by noting that the number of people killed for heresy or witch trials is in the thousands, not the millions. Only those acts qualify as murder.

    So, if we just compare secularists murder rates to Christian murder rates, a secularist is about 50 million times more likely to kill you than a Christian. And, of course, the secularists murder their own. They don’t need a war for an excuse.

  27. 27
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    PS: Let me add a PS, noting first that I have already outlined how so much of the law of liberty we profess to support traces to precisely the Judaeo-Christian heritage that C so patently despises and demands to reject its moral frame of reference as an influence on the public, much less law.

    Why the attempt to create hate where there isn’t any?

    Is this a tactic that the right-wing Christians would take if elected to office?

    If elected to office, would Christians do what you are trying to do, in creating enemies of those who disagree with them?

    I don’t hate anyone, I just believe I have a right to freedom from religion.

    This includes Christianity, Islam and all others.

  28. 28
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: If there is one discussion you don’t want to have …

    Don’t mind having it, but it’s irrelevant to the point raised.

  29. 29
    StephenB says:

    Secularism

    noun

    1.
    secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.

    2.
    the view that public education and other matters of civil policy should be conducted without the introduction of a religious element.

  30. 30
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    If there is one discussion you don’t want to have, it would be a comparison/contrast analysis of Religious killing rates (2,000,000 in 2000 years [1000 a year]) with secularist murder rates (300,000,000 in 100 years 3,000,000 per year). So, the secularists win that contest by a ratio of 3,000 to 1.

    The religious could have significantly affected the death rate of world war 2 simply by not fighting.

    French, German, Polish, English, Americans, etc, could have simply said no to killing.

    The Pope and other spiritual leaders could have simply forbidden their followers from taking up arms.

    This would of course extend to those subjects in countries like the Soviet Union which consists of religious people in an officially secular state.

    Instead, all nations had military chaplains who held services for soldiers and prayed that their countrymen would kill more soldiers than the other side, and that with God’s help, had faith that they would prevail.

    Christianity had no borders and could have stopped the war.

  31. 31
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    Don’t mind having it, but it’s irrelevant to the point raised.

    It is precisely the point you made, and you appealed to the historical record as evidence. In fact, when secularists get their way, they are 50,000,000 times more likely to kill you than Christians. The numbers don’t lie.

  32. 32
    StephenB says:

    SB: If there is one discussion you don’t want to have, it would be a comparison/contrast analysis of Religious killing rates (2,000,000 in 2000 years [1000 a year]) with secularist murder rates (300,000,000 in 100 years 3,000,000 per year). So, the secularists win that contest by a ratio of 3,000 to 1.

    Carpathian

    The religious could have significantly affected the death rate of world war 2 simply by not fighting.

    Irrelevant. They were not killing in the name of religion or secularism.

    The Pope and other spiritual leaders could have simply forbidden their followers from taking up arms.

    Irrelevant and also incorrect. Spiritual leaders cannot forbid anyone from doing anything.

    Instead, all nations had military chaplains who held services for soldiers and prayed that their countrymen would kill more soldiers than the other side, and that with God’s help, had faith that they would prevail.

    Irrelevant to the question using murder to enforce religious or secular ideology.

    Christianity had no borders and could have stopped the war.

    ??????How can Christians “stop a war?”

    The fact remains that secularists are far more likely to kill for ideological reasons than Christians.

  33. 33
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    It is precisely the point you made, and you appealed to the historical record as evidence. When secularists get their way, they are 50,000,000 times more likely to kill you than Christians. The numbers don’t lie.

    This is clearly a misuse of statistics.

    Most of the people who killed during the second world war were Christians.

    Instead of praying for the resolve to prevail and beat the other side, they should have stopped.

    You can make the claim that war is technically not murder, but technically, in a lot of countries, neither is abortion.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    C, please, pause and re-examine the sum of things you have said that triggered the current exchanges, starting with jumping on people supporting the principle of civil authorities bearing the sword in defense of the civil peace of justice and decrying how frightening that was, jumping to invidious comparisons with IslamIST terrorists or the like, etc etc. There comes a point where A is patently A . . . bland denials notwithstanding. KF

    PS: I notice studious non-engagement of the substance of the OP, which is highly relevant.

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    This is clearly a misuse of statistics.

    No, I thought it through before I wrote it.

    Most of the people who killed during the second world war were Christians.

    Irrelevant. I didn’t include statistics from the Second World War. They are not relevant. We are discussing secular and religious ideology.

    You can make the claim that war is technically not murder, but technically, in a lot of countries, neither is abortion.

    How can an abortion be a murder in one country and not be a murder in another country? How exactly would that work?

  36. 36
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    StephenB: If you include abortions to the secular murder rates, which is appropriate, we would add to the tally another 1,000,000,000 babies over 20 years. That’s 50,000,000 a year. So the aggregate murder rate for secularist ideologues compared to religious killings is 53,000 to 1.

    Carpathian: The religious could have significantly affected the death rate of world war 2 simply by not fighting.

    StephenB: Irrelevant. They were not killing in the name of religion or secularism.

    Abortion is also not done in the name of religion or secularism.

    It is almost always done for the purposes of protecting the mother from an alternative she considers more negative.

  37. 37
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    How can an abortion be a murder on one country and not be a murder in another country? How exactly would that work?

    Murder is a legal term and countries clearly have a right to their own legislation.

    As an example, in some states you might find yourself charged with murder while another state says your action was a case of standing your ground.

    Same country, same actions, with different legal conclusions.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    C, on WW II, you need to reckon with just why the civil authority bears the sword in defence of the civil peace of justice. That seems to be a major hole in your thought. KF

    PS: If you will not learn from the Christians, the pagans such as Cicero may help, in Laws, I:

    Law is the highest reason, implanted in Nature, which commands what ought to be done and forbids the opposite. This reason, when firmly fixed and fully developed in the human mind, is Law. And so they believe that Law is intelligence, whose natural function it is to command right conduct and forbid wrongdoing . . . the origin of Justice is to be found in Law, for Law is a natural force; it is the mind and reason of the intelligent man, the standard by which Justice and Injustice are measured.

  39. 39
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    Abortion is also not done in the name of religion or secularism. It is almost always done for the purposes of protecting the mother from an alternative she considers more negative.

    I disagree, but if you like, we can forget all about abortion since my argument doesn’t depend on it. Let’s focus solely on the murder of humans that have already been born. With that omission, a secularist is 3,000,000 more times to murder you than a Christian.

  40. 40
    StephenB says:

    StephenB:

    How can an abortion be a murder on one country and not be a murder in another country? How exactly would that work?

    Carpathian

    Murder is a legal term and countries clearly have a right to their own legislation.

    Yes, murder is a legal term. Murder violates the natural moral law, which applies to all countries. If any country enacts a civil law that supports abortion, that civil law is unjust and illegal in the context of a higher law. However, my argument does not depend on that fact. We can forget about abortion for the moment.

  41. 41
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Carpathian: The Pope and other spiritual leaders could have simply forbidden their followers from taking up arms.

    StephenB: Irrelevant and also incorrect. Spiritual leaders cannot forbid anyone from doing anything.

    Spiritual leaders forbid actions and mete out punishment.

    Shunning is a very powerful punishment as families will cut contact with other family members.

    Being in good standing with other church members can be necessary in local economies.

    If you get thrown out of your tribe, you suffer, so you do whatever you have to in order to remain in good standing.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    Spiritual leaders forbid actions and mete out punishment.

    Incorrect and irrelevant. I will respond only to relevant arguments about whether committed secularists or committed Christians are more likely to commit murder when they have the power to make and enforce laws.

    The record shows that the secularists are far more likely to abuse their power. Christians normally promote freedom; secularists normally promote tyranny. That is simply a historical fact. There is a good reason for that: The Christian world view is consistent with freedom; the secularist world view is not.

  43. 43
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: I don’t hate anyone, I just believe I have a right to freedom from religion.

    It’s nice that you don’t hate anyone. But this belief of yours that you have a right to freedom from religion.

    That’s a pipe dream. Not reality. It’s utterly irrational. And telling.

  44. 44
    Mung says:

    ??????How can Christians “stop a war?”

    First, we could reject the entire “just war” mentality that condones Christians killing other human beings.

    That would be a step in the right direction.

  45. 45
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: If there is one discussion you don’t want to have, it would be a comparison/contrast analysis of Religious killing rates

    Zachriel: Don’t mind having it, but it’s irrelevant to the point raised.

    StephenB: It is precisely the point you made

    Nope. Harry said, “If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.” This has nothing to do with the kill rate of various groups. The question is whether Christians, if given unrestricted power, would use that power to enforce religious conformity. They have done so in the past, and it has taken strong institutions developed over centuries to reign in that abuse of power.

  46. 46
    harry says:

    harry: If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.

    Zachriel: That is contrary to history. The very reason for the First Amendment was to prevent a repeat of past periods of religious compulsion and all that entailed in terms of persecution and violence.

    StephenB: If there is one discussion you don’t want to have, it would be a comparison/contrast analysis of Religious killing rates

    Zachriel: Nope … This has nothing to do with the kill rate of various groups.

    As StephenB eloquently made clear, the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison.

  47. 47
    Seversky says:

    Mung @ 43

    It’s nice that you don’t hate anyone. But this belief of yours that you have a right to freedom from religion.

    That’s a pipe dream. Not reality. It’s utterly irrational. And telling.

    I see nothing irrational about wanting to be protected from having other people’s religious irrationalities imposed on one.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel:

    The question is whether Christians, if given unrestricted power, would use that power to enforce religious conformity. They have done so in the past, and it has taken strong institutions developed over centuries to reign in that abuse of power.

    Cf Z again at 13 above:

    The very reason for the First Amendment was to prevent a repeat of past periods of religious compulsion and all that entailed in terms of persecution and violence.

    There is a revisionism that seems determined to paint Christians as inevitable enemies of freedom and justice, painting lurid one sided litanies that fail to reckon with in fact quite readily demonstrated facts right there in key state documents and the thought that led up to them. Just see the OP for a sampler.

    It is that one sidedness, lack of balance and patent hostility that flips some serious red flag warnings regarding the intent of ever so many secularists and fellow travellers in our day.

    Yes, the history of Christendom — like any other civilisation or movement of consequence with a history has some sad and sordid facets. That is inevitable with humans as finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed. Thus the need for reform as a constant of community life.

    But that is not the whole story, and when we see the insistent want of balance as above, that is a warning, especially given some very worrying current trends.

    And, what is more, what we are not hearing is pivotal, and it becomes ever the more significant when we ponder the OUGHT that underpins law and justice, thence its foundations. Especially in light of the troubling issues that dog evolutionary materialist scientism and linked secularism and fellow travellers.

    It is time for some serious rethinking.

    KF

  49. 49
    Seversky says:

    Harry @ 12

    If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.

    If that were the case, why did it require Supreme Court decisions to put an end to compulsory prayer services in public schools?

  50. 50
    Seversky says:

    Harry @ 46

    As StephenB eloquently made clear, the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison

    We have had this discussion before and, if you want, we can have it again and I can assure you believers don’t come out of it looking any better than non-believers.

    Human beings are fallible and corruptible, especially by power, and the sense of power that comes from believing oneself to be in possession of some absolute truth, be it religious or political, can be overwhelming. It can easily lead people into believing they are justified in doing almost anything to further it. The real danger is absolutist thinking.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    prayers at morning worship or the opening of a school or legislative assembly etc (especially as reflective of the local community’s general majority views) are not equal to compulsory attendance at church and indoctrination, even as today being compelled to sit in a school class on the theory of evolution is not automatically equal to indoctrination in same; especially if a fair view on strengths and limitations is given . . . which of course is stoutly objected to by ever so many secularist advocates.

    Rather, it seems that it would be a salutary lesson in respecting a different view that happens to be that of the majority.

    (And, it seems that there is an underlying presumption that ethical theism is irrational and a menace to good community order and liberty, which is seriously misinformed. Linked, there is good reason to take the Christian message seriously. I say this because ever so many evolutionary materialist scientism advocates presume — in the teeth of evidence of the self-falsifying nature of this worldview and cultural agenda — that they have cornered the market on knowledge, truth and rationality.)

    Likewise, to have an accurate and fair summary in civics class on the facets of the American founding and the wider rise of modern democratic government and liberty involving say some of what is in the OP, would not constitute indoctrination in dual covenant theology of nationhood and government under God. Teaching in a reasonable fashion well founded facts, issues, perspectives and even expressing one’s perspective in that context are not equal to indoctrination; though, it seems that such would undermine an obvious radical secularist indoctrination that has drastically distorted understanding and subverted soundness on critical governance issues and would attract ruthless even nihilistic attacks.

    The attitude problems exhibited by too many radical secularists come out more and more clearly.

    It is time for fresh, better informed, better balanced thinking.

    KF

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung et al, if the run-up to WW II is anything to go by, taking issues and threats to global or regional peace seriously while they were yet young would have made a big difference. But Machiavelli long ago warned that political disorders are like progressive diseases that at first are easy to cure but hard to detect and diagnose; by the time the disease is manifest to all, it is too late to cure. Refusal to heed early warnings materially contributed to the problem getting out of hand and ending in catastrophe. And, sometimes there is no avoiding of war, it may only be postponed to your detriment. I think a serious study of the 1930’s – 40’s would be eye opening for many people, including on the deceptive, demonic nature of radicals like Hitler, Stalin and co. KF

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky:

    Human beings are fallible and corruptible, especially by power, and the sense of power that comes from believing oneself to be in possession of some absolute truth, be it religious or political, can be overwhelming. It can easily lead people into believing they are justified in doing almost anything to further it. The real danger is absolutist thinking.

    Including, that form of absolutism that imagines it has cornered the market on scientific truth about origins and that such truth destroys objective morality and locks the reality of God out of the domain of knowledge. Then, further imagines that it has cornered the market on progress and undertakes a massive social engineering project driven by an ideology and de facto establishment of an anti-church that undermines responsible freedom, objective morality and rights beyond might and manipulation make ‘right’ and so also rationality.

    As SB and others have pointed out, the obsession with the fear of a stereotypical, strawman target right wing theocratic fundy terrorist bogeyman (multiplied by the distortions of history I have highlighted) has distracted attention from the facts put on the ground by radical secularist agendas over the past 100 years.

    We need some serious fresh thinking.

    And the ongoing studious refusal to address the documented facts from state documents and their precursors above in the OP and onward elsewhere, speaks volumes ant trips serious red warning flags.

    KF

  54. 54
    Zachriel says:

    harry: the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison.

    That doesn’t salvage your claim, which was “If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.” You might argue that American Christians have learned from their history, but power has a tendency to change people.

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Yes, the history of Christendom — like any other civilisation or movement of consequence with a history has some sad and sordid facets.

    Glad we’re in agreement.

    kairosfocus: But that is not the whole story …

    Of course not. As pointed out, strong institutions were developed to limit religious compulsion and the ensuing strife.

    kairosfocus: prayers at morning worship or the opening of a school or legislative assembly etc (especially as reflective of the local community’s general majority views) are not equal to compulsory attendance at church

    Of course it is.

    kairosfocus: even as today being compelled to sit in a school class on the theory of evolution is not automatically equal to indoctrination in same

    Like it or not, evolution is the prevailing scientific theory in biology, so there is a secular reason for the teaching of evolution in science classes. It would also be appropriate to teach about religion in history or philosophy classes.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, I point out again, the distinction between education and indoctrination. And, I again point out the state documents and linked major documents in the OP, on that other side that I find is so often suppressed and distorted in pursuit of a one-sided litany against ethical theism in general and the Judaeo-Christian heritage in particular. KF

  57. 57
    harry says:

    harry: If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.

    Seversky: If that were the case, why did it require Supreme Court decisions to put an end to compulsory prayer services in public schools?

    As kairosfocus makes extremely clear, the United States was founded by a generation that believed they had formed a nation “under God” the foundational principles of which were proclaimed in their Declaration of Independence from England.

    John Quincy Adams, son of Founder John Adams, must have been very familiar with the intentions of his father and the other Founders, growing up as he did under their influence. Contrary to popular indoctrination that is mistaken for education (as in “the DoI is not a legal document”), J. Q. Adams, in his Jubilee of the Constitution discourse, insists that the people who had declared their independence had as their charter

    the Declaration of Independence. Their rights, the natural rights of mankind. Their government, such as should be instituted by themselves, under the solemn mutual pledges of perpetual union, founded on the self-evident truths proclaimed in the Declaration.

    The Declaration is our primary, foundational legal document. Its “self-evident truths” were based upon a belief in God as the Creator (`All people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’), God as the Lawgiver (`the laws of nature and nature’s God’), God as the Judge of humanity (`appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world’), and God the Protector (`with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence’).

    Adams also asserts that

    The Declaration of independence and the Constitution of the United States, are parts of one consistent whole, founded upon one and the same theory of government …

    In a democracy founded as a nation under God, in communities where the vast majority were Christians, it should surprise no one that the schools began the day with prayer, and that many openly taught students from the Bible. This was clearly the intention of the government. In 1777, Congress, perceiving a national shortage of “Bibles for our schools, and families, and for the public worship of God in our churches,” announced that they “desired to have a Bible printed under their care & by their encouragement” and ordered 20,000 copies of the Bible to be imported “into the different ports of the States of the Union.”

    In the absence of an agenda, the Supreme Court would have ruled that anyone in such communities who was not a Christian and did not want their children exposed to Christian prayer could have their children arrive at school after the morning prayers, and spend time in the school library during classes providing Christian instruction. That would have been reasonable. That would have respected democracy and the rights of the majority. But the Court did have an anti-theistic, anti-Christian agenda. So they ruled the way they did.

    We certainly need to protect minority rights, but the very basis of those rights are the same as the intrinsic rights of all humanity proclaimed in our blatantly theistic Declaration of Independence, which is our primary and foundational legal document. These rights have been willfully rejected by a Supreme Court that has overthrown the government established by the Founders, and destroyed the very intellectual foundation of minority rights, while claiming to be protecting them. Minority and majority rights have become nothing more than whatever the Supreme Court decides they are at the moment, with no intellectual foundation whatsoever. They are no more and no less than the ever-changing whims of the Supreme Court.

    So, putting “an end to compulsory prayer services in public schools” was not required at all. It is what a treasonous Supreme Court arbitrarily imposed upon Americans to further its own atheistic, anti-Christian agenda, the rights of the majority be damned. The minority certainly have no secure rights when not even the majority has any rights except those conferred upon them black-robed barbarians who happen to comprise a majority of the Supreme Court.

  58. 58
    StephenB says:

    harry, @59, beautifully expressed–and true! The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution cannot logically be separated. The latter explains how we are supposed to govern ourselves, while the former explains why we do it.

    We were, indeed, betrayed (not too strong of a word) by corrupt jurists, who arrogated unto themselves the power to remake the law according to their own personal whim, the very thing our founding fathers wanted to avoid. Everyone, Supreme Court Justices first, were to respect and follow the “natural moral law.”

  59. 59
    StephenB says:

    harry: “the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison.”

    Zachriel:

    That doesn’t salvage your claim, which was “If the Christians prevailed politically in the United States and could enact any legislation they wanted, there wouldn’t then be laws forcing everyone to attend a Christian church.” You might argue that American Christians have learned from their history, but power has a tendency to change people.

    There was a time, when Christians did, in fact, prevail politically in the United States. During that era, they didn’t force anyone to attend a Christian church. They didn’t even try.

    I am glad, however, that you are now saying that Christians do not prevail politically, which is, of course, true—and different from your earlier claim:

    More than 90% of the U.S. Congress is Christian, with most of the remainder made up of other religious adherents, such as Judaism and Islam.”

    I guess that you are willing to argue either way depending on circumstances. If you want it to be the case, then Christians are calling the shots. If you don’t want it to be the case, then they are not. Such are the fruits of subjectivism

    Historically, the number of deaths caused is a good objective measure of who abuses power and to what extent. Secularists do most of the killing.

    Even at that, we don’t need to study history to know the difference. Just observe the ways in which secularists isolate, punish, and slander anyone who dares to disagree with their atheistic paradigms.

  60. 60
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: Everyone, Supreme Court Justices first, were to respect and follow the “natural moral law.”

    If you are referring to Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled on the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, an important limitation of government power.

    StephenB: There was a time, when Christians did, in fact, prevail politically in the United States.

    Yeah. They are *only* 90% of the Congress.

    StephenB: During that era, they didn’t force anyone to attend a Christian church.

    They did require tithing. In any case, the federal government was limited by strong balancing institutions. Again, the precept was if they were not so limited.

    StephenB: I am glad, however, that you are now saying that Christians do not prevail politically …

    They prevail politically, but are restrained by strong balancing institutions.

    harry: The Declaration of independence and the Constitution of the United States, are parts of one consistent whole, founded upon one and the same theory of government

    Theory, not law. In any case, you apparently have abandoned your previous claim suggesting Christians won’t abuse power to enforce conformity. Indeed, much of the later discussion seems to advocate exactly that.

  61. 61
    Mung says:

    Seversky: I see nothing irrational about wanting to be protected from having other people’s religious irrationalities imposed on one.

    Good for you. Who is going to do the protecting, and why, and based on what standard?

  62. 62
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    Yeah. [Christians] They are *only* 90% of the Congress.

    So, now you are back to saying that Christians prevail politically, which would indicate that harry is obviously right. When Christians are in power, they do not enact laws forcing anyone to attend a Christian church. So your objection to the contrary was totally irrational.

    Your other comments are equally irrational.

  63. 63
    StephenB says:

    StephenB: I am glad, however, that you are now saying that Christians do not prevail politically …

    Zachriel

    They prevail politically, but are restrained by strong balancing institutions.

    Zachriel, you are a riot. I catch you in a contradiction, and you try to recover by having it both ways, Christians are in control, except that they are not. What is it like to be “liberated” from the law of non-contradiction.

  64. 64
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: I catch you in a contradiction

    It’s hardly a contradiction. “Prevailing politically” in a constitutional democracy is hardly the same as having unlimited power. Bush prevailed politically in 2000, but didn’t thereby acquire unlimited power.

    Christians hold the vast majority of seats in the U.S. Congress, so are hardly without representation. Nonetheless, they are limited in their power by strong institutions, such as the constitution.

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry,

    I thought it helpful to enlarge your citation from == better link on edit — John Quincy Adams’ Jubilee of the Constitution address — even that choice of anniversary and term is pregnant with Biblical, covenantal significance — to the NY Historical Society, April 30 1839:

    Of that strife the victorious combatant had been Britain. She had conquered the provinces of France. She had expelled her rival totally from the continent over which, bounding herself by the Mississippi, she was thenceforth to hold divided empire only with Spain. She had acquired undisputed control over the Indian tribes, still tenanting the forests unexplored by the European man. She had established an uncontested monopoly of the commerce of all her colonies. But forgetting all the warnings of preceding ages – forgetting the lessons written in the blood of her own children, through centuries of departed time, she undertook to tax the people of the colonies without their consent.

    Resistance, instantaneous, unconcerted, sympathetic, inflexible resistance like an electric shock startled and roused the people of all the English colonies on this continent.

    This was the first signal of the North American Union. The struggle was for chartered rights – for English liberties – for the cause of Algernon Sidney and John Hambden – for trial by jury – the Habeas Corpus and Magna Charta.

    But the English lawyers had decided that Parliament was omnipotent – and Parliament in their omnipotence, instead of trial by jury and the Habeas Corpus enacted admiralty courts in England to try Americans for offenses charged against them as committed in America – instead of the privileges of Magna Charta, nullified the charter itself of Massachusetts Bay; shut up the port of Boston; sent armies and navies to keep the peace, and teach the colonies that John Hambden was a rebel, and Algernon Sidney a traitor.

    English liberties had failed them. From the omnipotence of Parliament the colonists appealed to the rights of man and the omnipotence of the God of battles. Union! Union! was the instinctive and simultaneous cry throughout the land. Their Congress, assembled at Philadelphia, once – twice had petitioned the king; had remonstrated to Parliament; had addressed the people of Britain, for the rights of Englishmen – in vain. Fleets and armies, the blood of Lexington, and the fires of Charlestown and Falmouth, had been the answer to petition, remonstrance and address.

    Independence was declared. The colonies were transformed into States. Their inhabitants were proclaimed to be one people, renouncing all allegiance to the British crown; all co-patriotism with the British nation; all claims to chartered rights as Englishmen. Thenceforth their charter was the Declaration of Independence. Their rights, the natural rights of mankind. Their government, such as should be instituted by themselves, under the solemn mutual pledges of perpetual union, founded on the self-evident truths proclaimed in the Declaration.

    The Declaration of Independence was issued, in the excruciating agonies of a civil war, and by that war independence was to be maintained. Six long years it raged with unabated fury, and the Union was yet no more than a mutual pledge of faith, and a mutual participation of common sufferings and common dangers.

    The omnipotence of the British Parliament was vanquished. The independence of the United States of America, was not granted, but recognized. The nation had “assumed among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station, to which the laws of nature, and of nature’s God, entitled it” – but the one, united people, had yet NO GOVERNMENT.

    In the enthusiasm of their first spontaneous, unstipulated, unpremeditated union, they had flattered themselves that no general government would be required. As separate states they were all agreed that they should constitute and govern themselves. The revolution under which they were gasping for life, the war which was carrying desolation into all their dwellings, and mourning into every family, had been kindled by the abuse of power – the power of government. An invincible repugnance to the delegation of power, had thus been generated, by the very course of events which had rendered it necessary; and the more indispensable it became, the more awakened was the jealousy and the more intense was the distrust by which it was to be circumscribed.

    They relaxed their union into a league of friendship between sovereign and independent states. They constituted a Congress, with powers co-extensive with the nation, but so hedged and hemmed in with restrictions, that the limitation seemed to be the general rule, and the grant the occasional exception. The articles of confederation, subjected to philosophical analysis, seem to be little more than an enumeration of the functions of a national government which the congress constituted by the instrument was not authorized to perform. There was avowedly no executive power.

    The nation fell into an atrophy . . .

    It is patent that the Constitution sets about (on the second main attempt!) the delivery of sound and safe government as the 2nd para of the declaration envisions, and so the dating of the US not to 17th Sept 1787 in the year of our Lord, but instead that is seen as being in the 13th year of independence speaks. Speaks volumes.

    And let us note, fighting had been going on since 1775, but that is not the date.

    It is July 4 1776 which is the date.

    And similarly, it is on the strength of that declaration (and battlefield success) that the alliance with France secured the military victory.

    The attempt to sever declaration and constitution is ill-advised and fatal.

    KF

  66. 66
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    It’s hardly a contradiction.

    It is obviously a contradiction:

    —Harry said that when Christians prevail politically, they do not force others to attend Christian schools.

    —You said that history “contradicts” his statement,
    indicating that Christians do, in fact, exert that kind of force when they prevail politically.

    Yet you also claim that Christians do, at present, prevail politically, and you also acknowledge that they do not, at present, force others to attend Christian schools.

    So you clearly contradicted yourself by first saying that politically-prevailing Christians force others to attend Christian schools, and then acknowledging, under scrutiny, that politically-prevailing Christians do not force others to attend Christian schools.

  67. 67
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus @69

    The attempt to sever declaration and constitution is ill-advised and fatal.

    Right you are. It is also illogical to separate the reason for self government (the Declaration of Independence), from the blueprint for self-government (The Constitution). The purpose for the blueprint informs the design of the blueprint. Without the fundamental question, why are we doing this? there can be no follow up question, how are we going to do it?

  68. 68

    As before, the whole idea of Carpathian in regards to the first amendment is to replace it with “thy statements shall be forced by evidence to their conclusion, or else the government will punish you”

    No evolutionist accepts the validity of subjectivity, opinion, they only do objectivity, facts. They have no idea whatsoever about expressing emotions with free will in reference to the spirit.

  69. 69
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: There was a time, when Christians did, in fact, prevail politically in the United States.

    There’s two senses of “prevail” being used. If harry only meant prevail in the sense of winning elections in a modern, constitutionally limited government, then Christians do not attempt to force people to attend church because such a law would never be held consistent with the constitution. However, they have attempted to enforce orthodoxy in the past when they had sufficient power to do so, and that is the sense in which we understood harry to be speaking.

  70. 70
    StephenB says:

    Zachriel

    However, they have attempted to enforce orthodoxy in the past when they had sufficient power to do so, and that is the sense in which we understood harry to be speaking.

    Obviously, harry was not speaking that way since he didn’t use those words and could not possibly know in advance what you would mean by them when you finally decided to inject them into the discussion. What does it mean for a Christian who prevails politically to “enforce orthodoxy?” When did such a thing ever happen?

  71. 71
    Zachriel says:

    StephenB: harry was not speaking that way since he didn’t use those words and could not possibly know in advance what you would mean by them when you finally decided to inject them into the discussion.

    Unless he was referring to a situation where Christians could actually choose to enforce orthodoxy, then the statement was vacuous.

    StephenB: What does it mean for a Christian who prevails politically to “enforce orthodoxy?”

    Most of Christendom from the fall of Rome to the modern era.

  72. 72
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Carpathian: Spiritual leaders forbid actions and mete out punishment.

    StephenB: Incorrect and irrelevant

    It’s correct because The Ten Commandments forbid actions.

    This is only irrelevant if you believe there is no such thing as the hell that the Bible describes as the destination for those who do not follow the teachings of the Christian faith.

  73. 73
    anthropic says:

    Z 71

    “StephenB: What does it mean for a Christian who prevails politically to “enforce orthodoxy?”

    Most of Christendom from the fall of Rome to the modern era.”

    Uh, you didn’t answer SB’s question, Z. If enforce orthodoxy means force people to go to a particular church, this hasn’t been true for centuries. In the US, and in the American colonies before the US began, never.

    By “modern era” you must mean starting centuries ago. Right?

  74. 74
    Carpathian says:

    harry:

    As StephenB eloquently made clear, the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison.

    Not true at all.

    The most represented group in the second world war were Christians.

    France and Italy shared the same Pope.

    Priests on both sides prayed to the same God to help them kill those on the other side.

    If all religious groups represented during WW2 told their followers to refuse to fight, the war would have ground to a halt.

  75. 75
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    With that omission, a secularist is 3,000,000 more times to murder you than a Christian.

    That makes no sense at all.

    That would mean 3 million atheist murderers for each Christian murderer.

    If you are simply looking at a regime that was secular, then the figure also does not apply as the population does not have a ratio of 3 million atheists per Christian.

    Atheists in most parts of the world are out-numbered by religious followers.

    Atheists may make up 1/3 of the population of any given country.

    That means that Christians in these countries carried out the orders that resulted in murder.

    They are accomplices and the direct cause of those murder figures you are quoting.

  76. 76
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    It’s correct because The Ten Commandments forbid actions.

    A spiritual leader cannot stop a war by “forbidding” the war parties to wage war, or by quoting the Ten Commandments, or by warning them about hell.

  77. 77
    StephenB says:

    harry “As StephenB eloquently made clear, the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison.”

    Carpathian

    Not true at all.

    Most definitely true.

    The most represented group in the second world war were Christians.

    France and Italy shared the same Pope.

    Priests on both sides prayed to the same God to help them kill those on the other side.

    If all religious groups represented during WW2 told their followers to refuse to fight, the war would have ground to a halt.

    All your comments about World War II are irrelevant. I don’t think you understand the argument that is being made.

  78. 78
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    That would mean 3 million atheist murderers for each Christian murderer.

    If you are simply looking at a regime that was secular, then the figure also does not apply as the population does not have a ratio of 3 million atheists per Christian.

    Atheists in most parts of the world are out-numbered by religious followers.

    Atheists may make up 1/3 of the population of any given country.

    That means that Christians in these countries carried out the orders that resulted in murder.

    They are accomplices and the direct cause of those murder figures you are quoting.

    I don’t think you understand the argument.

  79. 79
    StephenB says:

    SB: What does it mean for a Christian who prevails politically to “enforce orthodoxy?”

    Zachriel

    Most of Christendom from the fall of Rome to the modern era.

    Let’s try it again. What does your term “enforce orthodoxy” mean? Which U.S. Christians enforced orthodoxy by that definition and when did they do it?

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems to be time to preliminarily identify and then correct what we could call the fallacy of secular[ist] utopian democracy.

    For, I cannot but observe from the above and linked threads of discussion here at UD, that in a context of directly cited evidence of the material and indeed decisive Christian contribution to the rise of modern liberty and democracy — including pivotal, historic state papers and underlying thought from leading thinkers rooted in the philosophical, theological and specifically biblical concepts of good and just government under God as a major facet of nationhood under God — there is a consistent refusal of secularists to engage actual evidence in favour of fear mongering and what ever more sounds like a visceral hostility to God and to ethical theism, especially its Judaeo-Christian form as largely synthesised by Paul of Tarsus.

    Perhaps the most ironic point is when there was an admission that people in general are finite, fallible and corruptible i.e. morally struggling and too often blinded by endarkenment (in which “the light in you is darkness”), there was a failure to recognise what this implies in general and for the course of history: a perpetual struggle against the march of folly, corruption and wrong, often claiming to be wisdom, integrity and the right.

    So, what is to be explained is not corrupt, incompetent and abusive or oppressive government. No, that is the natural outcome of the struggle we all face. (And it is yet another indicator of a point made by C S Lewis: the fallenness of man is a Christian doctrine you can learn or confirm to be so from the newspapers.)

    What needs explanation is reformation and sustained genuine progress of justice and liberty with accountability.

    And patently, modern democracy arose amidst the struggles of a time and era we still term the Reformation; found its first major success in North America and Australia (and somewhat more gradually in Britain), then spread wider and wider in the face of major geo-strategic struggles, with vast advances and retreats only over the past century and especially the past few decades.

    So, logically, we need to seek its roots in the relevant time, place and movements of reform.

    When we do so, lo and behold, the answers are not those of the grand narrative of evolutionary materialist largely atheistical scientism and secularist humanism. No, the answers lie in the Judaeo-Christian form of ethical theism and the reformation era concept (per Vindicae, Lex Rex and other key sources, deeply rooted in biblical theology) of nationhood under God and just government under God.

    As, is classically and powerfully summed up in the US Declaration of Independence, of 1776, which after first highlighting the root of law and reform as “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” then magnificently summarises in the words of the fifty-odd founders . . . Jefferson was by no means sole and ideationally original author:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15, 13:1 – 10], 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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .

    These words, at that time and place lay out the foundation of principles for a transformation of government, creating the framework for modern, representational democracy that balances rights, freedoms and responsibilities and the resulting self-government and thriving of a free people. Never mind the struggles, injustices, and failings of the founders, to have the insight and courage to lay out such a proposition was a magnificent achievement.

    An achievement that, first, explicitly reflects Judaeo-Christian ethical theism that pivots on a balance between justice under God in light of rights he endows and duties he so writes in us that they are self-evident and the free and informed consent of the governed.

    And second, it starts from the need to confront stubbornly abusive government by putting forward an orderly alternative, new, legitimate, credible government supported by the consent of the governed.

    That is, it is a classic case of ethically theistic governmental reformation backed by revolutionary resistance to increasingly abusive and stubborn misgovernment trending towards tyranny.

    As in, a long train of abuses and usurpations.

    Where, when the design of an agenda becomes evident, it is manifest that there is always a more and more factor towards an end.

    And so prudence points to remonstrance and petition before stronger measures; in our day the general election providing a peaceful means based on onward and ongoing reform as a principle of good government.

    But of course, that presumes a well informed people enjoying freedom of conscience, expression, association, the press and more. Likewise, it presumes that there is such a balance that a people can come to a free, responsible and reasonable conclusion as to circumstances, trends and indicated feasible reforms.

    And, it presumes that the critical end of government is the civil peace of justice, duly balancing and guarding rights, freedoms and responsibilities.

    Which implies that the state wields the sword in defence of that civil peace of justice.

    (Which, BTW, is where all of this current exchange began, with an attack on Christians for biblically supporting from Rom 12 & 13 the principle that the civil authority holds the sword of justice. That’s frightening, was the cry, with a leap to taint by invidiously comparing fundies and islamIST terrorists or the like. As though, there is not a whole other side to the story, as is outlined in the OP above that secularist advocates are so patently unwilling to even acknowledge much less cogently address. Rendering the one sided litanies of talking points being trotted out distractive, unfair, atmosphere poisoning and fundamentally fallacious.)

    We must also highlight that evolutionary materialist secularism undermines responsible, rational freedom, and is therefore a self-falsifying ideology that is inimical to responsible, lawful, democratic self-government towards justice. For that, a clear case in point comes from Provine in his well known 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day address:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . . . Without free will, justification for revenge disappears [–> notice, the fallaciously loaded equating of the sanctions and sword of justice with revenge, an utterly different and destructive thing] and rehabilitation is the main job of judicial systems and prisons. [[NB: As C. S Lewis warned, in the end, this means: reprogramming through new conditioning determined by the power groups controlling the society and its prisons.] We will all live in a better society when the myth of free will is dispelled . . .

    In short, this leading Darwinist, on Darwin Day and in the name of Darwin, announced to one and all the fundamental breach between evolutionary materialist scientism and responsible, rational freedom.

    But, Mr Provine, if we are not under moral government the testimony of our interior lives is a delusion. If we are not responsibly free we cannot freely choose what is reasonable, follow a warrant freely to confirm knowledge, and so cannot be reasonable. And if there is no responsible freedom, there can be no just judgement and justice. The utopian dream of a better society of the fundamentally un-free collapses in self-refutation.

    Kyle Butt was fully justified to reply:

    Provine’s . . . [[address] centered on his fifth statement regarding human free will. Prior to delving into the “meat” of his message, however, he noted: “The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them” (Provine, 1998).

    It is clear then, from Provine’s comments, that he believes naturalistic evolution has no way to produce an “ultimate foundation for ethics.” And it is equally as clear that this sentiment was so apparent to “modern naturalistic evolutionists” that Mr. Provine did not feel it even needed to be defended . . . . [However, i]f it is true that naturalistic evolution cannot provide an ultimate foundation for determining the difference between actions that are right and ones that are wrong, then the door is wide open for subjective speculation about all human behavior . . . . When the concept of God is eradicated from a philosophy or society, that philosophy or society cuts off its ability to make any moral decisions. In turn, it forfeits the ability to “eradicate” such actions as rape, theft, murder, or any other immoral vice. When the Bible succinctly stated, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ they are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1), it offered accurate divine commentary on every person, society, or philosophy that would abandon the notion of God—“They are corrupt.” [Rape and Evolution, Apologetics Press, 2005.]

    But, sadly, that something fails the test of good sense does not mean that it cannot be ideologically persuasive and politically powerful. For, a fallacy is a persuasive but misleading argument or communication.

    So, we must take the measure of such evolutionary materialist secularism and its agendas, and we must reckon soberly and prudently with the clear signs that this is a march of ruinous, amoral, manipulative and too often increasingly abusive folly.

    It is time to stand up and say no to such, and it is time to challenge adherents, promoters and enthusiasts with cogent facts and corrective arguments. It is time to insist that such acknowledge well documented history on the actual idea roots and key movements behind the rise of modern liberty and democratic, progressively reformational self government guided by and guarding justice. True progressivism, not false.

    And last but not least, it is time to address the underlying premise of our being under moral government, the grounding of OUGHT in a world-foundational IS capable of properly bearing that awesome weight.

    In the classic words of the American founders:

    We 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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

    KF

  81. 81
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I think the American founders assumed that churches would preserve the traditional and well-known teachings for a majority of Americans, and therefore the government could tread lightly on that topic. While there were politicians who didn’t hesitate to offer Christian sermons as part of their political platform, most felt that the churches were doing a good-enough job and the majority of people would simply follow Gospel teachings and bring that with them into the voting booth or courts of law, etc.

    The churches, interestingly however, looked to the secularized government and instead of faith shaping the nation, the churches ended up being shaped by the very secularism that was intended to help the churches flourish.

    There was always an uneasy truce between the various factions within Christianity, and secularism provided a very easy solution to that on-going conflict. By removing religious distinctions in public and reducing Christianity to the minimal common element, there would be more unity and less conflict. The American government supported and promoted that, not for a sinister motive, but because it made for a more peaceful electorate.

    For a few short decades, that Christian-reductionism worked fairly well. There was an ecumenical commonality which kept disputes at a minimum. The world wars helped to create a social unity as well.

    By the 60s, an even ‘better’ and simpler solution arrived — and that was merely a further reduction of distinctive characteristics of Christianity in favor of “good social works” (civil rights, end of the war, poverty reduction).

    What was brewing in parallel to all of this simplification of Christian belief was the most obvious and simplest solution – the dismissal of religious belief entirely. Thus we have the secular state, tolerating religion, but prefering a kind of happy unity of non-belief. Thus, the spread of atheism today.

    Christianity is therefore equated merely with some sort of theism. Thus the Judaeo-Christian idea (bringing together two radically different belief-sets) reduces down to a belief in God and some kind of reference to the ten commandments.

    This could never have worked anyway, but the wild card in the mixture has been the introduction of eastern (Islamic mainly) religious practice into the West, which does not conform to ecumenism or reductionism. For some reason, Islam is not considered Judaeo-Christian (although it is a Christian variant) but that’s only because it was so unfamiliar for such a long time.

    The American founders really only had to deal with Anglican religious differences primarily and the separation of church and state worked fairly well within that context. There was a respect among separated Protestant groups, and it certainly took a long while, but respect was granted to Catholics in the U.S. over time also.

    But the price for that ecumenical tolerance was quite high. Militant secularism (now atheism) walked into the gap left by ambiguous Christian teaching. In failing to promote their own identity (for the admirable motive of not wanting to separate from other Christians), Americans tend to identify with cultural secularism, which is the religion of non-religion in many ways.

    There are continual signs of a new sense of identity within Christian sects, and as I see it, this is a good thing. It’s mostly done with good lessons-learned from ecumenism. That is, being proud of one’s heritage without using it aggressively to separate from others.

    This is causing many Protestants to examine their roots more carefully and become more historically oriented – and this also has a good effect, as I see it.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, Interesting points. I suggest there are deeper, worldview and cultural agenda roots at work. Such pivot on things like, what is a right and why do we find ourselves under the government of ought. Dismissing that, especially on evolutionary materialism, undermines mind and responsible freedom. Recognising rights, justice etc as objectively binding calls out for grounding ought in an is that can bear its weight, and that points to the inherently good creator God as that ground. Which will anger many in our day, especially as that re-opens the challenge of the gospel they would dismiss. But, we need to realise the peril our civilisation is in, and frankly, I don’t know that it is not already too late. I recoil in horror from the likely price we are going to pay in blood and pain for our collective folly. KF

  83. 83
    Zachriel says:

    anthropic: If enforce orthodoxy means force people to go to a particular church, this hasn’t been true for centuries.

    But Christianity traces back millennia. Per our point, it was the rise of strong balancing institutions that ended the forced conformity.

    anthropic: In the US, and in the American colonies before the US began, never.

    That’s false. For instance, church attendance was mandatory among the Puritans. And tithing was required into the 19th century.

  84. 84
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Interesting as always.

    Such pivot on things like, what is a right and why do we find ourselves under the government of ought. Dismissing that, especially on evolutionary materialism, undermines mind and responsible freedom. Recognising rights, justice etc as objectively binding calls out for grounding ought in an is that can bear its weight, and that points to the inherently good creator God as that ground. Which will anger many in our day, especially as that re-opens the challenge of the gospel they would dismiss.

    That’s true. What I think happens, however, is that the focus on rights is much easier than the focus on obligations. Some theologians argue, in a sense, for universal rights of a sort, meaning an even greater tolerance for any possible human activity.
    That is obviously unsustainable when it comes to the right to commit violence against society or the church itself.

    But obligations create distinctions again. What are we required to do? What will the government force us to do?

    This is something for Christians to solve for themselves, as I see it. Otherwise, it becomes too difficult to translate the message of obligations to the non-believing public.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, I know you want to get on with your agenda of the litany of the sins of Christendom (long since accepted as a reality and part of the general challenge of being finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill willed), which will warp ability to assess actual evidence and the balance on material issues. However, that does not make the evidence go away, I suggest you address Amdt 1 of US Const and its wider context as raised in OP and in previous threads such as here: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....f-justice/ It is fair comment that Christians, acting from their faith, made major contributions to the rise of modern liberty and democracy. That needs to be held in balance with whatever needs to be said about the sins of Christendom, and we also need to reckon with what justice and rights are as moral issues, thus tied to foundational questions about the IS-OUGHT gap and the world-root IS that grounds ought. For, might and manipulation make ‘right’ is a manifest absurdity. KF

  86. 86
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: (long since accepted as a reality and part of the general challenge of being finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill willed)

    We suggested that Christians have learned from their history, but no one took that position.

    If the American experiment is any guide, then it isn’t the wisdom of modern Christians that keeps theocracy in check, but strong balancing institutions.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    SA,

    ironically I am grappling with many of these issues, connected to a major good governance initiative. Nigh on 250 years later many british apparently still resent the US DoI of 1776 and don’t even want to see it!

    A key point is that a right is one side of a coin, and in fact is inextricable from the flip side.

    The phrase, rights, freedoms and responsibilities brings out the balance.

    If you have a right to life, liberty, innocent reputation etc, it is because we have a duty to respect that and respond to such binding moral expectations as duties.

    Just so, as Fr Francis Ryan, SJ, said way back in my school days, my right to swing my hand ends where your nose begins.

    Rights directly entail correlative duties.

    And, as Hooker cited by Locke brought out, my sense and claim that you ought to respect and cherish me in accord with such rights by reciprocity of equals in nature imposes on me the duty to treat my neighbour much the same.

    KF

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, between you, Seversky and Carpathian, there have been some grievous words that lead to some very serious tripped warning flags. Though, I will again acknowledge that you have been relatively moderate and have in particular tried to restrain Carpathian. I would suggest to you that your fears of theocracy are severely overblown, and that SB etc have very good reason to suggest that a strawman scapegoat has been set up in a context where the problems of evolutionary materialist secularism and its fellow travellers have been underplayed, especially given the issue of foundations of morality. Evident nature pointing to natural moral law is a serious consideration. And I think there is a serious overlooking of the fact that until there was widespread literacy and the press, democracy as we know it was infeasible. That is a constraint on when many of the things we now take for granted were possible. KF

  89. 89
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Though, I will again acknowledge that you have been relatively moderate and have in particular tried to restrain Carpathian.

    We haven’t tried to restrain Carpathian, but disagreed with him on a few points.

    kairosfocus: I would suggest to you that your fears of theocracy are severely overblown …

    We’re not overly concerned about theocracy as there are strong balancing institutions to restrain any particular power group, though it can chip away at the edges. That doesn’t mean that the balance can’t be disrupted, and it’s been under considerable strain, but militarism, secrecy and the inordinate influence of money seem to be bigger threats overall.

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Nigh on 250 years later many british apparently still resent the US DoI of 1776 and don’t even want to see it!

    I’m surprised to hear that, but it does make sense. 1776 was a serious loss to the Empire and it created many new opportunities. It was liberating in the best sense of that word – sadly, some are trading liberty for unbridled license.

    If you have a right to life, liberty, innocent reputation etc, it is because we have a duty to respect that and respond to such binding moral expectations as duties.

    Well said. When it comes to faith, I think ecumenism between and among Christians is the most difficult, yet important, challenge. Even reduced down to the most basic level of the theistic concept of God’s creative power and effects, if there’s a radical division there (which there is, sadly) there’s little hope in speaking with an undivided voice on moral issues (except perhaps the most basic, which is not sufficient).

  91. 91
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    I don’t think you understand the argument.

    I fully understand the argument; Christians are good, atheists are murderers.

    Of course there is no evidence that points to that at all.

    harry “As StephenB eloquently made clear, the mass murder perpetrated upon innocent humanity by the regimes of modern history that were hostile to theism make all the combined crimes of Christians over the centuries look like a petty misdemeanor by comparison.”

    The regimes were not hostile to theism as much as they regarded religions as political parties.

    WW1 Germany was not hostile to theism, WW2 Germany was not hostile to theism, France was not hostile to theism, etc.

    All these nations full of Christians decided war was an acceptable way of solving problems.

    WW2 could have been prevented after WW1 with strong church leadership pushing for peace.

    That didn’t happen, so in WW2 Christians on one side again prayed to the one God for the strength to kill those praying on the other side.

    Not a good track record for Christianity.

  92. 92
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    A spiritual leader cannot stop a war by “forbidding” the war parties to wage war, or by quoting the Ten Commandments, or by warning them about hell.

    If you want an example of people power look at the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

    The same thing happened in the Soviet Union.

    The “governed” removed their consent and the governments were powerless to do anything about.

    Instead of shooting the protesters, the military simply sat on the sidelines.

    The same could have been accomplished by religious leaders during WW2.

    Christianity or any other religion is not composed of people who are “better” than atheists.

    Humans will always be identical in one aspect and that is in our human flaws.

    Your attempts to make villains out of a segment of the human race is not acceptable.

  93. 93
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    I fully understand the argument; Christians are good, atheists are murderers.

    No, you do not understand the argument. Please do not repeat your list of irrelevant comments. World War II is irrelevant. Who can or cannot stop a war is irrelevant.

    Your attempts to make villains out of a segment of the human race is not acceptable.

    I didn’t “attempt” to do anything. I demonstrated that secularists in power are far more likely to murder people than Christians in power. There is no question about it.

  94. 94
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    The same thing happened in the Soviet Union.

    That’s not the example you want to use. Secularists in the Soviet Union were responsible for the mass murder of tens of millions.

  95. 95
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    I didn’t “attempt” to do anything. I demonstrated that secularists in power are far more likely to murder people than Christians in power. There is no question about it.

    That’s not true at all.

    Politicians who want to keep power kill people.

    Their religion or lack of it is irrelevant.

    Dictators have an allegiance to no person, organization or religion whether in the Soviet Union, Germany or the United States.

    They behave as if they were the center of the world.

    Look at Jimmy Jones in Guyana.

    Blacks were murdered in the United States under the watchful eyes of governments who quoted God in their constitution.

    In Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants murdered each other.

    Using politics to prove a religious point just doesn’t work.

    Your claim was that you were three million times more likely to be murdered by an atheist than a Christian.

    There is absolutely no evidence to support that on a state or personal level.

    You are making a divisive statement that helps no one.

  96. 96
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    That’s not the example you want to use. Secularists in the Soviet Union were responsible for the mass murder of tens of millions.

    The fact that someone is a secularist is not what makes him a dictator or cold-blooded killer any more than wearing sunglasses like Jimmy Jones did, make someone a mass murderer.

    Prove that it was a lack of religion and not a lust for power that caused the deaths in the USSR.

    If I apply your argument to Germany or Italy, then it was the Christians who killed the Jews, which is a ridiculous argument.

    Was it the Christians who dropped an atomic bomb on Japan or was it a government at war?

  97. 97
    anthropic says:

    KF 88

    “And I think there is a serious overlooking of the fact that until there was widespread literacy and the press, democracy as we know it was infeasible. ”

    A further point in this regard is the Reformation, which emphasized literacy so every believer could read the Bible for themselves. That motivated the American colonists to teach reading on a virtually unprecedented scale; some historians estimate early American literacy rates well above 95 percent.

    Of course, the Jews also had a literate culture for much the same reason.

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, I must caution you that it is high time that you show a basic willingness to show even simple acknowledgement of contributions made by Christians and Christian influences to the rise of modern liberty and democracy. One gets the distinct impression from repeated comments when a simple balancing acknowledgement would have made a world of difference, that you are utterly unwilling to acknowledge that Christians have made any significant positive contributions to the progress of our civilisation and world. Given agendas of censorship and ghettoisation you have already repeatedly put on the table, such are very bad indicators. I suggest that it is time for you to take a time-out and reflect on your want of balance. KF

  99. 99
    StephenB says:

    SB: I didn’t “attempt” to do anything. I demonstrated that secularists in power are far more likely to murder people than Christians in power. There is no question about it.

    That’s not true at all.

    It is obviously true. The numbers don’t lie.

    SB: That’s not the example you want to use. Secularists in the Soviet Union were responsible for the mass murder of tens of millions.

    The fact that someone is a secularist is not what makes him a dictator or cold-blooded killer any more than wearing sunglasses like Jimmy Jones did, make someone a mass murderer.

    Irrelevant. No one tried to argue anything like that. Please try to follow the argument.

    Prove that it was a lack of religion and not a lust for power that caused the deaths in the USSR.

    Again, you still do not understand. Secularists kill far more people than Christians kill when they are in power. Why they kill is anybody’s guess. Such a thing would likely be impossible to prove with numbers. Please try to follow the argument.

  100. 100
    kairosfocus says:

    anthropic, prezactly. Do I need to call the name, Pestalozzi? The emphasis on literacy, on reading the scriptures for oneself, on being able to respond to and know God for oneself all made major contributions. Multiply by the dual covenant understanding of nationhood and government under God, and by the call for reform of major institutions then for moral transformation of life through conversion and discipleship, as well as things like temperance, and a mass base for democratic transformation emerged across time. While high level contributions as the OP highlights should not be underestimated, neither should the sort of transformations above. Mix in the Wesley-Whitefield awakenings, the antislavery movement, social reformation movements and more and we can see how key contributions that are often underestimated were made. KF

  101. 101
    harry says:

    kairosfocus @100

    While high level contributions as the OP highlights should not be underestimated, neither should the sort of transformations above. Mix in the Wesley-Whitefield awakenings, the antislavery movement, social reformation movements and more and we can see how key contributions that are often underestimated were made.

    As a Catholic, if it were up to me, William Wilberforce and Harriet Tubman would be canonized as saints even though they were not Catholics. I say this because I firmly believe that the main reason for the success of godless social engineering in ever increasingly imposing its unnatural, dehumanizing agenda upon humanity is the disunity of Christians — and one of the main reasons for the disunity of Christians is the failure to acknowledge the Spirit of Christ in each other. Harriet Tubman and William Wilberforce possessed the Spirit of Christ. We have it on good authority that we can judge a tree by its fruit. Wilberforce and Tubman produced spectacularly good fruit of the sort that is only brought forth when one has died to self only to be raised again to new life in Christ, like the grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies, yet rises again and bears much fruit.

    Having said that, kairosfocus, I have a few questions for you, but I still have just a little more preparation to do: In every society, there is some institution that is looked to for the answers to the ultimate questions. “Why are we here?” “Where did we come from?” “Where are we going, ultimately?” “What is the meaning of our existence?” “Is there a meaning to our existence?”

    There was a time when the Church was the institution everyone looked to for the answers to those ultimate questions. As you know, in modern, radically secularized society, this is no longer the case. So, my first question is: Do you agree with me that the disunity of Christians is probably the main reason that the institutions of scientism replaced the Church as the source of the answers to the ultimate questions for society?

    If so, my friend, how do we begin to repair that disunity?

    God bless you and all you do here.

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    Harry, do we ever agree on the issue of the devastating impact of disunity and the Laodicean, lockout spirit that refuses to let in even the Lord of the church standing OUTSIDE the door, knocking and calling. As for listening to what the Spirit says to the churches, we need not say more. Save, that when institutions and leaders fail, the Lord says that if anyone listens and opens he will come in and commune with him . . . the faithful remnant. The wars over religion (in many cases, power seems to be ever so much of the real motive) in C17 clearly alienated and repelled many. When will we learn to soften our hearts and open our doors? What we can do today is live like the remnant of Laodicea. Though, I tend to be pessimistic about our civilisation at its current level of achievements. Chaos, collapse, likely rivers of blood stare us in the face but we seem willfully blind like the wealthy purveyors of eyesalve in C1 Laodicea. Just thinking about what is going on with Iran makes me shake my head. After the crash, looks like. KF

  103. 103
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Again, you still do not understand. Secularists kill far more people than Christians kill when they are in power. Why they kill is anybody’s guess. Such a thing would likely be impossible to prove with numbers. Please try to follow the argument.

    You are over-simplifying a very serious subject.

    Though there are many nations that have leaders who are Christians, there is not a single government we could use as an example, that is as religiously controlled by Christians as the Muslims control Saudi Arabia or Iran.

    I could make the ridiculous case, backed by figures, that show statistically that you are more likely to be murdered by your government if your leader has a mustache, as Hitler and Stalin did.

    Clearly a mustache is not a cause of murder.

    The evidence we can see in the Middle East is that governments based on a religion kill more people than those governments that are secular.

    In our own life-time, we have seen Protestant Christians and Catholic Christians killing each other in Northern Ireland.

    Whatever the reasons for the oppression and murder of civilians, at its heart will be a struggle for power.

    You should also be comparing secularist and non-secularist governments, not simply secularist versus Christian.

    We want to see the effect that religious thinking has when enacting legislation and protecting the government’s power base.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    This thread began several days ago, because you said the following regarding themes addressed by the first amdt US Const:

    Religious activities should all be private.

    Any prospects for religious conversion should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair.

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings and that barrier to religion should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths.

    In short, you quite plainly advocated censorship, ghettoisation and silencing of Christians.

    I cannot recall how you have ever reconciled this with the context and themes of the core freedoms of civil society, and indeed it is patent that this cannot be done.

    A scan through the thread and others reveals, instead of second thoughts and a return to civility, a steadfast insistent well and atmosphere poisoning, projection of a one sided litany of blame and more, but nowhere do we find a serious resolving of what you have said, given — and I now clip the OP on those classical core freedoms . . . an amdt that historically traced exactly to the influence of specifically Christian “religious thinking” on law making:

    >>Article the third… [= 1st Amdt US Const] Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;>>

    1 –> Congress resolves and submits to the people for their ratification.

    2 –> There shall be no grand federal landeskirk of the united states, building on the principle of Westphalia 1648 of locality in religion, adjusted to republican circumstances and with better protection of dissenters.

    3 –> at this time of course something like nine of the thirteen states had established local state churches, the free exercise clause specifically protected freikirke.

    4 –> Thus the letter by Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut, is properly to be understood as affirming that Jefferson respected this as setting up a wall of protection for freedom of conscience, worship and religion from interference by the state, especially the state in alliance with a grand landeskirk or some unholy cartel of such at state level.

    5 –> In our time, where evolutionary materialist, scientism based secular humanism and its fellow travellers constitute a de facto anti-church cartel, American Dissenting Christians face precisely that kind of interference that this clause was intended to be a bulwark against.

    >>or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;>>

    6 –> Notice, freedom to speak and to publish through media are protected in exactly the context of freedom of faith and its expression.

    7 –> Yes, the primary sort of speech and publication being protected is just what Carpathian and others of like ilk would trammel, stigmatise, ghettoise and censor in the name of protecting their ears and eyes from being reminded of Him who they are fain to forget and dismiss.

    8 –> The irony of this is itself a rebuke to such a radical secularism.

    >> or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,>>

    9 –> This is of course, again in the direct context of religious expression with application to general expression.

    10 –> Peaceful assembly implies in homes, in houses of worship, in public spaces, on the streets so long as the assembly be not riotous or a mob seeking to threaten.

    11 –> And, again, Carpathian and ilk are found in the lists as enemies of freedom. A sad but not unexpected irony.

    >> and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances>>

    12 –> As in, it was a grievance that the Constitution did not sufficiently and explicitly protect Dissenters from encroachment by potentially hostile establishments that led these to champion a bill of amendments culminating in this one as first in the list.

    13 –> So, again, we find the despised evangelicals helping to build liberty.

    14 –> And, the power to petition challenges the Laodicean, self-satisfied mentality of power elites that tend to lock out unwelcome voices and views. (As in, Jesus at the church door, knocking and asking to be let in . . . instead of simply forcing his way in while posing on his authority as Lord of the church; as strong a statement of Divine respect for human freedom as one can ever find, even freedom to follow a march of folly.)

    The conclusion we are left with, on grounds of your repeated tripping of warning flags, is that your motivation is a deep-seated hostility and intent to silence that makes you a poster-child on the dangerous hostility of too many radical secularists and fellow travellers today.

    I suggest to you, that you need to confront the direct import and implications of what you have been saying, portraying and projecting, then do some serious rethinking.

    KF

  105. 105
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    The conclusion we are left with, on grounds of your repeated tripping of warning flags, is that your motivation is a deep-seated hostility and intent to silence that makes you a poster-child on the dangerous hostility of too many radical secularists and fellow travellers today.

    Here is a repost from earlier.

    Please point out my hostility and intent to silence.

    I am all for liberty, yours and mine.

    If those liberties come into conflict, we have to compromise.

    As an example, if you open a school day with a prayer, the only proper way to ensure free religious expression is to allow all religions the same freedom to start that day with prayer.

    That means on day 1, we could have a Jewish prayer, day 2 a Christian one, day 3 a Muslim one, day 4 a Hindu one, day 6 a Buddhist one, etc.

    Once a round is complete, an atheist should be allowed to start the day with a presentation that religions tend not to be literally true and that no one will actually die in hell for not accepting a particular prophet’s teachings.

    This of course would only be allowed with the consent of the parents whose “consent” allows government the power to govern.

    Is that fair?

  106. 106
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    10 –> Peaceful assembly implies in homes, in houses of worship, in public spaces, on the streets so long as the assembly be not riotous or a mob seeking to threaten.

    I have no problem with that.

    I do have a problem with governments promoting any one religion as in putting The Ten Commandments in front of Courthouses.

    I also have a problem with governments passing legislation to appease a church that I don’t belong to.

    If I choose not to belong to a church, why should I have to put up with their church rulings via politicians?

  107. 107
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    5 –> In our time, where evolutionary materialist, scientism based secular humanism and its fellow travellers constitute a de facto anti-church cartel, American Dissenting Christians face precisely that kind of interference that this clause was intended to be a bulwark against.

    >>or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;>>

    Would you be open to allowing other religions the ability to see their teachings put into legislation?

  108. 108
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian,

    This thread began several days ago, because you said the following regarding themes addressed by the first amdt US Const:

    Religious activities should all be private.

    Any prospects for religious conversion should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair.

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings and that barrier to religion should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths.

    In short, you quite plainly advocated censorship, ghettoisation and silencing of Christians.

    Where did I mention Christians?

    I have always said all religions, every single one, should be equal in stature as far as the government and legislation is concerned.

    If you allow one church to enact legislation, you have to allow all of them.

    That is democratic and fair.

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, your attempts to well-poison, stigmatise, censor, publicly silence and ghettoise Christians and the like are a matter now of repeated and headlined record here at UD. Bland declarations that “I am all for liberty, yours and mine. If those liberties come into conflict, we have to compromise” therefore have utterly no effect. As you have made it quite plain just what you mean by compromise; a pattern that is increasingly and dangerously, even menacingly common. When two statements contradict on a matter of rights, where there is no retraction and explanation for the adverse one, we must act with prudence. This BTW extends to your attempt to suggest that you have no objection to peaceful assembly, which is not true when put in parallel with the already headlined. And so forth, e.g. the notion you put up of churches enacting legislation is a toxically loaded strawman and red herring. I just note that popularly elected legislatures enact legislation, towards the civil peace of justice, and constrained by constitutional provisions designed to ensure protection of core rights evident in our common morally governed nature as responsibly free and rational beings — the US DoI 1776 classically puts that as unalienable, Creator endowed rights integral to the laws of Nature and nature’s God. Which, you know or should know but instead found it oh so rhetorically convenient and clever to distort into a pretence and invidious projection of theocratic establishment. There is a reason why ordinary dissenting Christians c 1787 insisted on explicit recognitions of rights, and your pattern of behaviour underscores their wisdom. KF

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me clip a discussion of the 2nd paragraph of the US DoI which I have put into a discussion draft for a charter of good government, as part of its rationale (to show something live):

    Noting also, as a balancing premise, the global historic significance of the July 4th 1776 American Declaration of Independence as the charter of modern democracy;

    Pondering therefore, the force of the following epochal assertion that a people have a right to liberty and legitimate government that recognises their unalienable, God-given rights and which is reformed by them from time to time, to respect and guard such rights (especially by means of the ballot box) . . . [cite follows]

    . . . and let me add an explanatory exposition I have made in the past few days in response to a query:

    >>We hold these truths to be self-evident,>>

    1 –> cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15, 13:1 – 10 . . . one we understand what is at stake in our being morally governed beings of equal nature and worth, there is no excuse of ignorance regarding core rights, the attempt to deny such lands instantly in patent absurdity

    >>that all men are created equal,>>

    2 –> The pivot of all else, and on this cf Locke in his 2nd treatise on civil govt ch 2, citing ‘the judicious [Anglican canon Richard] Hooker [in his Ecclesiastical Polity, which onward uses Moshe, Jesus and Paul on the Golden Rule and Aristotle, with echoes of Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis and Blackstone in his Commentaries]”:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

    3 –> Blackstone on the laws of nature and of nature’s God referenced in the 1st paragraph is also well worth the citing:

    Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being . . . consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws . . . These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly [NB: cf. Exod. 20:15 – 16], should hurt nobody [NB: cf. Rom 13:8 – 10], and should render to every one his due [NB: cf. Rom 13:6 – 7 & Exod. 20:15]; to which three general precepts Justinian[1: a Juris praecepta sunt hace, honeste vivere. alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. Inst, 1. 1. 3] has reduced the whole doctrine of law [and, Corpus Juris, Justinian’s Christianised precis and pruning of perhaps 1,000 years of Roman jurisprudence, in turn is the foundation of law for much of Europe].

    4 –> This then leads into a definition of rights and the state’s purpose as guarding the civil peace of justice through properly balancing rights, freedoms and responsibilities or duties [which brings out how moral government is the key balance to the tendency of democracy to abusive mob rule, the notion that the might of the — typically manipulated and angry — crowd makes ‘right.’]

    >> that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.>>

    5 –> The Creator grounds the right and rights.

    6 –> This reflects that absent resort to dismissing the testimony of our interior life that we are under the government of a law of ought (and thus implying grand
    delusion so fatally undermining mind and responsible freedom), we face the binding nature of ought especially through the premise that rights imply correlative
    duties of respect and care.

    7 –> This then leads to the Humean Guillotine and the is-ought gap, thence the only sound answer, there is a world-foundational IS that inherently and adequately
    grounds OUGHT.

    8 –> For such, there is precisely one serious candidate, after centuries of disputes and debates: the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great
    being, the root of reality who is worthy of ultimate respect and loyalty, then of service by doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    9 –> And yes, I know there is a whole world of serious philosophy and linked theology behind that, starting with the modern modal ontological argument and moral arguments multiplied by the argument from transformative experience of encounter with God.

    10 –> That is not our main concern, the national vision that we are a God-fearing society captures the essence.

    11 –> From this we ground a deeper understanding of Law rooted in our nature as responsibly and rationally free morally governed creatures charged with the stewardship of Creation and the principle of neighbour love. Down that road lies a world of thought tied to the Categorical Imperative and the sustainability principle insofar as that is valid. And all of that is relevant too.

    >> –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,>>

    13 –> Govt is established through human collective community action, ideally and by force of ought towards justice, which requires guarding and defence, hence the
    issue of the sword of justice legitimately used in defence of the civil peace of justice.

    14 –> And, I insist on the importance of that understanding of the term, civil peace.

    >> deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,>>

    15 –> Thus, democracy enters, in the context of justice, rights, the right, our created equality and endowments of a common value and dignity that must be respected down to the least individual, and guarded with the sword of justice.

    16 –> And of course, how that consent is expressed is a pivotal issue of good government and governance.

    >> –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,>>

    17 –> The problem of finite, fallible, morally struggling and corruptible, to often foolish or incompetent or abusive people, including in government and its offices of great trust and power.

    18 –> In reply, the people who give consent and legitimate government towards justice, have a collective right to reform and change government

    >> laying its foundation on such principles>>

    19 –> As already given in outline with deep allusions, and this then becomes a classic historically pivotal statement of sound principles in a powerful nutshell well worth learning, memorising and pondering.

    >> and organizing its powers in such form,>>

    20 –> Reformation towards good government

    >> as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.>>

    21 –> The people must be properly and justly educated, trained, habituated, experienced through civil society, supported by transparency and accountability and a free, strong, sound and fair press

    22 –> And yes, modern democracy is not feasible absent literacy on a widespread basis and absent means of publication and dissemination of information

    >> Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.>>

    23 –> This is serious business, not to be taken up on a whim or on an ill informed basis, especially when radical reform is the issue

    >> But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,>>

    24 –> Agendas always have more and more built in, often hidden, the issue is where the direction and trend points, especially as morally evaluated in light of the given principles.

    >> it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .>>

    25 –> The right of in the end revolution to answer to stubborn destructive power agendas and their champions.

    26 –> here, we see that the general election is an institutionalised solemn assembly and audit of government on a regular basis, with peaceful means of reformation and if necessary revolution.

    27 –> Hence, BTW the references as cited above to referendum to change constitutions.

    That is the real case to be answered to, or at least a material part of it.

    KF

  111. 111
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Please try to retain focus.

    Is there a reason you can’t reply directly to a comment?

    Read the following:

    I have always said all religions, every single one, should be equal in stature as far as the government and legislation is concerned.

    If you allow one church to enact legislation, you have to allow all of them.

    Please comment on the above, not statements I haven’t made.

    Questions:

    1) Where do I favor one religion over another?

    2) Where do I attack Christianity?

    3) If you believe that my statements that I don’t favor any religion actually mean I do favor one religion over another, please provide me an example of the proper grammar constructs to use so that my message that I don’t favor any religion over another actually gets transmitted to you.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    Pardon, but there you go again:

    If you allow one church to enact legislation, you have to allow all of them . . .

    And, I add, as for where do I attack Christianity, I draw your attention to your words cited in the OP and linked from it, in which you propose censorship by way of public silencing, stereotyping and by implication scapegoating and confinement to a ghetto labelled “religion” in the teeth of the issues of freedom of conscience, expression, association, the press and more . . . discussed at length in the same OP you have so studiously ignored:

    >>Religious activities should all be private. [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Any prospects for religious conversion [–> A specifically Christian emphasis, especially for evangelicals] should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair. [–> as in, once labelled religion or faith by the secularist elites, to be then silenced and censored in public backed up presumably by the radically secularised state, bye bye to freedom of expression in the public square]

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    and that barrier to religion [–> ghettoising and silencing again] should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths. [–> as opposed to “Science” which presumes to be “knowledge”]>>

    FYI, Civics 101, in constitutional, limited government, rights respecting democracies across the world for centuries now LAWS ARE ENACTED BY LEGISLATURES, period. Legislatures that are elected by popular vote, hopefully informed by a free and reasonably diverse press.

    (And, FYFI, the current practice of unaccountable legislation from the judicial bench driven by an elitist secularist agenda is both inherently exceedingly dangerous and a de facto instance of establishment of the anti-church of evolutionary materialist scientism and radical secularism allied with fellow travellers and what Lenin termed useful fools. In short, simply by injecting the contrast-term “religion” you have implied priviliging the anti-church of evolutionary materialism, scientism and secularism, leading to the already exposed agenda of hostility, marginalisation, censorship, silencing in public, stereotyping, scapegoating and ghettoisation; all without realising the implications of what you have advocated, cf the clip in the op above on confining religious speech to the private, and the parallel thread on civil justice that highlights how you leaped from Anthropic’s support for the state administering justice per Rom 12 – 13 to assertions about how frightening that was and comparisons with presumed fundy religious fanatics and terrorists similar to islamIST terrorism; a tellingly disproportionate and revealing over-reaction. I will draw out on the problem below.)

    Your invidious caricature of some imaginary church “enacting legislation” is a case of a red herring led away to a strawman set up and soaked in a slander and set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere.

    Let me restructure to clarify: which church, when in any relevant current context of a constitutional, lawful democracy functions as a parliament? Patently, exactly nil so this is made up out of whole cloth . . .

    I suspect this is not original to you, but you are responsible to think before you repeat a toxic, slanderous talking-point.

    The obvious propagandistic theme here is the right wing fundy Christo-fascist theocracy bogeyman, probably blended with a projection of the Iranian Islamic Republic with its guardian council etc, or the like.

    Possibly, your declared concern may have been relevant back to medieval days when the Papacy was a powerful monarchy, or earlier in the post-476 years when there was a church-horseback warrior class alliance and establishment as the result of the dangerous and chaotic impacts of the collapse of the W Roman empire.

    In those days, the church was the last remaining pan-european institution with some continuity and capacity so had to step in and ally itself with the heavy cavalry armoured warrior class. (Mostly chain mail or scale or segment armour, the full plate armour came much later. After a major Roman defeat c 400 AD, infantry went into decline.)

    But in those times it was the clerics and the armoured horsemen or nothing. In the face of barbarian raiders, disease, famine, desperation. And in Britain things were so bad that the Saxons etc — they had been serving with the Romans for years — were invited in to defend from the Scots and Irish raiders. Of course, they took over. They were gradually Christianised through missions like those of Augustine the less, and the Irish were famously Christianised by Patrick. And tellingly, this was an infantry based backwater — eventually decisively defeated by horseback based Viking descendants from Normandy and their allies at Hastings in 1066 who also used archers to soften the shield wall. Notice, the Saxon king was said to have been felled by an arrow to the eye.

    As the case of the Normans suggests, after the Saxons, then came the Vikings and the Danish-Norwegian invasions and settlements of England, Scotland and Ireland. (The Swedes seem to have mostly gone East.)

    Just remember, no peasant could afford the time, cost and effort to become a knight; you had to have a warrior class with privileges sufficient to make them effective. There is nothing so useless as a second-best army, it costs the earth to create but will go down to defeat, and in those days, if you thought being a peasant or serf under a warlord was bad, wait till you face say Viking raiders who have just slaughtered the warriors and are now about to plunder, rape, enslave and murder to their hearts’ content.

    Democratisation could only seriously begin when infantry through the longbow, pike and then the musket, rebalanced forces on the battlefield. I add, backed by the invention of printing and rising tide of literacy and widespread elementary education thus the emergence of the general literate public at the heart of modern democracy.

    Now, under the sort of establishment you have in Iran or the like, you do have mullahs controlling law, but that is something where you do not have anything like a constitutional democracy, never mind some trappings.

    British history from the wars of the roses to the glorious revolution of 1688 suffices to illustrate the path to democratisation.

    1688 was the pivotal point of democratisation, and on the bloody lessons of nigh on 300 years of civil conflict, the past will not be revisited.

    Indeed, a pivotal issue in 1832 – 33 in Britain was that in a time of internal instability where dissenter dominated districts held the decisive vote, word reached the UK and was backed up by a Governor’s report, on the Baptist war slave uprising in Jamaica. Particularly, on attempts to try and hang dissenter missionaries as instigators and the linked burning of 15 dissenter chapels by the Anglican-linked Colonial Church Union.

    This triggered the final discredit of the West India Interest, as Britain was not going back to the bloody instability of the past.

    Period.

    The emancipation act passed in 1833, and came into effect Aug 1, 1834.

    In short you have set up and burned a toxically loaded strawman, led up to with talking points over not favouring one religion over another.

    That is already an inadvertent indicator of the real problem: worldviews, ideologies and cultural agendas dressed up in a lab coat and falsely claiming an effective monopoly on serious or even all knowledge. That is, evolutionary materialist scientism, radical secularism and its fellow travellers.

    On fair comment, such is functionally an anti-church and it seeks de facto establishment, by disproportionately dominating key institutions of influence and power. So on further fair comment when language on “equal” treatment — marginalisation and contempt laced tolerance — of “religions” is used, and we see associated misleading ill-informed or outright intentionally false talk about churches “enacting” law, there is a patent fallacy of projection at work.

    Lewontin’s notorious 1997 review of Sagan’s last book, Billions and billions of demons, is a classic of unintentional self-exposure:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    In short, this is a case of distractive projection, prejudice driven caricatured stereotyping verging on implied slander, scapegoating and targetting.

    The pattern of clear hostile intent and domineering continues.

    Beginning to mount up into a long train of abuses and usurpations.

    It is time for it to stop.

    KF

  113. 113
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    kairosfocus: Carpathian,

    Pardon, but there you go again:

    Carpathian: If you allow one church to enact legislation, you have to allow all of them . . .

    What is wrong with that?

    Are you saying only Roman Catholics should be visible in government but not Protestants?

    Did that work well in Northern Ireland?

    What about Sunnis and Shites?

    Should only one be allowed to be represented in government?

    How well does this work in countries that contain these groups?

    >>Religious activities should all be private. Added by kairosfocus: [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Any prospects for religious conversion Added by kairosfocus: [–> A specifically Christian emphasis, especially for evangelicals] should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair. Added by kairosfocus: [–> as in, once labelled religion or faith by the secularist elites, to be then silenced and censored in public backed up presumably by the radically secularised state, bye bye to freedom of expression in the public square]

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    Added by kairosfocus: [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    and that barrier to religion Added by kairosfocus: [–> ghettoising and silencing again] should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths. Added by kairosfocus: [–> as opposed to “Science” which presumes to be “knowledge”]>>

    You’re making things up.

    I say something, you claim I said something else, and then you attack what you said.

    I think that’s called a strawman .

    kairosfocus: The pattern of clear hostile intent and domineering continues.

    Beginning to mount up into a long train of abuses and usurpations.

    It is time for it to stop.

    Yes, you should stop your hostility and you should stop putting words into other people’s mouths.

    Once you do that, people should be able to ask you questions and get answers to the questions actually asked.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    it is obvious that you are blind to the implications of what you have stated about “religion.”

    (And BTW, you CANNOT be ignorant of the strawman you have set up, in constitutional democratic states elected parliaments legislate [and sometimes the people at large by referendum], not churches etc. Your whole remark pivots on a loaded misrepresentation.)

    Let me clip my annotated cite from you as appeared in and is linked from the OP; so the onlooker at least can be clear — and BTW your attempt to imply how dare you clip, cite and comment on clearly distinguished annotations is itself revealing:

    >>Religious activities should all be private. [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Any prospects for religious conversion [–> A specifically Christian emphasis, especially for evangelicals] should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair. [–> as in, once labelled religion or faith by the secularist elites, to be then silenced and censored in public backed up presumably by the radically secularised state, bye bye to freedom of expression in the public square]

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    and that barrier to religion [–> ghettoising and silencing again] should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths. [–> as opposed to “Science” which presumes to be “knowledge”]>>

    Until you get this straight, there is no point in trying to disentangle further problems.

    KF

  115. 115
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    kairosfocus: Let me clip my annotated cite from you as appeared in and is linked from the OP; so the onlooker at least can be clear — and BTW your attempt to imply how dare you clip, cite and comment on clearly distinguished annotations is itself revealing:

    From the following, the onlooker can be clear that you make things up.

    The onlooker can also be clear you don’t have a very strong message, since you are spending more time discrediting the messenger.

    The onlooker can also be clear that your behavior is that of someone losing an argument.

    Carpathian: >>Religious activities should all be private.
    kairosfocus: [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Carpathian: Any prospects for religious conversion

    kairosfocus: [–> A specifically Christian emphasis, especially for evangelicals]

    Carpathian: should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair.

    kairosfocus: [–> as in, once labelled religion or faith by the secularist elites, to be then silenced and censored in public backed up presumably by the radically secularised state, bye bye to freedom of expression in the public square]

    Carpathian: There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    kairosfocus: [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    Carpathian: and that barrier to religion

    kairosfocus: [–> ghettoising and silencing again]

    Carpathian: should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths.

    kairosfocus: [–> as opposed to “Science” which presumes to be “knowledge”]>>

    kairosfocus: Until you get this straight, there is no point in trying to disentangle further problems.

    Until you get it straight that you can’t actually read my mind or anybody else’s, you should respond to what people actually say and not make things up.

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