A good response to a medical professional asking you if you have guns in your home, via Armstrong and Getty.
(PAINTING)WHO WAS NANCY HART
Nancy Hart was a true American patriot who stood up against Brittish soldiers and Tories (Americans who sided with the Brittish in the war). She is considered a heroine for her bravery and efforts during the American Revolution from 1775-1783……
There is besides something special in this malady of the French Revolution that I feel without being able to describe it well or to analyze its causes. It is a virus of a new and unknown kind. There were violent revolutions in the world, but the immoderate, violent, radical, desperate, audacious, almost mad, and nonetheless powerful and effective character of these revolutionaries is without precedent, it seems to me, in the great social agitations of past centuries. From whence came this new race? What produced it? What made it so effective? What is perpetuating it? For we are still faced with the same men, although the circumstances are different, and they have founded a family in the whole civilized world. My mind is worn out with forming a clear notion of this object and with looking for ways of painting it well. Independent of every thing that is accounted for in the French Revolution, there is something unaccounted for in its spirit and its acts. I sense where the unknown object is, but try as I may, I cannot raise the veil that covers it. I feel this object as if through a strange body, preventing me from either touching it well or seeing it.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Selected Letters on Politics and Society, ed. Roger Boesche, trans. James Toupin and Roger Boesche (Berkeley, CA: The Regents of the University of California, 1985), 373 (SITE TO ACCESS)
This weekend we celebrate America’s birthday. But how many more will she have? We Christians will have to make some clear choices if the founders’ vision for America is to continue into the future. Discover the tale of two incompatible visions, on this week’s Truths That Transform.
Dialogue, debate, reasonableness… versus anarchy
Ezra Levant of TheRebel.media and Andrew Klavan, of the Daily Wire, compare the American and French Revolution. Not a “radical break with the past or history/tradition”
This following excerpt from Liberty’s Secretsis one that squarely displaces the typical secular attack on Jefferson being a man of faith to some degree. In this excerpt Thomas Paine’s position on Christianity and God is dealt with as an extra bonus, as well as some of the Founders predictions of the then young French Revolution. This is a really good read, and I highly recommend the book.
Before the excerpt, I want to share a favorite sentence that I think best defines the Founders accomplishments in the Constitution. Here it is:
The Constitution is the integration of ideals with reality, the ideal being human liberty, the reality being human nature. (p. 69)
If that isn’t the best definition in one sentence of the Constitution, I don’t know what is!
GOD AND THE HUMAN SOUL: THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND MORALITY
Belief in God and the immortality of the human soul was universal among the Founders, which is incontrovertibly evident from the most cursory review of their writings. While not all of them were orthodox Christians, their thoughts on atheism ranged from extreme caution to outright disdain. For them, belief in God was natural to man because it was in accordance with his nature, and they agreed with Tocqueville when he noted (while describing the virtual absence of atheism in America) that “men cannot detach themselves from religious beliefs except by some wrong-headed thinking, and by a sort of moral violence inflicted upon their true nature… Unbelief is an accident; faith is the only permanent state of mankind.”
They saw the fingerprints of God everywhere they looked, and their conclusion that He existed was not even necessarily dependent on the Bible or any specific set of religious dogma but on the very nature of the cosmos. Writing to his friend John Adams toward the end of his life, Jefferson explained his views:
I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and the indefinite power in every atom of its composition… We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the Universe in its course and order… So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed through all time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe. Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable than that of a few in the other hypothesis Even Thomas Paine, who in the second half of his life was an ardent opponent of orthodox Christianity (mostly Catholicism) and the clergy and did not believe the Bible was divinely inspired, wrote at the same time, “All the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make or invent or contrive principles. He can only discover them, and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.”
Paine criticized any teaching of “natural philosophy” (i.e., science) that asserted that the universe was simply “an accomplishment” (i.e., self-existent). He also criticized those teachers who “labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter and jump over all the rest by saying that matter is eternal” and thereby encouraged the “evil” of atheism. “Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator Himself, they stop short and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of His existence,” he lamented. “When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well-executed statue, or a highly-finished painting… our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talent of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How, then, is it that when we study the works of God in creation, we stop short and do not think of God?”
For these reasons, among others, Jefferson rejected being an atheist, “which,” as he put it, “I can never be.” His friend John Adams noted, “I never heard of an irreligious character in Greek or Roman history, nor in any other history, nor have I known one in life who was not a rascal. Name one if you can, living or dead.”” Nor did the Founders see science and religion as opposed to one another, as is all too common today. Rather, as President Adams asserted in a letter to university students, they were not only mutually compatible, but mutually necessary for one another: “When you look up to me with confidence as the patron of science, liberty, and religion, you melt my heart. These are the choicest blessings of humanity; they have an inseparable union. Without their joint influence no society can be great, flourishing, or happy.”
Just as much as the existence of God was essential to their understanding of the physical constitution of the universe, its combination with their belief in the immortality of the soul was crucial to their understanding of the moral constitution of the world, as it was the means by which God judged the good and evil acts committed in this life, whether noticed by man or not. Tocqueville ascribed a great deal of the accomplishments of the Puritans/Pilgrims and their progeny (the Founders) to this belief, which he described as so “indispensable to man’s greatness that its effects are striking,” for it kept him morally anchored, never able to escape ultimate justice. It was for this reason that the Founders considered belief in God as the cornerstone of all morality, but not because man could do no good apart from God commanding him to do so. Quite the contrary: part of their conception of the “law of nature and nature’s God” was the idea that all men had at least portions of this law inscribed into their very being, and that most men knew the basics of right and wrong because God had given them a conscience. The problem was that, because of their fallen nature, they did not obey their consciences as they should. Adams elaborated:
The law of nature would be sufficient for the government of men if they would consult their reason and obey their consciences. It is not the fault of the law of nature, but of themselves, that it is not obeyed; it is not the fault of the law of nature that men are obliged to have recourse to civil government at all, but of themselves; it is not the fault of the ten commandments, but of themselves, that Jews or Christians are ever known to steal, murder, covet, or blaspheme. But the legislator who should say the law of nature is enough, if you do not obey it, it will be your own fault, therefore no other government is necessary, would be thought to trifle.
This brings us to a very important fact that we must remember when it comes to the Founders: they did not believe that religion made men good, but rather that it provided the best encouragement and incentive to be good, for it taught them that their choices had consequences in eternity, not just in the moment. Even if consequences could be avoided in the now, God would exact justice in the hereafter.
This had been a Judeo-Christian teaching from time immemorial and was well known to the Founders. The problem was not that man had no knowledge of good and evil and therefore needed a religious commandment to tell him, but rather that human nature commonly bowed to the dictates of the passions, rather than reason, and thereby abandoned conscience and committed evil anyway. The Founders realized that our human nature could, and often did, pervert the plain dictates of conscience, allowing us to convince ourselves that right is wrong and wrong is right if it suits our own desires. As Adams noted, “Human reason and human conscience, though I believe there are such things, are not a match for human passions, human imaginations, and human enthusiasm.” Our passions would corrupt our minds, our minds would justify our passions, and in turn our passions would become even more corrupt, a deadly cycle with horrific consequences for individuals and society. “Our passions, ambition, avarice, love, resentment, etc. possess so much metaphysical subtlety and so much overpowering eloquence that they insinuate themselves into the understanding and the conscience and convert both to their party,” Adams wrote. “And I may be deceived as much as any of them when I say that power must never be trusted without a check.”
That “check,” at least as far as voluntary self-restraint was concerned, was religion. The Founders understood that mankind’s capacity for self-delusion was boundless; therefore, moral obligations must be placed on a divine rather than a humanistic footing if anyone could assert any truth or notion of right and wrong at all. It was for this reason that religious commandments such as “do not murder,” “do not steal,” and “do not commit adultery” were necessary, not because man was completely incapable of avoiding these sins without God commanding him to, but because, since He had commanded them, man had no intellectual excuse for ever allowing his passions or personal desires to blind his judgment and excuse him of his moral obligations. Religion thus anchored the definition of morality on God and asserted its obligations on man by acting as a powerful regulator of the inherently negative aspects of human nature. James Madison explained the importance of this truth: “The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it.”
Adams asserted the same thing and specifically acknowledged that Judaism, through the Bible, had bequeathed to the world what he considered the most essential ingredient of human civilization:
I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist of the other sect, who believe or pretend to believe that all is ordered by chance, I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.
For the Founders, the most effective catalyst of virtue was religion, for it reminded man that he is not God and he therefore cannot shape morality according to his own selfish desires. It was the subversion of this principle that they identified as the cause behind the American and French Revolutions taking such radically different courses: it was ultimately a difference of theology.
GOD AND THE AMERICAN AND FRENCH REVOLUTIONS
The Founders believed in the existence of a God, which they deemed the most rational basis for the existence of the universe, morality, and reason itself. The French Revolution was predicated on almost the exact opposite idea.
While many today assume that the notion of blind chance being the operative force in the universe’s creation and development arrived on the scene with Charles Darwin, this is not the case. In fact, it was a notion quite popular among many of the continental European intellectuals of the time, most of whom were French, and most of whom tended to be atheists and/or materialists (which were practically the same). They contended that the universe had not been created but had either existed eternally or was the result of inherent properties in matter itself. But among the French intelligentsia, the one who had the most profound effect on the Founders, Montesquieu, directly contradicted this position in his famous work, The Spirit of the Laws: “Those who have said that a blind fate has produced all the effects that we see in the world have said a great absurdity,” he wrote, “for what greater absurdity is there than a blind fate that could have produced intelligent beings?”
For Montesquieu and the Founders, the universe was simply too full of information, order, and harmony to ascribe it to blind chance. “What is chance?” asked Adams. “It is motion; it is action; it is event; it is phenomenon without cause. Chance is no cause at all; it is nothing.”
In addition to their denial, or at least extreme doubt of the existence of a Creator, many of the French intellectuals in like manner either doubted or denied the existence and immortality of the human soul. They therefore denied the two theological pillars upon which the Founders based their ideas of virtue, and as such, it was no surprise that the French Revolution, which claimed to be the heir of the American Revolution, devolved into a bloodbath of violence and oppression unrestrained by any religious principle.
While both revolutions were similar in their assertion of human rights, they offered fundamentally different explanations of the origin of such rights. The American Revolution was premised on men being “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” while the French Revolution asserted man’s rights were based purely on reason, apart from any notions of divinity or religion. A statue of a deified “Reason” was erected in the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, and the revolution was predicated upon principles that were explicitly and directly opposed to religion, Christianity in particular. Adams noted the differences between the two revolutions when he wrote to his friend Richard Price that “Diderot and D’Alembert, Voltaire and Rousseau,” all French atheists and materialists, “have contributed to this great event more than Sidney, Locke, or Hoadly,” English political philosophers who explicitly asserted that the “laws of nature and nature’s God” were the foundation of man’s rights and moral obligations, and who had a profound impact on the American Revolution. The French, on the other hand, based man’s rights on the consensus of “the nation.” The rights of man were what man, through the nation, had decided they would be. For this reason, Adams admitted to Price as early as 1790, “I own to you, I know not what to make of a republic of thirty million atheists,” and he predicted there would be rampant violence and bloodshed.
But that was not all. Several of the Founders, Adams in particular, believed that the principles of the French Revolution not only directly undermined the basis of human rights and obligations but also destroyed the very idea of human liberty. If man was simply matter in motion, then his entire destiny had already been determined by physical laws and constants (today known as “determinism”), making liberty a meaningless idea. And yet, this was the view of many of the leading French intellectuals. “And what was their philosophy?” Adams inquired:
Atheism—pure, unadulterated atheism…. The universe was matter only, and eternal. Spirit was a word without a meaning. Liberty was a word without a meaning. There was no liberty in the universe; liberty was a word void of sense. Every thought, word, passion, sentiment, feeling, all motion and action was necessary [determinism]. All beings and attributes were of eternal necessity; conscience, morality, were all nothing but fate. This was their creed, and this was to perfect human nature, and convert the earth into a paradise of pleasure… Why, then, should we abhor the word “God,” and fall in love with the word “fate”? We know there exists energy and intellect enough to produce such a world as this, which is a sublime and beautiful one, and a very benevolent one, notwithstanding all our snarling; and a happy one, if it is not made otherwise by our own fault.
Alexander Hamilton, who described the French Revolution as “the most cruel, sanguinary, and violent that ever stained the annals of mankind,” also predicted its failure due to the fact that it was explicitly
opposed to Christianity, “a state of things which annihilates the foundations of social order and true liberty, confounds all moral distinctions and substitutes to the mild and beneficent religion of the Gospel a gloomy, persecuting, and desolating atheism:’
It was precisely because the French Revolution rejected the Judeo-Christian notion of the fallen nature of man in exchange for the idea that he could be perfected by reason that they engaged in the wanton violence and cruelty of the guillotine: it was all worth it because they were creating a new, ideal world that had to be purged of its impure elements.
The French Revolution was thereby founded on principles that fundamentally contradicted the divine basis of the existence of the universe, man’s rights, his moral obligations, and his very liberty, upon which the Founders, partaking of both the classical and Judeo-Christian tradition, asserted them. With God removed, several of the Founders, Adams in particular, predicted the French Revolution would operate according to the bloody principles of “might makes right.” “A nation of atheists,” he had warned, would likely lead to “the destruction of a million of human beings.” Adams explained his prophecy of a forthcoming deluge of blood in biblical terms and ascribed it to the utter rejection of religion by the leaders of the French Revolution:
The temper and principles prevailing at present in that quarter of the world have a tendency to as general and total a destruction as ever befell Tyre and Sidon[,] Sodom and Gomorrah. If all religion and governments, all arts and sciences are destroyed, the trees will grow up, cities will molder into common earth, and a few human beings may be left naked to chase the wild beasts with bows and arrows…. I hope in all events that religion and learning will find an asylum in America.
In this, he disagreed (at the time) with Jefferson. But even Jefferson was forced to admit decades later, after the Reign of Terror, the Napoleonic Wars, and the other violent outbursts that came out of the French Revolution, that Adams had been completely right in his assessment, acknowledging, “Your prophecies… proved truer than mine.” When Jefferson asked Adams why he had predicted what he did, Adams explained that the power of God had been replaced by the arrogant, usurping power of man, and conscience was thereby disconnected from its transcendent anchors. Thus, those in power believed whatever they did was moral: “Power always sincerely, conscientiously, de tres bon foi [“in very good faith”], believes itself right. Power always thinks it has a great soul, and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God’s service, when it is violating all his laws.” It was for this reason that, as much as religion had been abused for centuries in European history, Adams argued it could not compare with the atrocities committed in the name of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” during the French Revolution: “It is a serious problem to resolve whether all the abuses of Christianity, even in the darkest ages when the Pope deposed princes and laid nations under his interdict, were ever so bloody and cruel, ever bore down the independence of the human mind with such terror and intolerance, or taught doctrines which required such implicit credulity to believe, as the present reign of pretended philosophy in France.”
As president, Adams had to deal directly with the revolutionary French government and easily noted the difference between an American society that assented to general religious principles and a French society that rejected them:
You may find the moral principles, sanctified and sanctioned by religion, are the only bond of union, the only ground of confidence of the people in one another, of the people in the government, and the government in the people. Avarice, ambition, and pleasure, can never be the foundations of reformations or revolutions for the better. These passions have dictated the aim at universal domination, trampled on the rights of neutrality, despised the faith of solemn contracts, insulted ambassadors, and rejected offers of friendship.
For the Founders, the purpose of reason—which Adams referred to as “a revelation from its maker” and Jefferson as an “oracle given you by heaven”-was to better align human actions with the “law of nature and nature’s God” by the taming of human passions and the application of knowledge. The leaders of the French Revolution believed precisely the opposite, that God didn’t really exist (and if He did, He was largely irrelevant), and that reason was man’s alone, and thus his to utilize toward whatever ends he himself determined. Though the Founders knew perfection “falls not to the share of mortals,” the French believed that man could be perfected through reason, and therefore any barriers to creating the world of their dreams needed to be destroyed, for this was tantamount to obstructing man’s perfection. The differences between the two revolutions thus turned out to be theological at root, and for this reason, while on the surface they were superficially similar, they were in fact fundamentally different, as Adams prophesied, other Founders criticized, and the facts of history verified.
Dennis Prager interviews Ann Coulter in regards to her new book, Demonic.” Ann points out a fact I wasn’t aware of in regards to the mob mentality that set the standard for the French Revolution. Much like the misunderstanding in regards to the Crusades, the witch trials, and the like, numbers are not the forte of the left. Nor is putting into context meaning behind them.
I figured this recent “Anthem Protest” would be a good update for the post. This comes to me via RIGHT SCOOP:
Gwen Berry explained today why she reacted with such contempt for the National Anthem over the weekend and it’s absolutely ridiculous (video at Twitter… click pic):
Berry claims that “If you know your history, you know the full song of the National Anthem. The third paragraph speaks to slaves in America, our blood being slang and piltered all over the floor. It’s disrespectful and it does not speak for black Americans. It’s obvious. There’s no question.”
I found this explanation unbelievable. But because I don’t know the verse, I went back and read it anyway:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
So it turns out she’s an idiot. Yes, it uses the world ‘slave’, but it doesn’t remotely mean what she claims it means. It’s referring to the British, which is clear from the context. Not American slaves.
Erick Erickson provides us more insight here:
…the third verse of the National Anthem has nothing to do with slave labor. She’s taking language out of context by using a modern day definition and applying it to a 17th century statement. — Kenny Webster
. . . . . .
(Originally Posted Sep 29, 2017)
✩✩✩OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM✩✩✩
(Above video description: The original file AND description can be found here in full — HOWEVER, the audio was horrible. I tried to raise the DBs but couldn’t get rid of the hiss… but it is a must watch!)
UPDATED VIDEO ADDED
The Star-Spangled Banner, long a treasured symbol of national unity, has suddenly become “one of the most racist, pro-slavery songs” in American culture. Why is this happening? And more importantly, is it true? USA Today columnist James Robbins explores the history of the song and its author to answer these questions.
A friend asked a question about a challenge via “The Root” about the National Anthem. This is the “verse” said to be “racist”
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
It is said our (yes, OUR) anthem glories in black slaves dying. Here is how it is encapsulated in the NEW YORK TIMES:
The journalist Jon Schwarz, writing in The Intercept, argued yes, denouncing the lyrics, written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, as “a celebration of slavery.” How could black players, Mr. Schwarz asked, be expected to stand for a song whose rarely sung third stanza — which includes the lines “No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave” — “literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans”?
Here is another sport figure’s comments on the flag:
“And stop trying to sweep it under the rug. But, see, as long as you paint that narrative, oh, it’s the Anthem, I can’t — no — anybody that does something to the Anthem — well, we know what the anthem was originally written for and who it was written by, okay? The flag, okay? We understand what the flag? What does it represent? — SHANNON SHARPE
Here, the SMITHSONIANhelps set the scene for us and how the Anthem came to be:
…A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.
“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.
Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated….
THE DAILY CALLERnotes (and so does SNOPES) that this verse was in reference to slaves and mercenaries that fought on the British side:
Francis Scott Key wrote the song the morning after the British bombarded Fort McHenry toward the end of the War of 1812, when he saw the American flag still waving. In these lines of the third verse he’s celebrating the death of slaves and mercenaries who opted to fight for the British in exchange for their freedom following the war.
The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (German Hessians) in the American War of Independence
The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “…and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a Important cause of the War of 1812
Francis Scott Key then describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity
Fifty years later, in 1861, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. would write a fifth verse to the National Anthem, reflecting the nation’s strife and looking toward a more peaceable future:
When our land is illum’d with Liberty’s smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!
By the millions unchain’d who our birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained!
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.
Here, Wendell, unlike Key, foresaw not only the inevitable emancipation of the nation’s slaves, but also the freed African Americans gaining full citizen rights and ensuring the country’s preservation. Today, this verse is not considered an official part of the National Anthem, but during the Civil War, it was printed in song books throughout the northern United States as an extension of Key’s lyrics. In this way, Francis Scott Key and the War of 1812 bequeathed to the nation not just a song, but a step toward the perpetuating of liberty—just as the Revolutionary War and Civil War did.
Again, the Left views complex history through the lens of a historical Marxist view. Something that Howard Zinn tried to do as well, but did so by rewriting history… as the Modern Left still does.
Francis Scott Key, like many during that time, had a varied history on slavery. He fought for slaves to be free in court – pro bono. But, he also fought to return runaway slaves to owners at some point in his life – probably for money. So he was an opportunistic lawyer to pay bills… nothing has changed. WIKIcontinues with this:
Key publicly criticized slavery’s cruelties, so much that after his death a newspaper editorial stated “So actively hostile was he to the peculiar institution that he was called ‘The Nigger Lawyer’ …. because he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa. Mr. Key convinced me that slavery was wrong—radically wrong.” In June 1842, Key attended the funeral of William Costin, a free, mixed race resident who had challenged Washington’s surety bond laws.
The SMITHSONIANagain notes that Key was a founding member and active leader of the American Colonization, of which the primary goal was to send free African-Americans back to Africa. Keys, even though he abhorred slavery, and fought to free slaves at times, was removed from the board in 1833 as its policies shifted toward abolitionist. The mood of the nation as a whole was shifting. While Keys couldn’t envision a multi-ethnic nation, others could. But Keys position wasn’t necessarily “racist,” as some ex-slaves wanted the same. To recall a portion of the above quote from the Capital Historical Society, “…Wendell, unlike Key, foresaw not only the inevitable emancipation of the nation’s slaves, but also the freed African Americans gaining full citizen rights and ensuring the country’s preservation.”
YOU SEE, people change… as do nations (because they, like corporations, are made up of people). I make this point in my post on AUGUSTINE, who is often used to support old-earth positions… but little know that later in his life he rejected the old-earth view and wrote quite a bit on the young earth (creationist) viewpoint.
A man needs to be judged by his life’s journey. As do nations.
Likewise, conservatives believe that Robert Byrd may have sincerely changed his formerly racist beliefs. But when Democrats accuse Republicans of racism because they went to Strom Thurmond’s (one of the only major Dixiecrats to change to Republican – watch here and here) funeral and gave him praise, even though he changed his views on race/racism. All we point out is that if praising an ex Dixiecrat at a funeral makes one racist… then what does lauding a KKK Grand Kleagle at his funeral make Democrats?
A man needs to be judged by his life’s journey.
So does a nation.
Here is the rest of the SMITHSONIANpiece I wish to excerpt:
A religious man, Key believed slavery sinful; he campaigned for suppression of the slave trade. “Where else, except in slavery,” he asked, “was ever such a bed of torture prepared?” Yet the same man, who coined the expression “the land of the free,” was himself an owner of slaves who defended in court slaveholders’ rights to own human property.
Key believed that the best solution was for African-Americans to “return” to Africa—although by then most had been born in the United States. He was a founding member of the American Colonization Society, the organization dedicated to that objective; its efforts led to the creation of an independent Liberia on the west coast of Africa in 1847. Although the society’s efforts were directed at the small percentage of free blacks, Key believed that the great majority of slaves would eventually join the exodus. That assumption, of course, proved to be a delusion. “Ultimately,” says historian Egerton, “the proponents of colonization represent a failure of imagination. They simply cannot envision a multiracial society. The concept of moving people around as a solution was widespread and being applied to Indians as well.”
You see, Americans’ belief then was “not merely in themselves [shocker to millennials] but also in their future…. lying just beyond the western horizon” (ibid). And that is key. As Paul Johnson rightly notes in his history book on America:
“…can a nation rise above the injustices of its origins and, by its moral purpose and performance, atone for them? All nations are born in war, conquest, and crime, usually concealed by the obscurity of a distant past. The United States, from its earliest colonial times, won its title-deeds in the full blaze of recorded history, and the stains on them are there for all to see and censure: the dispossession of a indigenous people, and the securing of self-sufficiency through the sweat and pain of an enslaved race. In the judgmental scales of history, such grievous wrongs must be balanced by the erection of a society dedicated to justice and fairness.”
It wasn’t an accident that the First Amendment to the Constitution is about religious liberty. Why was it so important to the Founders? And why should it be just as important to you? Kelly Shackelford, President of First Liberty, explains.
Most of us learned the key ideas of the Declaration of Independence in school: that “all men are created equal,” “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” that government’s job is “to secure these rights.” This was a radical departure from the way things had always been. Where did these revolutionary ideas come from? Ben Shapiro explains in this illuminating video.
When I read the title of this FEDERALIST article, it made me think back to an introduction letter to a co-worker who had left to go to San Francisco State University. The title is, “Seattle Anarchists Holding Capitol Hostage Demand Complete Return To State Of Nature.” You see, years ago I worked as the Special Order Clerk at Borders Books and Music. If there were harder to find books, I was the man to track them down for the customer. (This was around 1999 to 2001’ish.)
I had a co-worker that leaned Left and we set up a correspondence to exchange ideas about the roots or differences of Left and Right philosophies in the political parties. When I mentioned, for instance Rousseau being in a sense the philosophical founder for Western Leftism, he disagreed, but agreed that this should be our first subject. And Rousseau thought man should return to a state of nature, which is why thee FEDERALIST article rang a bell with me. At any rate, my co-worker…
…went away to school.
I mailed him the intro topic.
Never heard a peep.
I always wondered what happen to that [then] kid. Was the letter too long? Was he already partying and not caring a wit about the topic? Was his mailing address changed? Did he die? Whatever the case was, this was the first and only interaction I had with him when he left for college. So I figured I would put the paper here as an ode to the headline above and to save publicly some of my mediocre writing.
Enjoy. BTW, this section allows you to JUMP to a section or appendix of your choice. Just hit the back arrow on your browser to return.
Rousseau’s Philosophy Of “Nothing” In Retrospect To Locke’s Philosophy Of “Ordered Statesmanship.”
SECTION ONE — deals with Rousseau and his social contract.
SECTION TWO— touches on the topic of Locke’s work, second treatise of civil government and more.
CONCLUSION— I will reference the self refuting nature of Rousseau’s philosophy… when put into a logical framework, it is un-workable!
APPENDIX A — discusses what was meant by the “general will” in Rousseau’s work and what Locke was referring to when mentioning “natural law.”
APPENDIX B — is a “investigation” into who Rousseau was, the inner man.
APPENDIX C — uses two examples of social compacts years before Lockean principles were formed.
APPENDIX D — is the journey of a French statesman hired by his government to find the key to the American Revolution.
“I have received your new book against the human race, and I thank you for it. Never was such cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid. One longs, in reading your book, to walk on all fours. But as I have lost that habit more than sixty years ago, I feel unhappily the impossibility of resuming it.” — Voltaire on Rousseau’s Social Contract
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.” — Mussolini
“The most horrid and cruel blow that can be offered to civil society is through atheism,” — Edmund Burke, British Statesman
According to Locke, people are better off in the properly constituted state than they are or were in the “state of nature.” Quite a different point of view was expressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1721-1778). In the state of nature, in which there was neither state nor civilization, people were essentially innocent, good, happy, and healthy, maintained Rousseau in his Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality among Men (1754). Further, in the state of nature, he said, people enjoyed perfect freedom. But with the advent of private property, this all changed. “The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying ‘This is mine,’ and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society,” which brought with it the destruction of natural liberty and which, “for the advantage of a few ambitious individuals, subjected all mankind to perpetual labor, slavery and wretchedness.”
To put this in some sort of perspective, Rousseau wrote this indictment of civilization in 1754. This was fully sixty-seven years after Newton had published his Principia. It was two years after Benjamin Franklin, with key and kite, had proved that lightning is electricity. Thirty years earlier, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit had devised his thermometer. Bach had been dead four years, and it had been twenty-three years since he had completed the Brandenburg Concertos, a masterpiece of mathematical reasoning expressed in music. This, in short, was the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment, the age of light, the Age of Reason. Civilization was stuffed with benefits. Philosophers were (as always) critical, but this critical? Civilization a step in retrograde?
But Rousseau later came to think that, in proper society, people would surrender their individual liberty for a different and more important collective liberty. Through a social compact a people may agree, in effect, to unite into a collective whole, called “the state” or “the sovereign,” and through the state sovereign enact laws reflective of the general will. An important point to be aware of here is that, for Rousseau, the state or sovereign is an entity in its own right, a “moral person” (as Rousseau says), a nonbiological organism that has its own life and its own will. Rousseau’s concept of the general will – that is, the will of a politically united people, the will of the state – is his most important contribution to political philosophy (see appendix A for a further discussion on the general will).
Plato viewed the state as a person or organic entity as well, a sort of organism. Alternatively, think of a football team, which can easily be regarded as something “over and beyond” the individual players that make it up, or a corporation, which the law regards as a person.
The general will, according to Rousseau, defines what is to common good, and thus determines what is right and wrong and should not be done. And the state or sovereign (i.e., the people as a collective agent) expresses this general will by passing laws. Further, the general will, the will of the people taken collectively, represents the truewill of each person. Thus, insofar as the individuals actions coincide with the common will, he is acting as he really wants to act – and to act as you really want to act is to be free, said Rousseau. “Compelling (*by force?) a person to accept the general will by obeying the laws of the state is forcing him to be free,” Rousseau wrote in a famous passage. So we may lose individual or “natural” liberty when we unite to form a collective whole, but we gain this new type of “civil” liberty, “the freedom to obey a law which we prescribe for ourselves.” Thus, Rousseau wrote, “it is to law alone that men owe justice and [civil] liberty.”
The question arises, of course, just how do we know what the general will is? Rousseau’s answer: If we, the citizens, are enlightened and are not allowed to influence one another, then a majority determines what the general will is: “The general will is found by counting votes. When, therefore, the opinion which is contrary to my own prevails, this proves neither more nor less than that I was mistaken, and that what I thought to be the general will was not so.”
Rousseau, however, distinguishes between the “will of all” and “the general will.” On the former of the two, Rousseau wrote, “is indeed but a sum of private wills: but remove from these same wills the pluses and minuses that cancel each other, and then the general will remains as the sum of the differences.”
According to Rousseau, it makes no sense to think of either delegating or dividing the general will. Therefore, he calculated, in the state, there cannot validly be a division of powers (in contrast to what Locke thought), and, though we may commission some person or persons to administer or enforce the law, these individuals act only as our deputies, not as our representatives. Rousseau maintained that the citizens of the state have the right at any time to terminate the social contract (explained more in the conclusion). He also held that they have the right at any time to depose the officials of the state. The implication of the right of the citizenry to terminate the social contract at any time and of their to remove officials of the state at any time is that the citizenry have a right of revolution and a right to resume anarchy at any time. Thus Rousseau is thought to have provided a philosophical justification for anarchy and revolution.
Did Rousseau also unwittingly establish a philosophical basis for totalitarianism? Some think that is the case because he said that “the articles of the social contract [reduce] to this single point: the total alienation of each associate, and all his rights, to the whole community.” If the community is regarded not just as the sum total of its members but as an entity somehow over and above the individuals in it, an entity with its own life and will that can itself do no wrong and must always be obeyed, then Rousseau’s words do have an ominous ring and invoke concepts that are incorporated wholesale in the philosophy of fascism. – (Hitler’s claim that the Fuhrer instinctively knows the desires of the Volk and is therefore due absolute obedience is an appeal to the general will.)
Also ominous is what Rousseau wrote near the end of The Social Contract (1792): “If any one, after he has publicly subscribed to these dogmas [which dispose a person to love his duties and be a good citizen], shall conduct himself as if he did not believe them, he is to be punished by death.” (*ahh, …by force!)
[Editor’s Note: before heading into section two, years after this I read a book by the son of famous atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, William J. Murray. In his book, Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World with Central Planning (KINDLE), he discusses the origins of Communism in Plato and the Spartan’s. That was an interesting addition to this thinking. But here I am speaking to a more modern Leftism found in the West]
“I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion [Christianity] – for who can know the human heart? – but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable for the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class or to a party, but it belongs to the whole rank of society.” America, Tocqueville added, is “the place where the Christian religion has kept the greatest power over men’s souls; And nothing better demonstrates how useful and natural it is to man, Since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most Enlightened and the freest.” — Alex de Tocqueville, French Statesman.
“[A] true patriot must be a religious man… [H]e who neglects his duty to his Maker, may well be expected to be deficient and insincere in his duty towards the public.” — Abigail Adams agreeing with John Witherspoon
“…we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams, first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States.
In this section on the musings of John Locke, I must confess that I have to break the mold in which I was told I must write this paper. Some of the reasons being that a proper understanding of the “law of nature” or “natural law” is foundational to Locke’s writings and political philosophy. So I turn our attention first towards the French Revolution and it’s Constitution, whose announced aim was to duplicate the American Revolution, which had been such an obvious success. In fact, Thomas Jefferson traveled to Paris in order to assist Lafayette and his associates to draft their own Declaration of Rights.
“Everyone here is trying their hands at forming a declaration of rights,” Jefferson wrote in a letter to Madison, and included in his correspondence several drafts. “As you will see,” Jefferson observed, “it contains the essential principles of ours accommodated as much as could be to the actual state of things here.” Article Four of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, drafted in August of 1789, for example, states that “liberty consists in the ability to do whatever does not harm another.” France’s Declaration abolished slavery, titles of nobility, and the remnants of feudalism and serfdom. In many respects, the French Declaration appeared superior to Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. But whereas the American Revolution ended in the establishment of a constitutional democracy, a government under law, the French Revolution ended in tyranny and government by the guillotine, followed by the rise of Napoleon.
~ The obvious question is what went wrong in France? ~
The French Declaration did not acknowledge that the source of man’s rights is man’s “Creator,” as Jefferson had affirmed in America’s Declaration of Independence. The French Declaration did not even mention that rights are inherent, inalienable, or derived from any transcendent authority. This is why in China today the communist government persecutes the followers of the Christian faith. Not because communism is atheistic in it’s philosophy, but because Christians believe that earthly kings are answerable to the “King of the Earth.” A transcendent right giver, so to speak. Rights, for the Frenchman, were granted by an enlightened government. George Washington inadvertently commented on such an enlightened government: “[L]et us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be concede to the influence of refined education on minds… reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Locke’s two Treatise of Civil Government contained 102 Biblical citations. Locke even began his argument with the proposition that God intended man to own private property, and referred the reader to Genesis: “God gave the world to Adam and his posterity in common,” He then went on cite Paul’s first letter Timothy: “God… richly supplies us all things….” But, Locke added hastily, this was by no means a prescription for socialism, as man also possesses property in the form of his own exertions. Thus, any individual who takes what God has provided equally to all and tailors it to his purposes becomes sole owner of that property. A farmer, for example, who builds a fence and cultivates the land for the production of food, becomes the legitimate owner of the land.
According to Locke’s view: “God, when He gave the World in common to all mankind, commanded man also to labor… God in His reason commanded him to subdue the earth, subdue it for the benefit of life, and therein lay out something upon it that was his own, his labor. He that in obedience to this command of God subdued, tilled and sowed any part of it, thereby annexed to it something that was his property, which another had no title to, and could not without injury take it from him.” Moreover, “thou shalt not steal” and “thou shalt not covet” are commandments (unchanging moral law that is Locke’s [God’s] general will) of God designed to protect private property, which includes labor and the fruits thereof.
Another vast difference between Rousseaulean doctrine and that of Locke’s is Original Sin. From his reading of Genesis, Locke noted that man at one time existed outside the bounds of civil government, was in a “state of nature” and completely free. But once sin entered into the world through Adam’s indiscretion, the safety of men and their property became tenuous. Man’s fallen state required that he give up some of his freedom and prudently subject himself to civil government, without which his ability to enjoy the fruits of his labor and defend his rights “is very uncertain and constantly exposed to invasion of others.”
Locke adds, “For all men being kings such as he, every man his equal and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state [of nature] is very unsafe, very insecure. This makes him willing to quite this condition, which however free, is full of fears and continual dangers.”
Frail and defenseless individuals, in Locke’s view, were forced by the brutish circumstances (i.e., original sin = man inherently evil; no original sin = man inherently good) of existence (which man creates) to band together for their own mutual protection to form civil societies, entrusting to some sovereign agent the power to wield the sword against bandits and foreign invaders. But Locke, wanting to confine the duties of government to a narrow compass, was quick to add that the power of government is by no means absolute; the people had entered into a mutual and binding trust with each other and had established a regime with precisely defined obligations. If this trust or “compact” – precisely defined obligations – is at any time broken, the people have the right to withdraw their allegiance… even to rebel and depose their ruler, an astonishing notion to those who believe the monarch’s authority flowed from divine right.
To the question: Who shall judge the king? Locke replied,
“The people shall be the judge,” though in the end, said Locke, “God in Heaven is Judge. He alone, ‘tis true, is Judge of the right. But every man is judge for himself… whether he should appeal to the Supreme Judge, as Jephthah did” and wage war (Judges 11:27-33). “I will not dispute now whether princes are exempt from the laws of their country,” wrote Locke, “but this I am sure, they owe subjection to the laws of God,” and added: “No body, no power, can exempt them from the obligations of that Eternal Law [caps in the original]… Whatever some flatterers say to princes of the world, who all together, with their people joined to them, are, in comparison to the Great God, but a drop of a bucket, or a dust on the balance, inconsiderable, nothing” (Isaiah 40:15).
Locke’s argument for disobeying a king was actually a conservative one. While Royalists believed rejection of the monarch’s authority was the same as disobeying God. Locke thought little harm would come from acknowledging the people’s prerogative to exercise their ultimate right to reject the civil authority, because “people are not so easily got out of old forms as some are apt to suggest.” “Great mistakes,” said Locke, “will be born by people without mutiny or murmur” (see conclusion). Only “a long train of abuses, prevarications and artifices, all tending the same way,” that is towards subverting the people’s God-given liberties, could make people “rouse themselves.”
Locke was merely applying Protestant religious principles to the world of politics (see appendix C). If the individual has the authority to interpret Scripture for himself, without a human agent acting as intermediary, isn’t it also up to the individual to determine his own relationship to the government and indeed to the rest of society? Under extreme circumstances, thought Locke, the conscience of the individual, informed by scripture, and right reason, can supersede the government and even the collective judgment of the group because society is a voluntary union, from which anyone can exit if he so chooses. Unlike Rousseau who said, “Further, the general will, the will of the people taken collectively, represents the true will of each person. Thus, insofar as the individuals actions coincide with the common will, he is acting as he really wants to act – and to act as you really want to act is to be free.” Neither are you free to exit at any time according to Rousseaulean philosophy: “If any one, after he has publicly subscribed to these dogmas [which dispose a person to love his duties and be a good citizen], shall conduct himself as if he did not believe them, he is to be punished by death.”
Society As the “Whole”
(Excerpted from the book, Relativism: Feet Planted Firmly In Mid-Air)
If Society, the will of all or the will of the majority [society says], is the final measure of morality, then all its judgements are moral by definition. Such a concept is an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms. An attorney once called a radio talk show with a challenge. “When are you going to accept the fact that abortion is the law of the land?” she asked. “You may not like it, but it’s the law.” Her point was simple. The Supreme Court has spoken, so there is nothing left to discuss. Since there is no higher law, there are no further grounds for rebuttal. This lawyer’s tacit acceptance of conventionalism suffers because it confuses what is right with what is legal.
When reflecting on any law, it seems sensible to ask, “it’s legal, but is it moral? It’s law , but is the law good; is it just?” There appears to be a difference between what a person has the liberty to do under the law and what a person should do. Conventionalism renders this distinction meaningless. There is no “majority of one” to take the higher moral ground. As Pojman puts it, “Truth is with the crowd and error with the individual” (much like Rousseau). This is tyranny of the majority.
When any human court is the highest authority, then morality is reduced to mere power – either power of the government or power of the majority. If the courts and laws define what is moral, then neither laws nor governments can ever be immoral, even in principle.
Another absurd consequence follows from the society says line of thought. This view makes it impossible to reform the morals of a society. There are actually two problems here; the first is called the reformer’s dilemma. Moral reformers typically judge society from the inside. They challenge their culture’s standard of behavior and then campaign for change. But when morality is defined by the present society’s standard, then challenging the standard would be an act of immorality. Social reformers would be made moral outcasts precisely because they oppose the status quo.
Corrie ten Boom and other “righteous gentiles” risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. William Wilberforce sought the abolition of slavery in the late eighteenth century in the United Kingdom. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights in the United States in the 50’s and 60’s. in Germany during World War II, Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer challenged Christians to oppose Hitler.
We count these people as moral heroes precisely because they had the courage to fight for freedom. According to Society Says thought, however, they are the worst kind of moral criminals because they challenged the moral consensus of their own society. This view faces another difficulty with moral improvement of society. If society’s laws and cultural values are the ultimate standards of behavior, then the notion of moral improvement on a legal or cultural level is nonsense. A social code can never be improved; it can only be changed.
Think of what it means to improve something. Improvement means an increase in excellence by raising to a better quality or condition. How do we know if we have increased the quality of something? Only by noting that some change has brought it closer to an external standard of improvement. A bowler improves when she raises her average closer to 300, the perfect game. A baseball pitcher increases his skill by decreasing the number of batters he allows on base. If he strikes out every batter, he’s attained perfection. In either case, an outside standard is used as the measure of improvement.
To improve a society’s moral code means that the society changes its laws and values to more closely approximate an external moral ideal. If no such standard exists, if cultural values are the highest possible law, then there is no way for those standards to be better than what they are at any given moment. They can only be different. A society can abolish apartheid in favor of equality. It can adopt policies of habeas corpus protecting citizens against unjustified imprisonment; it can guarantee freedom of speech and the press. But according to this view, no one could ever claim that these are moral improvements but only that society changed its tastes. There is no moral ideal to emulate. Moral change is possible, but not moral improvement. Improvement means getting better, and there’s nothing better – in this view – than any society’s current assessment of morality. And moral reformers actually turn out to be unethical.
“By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history, Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom. And the moral code that has no fear of God is very shaky. That’s the condition we are in.” — Will Durant, the preeminent historian and author of The Story of Civilization
Speaking of his native born Russia, “But if I were asked today to formulate as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’“ — Nobel Prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“I have been alternately called an aristocrat and a democrat. I am… neither. I am a Christocrat…. I believe all power… will always fail of producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.” — Founding Father Benjamin Rush
A Critique of the “General Will”
Rousseau’s concept of the general will is essentially the same as such familiar concepts as the “sentiment of a nation” and the “aspirations of a people.” The idea is that a group of people may collectively or as a group desire or wish or want something, and that this collective desire, though it may coincide with the desires of the individuals in the group, is a metaphysically distinct entity.
Two questions about the general will, and all similar notion of a collective sentiment, are controversial to this day. First, what is it? Let’s suppose, for example, that every member of a group of people believes that the federal deficit should be reduced. We may say, then, that the federal deficit should be reduced. But can saying this possibly mean otherwise than simply that every individual in the group believes that it should be reduced? In this instance, that is, the general will seems no different from the wills of all individuals.
Let’s suppose now that 60 percent of the group believes that the deficit should be reduced. If we now say that the general will is that the federal deficit should be reduced, can we mean anything other than that 60 percent believes that way? In this instance, then, the general will seems no different from the individual wills of the 60 percent.
Suppose, finally, that 50 percent believes in raising taxes to reduce the federal deficit and 50 percent believes in cutting taxes to reduce the federal deficit. If we ignore the differences about how the deficit should be reduced (these, Rousseau might say, are “pluses and minuses that cancel each other”) and say that the general will is that the deficit should be reduced, do we mean anything other than what we did in the first instance, namely, that everyone believes that it should be reduced?
Thus, if the general will is supposedly something other than the will of all or the will of the majority – which clearly is Rousseau’s view because he envisions circumstances in which the majority will and the will of all may actually run counter to the general will – the question is: What is it?
And the second question is: Even granting that a group may have a general will that is distinct from the will of the majority, how is one to determine the specific propositions it endorses? Polls and elections disclose the will of all and the will of the majority; what discloses the general will? Through the will of all the general will could feasibly be changed since “the freedom to obey a law which we prescribe for ourselves.” Thus, Rousseau wrote, “it is to law alone that men owe justice and [civil] liberty.” Man is the end to a means, this general will then is subjected to his will as opposed to His Will!
This is why an unconstitutional democracy will never work. Founding Father Fisher Ames said, “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption, and carry desolation in their way,” (legally, I might add). Founding Father Benjamin Rush was equally pointed when he noted, “A simple democracy is the devil’s own government.” Founding Father and President John Adams stated that, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There has never been a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
So strongly did the Founders oppose democracy that when they created the Constitution, they included a provision to keep America from becoming a democracy. Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution requires that “each State maintain a republican form of government” – a republican form as opposed to a democratic one. One of our most thoroughly educated Founding Fathers was Noah Webster, who illuminated us as to what a “republican form of government was,” keeping in mind that Webster was the author of Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution:
“[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.”
The Judeo-Christian moral standard will never change because the basis for it is Divine in nature. This is the general will that a properly constituted government can refer to in order to stay within the lane lines of freedom and liberty. This is something that Rousseau’s general will cannot, and will never be able to, accomplish!
“As a man thinkith in his heart, so he is” — Proverbs 23:7
“If the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow…. These considerations should lead to an attentive solicitude… to be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers… and judge of the tree by its fruit.” — Founding Father Elias Boudinot
As the quotes above give a clue as to what this appendix is, I would want to first say that a man can change, but Rousseau never showed that change that can so inspire men to renounce their past beliefs, like Abraham Maslow. So lets delve into the mind of Rousseau with a conglomeration of quotes by him from various sources. This is done in order that we may see who the real Rousseau is.
Rousseau actually enjoyed the lavish lifestyle and considerable success even in his lifetime. To the unprejudiced modern eye he does not seem to have had much to grumble about. Yet Rousseau was one of the greatest grumblers in the history of literature. He insisted that his life had been one of misery and persecution. He reiterates the complaint so often and in such harrowing terms, that one feels obligated to believe him. On one point he was adamant: he suffered from chronic ill health. He was “an unfortunate wretch worn out by illness… struggling every day of my life between pain and death.” He had “not been able to sleep for thirty years.”
“Nature,” he added, “which has shaped me for suffering, has given me a constitution proof against pain in order that, unable to exhaust my forces, it may always make itself felt with the same intensity.”
It is true that he always had trouble with his penis. In a letter to his friend Dr. Tronchin, written in 1755, he refers to “the malformation of an organ, with which I was born.” His biographer Lester Crocker, after careful diagnoses, writes: “I am convinced that Jean-Jacques was born a victim of hypospadias, a deformity of the penis in which the urethra opens somewhere on the ventral surface.” In adult life this became a stricture, necessitating painful use of a catheter, which aggravated the problem both psychologically and physically. He constantly felt the urge to urinate and this raised difficulties when he was living in high society: “I still shudder to think of myself, in a circle of women, compelled to wait until some fine talk had finished… When at last I find a well-lit staircase there are other ladies who delay me, then a courtyard full of constantly moving carriages ready to crush me, ladies’ maids who are looking at me, lackeys who line the walls and laugh at me. I do not find a single wall or wretched little corner that is suitable for my purpose. In short I can urinate only in full view of everybody and on some noble white-stockinged leg.”
The passage is self-pitying and suggests, along with much other evidence, that Rousseau’s health was not as bad as he makes out. At times, when it suites his argument, he points to his good health. His insomnia was partly fantasy, since various people testify to his snoring. David Hume, who was with him on the voyage to England, wrote, “He is one of the most robust men I have ever known. He passes ten hours in the night-time above deck in the most severe weather, where all the seamen were almost frozen to death, and he took no harm.”
Rousseau called himself the “unhappiest of mortals,” spoke of the “grim fate which dogs my footsteps,” claimed “few men have shed so many tears” and insisted: “my destiny is such that no one would dare describe it, and no one would believe it.” In fact he described it often and many did believe, that is until they learned more about his character. Even then some sympathy remained. Madame d’Epinay, a patroness whom he treated abominably, remarked, even after her eyes were opened: “I still feel moved by the simple and original way in which he recounted his misfortunes.” He was what armies call an Old Soldier, a practiced psychological con-man. One is not surprised to find that, as a young man, he wrote begging letters, one of which has survived. It was written to the Governor of Savoy and demands a pension on the grounds that he suffers from a dreadful disfiguring disease and will soon be dead.
But behind all this self-pity lay an overpowering egoism, a feeling that he was quite unlike other men, both in his sufferings and his qualities. He wrote: “What could your miseries have in common with mine? My situation is unique, unheard of since the beginning of time.…” Equally, “The person who can love me as I can love is still to be born.” “No one ever had more talent for loving.” “I was born to be the best friend that ever existed.” “I would leave this life with apprehension if I knew a better man than me.” “show me a better man than me, a heart more loving, more tender, more sensitive…” “Posterity will honor me… because it is my due.” “I rejoice in myself.” “…my consolation lies in my self-esteem.” “…if there were a single enlightened government in Europe, it would have erected statues of me.”
No wonder why Burke declared: “Vanity was the vice he possessed to a degree little short of madness.” It was part of Rousseau’s vanity that he believed himself incapable of base emotions. “I feel too superior to hate.” “I love myself too much to hate anybody.” “Never have I known the hateful passions, never did jealousy, wickedness, vengeance enter my heart… anger occasionally but I am never crafty and never bear a grudge.” In fact he frequently bore grudges and was crafty in pursuing them. Men noticed this. Rousseau was the first intellectual to proclaim himself, repeatedly, the friend of all mankind. But loving as he did humanity in general, he developed a strong propensity for quarreling with human beings in particular. One of his victims, his former friend Dr. Tronchin of Geneva, protested: “How is it possible that the friend of mankind is no longer the friend of men, or so scarcely so?”
In 1743 he was given what seemed to plush post of secretary to the French Ambassador in Venice, the Comte de Montaigu. This lasted eleven months and ended in his dismissal and flight to avoid arrest by the Venetian Senate. Montaigu stated (and his version is to be preferred to Rousseau’s own) that his secretary was doomed to poverty on account of his “vile disposition” and “unspeakable insolence,” the product of his “insanity” and “high opinion of himself.”
Rousseau was a madman impassioned only with his best interests in mind. Granted he did reapply some beliefs that had already existed, much like Locke, but the difference between the two men in lifestyle and philosophy shows, that in all, Locke was a man to be measured by his deeds and his words.
“Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks…” “Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.” — Albert Einstein
I wanted to quickly debunk the feeling that Locke and Rousseau were the originators of the social contract. Just a couple examples will suffice, but others throughout Christian history are available. The Mayflower Compact is a prime example of what a community with Godly principles and the welfare of all in mind can do.
“In the name of God, amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign, Lord King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, & c., having undertaken for the glory of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid.”
This agreement was executed on November 11, 1620 – predating Locke’s Second Treatise by seven decades. It proved to be an accurate precursor of the Plymouth polity, which thereafter featured annual elections for governor, deputy governor, and legislature. As with the churches of that era, the pattern was repeated often in the experience of New England. Here, for example, are the words of the Fundamental Orders of Conneticut (1639), the colony established and led by Thomas Hooker:
“…well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such people there should be an orderly and decent government established according to God, [we] do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one public state or commonwealth; and… enter into combination and confederation together, to maintain and pursue the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess…”
Alex de Tocqueville on the American Revolution
Alex de Tocqueville in the early 1800’s was commissioned to by the French government to travel throughout the United States in order to discover the secret of the astounding success of this experiment in democracy. The French were puzzled at the conditions of unparalleled freedom and social tranquility that prevailed in America. Previously, it was thought that where there was liberty, anarchy would inevitably follow because of the inability of the people to govern themselves. But in America people were free – and also well behaved. In fact, nowhere on earth was there so little social discord.
When the French jurist, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited the United States in 1831, he became so impressed with what he saw that he went home and wrote one of the best definitive studies on the American culture and Constitutional system that had been published up to that time. His book was called Democracy in America. Concerning religion in America, de Tocqueville said: “On my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things” (emphasis added).
He described the situation as follows: “Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions … I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion – for who can search the human heart? – but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.”
In Europe, it had been popular to teach that religion and liberty were enemies of each other. De Tocqueville saw the very opposite happening in America. He wrote: “The philosophers of the 18th century explained in a very simple manner the gradual decay of religious faith. Religious zeal, said they, must necessarily fail the more generally liberty is established and knowledge diffused. Unfortunately, the facts by no means accord with their theory. There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and debasement; while in America, one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world, the people fulfill with fervor all the outward duties of religion”….
The Greatest Influence [De Tocqueville] emphasized the fact that this religious undergirding of the political structure was a common denominator of moral teachings in different denominations and not the political pressure of some national church hierarchy. Said he: “The sects [different denominations] that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God…. All the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same … There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.”
It was astonishing to de Tocqueville that liberty and religion could be combined in such a balanced structure of harmony and good order. He wrote: “The revolutionists of America are obliged to profess an ostensible respect for Christian morality and equity, which does not permit them to violate wantonly the laws that oppose their designs … Thus while the law permits the Americans to do what they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit, what is rash or unjust”….
In one of de Tocqueville’s most frequently quoted passages, he stated: “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”
Two Treatises of Government, John Locke, edited by Edited by Thomas I. Cook.
Rousseau’s Political Writings, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, edited by Alan Ritter. Translated by Julia C. Bondanella.
Intellectuals, by Paul Johnson.
The Betrayal of Liberalism: How the Disciples of Freedom & Equality Helped Foster the Illiberal Politics of Coercion & Control, edited by Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball.
Christianity & the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers, by John Eidsmoe.
Intellectuals Don’t Need God & Other Modern Myths: Christian Apologetics for Today, by Alister E. McGrath.
Faith & Freedom: The Christian Roots of American Liberty, by Benjamin Hart.
Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews With An Absolutist, by Peter Kreeft.
America’s Thirty-Year War: Who Is Winning?, by Balint Vazsonyi.
Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air, Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl.
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich.
Philosophy for Dummies, by Tom Morris.
Introduction To Ethics, by Robert van Wyk.
The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View, by Richard Tarnas.
America’s God & Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, by William Federer.
The Theme Is Freedom: Religion, Politics, & the American Tradition, M. Stanton Evans.
How Now Shall We Live?, by Charles Colson.
Keys to Good Government: According to the Founding Fathers, by David Barton.
The Foundations of American Government, by David Barton.
Philosophy: The Power of Ideas, Brooke N. Moore and Kenneth Bruder.
The Oxford History of Western Philosophy, edited by Anthony Kenny.
The Concise Conservative Encyclopedia; 200 of the Most Important Ideas, Individuals, Incitements, & Institutions That Have Shaped the Movement, by Brad Miner.
The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes & Breaks Prosperity, Family & Civility, by Angelo M. Codevilla.
Since this is a large post, I would suggest picking a topic or section and going through it… and then coming back to cover another section. We are often busy and so must manage time wisely. The reason for this post was a short paragraph written by an awesome gal who quickly explained her positions of why she (and other women) marched in the Women’s March that recently took place the day after the election. I took her small paragraph and bullet pointed a few issues I wish to address, and these can be seen in numbers one through four – below right. They are easily jumped to by clicking on the number. I will respond with media, quotes, and commentary in a way that steps beyond the mantras of the professional Left.
I would suggest combining this post with an earlier post of mine to understand just how much culture and the media can misrepresent things during an election season.
Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” statement was loudly rejected. However, if such importance is placed on false facts… then this should help the student of truth to wade through the “alternative facts” apparently infuriating women of the Left.
The mottos of our country are: E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty. The motto of our Revolution was basically: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” While the Constitution requires those who stand before the law to be treated equally (equal under the law)… “equality” is not part of liberty. You can have either liberty or either equality – but not both. You will see this fleshed out in number three, bellow., but a good example of this in history is the French Revolution. It had a motto: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” This was an experiment done around the same time as the American Revolution and it collapsed on itself. Here is a good recap of these foundation philosophies:
Let’s take the idea of equality. For the Americans, it was largely a matter of equality before the law. When Jefferson wrote in the Declaration, “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,” he meant that human beings were equal in their possession of legal rights. He did not mean that all people were equal in talent, merit, wealth, or social status. Rather, they were equal, as human beings, in their right to pursue their interests and their dreams without interference by the government or other people.
Writing in the Federalist Papers No. 10, James Madison made it clear that he had no use for the French idea of absolute equality. He wrote, “Theoretic politicians have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.” For Madison, there was no single or general will in mankind. Rather, there was only a society of individuals with diverse interests and opinions whose natural freedoms needed to be preserved by government.
The French idea of equality, or égalité, is one of the three national mottos of the French Republic, but it is derived from a certain view of freedom. Since freedom is collective—an expression of the general will—and it is not individually determined, then naturally its truest expression is equality of the masses. You can be truly free only if you are in sync with the general will.
But that implies that everyone’s will must be equal; otherwise, what’s the use of it being general? If everyone was allowed to have different interests, statuses, opinions, they would not be united in a single will, would they? As Saint-Just put it during the height of the Reign of Terror, “Private happiness and interest are a violence against the social order. You must forget yourselves…. [T]he only salvation is through the public good.”
The “public good” is just another word for collective freedom, which leads us to the third motto of the Revolution, fraternité, or the appeal to national unity. The first celebration of the storming of the Bastille, called the Féte de la Fédération and held on the Champ-de-Mars in 1790, was not a Victor Hugo–like celebration of Les Misérables, but a mass rally celebrating the fraternité of the Revolution and the unity of the French nation. It was the French ideas of liberty and equality all wrapped up in one. Free citizens would come together as equal partners in the unified French nation.
But there was, in the French Revolution, a paradox in this passion for unity. All nations celebrate national unity, even our own, but it can be taken to extremes. The fraternal desire for consensus and accord ended up in violence and discord.
Hearing the guilty verdict at his trial during the Terror, a member of the Girondin party joked that the only way for him and his compatriots to save their skins was to proclaim “the unity of their lives and the indivisibility of their heads.” Exactly! Pushing for agreement to the extreme of violence is the most divisive—and exclusionary—thing you can possibly do.
In the history of ideas and political movements, the legacy of fraternité is twofold: One, it gave birth to the populist nationalisms that would roil Europe and the world for the next two centuries, and two, taken to extremes, it led to the rise of totalitarian democracy in the 20th century.
All these differences in interpreting freedom, equality, and unity led the Americans and the French to very different notions of government.
The modern Left and the French of centuries past have a similar view of equality. It is an illiberal view of nature. To create equality IN THIS SENSE (guaranteed equal outcomes) is an impossible task. I will give you a couple examples of what I mean. The first deals with “special rights” in the attempt to create the [illusion] of choice. In an oft used example of mine I note that by defining when life begins at a later stage of a humans life-span, we see gender abortions (typically a girl is aborted due to cultural preferences for males), but here is a hypothetical of a newly forming protected class:
“If homosexuality is really genetic, we may soon be able to tell if a fetus is predisposed to homosexuality, in which case many parents might choose to abort it. Will gay rights activists continue to support abortion rights if this occurs?”
Dale A. Berryhill, The Liberal Contradiction: How Contemporary Liberalism Violates Its Own Principles and Endangers Its Own Goals (Lafayette, LA: Vital Issues Press, 1994), 172.
Mmmm, do you see an issue here? Under the “health of the mother” as the courts interpret Doe v. Bolton, ensuring a gender outcome or wanting a straight child would be allowed since “stress” or maladies like the baby having a cleft palate, or the mother is struggling financially, or one wished to pursue a career — are grounds for aborting children. Legally. Heck, if financial worries is reason enough… what’s left? Another example of the impossibility of reaching the equality spoken of here is those who felt marginalized BECAUSE of the march. Here are a couple examples:
… In fact, though conventional wisdom would suggest that progressives everywhere were pleased with the demonstration, it turns out some transgender people thought the prevalence of “pussy hats,” vagina costumes and paintings of female genitalia were “oppressive” toward their community.
“[P]ussy hats set the tone for a march that would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community,” Mic . com staff writer Marie Solis reported. “Signs like ‘Pussy power,’ ‘Viva la Vulva’ and ‘Pussy grabs back’ all sent a clear and oppressive message to trans women, especially: having a vagina is essential to womanhood.”…
Transgender activists are upset that the women‘s march over the weekend was not inclusive to biological men who identify as women, as the protest presented an oppressive message that having a vagina is essential to womanhood.
Saturday’s event to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump was largely a “white cis women march,“ with too many pictures of female reproductive organs and pink hats, according to trans women and nonbinary individuals
The women‘s march had an over-reliance on slogans and posters depicting gender norms, like using pink to represent women and girls, said some transgender activists who boycotted the march.
Sorry, trannies, but until you can have abortions, the feminist movement isn’t that interested in you.
So just by having an inclusive march many were excluded. This is the trouble with the Left’s egalitarianism. It cannot work and merely creates more division and eventual cannibalism, as Christian Hoff Sommers notes:
FIRST and FOREMOST… when categories are compared properly, we see women tend to make more than men…
Among college-educated, never-married individuals with no children who worked fill-time and were from 40 to 64 years old— that is, beyond the child-bearing years— men averaged $40,000 a year in income, while women averaged $47,000.30 But, despite the fact that women in this category earned more than men in the same category, gross income differences in favor of men continue to reflect differences in work patterns between the sexes, so that women and men are not in the same categories to the same extent.
Even women who have graduated from top-level universities like Harvard and Yale have not worked full-time, or worked at all, to the same extent that male graduates of these same institutions have. Among Yale alumni in their forties, “only 56 percent of the women still worked, compared with 90 percent of the men,” according to the New York Times. It was much the same story at Harvard:
A 2001 survey of Harvard Business School graduates found that 31 percent of the women from the classes of 1981, 1985 and 1991 who answered the survey worked only part time or on contract, and another 31 percent did not work at all, levels strikingly similar to the percentages of the Yale students interviewed who predicted they would stay at home or work part time in their 30’s and 40’s.
Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008), 70.
What typically happen with women around age thirty? The word rhymes with manly.
…The Department of Labor’s Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.
Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.
Men, by contrast, often take on jobs that involve physical labor, outdoor work, overnight shifts and dangerous conditions (which is also why men suffer the overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths at the workplace). They put up with these unpleasant factors so that they can earn more.
Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women’s earnings are going up compared to men’s….
Another reason there is a broad variance in pay are for a few reasons. Women tend to choose different career paths than men (choice), and also take time out to care for children (nature).
…various countries’ economies, there are still particular industries today where considerable physical strength remains a requirement. Women are obviously not as likely to work in such fields as men are— and some of these are fields with jobs that pay more than the national average. While women have been 74 percent of what the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as “clerical and kindred workers,” they have been less than 5 percent of “transport equipment operatives.” In other words, women are far more likely to be sitting behind a desk than to be sitting behind the steering wheel of an eighteen-wheel truck. Women are also less than 4 percent of the workers in “construction, extraction, and maintenance.” They are less than 3 percent of construction workers or loggers, less than 2 percent of roofers or masons and less than one percent of the mechanics and technicians who service heavy vehicles arid mobile equipment.
Such occupational distributions have obvious economic implications, since miners earn nearly double the income of office clerks when both work full-time and year-round 20 There is still a premium paid for workers doing heavy physical work, as well as for hazardous work, which often overlaps work requiring physical strength. While men are 54 percent of the labor force, they are 92 percent of the job-related deaths.
Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008), 64-65.
The first thing to say is the Higher Court settled this — I says settled with “air quotes.” However, many fine gay men and women I know would reject this decision either because they think marriage between heterosexuals has benefits for society same-sex marriages cannot offer. And/or they support the idea in the Constitution that what isn’t clearly enumerated in the Constitution for the Federal Government to concern itself with, then these decisions should be left to the states.
In our sometimes misguided efforts to expand our freedom, selfish adults have systematically dismantled that which is most precious to children as they grow and develop. That’s why I am now speaking out against same-sex marriage.
By the way, I am gay.
A few days ago I testified against pending same-sex marriage legislation in Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary and House Civil Law Committees.
The atmosphere at these events (I’ve also testified elsewhere) seems tinged with unreality—almost a carnival-like surrealism. Natural law, tradition, religion, intellectual curiosity, and free inquiry no longer play a role in deliberations. Same-sex marriage legislation is defended solely on grounds of moral relativism and emotions.
Pure sophistry is pitted against reason. Reason is losing.
Same-sex marriage will do the same, depriving children of their right to either a mom or a dad. This is not a small deal. Children are being reduced to chattel-like sources of fulfillment. On one side, their family tree consists not of ancestors, but of a small army of anonymous surrogates, donors, and attorneys who pinch-hit for the absent gender in genderless marriages. Gays and lesbians demand that they have a “right” to have children to complete their sense of personal fulfillment, and in so doing, are trumping the right that children have to both a mother and a father—a right that same-sex marriage tramples over.
Same-sex marriage will undefine marriage and unravel it, and in so doing, it will undefine children. It will ultimately lead to undefining humanity. This is neither “progressive” nor “conservative” legislation. It is “regressive” legislation.
Another examples comes from respected Canadian sociologist/scholar/homosexual, Paul Nathanson, writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are:
Foster the bonding between men and women
Foster the birth and rearing of children
Foster the bonding between men and children
Foster some form of healthy masculine identity
Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults
Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival,… every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively…. Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Going further he stated that “same sex marriage is a bad idea”… [he] only opposed “gay marriage, not gay relationships.”
Some persons think being gay is immutable, and so apply the 14th Amendment to the issue. However, this is not the case. Homosexuality is often times due to trauma early in the person’s life. Or sexual activity at a young age:
So, for instance, my mom knew quite a few lesbians throughout her life as a hippie/druggy, who now loves Jesus. In her mobile-home park living experience she has become friends, acquaintances with and met quite a few lesbians over the years. She told me that most had been abused by some older man (often a family member) when they were young. Also, the men I have known well-enough to intimate to me their early lives also have corroborated such encounters (one was a family member, the other not). Which brings me to a quote by a lesbian author I love:
“Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is,* instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS”
Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishers, 2003), 99.
*By the age of 18 or 19 years, three quarters of American youth, regardless of their sexual orientation, have had sexual relations with another person. Gay males are more likely than heterosexual males to become sexually active at a younger age (12.7 vs. 15.7 years) and to have had multiple sexual partners. The ages at the time of the first sexual experience with another person are closer for lesbians and heterosexual females (15.4 vs. 16.2 years).
You see, much like Walt Heyer, a man who had a sex operation, lived as a woman for 8-years, and then one day started to confront the “demons” from his childhood. He started to deal with these earlier issues in his life after taking some courses to get a degree in counseling at U.C. Irvine — he realized his gender dysphoria was because of trauma at a young age (HERE). To put a stamp of approval via society on a “choice” that is caused by anothers “choice” in making these relationships equal, is doing more harm to the individual than good (as Walt Heyer also points out in his book, mentioned in the link). Many have changed their sexual orientation from gay to hetero… but if this is the case, then one’s fluid sexuality is very UNLIKE ethnic origins (an ex-gay tells his story; a man raised by lesbians and who’s own early sexuality was in flux tells his story).
Here we find the indomitable Camille Paglia, a lesbian scholar, noting some of the above:
More than twenty years ago, the influential lesbian author Camille Paglia had this to say about the “born gay” myth: “Homosexuality is not normal. On the contrary it is a challenge to the norm…. Nature exists whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single relentless rule. That is the norm…. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction…. No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous… homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait.”
But she was just getting started as she asked:
“Is the gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay? Sexuality is highly fluid, and reversals are theoretically possible. However, habit is refractory, once sensory pathways have been blazed and deepened by repetition—a phenomenon obvious with obesity, smoking, alcoholism or drug addiction—helping gays to learn how to function heterosexually, if they wish is a perfectly worthy aim. We should be honest enough to consider whether or not homosexuality may not indeed, be a pausing at the prepubescent stage where children band together by gender…. Current gay cant insists that homosexuality is not a choice; that no one would choose to be gay in a homophobic society. But there is an element of choice in all behavior, sexual or otherwise. It takes an effort to deal with the opposite sex; it is safer with your own kind. The issue is one of challenge versus comfort.”
Michael L. Brown, Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide (Washington, DC: WND Books, 2015), 162.
IN CASE you are not tracking… one cannot change his or her ethnicity/color.
Equality – LGBT [Must] Be Accepted By Everyone
Here is the actual quote from the paragraph mentioned at the top of the post:
“LGBT WOULD have just the same rights to be married, get a job, be accepted by EVERYONE”
In order to impose some essence of equality, the government has to homogenize ALL interactions. In doing so, and getting to the “accepted by everyone” level, you would have to have something more that what Orwell wrote of in 1984. This is in actuality impossible, and is a sign of the Utopian goals of the Left.
For thousands of years human beings have dreamt of perfect worlds, worlds free of conflict, hunger and unhappiness. But can these worlds ever exist in reality? In 1516 Sir Thomas More wrote the first ‘Utopia’. He coined the word ‘utopia’ from the Greek ou-topos meaning ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere’. But this was a pun – the almost identical Greek word eu-topos means a good place. So at the very heart of the word is a vital question: can a perfect world ever be realised?
All societies and movements that have attempted this have failed, miserably. This is no different. It curbs the freedom of contract between two individuals for a product or a service. Same-sex marriage as pushed by liberals is in direct conflict to enumerated protections in the Constitution. In Massachusetts, and now it is happening in Illinois. The oldest (in the nation), most successful foster and adoption care organization has closed its doors because they would be forced to adopt to same-sex couples. Lets peer into who this would affect:
“Everyone’s still reeling from the decision,” Marylou Sudders, executive director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), said yesterday. “Ultimately, the only losers are the kids,” said Maureen Flatley, a Boston adoption consultant and lobbyist. (more on RPT & WT)
And business are bankrupted by government to impose these unreachable norms.
Again, this is not a straight versus gay category. This is a Left/Right issue in our body politic. For example, here is a Christian, conservative, apologist — Frank Turek — making a point:
“….Imagine a homosexual videographer being forced to video a speech that a conservative makes against homosexual behavior and same sex marriage. Should that homosexual videographer be forced to do so? Of course not! Then why Elane Photography?….”
Now, here is a “conservatarian” blogger, Gay Patriot’s, input:
“…it’s a bad law, a law that violates natural human rights to freedom of association and to freely-chosen work. It is not good for gays; picture a gay photographer being required by law to serve the wedding of some social conservative whom he or she despises.”
AGAIN, there are many gay men and women that GET IT:
GAY PATRIOT shot me over to The Blaze’s article on this… good stuff, and I LOVE these two ladies.
[Kathy Trautvetter and Diane DiGeloromo, a lesbian couple who own and operate BMP T-shirts, a New Jersey-based printing company, sat down with Glenn Beck Thursday night to explain why they are standing up for an embattled Christian printer who refused to make shirts for a gay pride festival.]
The lesbian couple are standing up for Christian t-shirt maker Blaine Adamson, who refused to print shirts for a gay pride festival because it compromised his values. Adamson has come under attack for his stance, but this couple supports him. The story is a microcosm for what should be happening in America as we navigate the way the world is changing.
“As a business owner, it struck a chord with me when I read the story, because I know how hard it is to build a business. You put your blood and your sweat and your tears into every bit of it. When I put myself in his place, I immediately felt like if that were to happen to us, I couldn’t create or print anti-gay T-shirts, you know, for a group. I couldn’t do it,” Kathy explained.
Diane added, “We feel this really isn’t a gay or straight issue. This is a human issue. No one really should be forced to do something against what they believe in. It’s as simple as that, and we feel likewise. If we were approached by an organization such as the Westboro Baptist Church, I highly doubt we would be doing business with them.”“Everybody votes with their dollars, you know?” Kathy said. “And why you would want to go with somebody who doesn’t agree with you, [when] there’s others who do agree with you, that’s who I want to do business with.”
Nice. If only all gay people were so tolerant and open-minded.
Love is Love
A story via GAY PATRIOT and his very humorous way to bring to light the deeper issue at hand, we find another example of the deteriorating acidic colloquialisms of the Left falling apart at the expense of civil society:
However, here is GAY PATRIOT noting what is really going on:
“Don’t be ridiculous,” they said. “No way does same sex marriage lead to legalized polygamy. The slippery slope argument is a complete fallacy, because enactment of one liberal social policy has never, ever led to the subsequent enactment of the logical extension of that liberal social policy. Ever!”
Well, they may have been wrong about the coefficient of friction on that particular incline. Commenter Richard Bell notes the following: Judge Cites Same-Sex Marriage in Declaring Polygamy Ban Unconstitutional.
Since marriage is no longer about creating a stable environment for children, and has become (and this mainly the fault of heterosexual liberals) about personal fulfillment, validation, and access to social benefits, there literally is no constraint on how much more broadly it can be redefined.
There have been quite a few admissions like this, but here is one example by a wel known LGBT activist cataloged by THE BLAZE:
A 2012 speech by Masha Gessen, an author and outspoken activist for the LGBT community, is just now going viral and it includes a theory that many supporters of traditional marriage have speculated about for years: The push for gay marriage has less to do with the right to marry – it is about diminishing and eventually destroying the institution of marriage and redefining the “traditional family.”
The subject of gay marriage stirs powerful reactions on both sides of the argument. There are those who argue that legalizing it would diminish traditional marriage. And those advocating for gay marriage have long stated that the issue will not harm traditional marriage. Ms. Gessen’s comments on the subject seem to contradict the pro-gay-marriage party lines.
Gessen shared her views on the subject and very specifically stated;
“Gay marriage is a lie.”
“Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there.”
“It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.” (This statement is met with very loud applause.)
As mentioned above, Gessen also talked about redefining the traditional family. This may have something to do with the fact that she has “three children with five parents”:
“I don’t see why they (her children) shouldn’t have five parents legally. I don’t see why we should choose two of those parents and make them a sanctioned couple.”…
Here again we run into the issue of EQUALITY as the Left views it. Not an equality in the sight of the law but an equality in outcomes. This is actually REALLY easy to show as wrong. But the 100% thingy made me chuckle. It reminded me of this call into the Larry Elder show:
Too Funny! But this is the thinking of these egalitarian tyrants. Take note that I will deal with the SHOOTING OF BLACK MEN first, then deal with Traffic stops. Remember, studies show police officers are MORE likely to shoot a white criminal than a black (cue shocked faces): Shootings
A study by a Harvard professor released this month found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings even though officers were more likely to interact physically with non-whites than whites.
The paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, which examined thousands of incidents at 10 large police departments in California, Florida and Texas, concluded that police were no more likely to shoot non-whites than whites after factoring in extenuating circumstances.
“On the most extreme use of force — officer-involved shootings — we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account,” said Harvard economics professor Roland G. Fryer Jr. in the abstract of the July 2016 paper.
Mr. Fryer, who is black, told The New York Times that the finding of no racial discrimination in police shootings was “the most surprising result of my career.”
At the same time, the study found blacks and Hispanics were more than 50 percent more likely to experience physical interactions with police, including touching, pushing, handcuffing, drawing a weapon, and using a baton or pepper spray.
The 63-page study, “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force,” appears to support research conducted at Washington State University showing that officers in simulation tests were actually less likely to shoot at blacks than whites.
The paper also challenges the contention by the new wave of civil-rights groups such as Black Lives Matter that racist police are singling out blacks for shootings….
Listen, these next two media pieces are a bit long, but you get to hear real-world statistics. The first pice of media is from Larry Elder via my YouTube channel. The video following Elder is a Bill Whittle production… good stuff for the serious student of truth:
Where to start with actor Jesse Williams’ widely praised rant on police brutality and white racism delivered at this year’s Black Entertainment Television awards show?
To his enthusiastic audience, Williams reeled off lie after lie, all in the name of black “resistance” over the “oppressor” – meaning anyone he believes benefits from “this invention called whiteness.” Time magazine called his discourse “powerful.”
Where are fact-checkers when the fact-devoid desperately need fact-checking? After all, Williams practically begged to be fact-checked when he said, “What we’ve been doing is looking at the data, and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day.”
The “police … manage to … not kill white people every day”?
Let’s start with 2014, the last year for which there are official records. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the police killed 261 whites and 131 blacks. The CDC also found that from 1999 to 2013, the police killed almost twice the number of whites compared to blacks, 3,160 and 1,724, respectively.
Activists promptly note that whites account for nearly 65 percent of the population and that, therefore, one would expect whites to comprise most of those killed by cops. And we are told that blacks, while 13 percent of the population, represent a much greater percentage of those killed by cops. Institutional, systemic, structural racism!
Here’s what those promoting the “police disproportionately kill black people” narrative consistently omit. Whites, despite being almost 65 percent of the population, disproportionately commit less of the nation’s violent crime – 10 percent. Blacks, at 13 percent of the population, disproportionately commit more violent crime. As to murders, black commit nearly half. Yet whites are 50 percent of cop killings.
Criminology professor Peter Moskos looked at the numbers of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 and found that 49 percent were white, while 30 percent were black. “Adjusted for the homicide rate,” says Moskos, “whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.” So if anything, whites have more to complain about than Mr. Williams….
Just a very quick explanation of the above. Using newer stats, if you had 100 black men lined up on a street on one side, and on the other side you had one-hundred white men lined up on the street, and a white man walked down the middle of the street… he would be 27-times more likely to be assaulted and then killed by the black men. Again, keep in mind that blacks make up almost 12.6% of the population and whites make up 77.35% of the population.
Here Larry Elder (a statistician in his own right) notes reports from the DOJ and other sources to bring the reader into alignment with something beyond a false narrative they heard from a friend:
…The National Institute of Justice is the research and evaluation agency of the DOJ. In 2013, the NIJ published its study called “Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy.” Unlike when responding to dispatch calls, police officers exercise more discretion when it comes to traffic stops. Thus, the supposedly “racial profiling” cops can have a field day when it comes to traffic stops, right?
But according to the NIJ, 3 out of 4 black drivers admit being stopped by police for a “legitimate reason.” Blacks, compared to whites, were on average more likely to commit speeding or other traffic offenses. “Seatbelt usage,” said the NIJ, “is chronically lower among black drivers. If a law enforcement agency aggressively enforces seatbelt violations, police will stop more black drivers.” The NIJ conclusion? Numerical disparities result from “differences in offending” in addition to “differences in exposure to the police” and “differences in driving patterns.”
President Obama, backed by research from the left and from the right, said, “Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”
Richmond, Virginia, is a city of 214,000, with a black population of 50 percent. Eighty-six percent of black Richmond families are headed by a single parent. Of Ferguson’s 67 percent black population, how many kids grew up in fatherless homes?
Whatever the answer, isn’t this a far more relevant statistic?