If Obama Can Nationalize US Corporations, Why Not Hugo Chavez?

Barack Obama has nationalized American businesses such as banks and auto companies.  It was really only a matter of time before other socialists leaders took note of Obama’s example and nationalized American businesses too.

Venezuela seizes US pasta company

Venezuelan officials accompanied by soldiers have seized “temporary” control of a US-owned pasta producer.

Venezuela says the plant, owned by the big US firm Cargill, had violated regulations on price controls intended to guarantee cheap food for the poor.

The move further increases President Hugo Chavez’s hold on the economy, after a series of recent take-overs of private and foreign-owned businesses.

They include a Cargill rice plant, and services companies in the oil industry.

Deputy Food Minister Rafael Coronado said the government would run the factory for 90 days, and would reassess the situation after that.

THERE’S your example of what all of Obama’s good will gestures will net for America.  Hugo knows that he can walk all over us now.

The title of the accompanying artice is “President Obama in historic handshake with Hugo Chavez of Venezeula.”  I’m just quoting that headline as a way of saying that “Dictator rubs Obama’s face in crap following Obama suck-up gesture” would have been a good headline for the story of Chavez’s seizure of an American-owned business.

I’m guessing that Hugo Chavez figured that since he’d given Barry Hussein one of his books, he had the right to take one of America’s factories.

I look at it this way: Hugo Chavez can’t do a worse job running American businesses that he’s nationalized into the ground than Barry Hussein, so why not let him have them?

Ronald Reagan would have sent the Marines to get America’s factory back. But then again, Ronald Reagan wasn’t an appeasing weakling like Barry Hussein, and Ronald Reagan wasn’t virtually as socialist as the Marxist scumbag who needed his arse kicked so high his crap permanently shot out of his ears forever afterward.

Obama won’t get any respect from dictators because he doesn’t deserve any respect – and they know it.

I’m sure that Barry will be able to get the factory “returned” after a bunch of secret concessions.  But don’t forget the naked contempt with which Obama is being accorded by petty dictators that he’d just gotten through sucking up to.

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24 Responses to “If Obama Can Nationalize US Corporations, Why Not Hugo Chavez?”

  1. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Much as I dislike and mistrust Chavez, if the pasta producer really broke Venezuelan law, then it needs to pay the price.

    The country may be different, but the b.s. is often the same. Our real problem is not so much pasta as the BALONEY that both private and government corruption can generate.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    Three things, Vivek,

    1) How would we ever know if the pasta producer broke the law, given the government ideology and corruption? One of the most tragic things about totalitarian socialism is that “show trials” wipe out any chance of real justice. “Justice” in Venezuela is whatever Chavez wants it to be.

    2) If such a company DID break the law, there would be an internationally acceptable legal redress. Nationalizing it is NOT such a form of internationally acceptable form of redress. It is in fact a violation of international law.

    3) The point of the article was backed up the other day, as Chavez and Castro (according to Chavez) had a discussion in which they concluded that Obama is now more “leftist” than THEY are.

  3. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Fair enough, Michael. I don’t know much about Venezuela, and as I said, I am no Chavez fan. Hmm…you’re right, in those totalitarian regimes, the only facts that usually come out are those the government wants out.

    Can’t say I agree with Chavez and Castro that Obama is more leftist than they are. Obama is America’s Gorbachev. Gorby initiated perestroika and glasnost in the hope of fixing the Soviet Union. But the rot had eaten inwards so badly that opening up the wound caused the whole system to collapse.

    Will America implode as the USSR did? We don’t like to think about it, but don’t rule it out. It’s scary!

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m starting to realize that there’s a LOT to be learned from the phrase, “The moral equivalent of war.” It’s not about militarism; it’s about using a militaristic model to mobilize a society in order to attain a certain goal. And Obama is VERY much in tune with such a movement. Go back to FDR, who promised to seek the “power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe… I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.”

    This is thoroughly leftist thought (as you can see by studying who has used the phrase; Jimmy Carter used it in his “malaise speech,” and Al Gore has used it to advance his sweeping global warming agenda). That is exactly what Obama has done – seize sweeping powers in the name of “emergency” to become more dictatorial than any president we’ve seen SINCE FDR and Woodrow Wilson.

    Obama came out of the direct tutelage of Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky. There’s little question in my mind that he is a far leftist radical. But I think he realizes that he can’t be a Venezuelan- or Cuban-style dictator until the US becomes more like Venezuela and Cuba. But he’s pushing as hard as he thinks he can.

    My view? Obama is pursuing the Cloward-Piven strategy. If the US is able to sustain the debt he has forced on us, he will take credit; if we collapse (as I think is much more likely), then a panicked and starving people will turn to the government to help them – just as the radical left has always wanted – and allow the creation of a truly and completely socialistic American state. Heads conservatives lose; tails leftists win.

  5. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    The real reason socialism has failed is because it has always been implemented in underdeveloped nations that lack the soil for it to take root and grow. I believe democratic socialism would work in a developed country. Look how well it worked in Israel during the first two decades of statehood.

    What really scares you — and I agree that it was a disaster —- was not democratic socialism. What existed in the Soviet Union was state-monopoly capitalism. Yes, the Soviet Union was capitalist. The whole country was organized and run like a business, and the membership of the Communist Party was its de facto bourgeoisie. The workers were exploited and provided just enough to keep them alive, while any surplus value they produced was stolen away to support overseas imperialism, the lifestyle of the elite, and technologized militarism.

    True socialism cannot work without majority rule, a free press, freedom of speech and information. Yes, I am a socialist — I make no bones about that. But Cuba and Moscow have given socialism the same evil image that witch-burnings and the Inquisition did to Christianity.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    Disagree. Socialism HAS been tried – and DID fail – in developed nations. Virtually the entire continent of Europe embraced socialism. And their economies were gravely diminished as a result. In the last election cycle across Europe, the socialists were largely swept out and conservatives won huge BECAUSE of the failures of socialism.

    It is wrong to say that Israel was a “democratic socialist” country. There were certainly elements of it then and now. The kibbutz movement is one example. But there were competing movements that also held power. Furthermore, during those first two decades, Israel received so much foreign aid that it probably wouldn’t have mattered WHAT their economic philosophy was.

    Socialism is far more than mere economics. It emerges from a comprehensive worldview. And so I not only would cite the Soviet example, but the Nazi example (Nazi = “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”). And of course China, Venezuela, Cuba, etc.

    There is always a tendency to impose a unifying, totalitarian moral order that regulates the individual inside his home and outside of it. There is always the tendency to dismiss objective and transcendent religious principles and impose a new order. There is always the movement to eradicate personal liberty for the sake of the Utopia. There is always the determination to place the “common good” above the “private good,” with an elite intelligentsia class deciding which levers to press. There is always a the reliance upon Darwinism, Hegelianism, and pragmatism to justify the socialist worldview.

    These universal tendencies of socialism very nearly always lead to totalitarianism. In the case of Europe, they have a recent nightmare that has thus far prevented them from stumbling into the same dictatorial nightmare, but there’s no reason to believe that that cannot change in the future.

    And all of the above is intensely alien to the United States as it was founded.

    You want the United States to be much more like Europe. Thomas Jefferson said, “The comparisons of our government with those of Europe are like a comparison of heaven and hell.”

    All that said, Vivek, you strike me as a decent and likable guy. So please allow me to say that while I think you are wrong, I also believe you are well-intentioned.

  7. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Yes I am indeed well-intentioned, but I also believe you are misinformed in some matters. So-called “socialism” in western European nations was anything but. It was a bureaucratic welfare state. You simply cannot super-impose socialist services on a capitalist economy. In order to pay for all those nice things, government needs to tax business and personal incomes. That kills initiative because persons quite naturally feel that they just produce, and it gets stolen for parasites.

    Real socialism means that the economy itself is the property of the nation, and that all production and distribution of goods and services is geared toward directly satisfying the needs and wants of the citizenry. Not for sale to customers competed for by capitalists. Citizens pay taxes not in money but in work-hours, and can do over-time work if they want a higher standard of living. In return, they automatically get certain basic needs like housing, basic food, medical care.

    Money is more like pocket money. You need to pay for things like beer, cigarettes or candy, not for the basics of life.

    The Soviet Union had a people’s economy BUT it had no democratic traditions or free press. Therefore the government was taken over by a numerical minority, and this elite gave selfish priority in determining what would be produced and distributed to its own agenda and vested interests.

    In the USSR, socialism got perverted by big government, and in the USA democracy gets perverted by big business. True democracy and true socialism: you cannot have either without the other.

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    I actually think you blasted your own argument to smithereens by so distancing yourself from Europe. You are left with a 100% record: of total failure, and total totalitarian tyranny, in the countries that employed socialism that remain. And you are left assuring us that THIS time, unlike the USSR, unlike Nazi Germany, unlike fascist Italy, unlike China, unlike North Korea, unlike Cuba, unlike North Vietnam, unlike Cambodia, unlike the bloodied and ruined countries that have tried socialism again and again only to pay horrifyingly for having done so, THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT.

    Yes, over 100 million human beings were murdered by their own governments during peacetime. But they just did something wrong. This time we’ll be better.

    This time, unlike every single other time, our leaders will be good. And they won’t abuse power. Because power won’t corrupt if “good” socialists are in charge unlike ALL THOSE OTHER TIMES when “bad” socialists were in charge. Yes, every other utopia failed in a horror of warfare and genocide and totalitarianism and tyranny and the crushing of the human spirit; but this time everything will be different.

    Did the American founders derive democracy from the Greeks? Absolutely not. Alexander Hamilton wrote that it would be “as ridiculous to seek for models in the simple ages of Greece and Rome as it would to go in quest of them among the Hottentrots and Laplanders.” The Federalist Papers tell us that the classical idea of liberty decreed “to the same citizens the hemlock on one day and statues on the next…. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would have still been a mob.” While the ancient Greeks had direct democracy, supported by large-scale slavery, the American founders gave us something very different: representative democracy, with full citizenship and the “franchise” extended in principle to all (even though it took the Civil War to officially do so). So you have no right or reason to go to “mob rule” Greek democracy to justify your socialism to me.

    Your last sentence well sums up how profoundly you actually misunderstand democracy: “True democracy and true socialism: you cannot have either without the other.” Because our founding fathers – who created the first truly stable democracy in human history – DID understand the democracy they brought mankind. And socialism most definitely was NOT part of the government they gave us. What you simply do not understand is that socialism is the surrender of individual sovereignty for the sake of the collective. And that idea was anathema to the founders of democracy. They were men who went to war with the mightiest nation in the history of the world at the time in order to refuse the slightest imposition upon their liberty. Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty” – personal liberty – “or give me death.” They said things like, “Better to starve free than to die a fat slave.” And they would have been every bit as determined to throw off the shackles of your socialism as they were to throw off the shackles of their king.

    I would suggest – if you actually want to understand the essence of American democracy as our American founding fathers intended – that you read Constitutional scholar Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny.”

  9. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Michael, you sound as if you are motivated by blind hatred of anything smacking of what you consider socialism, rather than a desire to learn and teach simultaneously. You insist that the taxation-based services in Britain, Denmark or other European welfare states was i fact socialism. Yet you also declare vehemently that economic socialism inevitably leads to a totalitarian regime.

    Kindly tell us when British or Danish persons were arbitrarily shot or sent to gulags for daring to criticize Harold Wilson, or his counterpart in Copenhagen. Were Great Britain, Sweden or Denmark ever totalitarian dictatorships where citizens were not free to emigrate? Or forced into labor camps?

    You keep mentioning our Founding Fathers. Agreed, they did much that was great. Yet whether by omission or by comission, they left untouched the issue of slavery, and that led to a bloody civil war. Only recently since the Civil Rights movement did black Americans really achieve liberty and equality.

    Every culture has its Big Lie, its buttressing myth. In the Soviet Union it was the lie that the revolution had abolished inequality. What is America’s Big Lie? Simply put, the Pledge of Allegiance schoolkids recite every morning. Far from being “one nation under God,” we are more like two enemy nationalities under one flag.

    I can see you smirking that I can say this when we recently elected our first black president. For the moment, that makes it look like our country has put its ancient hates into the past. Yet if tomorrow a white bigot assassinates him, and blacks are convinced that he was killed because “whitey” simply won’t tolerate a black president, the whole nation would likely erupt, coast to coast, with race rioting.

    Remember Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict? That could be the whole nation if anything happens to Obama. The real menace to America’s well-being is not “creeping socialism” but the issue that simply won’t go away: RACE.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    As I already told you, when YOU took “European-style socialism” off the table, it was YOU who left behind only failed and utterly evil regimes. Your exact words:

    So-called “socialism” in western European nations was anything but.

    Please don’t now try to blame ME for your having taking European nations out of your “socialist” arsenal and then try to smuggle them back in. Your first two paragraphs do precisely that. But you’re not going to get to get away with that here. You yourself said that “so-called “socialism” in western European nations was anything but.” So sorry, but you yourself ruled that Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark fail to qualify as socialist. And since they are not socialists by your own definition, you don’t get to cite them as examples of socialism and say, “See, socialists aren’t that bad after all.”

    No. You get the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. You get the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. You get the People’s Republics of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In short, you get the socialists you left yourself.

    If you think I’ve got a problem for having a “blind hatred” of some of the most murderous and tyrannous regimes in human history, what can I say? Guilty as charged.

    The American founding fathers understood that slavery was a contradiction of the nation they founded and the Constitution and Declaration of Independence which they founded it upon. What you don’t realize is that they were in an impossible bind; they either created a great nation that had slavery for a time, or they could not create a nation at all. The southern states would not ratify a Constitution that banned slavery. That is a fact. What the founding fathers did was the wisest and most practical solution: they created a nation whose principles would necessarily come to condemn slavery as time passed. And although it eventually took a terrible war, that is precisely what happened.

    I would also profoundly disagree with you on your “Big Lie” description of the US. For most of our history, we have truly been united, and that is what enabled us to become the greatest and mightiest nation in the history of the world. As for racism, the United States is but one of virtually all nations that has suffered from it. Russia annihilated most of its aboriginal people during the course of the 20th century; Chinese and Japanese have long histories of their own of being racist and closed to other peoples. The Arab countries literally KILL anybody who tries to bring anything different to them. And most other nations don’t have to struggle with racism to any meaningful degree simply because other racial groups don’t want to go to those countries. How many countries allowed the kind immigration that the US did??? We’ve allowed untold millions of people to come here from all over the world. Did your Russia do that? No, they built a damn terrible wall to keep their own people IN. I sure don’t see people clambering to enter North Korea. And how many Americans are getting in boats to try to get to Cuba?

    I don’t see how the United States has anything to apologize to your socialist countries about over “racism.” Or anything else.

    Unlike you (and I don’t know where you come from or what you’ve claimed to see in America), I don’t see racial differences being the thing that keeps us at each others’ throats now. I get along FINE with all my black friends, thank you; and they with me. And when I walk around, I don’t see whites at blacks’ throats or blacks at whites’ throats; and I see both races and many others nearly every single day. Rather, I see the difference that is crushing at us being political differences – of left versus right, liberal versus conservative, secular/atheist versus traditional/religious. If and when we truly fight over differences, it will be over political differences, not racist differences.

    I can’t disagree that your socialism would easily solve these differences – by putting everyone on the conservative side into gulags as ‘political dissenters’ who need “re-education.” That’s how they’ve always resolved such problems.

    You argued to me that the Europeans didn’t qualify as “socialists.” So they’re off the table. You have argued that the USSR and the Nazis and the other communist and socialist countries somehow went deeply and fundamentally wrong. So apparently they’re off your table as well. All you have left is the same damn meaningless promise of socialist Utopia that we have been hearing since Karl Marx promised the first one. I’m not interested in trying to refute fairy tales presented as reality.

    I say again, the American founding fathers didn’t create a perfect nation. There is no such thing under heaven. But what they DID create was the greatest, mightiest, and most stable society/nation in the last 200 years.

  11. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Fair enough, we are the best country in the world. But America’s greatness is ulitmately rooted in its people, not in its dollar. When big bucks come to rule everything, and people become appendages to the Almighty Dollar, liberty is compromised or jeopardized.

    Furthermore, though I basically love and support Obama, that doesn’t mean I’m going to yes-yes everything he does. I am sceptical about his stimulus package for one simple reason: productivity has been shipped overseas by greedbags, as foreign labor is cheaper.

    America’s strength came from its once legendary ability to produce. Until we bring manufacturing back stateside, and give Americans decent jobs, all the fiddling around will be just rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

    Nobody is going to put conservatives into “re-education” camps any more than anyone is going to put me into an internment or concentration camp. As a conservative, you surely respect Maggie Thatcher, right? Well she once warned the British nation that they simply could not continue merrily consuming wealth without producing wealth.

    Everything we buy is made in China or wherever. Stop supporting slave labor in China, and start supporting American labor at home.

  12. Michael Eden Says:

    It may or may not surprise you that I agree with virtually everything you said.

    Oh, there are things I would “fine-tune” more than quibble with. For example, when you say, “America’s greatness is ultimately rooted in its people, not in its dollar,” I would say, “I don’t think America’s greatness is rooted in either its people or its dollar.” I say that because, as a nation of immigrants, our “people” have come from all over. There’s nothing ontologically superior about the people. It is rather the American Constitution, the greatness of the system envisioned by our founding fathers, that made this a great country.

    But, I would also argue that we owe much of our greatness to the fact that – as John Adams described us – we are a “moral and religious” people compared to the rest of the world. We have been, and still are, the most profoundly Christian country in the world. And the more moral and religious a people are, the fewer the laws they need, the less governing and therefore the less restriction. And we have been free to pursue better things.

    “The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor…and this alone, that renders us invincible.” – Patrick Henry, Letter to Archibald Blair, January 8, 1789

    “…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
    – George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

    So, in THAT sense, I guess I DO agree with your statement about “America’s greatness” being “rooted in its people.”

    Obviously, as a conservative, I’m hardly “pro-Obama.” But regardless of whether you are liberal or conservative, one should never give “knee-jerk” support to a political leader (or any other kind of human leader, for that matter). So I applaud your skepticism. I don’t want Democrats to get too much power. But as a conservative who puts principles over power, I don’t want Republicans to get too much power, either. I want a Constitutionally-faithful government. And when either Republicans or Democrats move away from that, I oppose them.

    I believe that we are in a terrible crisis because no nation can “spend” its way out of massive debt. We must PRODUCE our way out. And in order to do that, we MUST re-establish our domestic manufacturing base. We can most definitely agree on that. We would probably immediately begin to disagree HOW to regain a manufacturing base, but we can surely agree that we dearly, dearly need one.

    And I also agree with you that China is no friend of ours. China is our enemy. We are not shooting at each other (and I hope we don’t start), but China is not just our competitor – it is a country which has a fundamentally different vision for the world than we have. Making them “most favored nation” and allowing them to sell goods to us at a massive trade deficit is a bad thing.

    I believe in free trade. But when the US government negotiates these “treaties” with China (or NAFTA, or whatever), trade is not “free.” There are ALL kinds of strings attached. So I’m a “free market” person who doesn’t see a “free market” under the current system.

    One thing that frightens me is the proposition that there are powerful forces out there that would like to create out of the US and Mexico a similar system to China; namely, a centrally-directed state that takes advantage of a cheap labor pool harnessed with a “technical elite” to create the next “utopia.” Call me crazy, but to the extent that people say, “Look what they’re doing in China!” there will always be people who say, “Why can’t we do that here?”

  13. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    I am delighted that you agree with much of what I said (and yes, surprised,too) because I always believe in being a loyal American first, and a democratic socialist after. I pforoundly disagree that Christianity has been the wellspring of America’s greatness. Christianity in American history has too often been the source of narrow-mindedness, intolerance and reaction.

    I too love and revere the Constitution, and would risk my neck to defend it and the USA. But the Constitution is a living, organic document that evolves and pulsates. I agree with the late Justice Brennan that the only correct way to interpret it is as modern Americans. I don’t care about the “original intent” of the Founding Fathers.

    Yes, China is our “frenemy,” an enemy with a friendly face. But its revolution was bound to go sour for the same reason all previous Marxist revolutions did. Mao made the mistake of thinking he could disregard the laws of History and use peasantry instead of industrial workers to effect change. A revolutionary can no more re-write the processes by which History operates and evolves than a physicist can re-decree how gravity operates, or how the atom’s electrons revolve around its nucleus.

    Marx was not a philosopher or a teacher of ideals who came up with his own ideas. He was a scientist who discovered how History operates and civilizations evolve. He merely came up with terms for them like “proletariat” or whatever.

    Mao died believing he had established a socialist society. What he really had done was merely to re-distribute scarcity. Only a developed society can generate regular surpus, and surplus enables society to supply all its members with enough. Sharing scarcity equitably necessitates a culture of self-restraint, moralism, constant preaching of social virtue.

    The people naturally got fed up with everything being run like some Sunday school. Once Mao died, pent-up desires for fun and personal gratification resurfaced, and Cina swung to the other extreme.

    Socialism cannot last long on slogans and ideology. Ultimately, it can only survive on PRODUCTIVITY. In a competitive capitalist economy, surplus leads to depressed prices and a crisis of over-production. But in a people’s democratic economy, it would just mean that all citizens could receive up to so much of that commodity for free.

  14. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m just going to focus on your anti-religious comments and the American experiment:

    Let me start with the words and meaning of George Washington in his Farewell Address:

    What are the foundations of America? After 45 years of public service, George Washington, our greatest patriot and the father of our country, gives his farewell address. He says, ‘We need to remember what brought us here. We need to remember what made us different from all the other nations across Europe and the rest of the world. We have to remember what our foundations are.’ It was the road map, showing us how we’d become what we were, and how to preserve it. It has long been considered the most important address ever given by any US president. President Lincoln set aside an entire day for the entire Union Army and had them read and understand it. Woodrow Wilson did the same during WWI. But we haven’t studied it in schools for over 45 years, so your lack of understanding is understandable. Washington said:

    “Of all the habits and dispositions which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” — George Washington, Farewell Address

    If you want your politics to prosper, the two things you will not separate will be religion and morality. If you want your government to work well, if you want American exceptionalism, if you want the government to do right, if you want all this, then you won’t separate religion and morality from political life. And America’s greatest patriot gave a litmus test for patriotism. He says in the very next sentence (immediately continuing from the quote above):

    “In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.” — George Washington

    Washington says, Anyone who would try to remove religion and morality from public life, I won’t allow them to call themselves a patriot. Because they are trying to destroy the country.

    And he wasn’t alone. I can well understand why you would throw out the wisest and most brilliant political geniuses who ever lived. I can understand because George Washington wouldn’t have even have allowed you to call yourself “a patriot” in his presence. What they wrote, what they thought, what they believed, utterly refute you. But it was THESE men, and not Marx, or Mao, or any other socialist, who devised the greatest political system the world has ever seen.

    Statements by our founding fathers (who presumably understood what the Constitution that they themselves wrote and ratified meant better than Justice Brennan) announcing their religious beliefs, and stating the profound impact those beliefs had in their founding of the United States of America:

    “We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    – John Adams

    “…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” – George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

    “Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness.” – Samuel Adams, Letter to John Trumbull, October 16, 1778

    “The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor…and this alone, that renders us invincible.” – Patrick Henry, Letter to Archibald Blair, January 8, 1789

    “Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” — Charles Carroll (signer of the Constitution), Letter to James McHenry,November 4, 1800

    “Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.” – Life of Gouverneur Morris, Vol III

    “Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity…in short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.“ – Samuel Adams, Letter to John Adams, October 4, 1790

    “In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.” — Benjamin Rush, “A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book”, 1798

    “In my view, the Christian Religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
    – Noah Webster, Reply to David McClure, Oct. 25, 1836

    “Information to those who would remove (or move) to America”: “To this may be truly added, that serious Religion under its various Denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there, Infidelity rare & secret, so that Persons may live to a great Age in that Country without having their Piety shock’d by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his Approbation of the mutual Forbearance and Kindness with which the different Sects treat each other, by the remarkable Prosperity with which he has been pleased to favour the whole Country.” — Ben Franklin, 1787 pamphlet to Europeans

    “Independent of its connection with human destiny hereafter, the fate of republican government is indissolubly bound up with the fate of the Christian religion, and a people who reject its holy faith will find themselves the slaves of their own evil passions and of arbitrary power.” — Lewis Cass, A Brigadier-General in the War of 1812, Governor of the Michigan Territory, a Secretary of War, a Senator, a Secretary of State. The State of Michigan placed his statue in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

    “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” – “Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have exited thro’ all the 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.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…”
    – George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

    “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”
    – John Adams, Letter of June 21, 1776

    “It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.” — George Washington

    “So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have exited thro’ all the 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.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.” — Abraham Lincoln

    “History will also afford the frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.” — Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1749), p. 2

    “I know, sir, how well it becomes a liberal man and a Christian to forget and forgive. As individuals professing a holy religion, it is our bounden duty to forgive injuries done us as individuals. But when the character of Christian you add the character of patriot, you are in a different situation. Our mild and holy system of religion inculcates an admirable maxim of forbearance. If your enemy smite one cheek, turn the other to him. But you must stop there. You cannot apply this to your country. As members of a social community, this maxim does not apply to you. When you consider injuries done to your country your political duty tells you of vengeance. Forgive as a private man, but never forgive public injuries. Observations of this nature are exceedingly unpleasant, but it is my duty to use them.” — Patrick Henry, from a courtroom speech, Wirt Henry’s, Life, vol. III, pp. 606-607.

    “Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and, indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast.” — Patrick Henry, 1796 letter to daughter, S. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry (Auburn: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1854), p. 250.

    “This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.” — Patrick Henry, From a copy of Henry’s Last Will and Testament obtained from Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill, Brookneal, VA.

    “It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being.” — George Washington, James K. Paulding, A Life of Washington (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835), Vol. II, p. 209.

    “While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.” — James Madison, James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance (Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1786). This can be found in numerous documentary histories and other resources.

    “Waiving the rights of conscience, not included in the surrender implied by the social state, & more or less invaded by all Religious establishments, the simple question to be decided, is whether a support of the best & purest religion, the Christian religion itself ought not, so far at least as pecuniary means are involved, to be provided for by the Government, rather than be left to the voluntary provisions of those who profess it.” — James Madison, Religion and Politics in the Early Republic: Jasper Adams and the Church-State Debate, Daniel L. Dreisbach, ed. (Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), p. 117.

    “The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” — George Washington, 1778, upon seeing the divine hand in the Revolution against the greatest military in the world.

    “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” — Holy Trinity v. U. S. (Supreme Court) (inaccurate confirmed! — Richmond v. Moore, Illinois Supreme Court, 1883)

    “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” — Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren dated February 12, 1779

    “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulties.” — Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address

    “I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for ‘there is no salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12). If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ – if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness – you must perish forever.” — John Witherspoon, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

    “I am a Christian. I believe only in the Scriptures, and in Jesus Christ my Savior.” — Charles Thomson, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence

    “My only hope of salvation is in the infinite transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come Lord Jesus! Come quickly!” — Dr. Benjamin Rush, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Benjamin Rush, John Adams said, was one of the three most notable founding fathers along with George Washington and Ben Franklin. Benjamin Rush was the founder of five universities (three of which are still active today); he was the father of public schools under the American Constitution; he was also the leader of the civil rights movement, the founder of the first abolitionist society in America, the founder of the first black denomination in America, served in 3 presidential administrations, is called the father of American medicine, and 3,000 American physicians bore his signature on their diplomas, started the American College of Physicians, founded the first prison ministry, and started the Sunday School movement in America, started the very first Bible Society in America, etc.

    “I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.” — Samual Adams

    “An eloquent preacher of your religious society, Richard Motte, in a discourse of much emotion and pathos, is said to have exclaimed aloud to his congregation, that he did not believe there was a Quaker, Presbyterian, Methodist or Baptist in heaven, having paused to give his hearers time to stare and to wonder. He added, that in heaven, God knew no distinctions, but considered all good men as his children, and as brethren of the same family. I believe, with the Quaker preacher, that he who steadily observes those moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven, as to the dogmas in which they all differ. That on entering there, all these are left behind us, and the Aristides and Catos, the Penns and Tillotsons, Presbyterians and Baptists, will find themselves united in all principles which are in concert with the reason of the supreme mind. Of all the systems of morality, ancient and modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.” — Thomas Jefferson, “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson,” Albert Ellery Bergh, ed. (Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, pp.377-78, letter to William Canby on September 18, 1813.

    “To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others.” — Thomas Jefferson, Bergh, “Writings of Jefferson,” Vol. X, p.380, letter to Benjamin Rush on April 21, 1803.

    “But the greatest of all the reformers of the depraved religion of His own country, was Jesus of Nazareth.” — Thomas Jefferson, Bergh, Writings of Jefferson, Vol. XIV, p.220, letter to William Short on October 31, 1819.

    “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” — John Quincy Adams, 1837 speech

    “Why is it that, next to the birth day of the Saviour of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [July 4th]? . . . Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birth-day of the Saviour? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity. . ?” — John Quincy Adams, John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at Their Request, on the Sixty-first Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), p. 5.

    “History will also afford the frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition, &c. and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.” — Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1749), p. 22.

    “We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better that the builders of Babel.” — Benjamin Franklin, appeal for prayer at Constitutional Convention, as cited by James Madison, The Papers of James Madison, Henry D. Gilpin, ed. (Washington: Langtree & O’Sullivan, 1840), Vol. II, p. 985.

    “God commands all men everywhere to repent. He also commands them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and has assured us that all who do repent and believe shall be saved.” — Roger Sherman.

    “God has promised to bestow eternal blessings on all those who are willing to accept Him on the terms of the Gospel – that is, in a way of free grace through the atonement. — Roger Sherman. Sherman was the ONLY founding father who signed all four founding documents (the Declaration, the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Articles of Association). He is called “the master builder of the Constitution.” He came up with the bi-cabinal system with the House and Senate. He was a framer of the Bill of Rights. And he was also a theologian who got George Washington to announce the first federal Day of Thanksgiving proclamation, going through the Scriptures to show why we should do so. He was also a long-term member of Congress. A newspaper article on him (the Globe) dated 1837 quotes, “The volume which he consulted more than any other was the Bible. It was his custom, at the commencement of every session of Congress, to purchase a copy of the Scriptures to puruse it daily, and to present it to one of his children on his return.” He had 15 children.

    “The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in His truth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Ghost.” — John Adams

    “There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government – but what is administered by the Holy Ghost.” — John Adams

    “There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or, in more orthodox words, damnation.” — John Adams (And Abigail Adams was the REAL Bible thumper, telling son John Quincy Adams, “You know how I’ve raised you. You know how you’ve been raised in church, how you’ve been taught the Scriptures, how you’ve been taught morality. She tells him that if he’s going to go to France and give up his faith, that the Lord seek him out and drown him to prevent that from happening).

    “I am grateful to Almighty God for the blessings which, through Jesus Christ our Lord, He has conferred on my beloved country.” — Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration and framer of the Bill of Rights. He was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, dying at the age of 95 years.

    At the age of 89 (in 1825), he wrote, “On the mercy of my Redeemer, I rely for salvation, and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.” — Charles Carroll

    “Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the Christian religion…. [T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles…. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” — Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 300, Sec. 578.

    And, of course, there is the assessment of de Tocqueville:

    “Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

    In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

    The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

    There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor.

    Upon 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 did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
    — Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337, respectively.

    As to your socialism, de Tocquevelle wrote:

    “Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances; what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

  15. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Whatever outstanding Americans said or believed in the 1700’s or 1800’s is no refutation of whatever I said. Big deal, so George Washington said that morality is not possible without religion. Just because I appreciate that he spearheaded the military efforts against the redcoats doesn’t mean I care for his views on religion.

    Many of the Founding Fathers you constantly bring up were not even Christians. Men like Jefferson, Franklin and Tom Paine were Deists. Forget the Founding Fathers when dealing with today’s issues. The Constitution that they gave us has evolved into something quite different since then.

    I care what Americans today think. I am not interested in what men who died when even my grandfather was not yet born believed.

  16. Michael Eden Says:

    Actually, one of the quotes that you probably didn’t bother to read has Thomas Jefferson specifically declaring his Christianity. And I have numerous quotes from Thomas Jefferson on display. Quotes by Benjamin Franklin abound – clearly attesting to his FERVENT commitment to the need for not only religious but specifically Christian religion as a necessary and fundamental support for the country being founded. I would further point out to you that Thomas Paine was NOT a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and he was also not a delegate to the Constitutional convention. So that kind of blows a gigantic hole in your thesis.

    You show the portrait of the Declaration of Independence signing, and it’s funny that people have been trained to be able to pick out the two least religious founding fathers (Franklin and Jefferson – notwithstanding Jefferson’s profession of Christianity he was not as devoutly Christian as the rest). And then we’re assured that the rest of them are just as irreligious. But of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 54 were confessed Christians and members of Christian churches. 29 of them had seminary degrees and were ordained ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not bad for a bunch of atheists and deists. No one would ever have thought this was a secular nation in the past because Americans knew their history. An 1848 book used in public school for generations entitled, “Lives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.” And in public schools for years children learned the faith and character of their founding fathers.

    And again, everything they believed was an anathema to what you believe.

    And that says something. Because what you say, what you think, what you believe, fundamentally doesn’t work – and never HAS worked. And what they said, what they thought, and what they believed, has stood in irrefutable proof of their wisdom.

    Your argument is this: the Constitution has “evolved” into whatever the hell anybody wants it to mean. It is intrinsically meaningless. We might as well have a telephone directory as our Constitution, so that scholars in voodoo-fashion could discern “penumbras and emanations” wherever they wished.

    Let’s take a look at the Declaration of Independence:

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Your atheistic socialism has never worked and never will work because you fundamentally deny the SOURCE of the rights you claim: an objective, transcendent Creator God who created man with these fundamental rights. You have never had, and never will have, anything concrete or objective by which to secure the rights that our founding fathers’ secured. Furthermore, you would do to any such transcendent/objective rights exactly what you want to do to the Constitution itself: make them mean whatever the hell you – or the next dictator/tyrant on the block – WANTS them to mean. And that is why your God-denying socialism has produced one despot and one nightmare after another, and why it always WILL.

    Because what socialists ultimately pursue is power over people’s lives. And so long as leftists hold it, principles will not matter And even if there WERE any “binding” principles they would invariably be blurred into meaninglessness by “penumbras and emanations” to suit the will of the next dictator. That is tyranny every single time.

    And that is why George Washington would be kicking your butt across the floor as he shouted, “YOU ARE NO PATRIOT!”

    You instead argue for a system of government that has NEVER worked and never will. I will tilt at the government handed down by my founding fathers and leave you to tilt at your godless socialist windmills.

  17. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Then just forget further discussion if you start teeing off at anyone who refuses to agree with you. Your attitude is the hallmark of fascism, and your intolerance on religious views smacks of a bit of Taliban.

    If you can’t disagree without person-to-person rudeness, you are not worth bothering with.

  18. Michael Eden Says:

    You have been arguing under the thesis that having no actual facts means you can’t lose because its harder to attack fuzziness. Now you think that accusing the other side of being mean is the path to victory.

    The fact that I allow even silly people to express themselves, while the left is actively plotting “Fairness Doctrine” takeovers to suppress them – and more recently trying to impose the same result with a different legislation – make it rather hard for you to sustain your “I’m a fascist” charge. The last time I checked, being rude is not nice, but that hardly means that it’s “fascist.” I would further submit that 1) fascism is a and always has been a leftist political ideology (it is the “right” of the extreme far left), rather than a “rightwing” one; 2) since I accurately presented and shared in the religious views of the American founding fathers, you have just accused them of being “Taliban fascists” (especially George Washington, giving him even MORE reason to kick your butt across the room) right along with me; and 3) you continue in a now decades-old movement to portray American religious conservatives as “fascists” as an attacking pejorative rather than as any legitimate use of the term. Nothing new here.

    Further, we’ve had a rather interesting go-around with your “describing” your brand of socialism, but disavowing the socialism in Europe (if I may again direct attention to your earlier statement, “So-called “socialism” in western European nations was anything but“), and then disavowing the socialism of communism and fascism. Basically you seem to prefer a “Rainbow-Unicorn” model of socialism, a utopia which never has and never will exist in the real world. Frankly, your disconnect with reality, and your inability to actually identify a model of socialism that you will actually affirm, has driven me a little nuts. And I get a little mean when I’m driven nuts.

    You also have an interesting way of describing religious conservatives as “Taliban fascists” when you’ve got a rather GIANT log in your atheist eye. For the recordstate atheism + socialism = totalitarian genocidal murder. Your system has a 100% batting record, champ. Every single time atheism and socialism has ever been tried, in every single case, it has resulted in totalitarianism, mass murder, and the destruction of the human spirit. Meanwhile, my “Taliban fascism” has liberated untold millions from the very socialist domination that your model would invariably impose.

    Even when America has been accused of unjustified killing – such as Vietnam – communist socialism proceeded to murder so many innocent people after we left (THREE MILLION) that we become heroes over socialism even at our very worst.

    So you go ahead and keep dreaming on about the evils of Christianity, but you will never contemplate the over 100 million people murdered in peacetime by their own socialist governments.

    When you went from your “Rainbow-Unicorn” fairy tale utopian socialism to the godless socialism of the communists, you turned to salute the ugliest direction in human history.

    As I said earlier, you have struck me as a decent guy with good intentions. But in your massive naivete, you refuse to wake up and realize how truly vile and truly terrible the ramifications of the form of government you are seeking have produced over and over again.

  19. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    I am not an atheist. I am a Deist, like Voltaire and Tom Paine. And just because I respect Karl Marx doesn’t mean I just nod yes-yes to anything he said. Karl Marx was a prophet, subconsciously getting his revelations from the same Higher Power whose existence he rejected. The message could have gotten distorted inside the messenger’s head, but that vehemently does not mean it was all nonsense.

    Religion is a science, and human knowledge and understanding of spiritual phenomena is always changing and evolving. Moreover, I am not a true Marxist, because a true Marxist is a materialist. He believes that matter is the ultimate reality, and that no such thing as spirit exists.

    I am a Vedantist and a dialectical mayist rather than a dialectical materialist. Maya literally means illusion in Sanskrit, but in eastern metaphysics it means much more. Bear with me, because just as Marx’s view of the universe had its roots in Hegel’s philosophy and the concept of the dialectic, mine has its roots in Hindu-Buddhist philosophy and metaphysics.

    You see, in Indian religion they don’t believe that God created the universe. God became the universe, which is why New Agers sometimes use the term “Universe” with a capital u to mean God. The cosmos, with all its galaxies, dark matters, quasars, energy, black holes and whatever is God’s body. And much as radar turns into sonar under water, Mother Nature is really God’s power operating on the material plane of existence.

    God is not a personal god, but an impartial Force that operates the universe by due process of law. Since Indian metaphysics believe matter to be essentially God’s spirit at a cruder level of vibration, it is parts of His body.

    Marx believed that matter is what reality is made of, and the dialectical process explains the way matters interacts and operates. I also believe that, but with a key difference. The term “maya” means that duality is illusion, and only God is real beneath the illusion. So the universe consists of dialectical godstuff, if you will.

    I am not against any and all forms of Christianity. I was educated and kindly treated by the Holy Ghost Fathers in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and have the deepest respect for the humanitarian work of the Catholic Church. In my teens, when I briefly lived as a student in London, England, I was deeply influenced by the writings of Norman Vincent Peale. In my early twenties I journeyed to India, land of my ancestors, and spent time in monasteries. At that time, I had hopes of someday becoming a swami in the Ramakrishna Vedanta Mission.

    I am hardly an atheist, but that does not mean that there is anything wrong in being one. Sir Bertrand Russell worked so diligently for human benefit. America is basically a Christian civilization, and I chose to come here.

    But I hold a deep mistrust of fundamentalist varieties in whichever religious tradition, exactly analogous to the mistrust you have of Obama and the term “socialism.” Be it Islamic jihadists, bible-thumping evangelists in the West, Hindu nationalists in India or right-wing Jews in Israel, religious fundamentalism can too easily lend itself to fascistic tendencies and the negation of democratic principles and processes.

    I respect rational and moderate faith, and in my own freethinking way, I have deep faith and a relationship with a Higher Power. But when people start using religion to meddle in government, or to legislate bulls—– morality into people’s private lives, fascism may too easily lurk around the corner.

  20. Michael Eden Says:

    That was a truly interesting read, Vivek.
    The Deists (and that would mean Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin) of the founding fathers still identified their Deism within a genuine Judeo-Christian framework. They thought in the same terms and had the same basic concepts. In the case of Franklin (as I substantiated in my quotes of him), he believed in the importance and necessity of religion to ground our moral views. And deists believed in the Creator God, in the Imago Dei, and in other necessary elements to ground human morality.

    I haven’t heard the phrase “religion is a science” before. I DO accept that theology is a science, because one is attempting to discover the real world, and the real doctrines of the real world. In particular, I believe that if one is not pursuing true religion, he cannot possibly understand the world as it really is. I also believe that some otherwise very intelligent people literally “will themselves stupid,” refusing to see the world as it really is.

    I would say this: when you say, “I respect rational and moderate faith” … “in my own freethinking way,” you unconsciously become as dogmatic as the people you view as being different. How? The thing that makes the “irrational” and “fanatic” faith what it is is the belief that they are right and everyone else is wrong. But clearly, you are thinking you are right (your faith is “rational,” “moderate,” and “freethinking”), after all, and that they are wrong. If everyone were as knowledgeable as you, or as sensitive as you, they would think like you. You are just as “narrow-minded” as they are, but you won’t acknowledge it.

    It’s that whole discussion:
    “You’re judgmental.”
    “Is it wrong to be judgmental?”
    “Of course.”
    “Than why are you judging me?”
    And then it always comes, “I’m not judging you.” When you very clearly are.

    You twice identified the word “fascist” with “fundamentalist.” In the case of Christianity, you were massively wrong in at least one MAJOR case. Our founding fathers, for the most part, were “fundamentalist Christians.”

    On Religious Clauses in State Constitutions (and see also here), proving that religion, Christianity, the Bible, and our founders’ understanding of the Constitution are entirely compatible.

    Early charters and compacts that provided the Christian religious foundation for our government.

    – We also find out that 106 of the first 108 universities founded in the United States were founded as Christian institutions dedicated to the Bible and the spread of the Gospel. And quite a few of these were state institutions. We also find that the Bible was literally the first textbook.

    – Some key examples:
    “Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”
    – Harvard’s Rules and Precepts, 1636

    “Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the Cross of Christ”
    – Princeton’s Founding Statement, 1746

    Further, after the Revolutionary War ended, do you know what the VERY FIRST book Congress authorized for printing was? The first English language Bible printed in America (1782) resulted from the Revolution. The King of England had decreed that no English-language colony could print a Bible in English. Bibles had been printed in Indian dialects, in Russian, French, German, etc. But not in English. But having defeated the English at Yorktown, within JUST ONE month, plans advanced to print the first English Bible. Eleven months after Yorktown, that Bible rolled off the presses. 20,000 copies were produced. It’s called “The Bible of the American Revolution.” It says, “Resolved that the United States in Congress… recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States.”

    Do you know WHO printed it? The Congress of the United States printed it!!! Why would they do that? They tell us, both on the Bible itself and in the records of Congress: “A neat addition of the Holy Scriptures for the use in our schools.” But wait a minute: today we’re routinely told that the founding fathers didn’t want the Bible in schools!!!

    The greatest system of republican and democratic government ever instituted was instituted by a bunch of Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christians. And, yes, CHRISTIANS. Deists and Deism had very little influence given the massive majority of Christians in the founders.

    Out of Judeo-Christianity the concept of having been created in the image of a personal creator God provides for the Imago Dei, the image of God in us. We are persons because God is personal; we are intelligent and conscious because HE is; we possess free moral will because HE does. These things were essential to our democratic republic; without them the Declaration of Independence makes no sense.

    And I would further argue that you can’t give what you don’t got. If God isn’t personal, and doesn’t possess these attributes, then neither do we. Which is ultimately exactly what leading materialist intellectuals today say. True personhood and free will, in particular, are routinely denied (I always marvel over how people who don’t believe we have free will try to argue that we shouldn’t believe in it, given the fact that on their view I can’t make a free willed decision to accept their thesis, anyway).

    It is no accident that Western Civilization, which for nearly two millennium was synonymous with “Christendom,” was the seat in the greatest freedom and the rise and development of science.

    And, of course, when you use the term “fascism,” you must consider also its cousin, Marxism, as both shared virtually all underlying presuppositions, and as both resulted in totalitarianism. It is obvious that “religious fundamentalism” was the very last idea in the Marxists’ minds.

    But what about the Nazis?

    The Nazis were to Christian religion what “flat earthers” are to science. They may attempt to justify themselves in “science,” and use “scientific observations” and “scientific theories” to justify their flat earth views. But in the end they have nothing to do with true science, and undermining and refuting them in no way undermines science.

    Mussolini, who was one of the more intellectual fascists (and certainly the most intellectual of the fascist leaders) was a very militant atheist. Moreover, he is often called “the father of Fascism,” so his view clearly carries much weight. Mussolini demanded that party members renounce religious marriage, baptism, and all other Christian rituals. He held that Christianity was inconsistent with socialism and that any socialist who practiced religion or even tolerated it in their children should be expelled from the party. One of his writings was the anti-Church book “Jan Hus the Truthful,” which lays out much of his socialist vitriol of monotheistic religion and Christianity in particular. It laid the seeds for his fascism to come.

    The Nazis were hardly “friends” of Christianity. Nazi thinkers realized the obvious fact that many Germans were ostensibly “Christian,” although by the 20th century German was the VERY LEAST Christian nation in Europe, and was the seat of historic-orthodox-denying schools of thought such as “Documentary Hypothesis,” which presented the Old Testament as nothing more than myths. Hitler liked the rituals of the Catholic church, because he saw in their grandiose display a means by which to unite and control the masses, but he was opposed to Protestant Christianity because it didn’t have anything that could help his propaganda and because Protestant intellectuals opposed him in large numbers. Hitler’s massive Nazi rituals were in fact a mimicking of the Catholic rites. What the Nazis did was create “the German Christian Movement” (also called “positive Christianity), which sought to subsume Christianity into German nationalism. One of the primary things they did was STRIP AWAY the “Jew” from Jesus. And that is no Christianity at all. What was left was a hollow shell that they used as a propaganda tool. Thousands of Protestant ministers/pastors were thrown into prison or into the death camps for resisting. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was among the more famous Christians who was killed for acting on his genuine Christian opposition to Hitler.

    As Hannah Arendt describes, when convicted Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows, “He was in complete command of himself, nay, he was more; he was completely himself. Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words. He began by stating emphatically that he was a Gottglaubiger, to express in common Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in life after death.” In her next sentence, she goes on to complete her thought, “He then proceeded: “After a short while, gentlemen, we shall meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany, long live Argentina, long live Austria. I shall not forget them.” In the face of death, he had found the cliché, used in funeral oratory. Under the gallows, his memory played him the last trick; he was ‘elated’ and he forgot this was his own funeral. It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us – the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil” (Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (New York: Viking Penguin, 1977), 252).

    So it is just incredibly wrong of you to make religion – and especially Christianity – to blame for fascism. Fundamentalist Christianity had nothing to do with fascism – and in point of fact it was fundamentalists like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who led the way in trying to stop Hitler. And Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg – portrayed in the recent movie “Valkyrie” and portrayed by Tom Cruise – was in fact a truly devout Catholic. It is in fact a monstrous insult to the heroic memory of both men (and countless like them) that you would warp the religion that motivated both men to stand up against Hitler as being the source of fascism.

    You earlier “scolded” me for my tone, but it is when you do things like associate “fascism” with religion because you are advancing the very worst kind of lie. And I’m going to come after you when you do that.

    Again, you betray your own “fundamentalism.” You are hostile to what you describe as “fundamentalist religion” – which you “deeply distrust” – and then demagogue it by assigning false associations. You despise the religious for “trying to legislate morality,” when EVERY law is SOMEBODY’S attempt to legislate morality. Every law is morality imposed: thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that. It is okay with you if secular humanists try to legislate morality (by imposing homosexuality on societies which NEVER embraced it before), but oh how DARE Christians do it. So please don’t ask me to view you as “open minded.” You are in fact quite close-minded toward me and my beliefs, while at the same time demanding I be “open minded” about you and yours.

    Genuine “tolerance” is NOT “respecting rational and moderate faith” (I’m not arguing here this is your point, rather, I am clarifying). Rather, it is respecting persons, and – while even vehemently rejecting their ideas – respecting their right as persons possessing free will and moral accountability to hold those ideas. Christianity has the intellectual and moral tools to provide for this form of genuine tolerance.

  21. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    It’s obvious that you and I will never see eye-to-eye. Nonetheless, your posts do make interesting reading. The true beauty of our long dialogues
    is that America makes it possible. Again, we will never agree as to what makes America great. You impute it to Christianity, whereas I impute it to the spirit of Reason transplanted here from the European Enlightenment era.

    By the way, consider that some Founding Fathers like Jefferson may have mouthed all those politically correct “Christian” comments because they needed political support. In Washington’s case it was from the heart. But much as Napoleon reached a Concordat with the Pope but was still a Deist at heart, one can question whether some really meant it.

    Go and ask the average young person in America today how often they give thought to your Founding Fathers. You might as well expect the average British person to be constantly thinking of William the Conqueror. The Revolution of 1776 indeed laid the foundations of America, but you talk as if were the overall structure.

  22. Michael Eden Says:

    Well, I’m glad you mention Europe, and I’m glad you mentioned Thomas Jefferson, because I’ve got a Jefferson quote about Europe:

    “The comparisons of our government with those of Europe are like a comparison of heaven and hell.” — Thomas Jefferson

    You see, there’s always been this movement to be like “sophisticated” Europe. Some say, “What they do with religion is pretty good. And what they do with government is pretty good. And what they do with civil rights is pretty good. And what they do with health care is pretty good.” And there’s this move to be more like Europe. In our Supreme Court liberal justices are quoting what Europe does in their law. In fact it’s the ONLY law they are willing to take in an objective sense (whereas they find penumbras and emanations in the US Constitution). Well, Thomas Jefferson pretty much put the kibosh on such crap.

    It’s also interesting that you resort to saying, “Oh, they said it, but they didn’t really MEAN it.” That’s a great way to do history. I’ll refer to original sources and original statements unless they happen to contradict what I want history to say – in which case I’ll ignore it and go ahead and just read my own biases into whatever the hell they blathered. And unfortunately you are by no means alone. That’s what too much of our “history” has become: biased liberals grinding their ideological axes as opposed to simply presenting the facts.

    I’ve got a gold-plated example for you: a book by the title of, “The Godless constitution: the case against religious correctness,” written by two Cornell professors Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore. There are literally thousands of original documents establishing the profound Christian heritage of our founding fathers. How can these professors claim that they were all atheists and agnostics and deists? Well, all you have to do is look at the back of the book for the footnotes establishing their sources. What sources do they have to document this claim? They have “A Note On Sources,” and say, “We have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes.” Which is another way of saying it isn’t “scholarly” at all. This is pure revisionism, a biased ideological hit piece that actually passes for “academic” because the people reviewing it and reading it are as full of crap as the authors. And here’s how it works: “We make claims. We don’t have to document them. We’ll just go around the media and say ‘America isn’t a Christian nation.’ And we’ll just keep saying that until everyone believes it.” And sadly, it works. So who needs footnotes or facts? Truth be damned.

    Our kids USED to be taught all about the founding fathers. I think somewhere above I linked to an 1848 book that was actually used in public school for generations entitled, “Lives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.” In public schools for YEARS children learned the faith and character of the signers. But now we have Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore as our teachers. And so the founding fathers can be damned to hell under revisionist history – and to the extent they even GET taught they are presented as “white men” and “racists” blah blah blah.

    In any event, you cited “European Enlightenment” and Jefferson, and I showed you what Jefferson thought about European “enlightenment.”

    The European “Enlightenment” is itself a term that shows bias. It was coined by the famous atheist Voltaire who presented the “Dark Ages” of Christianity against the “Enlightenment” of skepticism and atheism. It was naked propaganda; the “Dark Ages” really weren’t so “dark” and the “Enlightenment” really wasn’t so “enlightened.” Today, as Wikipedia points out, “The term “Dark Ages” is now rarely used in scholarship.” It is recognized to have been propagandistic pejorative. But there are always “intellectual” people who buy propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

    Rodney Stark has a great book entitled, “For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led To Reformations, Science, Witch Hunts, and the End of Slavery.” He doesn’t write as a Christian, but as a rare historian who actually DID look at original sources and kept his eyes open. Stark refers to A.D. White’s immense study, “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom.” Stark says, “When I was young, it was required reading for all budding intellectuals, and I cited it in my second published paper. Then he provides a host of examples of how truly full of crap it was. And he points out that specialists now KNOW it was full of crap. One example is White’s presentation that the Catholic Church didn’t believe the earth was round, when they DID know it was round, and in point of fact rightly believed it was bigger than Columbus thought it was. Stark recites the 15th century sources that confirm the Church’s knowledge of a round earth (which actually went back to the 8th century). And then he asks, “So why didn’t we know they knew? Why do only specialists now know?” And he answers, “For the same reason that White’s book remains influential despite the fact that modern historians of science dismiss it as nothing but a polemic – White HIMSELF admitted that he wrote the book to get even with Christian critics of his plans for Cornell” (page 122-123).

    Naked bias that passed for “academia” and “scholarship,” and which in some circles CONTINUES to do so even after being debunked as propaganda which was acknowledged by the author himself.

    Christianity was instrumental TO the “European Enlightenment era.” That era didn’t just happen out of the blue. The same Christianity that was the sole source of education and universities was also the sole source of science. Every single one of the major branches of science – including the scientific method itself – were discovered by publicly confessing Christian men. In point of fact, you wouldn’t HAVE your “enlightenment” if I didn’t have my Christianity.

    You ended by saying, “The Revolution of 1776 indeed laid the foundations of America, but you talk as if were the overall structure.”

    In point of fact, in my last comment above, I cited the state charters and compacts, the religious clauses in state constitutions, which proved the Christian heritage both BEFORE the founding fathers and AFTER them. And I provided you with LINKS to those sources. You could start with our nation’s FIRST document and read The Mayflower Compact. So you’re just wrong. There’s ALL KINDS of history showing that religion and Judeo-Christianity were an essential part of the “overall structure” of this country. Unfortunately, something that you yourself acknowledge – “The Revolution of 1776 indeed laid the foundations of America” – has for the most part been utterly dismissed and ignored by the American left. And now, we’ve just got our feet firmly planted in midair with nothing but “political correctness” to anchor us. And that is no anchor at all.

    I’ll end with this: the fact that we are debating – rather than one of us being stuck in jail – is ITSELF the result of the American experiment, which happened BECAUSE of Christianity rather than without it or in spite of it. To go a little further, it wasn’t “European enlightenment” that produce the freedom we have. Rather, our founding fathers had to FIGHT European “enlightenment” in order to CREATE such freedom.

  23. Vivek Golikeri Says:

    Keep on screaming, preaching, thumping. Neither of us will ever change the other. And if you feel so vehemently about Christianity, why didn’t you become a preacher? You might be in the wrong occupation with your politics!

  24. Michael Eden Says:

    That’s kind of interesting.

    You tell me I’ve been screaming, preaching, and thumping.

    Yet you’ve repeatedly asserted things that were either patently false, or lacked any substantiation whatsoever besides what was in your own mind, while I – in all my screaming, preaching, and thumping – have been painstakingly DOCUMENTING the facts of the matter.

    I present a host of facts that refute your claims, and ALL you can do is try to ridicule my presentation of them? Given that unwillingness/inability to deal with the facts, maybe you can start to understand why you get screamed at?

    I realize that politics and religion do INDEED mix, and that when people contemplate politics they are influenced by their religious views, and when people contemplate religion they are influenced by their political views. That is true of me, and it is most certainly true of you.

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