Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Independence’

Liberal Religions Forced To Confront The Dodo-Bird Effect Of Progressivism

April 18, 2011

There was a “Far Side” cartoon that makes all the more sense to me now.  A dinosaur was standing at the podium in front of a large auditorium full of dinosaurs.  And he was explaining, “We’re facing a serious crisis, gentlemen.  The world’s climates are changing, mammals are eating our eggs, and we have brains the size of a walnut.”

The religious side of liberalism is every bit as bankrupt as the political side, and the constantly shrinking membership bears that spiritual, moral and intellectual bankruptcy out.

I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times about liberal Judaism that brought out the fact that liberal “Judaism” was as much a Dodo bird as liberal “Christianity.”  During the same week I spoke to a “Catholic” I frequently chatted with who – after telling me he was a “radical liberal” who believed in abortion and socialized medicine – proceeded to tell me that he utterly rejected the virgin birth of Christ.  Which is of course a central defining belief of orthodox/traditional Catholicism.  And that prompted me to do some thinking about these so-called “mainline” liberal religious movements, and just how utterly meaningless they are.

I better nip one objection in the bud immediately, realizing as I do that many liberals either can’t read very well or can’t understand what they read.  The following article is about the astounding decline of “Conservative” Judaism.  But “conservative” here has nothing to do with politics or even with theology.  “Conservative Judaism” is every bit as liberal as any liberal mainline “Christian” denomination.  It embraces homosexuality; it embraces the notion that the Bible is basically a meaningless book that can be interpreted and then reinterpreted according to constantly changing societal norms.  Which is to say, Conservative Judaism ultimately stands for nothing, and isn’t “conserving” anything remotely important.

That said, “Conservative rabbis” met in Las Vegas to try to deal with a crisis: they are going extinct.  What came out of the meeting is all the more hilarious:

Leaders of Conservative Judaism press for change as movement’s numbers drop
Leading Conservative rabbis gather in Las Vegas to ‘rebrand’ the movement, but there is little agreement about how to draw people back into synagogues.
April 12, 2011|By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times

Three hundred rabbis walk into a Las Vegas martini lounge. Bartenders scramble to handle the crowd — the rabbis are thirsty. Suddenly, an Elvis impersonator takes the stage.

We are faced with two possibilities.

One, this is the beginning of a joke.

Two, they don’t make rabbis the way they used to.

The Rabbinical Assembly, the clerical arm of Conservative Judaism, would have you believe the second message, or something like it. That’s why it launched its 2011 convention with a martini reception at a Las Vegas synagogue. The gathering was billed as an attempt to “rebrand” the Conservative movement, which has seen alarming declines in membership in recent years.

“We are in deep trouble,” Rabbi Edward Feinstein of congregation Valley Beth Shalom in Encino told the convention the next day. “There isn’t a single demographic that is encouraging for the future of Conservative Judaism. Not one.”

Those words could apply equally to a number of U.S. religious denominations, especially liberal Protestant and Jewish faiths. Membership is falling; churches and synagogues are struggling financially; and surveys show robust growth among the ranks of those who declare no religious affiliation.

The situation may be especially alarming to the Conservative movement because it was, for many years, the largest denomination in American Judaism. It was the solid center, more traditional than Reform, more open to change than Orthodoxy.

A decade ago, roughly one of every three American Jews identified as Conservative. Since then, Conservative synagogue membership has declined by 14% — and by 30% in the Northeast, the traditional stronghold of American Judaism.

By 2010, only about one in five Jews in the U.S. identified as Conservative, according to the American Jewish Congress.

The Reform and Orthodox movements also saw declines, although not nearly as steep. Reform Judaism for a time claimed the most adherents, but today that distinction goes to people who identify themselves as “just Jewish,” meaning they don’t associate with any of the traditional denominations. Many are entirely secular.

“We’re all in trouble,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly and one of those trying to save the Conservative movement. Correcting herself, she said, “We’re not in trouble, but we’re in urgent need of rethinking the institutions of Jewish life.”

[…]

The movement’s problems, many agree, begin with its name, which has nothing to do with political conservatism and doesn’t accurately describe a denomination that accepts openly gay and lesbian rabbis and believes the Bible is open to interpretation. But that’s just for starters.

Deep dissatisfaction with the organizations that lead Conservative Judaism prompted a number of influential rabbis in 2009 to demand urgent change, warning, “Time is not on our side.” The group won promises of substantial change from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents Conservative congregations, and helped prompt reforms in the institutions that train and represent rabbis.

A similar revolt by prominent Reform rabbis preceded that denomination’s continuing effort to reinvent itself, a project launched at L.A.’s Hebrew Union College last November.

So what does it mean for a religious movement to reinvent or rebrand itself?

“It’s one thing for a corporation to say ‘We’re going to reinvent ourselves,'” said David Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

“Sometimes they get into another business,” he said. “A religion … can evolve, it can be reinterpreted, you can express it in a slightly different style, but you can’t just be doing Judaism one day and say ‘I’m going to sell cars’ the next.”

The Conservative rabbis won’t become car salesmen, but they batted around some fairly radical ideas and predictably stirred up some opposition.

There was talk of eliminating membership dues for synagogues or switching to a la carte “fee-for-service” plans — so that a parent who wants only to send his or her child to religious school won’t also be paying to support the congregation’s other programs. But some said dues give congregants a vital sense of ownership.

Wolpe, the Sinai Temple rabbi, said the movement needs a slogan, one that’s short enough to fit on a bumper sticker. He suggested “A Judaism of Relationships.”

“We don’t have a coherent ideology,” he told his fellow rabbis. “If you ask everybody in this room ‘What does Conservative Judaism stand for?’ my guess is that you’d get 100 different answers…. That may be religiously a beautiful thing, but if you want a movement, that’s not such a hot result.”

[…]

And then there was the name. Some prefer Conservative, which was adopted when the movement began in the 19th century. It denotes the founders’ determination to conserve the best of Jewish tradition while being open to prudent change. But others said it is one reason the movement is seen by young people as being hopelessly uncool.

One suggestion: Change it to Masorti, a Hebrew word meaning “traditional” that is used by Conservative Jews in Israel and Europe.

“If we really want to appeal to the new generation, if you want to create a real worldwide movement … we need a common name, and I think it needs to be a Hebrew name,” said Rabbi Felipe Goodman of Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas.

As the meeting ended, there were pledges to work toward meaningful change. One example of what that might look like is an effort to employ a new definition of kosher food that would require ethical treatment of the workers who produce it —something that is being called magen tzedek, or “seal of justice.”

“This is an answer for Conservative Judaism because it’s about the marketplace, it’s about the public square,” said Rabbi Morris Allen of Mendota Heights, Minn., who is leading the effort. Magen tzedek “shifts the entire message of who we are as a religious community. Suddenly, it’s about more than just what is said at the prayer service on Saturday morning.”

Let me begin my analysis by means of a contrast.  Rabbi Morris Allen says, “This is an answer for Conservative Judaism because it’s about the marketplace, it’s about the public square.”  By radical, radical contrast, Christianity is about Jesus Christ, who He is—God incarnate—and what He accomplished—the redemption of sinners who embrace His atoning death for the sin of humanity.

“Conservative Judaism … [is]… about the marketplace.”  That is so sad.  “We need to sell more widgets, or rebrand our widgets, or maybe produce a different kind of widget.”

One of the reasons that Judaism is so swiftly disappearing is because of atheism and a virulent form of Jewish secular humanism which basically holds that it’s perfectly okay to not believe in God as long as you act as though you did.

Dinesh D’Souza points out why precisely why this phenomenon would occur – given the enormous influence of liberalism in Judaism – in his examination of why liberal “Christian” churches are losing membership in droves:

“Unfortunately the central themes of some of the liberal churches have become indistinguishable from those of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, and the homosexual rights movement.  Why listen to Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong drone on when you can get the same message and much more interesting visuals at San Francisco’s gay pride parade?”

And D’Souza provides a sizable pile of statistics to show that the traditional (i.e. evangelical) denominations and churches are growing leaps and bounds even as the liberal mainline churches are going the way of the Dodo bird.

His point, of course, is that these liberal religionists are dying out because they don’t stand for anything that has any spiritual power whatsoever.

Here is the story of Christian growth in the world today:

Compared to the world’s 2.3 billion Christians, there are 1.6 billion Muslims, 951 million Hindus, 468 million Buddhists, 458 million Chinese folk-religionists, and 137 million atheists, whose numbers have actually dropped over the past decade, despite the caterwauling of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Co. One cluster of comparative growth statistics is striking: As of mid-2011, there will be an average of 80,000 new Christians per day (of whom 31,000 will be Catholics) and 79,000 new Muslims per day, but 300 fewer atheists every 24 hours.

Africa has been the most stunning area of Christian growth over the past century. There were 8.7 million African Christians in 1900 (primarily in Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa); there are 475 million African Christians today, and their numbers are projected to reach 670 million by 2025. Another astonishing growth spurt, measured typologically, has been among Pentecostals and charismatics: 981,000 in 1900; 612,472,000 in 2011, with an average of 37,000 new adherents every day – the fastest growth in two millennia of Christian history.

Christianity – which views itself (and which I personally believe is) the fulfillment of the Jewish Scripture – is the fastest growing religion on the planet.  Christianity is the world’s only universal religion; the only religion with a global reach.  It is particularly spreading in the third world and in Asia.  Soon, China will be the largest “Christian country” in the world.  There may very well already be more Christians in China than there are in America.  In Korea, Christians already outnumber Buddhists.

While mainline liberal Protestant and (mainline liberal) Catholic “Christianity” withers on the vine, evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity is exploding.  And while Western Europe and America increasingly deny the Christendom that brought them to greatness in the first place – even as they increasingly become less and less great as a result – Christianity is taking deep abiding root in cultures whose transformation can only be described as “miraculous.”

Meanwhile, as the statistics prove and as Dinesh D’Souza explains, atheism is shrinking in spite of all its grandiose claims to represent the fulfillment of modernity and knowledge.  “Nietzsche’s proclamation that ‘God is dead’ is now proven false,” D’Souza writes.  “Nietzsche is dead.  The ranks of the unbelievers are shrinking as a proportion of the world’s population…  God is very much alive.”  Secular humanists have long self-servingly claimed that the progression of “reason” and “science” would conquer religion, but this is now demonstrated to be a lie, a fairy tale of secularism.

Christianity stands for something.  And as much as I may personally despise Islam, it too at least takes a powerful stand – even if it relies primarily on force and terrorism to make that stand.  Atheism and secular humanism are only parisites hanging on to Christianity and its superior moral values, and the political liberalism that theological liberalism invariably leads to is the nihilism of objective moral truth all together.

Allow me to provide a concrete example of the empty nexus of liberal politics and liberal theology.  Barack Obama, a quintessential theological and political liberal, has repeatedly stripped God out of the Declaration of Independence and its profound establishment of Creator God as the only and ultimate grounds for legitimate human dignity, freedom and rights.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” our founders assured mankind, and “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Not so with Obama.  On his repeatedly stated version, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But just what created us (random mutation or perhaps benevolent fairies?) and exactly how did we become endowed with these rights that most cultures and most worldviews and in fact most political systems throughout human history have denied?  And further, why did the Judeo-Christian worldview which inspired these founding fathers be dumped on its head, such that its antithesis in the form of the radical homosexual agenda and abortion on demand be enthroned in its place?

Basically, the Judeo-Christian worldview – “Christendom,” if you like – has been treated like a salad bar in the Western Civilization that had been forged by Christianity, and secular humanists can pick out the parts that they like and throw away the rest.  But it’s not a salad bar; Judeo-Christianity as both a religion and a worldview is far more like the foundations of a great building.  And what these secular humanists have been doing is pulling out the foundational pillars one block at a time until there is nothing left to sustain the surrounding structure.

Which is precisely why the West – which used to be called “Christendom” – is now on the verge of complete collapse on virtually every level.

I see the war on terror, and from the start I have seen the glaring flaw in our strategy (yes, even when George Bush was waging it).  Basically, we have confronted totalitarian Islam on the military, political and economic fronts.  But we have utterly ignored the religious front – which is precisely the major front by which totalitiarian Islam has been attacking us.  Like it or not, 9/11 was a religious act.  And there has been no major movement whatsoever – either by the Western powers or by the movements within Islam itself – to confront the religious grounds of the totalitarian Islamists.

And the reason is because we have nothing to confront them with.  Secular humanists/atheists have undermined public religious expression at every turn, while cultural relativists have contextualized religion in such a way to strip it of any spiritual power whatsoever.  Now when we truly need true spiritual power to confront the demonic power motivating radical Islam, basically all we’ve got is allegorical dirt clods.

In the sphere of Islam, jihadists have the superior Qu’ranic argument that it is THEY who are carrying out Muhammad’s vision for Islam, not the liberal Westernized contextualizers who want to make very clear claims of Muhammad into metaphors and allegories representing something else.  Muhammad was a man of genuine violence; he had been in some thirty military campaigns in his life; he had committed numerous genocidal campaigns against “infidels”; and he had another thirty military campaigns planned at the time of his death, including the conquest of Western Europe as the means to spread Islam (“submission”) and the call of Allahu Akbar (a comparative which means “Allah is greater”).  If Muhammad is in any way, shape or form a representative paradigm of what it means to be “Muslim,” then the jihadists are right.

And liberalism – whether it be religious/theological or political/cultural liberalism – has exactly what to answer that?  Other than mocking or trivializing it?

Did political liberals – like the liberal rabbis from the LA Times article above – truly believe that we overcome the threat of terrorism by simply changing the name to “overseas contingency operation” from “war on terror”?

As bad as the religion of Allah may be for a free society, it has a great deal of force when the competition is cultural nothingness, the decaying leftovers of “salad bar pseudo-Judeo-Christianity.”

2 Timothy 3:5 says of such “Christians”:

“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (New Living Translation)

St. Paul told us, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” (2 Timothy 3:1).  The risen and glorified Jesus told St. John of the seventh and final church age, “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:16).
of my mouth!

And it is with this final age of de-spiritualized, unglodly lukewarm “Christianity” and “Judaism” that makes God literally puke that staggering Western Civilization rises to the bell.

If anyone wants to know why I come across as angry from time to time in my blogging, it is because when I look around, I keep seeing the series of morally and even rationally terrible and despicable choices we have made right here in America that will invariably end with Antichrist, the Tribulation and Armageddon.  And it will not have been God that made this happen, or God who chose this end for mankind; but rather mankind that chose this end for itself.

C.S. Lewis said:

“We can always say we have been the victims of an illusion; if we disbelieve in the supernatural this is what we always shall say.  Hence, whether miracles have really ceased or not, they would certainly appear to cease in Western Europe as materialism became the popular creed.  For let us make no mistake.  If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse, if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up and the great white throne appearing, if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire, he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology.  Experience by itself proves nothing.  If a man doubts whether he is dreaming or waking, no experiment can solve his doubt, since every experiment may itself be part of the dream.  Experience proves this, or that, or nothing, according to the preconceptions we bring to it.” (God in the Dock, “Miracles,” pp. 25-26).

The problem with liberalism is that it “fundamentally transforms” whatever it touches – whether Christianity, Judaism or fiscal and economic reality – into a game of make-believe pretend.

Margaret Thatcher put the end-state of econimic liberalism succinctly: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  And then comes the collapse.

When radical Islamist jihadists attack, you can’t answer or fight with make-believe.  Any more than you can fight massive debt with make-believe mass-printed dollars.

My one consolation is this: I’ve cheated; I’ve skipped ahead and read the last pages of Revelation.  God – and most definitely not Allah or secular humanism or liberal mainline pseudo religiousity – wins in the end.  And when God wins in the end, via the return of Jesus Christ as true King of kings and Lord of lords, He will win in a very literal way indeed.

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Bill Maher Dumps More Hate On Tea Party, Repeats Tired Liberal Lies

January 19, 2011

I dare say that “liberal media personalities” (an oxymoron in virtually all cases for these prototypically moronic morons) such as Bill Maher and Rosie O’Donnell only have any following at all because they faithfully keep playing the game “Jump the Shark” they started with themselves.  Every episode they have to be more hateful and more deceitful than they were last time – and every episode they manage to succeed.

Bill Maher had this to say recently:

“Now that they’ve finished reading the Constitution out loud,” Maher said to chuckles from the audience, “the tea baggers must call out that group of elitist liberals whose values are so antithetical to theirs. I’m talking of course about the founding fathers.”

Maher:

“Now, I want you teabaggers out there to understand one thing: while you idolize the Founding Fathers and dress up like them, and smell like them, I think it’s pretty clear that the Founding Fathers would have hated your guts. And what’s more, you would’ve hated them. They were everything you despise. They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly b—s—.”

Maher went on to claim that the Founding Fathers had a moral code, but it didn’t come from the Bible – ”except for the part about, ‘it’s cool to own slaves.’”

I mean, on a surface examination, I’m sure you’re right, Maher.  They’d hate the people who actually care about what they wrote and what they thought; they’d love liberals like you, who demonize them as evil slaveholding bastards.

Clearly Obama’s speech wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on, when his own side didn’t bother to pay attention to him about his “let’s make Christina proud of us” calls for restraint for even five minutes.

But let’s go beyond the surface, where the founding fathers love Bill Mahr – even though Bill Maher clearly despises them – and hates the tea party.  Because maybe it’s not the way Maher thinks it is.

Bill Maher reminds me of Homer Simpson; both men think their incredibly stupid and buffoonish ideas are clever.  The only difference between the two cartoon characters is that Homer Simpson usually discovers that he’s an idiot by the end of the episode, whereas Bill Maher is pathologically immune from reality or truth.

And, of course, unlike Maher, at least Homer is smart enough to believe in – as he calls him – “Jeebus.”

I’ve had to respond to these atheist versions of Homer Simpsons before.  Here’s a response to one such that basically confronts Bill Maher with the facts he so despises:

Whose Country Do We Want: Our Founding Fathers’ Or Our Secular Contemporaries’?
By Michael Eden, 07/26/2009

This article consists as part of a much longer discussion with a self-described “Democratic socialist” found here (with much of the rest consisting over an argument as to what is or isn’t socialism and the supposed benefits of socialism to societies).  An argument over the significance of the founding fathers relative to “current Americans” provides for what I believed to be an informative article.

Poster: I profoundly 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.

Michael Eden: Let me start with the words and meaning of George Washington in his Farewell Address given on September 17, 1796:

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 practiced. 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.” — U.S. Supreme Court in Holy Trinity v. U. S. — 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.” —- Samuel 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, Albert 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, Albert 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.

“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 in the family, 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 the great political philosopher Alexis 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?”

Poster: 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.

Michael Eden: 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. If the Constitution truly is a living, organic document that evolves and pulsates, it “evolves” into whatever you want it to become and “pulsates” into whatever form you want it to take. 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 – WANT 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.

What socialists ultimately pursue is power over people’s lives.  And so long as leftists hold such power, principles will not matter.  And frankly, even if there WERE any “binding” principles they would invariably be blurred into meaninglessness by a succession of “penumbras and emanations” to suit the will of the next dictator.  That ultimately becomes 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 religious founding fathers and leave you to tilt at your godless socialist windmills.

Why They Are Dangerous: Liberal Justices Make Case Against The Constitution

July 2, 2010

The liberal justices pretty much say, “Screw the Constitution, except for the nonexistent “penumbra and emanations” parts of it that we can make up.”

The nonexistent right to murder your own baby that exists nowhere in the Constitution?  Check.  The clearly stated 2nd Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms (which) shall not be infringed”?  Well, the liberals say they don’t like it, they don’t want it to be there, so screw that right.

The Declaration of Independence makes it crystal clear: rights come from our being created in the image of God.

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

These are natural rights.  The Constitution doesn’t grant them to us; we have them naturally from God, regardless of where we live or what government we have.  And if a government doesn’t allow these natural rights to be expressed, the people have the right to remove that government.

Elena Kagan doesn’t give a damn about natural rights.  For her, they are meaningless.  Government is god; rights come at the whim of Big Brother.

That philospophy flies in the face of Abraham Lincoln’s view.  He believed that the Declaration of Independence DECLARED the foundation of and purpose for the Constitution, saying:

“I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?”

Our most fundamental rights derive from God.  They most certainly DON’T derive from government, or from the ideological whims of a bunch of half-wit morally idiotic liberal judges.

The fact that Kagan doesn’t believe that the Constitution itself derives from a more fundamental and more powerful authority, that there is no foundational moral law which itself stands above the Constitution, is why she believes that the government should have no power outside of it.  Which is why she believes that the government may have the power to dictate that you must eat your fruits and vegetables.

Another question which is emerging is exactly what constitutes judicial activism?  Is it violating the Constitution and imposing ones’ will upon it, or is it reversing a terrible decision that had violated the Constitution?

To Democrats, it is the latter:

Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, his voice dripping with sarcasm, said that for Republicans accusing Democrats of judicial activism, “I have two words for you: Citizens United,” the shorthand name of the campaign-finance case.

Democrats point to what they claim is a nearly century old Supreme Court principle limiting corporations from rights that American citizens clearly have, such as the right of free speech.  And that stare decisis makes overturning that ruling sacrosanct.

But their problem is that those who view corporations as having the same free speech rights as persons under the law has a nearly TWO century precedent supporting it:

In the United States, corporations were recognized as having rights to contract, and to have those contracts honored the same as contracts entered into by natural persons, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, decided in 1819. In the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations were recognized as persons for purposes of the 14th Amendment.[1][2]

From the railroad case:

In an 1886 tax dispute between the Southern Pacific Railroad and the state of California, the court reporter quoted Chief Justice Morrison Waite telling attorneys to skip arguments over whether the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause applied to corporations, because “we are all of opinion that it does.”

Why does violating “sacrosanct” stare decisis for “a nearly century old” precedent qualify as “judicial activism,” but violating a nearly TWO HUNDRED YEAR-OLD precedent not count as judicial activism?

Let’s set aside that we on the right have the oldest precedent on our side, such that the stare decisis argument becomes utterly null and void.  Let’s consider the merits of the case itself.  Heritage responds to that by pointing out:

However, those criticisms ignore the fact that the Austin decision on independent expenditures and the part of the McConnell decision on electioneering communications were outliers in the Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence. The majority’s actions in Citizens United did not constitute judicial activism, but rather upheld basic First Amendment protections against unlawful encroachments by Congress. It is not judicial activism when a judge overturns two relatively recent decisions that were wrongly decided and that are in conflict with a long line of other precedents—particularly if the decision corrects constitutional errors. If this were not true, then the same critics of the Citizens United decision must believe that Plessy v. Ferguson[15] should still be the law of the land today and racial segregation should still be considered “constitutional” since under their slanted and sophomoric definition, the justices of the Supreme Court engaged in judicial “activism” in Brown v. Board of Education.[16] After all, the justices in Brown overturned Plessy and repudiated the “separate but equal” doctrine as unconstitutional—and arguably did so when they decided subsequent cases striking down similar policies by recalcitrant jurisdictions that acted contrary to Brown and its progeny.

Which is to say that the Citizens United case wasn’t a case of judicial activism, in which judges literally invented out of their own warped minds by “penumbras and emanations” a right that had never existed.  It was, rather, a case of constitutional strict constructionists restoring the constitutional principles that had existed prior to a bad law (Austin) being enacted by a group of judicial activists.

You want REAL judicial activism?  How about the liberal justices who voted to overturn the 2nd Amendment guarantee of the individual right to keep and bear arms simply because they don’t like it?

Let’s look to see the vapid legal arguments “justifying” these four moral idiots’ votes:

Gun Shy: Four Supreme Court Justices Make Case Against Constitutional Rights
Jacob Sullum

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies to states and cities as well as the federal government. Judging from their objections, the four dissenters were still reeling from the court’s landmark 2008 decision recognizing that the amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.

In their dissenting opinions, Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer (joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor) worry that overturning gun control laws undermines democracy. If “the people” want to ban handguns, they say, “the people” should be allowed to implement that desire through their elected representatives.

What if the people want to ban books that offend them, establish an official church or authorize police to conduct warrantless searches at will? Those options are also foreclosed by constitutional provisions that apply to the states by way of the 14th Amendment. The crucial difference between a pure democracy and a constitutional democracy like ours is that sometimes the majority does not decide.

Likewise, Stevens defends “state and local legislatures’ right to experiment,” while Breyer is loath to interfere with “the ability of states to reflect local preferences and conditions — both key virtues of federalism.” Coming from justices who think Congress can disregard state decisions about the medical use of marijuana because a plant on the windowsill of a cancer patient qualifies as interstate commerce, this sudden concern about federalism is hard to take seriously.

Another reason to doubt the dissenters’ sincerity: They would never accept federalism as a rationale for letting states “experiment” with freedom of speech, freedom of religion or due process protections. Much of their job, as they themselves see it, involves overriding “local preferences” that give short shrift to constitutional rights.

Second Amendment rights are different, Breyer says, because “determining the constitutionality of a particular state gun law requires finding answers to complex empirically based questions.” So does weighing the claims in favor of banning child pornography or depictions of animal cruelty, relaxing the Miranda rule, admitting illegally obtained evidence or allowing warrantless pat-downs, dog sniffs or infrared surveillance.

When they decide whether a law or practice violates a constitutional right, courts cannot avoid empirical questions. In cases involving racial discrimination or content-based speech restrictions, for example, they ask whether the challenged law is “narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest” and is the “least restrictive means” of doing so.

But unlike equal protection or freedom of speech, Stevens says, “firearms have a fundamentally ambivalent relationship to liberty.” How so? “Just as they can help homeowners defend their families and property from intruders,” he explains, “they can help thugs and insurrectionists murder innocent victims.”

Every right can be abused, with results that are immoral, illegal or both. Freedom of speech can be used to spread hateful ideas, promote pernicious political philosophies, slander the innocent or engage in criminal conspiracies. If there were no potential for harm from exercising a right, there would be no need to protect it, because no one would try to restrict it.

The dissenters’ most frivolous objection is that making states obey the Second Amendment “invites an avalanche of litigation,” as Stevens puts it. Every day we hear about cases in which people argue that the government has violated their rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth or Eighth amendment. Neither Stevens nor Breyer wants to stop this “avalanche.” Only when the Second Amendment is added to the mix do they recoil in horror at the prospect that Americans will use the courts to vindicate their rights.

I have to laugh that the author of the above piece recoils in horror at the prospect of the Supreme Court voting to ban books because, if they do [read ‘when’], they’ve got a “book banning” advocate in Elena Kagan.

Justice Stevens does not have to worry that his home would be broken into by “home invasion” attackers who storm into a house and terrorize and murder the occupants in the home.  If he did, do you think he would still argue that the ability of a homeowner to protect himself and his family with a gun was somehow nullified by the fact that the criminals could have a gun, too?

Elena Kagan’s mentor was Justice Thurgood Marshall, who once famously said, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up” (see Deborah L. Rhode, “A Tribute to Justice Thurgood Marshall: Letting the Law Catch Up,” in the 44 Stanford Law Review 1259 (1992).

WHAT IF WHAT THE JUSTICE THINK IS RIGHT IS REALLY DEAD WRONG?!?!?!

Activist judges have repeatedly throughout history justified slavery, segregation, and racism, abandoning the plain sense of the Constitution in order to impose their views upon the text.  Let’s not forget that it was Democrats who fought to impose slavery, and it was judicial activists who bound the country up with laws that took the bloodiest war in American history to overcome.

What did Thomas Jefferson say about the threat of Supreme Court Justices imposing their own will upon the Constitution and imposing laws on the nation based on nothing but their own wills?

“This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825. ME 16:114

“The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other.  But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804. ME 11:51

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.  Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
—Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:277

I don’t hear Jefferson praising “you do what you think is right and let the law catch up” as defining the role of our Supreme Court Justices.  In fact, I hear him turning in his grave over the abomination that Barack Obama’s and Elena Kagan’s philosophy is inflicting upon the nation.

[Note: I used the same quotes above in responding to the LAST abomination to the Supreme Court that Obama appointed].

Our Constitution is being poisoned by the left.  One day it will die, and they will be able to erect the Marxist-fascist state they’ve always dreamed of.

How long it will be before that evil day comes – which will undoubtedly occur in a 5-4 decision – is entirely up to you.

LA Times And NY Times: Be Less Like Founding Fathers, More Like Nazis

August 17, 2009

There’s a debate going on in this country that is far wider than health care.  Health care is the current battle; but the war is over the size, scope, and power of government over our lives.

Years prior to World War II, in 1931, Pope Pius XI denounced Benito Mussolini’s socialism as “Statolatry,” the idolatry of a worship of and dependence upon the state rather than God.  And less than a decade later it would be socialism – both fascist and Marxist – which would bring hell on earth rather than the utopias the socialists had so falsely promised. Today, the American left wants more government, and then more, and ever more.  Government as God, the State as Savior, meeting every need and demanding that it be the sole arbiter for determining what is right and what is wrong. And the American people are increasingly being compelled to abandon the free market system in exchange for one featuring increasing government control over every sphere of our lives.

The first of our two articles, from the Los Angeles Times, suggests that the vision of the founding fathers, particularly in the ideas of Thomas Jefferson for a small, limited federal government, should be cast aside as outmoded and anachronistic.

Them versus us

By Joseph J. Ellis, August 9, 2009

From the very beginning of our national history, Americans have been arguing about the proper role of government. Put succinctly, the dispute is between those who regard government as “them” and those who see it as “us.”

Our two founding documents embody the tension in its classical form. The Declaration of Independence locates sovereignty in the individual citizen, who possesses the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as Thomas Jefferson so lyrically put it, and the power of government is described as an alien force that must be put on the permanent defensive. The Constitution enshrines “the people” as the sovereign agent, with a Bill of Rights that defines a protected region where government cannot intrude, but otherwise identifies a collective interest best managed by a federal government empowered to make decisions for the society as a whole.

All of United States political history can be understood as a perpetual debate between these two competing perspectives, symbolized at the start in the clash between Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. The Jeffersonian position, with its emphasis on a minimalist government, prevailed throughout the 19th century and imprinted itself on the DNA of American culture as a quasi-sacred political creed.

By the start of the 20th century, as the United States became a more densely populated, ethnically diverse society, with an industrial economy dominated by large corporations, the Jeffersonian perspective grew increasingly anachronistic. It became abundantly clear that government power was necessary to regulate the swoonish swings of the marketplace, provide a safety net for poor and elderly citizens and protect the environment. Thus the Federal Reserve Board, Social Security, Medicare and the Environmental Protection Agency.

But despite these projections of the Hamiltonian ethos, which presumes that there is a collective public interest that only government can serve, the Jeffersonian ethos remains a potent force, and not just in the right wing of the Republican Party. It colors the conversation about all the major domestic problems facing the Obama administration in ways that stigmatize as socialistic what we might ironically describe as the self-evident solutions.

In the healthcare debate, for example, there is a national consensus that we have a broken and bloated system. But instead of replacing it with the kind of single-payer government-run system adopted by most of the developed countries on the planet, that option is ruled out of order at the start of the debate. As a result, the best we can hope for is modest reform of an inherently flawed and expensive system. […]

It should be realized that Joseph Ellis is hardly the only liberal who thinks in terms of moving away from the government or the ideas of our founding fathers.  Allow me to quote Barack Obama:

Obama: “I think that we can say that the Constitution reflected the enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day and that the framers had that same blind spot.”

Obama talked about “the fundamental flaw of this country…”

Obama: “But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution…”

Hardly an affirmation of the wisdom of our founding fathers, who created the greatest system of government the world has ever seen.

I would submit, first of all, that Alexander Hamilton would be just as appalled at the gigantic colossus our government has become as would Jefferson.  I would suggest that neither man, seeing the enormous and unresponsive federal bureaucracy, would view the gargantuan federal bureaucracy as “us.”  They would see it as an alien power running amok over the people’s lives.  They would see it as a far greater tyranny than the one imposed by the British king whom they had defeated.

To quote Mark Levin, from Liberty and Tyranny:

“The founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all-powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many.  They also knew that the rule of the mob would lead to anarchy and, in the end, despotism” (4).

They understood government as a necessary evil, rather than as a desired goal.  In the words of James Madison, the most influential of the authors of the Constitution, in Federalist 51:

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?  If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

And I would ask, what evidence is there that the federal government is in any way “controlling itself?”

First of all, we have growing by leaps and bounds what Alexis de Tocqueville described as a “soft tyranny“:

“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?”

Secondly, the federal government has immersed itself – and the American people – into levels of debt that boggle the limits of human comprehension.  We now have a national debt of well over $100 trillion, if we count (which we should) our “unfunded liabilities” such as the Social Security and the Medicare which Joseph Ellis so praises.  And as for Barack Obama – the president whose policies Ellis is writing to defend:

“Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.  It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP).  And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.”

And that is before the huge costs of ObamaCare; it is before Cap-and-trade; it is before anything Obama wants to do for the remaining 3 1/2 years of his presidency. This is no government that is “controlling itself.”  Anything but.

Incredibly, Ellis ends his article with this:

No less an American hero than George Washington put it rather defiantly in 1785: “We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation. … If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending it.” And even Jefferson acknowledged that his anti-government vision would become irrelevant once we ceased being an agricultural society and that future generations — meaning us — would at some point need to throw off what he called “the dead hand of the past.”

Joseph Ellis doesn’t want us to think about what it was that Washington actually intended to provide us with “unity.”  Rather, he wants to import his own meaning of “unity” as one being imposed via a massive octopus of federal power.  But George Washington had a very different idea of national unity than does Ellis.  In his Farewell Address – considered one of the most important political addresses in American history – George Washington said:

“Of all the habits and dispositions 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.” — George Washington, Farewell Address

Think of the implications of that statement.  Our greatest founding father essentially said, ‘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 of the benefits and none of the curses of government, then you won’t separate religion and morality from political life.’  And America’s greatest patriot gave a litmus test for patriotism, arguing, ‘Anyone who would try to remove religion and morality from public life, I will not allow them to call themselves a patriot.  Because they are trying to destroy the country.’

Think of George Washington when you contemplate that the liberal legal arm, the ACLU, is literally trying to put a high school principal and an athletic director for praying over a meal at an employees’ lunch.

So liberals do not want the limited government fought for and instituted by our founding fathers.  The founding fathers – Alexander Hamilton included – simply do not permit the Statism that the modern American left want.  What kind of government do they want in its place?

Now turn to the New York Times.

Stimulus Thinking, and Nuance

By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: March 31, 2009

Every so often, history serves up an analogy that’s uncomfortable, a little distracting and yet still very relevant.

In the summer of 1933, just as they will do on Thursday, heads of government and their finance ministers met in London to talk about a global economic crisis. They accomplished little and went home to battle the crisis in their own ways.

More than any other country, Germany — Nazi Germany — then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.

The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later). Harold James, an economic historian, says that the young liberal economists studying under John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s began to debate whether Hitler had solved unemployment.

No sane person enjoys mixing nuance and Nazis, but this bit of economic history has a particular importance this week. In the run-up to the G-20 meeting, European leaders have resisted calls for more government spending. Last week, the European Union president, Mirek Topolanek, echoed a line from AC/DC — whom he had just heard in concert — and described the Obama administration’s stimulus plan as “a road to hell.”

Here in the United States, many people are understandably wondering whether the $800 billion stimulus program will make much of a difference. They want to know: Does stimulus work? Fortunately, this is one economic question that’s been answered pretty clearly in the last century.

Yes, stimulus works. […]

Incredibly, when you put the liberal Los Angeles Times together with the liberal New York Times, the message is: “Be a lot less like Thomas Jefferson, and a lot more like Adolf Hitler”.

David Leonhardt certainly did not want his readers to think of Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.  He tried to provide all the necessary caveats.  Nevertheless, this reminds us of a core truth of the Nazis that liberals generally don’t want you to think about; that the word ‘Nazi’ is an acronym for the “National Socialist German Workers Party.”  And the fact that both the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the National Socialist German Workers Party stand as grim reminders that socialism is ever an experiment that can go terribly, terribly wrong.

Socialism derives from a diametrically different philosophical and moral system than the profoundly Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment-oriented worldview from which our founding fathers established the United States of America.  Gene Edward Veith describes this fundamental incompatibility/hostility in his great work, “Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview.”  Linda Kimball addresses this dichotomy in shorter form in her article, “The Materialist Faith of Communism, Socialism, and Liberalism.”  Then there is the profoundly powerful Harvard address given by Alexander Solzhenitsyn entitled “A World Split Apart.”

Jonah Goldberg addresses how this massive demarcation between the intellectual traditions of the American right and left continues to this very day:

“No top-tier American conservative intellectual was a devotee of Nietzsche or a serious admirer of Heidegger.  All major conservative schools of thought trace themselves back to the champions of the Enlightenment–John Locke, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Burke–and none of them have any direct intellectual link to Nazism or Nietzsche, to existentialism, nihilism, or even, for the most part, Pragmatism.  Meanwhile, the ranks of the leftwing intellectuals are infested with ideas and thinkers squarely in the fascist tradition.  And yet all it takes is the abracadabra word “Marxist” to absolve most of them of any affinity with these currents.  The rest get off the hook merely by attacking bourgeois morality and American values–even though such attacks are themselves little better than a reprise of fascist arguments” (Liberal Fascism, 175-6).

American intellectuals might indignantly snort, “I’m not a fascist; I’m a neo-Marxist!”  But regardless, they share the same underlying moral, philosophical, and economic assumptions.  And either way, they are still socialists.  To quote Richard Pipes, both “Bolshevism and fascism were heresies of socialism.”

Joe the Plumber heard Barack Obama talk about “spreading the wealth around” and responded, “That sounds like socialism.”  The mainstream media went ballistic in its denial that Barack Obama had anything whatsoever to do with socialism.  And then he won, and the liberal publication Newseek proudly trumpeted on it’s February 16th cover, “WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW.”

The “kind of single-payer government-run system adopted by most of the developed countries on the planet” LA Times writer Joseph Ellis describes is simply “socialized medicine” by another name.  Ellis complains about conversations that “stigmatize as socialistic”; the problem with that characterization is that they ARE socialistic.

There’s been this movement by the elitists among us to be more like sophisticated Europe dating all the way back to our founding.  Some say today, “What Europeans 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 routinely cite what Europe does in their law in order to replace what we do in ours.  Thomas Jefferson made a statement against the “Let’s be like Europe” that is every bit as valid today as it was the day he made it:

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

Whether health care, cap-and-trade, or anything else our modern Europe-envying elitists want to do, it falls in the face of the fact that America has dwarfed Europe in economic output, productivity, and wealth.  We’re constantly told that we need to be more like Europe and offer socialized medicine in order to be more “competitive.”  If that is so, than why is it Europe – which has socialized medicine – that has long struggled to be competitive?

In the health care debate Ronald Reagan had a warning for us.  Way back in 1961 he said:

“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”

It was a speech that could have easily popped out of a time capsule labeled, “Open in event of future threat from socialized medicine.”

Mark Levin said:

“The Statist veils his pursuits in moral indignation, intoning in high dudgeon the injustices and inequities of liberty and life itself, for which only he can provide justice and bring a righteous resolution.  And when the resolution proves elusive, as it undoubtedly does – whether the Marxist promise of “the workers’ paradise” or the Great Society’s “war on poverty” – the Statist demands ever more authority to wring out the imperfections of mankind’s existence.  Unconstrained by constitutional prohibitions, what is left to limit the Statist’s ambitions but his own moral compass, which has already led him astray!  He is never circumspect about his own shortcomings.  Failure is not a product of his beliefs but merely want of power and resources.  Thus are born endless rationalizations for seizing ever more governmental authority” (Liberty and Tyranny, 10).

It is time to end the advance of the good-intentioned-paved road to hell.  We have a government that is spending too much, taxing too much, and intruding too much into the lives of Americans.  It is time to be a lot less like Hitler and the socialists and a lot more like the founding fathers and the recognition of the fixed and non-violable constitutional limits they created.

Whose Country Do We Want: Our Founding Fathers’ Or Our Secular Contemporaries’?

July 26, 2009

This article consists as part of a much longer discussion with a self-described “Democratic socialist” found here (with much of the rest consisting over an argument as to what is or isn’t socialism and the supposed benefits of socialism to societies).  An argument over the significance of the founding fathers relative to “current Americans” provides for what I believed to be an informative article.

Poster: I profoundly 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.

Michael Eden: I could begin by simply stating that the Constitution has just “evolved and pulsated” to represent “the source of narrow-mindedness, intolerance and reaction.”  And now what the hell are you going to do – support the Constitution or rebel against it?  What you are REALLY saying with all your self-serving hyperbole aside is that you support your secular humanist worldview and are perfectly happy to twist and distort the Constitution – regardless of what the words actually say or what they historically were clearly intended to mean – until it “evolves” or “pulsates” into whatever you want it to mean.  And then you of course demand that the very “evolution” or “pulsation” you first demanded STOP so it can’t “evolve or pulsate” any further.  Which is precisely the reasoning you used to “evolve and pulsate” to Roe v. Wade only to then claim that now that we have so “evolved and pulsated” it is a matter of “settled law” and therefore cannot ever be altered.

That philosophical point made, let me begin with the historical words and clear historical meaning of George Washington in his Farewell Address given on September 17, 1796:

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 practiced. 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.” — U.S. Supreme Court in Holy Trinity v. U. S. — 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.” —- Samuel 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, Albert 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, Albert 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.

“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 in the family, 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 the great political philosopher Alexis 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?”

Poster: 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.

Michael Eden: 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. If the Constitution truly is a living, organic document that evolves and pulsates, it “evolves” into whatever you want it to become and “pulsates” into whatever form you want it to take. 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 – WANT 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.

What socialists ultimately pursue is power over people’s lives.  And so long as leftists hold such power, principles will not matter.  And frankly, even if there WERE any “binding” principles they would invariably be blurred into meaninglessness by a succession of “penumbras and emanations” to suit the will of the next dictator.  That ultimately becomes 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 religious founding fathers and leave you to tilt at your godless socialist windmills.