Will we prefer the calm of despotism?

 

 by Allan Erickson   

 

 

 

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
         —Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

 

 

 

Much has been written about the two kinds of Americans: rich and poor, white and non-white, Red and Blue, Right and Left, traditional and post modern, religious and agnostic, and on and on with the duality dance. 

 

In truth, there are probably 10, or 50 or 100 Americas.  This country is so vast and so diverse she challenges anyone’s attempt to put her in a box with a label or two.  Still, given politics, and different ideas about our purpose, it can be said we have divided into two increasingly warlike camps.  These camps have been locked in struggle for the soul of the country for at least 50 years.  

 

One camp—considered New Age—was born in the post WWII era, was raised in the 50s, came of age in the 60s, and launched a new vision of America, something dramatically different from what had gone before, a ‘counter culture,’ in short, a systematic repudiation and contradiction of every element of traditionalism premised upon the notion America is inherently evil—racist, sexist, imperialistic, jingoistic.  It is supposed, in this camp, these ills can only be cured by a purging of all things Judeo-Christian and free market and military, and government is the logical agent to exact this purging.  This camp—what this writer calls Americans in Name Only (AINO)—-has worked hard to successfully conquer and control government, education, media, entertainment and publishing. Consequently, tax dollars fund legal advocacy groups that tear down the Ten Commandments, insist the Boy Scouts allow homosexual leaders, force gay marriage through judicial activism, deny rights to the unborn, codify assisted suicide and employ the arm of law enforcement to stifle free speech and enforce new codes of politically correct behavior.  Ultimately, conformity and control are the tools used to build the new ‘consensus,’ by force, if necessary, some might say, King George in a different robe, bearing the likeness of Karl Marx.  These AINOs are the driving force behind the Obama candidacy, with the help of foreign powers.

 

The other camp—considered Old Hat— was born somewhere before and during WWII, raised in various times of struggle and depravation, coming of age even today in the hearts and minds of ten year olds.  Sadly, members of that greatest generation are dying off rapidly, their torch-bearers now minority voices dominated by Media, Malibu and Manhattan.

 

This second camp we can call Traditionalists.  How do we define traditional Americanism in this pluralistic society?  One might be tempted to gaze on Norman Rockwell paintings in a kind of nostalgic exercise to capture a sense of traditionalism, risking hyper romanticism.  Another might embrace the 40s or the 1830s or 1776 to find strands of traditionalism.  Yet, traditional Americanism is not a place, or a painting or a period of time.  Traditional Americanism lives in a set of simple ideas and essential virtues: Liberty, Equality, Justice, Goodness, Charity, Opportunity, Hope, Promise, Community, Volunteerism, Fidelity, Honor, Faith, Prudence, Restraint, Service, Economy, Individualism, Self-Reliance, Family.  Revisionists will scream, but the truth is, our moral life blood has always flowed from Judeo-Christian traditions, not from an embrace of Universalism according to contemporary, popular belief.    

 

Based on their understanding of the Laws of Nature and the Presence of the Creator, the Founders struggled to birth our country.  First, by shedding blood to throw off the domination of England, then by sweat and tears to form the government, followed by more sweat and tears and sometimes blood arguing what emphasis to place: strong central government or states’ rights, isolationist foreign policy or expansionist engagement, government setting the pace in promoting social change versus change from the bottom up by the people informing government as they worked it out for themselves.  The dynamics shifted here and there, back and forth, and continue today.  The miracle of this experiment conducted by free and independent people is just that, a miracle.

 

Like all things, this miracle has a life span and will be replaced by something else, something less, as the Miracle Worker is displaced.

 

What the Founders feared most has come to pass: we have created an enormously powerful federal government now presiding over a desperately split and antagonistic population.  Combine this reality with looming bankruptcy, and unprecedented foreign threats, and we are found standing on the edge, staring into the abyss. 

 

We have traveled very far afield from our roots.  And if the polls are correct, we insist on traveling further.  At a time when proven traditional Americanism should wisely inform our proceedings to affect our salvation, like stubborn children, we appear insistent on an alternative path, one that suggests implementing methods already shown failures: larger government, more taxation, government-prescribed social engineering, central control of the economy, attempts to appease enemies, weakened national defense, erosion of family and morality.  Will we actually sell our birthright for a bowl of stew, and healthcare?

 

Do we really think it wise and enlightened to place faith in government instead of our proven track record walking in the traditions of our Fathers?  Did not our Revolution contradict the idea government is the solution, either monarchy or democracy?  Have we fallen so far as to demonize a good woman like Sarah Palin and exhalt a person like Barack Obama, a man who won’t even take a stand for the civil rights of babies who survive abortion?

 

By putting Sen. Obama in the White House, we will be saying we have crossed over, from being primarily a country of Traditionalists, to Americans In Name Only.  We will have placed our feet on a new threshold.  The path beyond is grimly lit.  Yet, one thing is certain, we will, in doing this, squander the liberty purchased and sustained by so many, for so long. We will, in doing this, say to our Creator, ‘You are no longer the centerpiece of this Republic, but merely a side show, and a tenuous one at that.’

 

Toward the end of his life our second President John Adams said to us:   

 

“Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.”

 

Are we then making good use of this great freedom by handing it over to those who would destroy it? 

 

Our third President Thomas Jefferson said: 

 

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” And, “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”

 

Timid people fail to preserve freedom, and rather, accept the calm of despotism by electing Barack Obama. Therefore, to recapture liberty, there will be tempestuous seas ahead, or a passing away of the Miracle, forever.

 

 

 

NOTE THE NEW DESPOTISM

They joined “the tradition of the great killers.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAa4Jrl7wp0&eurl=http://ace.mu.nu/

 

Eliminating 25 Million Americans

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/10/eliminating_25_million_america.html

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40 Responses to Will we prefer the calm of despotism?

  1. Mike says:

    You had your traditionalists’ for the past 8 years (6 with a united government) and you failed. Maybe it is time to lets someone else try to run things for a while.

    It amazes me that you had total control from Jan 2001 to Jan 2006 and still complain about these so called AINO’s taking over. Fact is you took over and blew it…

    Sorry, times up.

  2. Allan Erickson says:

    Total control? Total illusion. GWB was villified and undercut from day one, this country has not been unified for decades. Even the tragedy of 9/11 was used by the cyncial and the AINOs to divide us. Obama, if elected, will be a far left President trying to govern a center/right country, beholden to far left constituents he will be forced to ditch, and thus, he will be a man alone, standing in opposition to the majority, suffering villification by the very radicals who selected him and groomed him and funded his success. His response will be a hardening, more control, more suppression. And it will all be done in the name of our highest good. If it takes the insanity of an Obama presidency to bring us to our senses, so be it. Let’s just hope he doesn’t destroy the Miracle before we can retrieve it.

  3. Mike says:

    Let’s see: #1. 2001-2008 Control of the Executive Branch: Republican
    #2. 1995-2007 Control of Congress: Republican
    #3. Supreme Court: 5-4 Conservative spilt since Nixon (Republician)

    Seems to me like you had the keys to the car, a unified government means that the two elected branches are of the same party, i.e. Bush/Congress 2001-2007

    Not only did you have the same party in control of both Congress and the President but a majority on the Supreme Court. Last time this happened was during the Johnson Administration.

    My point; had all the power and blew it. Simple deduction really.

    As to the far left idea: was that not the cry of what liberal Bill Clinton was gonna do? If Bill was a leftist then GW is a socialist.

    Game over.

  4. Allan Erickson says:

    More illusion. Conservatives have controlled Congress and the Supreme Court in recent years? I think you had better rethink that. Besides, even if there was slight congressional control in the 90s, Clinton had the veto pen. No way anyone had all the power in recent years. As to the Bush administration blowing it? Horse feathers. His main job was keeping us safe. No attacks on American soil since 9/11 despite numerous attempts. Economy was sound until a year ago. Tried to head off both the Fannie/Freddie debacle and Wall Street excesses, but was thwarted by you know who. Your black and white thinking does you no credit. Indeed, your deductions are simplistic. Conservatives are rightly furious GWB allowed spending to run amok, but blame also resides with Congress. Isn’t the House responsible for budgets and revenue? Are you also one of those people who believe GWB allowed 9/11 to give himself justification to head hunt Saddam?

  5. SteveSyracuse says:

    Allan,

    Your last post contradicts itself. You say the GOP didnt have control because of Clinton’s veto pen, then you give Bush a pass on excessive spending by blaming Congress. What about W’s veto pen? Bush had a unified country after 9/11 and instead of asking for sacrifice and acheivement of a national goal (energy self-sufficiency?), he told us all to keep shopping while he and the GOP Congress spent oodles of borrowed money on everything from Iraq to the Office of Homeland Security.

  6. Allan Erickson says:

    Steve,

    You are incorrect. I criticized GWB for excessive spending. Look, both you, and Mike, miss the point. Why is it Leftists can never stay on topic? Do you not see your liberty slipping away? At least the Danes have awakened, and the Dutch as well. The dual threats of hyper-secularism and fundamentalist Islam will destroy our democratic republic, and all the majority of Americans seem capable of doing is whining about health care. When it hits the fan, and you are led away in chains, don’t complain, just remember, you were warned, and you did nothing about it.

    Allan

  7. SallyVee says:

    Allan, this is superb, thoughtful, and measured. Words for all Americans to carefully consider.

    Choose wisely on November 4th.

  8. Adrian says:

    “His main job was keeping us safe. No attacks on American soil since 9/11”

    I always find that statement amusing, especially the word “since”, as it was on the Bush watch that we were attacked in the first place. And, we were attacked specifically due to our Middle East policy.

    Allan is one of those people who’s website exists only to glorify his narrow, misguided views. No amount of reason or facts will sway him, so why waste your time? The best thing you can do is leave him here, alone, to preach to his choir.

  9. Christopher O says:

    For all the eloquence you so deliberately put on display, you make no valid points. When someone points out that your logic is flawed, you accuse them of not “staying on topic”. You sound as confused and stubborn as the “Traditionalists” you support. Keep opening your mouth for the spoon the Republican party is feeding you with, apparently you can’t get full on bullshit.

  10. Allan Erickson says:

    Adrian & Christopher:

    Watch these videos and grow up.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-871902797772997781

  11. Adrian says:

    and again, no rebuttal, just a “grow up”.

    You’ll notice his bio mentions nothing about his educational background. My guess is that’s no accident. A video from the Heritage Foundation? You’ve got to be kidding me. I pity your children Allan, in that they may learn nothing but ignorance from their father.

    “Conservatives have controlled Congress and the Supreme Court in recent years? I think you had better rethink that. Besides, even if there was slight congressional control in the 90s…”

    Do you see that you are contradicting you own argument here? But of course I’m not staying on topic.

    I’ll start, and finish a new topic, though. Any idiot can start a blog, and do nothing but spew their own misinformed nonsense.

  12. Allan Erickson says:

    Adrian,

    You obviously didn’t watch the video presentations. Couldn’t have. One was 47 minutes, the other 99 minutes, and you responded in 16 minutes, minus about 5 minutes between my transmission and your reception, and that means you had about 11 minutes to make a snap judgment without full exploration, yet you are the learned and open-minded one? I would suggest you are operating out of ignorance, which is typical for Leftists. You don’t think for yourselves. You simply lap up what is served and regurgitate. You are uninformed and immature.

    As to my children, they are all straight A students studying logic and Latin and other disciplines in an interdisciplinary fashion. They are learning to prepare for life without whining and without depending on government or so-called messiahs.

    However, you are right: any idiot can start a blog, and any person lacking in substance, character and intelligence can engage mere emotionalism for no other reason than making themselves feel relevant.

    See if you can wrap your mind around this critique of the modern college student and the results of “higher” education:

    ‘The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so [the students] see it. They have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society. That it is a moral issue for students is revealed by the character of their response when challenged — a combination of disbelief and indignation: “Are you an absolutist?,” the only alternative they know, uttered in the same tone as “Are you a monarchist?” or “Do you really believe in witches?”‘ (Closing of the American Mind, 25, by Allan Bloom.)

    “Indignation is the soul’s defense against the wound of doubt about its own; it reorders the cosmos to support the justice of its cause. It justifies putting Socrates to death. Recognizing indignation for what it is constitutes knowledge of the soul, and is thus an experience more philosophic than the study of mathematics.” (Closing of the American Mind, 71)

    Indignation may tickle your Leftist nerve endings, but it does not become you. I suspect it is indeed your soul’s defense against the wound of doubt that goads you to viciousness, a kind of baby blanket you cling to for reassurance.

    ——————————————————————————–

  13. Allan Erickson says:

    Oh, and a couple questions for Adrian and Christopher: did the 9/11 terrorists attack Bill Clinton’s America? Or did they attack GWB’s America? Or did they attack Reagan’s or Carter’s America? Perhaps they attacked Ford’s America, or Nixon’s America, or LBJ’s America, or JFK’s America?

    When they attack next year or next month will it be GWB’s America they attack, or Clinton’s, or Carter’s or BHO’s?

    Which America do you attack?

  14. Adrian says:

    I made it about 4 minutes. Tell you what, you read some Noam Chomsky, and I’ll watch your videos.

  15. Allan Erickson says:

    I’ve read Noam Chomsky. He is an idiot, another hate America communist asshole.

  16. Allan Erickson says:

    Tell you what, read:

    A Shattered Visage, by Ravi Zacharias
    Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
    The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek

    A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.

  17. Adrian says:

    ahh yes, the truth revealed. Noam Chomsky, one of the the greatest minds of our generation, is an idiot? But you tout the prose of C.S. Lewis… so it appears our fascinating dialogue must come to an end, because one cannot rationalize with one who believe in god. That’s the sign of a delusional mind.

    On an unrelated note, you should increase the font size in the comment boxes.

  18. Allan Erickson says:

    Adrian:

    The genius of Noam Chomsky—

    “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”

    “The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.”

    “Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media. ”

    “Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it. ”

    You are absolutely correct. Anyone who elevates Chomsky above C.S. Lewis, has no place in this discussion.

    God Bless you!

    Allan

  19. Allan Erickson says:

    PS: Good company with fellow delusional minds who believe in God: Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington, Madison, Lincoln, and about 220 other Founding Fathers who understood as real Americans 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.” Americans understand without the Creator, we are subject to the whims of government and mere human wisdom, both insufficient foundations for the continuance of the republic. Therefore, those who would love and sustain freedom would love the Creator who bestows it. His grace even extends to atheists who spit in his face.

  20. SteveSyracuse says:

    Let’s go back to something you said that I can agree with:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    —Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

    I agree that we have given up MANY essential liberties in the War on Terror, and more under the guise of that threat.

    Given that the GOP has initiated and pushed thru most of these unconstitutional laws, how can you be more worried about an Obama Presidnecy than a McCain one?

  21. SteveSyracuse says:

    By the way, loving one’s Creator doesn’t mean that it is a prerequisite for maintaining the freedoms that the Founding Fathers wished for this country. The Founding Fathers themselves did not agree on just what the Creator is. Islamic extremists believe that their Creator gives them the unalienable right to kill heathens, so does that make THEM correct also? Do you want to decide whose God is the true one?

    I think our government is one of man’s laws, and bringing one’s God into it can just make it messy.

  22. Allan Erickson says:

    Steve,

    What specific essential liberties did the GOP push through? Do you mean the Patriot Act, FICA? Both voted on by Congress and by Obama? How did those votes turn out? Can we have some accuracy? As to God and Liberty and the Founders, does this sound familiar?

    “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.”

    Take out God and you take out the defender of Liberty. Not smart, but you appear to have learned well the lessons of moral equivalency, that somehow Islam is the same as Christianity. NOT!?

    How about these? Have any impact on your thinking?

    John Adams
    Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States

    [I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

    [W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.)

    The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

    (Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. VI, p. 9.)

    John Quincy Adams

    Sixth President of the United States

    The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.

    (Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.)

    There are three points of doctrine the belief of which forms the foundation of all morality. The first is the existence of God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these three articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark. The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.

    (Source: John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23.)

    Samuel Adams

    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    [N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

    (Source: William V. Wells, The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1865), Vol. I, p. 22, quoting from a political essay by Samuel Adams published in The Public Advertiser, 1749.)

    Fisher Ames

    Framer of the First Amendment

    Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.

    (Source: Fisher Ames, An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington (Boston: Young & Minns, 1800), p. 23.)

    Charles Carroll of Carrollton

    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)

    Oliver Ellsworth

    Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court

    [T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions—institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.

    (Source: Connecticut Courant, June 7, 1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut)

    Benjamin Franklin

    Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence

    [O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

    (Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787. )

    I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? 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, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

    I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.

    (Source: James Madison, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. I, pp. 450-452, June 28, 1787.)

    * For more details on this quote, click here.

    Thomas Jefferson

    Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States

    Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly. Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever an opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise will make them habitual. From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.

    (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1903), Vol. 5, pp. 82-83, in a letter to his nephew Peter Carr on August 19, 1785.)

    The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of mankind.

    (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383.)

    I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.

    (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. X, pp. 376-377. In a letter to Edward Dowse on April 19, 1803.)

    Richard Henry Lee

    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    It is certainly true that a popular government cannot flourish without virtue in the people.

    (Source: Richard Henry Lee, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, James Curtis Ballagh, editor (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1914), Vol. II, p. 411. In a letter to Colonel Mortin Pickett on March 5, 1786.)

    James McHenry

    Signer of the Constitution

    [P]ublic utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

    (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland, 1810-1920 (Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14.)

    Jedediah Morse

    Patriot and “Father of American Geography”

    To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.

    (Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)

    William Penn

    Founder of Pennsylvania

    [I]t is impossible that any people of government should ever prosper, where men render not unto God, that which is God’s, as well as to Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.

    (Source: Fundamental Constitutions of Pennsylvania, 1682. Written by William Penn, founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.)

    Pennsylvania Supreme Court

    No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country.

    (Source: Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 1824. Updegraph v. Commonwealth; 11 Serg. & R. 393, 406 (Sup.Ct. Penn. 1824).)

    Benjamin Rush

    Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.

    (Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia: Thomas and William Bradford, 1806), p. 8.)

    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. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.

    (Source: Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas and William Bradford, 1806), pp. 93-94.)

    By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects. . . . It is the only correct map of the human heart that ever has been published. . . . All systems of religion, morals, and government not founded upon it [the Bible] must perish, and how consoling the thought, it will not only survive the wreck of these systems but the world itself. “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew 1:18]

    (Source: Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951), p. 936, to John Adams, January 23, 1807.)

    Remember that national crimes require national punishments, and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure them that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or merciful.

    (Source: Benjamin Rush, An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America Upon Slave-Keeping (Boston: John Boyles, 1773), p. 30.)

    Joseph Story

    Supreme Court Justice

    Indeed, the right of a society or government to [participate] in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well being of the state and indispensable to the administrations of civil justice. The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion—the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to Him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues—these never can be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can well exist without them.

    (Source: Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847), p. 260, §442.)

    George Washington

    “Father of Our Country”

    While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.

    (Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XXX, p. 432 n., from his address to the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in North America, October 9, 1789.)

    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 man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?

    And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

    (Source: George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796.)

    [T]he [federal] government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.

    (Source: George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1939), Vol. XXIX, p. 410. In a letter to Marquis De Lafayette, February 7, 1788.)

    * For the full text of Geo. Washington’s Farewell Address, click here.

    Daniel Webster

    Early American Jurist and Senator

    [I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

    (Source: Daniel Webster, The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1903), Vol. XIII, p. 492. From “The Dignity and Importance of History,” February 23, 1852.)

    Noah Webster

    Founding Educator

    The most perfect maxims and examples for regulating your social conduct and domestic economy, as well as the best rules of morality and religion, are to be found in the Bible. . . . The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation. . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. . . . For instruction then in social, religious and civil duties resort to the scriptures for the best precepts.

    (Source: Noah Webster, History of the United States, “Advice to the Young” (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 338-340, par. 51, 53, 56.)

    James Wilson

    Signer of the Constitution

    Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both.

    (Source: James Wilson, The Works of the Honourable James Wilson (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. I, p. 106.)

    Robert Winthrop

    Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives

    Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.

    (Source: Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852), p. 172 from his “Either by the Bible or the Bayonet.”)

  23. Nate says:

    The irony of this article is that is starts by stating that it is fallacious to try to divide Americans into two camps, then it proceeds to spend many paragraphs falling ever deeper into the same fallacious line of reasoning that it just called wrong.

    As for liberties, they have been in decline since sometime in the 80’s or 90’s, principally using the drug war as a pretext. Many of the provisions of the Patriot Act and other measures were part of the lawn order types’ wish list before 9/11 and terrorism just became their new pretext for getting them passed. I think you will find that you have very little defense against law enforcement these days if they decide that they don’t feel like respecting the rights that you thought you had; this especially concerns your property, which has become quite easy for them to invade, confiscate, etc., and it’s especially true if federal agents are the ones who are after you. The Bush administration has even declared that habeas corpus no longer applies if the federal government doesn’t feel like honoring it! This despite the right of habeas corpus being written right into Article 1 of the Constitution, the only individual right that was deemed important enough to include in the original document.

  24. Allan Erickson says:

    Nate!

    Habeus Corpus has been cancelled? Did you read that in the NY Times? I thought the Supreme Court just extended Habeus to terrorism suspects being held at Gitmo! Wow, so in America, I can be arrested and never hear Miranda rights, never know why I’m being charged, and I can be held in detention indefinitely without knowing what I’m accused of, without legal representation, and without the right to face my accusers?

    Law enforcement can simply ignore due process?

    That will come as news to my son, an officer with LAPD. He tells me officers risk their lives every day protecting innocent citizens, and crime victims and protecting the rights of the accused as well.

    Talk about fallacious lines of reasoning huh?

  25. SteveSyracuse says:

    Pasting quotes doesn’t make a reasoned argument. I asked you why Obama would be a worse President than the GOP nominee when it was the Bush Administration that pushed the Patriot Act through Congress, approved torture and coerced the Telcom companies into making warrantless wiretaps.

    Why do you think a GOP President would do more to secure our liberties based on what has been done over the past 8 years?

  26. Allan Erickson says:

    You said the Founders did not rely on the Creator for endowment of rights, i.e., freedom. Quotes demonstrate otherwise. But I guess you didn’t read them, or you would have known that, and had the courage to acknowledge error. Obama will be a poor president because he is a socialist and a friend of America haters worldwide and has been for 28 years. He will try to appease our enemies which always invites aggression. He will cut defense which will make us vulnerable. Our volunteer force will be demoralized behind a weak and cowardly leader. So, Obama will have to institute the draft which of course brings its own set of problems. Obama will find himself opposed by most Americans within two years of inauguration, he will also find his radical Leftist friends turn on him because once in office he won’t be able to deliver on their demands, but in the meanwhile his thoroughly immoral domestic policies and economic policies will wreck the country rendering us another third rate power subject to domination by the European union and powers in the Far East, not to mention Islamic radicals. But, by then, it may not matter anyway, because the ice caps will have melted and we’ll all drown, right? And with our last breath we’ll yearn for the days of the Patriot Act and surveillance of enemy combatants yielding seven years of safety during the Bush Administration.

  27. SteveSyracuse says:

    Read, Allan, read. I did NOT say the Founders did not rely on the Creator. I said they didnt agree just who/what the Creator was. Some believed in an active God, but some were Deists, who believed in a passive God.

    Obama is not a Socialist…but I guess you have the GOP talking points down. Any government which collects taxes is socialist in a way… taking your money to use for the common good, beit the military, Medicare or tax breaks for the oil companies. He is not a friend of America haters worldwide. Give me an example. You mean talking to Iran’s President? That is called diplomacy. BTW, did you read where the Bush Administration was talking to North Korea…a member of the Axis of Evil. Oh wait…they got taken off that. We are about to start talking to the Taliban too. Does that make Bush a friend of America haters too?

    Cutting defense is a reasonable thing. Why do we need to spend MORE money now that the USSR is gone? On stupid little terrorist? You dont fight terrorists with your military, we proved that doesnt work well.

    Obama couldnt demoralize the volunteer Army any more than they are now, with stop loss and tour after tour after tour. You attribute things to a potential Obama Administration that the Bush Administration is ALREADY doing!

    Regarding the Patriot act, let’s again quote one of the founding fathers:
    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    —Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

  28. Allan Erickson says:

    Best to believe in in an active God, who will come to judge the quick and the dead. Ben Franklin and most of the others believed in an active God who endows rights. How can an inactive God endow?

    As to Obama, socialism and terrorism, best election video of the season, hands down, here you go:

    http://www.eyeblast.tv/Public/Video.aspx?rsrcID=2036

    Cutting defense in the face of global jihad working overtime to get WMD is plain insane. News to our soldier and Marines who have brought liberation and stability to Iraq, decimated Al Qaeda, and liberated Afghanistan, not to mention containing Qaddafi and striking useful fear into the hearts of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranians, the only thing they understand.

    You don’t know the military. Demoralilzed? Why then to they rally to McCain with 68% approval?

    http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf

    Bush and the Patriot Act have saved our asses for 7 years. Any gratitude at all?

    PS: Even BHO voted for FISA. What the hell?!

  29. SteveSyracuse says:

    I thought we could have a discussion, but you don’t know what you are talking about. Later.

  30. Allan Erickson says:

    HA! You Leftists have two only ways to engage: smear, or cut ‘n run. You never bring source material. You never debate on the merits. You either try ad hominem attacks, or, when that doesn’t work, you run away. Later.

  31. SteveSyracuse says:

    I never smeared, certainly didnt cut and run and never made ad hominem attacks, but you just amuse yourself. Ready for the world to end now that Obama has been elected?

  32. Allan Erickson says:

    The end will come eventually, and then, everyone will give an answer:

    Romans Chapter 1:

    16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

  33. Adrian says:

    Just thought I would stop in and say how great it is that America rejected your narrow-minded views. That’s PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. Get used to it.

  34. Allan Erickson says:

    It may be President Elect Obama will govern broadly and effectively. That remains to be seen.

    However, honest people who raise legitimate concerns based on valid political philosophy and issue-orientation should not be vilified simply for having an opinion, but this seems the popular past time of Leftists, ironically contradicting their exclusive claims to goodness and diversity.

    How intolerant of diverse opinions you appear!

    Those of us who are Christians are by definition narrow-minded according to you, but what can be more narrow-minded than the bigoted hatred expressed by the Left against the most diverse community on earth? Christians embrace an enormous range of people from all nations, all walks of life, all creeds and colors, all political orientations and all corners of the world, agreeing on one thing at least: Christ is God.

    Why is Barack Obama’s brand of Christianity palatable but not Pat Robertson’s? My guess is the points of departure involve issues like gay marriage and abortion. Now who is narrow-minded?

    The Truth will stand regardless of elections, popular trends, the passions of the day.

    Mr. Obama is obviously intelligent, charismatic, capable, learned, and articulate.

    However, there are two things he will never accomplish: he will never change the nature of man or the will of God.

    Once the euphoria of the moment passes, people will realize the world is dangerous, not because of Christians, but because of despotism, lunatic terrorists and Leftist control freaks hell bent on imposing their will on everyone.

    Perhaps at that time people will once again consider the claims of Christ and embrace the Truth, rejecting the Universalism being peddled by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, concluding in the end there are no political solutions.

    Feeling good for the moment is one thing. Being right for eternity is The Thing.

    https://allanerickson.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/probability-prophecy-prince-of-peace/

  35. Allan Erickson says:

    BTW Steve, aren’t you the one who said there is no military solution concerning the problem of terrorism?

    https://allanerickson.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/iraq-war-victory-news-blackout/

  36. Ross Robbins says:

    Wow. Your hypocrisy shines through more and more.

    “Liberty, Equality” (unless you’re gay) “Justice, Goodness, Charity”*some restrictions apply, sorry homos… “Opportunity” (especially if you happen to be a white male)… “Hope, Promise, Community, Volunteerism” HA! Unless President Elect BARACK OBAMA proposes volunteerism–then the right wing goes completely insane. Community? Open to which citizens exactly?

    Republicans are without a doubt the most selfish people in the world. Generalization, but I’ve yet to see an exception.

    “However, honest people who raise legitimate concerns based on valid political philosophy and issue-orientation should not be vilified simply for having an opinion, but this seems the popular past time of Leftists, ironically contradicting their exclusive claims to goodness and diversity.”

    And if you’re gay you’re going to Hell. If you disagree with the GOP you hate America. American in name only? Over 50% of America would deny me equal rights (or as you call it “special treatment”) since I’m gay, yet I maintain faith that decency will prevail. The voices of bigots and religious zealots will be drowned out by LOVE FOR ALL, regardless of sexual orientation. Keep your goddamn bible out of my life.

    “How intolerant of diverse opinions you appear!”

    Wow. In that case, STFU about gay marriage and let me find a husband. Oh, what’s that? Oh, of course–intolerant if disagreeing with a poor, persecuted Christian, AINO, america-hater, etc. etc. Hypocrite.
    Liar.
    Windbag.
    Scum.
    Goodbye.

    “Those of us who are Christians are by definition narrow-minded according to you, but what can be more narrow-minded than the bigoted hatred expressed by the Left against the most diverse community on earth? Christians embrace an enormous range of people from all nations, all walks of life, all creeds and colors, all political orientations and all corners of the world, agreeing on one thing at least: Christ is God.”
    And fags are evil, right? Go ahead and cover it up, but it’s right there under the surface with people like you.

    Unresolved sexual identity issues, most likely.

    Good luck with your future bullshit ranting.
    -R

  37. Allan Erickson says:

    Ross:

    All people are evil. That’s the problem. “All have fallen short of the glory of God—All have sinned …. and the wages of sin is death.”

    We are dealing with a holy God. Only the holy stand in his presence, but we are all unholy, all hell-bound, all condemned by our sin, which we wallow in, by free will choice.

    Jesus drilled even deeper than behaviors to nail our sin. He says if you are angry with somebody you have committed murder. If you even think lustfully, you are an adulterer, according the Jesus Christ.

    Worse than that Jesus says if you violate one little particle of his holy law (righteous standard), in thought, word or deed, you have violated the entire Law as detailed not only in the Ten Commandments but all the sub-set stuff too!

    In other words, there is a vast canyon separating us from our Creator because we decided to tell Him to stick it in his ear, we’ll run the show on our own, and look at the mess we’ve made of it.

    Christ came to take the death penalty for us, to take our place, so that by accepting that gift, we can be set free. With his own body he bridged the canyon back to Eden, back to the Father, making a way for us out of the wilderness of our own sin.

    The only way anyone can stand in the Presence of a Holy God is by being clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and the only way to get those clothes is to accept his death on the cross in your place, acknowledging your sin, asking for forgiveness, and walking in the newness of life that only he can provide, secure and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. He actually does the work to clean us up as we cooperate according to his will. This is what the Bible teaches. You can rail against it, reject it, hate it, and despise the teaching if you will, but if it’s all Truth, you do so to your own injury.

    Your sin is no different from mine. And the One who provides salvation provides if for all.

    The socio-political argument we have about gay marriage versus civil unions etc. is a separate topic, but for the sake of argument, let’s say we Christians got together and started a movement to insist the bible be taught in public schools.

    Watch the wheels comes off.

    Why then don’t you see our objection to your wish to mainstream something we see as immoral and destructive, something entirely opposed to the traditions of man, the laws of nature, and the precepts of moral conscience?

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