Continued from Part Seven:
To find out how this all started, see Part One
Furthermore, our rights ARE subject to change and amendment, regardless of the existence of God or not. We used to have the right to own slaves, then we didn’t. We used to have the right to drink beer, then that right was taken, then it was given back. Women used to not have the right to vote, but then it was granted. All of this was done by changes and amendments and a Supreme Court that views the Constitution, not the Bible, as the supreme law of the land.
I think what Russ and I have is a fundamental misunderstanding of what rights we have. The key point to remember with the left is they make a lot of things “rights” that really aren’t. First of all, there is no right to drink beer. Today, the State of Idaho could ban beer. The 21st Amendment which repealed prohibition says clearly:
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Secondly, when I refer to our rights being from God, I harken back to the Declaration that tells us that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. As such these rights exist whether they are recognized by the state, because they don’t depend on the State’s recognition for them to legitimately be our rights. As Thomas Jefferson said:
Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?
Part of the problem and a real danger with the left is how it creates new rights out of thin air. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights numerous rights are spelled out such as the right to Social Security. (Article 22), the Right to Vacation and Holidays (Article 24), the Right to Education. (Article 26), the right to Participate in the Arts (Article 27), and the right to Personality Development (Article 29). While such things may or may not be things the state should promote, they’re certainly not on par with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What has happened is that through a multiplication of rights, the left has denigrated the term. Its simply a higher legislation.
The founders gave us simple list of rights in the Declaration and told us they were from the Creator. (Life, liberty, and happiness.) and then left the rest to the States and people to deal with throughout our history. The danger of legislating so many rights is that we devalue them, so that in the process of creating new rights, we’ll put them on the same station as those that truly are important and vital to our society.
Now that that’s done, lets move over to the commenters.
Lets start off with Holly from Julien’s List:
Thanks Russ! Please tell Adam that Christian-specific God stuff in public places makes many non-Christians feel as if they’re being raped or poisoned.
I’ll say this as nicely as possible. Many Non-Christians need to get over it. There’s an LDS book section at Wal-Mart, there’s Menorahs on Captiol Hill and many government buildings. The culture is filled with pagan and satanic imagery during the Halloween season. Yet, somehow I manage to survive without filing a single lawsuit and rarely even complain about it. Most of it doesn’t even really bother me.
Russ decided to respond to Holly.
Holly, he won’t get it. Adam takes his Kool-Aid in an IV drip. He can’t see the point because in his mind, his God is the right God and the rest of us are wrong.
Ah, and the left can’t see its wrong because it desperately wants there to be no God or no effective God. They’ve come to save us, you see. With all those special new rights. They’ve even come to save us from ourselves, subverting our Constitution in the name of making our society better and saying the Constitution’s living and growing.
Russ almost grasps a key fact in here, though. The reason we disagree comes down to a fundamental issue of worldviews. Russ views the world through a liberal humanist lense and I through a traditional Christian lense. Thus for either of us to ever change the other’s view on anything, we have to change the way the other person’s view of the world. Thus why I generally don’t engage in these discussions. This one was just too tempting.
I thought I’ve made some great points in this series, but I doubt any of it will pursuade Russ. He’ll either come up with a response or just ignore it.
I believe that the freedom of religion most Evangelicals pay lip service unto just means “okay, we’ll tolerate your heretical beliefs, so long as you recognize ours are superior.”
Talk about persecution complex. Charles Krauthammer (who is Jewish) wrote:
The attempts to de-Christianize Christmas are as absurd as they are relentless. The United States today is the most tolerant and diverse society in history. It celebrates all faiths with an open heart and open-mindedness that, compared to even the most advanced countries in Europe, are unique.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin opposes the War on Christmas and attempts at secularization. He writes
We Jews aren’t chic any longer. Not too many people care for Jews these days. Europe, including England, makes little secret of how it feels towards Jews. If possible, they care even less for Israel. All Moslem countries, more than a billion angry people frequently at one another’s necks, are magically unified over hatred for Jews and resentment over that little patch of sand in the Middle East which Jews turned into a country. Much of Africa and most of Russia feels the same way. Hate the Jews.
It is very challenging for a small group of people to survive with no friends.
But wait! There is one group of people who unconditionally love Jews and the Land of Israel. These people are called Christian conservatives. They are made up of Catholics, and Protestants, Baptists and Lutherans and many others. Although theologies differ widely, they all share a deep conviction that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. They all fervently believe that in so doing, God presented humanity with a blueprint for life. Needless to say, these views should be shared by every Jew committed to his faith.
Also for more on this subject see Part Four to see why the fear of theocracy is a very silly one. There’s not enough consensus among Christians as to who the heretics are to begin cordoning off who is and who isn’t.
Oddjob took issue with my attacks on Sweden, pointing out that Sweden had an established church. Indeed, Sweden still has an official church. This would be a case against establishing an offical state church. As this is not my position, its a red herring and is also not a possibility.
The establishment of a church in Great Britain has certainly not done wonders for Britain where the percentage of Brits who attend Church stands around 14%. As a report observes, “Organized religion in the UK has severely declined to the point where it is generally overlooked and ignored.” The Church of England is thus kind of like the royal family, just without the juicy sex scandals.
Odd job went on to suggest that I needed to change my argument:
If Adam is honest with himself, instead of trying to support an imaginary America that never existed, he’ll start from first premises.
As a Fundamentalist Christian (or so I assume him to be), that necessarily means the Bible takes preeminence over everything else. If one sits down and reads it thoroughly and searchingly, sooner or later one realizes that in the entire thing there is no support for any form of government except one:
Well, I don’t agree that the Bible says only theocracy is acceptable, but he hits a point for the leftists. Why instead of claiming that guys who lived 200 hundred years ago thought homosexuals should get married through stretching our Constitution to the point of meaningless in the “Living Constitution” doctrine, why doesn’t the left admits it wants to remake our country in its own image?
One reason: they can’t get the votes. That’s why they rely on the courts.
Russ responds to a libertarian commenter (our buddy Michael) with this:
I agree, Michael. A purely socialist government would be bad for economic freedom. And a purely capitalistic government would be equally bad (history has proven it). That’s why I favor just enough government oversight, regulation, and social safety net to keep corporations honest, sick people tended to, elderly people cared for, poor people fed, schoolchildren educated, and opportunity afforded equally to all, but not so much as to unduly restrict free economic exercise. You know, the kind of system the US had between the New Deal and the Reagan administration, when we became the dominant economic superpower, and you and plenty of others became multimillionaires while more and more people escaped poverty and there was a solid middle class.
So, what does want to go back to? Jimmy Carter and the great Malaise. Lets go ahead and talk about taxes. Before Reagan took office the top marginal tax rate was 70%. Before the Kennedy-Johnson years, it stood at 91%. At the height of the FDR, the top marginal rate was 94%. Does Russ really want to take us back there?
The Prime Rate hit 21.50% during the Carter administration, with high inflation. That’s where Russ wants to go back to. Well, I don’t.
Russ also said later on that its wrong to think that “I think it’s dandy for irresponsible young women to have had eleven first trimester abortions.”
I would love to hear his explanation of why he doesn’t. After all, if its just a woman’s body than what does it matter whether its one or one hundred?
Walt of Wally Whateley’s House of Horrors had this to say:
Having read Adam Graham’s screed, I really don’t think I’d count him as someone I’d want to call a friend. He sounds like one of those Phelpsians who prays for his enemies’ deaths.
I’ve had former “friends” who revealed to me that they thought that way, and I responded correctly, by deleting them from my address book, Christmas card list, and my life.
Nice to know you practice tolerance and understanding. By the way, I’ve actually gotten angry e-mails from a member of the Phelps family.
Well, that’s about it. Thus, in eight parts ends the Blogging Epic. Thanks for reading.