The View From 1776
Friday, March 26, 2004
Ohio Subjects Darwinian Dogma to Scientific Scrutiny
In the true spirit of science, Ohio is giving students the opportunity to examine both sides of the story and decide truth based on real evidence.
In a March 22, 2004, article, Ohio lesson plan pleases conservatives, irks apostles of Darwin Phyllis Schlafly writes:
“Why is it important for scientists to critically analyze evolution?”
That’s the first question in the “student reflection” portion of a controversial 22-page section called “Critical Analysis of Evolution,” which is now part of Ohio’s 547-page public school science curriculum.
How could anybody object to such an innocuous question? Newspapers report a steady stream of news that scientists are questioning such dogmas as good cholesterol vs. bad cholesterol, vaccine links to autism, the causes of breast cancer, even fluoridation for children’s teeth. Isn’t the nature of science to question assertions and seek the proof from evidence?
On Feb. 10, the Ohio State Board of Education approved the new curriculum by a vote of 13-5 after being persuaded by 22 Ohio scientists that the lesson plan promotes academic freedom and that it is good for students in 10th grade to have an inquiring mind about evolution.
“Are we about teaching students how to think, or what to think?” asked one parent supporter of the lesson plan.
The writer of this present weblog article is gratified to have played a tiny part in the Ohio struggle, having submitted a brief in February, 2002, supporting Intelligent Design vs Darwinian evolution to the Education Committee of the Ohio State Assembly and the Ohio Board of Education at the request of Dr. Deborah Owens-Fink, a professor at the University of Akron and a member of the Ohio Board of Education.
Several points need explanation and emphasis with regard to Darwinian evolution as it has been taught to young students for more than a hundred years. There is so much to be said in this regard that it will become the subject of additional articles in the future.
First, Darwin’s theory of evolution may, in fact, be a true explanation for the origin of new species and may therefore be a proof that all forms of life evolved, purely by random accident, from a single, original living cell. Unfortunately for advocates of Darwin’s theory there is no evidence to prove the theory. Nothing at all. It remains only an interesting speculation that is still in search of substantiating evidence.
Evolutionary theory declares that some single-cell life form just “happened,“and that all of our present and past complex life forms evolved thereafter through the mechanism of natural selection. In this theory, random mutations in physical characteristics of a life form could make the individuals possessing it more able to survive in greater numbers as external, material conditions changed. Individuals not possessing the random new features would either perish or survive in fewer numbers than their fellows. If this process continued over unimaginably long time periods, life forms at the end of the chain would have become so different from original forms as to have become entirely new species.
Few people question the starting thesis. We can see in everyday life that individuals in any group display varying characteristics and that, because of them, some individuals flourish more than others. Darwin’s theory lives or dies on the huge leap it must make in moving from that observation to declaring that all, vastly differentiated life forms came about in this manner. In actuality, nothing in the realm of science has been found that would offer more than “might have been” inferential support. There is absolutely not a single piece of incontrovertible evidence of the kind Darwin confidently predicted would be found. For a thorough-going analysis of this assertion, see the works listed under the link in the right-hand, “Books to Read” side-bar of this website.
Let’s look at the single most important body of evidence and the one on which Darwin hung his hat. If evolution by natural selection is really the only process determining life forms, the fossil record should show a steady, almost limitless, gradual progression in intermediate life forms between species, as one gradually evolved into a new one. Only simple life forms should be found in the earliest fossils, and more complex life forms should appear only in later fossils, with each succeeding fossil record showing a dying out of earlier life forms that were not adapted to changing conditions.
To Darwin’s dismay, subsequent fossil discoveries completely contradict the predictions of evolution. The most surprising finding is that the bulk of plants and animals living today are exactly the same as they were hundreds of millions of years ago, with no evidence of evolution. Clearly, climate and other conditions on earth have undergone enormous changes during those eons. Some forms, famously the dinosaurs, perished. But why didn’t all of these early life forms evolve if their destiny is controlled entirely by random changes in external conditions?
More damning for Darwin, it was discovered that, in the Cambrian period roughly 600 million years ago, life forms took a sudden and dramatic leap, all at once. Before the Cambrian period, life forms had been invertebrates (lacking back-bones). At one shot, in the Cambrian period almost all presently known phyla of vertebrates and complex plants appear, fully differentiated with none of the millions of gradually evolving, intermediate forms predicted by Darwin’s theory.
Darwinians were also undercut by Mendel’s demonstrations of heredity principles. Discoveries in RNA and DNA theory fail to support evolution. Mathematicians have calculated the observed rate of random genetic variations in living creatures and the time periods needed for those random changes to produce observable changes in physical characteristics. Their conclusion is that the universe is not old enough for the billions of changes required for all complex life forms and specialized organs like eyes, lungs, and circulatory systems to have evolved from a single-cell living creature.
Darwinian theorists, like trapped beasts, have spent the intervening decades thrashing about seeking an escape from the facts. Carl Sagan, for example, said that the leaps in fossil recods were explained by extra-terrestrials having brought new life forms here from other planets. In short, one must believe in magic and alchemy to retain faith in Darwinian evolution.
Why then do advocates of Darwinian evolution insist so vehemently that only Darwinian evolutionary theory be taught in our schools? Why do they denounce any questioning of it as an effort to destroy science and to push society back into ignorance and superstition?
As is true of most such issues in our cultural civil war, the answer is that Darwinian evolution is a fundamental dogma in liberals’ religion of socialism. John Dewey, the father of socialist Progressive Education and the formulator of the ends-justify-the-means philosophy of Pragmatism, used Darwin’s theory as the rock-bottom foundation of his doctrines. Progressive education is aimed at shaping young students to be good socialists, and Darwinian evolutionary theory is an essential part of it.
Darwin’s theory appeared soon after the introduction of socialist theory and at the same time that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were producing their monumental works on the religion of socialism. Marxians eagerly adopted Darwin’s evolutionary theory as a support for their faith in the inevitable triumph of socialism. Marxians believed in a secular and materialistic world that was entirely a product of people’s physical surroundings of work conditions and government regulations. Darwinians believed that all of life evolved in blind response to random materialistic forces. Both Darwin and Marx rejected the idea that humans have a fixed, God-given nature that reaches its highest expression in pursuit of the moral values taught by spiritual religions.
Above all, Darwin?s theory of evolution was intended to cut the legs from under Western civilization?s model of a universe conforming to a unified design that the Bible calls the Mind of God. It is an unapologetic rationalization for a completely materialistic world that bears no resemblance to the Creation pictured in the Bible?s Book of Genesis. It is not coincidental that Darwin and most of his followers in 1859 and afterwards were atheists or agnostics.
Darwin stated candidly that his theory aimed to destroy literal belief in the Bible?s Book of Genesis. His family, starting with an uncle whose published work challenged Christian orthodoxy, were somewhat notorious agnostics. In the original version of his autobiography, Darwin wrote that he was opposed to ?the damnable doctrine? of Christianity and the Bible.
Our Constitution, which is based entirely upon natural-law concepts that the Declaration of Independence calls “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” is diametrically opposed to the views inherent in Darwinian evolution. The two are based on completely different ideas about human nature and the source of legitimacy for political order. Present-day American liberals gloss over this point, but their Darwinian grandparents quite openly called for abolishing our Constitutional government and replacing it with socialism. Needless to say, Darwin?s doctrine opposing natural law has been a comfort to tyrants, from Napoleon and Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, to Mao.
Evolution, therefore, cannot be a subject of rational discussion. Liberals must fight to prevent teaching anything that supports Western civilization’s traditions of human nature and personal morality, rooted in the natural-law understanding of a God-given universe. Students must be catechized to accept Darwin?s theory unquestioningly as an article of blind religious faith.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2004
The “Logic” of Liberal-Socialist Foreign Policy
Renewed attacks on Bush administration foreign policy arise from a theory of human nature and political relations that is both simplistic and vulnerable to totalitarianism.
A confluence of events in recent days brings into sharp focus the fundamental differences between liberal-socialist political theory and the realistic understanding of human nature and political governance that guided our forebears in writing the Constitution in 1787.
Public hearings of the independent commission investigating the 9/11 Al Queda attacks are being reported mostly from the liberal-socialist viewpoint. In that take, President Clinton had matters well in hand and was dealing effectively with the Al Queda threat, but the incoming Bush administration abandoned his sound policy and embarked on a foolhardy and unilateral militarism. Multi-lateral diplomacy through the UN and treating terrorism as a legal problem are the only appropriate responses. Armed force to destroy terrorists is unthinkable.
Simultaneously, former counter-terror functionary Richard A. Clarke published a book denouncing the Administration in the same terms. He is being lionized by the TV interview shows as a voice of reason in a sea of conservative idiocy.
Terrorists bombed commuter trains in Madrid, and voters elected a socialist leader pledged to abandon military action and seek safety in appeasement. The head of the European Union intoned soothingly that diplomacy is the only appropriate means to calm Europeans’ fears.
Finally, Israel assassinated the founder and leader of Hammas, and the socialist world, led by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, denounced this action as a violation of international law.
Such reactions arise from a world view conceived in mythology, which makes them unrealistic and therefore dangerous. Moreover, if the “logic” behind them is fully implemented, it leads to totalitarianism.
The socialist religion, called liberalism in the United States, is based on the myth that humans are wholly good and kind, when they have not been corrupted by the institution of private property. Socialism therefore fights to overturn governments based on the natural-law, inalienable, and individual rights of life, liberty, and property.
For the liberal-socialist, there can be no freedom as long as some people have more wealth than others, because that prevents equal access by everyone to all of society’s goods and services, regardless of whether he deserves it or whether he works to earn it. Earthly paradise is therefore an egalitarian society in which no one may have more than anyone else. Unfortunately for the socialist religion, history repeatedly has demonstrated that such a political state can exist only under despotic rule by an intellectual elite administering a gigantic and rigid bureaucracy. France and Germany, sinking under the weight of their socialist welfare-state systems , are the most prominent current-day examples. The Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Castro’s Cuba are prototypes for socialist “liberty.”
These socialist religious beliefs explain the current attacks on the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Al Queda and related terrorist organizations are not bad people. They are the victims of Western society, in particular the United States, which has unjustly taken more than its share of the world’s goods and services. If we just deal diplomatically with terrorists, we can work out an equitable solution to give them a fair share of wealth, and their fundamentally benevolent natures will be reasserted. Magically peace and tranquility will be restored to the world. This is the mythology embodied in the UN and the fictions of “international law” and “the community of nations.”
One of the most puzzling aspects of liberal-socialist denunciations of American foreign policy and Israel’s counter-attacks against Palestinian suicide bombings is liberals’ refusal to condemn terrorism as evil. Indeed, liberals ridicule and scathingly denounce President Bush’s characterization of terrorist nations as part of an Axis of Evil. They despise his references to spiritual religion. What accounts for that?
Again the answer is found in socialist religious mythology. Socialism, beginning in the French Revolution of 1789, aims always to wipe out spiritual religion’s concepts of morality and personal responsibility. Classifying actions as good or bad is said to be unscientific value judgment. French socialists held that the only morality was social justice, essentially equal distribution of wealth, which was to be imposed by ruling councils of intellectuals. In England of the 1850s and 1860s, Charles Darwin’s great propaganda champion Thomas Huxley declared that there was no such thing as sin or morality. Society was merely the struggle for survival, a process of evolutionary natural selection. Marxian contemporaries of Darwin enthusiastically adopted evolutionary theory to justify Marx’s prediction of the inevitable triumph of socialism.
In the United States during the early decades of the 20th century, John Dewey donned the mitre of socialist priesthood and taught his philosophy of Pragmatism that dismissed morality and ideas of good or bad. There were, said Dewey, only actions that worked for an individual or failed to work. The end justifies the means, which in his case meant that any action by liberal-socialists to corrode the moral foundations of the nation would be pragmatically acceptable, if the result were the imposition of socialism as the official national church.
In more recent years, students in this country have far too often been taught by our schools that the only virtue is “tolerance,” which means that there can be no standards of right or wrong. Students are told that they must see everything from the other guy’s viewpoint. Even the Holocaust cannot be condemned, because Hitler had his reasons.
Liberal politicians, academics, and mobs in the streets scream that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was simply a capitalist plot to grab Iraqui oil reserves and enrich fat-cat corporations. Dealing forcefully with terrorists, they declare, is evidence of the corrupting influence of private property, at a time when taxes should be raised, resources ought to be diverted to enlarging the welfare state, and the government should employ every citizen.
These are the products of liberal-socialism, a religion teaching that people are good if not corrupted by private ownership of property, that liberty is equal access to goods and services, whether you work for it or not, and that earthly salvation lies in collectivized government, planned and managed by intellectuals.
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Sunday, March 21, 2004
The Liberal-Socialist Mind As Farce
Socialism is based on abstract mind games that could pass as comedy routines if they weren’t so dangerously naive.
The following news item appeared in the 3/19/04 edition of the Winnipeg [Canada] SunNews:
Stab-proof vests for guards nixed
EDMONTON—Corrections Canada won’t let guards at maximum-security prisons wear stab-proof vests because it sends a confrontational “signal” to prisoners, says a department spokesman. “If you have that kind of presence symbolized by (a stab-proof vest), you’re sending a signal to the prisoner that you consider him to be a dangerous person,” said Tim Krause. “It interferes with what we call ‘dynamic security.’ We want staff to talk to prisoners, to see how they’re doing.”
Socialist Canada’s refusal to protect prison guards because it might offend prisoners’ feelings is paralleled by American liberal-socialists’ putting world opinion ahead of our national security in the war against terror. God forbid we should upset the French and the Germans just because of 9/11.
On a limited, down-to-earth scale, this illustrates the sort of “thinking” that lies behind liberals’ faith in the UN as the ultimate arbiter in international affairs. Boil it all down and it amounts to wishful thinking.
As noted in the March 16, 2004 post on “The Spanish Elections: Democracy and Mob Rule,” socialists work on the assumption that the only reality is their own mental processes. History and tradition are dismissed as relics of ignorance. If intellectuals conceive a social justice ideal, then it’s presumed possible to implement it.
The paradox is that, while liberals talk about sensitivity and social-class rights, command-and-control power must be wielded at the national level to impose such “liberty.” In no country have citizens willingly handed over their property and their individual rights to collectivized national administrations. Lenin at least was forthright enough to state bluntly that social justice comes out of a gun barrel pointed at middle-class individualists.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
In Defense of Marriage
The government spends money to support many things. Why not marriage?
This article is by Dariel A. Colella, a friend from Wilton, Connecticut. It appeared originally in The American Spectator website.
Those who scoff at the government?s efforts to promote marriage do not understand the life of a single parent. The glamour girls in Hollywood may believe single motherhood is a dream, but for the everyday working mother it means hard work and sacrifice. What could possibly be wrong with community programs that reinforce the bonds of matrimony? Or programs that prepare young men and women for the realities of marriage? With the divorce rate at nearly fifty percent, matrimony clearly needs some assistance. Broken homes bring hardship to the entire family, but children suffer the most and there is no government program that will ease that pain.
The news about children growing up in a single-parent household is not good. Children suffer numerous consequences of divorce, and studies have shown that they are more likely to fall prey to emotional problems, drugs, premature sexual experiences, and failing grades in school. But what do we expect when mothers are forced to leave children home alone to care for themselves? Even if daycare is provided, young children miss out on after-school sports and other activities because there is no one to shuttle them to and fro. Mothers must deal with these troubles while most probably working full-time and trying to be both mommy and daddy, which is, by the way, an impossible feat.
While marriage may be the goal, no one is advocating that bad marriages continue at any cost, and promoting marriage certainly does not mean that women should suffer in abusive relationships. In a policy brief, Maggie Gallagher, affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values, reports that a study from the University of Denver showed that preparation for marriage programs may help reduce the risk of domestic violence and the likelihood of divorce.
However, according to Kathy Rodgers, The National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund (NOW-LDEF) president, ?The Bush administration is promoting an ideology of marriage and family life that?s about image, not reality. It?s a way of avoiding, not embracing, government?s responsibility to really help families.? The responsibilities of working and raising a family alone are enormous, and it should come as no surprise that marriage eases the burden. That is not an ideology, it?s a fact. Feminists, however, do not like to acknowledge that a woman might still need a man, but they cannot hide the truth that children still need their fathers.
The NOW-LDEF write in their position papers that ?Federal marriage promotion diverts welfare funds from basic economic supports, lacks public support, coercively intrudes on fundamentally private decisions, wastes public funds on ineffective policies and inappropriately limits state flexibility.? But if it is right and appropriate for the federal government to spend money on abortions for teenagers, why isn?t it reasonable to spend federal dollars on helping couples prepare for and cope with marriage? Both are private issues.
In a CNN report on single mothers, Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College says that the number of unwed mothers is an ?international, long-term historical process that involves the increasing independence of women.? Yes, now an independent young woman can go have an abortion (in most places without parental consent), she can go on to college where condoms are passed out like candy, she can land a job that requires so many hours per week that she has no time to even think about having a family, she can then choose to have a baby without a husband, and she lives happily ever after. Is anyone still buying that?
Daniel Lichter, co-author of a study on marriage and unwed mothers and professor of sociology at Ohio State University claims that other programs are of more importance: ?The findings of this study suggest that government marriage promotion cannot substitute for other policies to help the disadvantaged, such as minimum wage legislation, affirmative action, and education and training programs.? Who is promoting an ideology now? While these programs may help relieve some of the stress and assist a single mother in training and education, there is no substitution for having a father in the home. Dr. Lichter suggests that we must solve the problem of unwed childbearing first, but it seems to me that the two go hand-in-hand. Promoting marriage may very well reduce the number of women who have children out of wedlock.
We are in real trouble if the best we can hope for is to continue throwing money at existing programs that are obviously not working. Once upon a time, women depended on men to be partners in marriage and the head of the family. Now women are the head of the family, but they are dependent on the government. Are we better off now?
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Tuesday, March 16, 2004
The Spanish Elections: Democracy and Mob Rule
Democracy based on volatile popular opinion is not the form of government intended by our Constitution. Spain’s craven kow-towing to Al Queda is called democracy, but it’s simply liberal-socialism in action, the posture advocated by liberal Republicans and Democrats in the United States.
You already know that Al Queda successfully panicked Spanish voters into electing a socialist who promised to withdraw Spanish troops from the war on terror in Iraq. Voters appeared to believe that Islamic terrorists are basically nice guys who won’t attack Spain again if the Spanish promise not to annoy Al Queda in the future. But the Mafia and Al Queda demand more than respect from those under their protection. Appeasement in this case may be expected to “bring peace in out time” to the same extent it did when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed not to oppose Adolph Hitler’s annexation of part of Czechoslovakia in 1939. (For those among you too young to understand that reference, Chamberlain’s appeasement merely convinced Hitler that he could do as he wished. The result was World War II.)
Socialism in Spain, and among American liberals, is based on theory with no more structural integrity than a sand castle in mid-air. Liberals believe that everything in life is the product of rational thought in the minds of socialist intellectuals, implemented via government planning. Metaphysical realities like patriotism, steadfastness, loyalty, and bravery, not to mention religious fanaticism, are regarded as superstition and ignorance, barbaric relics of the pre-socialist past. Liberals operate as if these powerful political forces can be removed from the playing field simply by thinking it so.
Hence their total faith in and reliance upon “world opinion” and “the international community” to turn international affairs into a quiet tea party where everyone observes rules of decorum. Romano Prodi, the socialist chief of the European Commission, summed up liberals’ reaction to the bombings in Spain: “It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists….Europe applies different instruments, suited to help our citizens leave fear behind: using politics and not just force, which has created further fear.”
Events in Spain clearly have implications for us here in the United States. First, if Bin Ladin is as smart as he seems to be, there will be no Al Queda attacks here before the November elections. He already has seen that, when someone hits us, we, unlike the Spanish, hit back. The odds of Bush’s re-election would rise tremendously. But, if John Kerry wins the election, hold onto your hats. Senator Kerry loudly proclaims that unnamed foreign leaders (Bin Ladin no doubt among them) are anxious for him to oust President Bush. If he does, we can expect massive waves of bombing and other attacks to follow. Bin Ladin will rely on Kerry’s promise to treat terrorist attacks, not as acts of war, but merely as violations of “international law” to be dealt with by the UN and the World Court. Like Hitler in 1939, Bin Ladin will know that he already has won; he can attack the United States with complete impunity.
Second, Democrats are likely to invoke Florida’s contested vote in 2000 and again call for electing the President entirely on the basis of the popular vote totals. The Spanish fiasco demonstrates why the Constitution prescribed the Electoral College as the means of electing our Presidents. As Madison and Hamilton explained in The Federalist, the idea was to have people at the local levels select representatives to state legislatures, who would, in turn, select delegates to the Electoral College.
A two-fold purpose was to be served: first, average citizens would know little if anything about potential national leaders in distant states, but they would have sound basis for judging their own local legislators. Those legislators, knowing and participating with members of Congress, would have the experience of dealing personally with potential Presidents on a daily basis. The likelihood of electing a competent person of sound judgment was much greater in that process. Second, it completely insulated the election of a President from the volatile whims of public opinion. An over-night flip-flop of the Spanish sort would be impossible. No terrorist group could unilaterally determine the results of a Presidential election.
Unfortunately, the electoral college has become mostly a formal relic, making political party spinmeisters the captains of your fate.
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Friday, March 12, 2004
Gay Marriage and Terrorism: a Common Root
Both same-sex marriage and terrorism spring from the same source: socialism’s inherent need to destroy existing religious and cultural values.----------------------------
This is not an attack on homosexuals or lesbians. Nor is it intended as opposition to legal recognition of same-sex unions. It is a statement that same-sex unions are not marriages.
To understand what is going on, we must revisit the birth of the religion of socialism in the 1789 French Revolution. For the first time in history, a great nation's monarchy, religion, laws, and customs were destroyed by mob terrorism incited by socialist intellectuals' propaganda. It is fairly obvious from events in France, Russia, China, Cuba, and elsewhere that socialism can succeed only by destroying existing traditions of spiritual religion and morality. Socialism is, after all, a secular and materialistic religion.
Liberal-socialists believe that, there being no God, there is no higher authority than the minds of intellectuals, who can unilaterally decide what constitutes social justice. Therefore, they assert, we can easily dismiss the sacrament of marriage and and make living together simply a civil-law contract. This was the practice introduced in France and universally employed in the Soviet Union.
Among the aims of the French Revolution was discrediting the religious sacrament of marriage. A ritual of the new Religion of Reason and Humanity was sexual intercourse with prostitutes at the main altar of Notre Dame Cathedral. The current revolutionary overthrow of law in San Francisco and New Paltz is merely a symbolic reenactment of that desecration as a stick in the eyes of people who still believe in the religious and moral principles of our 1776 War of Independence.
The model of violent overthrow of governments by terrorism and revolution didn't work well in England or the United States. Fabians in England and liberals here changed their tactics to gradualism and making end runs around legislative bodies with judicial activism. That, of course, is what we're witnessing today.
This aspect of the liberal jihad gained a full head of steam after the ACLU was organized at the outbreak of World War I to protect socialists and anarchists who attempted to sabotage America's entry into the war. Since the 1920s, liberals (the American sect of the socialist religion) have advocated public policies that attack traditions of morality based on spiritual religion and age-old traditions.
An example was the ACLU-sponsored 1925 Scopes monkey trial in which ACLU attorney Clarence Darrow ridiculed the Bible and defended Darwin's speculative theory of evolution. ACLU official Walter Nelles explained that the purpose was to discredit traditional American views that were ?? a rearguard action, protesting the advance of science, secularism, cultural pluralism and changing sexual mores.? Preparing American society for the coming of socialism remains today the mission of liberal-socialists, in particular the ACLU. And the push to call same-sex unions marriage is just one part of it.
Admittedly, many homosexuals and lesbians seeking legalization of same-sex marriage are motivated only by mutual love and a desire for public respect. So, let's stipulate, first, that homosexuals and lesbians are, like everyone else, equally children of God. They deserve treatment and respect in accord with the Golden Rule: you should deal with others the way you want them to deal with you. If you don't want people telling nasty jokes about you or beating you up, don't do it to the gay community.
Second, with the erosion of families and the increasing numbers of single-person households, promoting same-sex unions will have desirable effects. The spread of HIV should decline and the mental and physical health of gays should improve. It's far better to hold up the model of fidelity and mutual support than to push gays toward promiscuity.
Having said that, we must state emphatically that heterosexual marriage is unique. Only heterosexual marriage can result in the creation of a human life. And that is why marriage has always, in every tribe, city state, principality, and nation, occupied a special, sacramental place in its culture. No matter how hard they try, no atheistic evolutionary biologist has succeeded in creating life. Only God, so far, can do so. Marriage between a man and a woman is the point in human existence where the vital force of God touches the earth.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Name ‘em to Know ‘em
In 15th Century England, the mark of being a well educated member of the upper class was knowing the hundred or more specific names for groups of animals, people, and things. Many such names survive to this day: flock of sheep, herd of cattle, gaggle of geese, school of fish, for example.
We need a new group name, a confusion of Kerrys. It is an almost poetically appropriate category for people, like the two Senators from Massachusetts, one a reputed war hero and the other the Hero of Chappaquiddick, who don’t know right from wrong, and flip-flop on issues, depending upon which way the opinion polls point at a given moment.
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Monday, March 08, 2004
Socialism: Our Unconstitutionally Established National Religion
Federal education funding to teach socialism amounts to establishing the secular religion of socialism as the official national church.--------------------------------------
The following letter was mailed to Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas:
Dear Mr. Chief Justice:
This letter is in regard to the Court's recent decision in the Washington State religious scholarship case. The purpose is not to disagree specifically with the Court's decision, but to question what constitutes a religion, the establishment of which is prohibited by the First Amendment.
It can be demonstrated that secular and materialistic socialism is a religion. That being the case, any use of Federal funds by public schools and universities for the teaching of socialistic doctrine constitutes a prohibited establishment of a specific religion.
That socialism is a religion:
Socialism's codifier, Henri de Saint-Simon, himself called socialism a religion. His last major work was entitled The New Christianity. Saint-Simon said that the highest socialistic regulatory council should control education so that nothing but the catechism of social justice might be taught (e.g., Darwinian evolution, multiculturalism, Keynesian economics, deconstruction, legal realism, and critical studies).
Saint-Simon's more famous colleague Auguste Comte went so far as to create The Religion of Humanity as part of his materialistic philosophy of Positivism.
Comte's Religion of Humanity was approvingly cited by John Stuart Mill in his Chapters on Socialism, in which he mused that the educational system should be changed to indoctrinate the people with the principles of socialism.
The late Bertrand Russell, one of the world's most prominent spokesmen for socialism, said of the World War I German socialist party, "For Social Democracy is not a mere political party, nor even a mere economic theory; it is a complete self-contained philosophy of the world and of human development; it is, in a word, a religion and an ethic. To judge the work of Marx, or the aims and beliefs of his followers, from a narrow economic standpoint, is to overlook the whole body and spirit of their greatness." (from Lecture One, German Social Democracy).
Irving Howe was, as you know, a leading New York socialist intellectual after World War II, as well as the founding editor of Dissent magazine. In A Margin of Hope: An Intellectual Autobiography, he wrote, "Call it liberal, call it social democratic, a politics devoted to incremental reform even while still claiming a utopian vision, how can such a politics satisfy that part of our imagination still hungering for religious exaltation, still drawn to gestures of heroic violence, still open to the temptations of the apocalypse? Perhaps it was recognition of this fact that led the leadership of the European social democracy in the years just before the First World War to maintain some of the "revolutionary" symbols and language of early Marxism, though their parties had ceased to be revolutionary in any serious respect. Intuitively they grasped that the parties they led were not just political movements but, in some sense, branches of a "church" "
In A Yippie Manifesto, published in May 1969, Jerry Rubin wrote, "America and the West suffer from a great spiritual crisis. And so the yippies are a revolutionary religious movement.A religious-political movement is concerned with peoples souls, with the creation of a magic world which we make real.We offer: sex, drugs, rebellion, heroism, brotherhood. They offer: responsibility, fear, puritanism, repression."
To round out the liberals' own characterization of socialism as a religion, start by comparing the similarities in structure between socialism and Christianity. Each has a theory about human nature that prescribes conditions of daily life and holds forth a promise of future redemption for all of humanity, a vision of future perfection that becomes a controlling factor in the daily lives of Christians and socialists. Christians look to salvation and life after death. Liberal-socialists look to The Religion of Humanity's promise of perfection of man and society, here on earth, by means of materialistic structures planned and administered by intellectuals.
For liberals, there being no God, the ultimate source of legitimacy and authority is the ever-changing ideas of social justice in the minds of intellectuals. Applying that view to our Constitution is the process of judicial activism.
Christianity, like it or not, was the sole unifying structure of Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. For the Judeo-Christian tradition, Original Sin was humans over-reaching to become God-like by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. The message was that humans are God's creatures and must obey God's Will. Neither Salvation, return to the Garden of Eden, nor eternal bliss, is possible within this world.
Socialism exhibits all the same elements: a Garden of Eden (the State of Nature), original sin, and a promise of salvation revealed in sacred texts delivered by revered prophets. For socialists, Original Sin was the invention of private property and the resulting scramble of individuals to amass property, which introduced greed, avarice, aggression, crime, and wars. But unlike Christianity, socialist salvation is attainable without divine intervention, through the political state, by future generations here on earth.
Socialist salvation, however, is not an individual matter. It applies to the collective masses, in which individuals have no political significance beyond their class identity. Be it noted that our nation was incontrovertibly founded on principles of individualism, not secular and materialistic collectivism.
To be considered true religions, doctrinal beliefs must achieve multi-national and cross-cultural acceptance. Socialism clearly qualifies, having spread from Western Europe to all parts of the world. It has been adopted by countries in the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East, including three of the most populous nations in the world: Russia, India, and China. Great religions commonly are associated with the lives and teachings of larger-than-life individuals such as Moses, Buddha, Jesus, or Mohammed. Socialism qualifies in that respect also. Henri de Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Charles Darwin delivered their revelations of materialistic Truth in the first sixty years of the 1800s.
Marx has become a mythical, god-like figure to billions of people around the world. American school children are taught that Darwin was the embodiment of science and truth, despite the fact that there exists not a single proof of his speculative theory (see Cal-Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson's Darwin on Trial and Gertrude Himmelfarb's Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution). Thomas Huxley and American socialists like John Dewey used Darwinian evolution theory as a battering ram against morality and spiritual religions, particularly Christianity.
John Adams said that the Constitution was made for a moral and religious people, self-constrained by individual morality; that it would work for no other. Darwin's "bulldog," Thomas Huxley, said that there is no such thing as sin, merely the struggle for survival. Dewey taught that there is no morality, because material conditions are the sole source of human nature, and those conditions change continually in Darwinian fashion. Their fellow socialists Hitler and Stalin found nothing to quibble about in those doctrines.
The prophets of the socialist religion proclaimed that human nature could be returned to its State-of-Nature benevolence by the abolition of private property. Political societies, indeed all of humanity, could be perfected here on earth by restructuring government to place it in the hands of intellectual planners. The state-planner, the minister of socialist religion, sees himself as a modern-day Moses uniquely qualified by his knowledge about the so-called Immutable Law of History to guide humanity to earthly perfection, back to the Original State of Nature.
That the secular and materialistic religion of liberalism (the American sect of the international religion of socialism) is antithetical to and wholly incompatible with the fundamental principles of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution; proselytizing with Federal funds for the religion of socialism is therefore unconstitutional:
The American War of Independence was based philosophically upon John Locke's Second Treatise, which was founded entirely in natural law. The legitimization for both the ouster of James II and George III was that each had broken the natural-law compact that postulated inalienable, individual natural-law rights to life, liberty, and property. "No taxation without representation."
Jefferson's references in the Declaration to "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" are meaningless except in the context of natural law. Ditto with regard to the Bill of Rights.
Natural law, since Aristotle, has been identified with the teleological, intelligent-design paradigm of the cosmos. Aristotle's natural law, via Aquinas's Summa Theologica, opened the field of European medieval law to the concept of separation of church and state into political and spiritual realms. One dealt with making people good citizens, the other with making people good humans. Both were rooted in natural law, and natural law was God-given. This was the entire foundation of everything that we now call Western civilization.
Everyone from Franklin to Washington continually invoked the Deity's blessings for the success of the American cause of independence, and later the Constitution. But American liberal-socialism demands that only the secular doctrine of socialism and Comte's Positivism be taught in our schools. Because of support from our Federal courts, socialism has been established as the only scientific truth. The natural-law, spiritual-religion foundation of our nation has been dismissed as ignorance from a pre-scientific age. If that position holds, then the Declaration and the Constitution are meaningless drivel that "evolves" in Darwinian evolutionary fashion, subject only to random, chaotic materialistic forces.
As our first socialist Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, repeatedly wrote, there is no such thing as a higher law of morality, merely whatever a particular judge thinks that the law ought to be. As you know, Holmes opined that, if secular materialism changed public opinion to the belief that we should scrap the Constitution and institute Bolshevism, then neither the Court not the Constitution should stand in the way. That contempt for tradition and precedent, for the entirety of Western civilization, has, too often since the 1920s, informed Federal judicial practice, making the Constitution into a Rorschach ink-blot.
The materialistic and secular doctrine of socialism, pushed by the ACLU (e.g., the Scopes monkey trial), liberal-socialist politicians, and the teachers' unions, in effect decapitates Western civilization. We see this daily in denigration of subject matter produced by "dead white men" and John Dewey's maxim that "dead" history has no place in the Progressive Education curriculum. William F. Buckley, Jr., documented it in his 1951 God and Man at Yale, and Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate have updated it in The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on Americas Campuses.
Saint-Simon and John Dewey were correct in perceiving that control of education is the most effective way to destroy the essence of Western civilization and replace it with the secular and materialistic religion of socialism. We may hope that education will be rebalanced to require fair presentation of the doctrinal foundations of our Constitution, as well as the dogma of liberal-socialism.
May we hope that the Federal judiciary will abandon its suicide pact with the liberal-socialists?
Thomas E. Brewton
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Saturday, March 06, 2004
Public Opinion Is Not the Only Criterion
Legitimacy of foreign policy doesn’t depend upon public opinion, here or abroad.
An opinion article entitled A Decent Regard, written by Robert Kagan, appeared in the March 2, 2004, edition of The Washington Post. Kagan acknowledges that many of the specific arguments by liberals against military action in Iraq are not well founded.
Nonetheless, he says, President Bush can be properly criticized, because, “The problem is, to the liberal democratic mind there is something inherently illegitimate about a unipolar world, regardless of whether the superpower is led by George W. Bush or John F. Kerry…..There are sound reasons why the United States needs European approval, reasons unrelated to international law, the strength of the Security Council and the as-yet nonexistent “fabric of the international order” that some speak of. The main reason has to do with America’s liberal, democratic ideology…..In the end, it is America’s need for international legitimacy that will prove more decisive in shaping America’s course…..In their Declaration of Independence, Americans recognized the importance of paying a “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” Ever since, Americans have been forced to care what the liberal world thinks by their universalist national ideology….”
The article raises some interesting points of view. However, it also raises some disagreements. First, Mr. Kagan’s article and his connection with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace suggest that his definition of “liberal democracy” is liberal-socialism, not the laissez-faire liberalism of John Locke, Adam Smith, and the founders of this nation.
Kagan’s citation of the Declaration of Independence’s “decent regard for the opinions of mankind” is quite misleading. Jefferson was essentially quoting John Locke’s Second Treatise and its natural-law justification for our assertion that George III had broken the social compact by usurping our inalienable, natural-law individual rights, just as James II had done in 1689. In 1776 there was no such thing as the conceit of “public opinion,” “world opinion,” or “the community of nations” in the socialistic sense of Kagan’s reference. Kagan appears to be coming from the Marxian thesis of “the workers” as a transnational community, existing apart from individual nations, hence “Workers of the world unite!” It is that starting point that leads American liberal-socialists to value the UN and the World Court more than our original founding traditions.
Kagan’s idea that world opinion is critical calls to mind the socialistic theory of French Revolutionary philosopher Condorcet and his followers. Condorcet noted that, with the imposition of socialism in France by the 1789 Revolution, religion, morality, and the monarchy had been destroyed. No longer was there to be a higher law rooted in the natural-law traditions of Western civilization stretching back to Plato and Aristotle. Nothing of higher authority existed than the social justice concepts in the minds of intellectuals. Their ideas and opinions were the ultimate source of legitimacy.
The intellectuals’ methodology of enforcing that legitimacy with the general public was to be the theretofore unknown instrumentality of public opinion. And public opinion was to be under the exclusive control of the intellectual councils who were at the apogee of government. They were to have censorship control over news, Catholic priests were made paid employees of the state, and the new state religion was to be secular and materialistic.
Most importantly, intellectuals were to control education, so that “nothing but the catechism of social justice might be taught,” per socialism’s codifier, Henri de Saint-Simon. As foreseen by John Dewey, the father of American socialistic Progressive education, by brain-washing and radicalizing young students for only two to three generations, American socialists have effected a peaceful revolution that totally banishes spiritual religion and personal morality, teaching that salvation of humanity lies in collective, materialistic action by the political state.
This paradigm naturally leads someone like Mr. Kagan to object to any foreign policy action based on ideology other than that of international socialism. Note that he gives no tangible reason for the assertion that, “If there is a substantive critique of Bush foreign policy beyond mere Bush-hatred, it is the administration’s failure to win broad international support for the war and for other major policies.The problem the United States faces today is harder to quantify but arguably more profound. It is a problem of legitimacy.” He merely presumes that the criteria of socialism are the only truth and that all right-thinking people agree with him.
Opinion, in the liberal-socialist world view, has become the dominant factor, domestically and internationally. Legitimacy has undergone a complete transformation. Even foreign policies essential to the survival of the United States can not be judged legitimate unless world opinion supports them.
Opinion obviously matters, but not in the high-minded way presumed by Robert Kagan. Too often domestic politics, in the guise of public opinion, has dictated foreign policy to the detriment of real American international interests.
In 1994, after being battered in interim elections that made Newt Gingrich Speaker of the House, President Clinton needed to shore up support among his Left Wing extremist base. Bowing to the demands of the Congressional Black Caucus and citing the ideology of “restoring democracy” in Haiti, he dispatched 20,000 American troops to reinstall Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Haiti, of course, is a country that never has had so much as five minutes of democratic self-rule in its entire history. Predictably, the effect was simply to turn out one despot and install another, with the result that most Haitians today hate the United States for supporting the brutal Aristide. Yet, today again the Black Caucus and John Kerry are demanding that President Bush put the barbaric Aristide back on his autocratic throne, because doing so sounds good from the standpoint of domestic opinion among liberal-socialists.
That, however, is not a kind of legitimacy worthy of pursuit. Nor is the good opinion, for the wrong reasons, of socialist mobs in the city streets around the world.