September 19, 2010
I saw this bumper sticker ahead of me on a van this morning. I’m no expert on Marxist sociology, but I believe the idea is that ideology is determined by material circumstances, i.e., the means of production determine the dominant ideas of an era. Okay, so how come this fellow, and he’s in good company, is espousing ideas that are right out of Saint Augustine’s City of God? Clearly, this driver is a citizen of that heavenly city, not the city of the world.
Or, are we to assume that all the significant elements of society are not much changed today from what they were in the early 5th century A.D? How else to account for the incredible staying power of these ideas?
February 26, 2008
The religious right in our country has been busy for some time trying to get over the falsehood that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Yes, the founders were raised as Christians. Yes, only a few were atheists, although many were Deists of the Jeffersonian-Voltairean sort. Yes, the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution, but then, neither do the words “separation of powers.” Those two ideas, however, are clearly central to the meaning of the document.
Perhaps no better evidence for the non-Christian, secular nature of the state our Founders bequeathed to us (aside from the fact that God isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence only mentions the Creator, and the only mention of religion in the Constitution is negative, i.e., there shall be no religious test for office) is the testimony of the contemporary evangelists who did not like the point of view of the Founders. Here we have a quotation from the emminent Timothy Dwight, a prominent evangelical of the time who later headed Yale College:
“The nation has offended Providence. We formed our constitution without any acknowledgment of God; without any recognition his mercies to us as a people, of his government or even of his existence. The [constitutional] convention by which it was formed, never asked, even once, his direction, or his blessings, upon their labors. Thus we commenced our national existence under the present system without God.”
Amen to that, Tim!
This quotation can be found in the article linked here.
November 8, 2007
Rudy G. likes to say that one of his strong points as a leader is his ability to pick good people to be on his team. Like any manager/executive, he must rely on advisors and staff to implement his program – nobody can know and do everything. So look at who he picks for major responsibilities and allies!
Bernie Kerik, his lauded police commissioner, is now to be indicted for a variety of felonies, including illegal dealings involving, get this, the MOB! This in an administration of the Mafia busting Rudy G! Like another Great Leader we know, Rudy depends on loyalty, that’s the true measure of a person’s worth. Well, it’s important, you need loyal people, but there is an important line between toadying sychophancy and principled loyalty. Colin Powell found that out. Shall we judge Rudy by his Commish? He didn’t know about all that stuff, of course. (And he wouldn’t have wanted to know if it had been laid out for him either.)
As for Pat, well, everyone is talking about “strange bedfellows”. Talk about rich metaphors. Two men sleeping together! And what a couple they make! Pat just wants an R(Republican) in the office of president, despite the talk recently by some conservatives about how the only thing that matters is having a C (Christian). He’d probably prefer a C (Catholic) to an M (Mormon), so he’s casting his lot with a serial adulterer and fellow traveler with known gays. Makes the separation of Church and State look like a really great idea!