Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No, Mr. Beck, Our Constitution is Not Based on the Book of Deuteronomy

By Chris Rodda, here.

47 comments:

King of Ireland said...

Leaving all the culture war material aside, I did find it interesting that the Bible was quoted more often during the Revolutionary period than Constitutional period.

I also found it interesting, despite the exageratons from Barton, that 94% of the writings during the time period studied had some influence from the Bible.


If we get off the sotierology train and look at influence it would seem that the Bible has had a great influence on Western political thought.

Pinky said...

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Beck is a straussian, without doubt.
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Check this link out: http://hamptonroads.com/node/561116
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Now, why would a straussian want to teach religion?
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Any clues?
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Think Barton might be one, too?
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Are there quite a few of them we can point to?
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I enjoyed that video. She does a great job. Her style makes you like her.
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Leaving all the culture war material aside, I did find it interesting that the Bible was quoted more often during the Revolutionary period than Constitutional period.

The Constitution dates itself from independence:

"Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth."

The tactic from one side of the culture war is to date the USA from the inception of its "godless" Constitution. But as we see, the United States of America already existed.

King of Ireland said...

"The tactic from one side of the culture war is to date the USA from the inception of its "godless" Constitution. But as we see, the United States of America already existed"

I agree. My point was that there was a whole lot of Bible talk when the overall concepts of government were being discussed. It is not surprising that the Bible was not quoted in the framing since it has little or nothing to say about the specifics of forms of government.

In other words, by trying to find what is not there because they are bound by sola scriptura, Barton and company open themselves up to attack on this issue.

It seems that no one wants to touch more credible people like Dreisbach and Hall that do not overstate their case.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Absolutely. And again, "Christianity" is not just the Bible, another narrowing tactic. Even Reformed Theology ["Calvinism"] had more than its share of thinkers who used both Bible, reason, and history in forming a political theology.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, not "both," hehe. As Michael Vick once said, I have two weapons---my arm, my legs and my brains.

Oooops.

Chris Rodda said...

Hey KofI ...

I should clarify something regarding your comment: "I also found it interesting, despite the exageratons from Barton, that 94% of the writings during the time period studied had some influence from the Bible."

Most of Barton's additional 60% that he adds to the Lutz study's 34% had absolutely no influence from the Bible. What Barton has done, for example, is to say things like the U.S. Senate purchased a copy of Blackstone's in 1794, and then he quote things from the chapter of Blackstone's on "Offenses against God and Religion" to make it look like this was what the Senate was using. But, in reality, the reason the Senate purchased Blackstone's was to use its "Law of Nations" section as a reference to write laws regarding piracy and privateering after the Citizen Genet affair. Obviously this had nothing to do with anything biblical. But, since Blackstone's did have its biblical sections, and the Senate used Blackstone's, Barton twists that into them indirectly basing our laws on the Bible.

King of Ireland said...

Chris,

I see and am not defending the dude. I am focusing on the larger point that obviously Blackstone was heavily influenced by the Bible and the law that came to America was heavily influenced by him.

The larger point is true and in balance. Barton goes far beyond this I understand.

jimmiraybob said...

Chris,

Excellent choice in guitars. Did I hear a little Hendrix-inspired riffing going on toward the end?

I think that the choice of authoritative patriotic flag shirt as opposed to clown suit and blackboard was inspired. :)

Chris Rodda said...

Hey jimmiraybob ...

I don't know what the hell that riffing was inspired by ;-)

I've barely touched a guitar in years, but it was the only thing I could think of that I could do to be somewhat entertaining. Of course, I had to make my little rendition of the Star Spangled Banner just annoying enough to match my costume, so I used one of those little battery-powered Marshall amps. That made the "rockets' red glare" high note sufficiently horrid.

That Tele I'm playing is actually a great sounding guitar when its plugged into a real amp (I use an old TubeWorks) instead of the toy amp I used to make my goofy video. If I get a chance one of these days, I'll make a normal video seriously playing it through a real amp.

Chris Rodda said...

KofI ...

I think you might find my book chapter on Blackstone interesting. There's a lot in it about which founders were influenced by him, and which founders did not approve of him at all for use in America, and why. It also contains a really interesting excerpt from something written by Madison explaining why our federal laws could never be based on the common law. If you (or anyone else here) want to read it, I'll send you a PDF. Just email me at liarsforjesus@aol.com

Tom Van Dyke said...

Please do reprint the Madison quote [or citation] here, Chris.

As for Jefferson's opposition to common law, he lost that round to later jurists like Marshall and Story.

Indeed, the 7th Amendment reads:

"In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

One can discuss the importance of common law, but one cannot erase it. In the least, English common law was used as a lingua franca for understanding legal terms and procedures [as we see here], at least until the US had formed a body large enough of its own to dispense with it.

According to Scalia, "common law" was the judicial philosophy of the Supreme Court until Erie RR v. Tompkins [304 US 64, 78 (1938).

http://www.joink.com/homes/users/ninoville/aei2-21-06.asp

Chris Rodda said...

Tom ...

The only reason the common law is mentioned in the 7th Amendment is because the practices for juries and other court procedures varied greatly from state to state, and the common law was the only thing they could think of to come up with a standardized procedure. It does not mean that the federal government was basing any laws on the common law. James Madison explained this very clearly, but the excerpt in my book is way to long to post here. If you want to read it, I can either email you my chapter, or you can look for Madison's report to the Virginia legislature defending the Virginia resolutions -- not the resolutions themselves, but his report defending them, in which he debunks the critics who were claiming, among other things, that federal law was based on the common law. (This is far from a new argument.)

Tom Van Dyke said...

Is it an argument he won or lost? Jefferson appears to have lost his.

But thank you for the citation, Madison's report to the VA legislature. I'll look into it.

I notice your comments section, as with your prior article, at Daily Kos is claiming

The Founders and God (2+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
Dave925, SteelerGrrl

Many were Deists -- God only as distant architect. No revelation, no interference, no threats.

http://freethought.mbdojo.com/...

No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, `less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it.

by dov12348 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 06:36:26 AM PDT


I trust you'll get around to correcting them. This doesn't even fit Jefferson, and possibly not even Paine.

Chris Rodda said...

Please feel free to go police the comments on Daily Kos, Tom. I just don't have time to read them all, but since you appear to be going through them anyway, you might as well correct every single one of them.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Oh, I think it's funny, that's all. And a lot of other things, too.

secular square said...

I have read neither the sermons nor the pamphlets, but I would venture a guess that most of the biblical quotes related wicked OT kings with George III and how god stands with the righteous, etc, rather than anything remotely related to the political philosophy or the political science behind the Constitution.
--lee

Tom Van Dyke said...

Lee, you'd be surprised. When I came to this blog, I was looking for a vindication of my POV, particularly Thomism-in-the-Founding, Aquinas, Suarez. Not that it's not there, mostly indirectly through the Anglican Rev. Richard Hooker, the "judicious Hooker" so often quoted [and referred to that way, "judicious"] by Locke and "key" Founder James Wilson.

But what I found was so much Protestantism, specifically the Reformed Theology ["Calvinism"] that historian-scholar-whateveryouwannacallhim Mark David Hall is doing a series about here lately.

So much so, that I have had to do a serious study of Protestantism---Calvinism specifically---just to figure out the theologico-historical context of all those guys Beza, Peter Martyr, Rutherford, the Puritan Revolution and English civil wars of the 1600s, etc., where they beheaded one king and exiled another.

It was all the same [stuff].

And so, when I speak in praise or acknowledgment of the Calvinist thinkers---especially post-Calvin---or praise Mark David Hall's work, it's as an historian.

OK, I'm not a historian, I got no degree. Call me what you will. "An interested party." But my socio-historical conclusion is that these Calvinists had a lot to do with America as it is today. As opposed to continental Europe and the French Revolution and all its modernity that followed. No Calvin there. No Anglicanism.

Thomism? Europe? Man? As Chou En-lai, with his 1000-year stare on man's history, asked his opinion about the consequences of the French Revolution, supposedly replied, "It's too early to say."

Chris Rodda said...

Actually, the criteria was that the documents did have to contain theoretical political content, and also had to be written for public consumption (pamphlets, newspaper articles, etc.) and be at least 2,000 words. They started with an initial review of 15,000 document, and out of those only 2,200 made the first cut, and only 916 made the final cut and were used for the study.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I wouldn't defend any of this quantification on any grounds, Chris.

The 94% figure is absurd on its face. No human endeavor has ever enjoyed 94% approval, not Saddam's elections or the Austrians' approval of Hitler's anschloss, annexing themselves to Germany.

Still, you spend 2 paragraphs blitzkrieging David Barton on that figure to destroy his credibility as a "liar," but in the 3rd paragraph, at least and at last admit

Barton first published published his "findings" in his 1988 book The Myth of Separation, and repeated it in one of his videos, and from there it spread. Here's Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana using Barton's 94% statistic and other claims in the House of Representatives back in 1993, citing Barton's book nearly verbatim.

Now, I haven't heard Barton use his pumped up 94% statistic in a while, but this really doesn't matter because once Barton puts something out there it takes on a life of its own, and continues to be used whether Barton himself is still using it or not.


Ah. It matters a lot since your the title of your essay is

No, Mr. Beck, Our Constitution is Not Based on the Book of Deuteronomy

You go on to say

In April 2007, it showed up in an article on WorldNetDaily titled Bringing the Bible Back Into Public Schools, by Chuck Norris

Ah. Eminent historian Chuck Norris, on a fringe website, almost 15 years later.

Basically, this has nothing to do with Beck or Deuteronomy, but with recycling of Barton's errors of 15 years ago, guilt by distant association.

Are you now or have you ever been...

Better you'd have taken up Beck and Deuteronomy, your actual title and attempt at relevance, but that would require fresh study, not recycling previous work, Chris. But pls go for it. I've seen some Deuteronomy arguments per the Founding; I find them unconvincing, but not totally absurd. There is a Jewish/Biblical sense of justice that lies with the "wisdom of the people" and not extracting a "pound of flesh" like some computer robot theocratic bastard Shakespearean Jew Christianist Levitical bastard asshole.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd saith Portia, via The Bard.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest.

Lutz's 34% is a nice try, but means nothing to me: I'm as willing to discount it as you.

One must actually read the Founding documents for themselves and make a proposal. I'm ready to argue that over 50% of the Founding arguments are based on Christian thought from Paul to Augustine to Thomas to Suarez to Grotius to Ponet to Rutherford to Hooker to Locke and whathaveyou, without resort to Lutz' or [Godforbid] Barton's figures. Actually we make that argument all the time on American Creation, pro and con.

Shall we go into Barton's cowardly and self-serving silence in Hagee's presence [bum Founding quote] as compared to a similar silence when the many of the American Founders are called strict deists [God created man, but left him on his own] in other forums, without objection?

One can only send a gentle and quiet shot over the other man's bow before it becomes war. There comes a point when any and every man says to himself that enough has been too much, that civility is no longer a kindness.

The wise get hip; the rest get shot out of the water, justly.

Chris Rodda said...

Gee, Tom, why do you leave out the one thing in my article that makes the ramifications of the lies that Barton's "errors of 15 years ago" extremely relevant today. That little matter of them being in the National Council on Bible Curriculum's (NCBCPS) curriculum, which is now being taught in hundreds of our public schools across the country? You point out that Chuck Norris (an NCBCPS board member) used them "on a fringe website, almost 15 years later," but neglect to mention that Barton is on the advisory board of the NCBCPS and is allowing thumbnut has done nothing to stop the NCBCPS from continuing to spread his "errors of 15 years ago." Why did you neglect to mention that part of the story in your comment? Is your obsession with making me appear to be irrelevant really so consuming that you don't care that thousands of public school students are being taught completely bogus historical (dis)information?

Chris Rodda said...

OK ... never have the "Correct Spelling Errors Automatically" setting in the new version of TextEdit on a Mac turned on. It leads to things like the word "thumbnut" in my last comment. (I had typed "them but," and left the space between the words out, so it became "thumbnut"). Here's my comment again, sans the bizarre automatic spelling "corrections":

Gee, Tom, why do you leave out the one thing in my article that makes the ramifications of Barton's "errors of 15 years ago" extremely relevant today. That little matter of them being in the National Council on Bible Curriculum's (NCBCPS) curriculum, which is now being taught in hundreds of our public schools across the country? You point out that Chuck Norris (an NCBCPS board member) used them "on a fringe website, almost 15 years later," but neglect to mention that Barton is on the advisory board of the NCBCPS and is allowing them but has done nothing to stop the NCBCPS from continuing to spread his "errors of 15 years ago." Why did you neglect to mention that part of the story in your comment? Is your obsession with making me appear to be irrelevant really so consuming that you don't care that thousands of public school students are being taught completely bogus historical (dis)information?

King of Ireland said...

"I have read neither the sermons nor the pamphlets, but I would venture a guess that most of the biblical quotes related wicked OT kings with George III and how god stands with the righteous, etc, rather than anything remotely related to the political philosophy or the political science behind the Constitution"

I think it depends. The academic stuff most certainly contained a lot of political theology. The sermons were probably a great deal about what you say it was. But it was certainly relevant for sure.


Tom and Chris,

I agree and disagree with both of you. If he is sitting there right in front of someone using a quote he messed up on then he should correct it. But I think Tom has a point that zealots on the other side are just as bad if not worse.

As I have been saying for a year now the frame of discussion is wrong. We should be talking about Aquinas and Hooker and others and the influence their ideas had on the founding. I have to ask again because both sides of the culture war(Lilibacks blog quoted my post by this name but totally missed that I was rebuking him so they are just as guilty):

Does it really matter whether George Washington took communion or not?

The trench warfare is killing me.


Chris,

I would love to look at what you have on common law. One of my greatest interests in this debate is the politial theory and what impact it had on the law. joewinpisinger@gmail.com


Better yet break it up into a few posts and we can toss it around like we have Dr. Hall's essay. It is time for some new topics and a freshening up. I think Blackstone would do it for sure.

King of Ireland said...

"One must actually read the Founding documents for themselves and make a proposal. I'm ready to argue that over 50% of the Founding arguments are based on Christian thought from Paul to Augustine to Thomas to Suarez to Grotius to Ponet to Rutherford to Hooker to Locke and whathaveyou, without resort to Lutz' or [Godforbid] Barton's figures. Actually we make that argument all the time on American Creation, pro and con."

If we are talking the foundations of rights I bet it is higher than 50% though unsure how one would quantify it. As state earlier it does not have to come from the Bible to be Christian thought either. Most certainly so in regards to forms of government because the Bible has little concrete to say about it.

That is where sola scriptura causes Barton and others to dig their own holes and fall in them. Three branches of government from Deuteronomy is foolishness.

A Thomistic discussion of the various kinds of law and what Deuteronmy has to add to that discussion:

INTERESTING.


We all lost out on the latter because we are hung up on Barton and companies nonsense with the former.

King of Ireland said...

Chris stated:

" It does not mean that the federal government was basing any laws on the common law."

Even if true, and I am open to reading what you wrote for sure and give it an open mind, this does not tell the whole story because at that time most people look much more to their state governments than the federal. The former were most certainly based on common law.

I have also heard it argued that when the do law and economic studies for the World Bank and others to judge where to invest in development that it is the nations that have had a foundation of common law that are all the most peaceful and prosperous.

I think a great case could be made that imago dei has something to do with that.

King of Ireland said...

Chris,

How does Bible stuff make it into public schools? If true, again not jabbing at you just being open minded, that these errors are in there, he knows it, and does nothing then that is bad.

I also think you take Tom the wrong way. He nails everyone, including me who agrees with much of what he says, not to dismiss them but to raise the level of discussion. Read what he says about Aquinas and others and how much more relevant and interesting that discussion is than Barton and the culture wars. That is all he is saying.

With that said, if these guys are making errors someone needs to correct them. But I have to be honest, and I know both sides about as well as anyone because I go at with both, I see more blantantly stupid crap from the fringe religon hating secularists than the Bartonites. At very least it is the same.

I attempted to set the record straight and regret doing it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Chris, your core charge is that Barton doesn't correct the errors of his fans and allies. But as long as you don't either, you're open to the same charge.

"Too busy" won't cut it. You can go correct this deist business now, or have done it already. It happened on your last post there as well, as you know.

And as long as you bury valid points like NCBCPS in undifferentiated polemics against your ideological enemies---Glenn Beck, Chuck Norris, World Net Daily, Barton himself---and call people liars, yes, you will remain irrelevant.

The funny costumes, mebbe they help, I dunno.

And yes, I do "nail" everybody, but only on clarity and consistency in that Quis custodiet ipsos custodes way. You watch Barton, but who watches you?

King of Ireland said...

"And as long as you bury valid points like NCBCPS in undifferentiated polemics against your ideological enemies---Glenn Beck, Chuck Norris, World Net Daily, Barton himself---and call people liars, yes, you will remain irrelevant"

I would not say irrelevant but I do think Tom has a point here. All the trech warfare muddies the waters.


I will say this:

If you prove to me that he allows crap that he knows is wrong to go into cirriculum on purpose then I will drop my objection to you calling him a liar and will join you.

My suspicion is that you might be missing something here. But I am open minded to your case. Again I am no fan of the guy or those like him in that the BS they peddle muddies the waters and makes civil discussion almost impossible because they have poisoned the well with so many things. I am honestly open.

Pinky said...

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Irrelevant to whom, Tommie?
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Brad Hart said...

Tom being Tom...that's all.

Pinky said...

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When we look at people like Beck and Barton, it is an imperative we get a handle on their politics.
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There's a great deal of naivete going on here in an attempt to discombobulate the criticism against those two and we can put an end to that any time.
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If Leo Strauss and his teachings have had such an impact on Republican Politics, it is necessary to focus on each--Beck and Barton--according to their association in the upper cadre of the Republican Party politics.
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They both are fully suspect regarding their beliefs when it comes to any moral justification regarding the blatant and or subtle use of deception to gain control of public thinking.
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That's basic to Strauss.
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How dumb are we supposed to be?
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Hey, mebbe Barton is a liar. I'm just saying that using that word is bad business, and that ad hominem [even if accurate] is sometimes good politics, but it's always bad history and logic; the "genetic fallacy."

I don't follow the fellow, don't defend him. But I've been through his Wallbuilders site, and most of it passes muster.

Except that thing about John Adams and the Holy Ghost, since Adams is being sarcastic there. How Barton leaves it there, I dunno. But I favor Hanlon's Razor:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Pinky said...

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You would be an easy take in Liar's Poker, Tom.
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King of Ireland said...

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"

Change stupidity to ignorance and some of Barton's work is just that for sure. But I will continue to day that his larger point is correct. Dr. Hall is in the midst of arguing a good portion of it right now. Too bad he leaves out Hooker and the Schoolmen, his case would be much better with them for sure, but a good discussion starter on the more relevant points in this debate.

Most certainly he has raised the level of discussion far beyond what Barton brings to the table. Problem is that the well is already poisoned so not too many will listen.

Comments for Barton and Beck:

in the 30's

Comments for Hall:

No one yet but Tom and I.


Truly disappointing.

Not that everything he says is right and I think Frazer has some valid points from the Calvinist intramural camps. But I think we are framing the discussion better when we get off the Barton thing.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, we can only hope that folks simply don't have much to add to Dr. Hall's work. Everybody has an opinion about Glenn Beck.
_________________

Yes, Pinky, I am far too trusting, although it's more like Charlie Brown and the football, giving an endless number of second chances. Sometimes I even help people with their work, knowing they'll turn on me the next minute. [They know who they are.]

Pinky said...

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Tom, I'm sorry that you may have taken my comment other than intended.
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I don't come here claiming any expertise. I was invited to be a blogger here and with gratitude for the compliment turned it down on the basis of my lack of expertise. You all know that.
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The context of my statement regarding liar's poker was about what I see as a form of naivete in some of what it appeared to me as an observer about the discussion taking place in this thread.
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I could have no complaint--for the most part--regarding the scholarly work you all do. Seldom do I find fault with any presentations. But, I definitely think there is a naivete that floats.
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For example in this thread, particularities are being discussed as though they could make the sum of a person or event. There's nothing wrong going down some road again and again--especially when each trip turns up something new. But, to write as though one of the Founders--and to argue the point--is the product of some singular thing he wrote or read defines him is naive. Or if a person doesn't turn towards the temple and bow down on command, they are declared irrelevant. That's shameful as far as I'm concerned. To marginalize anyone points up the airs of aristocratic attitude some express.
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Above all else, most Founding Fathers developed their ideas in long time study and discussion in ways that we call obsessive. They were obsessed with reason regarding the politics of their day to day existence. For the most part, they were aristocrats; but, they were men of virtue in the sense they used that word meaning they were disinterested.
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How do I know this? From being a follower here who has read most of what is published here. I may not follow the thread of every blog post; but, I'm pretty good at being an interested follower.
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It's just an observation and should be taken as such.
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To act as though men like Barton and Beck do not have ulterior motives or that their public presentations are not purposely motivated to deceive is naive.
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Pinky said...
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Pinky said...
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Tom Van Dyke said...

And their ideological opponents have ulterior motives too, ignoring all the parts they get right.

But whatever made you think you're misunderstood, Pinky? You applaud those you agree with, ignore or attack those with whom you don't. Your feelings are clear as an unmuddied lake.

Pinky said...

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Sigh...
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Phil, you still haven't backed up your slander against Leo Strauss, which you've repeated again on this thread.

...moral justification regarding the blatant and or subtle use of deception to gain control of public thinking.

"The philosopher" is only obtuse, not deceptive, because if you tell the truth too boldly, you're Socrates looking at a bowl of hemlock. neither does "the philosopher" wish to destroy his society, disturb the public peace.

Absolutely no different from John Locke, who kept his doubts about the Trinity under wraps. a) They might have killed him for it, b) Making an issue of the Trinity would serve no public good. Soteriology, or the nature of the cosmos---as we consistently argue here---spells nothing but trouble.

As Strauss might have put it, "the philosopher" keeps philosophy [thus himself] safe from society, but on the other hand, as a good citizen, he keeps society safe from philosophy.

And again, "the philosopher" has no desire to rule, not Plato, not Locke, not Strauss.

And the neo-cons, besides being out of power and of little concern, owed more to Woodrow Wilson than to Plato or Strauss. Plato and Strauss were pretty fatalistic against the ability of "progress" to change the human condition. The neo-cons were more "modern" than "classical."

Pinky said...

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Tom, you're a smart feller and my Grampa George would have said starting out mispronouncing that by exchanging the f and s. Then he'd correct himself with a smile.
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Generally speaking, I'd say you're almost always correct on what you say and how you use references. But, I have to say, you apparently don't know a great deal about Strauss or in what he believed.
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I've started an extended book review on Shadia Drury's book. Sometime when you don't have anything whatsoever to do, you might want to check it out. Maybe not. Check It Out Here

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If you do, I'll address above comments at the proper time. I do have answers.
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Tom Van Dyke said...

And as for David Barton, I cannot fathom what's in his head. Since I have never heard him say anything particularly incisive, I'm still going with Hanlon's razor.

If he does intentionally cheat---overstate, twist, spin---the argument, it's like baseballers taking steroids. Everybody else is doing it, including the guys who are trying to get you out.

I think it's stupid, especially since Barton's too dull to be any good at it. My observation is he's a "liar" only because he's not clever enough to spin successfully, and that makes him dead meat for sharp eyes and ears like Chris Rodda's.

As for Glenn Beck, he's similarly unsophisticated and undereducated, un-scholarly. But he's no worse than the people at Daily Kos who insist many Founders were deists who believed God created the universe, then left for parts unknown, leaving man to his own devices.

I would not call that man at Daily Kos a liar. I'm sure he's certain he's telling the true facts. As K of I amended Hanlon's razor,

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance.

How often have you been proved wrong on the facts here, Phil? How often has your nose been rubbed in it? Answer to the 2nd question, zero times.

Is this charity, mercy, forgiveness, love, friendship? Should you be attacked everytime you write here thereafter? Answer to the first question, yes.

To the second question, I'm beginning to wonder, if only that you should be judged by your own standards.

Is mercy the enemy of justice? Now, that's a question I've been asking for a long time, and not just on this blog. Everywhere. Mebbe you can help me with this one.

Pinky said...

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Sorry, Tom, I don't think I can help you.
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And, while I may put opinions out, I don't think you'll see many statements of mine to be very declarative about things of fact.
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As usual, you'll answer your own questions.
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Don't pick on others and no one will pick on you?
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You do like to bully others, especially when we make noises down here at your ankles.
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I show you as much respect as you do others. The respect I show for others is not given because others agree with me and get in line with what I write.
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Generally speaking, I'd say you're almost always correct on what you say and how you use references.

Well, Phil, you wrote this as I was writing the above reply. And thx, man. I guess the reason I don't "go pro" is that if I have to please my fans or allies, that puts an obstacle [politics] in front of searching for the truth. That's why I have few fans and allies, you gotta tell 'em what they want to hear and shut up when they speak BS. But that's OK. I'm a free man this way. I couldn't get elected to anything.

You must understand that although I use Strauss' method of reading source texts "closely," I am against him, I challenge him, in another forum of "Straussians," a forum i prefer to keep private.

I will tell you this---that although I think Shadia Drury makes a Barton-like mess in her sloppiness, I use one of her key arguments about "nobility" from her "Reply to My Critics." I think she's right on here, cutting through all the political anti-neocon BS.

http://www.originaldissent.com/forums/showthread.php?4235-Leo-Strauss-exposer-Shadia-Drury-responds-to-her-Straussian-critics

From my private stock, Phil. ;-)

Actually, her legitimate argument that Strauss does not value "nobility" is exactly what exonerates the neo-cons as "Straussian." They were not being Machiavellian in invading Iraq, etc. They were being "noble." They, especially Dubya, thought that all men yearned to breathe free, and making Iraq free would have a domino effect throughout the tyrannical Muslim geo-political world, and defang bin Laden.

Am I getting into the "tall weeds?" Yes, I am. But my defense of Strauss has been only on the imprecision of the argument alleging he and the neo-cons wanted to rule the world, or the country or whatever.

I oppose Strauss, and for more reasons than I write of here. But let's be clear. He's not Machiavelli. He's Plato.

Pinky said...

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Of course that goes too far off topic here.
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It's enough to say you seem to be taking one of the most common tangents to Strauss and his followers. He wasn't as transparent as you seem to paint him.
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That will all be eventually covered in the link I gave.
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