A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
I will say this Brad. It seems that some dude went and shot up San Franciso after listening to Beck. Obvioulsy the guy has issues or was under some serious stress. I also do not think, as so do, that Beck is to blame for it.But it seems that as people become more desperate during this downturn that has taken people from middle class to poverty in many cases, these incidents are increasing. Knowing that Beck and others who words seem to have been a catalyst to some of these incidents need to repeatedly remind people that attacking people with firearms is not a solution. Most need to read this blog and realize that as mad as our founders were, and on a lot of levels I am as mad about some things as any of these people were, anarchy and random violence are never the answer. I got arrested for cussing at a cop a while back because I was tired of watching them harass people(they literally do in that part of Florida) and now realize that even that was stupid in that it does not good at all in solving the problem. Cooler heads need to prevail in these tough times and that word needs to start getting out.
I guess I am saying even if our government is getting tyrannical(I see on both sides not just the party that is in there now personally) to a degree we still have to honor the institution in our protests. This is the basics of resistance theory.
As far as the Beck U thing goes mocking it like this video does is not going to help open the minds of people that hang on his every word. I have met many of them and they do not question any of the stuff he says about the founding. It bothers me too because it goes too far but I am waiting for your guys that want to nail him and Barton to start nailing those the take things to the extreme on the other side.
I am not sure what the question marks are for. If it is to my exhortation for those who want to nail Beck to make sure all "revisionism" gets its due then we can start with Ed Brayton's claim that there is not case for rights that can be made in the bible for one. We can also throw in their statements I have heard about Aquinas not being for resistance theory and consent of the governed. In other words, I think we are still picking the low hanging fruit. Or put another way missing the forrest for the trees.
The question marks were for your rant on what was nothing more than a joke. I think you took this WAAAAY to serious. And now I am convince that you need to back off of the Imago Dei stuff. That's getting old too.
.I had a good laugh..This is not to prove a recent comment made about me that I jump to every chance to bring Strauss up; but, maybe a good reading of his work does come in handy when discussing political theory..
"God-given" rights is probably proper for most contexts. For the record, Strauss doesn't argue them, which makes him problematic in the study of the American Founding.As for the Beck-Barton bashing, it's in the price of admission hereabouts.
Well, I thought that if I took a couple of weeks off to break a collar bone and then vacation in Iowa to follow a mad horde of bicyclists across the state all of this would be sorted out.Looks like I've got some catching up to do.
Aristotle, Aquinas, David Barton, imago Dei, "theistic rationalism," unitarians, Leo Strauss.Just the usual, JRB. ;-DGet well soon, mate.
"And now I am convince that you need to back off of the Imago Dei stuff. That's getting old too."Why does it seem that when someone corrects the revisionism from the other side it is old but the Barton thing never is?
Brad,At the risk of being called Tom's lackey, I guess I have to wonder why we look at what is wrong with the Barton argument and never what is right? Believe it or not a lot of what he says is right. He exaggerates a lot for sure but a lot of the stuff Chris attacks him on is minor crap too.Ed Brayton denies 500 years of Christian thought on rights, consent of the governed, and resisting tyrants and no one has a problem? I am not going to sit here and call him a liar and not acknowledge many of his good points on this topic though.
"This is not to prove a recent comment made about me that I jump to every chance to bring Strauss up; but, maybe a good reading of his work does come in handy when discussing political theory."It is handy when identifying the source of much of arguments that give far too much credit to the Enlighenment for the American founding. I think that is why it keeps coming up. I even went back and read all of Jon's posts on Straussians the last few days before I did my last one. Nonetheless, I agree with Tom and submit that Brian Tierney's writings are a huge stumbling block for Strausses view of the founding.
I must admit I haven't tackled Brian Tierney's work, except getting a familiarity with his thesis, that much of the Founding conception of law and rights can be found evolving through medieval [Catholic] canon law.I saw Jon write that Christian Thought apologists should use Tierney's work in support; on the secular side, his work is pretty much ignored as well.My guess is there's a bit of prejudice in status quo academia, but I think the biggest problem is that to study medieval canon law properly [from the source documents], one needs to know medieval European Latin.In other words, without the necessary linguistic skills, it's impossible for a scholar to evaluate Tierney's work one way or the other. Easier just to move past it. I admit I do, meself. Perhaps in coming years, Tierney's work will find enough scholars who can properly evaluate it, and it'll penetrate the mainstream of religion-and-the-Founding scholarship.As for Strauss' view of the Founding, he doesn't have much of one. His philosophical interest is "classic natural right" [Plato, Aristotle, with only nods toward Cicero and Aquinas] and "modern natural right," which obliges him to make Locke into not a Christian, but a closet Hobbesian.Now, philosophically speaking, this might be accurate [I'm on the fence], but what seems clear is that the Founders hated Hobbes [Hamilton and James Otis in particular trash him]. Hamilton reads Locke as consistent with traditional Christian Thought re natural law [in "The Farmer Refuted"], but Otis seems to see Locke as a "modern" with a "social contract" view of rights, not the uniquely American "God-given" rights theory."Government is founded not on force, as was the theory of Hobbes; nor on compact, as was the theory of Locke and of the revolution of 1688; nor on property, as was the assertion of Harrington. It springs from the necessities of our nature, and has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God."---James Otis, 1864"We do not claim these under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of Kings."---Thomas Jefferson, 1817
Oh I think we bash the "other side" plenty, KOI. That's why we keep you and Tom around. =)
.Regarding "Christian" rights being involved in the Founding, it's a wonder to me that credit for unalienable rights is not given to Jesus without having to be such literalists..Jesus taught that human beings had personal access for a one on one relationship with God. That--to me--appears to be the basis of all rights unalienable..
Re: "Jesus taught that human beings had personal access for a one on one relationship with God. That--to me--appears to be the basis of all rights unalienable."I agree. What happens when the Trinity, or Divinity of Jesus, are added. Doesn't that create some problems for the "human" part.
.I think the problem that literalism presents regarding "natural rights" is the reason why Protestantism came into being in the first place. Catholicism had to come up with reasons why human beings couldn't access a one on one relationship with God. Etc., etc., etc...
What happens when the Trinity, or Divinity of Jesus, are added. Doesn't that create some problems for the "human" part.I don't see where it did. The divide between God and man is bridged._________________I think the problem that literalism presents regarding "natural rights" is the reason why Protestantism came into being in the first place. Catholicism had to come up with reasons why human beings couldn't access a one on one relationship with God. Etc., etc., etc..I think there's something to that. But some the earliest "rights talk" comes from Catholicism, where the Spaniard priest Francisco di Vitoria argues for the rights of the natives of the New World in 1523, precisely because as rational beings, they are potential Christians, and therefore possessed of "human" [and political] rights.
Post a Comment