Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Marcotte: "5 Christian right delusions about history"

By Amanda Marcotte here. A taste:
Barton has convinced the right to believe in their fervent wish that the Founders were religious and even theocratic with quote-mining and outright lying. He likes to whip out this John Adams quote: “There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost.” Problem? Adams was summarizing the opinion of his opponents; that wasn’t Adams’ view at all.


Brian Tubbs said...

Thanks for the link. As with any critique, it's easy to go after the extremists, which Marcotte does well, rather than the more moderate, nuanced views that embody the classic conservative movement.

One example of this is her comments on the French Revolution. Yes, it's an extreme (and inaccurate) view to paint the American Revolution as "Christian" in contrast with the more secular French Revolution and make a case for some wide "gulf" (as Marcotte says). But...

The truth is that there were significant differences between the French and American Revolutions. The American Revolution was definitely much more restrained and conservative in comparison with its French counterpart. And, yes, the American revolutionaries were NOT hostile toward Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular as were many of the French revolutionaries.

Were there similarities? Sure. But there WERE differences. We shouldn't gloss over them.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Alexander Hamilton [1794]:

"It is not among the least perplexing phenomena of the present times, that a people like that of the United States—exemplary for humanity and moderation surpassed by no other in the love of order and a knowledge of the true principles of liberty, distinguished for purity of morals and a just reverence for Religion should so long persevere in partiality for a state of things the most cruel sanguinary and violent that ever stained the annals of mankind, a state of things which annihilates the foundations of social order and true liberty, confounds all moral distinctions and substitutes to the mild & beneficent religion of the Gospel a gloomy, persecuting and desolating atheism."