Friday, December 11, 2015

Washington Post: "The fascinating history of how Jefferson and other Founding Fathers defended Muslim rights"

Check it out here. A taste:
Indeed, it wasn't just Jefferson and Madison who were discussing the bounds of religious freedom in the crucial Virginia debate, said historian John Ragosta, author of numerous books on Jefferson and religious freedom.

"Baptists and Presbyterians were really demanding religious freedom in the 18th century because they were dissenters from the established church," Ragosta said. "And they were talking about Muslims and ‘infidels’ and Jews."

Evangelicals had been subjected to religious persecution not long before. Prior to the American Revolution, more than half of Virginia's Baptist ministers were jailed for preaching, Ragosta said. "These people knew what they were talking about."

Opponents of Jefferson's proposal wrote letters to the Virginia Gazette, arguing that it would allow atheists, Muslims and Jews to hold office — to which evangelicals responded, “that’s right,” Ragosta said.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Defended Muslim rights in the abstract. Not really relevant to the current crisis. Typical left-wing academics bending history on the op-ed page of a left-wing newspaper with an ominous-sounding but ultimately non-existent argument.

No Muslim rights are being abridged. That an immigration policy lacking the proper competence to tell the good guys from the bad guys is foolhardy should be controversial only to idiots and demagogues.

jimmiraybob said...

Well Tom, maybe you could spend some time conferencing with your conservative brethren about threats of and actual violence against Muslims or those they perceive as Muslim (such as Sikhs and random mysterious swarthy others).

Not to mention the constant conservative ragegasms about and calls for barring/banning Mosques and the Quran - you know, talk up that whole religious freedom thingy that you all with the big ideas are so gushy about (as long as its a proper Christian Sectarian thing).

Go ahead now and insult away my righteous conservative buddy.

Tom Van Dyke said...


jimmiraybob said...


Brilliant! Time well spent. You go my little culture warrior, you've almost got America saved.

Tom Van Dyke said...

At least when right-wingers rant, there's a point.

jimmiraybob said...

I’m assuming that you’re referring to points like fear, resentment, intolerance, rage, and paranoia.

Maybe you’re referring to policy points like overthrowing the government that they tirelessly work to delegitimize - the second amendment solution which would, of course, require killing fellow citizens, shooting down Russian planes and punching Putin in the nose (I believe that someone referred to this as starting WW III), and terrorizing women’s health- and abortion-clinics?

Maybe you mean leadership points like calling for a strong leader unconstrained by constitutional authority and international norms and agreements, one that will restore a mythical past and make America strong again by rounding up a class of people, building yooge walls, and murdering the families of unindicted terrorists, or maybe one that would bomb foreign soil until the sand glowed*, or maybe one that proposes to use the Department of Education to monitor and police University speech?

Yes, those certainly are points.

*it should be pointed out that conventional munitions will not make the sand glow but nuclear munitions will, however briefly. Just sayin’

Tom Van Dyke said...