The Ethics of Ignorance

Jamestown Cannibalism

I don’t know Albert T. Harrison, though he may well be a neighbor: we both live in Alexandria, Virginia. He is probably a good and decent man, in fact, I’m pretty certain of it, and it pains me to take him to task for what he wrote to, and was subsequently published in, the Washington Post’s weekly “Free for All” page. His letter is already on the web, however, and I’m sure other good, and, like Albert, willfully ignorant Americans are reading it and nodding their heads. His is an unethical, irresponsible, cowardly and dangerous position, and it has too many supporters already.

I’m sorry, Mr. Harrison, but you force my hand.

This week, scientists determined with near certainty that rumors of cannibalism in the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, were true. The remains of a 14-year-old girl from an excavation at the site of the settlement showed unmistakable signs of deliberate butchering. From the Post story:

“About 300 people inhabited the fort in November 1609. By spring, there were only 60. The girl, most likely a maidservant but possibly the daughter of a colonist, was one of the casualties…James Horn, head of research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and a historian on the colony, said the discovery ‘adds a significant confirmation to what was reported to have occurred at Jamestown.’ Further, it’s the only physical evidence of cannibalism of Europeans in any New World colony, although, as with Jamestown, there are written accounts of the practice in others. ‘I tend to be sparing in the use of words like ‘unique.’ But I think this is one of those finds that literally is,’ Horn said.”

Mr. Harrison complained about the story, writing,

“There are some things I would rather not know. Many of us probably would prefer to dream that the Jamestown settlers were heroic at all times, despite the difficulties. I can remember the propaganda during World War II that made us feel that our culture was totally right and the ‘enemy’ was totally wrong. I guess the “seekers of truth” should be respected, regardless of where the truth leads. But why was The Post compelled to emphasize that depressing research with such a large headline and picture on the front page?”

There’s a lot wrong with this letter. I am going to resist the strong temptation to explore Mr. Harrison’s reasons for putting scare quotes around ‘enemy’ when it refers to the Japanese empire and the Nazis fighting us and the rest of the world in WW II, or to ask what exactly it is that he thinks Adolf Hitler was “right” about. It is this sentence that concerns me most:

“There are some things I would rather not know.”

If Mr. Harrison was expressing the sentiment that some knowledge is disillusioning and upsetting, making one wish it wasn’t true, I would have no quibble with that. That is not his meaning, however, for he questions the Post’s presenting the Jamestown story in a manner that forced him to notice it. He wants to be ignorant of the truth about Jamestown, and apparently many other matters as well. He “guesses” that the seekers of truth should be respected, but also thinks citizens should be able to control their exposure to facts so they can maintain their comforting, convenient and erroneous illusions, and that the news media should facilitate their ignorance.

Ignorance. The damage and destruction cause by that persistent human condition is incalculable, and Mr. Harrison wants to foster it. In “The Christmas Carol,” the Ghost of Christmas Present pulls back his robes to reveal two shrunken, monstrous children clutching at his legs. Scrooge is horrified, and asks who, or what they are. The Ghost replies,

“This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

Desiring, celebrating, seeking and encouraging ignorance, especially in a democratic republic, where every citizen shares the duty and responsibility of informed self-government, is deeply irresponsible, unethical conduct. Only knowledge, including knowledge that destroys dreams, renders illusions untenable, and forces the abandonment of passionately held beliefs, can lead to wisdom, and ethical choices. The news media should not facilitate willful ignorance, but rather do a more competent job obliterating. The selectively ignorant are a blight on every aspect of our society, as many decision-makers, policy-makers and opinion-makers all across the political and ideological spectrum are accurately described by that phrase, while others ruthlessly exploit members of the selectively ignorant in the public to further their objectives. In a democracy one has a right to be ignorant, but an ethical duty not to be. In society, we can only make the best decisions and engage in collaborative conduct that benefits and strengthens our communities by basing them on truth, not comforting fiction.

Knowing that the settlers at Jamestown resorted to cannibalism doesn’t merely challenge the simple-minded assumption that they were “heroic at all times.” It also reveals an important and profound example of the real life ethical challenges in survival situations. Perhaps the settlers had the choice of resorting to cannibalism or having the whole settlement perish. What would the failure of the Jamestown settlement have meant to the exploration of the New World? How profoundly might it have altered the course of human history? Is violating society’s strongest taboos justifiable if it is the only alternative to the destruction of civilization? Is it courage or lack of integrity when we make such a choice? There may well be more such choices ahead.

Those who are determined in their bigotry against gays and other minorities don’t want to know facts that prove that they are mistaken and cruel. Fundamentalist Christians do not want to read about discoveries in genetics, astronomy and other sciences that challenge their faith. Republicans don’t want to know about the calculations that prove major tax increases are unavoidable, and Democrats don’t want to face the truth about the unsustainability of entitlements under their current structure. Many of us don’t want to know what is happening in Syria, Iran, South Korea, Israel,  and Guantanamo.  Millions of “low information voters” were courted and manipulated by both parties in the 2012 elections, and it could be argued that such voters are decisive in every election, meaning that our nation is ruled by ignorance. We can see the results of this, all around us, every day.

“There are some things I would rather not know.” Well, Mr. Harrison, you have a duty to know them anyway, because you are part of this society and this country, and we are only as wise, productive, just, responsible and safe as our collective knowledge and understanding of the world permits. You may wish you didn’t have to know them, but you do. We all do. We have an ethical duty not the be ignorant.

_____________________________________

Sources, Graphic: Washington Post 1, 2

 

59 thoughts on “The Ethics of Ignorance

  1. Thanks Jack,

    Just what I needed….I was just struggling with my decision to watch “See No Evil” on Fox last night. I would rather not know what I saw…but am certain that program will inform many future decisions I will be making.

  2. In a democracy one has a right to be ignorant, but an ethical duty not to be.

    That pretty much sums it up for me, although I’d add: Mr. Harrison’s attitude reeks of an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. If he wishes to exercise his right to be ignorant, then he needs to realize that it’s not The Washington Post‘s job to keep him in the dark. That responsibility falls on his own shoulders (which is probably yet another thing Mr. Harrison doesn’t want to know).

  3. It’s easy to sit up in your ivory tower and pass judgement.
    I’m pretty sure that Today’s American has NO CLUE what early settlers went through…nor should they be judging it in the manner of Mr. Harrison.

    I can’t even respond to the WWII/Nazi remark.
    More Self-hating Liberal drivel.

  4. “Fundamentalist Christians do not want to read about discoveries in genetics, astronomy and other sciences that challenge their faith.”

    -I found this a bit odd. I might not be a fundamentalist Christian today without the confirmation of discoveries in genetics and astronomy. When the Big Bang Theory was all but proven by the COBE satellite in ’92, it destroyed what had been the dominant theory (especially among secularists) that the universe required no ultimate beginning point. Big-Bang skeptics grudgingly complained about “the church of the Big Bang.”
    And the very existence of genetics was predicted by teleology rather than secularism (secularists preferred to believe in spontaneous generation of life, as in maggots coming directly out of spoiled meat.) An ahead-of-his-time monk discovered genetics before anyone else mainly because no one else was looking for it.

    I suppose that the popular narrative is as you describe; that science is bludgeoning biblical faith, but if everyone appraised the facts uncovered by science objectively, there would likely be more believers, not fewer. The narrative has overtaken the reality and cultural assumptions about faith have seeped into the layperson’s interpretation of the data. It’s a shame really.

    • There is a theme park that shows men coexisting with dinosaurs, and that reflects the theory that the world is less than 10,000 years old. If you are a fundamentalist who has avoided this dead end, good for you. I said, “Fundamentalist Christians do not want to read about discoveries in genetics, astronomy and other sciences that challenge their faith.” In fact, I could give you the names of some who fit this description within my intimate acquaintance. I didn’t say all, just as I didn’t say that all Republicans refuse to be realistic about taxes.

      • Jack: I found it a little disturbing that you managed to veer off from a legitimate issue of ethics into an equating of it with Christianity, “creation science” and moral attitudes toward human perversity. For myself, I’m a Christian, as you know. However, I do not subscribe to creationism. I doubt that many of my fellows do. Also: Your statement about those who oppose “gay rights” as being ignorant of the salient facts couldn’t, in my opinion, be more wrong. The fact of it is, I maintain, just the opposite. I very much doubt that people who know deviancy only by the gentle image of their own propaganda and, on that basis, uphold it would hold long to that opinion when confronted with the sickening reality before their very eyes. And that’s only part of the story.

        • Well, SOMEONE is constantly sticking creationism and “intelligent design” into school currucula, so you can’t be accurate and say that few Christian Fundamentalists choose to ignore Mr. Darwin. Not long ago, I witnessed a student group at the Smithsonian being authoritatively instructed in the Natural History museum about how evolution was impossible and against the teachings of the Bible. As I think I may have noted here before, I once had a high-placed colleague at the US Chamber of Commerce tell me flat out that dinosaurs never existed, and the God planted the fossils as hoaxes to test our faith. I wish you were right, but I think it’s wishful thinking.

          • I get a lot of Christian emails, Jack, and I’ve never heard it suggested that dinosaurs are hoaxes; divine or otherwise. There is a school of thought which suggests that Darwin’s theory has a lot of holes in it as to cause and effect. And yes, there are those who reject it entirely and go to great lengths to “disprove” it. I’m not one and few Christians of my association are. Intelligent Design, however, is different from creationism. It simply states that the progression of life on Earth was intentional and preordained. I find nothing at all wrong or unscientific in that. Indeed, if you accept an Infinite Being who created the universe with a purpose in mind, then this point of view becomes virtually automatic.

            • Intelligent Design, however, is different from creationism.

              Bullshit. Of Panda’s and People prior to Dover:

              “Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, etc.”

              Of Panda’s and People after Dover:

              “Intelligent Design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, etc.”

              Intelligent Design is creationism with an attempted cover.

              It simply states that the progression of life on Earth was intentional and preordained. I find nothing at all wrong or unscientific in that.

              Except for the complete lack of evidence, and that the evidence we have shows no direction.

              Indeed, if you accept an Infinite Being who created the universe with a purpose in mind, then this point of view becomes virtually automatic.

              That would be a a circular argument. It also shows that this is creationism. That capitallized “Infinite Being” kind of gave it away.

              • Nonsense, Tiggy. Obviously, being of an unchristian mind and holding the hostility you do towards the concept, your entire viewpoint remains skewed. Intelligent Design refers to nothing more than the concept that a Divine Creator DID preordain that his creation would be an ongoing work. Creationists hold that the universe was created quickly and recently based on their interpretation of the Book of Genesis. As I mentioned, very few Christians subscribe to this point of view… and for two main reasons. First: The evidence of Creation we see around us does not support such a notion. Second: The Bible is not and never was a book of science. I could go into greater detail but, judging from that barrage of standardized anti-Christian comments you just made, it would be a waste of space… as your comments already were.

                • Intelligent Design refers to nothing more than the concept that a Divine Creator DID preordain that his creation would be an ongoing work. Creationists hold that the universe was created quickly and recently based on their interpretation of the Book of Genesis.

                  Creationists come in various stripes. There are young earth creationists like Ken Ham and there are old earth creationists like Karl Gibberson who try to retrofit a metaphorical interpretation of genesis into the known geological scale. They are both creationism.

                  As I mentioned, very few Christians subscribe to this point of view [of young earth creationism]
                  46% is few? http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/hold-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx

                  First: The evidence of Creation we see around us does not support such a notion.

                  You just capitalized “Creation” and referred to it as “Creation”. That, again, shows that ID is just creation. If you had said “the world”, I would have agreed with you.

                  Second: The Bible is not and never was a book of science.

                  Except for the people who did think it was a book of science. Remember Galileo?

                  I could go into greater detail but, judging from that barrage of standardized anti-Christian comments you just made, it would be a waste of space… as your comments already were.

                  What standardized anti-Christian comments? You make general attacks like this, but don’t point out anything that’s actually invalid. As such, I can only assume it’s an excuse to not have to defend your position.

                  • They are both Creationism.
                    And an assertion like “Intelligent Design refers to nothing more than the concept that a Divine Creator DID preordain that his creation would be an ongoing work.” is an admission that this is not science, but faith. It can’t be anything but, and it is certainly not anti-Christian to state the obvious.

                    • I really don’t have any respect for people who pretend ID isn’t creationism. They’re lying to try to sneak their beliefs in the back door.

                    • Tiggy’s standard prologue rant aside, let’s get to the heart of his contentions.
                      1. Creation. The Cosmos. The Universe. Synonyms.
                      2. Galileo lived in the 16th Century. The main reason the Vatican wanted him to shut up was because they feared (rightly) that a lot of people living in that time would have a hard time adjusting to new concepts of the nature of Creation and drag the Church into it. Also: Galileo was an erascible wiseass!
                      3. The attacks were your’s, TGT. Your hatred for Christendom is so intense it practically blows smoke out of my skype!

                    • Tiggy’s standard prologue rant aside, let’s get to the heart of his contentions.

                      There was no rant.

                      1.
                      First, “Creation” begs the question that the world was related.
                      Second, None of those words should be capitalized. Capitalizing creation implies God.

                      2.
                      The Church’s problem was that they were teaching the world was the way the Bible claims, as that’s what the Bible claims. Galileo’s work was a direct contradiction of what they’d said was true. It wasn’t about new ideas. The church never had a problem with new ideas that didn’t overturn things they’d claimed.

                      3.
                      I’m still waiting on an example of one of these attacks.

                  • 1. Yes, I capitalized Creation- just as I do “Cosmos”. You have to be pretty disgruntled with God to make an issue out of that!

                    2. Maybe you had better re-read the story of Galileo and his troubles with the Church. The crux of the man’s problems were not so much his theories and discoveries, but because he was an arrogant S.O.B. by nature. The bishops who were questioning him were not scientists and were trying to gain a perspective. Some likely were closed minded to Jupiter having moons, but Galileo was his own worse enemy.

                    3. No, Tiggy. That was just you trying to cloak yourself in the veil of innocence. Fat chance!.

                    • 1. You missed the main point: using the word creation begs the question.

                      The second point, about capitalization, is not anger at god; it’s properly arguing against giving a special significance to religious terms.

                      2. You made it worse. Now the church is punishing people for how they dissent. Again though, your claim that the church feared that people couldn’t understand new ideas is bullshit. The problem was that the new ideas contradicted church orthodoxy.

                      3. I stand by my statement, a year after it was written.

                    • The crux of [Galileo]’s problems were not so much his theories and discoveries, but because he was an arrogant S.O.B. by nature.

                      You claimed that the church’s behavior toward Galileo was based on the way he dissented, not the dissent itself. The church punished Galileo. My description of your argument is accurate.

                      Your comment suggesting I’m playing the victim (“come down from your cross”) is a non sequitur. Again, when you argue yourself into a position you don’t like, you simply attack me.

                    • Oh, don’t start victimizing yourself, TGT. I’m suggesting that the churchmen involved weren’t anti-science zealots as a body. They were justifiably worried that many church members would be confused by this new science and see it as a negation of the Bible’s teachings. It wasn’t, of course, but as responsible clergymen- and owing to the lack of education for most people in those days- they had to consider this. Galileo, while a brilliant scientist, could have worked with them a little in finding a way to present this properly to the populace at large. But, as I said, he was pugnacious by nature. I might point out that many of the most celebrated scientists of history from that point onward have been not only devout Christians, but actual ordained ministers themselves.

                    • Oh, don’t start victimizing yourself, TGT.

                      Where do I do this?

                      As for your further explanation. I still see the same argument. You’re saying if Galileo had been nicer to the church, they wouldn’t have attacked him. That’s bullshit. You’re also avoiding the issue that Galileo’s science was directly counter to the church’s teachings. You say that the new science didn’t negate the teachings of the bible, but, at the time, the church thought the bible did claim that the earth was the center of the universe. That most Christians these days don’t believe that doesn’t change the fact that the church did.

                      I might point out that many of the most celebrated scientists of history from that point onward have been not only devout Christians, but actual ordained ministers themselves.

                      So, what? People are very good at rationalizing contradictory ideas, and Christianity was ingrained in the western world. Of course many famous scientists were Christians. Right now, there are ordained ministers that think gays should be able to marry, and I know you believe Christianity and gay marriage are diametrically opposed.

                      Now, as science has progressed, there have been fewer and fewer religious scientists. Scientists in the U.S. are currently something like 10 times likelier to identify as atheists than the population at large.

                    • I’d say that you’re throwing bricks in a glass house when you start accusing others of “rationalization”. We’ve established that you have a deep, abiding disdain for Christianity and everything relating to it. Okay. Your option. I’d point out that the proliferation of atheistic educators is more the result of societal decadence (the result of liberalism) than any inherent flaw in Christian thought. And (once again) no one, including the Catholic Church- then and now- denied that Galileo was a remarkable scientist. The problems of his time were as I stated. You make the common error of the amateur historian in projecting the modern era on the past.

                    • I’d say that you’re throwing bricks in a glass house when you start accusing others of “rationalization”.

                      I stated the well known fact that humans are good at rationalizing incompatible ideas as compatible. All that did was show that your comment about religious scientists didn’t imply that science and religion are compatible.

                      I didn’t accuse anyone of rationalization with that statement. Also, you’re again accusing me of something generally without any examples. I guess it was too much to hope that you would stop doing that.

                      We’ve established that you have a deep, abiding disdain for Christianity and everything relating to it.

                      Not sure what that has to do with anything.

                      I’d point out that the proliferation of atheistic educators is more the result of societal decadence (the result of liberalism) than any inherent flaw in Christian thought.

                      That is a legitimate idea! I don’t agree, but there’s nothing innately contradictory or invalid about it. I’m impressed.

                      And (once again) no one, including the Catholic Church- then and now- denied that Galileo was a remarkable scientist. The problems of his time were as I stated. You make the common error of the amateur historian in projecting the modern era on the past.

                      Uh…you’re the one projecting the modern era on the past. You think that since you don’t see a contradiction between Galileo’s science and bible, that means that the church shouldn’t have had a problem with the science. Next are you going to claim that Christians in the 50s didn’t think interracial marriage was contradictory to the bible? That Christians in the early 1800s didn’t think that equality for blacks was contradictory to the bible?

                      The church thought the bible claimed that the sun and stars revolved around the earth. Showing that to be false was absolutely a contradiction of what the church believed the bible taught.

                    • “On November 13, Steven M. Pilling was asked to remove himself from his place of cyberresidence. That request came from various deviants, who were tired of his insults. Deep down, he knew God was on his side, but he also knew that someday, he would find a website where he could maintain his campaign against perversion. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at Ethics Alarms, and met Tiggy, a tech whizzing, nit-picking atheist. Can two, rational, articulate, passionate men with diametrically opposed views of life and morality share an ethics blog without driving each other, and everyone else, crazy?

                      Cue music…

                    • I can’t believe TGT actually made these remarks. He was usually above making such overt appeals to false stereotypes and historical myths in order to make a point. I must have hit a nerve!

                    • Missed something:

                      …deep, abiding disdain for Christianity and everything relating to it

                      While the comment about Christianity is mostly accurate, it is not true that I have disdain for things just because they’re related to Christianity. You go to far there.

    • You’re a bit off in your timeline there; the Big Bang become the consensus theory by the end of the ’60s, after the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation in 1965. Those people complaining about “the church of the Big Bang” were already a minority by 1992; COBE merely drove the last nail into the Steady State Model’s coffin.

      Also, religion and science cuts both ways; yes, you have people like Heisenburg (though calling him a fundamentalist in the American conservative sense would be stretch), but there’s a lot of counterexamples. Einstein did not believe in a personal God or in the afterlife. Fermi and Hubble were agnostic. Planck was a firm deist (though he was pretty cool with Jesus). And that’s not even going into the outright atheists like Feynmann, Higgs, Crick, and Bohr.

      Even with regards to your examples, Mendel does not seem to have been particularly fundamentalist in his faith, and Lemaître (the Belgian priest regarded as the father of the Big Band theory) explicitly viewed religion and science as two separate spheres (though he believed firmly in both) and said that his own theory was consistent with both atheism and theism. Science may not necessarily destroy faith, but Newton is any example, it seems to lead towards more heterodox conceptions of it.

      • And ironically enough, a lot of Christian fundamentalists actually reject the Big Bang theory as much as they reject evolution, presumably because they’re under the impression that an atheist came up with it.

      • Science may not necessarily destroy faith, but Newton is any example, it seems to lead towards more heterodox conceptions of it.

        Science leads the faithful from Ken Ham to Karen Armstrong.

        • It should be noted that all those scientists mentioned above (including Newton) were devout Christians. Searching for the truth and recognizing it above superstition IS Christian. That there are still Christians who use the Bible as a book of science (which it is not and was never intended to be) is a little wearisome at times. But at least creationists are good people at heart. The term “fundamentalist” is subject to a very loose definition and is mainly used by Leftists as a disparaging term when applied to Christians or as an apologetic term when placed on Moslems.

          • It should be noted that all those scientists mentioned above (including Newton) were devout Christians.

            That’s a really stupid lie. Hung called out people who weren’t devout Christians.

            Searching for the truth and recognizing it above superstition IS Christian.

            Then there wouldn’t be any Christianity.

            That there are still Christians who use the Bible as a book of science (which it is not and was never intended to be) is a little wearisome at times.

            But you do that when you insist on intelligent design.

            But at least creationists are good people at heart.

            Irrelevant.

            The term “fundamentalist” is subject to a very loose definition and is mainly used by Leftists as a disparaging term when applied to Christians or as an apologetic term when placed on Moslems.

            You’re insane.

            • I’m quite sane, TGT. The only question here is by what influence you obtained your seething hatred of all things Christian. It dominates your mind to a pathological degree and leads you to making outlandish claims and personal attacks without any semblance of rationality. It’s really pretty pathetic. I’ll pray for you.

              • I called you insane because you suggest that the left thinks fundamentalism is a good think in Islam That’s an outlandish claim that is completely counter to reality.

                    • You have to be actively ignorant to believe that. Either that or you’re re-defining “Christian” to mean something other than it does.

                    • I define “Christian” as someone who believes in the gospels and tries to live his life on their basis, having accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. When you adhere to doctrines in direct contradiction to what this all stands for, you have no right to label yourself a Christian- unless you intend deceit. Pretty simple, huh?

                    • Jack,

                      Sorry, It was directly after SMP’s comment, and no one else had intervened since the last level, so I thought it was clear.

                      SMP claimed, last May, that the left likes Islamic fundamentalists because they hate Christians, hate Israel, and hate America. I pointed out, last May, that none of those claims of his are true. I pointed to the obvious counterexample that most people on the left are Christian.

                      SMP, a year later, earlier this May, claimed that no lefties are Christian. I face-plamed and responded.

                    • SMP,

                      I define “Christian” as someone who believes in the gospels and tries to live his life on their basis, having accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

                      Sure, that’ll work for me.

                      When you adhere to doctrines in direct contradiction to what this all stands for, you have no right to label yourself a Christian- unless you intend deceit.

                      Uh-oh.

                      Different people can interpret the gospels differently. Heck, Jesus actively said that the downcast and sinners should be treated as well as others, but you think gays should have less rights than straights. If that’s not in direct contradiction to what Jesus stands for, I don’t know what is. (Oh, right, physically arming yourself and physical confrontation.)

                      My point is that there can be honest differences of opinion as to the meaning of the gospels. Your leap to assuming people who think differently than you must “intend to deceive” is ridiculous.

                      Do you think the thousands of churches who don’t march in lockstep with you “intend to deceive?” Who are they deceiving? What purpose would that serve? When I was in college, I had more than a few friends that spent multiple hours a week in bible study and small group. I can think of two groups that were diametrically opposed on many issues. Was one of those groups just pretending to be Christian? Seems like a ridiculous amount of effort to fake being Christian. What’s the payoff there, anyway?

                    • There’s no question of “lockstep”, TGT. As I’ve pointed out before, legitimate Christian denominations differ in worship procedures, organization and, yes, in some interpretations of the gospels. However, they are united in the root principles that the gospels expouse. Prominent among these is the difference between a universe (and an individual life) based on God vs. that of one based on Man… and self. Leftism embraces three concepts that are inseparable; statism, socialism and secularism. In other words, a completely materialistic realm that is run by men without any acknowledgement of God in their affairs. Therefore, on its basis, leftism is divorced from Christianity.

                      “Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Constitution… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security of free governments.”- Charles Carroll.

                    • There’s no question of “lockstep”, TGT. As I’ve pointed out before, legitimate Christian denominations differ in worship procedures, organization and, yes, in some interpretations of the gospels. However, they are united in the root principles that the gospels expouse.

                      Oooo…what are these “root principles”? I’m sure it’s going to be “judge not” and “turn the other cheek.”

                      Prominent among these is the difference between a universe (and an individual life) based on God vs. that of one based on Man… and self.

                      Okay…so what are these differences? Oh wait, you don’t say what any of these differences are. Just “God” vs. “Not God”.

                      Leftism embraces three concepts that are inseparable; statism, socialism and secularism.

                      Uh, what? Was the very statist Colonial Britsh government socialist and secular? No. Heck, Jesus was a socialist. He was all about redistribution of wealth.

                      Secularism is normally tied to libertarianism. Think Ayn Rand. Apparently it’s now socialist.

                      In other words, a completely materialistic realm that is run by men without any acknowledgement of God in their affairs. Therefore, on its basis, leftism is divorced from Christianity.

                      Most of the left recognizes God. Most of Democratic politicians talk about God all the fucking time. It pisses me off how much they talk about God. I thought Obama was a “leftist,” but he talks about his faith and how his belief in God informs his decisions, so he must be a right leaning Christian.

                      “Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Constitution… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security of free governments.”- Charles Carroll.

                      And, again, you attempt to co-opt the constitution as a religious document, even though the writers did not invoke God as the basis of the document at all. It was the anti-federalists that invoked God. They complained that the constitution was a godless document. So, either the constitution is statist and socialist, or you’re talking out of your ass.

                    • Just read your own words, TGT, and understand how intellectually bankrupt your ravings have become. First you take the “judge not” quote out of context, in the common liberal tradition. Then, along the same lines, you insert the insane “Christ was a socialist” assertion. Hardly! Jesus never invoked the concept of big government confiscating in order to “spread the wealth”. He preached brotherhood. The further assertion that “the Left recognizes God” is almost as deceptive as the others. They recognize God, all right, as “the opiate of the people”. They merely pay some lip service to it in order to cover their true mission of suppression. They realize as well as any that their State and God cannot co-exist. That last bit about the Constitution being “secular and socialist” can only be the result of insular reasoning among your coffee house communist comrades. If there is any political document on Earth that this does NOT describe, it’s the U.S. Constitution. It’s a statement of LIMITED government, not of a faceless, tyrannical bureaucracy. Good grief, TGT. I wasn’t aware until now of just how far off on the left fringe you actually are.

                    • Just read your own words, TGT, and understand how intellectually bankrupt your ravings have become. First you take the “judge not” quote out of context, in the common liberal tradition.

                      If I used it wrong, then what’s the proper context?

                      Then, along the same lines, you insert the insane “Christ was a socialist” assertion. Hardly! Jesus never invoked the concept of big government confiscating in order to “spread the wealth”. He preached brotherhood.

                      Jesus absolutely backed the idea that the well off should provide for the poor. He didn’t say the government specifically should provide for the poor, but if you think government should be based on his teachings, then, then socialism follows.

                      The further assertion that “the Left recognizes God” is almost as deceptive as the others. They recognize God, all right, as “the opiate of the people”. They merely pay some lip service to it in order to cover their true mission of suppression. They realize as well as any that their State and God cannot co-exist.

                      Again, you are assuming ill intent just because people disagree with you. As I said before, if people interpret god differently than you do, then you claim they are liars with insidious agendas. It would be just as valid to say the same thing about you.

                      That last bit about the Constitution being “secular and socialist” can only be the result of insular reasoning among your coffee house communist comrades. If there is any political document on Earth that this does NOT describe, it’s the U.S. Constitution. It’s a statement of LIMITED government, not of a faceless, tyrannical bureaucracy. Good grief, TGT. I wasn’t aware until now of just how far off on the left fringe you actually are.

                      I said the constitution is secular. That’s not something that’s up for debate. I then said that, by your logic, if the document is secular, then it must also be statist and socialist. My point was to show that your claim about the inseparability of secularism, statism, and socialism is bullshit, as the constitution is clearly not statist or socialist.

                      This isn’t rocket science.

                    • And then there’s convoluted logic. “The Constitution is secular” (no… but nevermind) and is therefore socialistic and statist! I had made the point that statism, socialism and secularism were three peas in a pod. Therefore, TGT tried to brand the Constitution in this manner to make a false point, ignoring completely documented thoughts and intentions of the framers. I can only assume he was angling for a federal district bench!

  5. Re: The “low information” voter. Somebody once said (I don’t remember who): You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. Fortunately, that’s enough.”

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