Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another mystical congressman gets facts wrong on U.S. founding

A story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today relates yet another mystical attempt by a U.S. congressman (this one from Georgia, where I live) to make 2010 "the year of the Bible." I wrote a letter to the AJC on this nonsense. Here it is:
___________________
The congressional proclamation by Rep. Paul Broun of Athens to make 2010 the year of the Bible is ignorance and mysticism at its finest – not to mention another anachronistic attempt by a GOP fanatic to wed religion with government.

Broun proclaims that “Holy Scripture … profoundly influenced and shaped the United States.” In fact, it was a dramatic move away from religious tracts during the 18th century Enlightenment that honored human intelligence and understood human rights, which led to a fundamental shaping of the new United States. The primary Founders of America were not Christian and did not primarily consult religion in their search for a government that would honor humans and their rights; they consulted the great Greeks, the great Romans and the great British thinkers and institutions.

They explicitly shunned such statements as “render unto Caesar” and found that individual rights are based upon nature, not a mystical element.

America became, for the first time in history, a government not based on any “holy” scripture. This irony will be lost on Broun, of course. So, perhaps, let me get his brief attention and suggest that we make 2010 the year of “Atlas Shrugged.”

9 comments:

Liberty .45ACP said...

Man that's a shame. I've been impressed by some of Paul Broun's actions in the past, but this puts him in another category. Ah well, we'll keep looking for the ones that are true to the country's origins.

David Elmore said...

Yeah, like some conservatives he says the right things sometimes, but they don't disagree "in kind" on the welfare state, just "in degree." And, then, when you add the religion of the GOP to that, you get a muddled mess. There simply aren't ANY terrific politicians now -- just ones that are a little less onerous than others. We need a new constitution, new ideas and new leaders -- a complete remaking of government.

Daniel said...

Although the nation's founding documents are not based on the bible in any way, there was a resurgence of religious thought after the government was created.

This had a huge part in shaping the history of the United States.

What the religionists of today do not know, or hope we do not, is exactly what religion's role in our history has been--from its negative relationship to freedom in every field to its disastrous effects in the same.

***

By the way, I'm slowly posting an old short story I wrote--which I will critique mercilessly afterwards.

The background is the invention of a machine that brings back the dead--though only if the living submit to a tortuous, physically draining process.

So, in the story, the dead become "potentially alive"--you know, like a fetus.

Given that the religionists believe the actual should be sacrificed to the potential (in the abortion debate) and the leftists believe that all should be sacrificed to all (until equality is reached), the story shows what would happen to the world in such a case.

Titled The Potentially Alive, it should run about six posts long--with the third to be posted tomorrow.

Don't know if you'll enjoy it, but I'd be happy if after reading it you think the author has potential. :-)

David Elmore said...

Yeah, Daniel, the religionists have their excuses for religious "fanatics" who have caused most of the human misery for the last 2,000 years.
I was mildly interested in your story (I read the first two installments). I liked the mystery beind "she was dead" at the end of the first. But I'm not too much on didactic fiction. In fact, I think it was Rand's didacticism that took much of the raw power out of her novels -- except for We The Living, which I think is her best "novel."
I'll continue to read your installments and see if my interest increases. Thanks for asking me to read it.
David

David Elmore said...

Daniel, if you think my blog is worthy of being listed on your blog, would you mind listing it? I'm hoping to get ads soon.
Thanks,
David

Daniel said...

I'm slowly building up a post on 20 other top Objectivist blogs--and you'll definitely be included in that.

(I actually think these send more traffic as I highlight a specific post I like.)

You can get set up with Adsense rather easily by the way. The money isn't huge at the start, as you can see from my posts on what a beginning blogger makes, but pennies make dollars.

***

I don't like didactic fiction either!

This story isn't meant to teach but to entertain. It's a fantastic "end of the world" scenario--with a twist.

Ideas move this world, as they move ours, but they're included only to the extent necessary.

The inventor, which you met in the first post, is actually the only reason I ended up finishing this short story. Otherwise it would just be an apocalyptic story that I'd jot a few notes down about and forget.

Don't know if I've given up the mystery yet, but am getting close, so I'll stop talking here. (The third part is now up at my site.)

David Elmore said...

Thanks for listing my blog. I'll be interested to see what other ones you list and perhaps listing them myself. What do you mean you "highlight" a post you like?
I tried the AdSense once but couldn't get it to show up on my site. I'll try again soon.
You've given up a little bit of the mystery, but you've got me a bit more intrigued. ;)

Daniel said...

By "highlight" I mean I'll point to a specific article within a blog that I like--and that is representative of it.

This provides readers good value as they're not just playing the click lottery, wondering if a link will be interesting or not for them.

They learn something about the blog and know exactly where they're heading.

I think this provides more value to the blogs I like also--because it gets more clicks for them and from readers that are more likely to come back.

All that value provided is of course not bad for my blog. :-)

***

Actually, I'll probably just add you and the others I've been gathering into The Objectivist Blog Directory.

I was thinking of doing another 20 Ois Blogs post but it just struck me that keeping all the info together is probably the best way to present the information.

David Elmore said...

Sounds good, Daniel. thanks.