America on Trial


In the fifth century A.D., Pope Gelasius declared that Christians have dual citizenship under "two sovereigns," one divine and one temporal, that must not be combined.

In the 11th century, a monk and future bishop argued that people are released from submission to any king who "transgress[es] the contract by virtue of which he is chosen."

In the 12th century, the canonist Gratian wrote that "princes are bound by and shall live according to their laws"—a departure from the previous understanding that royals were above legal formalities.

In the 13th century, St. Dominic asked that his 12 monasteries elect delegates to convene and write the rules that would govern the Dominican order.

In America on Trial, Westminster Institute Director Robert R. Reilly cites each of these examples to show that such concepts as representative democracy, consent of the governed, separation of church and state, and the right to resist tyranny grew out of the fertile soil of classical Christianity. The book is a rejoinder to a cadre of conservative scholars who have called into question the moral underpinnings of the American experiment.

For critics such as Notre Dame's Patrick Deneen, the liberal principles on which the United States was founded are products of post-Enlightenment modernity representing a decisive and misguided break with the Judeo-Christian tradition. Reilly compellingly asserts that the opposite is true: The American project is an application of ideas whose roots are in ancient Greece, the Hebrew Bible, and medieval Christendom.

There can be no Declaration of Independence without natural law, Reilly suggests, and no natural law without the revolutionary notion that God made man in his own image and did not wish him "to have dominion," as St. Augustine put it, "over those who are by nature its equal, that is, its fellow man."

NEXT: Brickbat: Evacuating from Vietnam

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. I used my credit card in your website and now my credit line is maxed out! Did I just get hacked by Russians?

      1. Post your credit card number here so we can check.

        1. Want To Work From Home Without Selling Anything? No Experience Needed, Weekly Payments… Join Exclusive Group Of People That Cracked The Code Of Financial Freedom! Learn More details Good luck… WORK24HERE

  1. I’m glad we have finally divorced American values from those antiquated Christian “values”. Instead of silly concepts like “sin”, “redemption”, and “forgiveness”, we can pin all of our collective woes on white privilege, patriarchy, and the historical actions of bigoted white people.

      1. Kant!

    1. Rabbi, logic would lead to rejection of both sets of silliness. Both are made-up tripe; rules by which man controls other men.

  2. I’ve often said the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian values, specifically Protestant values, and that Martin Luther was in many ways the first American. God gave me a brain and a conscience and free will that I may think for myself and no man may command me to think otherwise.

    1. And those values have been supplanted by the values held by America’s secular Jewish intelligentsia. Diversity, tolerance (including intolerance of the bigoted), and inclusion are our new American values! White supremacy, patriarchy, and Christian intolerance are thankfully dying and already dead in America’s ruling class. Only the rural clingers hang on to those backwards “values”.

      1. Ever noticed those who are most eager to give the country away are those to whom it never belonged in the first place, Fellow White People?

        1. There are plenty of white people who want to give this country away. Look at the members of the would-be Biden administration

          1. The international Mick only cares about subverting American democracy, raising taxes for his welfare programs, and restricting gun rights! And if you point this out to them they always kvetch about their phony “potato famine”.

            1. “The international Mick”

              I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but it’s possible that this Rabbi Weinstein guy may be trolling.

      2. seems like most of the intolerance these days is coming from the woke far Left.

    2. I like Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade thesis: that while the various puritans, utopians, and slavers established their new American colonies and fought each other for control from the top down, the renegades (AKA deplorables) ignored their betters, broke through all the establishment norms, and did more to nurture grass roots liberty and set the nation on a course towards more laissez-faire freedom.

    3. National Socialist Germany was formed on Christian values by a population approx. 96% Protestants and Catholics. What they got in 1933-45 does not look at all like the Bill or Rights. It more closely resembled the Hundred-Years War, Holdomor, Armenian genocide and Inquisition. Yet Stephanie the Infallible sells us a book claiming that without her invisible playmate none of us have even the Third Reich “rights” Positive Christianity afforded Jews in Germany and Austria. Does anyone at Reason spot an oddity about this conclusion?

  3. I think much of the basis for this country predates modern humanity, going back at least to the Pleiocene epoch.

    1. The dinosaur with 500 teeth built America and we still don’t honor their work!

      1. We would if he and his teeth were still around.

  4. I expect that Democrats are already planning a book burning for America on Trial, and cancelling for its author. Religion can no longer be tolerated in America (except, for some reason, Islam).

    1. Someone should unironically have a book burning of Mein Kampf to see how the ADL and ACLU respond. I suspect their would be no objection to burning that book or a few others…

    2. The religion problem is that it makes people who look as normal as Jim Jones or Robert Dear to see the word “Free” in the First Amendment and interpret it to mean “coerced by initiation of force.” Without _that_, their quaint superstitions would hardly be menacing.

      1. Oh fuck off. You’re such an idiot rabid atheist. Then of course there’s also your morbid glee about murdering infants.

  5. The most fundamental liberal assumption of all is probably the one Jefferson enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, with, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. This assumption that all men are created equal is by no means universal and has a particular source within Christianity. Christians are compelled to treat others as if they were worthy of God’s sacrifice. We are all created equal because Jesus died for each and every one of us (and our right to make a choice). If you treat others as less than valuable, you are denying the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice and your faith in its importance.

    No doubt, plenty of Christians have failed to live up to the ideals in the New Testament, but ideas like, “If you have done so unto the least of these, you have done so unto me”, etc., the golden rule, etc., etc. didn’t arise in a vacuum. When an atheist gay rights activist argues that they should be treated the same way we would want to be treated if we were them, he is appealing to a liberal tradition grounded in a Christian context. I’m aware that these ideas have arisen in other cultures and in other religious contexts, but the assumptions behind the golden rule, for instance, didn’t come to the framers or American culture by way of Lao Tzu, Confucianism, or Zen Buddhism. It came to us by way of Christianity.

    1. P.S. Madison lifted the religious principles of the First Amendment directly from the Peace of Westphalia and the protestant doctrine of Luther.

      “It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction to which the genius & courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Cæsar & what is due to God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations.

      —-James Madison, 1821

      The First Amendment protections for freedom from establishment and free exercise are protestant religious doctrine written into the Constitution, and the Constitution is far better because of it. The truth is what it is no matter how it comes to us, and the principles of religious freedom as expressed in the First Amendment are as true as they need to be regardless of their origin.

      1. They may be Protestant doctrines, but not from what’s called “magisterial Protestantism,” meaning those like the Lutherans who were happy to mix “church and state.”

        The separationist ideas probably came from the Baptists, Quakers, and others whom the Lutherans in the old country saw as sectarians.

        If Lutherans and others got on the First Amendment bandwagon, it was because given the multiplicity of sects, there was no guarantee that one’s own sect would come out on top, so it would be best to keep any one group from dominating lest your group get the short end of the stick.

        But in the early days of the First Amendment, the Founders may have advocated equality among Christians (or even equality as between Christians and Jews/”Turks” [other than Sunday laws], but most of them don’t seem to have advocated equality as between believers in God and atheists.

        By coincidence, many powerful Framers belonged to a fraternal association which insisted on belief in God but but all God-believers on an equal footing, forbidding sectarian conflict.

        1. *put* all God-believers on an equal footing

        2. The author of the First Amendment is crediting Luther with leading the way because of Luther’s two kingdoms doctrine.

          The culmination of which led to the Peace of Westphalia, in which local authorities were granted the right to choose their own religion regardless of which religion the Holy Roman emperor chose (freedom from establishment) and individual Christians living under the rule of local authorities were free to practice their own religion regardless of the religion chosen by local authorities (free exercise).

          1. “All parties would recognise the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, in which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state (the principle of cuius regio, eius religio). The options were Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism.[14][15]

            Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in private, as well as in public during allotted hours.[19]

            —-Peace of Westphalia


            There was this thing called the Reformation, it resulted in a settlement that looked a lot like the First Amendment, and that settlement largely resembled and accounted for Protestant doctrine–around the lines formulated by Luther.

            To ignore this, along with statements made by the author of the First Amendment attributing its ultimate origins to Luther, would be absurd.

            1. Madison thought Luther’s courage and genius *led the way.* Luther himself didn’t go all the way. He was into vigorously suppressing rebellious peasants. And Jews. So maybe he wouldn’t have gone all the way.

              Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Westphalia left much room for, say, Baptists and Quakers, who had so much influence in the USA.

              Disestablishment at the federal level can be credited to the variety of sects in the country. Disestablishment in Virginia got a push from the Baptists and other non-Anglicans. Not all states followed Virginia’s example right off – it took a few decades. Massachusetts had an established (Congregational) church. A couple of states established Protestantism (just plain old Protestantism, not a particular sect of it).

              1. “Luther himself didn’t go all the way. He was into vigorously suppressing rebellious peasants. And Jews. So maybe he wouldn’t have gone all the way.”

                Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Westphalia left much room for, say, Baptists and Quakers, who had so much influence in the USA.

                Luther’s two kingdoms doctrine was the conduit for the First Amendment anyway–as well as the effectiveness of the Peace of Westphalia in bringing the cycle of bloodshed from the Thirty Years War to a close.

                As I stated, the fact that plenty of Christians have fallen short of their own ideals doesn’t mean that their ideals didn’t have a profound impact on the framers specifically or on American society generally.

                1. “Luther’s two kingdoms doctrine”

                  The post quotes Pope Gelasius, and then there’s St. Augustine…

                  Just to be clear, most of the Founders would only accept their doctrine from Protestant sources, but sometimes these Protestant sources got their ideas, in turn, from Catholic sources, so the Founders got some good Catholic ideas at second-hand.

      2. and the Constitutional separation of church and state was based on the statute of Virginia for religious freedom, crafted by the noted Utopian slaver, Thomas Jefferson.

        1. Who painstakingly cut out the miracles of Jesus from his version of the Bible, to make it more a book of philosophy.

          1. So you’re saying that Jefferson was so profoundly influenced by Christianity that he went to the trouble of editing his own Bible?

            That s not persuasive evidence that Christianity didn’t have a profound influence on the framers.

            P.S. Religious freedom in the colonies being influenced by Christianity is an easy case to make. For goodness’ sake, these things didn’t spring out of a vacuum.

            P.P.S. That a slave owner who had slave children by a woman he apparently loved would write about freedom so elegantly isn’t a surprise. American freedom was conceptualized as a contrast to slavery. Is the term “self-ownership” new to you?

    2. Also fundamental to liberalism is the idea that we should stand up for the rights of people we despise, and that idea also came to us by way of Christianity.

      But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

      That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

      . . . .

      Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

      —-Matthew 5:44-49

      The principle that we should respect the rights of those we despise (even the evil) is intertwined with and part of the idea that we are all created equal. It is fundamental to liberalism, and it came to us by way of Christianity.

      1. >we should respect the rights of those we despise
        Stop defending white supremacists!

        1. What’s wrong with white supremacists or black or yellow or red or green or purple? As long as they don’t initiate force what a person believes is of no consequence to you.

          1. Well, now that’s no way to “end racism”!

            1. Which is the primary duty of government, amirite?!

      2. yeah, progressives want to demonize and dehumanize their enemies, not listen to them or consider their arguments

        1. Certainly, progressives don’t want to protect the rights of those they consider evil. They are entirely hostile to liberalism for this reason among others. Liberalism protects the rights of the accused–not to be forced to testify against themselves, to have evidence gathered against them with a warrant, to provide them defense counsel, etc. Progressives find all of that awful, especially when they’re talking about people they hate like accused rapists on campus, racists, xenophobes, homophobes, misogynists, and others.

    3. We might all be created equal but historical racism and institutionalized white supremacy have permanently knee-capped BIPOC Americans. That is why whites American families have 10 times the net worth of Black families. We won’t have equality for all American citizens until we destroy white supremacy and the patriarchy by committing to an anti-racist and gender equal American government.

      1. Or we could just end drug prohibition.

        1. I think the bigger priority at this point should be ending the democrat party. As they are an oppressive domestic terror organization.

      2. anti-racism and geder equality isn’t enough, you have to create equity by continuing to sow racial divisions, and also borrow a few more trillion

    4. ” It came to us by way of Christianity.”

      What’s ancient Greece, home of democracy and debate, chopped liver? The American Constitution is rife with references to the gods of the ancient Greeks. Zero references for the Christian, Jewish or Islamic god.

      1. Where are there references to any Greek gods in the U.S. Constitution? There is no mention of any god of any sort in that document, AFAIK.

        But other writings of various Founders did mention both sorts of god. The Declaration of Independence does contain several references to a singular God. None of them are explicitly Christian. which I expect was deliberate, but certainly they were intended to be compatible with the views of at least some strains of Christianity. We have talk about “Nature’s God”, man’s “Creator”, “the Supreme Judge of the World”, and “Divine Providence”.

        1. The names of months, January, February, March etc and the names of days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc are named after pagan gods which the ancient Greeks worshiped, albeit under different names.

          1. And where are those in the Constitution, in any kind of legal sense?

            1. Consult your family lawyer.

            2. Sunday is a pagan holiday, so that presumably is why the Constitution doesn’t include Sundays when counting the deadline for the Pres vetoing a bill.

          2. Norse gods. Not Greek. Tyr, Wotan (Odin), Thor, Frey.

            1. “Norse gods. Not Greek.”

              Gods are above that nationality thing. They are supernational.

        2. The Declaration refers to the Creator. Even back then they knew we were living in a simulation.

      2. There is literally not one single reference to any Greek god anywhere in the US constitution, declaration of independence, or federalist papers you historically illiterate mindless fucking prick.

        1. Read it again carefully.

          1. The American Constitution is rife with references to the gods of the ancient Greeks.

            There it is. Exactly the historically ignorant shit that you actually wrote, in black and white. Did you not understand it when you wrote it, or are you so fucking stupid you think you can think erase shit you posted online and substitute it for something you wish you had?

            1. So far, he’s claiming the names of the days and months. Next he’ll be claiming the Latin and Greek roots of words.

              1. The names of the days and months mentioned in the constitution are named after the pagan gods the Greeks worshiped. For example, today is Friday, named for the Norse god of Love, according to my sources. Aphrodite is the Greek name of the god of Love.

                1. Friday is named for the Norse god Frey. It also has nothing do with the founding fathers.

                  1. The founding fathers were Masons. Ancient Egypty stuff like what’s on the dollar bill was more their bag.

                    1. They kept it on the square. As it was a clandestine affair. Be silent or beware.


      3. Greek gods? You mean like Odin and Thor? If you think the Founders followed the ancient Greek religions because they used the historical calendar, I can argue the USA was founded by Asgardians.

        1. Same gods, different names. Like Allah and Jehovah.

          1. Sure. That explains why jews and muslims have so many core values in common and often form political coalitions.

            1. “That explains why jews and muslims have so many core values in common”

              They actually do. All the abrahamic faiths do.

            2. Actually in a religious sense Jews and Muslims do have much in common. There is a whole list of ways they are similar. Islam incorporates a lot of Jewish biblical history. Both strictly monotheistic. Similar dietary laws, many other similarities and when Islam originated there were Jewish tribes around who were no doubt an influence.

              For many centuries Jews lived peacefully and cooperated with Islamic countries. It was there they fled to from the inquisition for example. Actually overall in history much better than Christian Europe.

              Conflict really only occurred in recent times and is political. Now we are seeing a return to better relations with the gulf states as in the past.

    5. There is not a single tittle of Christian theology that suggests or implies, let alone mandates, that men are created equal. The enlightenment was specifically anti-Christian, anti-theist, anti-tradition, anti-religion, anti-god, and anti-gnostic. The American and French revolutions are a product of secular humanist utopianism.

      1. Perhaps, but the Enlightenment influences of the American Revolution tended to come from practical minded people in Scotland – a group which called itself the Common Sense school, in fact – while the philosophes who influenced the French Revolution tended to be a bit more of a mixed, rancid bag.

      2. So this doesn’t count as implying equality?

        “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

        1. About as much as this does

          “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ”

      3. “There is not a single tittle of Christian theology that suggests or implies, let alone mandates, that men are created equal.”

        I’ve cited several in this thread.

        Jesus tells us that if you’ve done so to the least of humanity, you’ve done so unto him–suggesting that even the lowest dregs of society are worthy of God’s sacrifice.

        I also cited where Jesus tells us that we should bless those who curse us, love those who hate us, wish well for those who persecute us, etc.–because that’s what God does and he’s perfect.

        You’re statement is uninformed. When people tell me that they don’t understand how people can be Christians once they realize that bad things happen to good people. I always respond that they literally don’t know the first thing about Christianity. Believe me, there isn’t anything surprising about bad things happening to good people to people who believe was Jesus was crucified for no good reason.

        You don’t seem to know the second thing about Christianity, which is that Jesus died for everybody–including the dregs of society. If you don’t see the obvious, that everyone is equal in God’s eyes, then you’re being willfully blind. You don’t see what’s right in front of your face because you don’t want to see it, and that’s why you say silly things like that, “There is not a single tittle of Christian theology that suggests or implies, let alone mandates, that men are created equal.”

      4. “The enlightenment was specifically anti-Christian, anti-theist, anti-tradition, anti-religion, anti-god, and anti-gnostic. ”

        It was anti nomad, too. When the Enlightenment came to the American West, nomadic or semi nomadic peoples like the Comanche were all but exterminated. Same thing happened in Kazakhstan under Stalin, too. On the other hand the Enlightenment was pro women and pro scientist, so there’s that.

    6. You don’t find the idea of a human sacrifice distasteful?

    7. Ku-Klux Ken omits to mention there is nary a jot or tittle of evidence that a Jesus of Nazareth ever existed at all. The earliest examinable physical records of the fake news were created roughly 150 years after the supposed prophet wrote down not a single word. The Jews–conversant with local history and languages–believe no such nonsense. But Adolf Hitler painted a blonde, rosy-cheeked Madonna and Child canvas and bam! Now people insist that others must believe this tripe or be coerced. Mohammedans believe almost exactly the same thing, but their prophet appears to have at least existed.

      1. “Ku-Klux Ken omits to mention there is nary a jot or tittle of evidence that a Jesus of Nazareth ever existed at all”

        This is ridiculous for a number of reasons.

        For one, Christianity is central to the establishment of liberalism regardless of whether Jesus existed at all.

        Another problem is that you don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “evidence”. There is evidence that the sun orbits the earth after all, it’s risen in the east and set in the west every day of recorded history. Because it isn’t convincing evidence doesn’t mean it isn’t evidence.

        There’s evidence that George Washington once skipped a silver dollar all the way across the Potomac river. Of course, that’s humanly impossible and silver dollars didn’t exist in George Washington’s day, but just because George Washington couldn’t have skipped a silver dollar all the way across the Potomac doesn’t mean he didn’t cross the Delaware River and defeat the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton.

        And it certainly doesn’t mean that George Washington didn’t exist.

        You don’t seem to understand a lot of really basic things.

      2. Jesus is generally acknowledged to have existed as a living man by objective scholars of antiquity. Only an obsessive atheist bigot, such as yourself, seriously thinks otherwise.

        As to the more ‘divine’ aspects of Jesus, such as his capacity to regenerate into a new body when mortally wounded, or his access to a time travel vessel, that isn’t fully proven yet.

  6. Is Romans:13 no longer a part of “classical Christianity?”

    1. You should read up on Deuteronomy 23:1. It applies to you.

      1. Deuteronomy 23:13 is the essence of Christianity.

        1. What about Deuteronomy 23:14 “He who hath smelt it, halt delt it.”?

          1. That’s the essence of something.

  7. For gullible (and, thankfully, obsolete) culture war casualties, there is no question whose answer does not include ‘more superstition.’

    Carry on, clingers . . . but only so far as your reasoning, modern, educated betters permit.

    1. Keep on clingin’, gecko.

    2. Tell us more about how masks stop airborne respiratory viruses, reverend.

      1. His hero Cuomo just got smacked down, so the “betters” are cranky today.

    3. Your beliefs are immoral.

    4. and for the Rev, there is no question where the answer isn’t “majority rules” or more plainly “might makes right”, as long as he’s on the side with the majority.

    5. Louis XVI and his squeeze Marie-A were betters, too, right?

  8. Westminster Institute Director Robert R. Reilly cites each of these examples to show that such concepts as representative democracy, consent of the governed, separation of church and state, and the right to resist tyranny grew out of the fertile soil of classical Christianity

    The very word “Senate” comes from the Romans, does it not?
    Is not Athens considered the first democracy?

    I imagine that if you could use Peabody’s Wayback machine, you’d find democracy among tribes a lot more common than acknowledged in histories. Democracy is not a hard concept; where does the tribe go tomorrow, or for the winter? Representative democracy is a little more difficult, considering that it only has a use in bigger societies with enough surplus production to have choices to make.

    1. Democracy sucks. We are a republic with written rules to protect the minorities . You should know and understand that. Also, many tribes were collectivist. All was shared between the whole. Wolves and sheep, wolves and sheep.

      1. “We are a republic with written rules”

        Rules suck.

        1. So do you, but at least the rules aren’t 9/11 Truther racist retarded pieces of fucking shit.

        2. So murder and rape are ok?

            1. Down to kindergarten repartee, are we?

          1. The communist anarchist position is that murder and rape are prophesied to be better than laws to secure individual rights. The fact that this has never been true in the historical past makes as little impression on them as the absence of a historical Jesus does on the torturers of Torquemada’s Inquisition. Religion is the belief in things you know to be false.

      2. The founders and framers used “democracy” and “republic” interchangeably. Now if you want to argue for a representative democracy, go ahead, but it only shows what a pedant you are.

        Pedants would rather split hairs on a dead sow than eat the bacon.

        1. They most certainly did not. They feared democracy. They were modeling the Roman Republic, and trying to avoid it becoming a dictatorship as Rome’s did. It worked for the first four score and some odd years.

  9. if you are using a buybull as a starting point of our morals or any other book of bed time stories you have all ready lost

    1. Yes we all know that morals can only be derived from unwritten, inscrutable, unwritten social codes that change on the whim of whomever is in authority, right you bootlicking piece of shit state worshiping faggot?

      1. Or from our nature as sapient beings.

  10. Even if the principles on which our government are based came from Judeo-Christian teachings, that doesn’t validate Christianity, Judaism, or any religion. They may just be ways among others to discover guiding principles that transcend religion. People profess a large collection of beliefs, including many that are quite secular. Claiming that our government’s founding principles came uniquely from religion poses a problem when some citizens disagree. Why should a secular person trust such a government any more than they would trust the idea of transubstantiation? Moral codes like those practiced by religions can be derived without dependence on the supernatural.
    A bunch of religious people may have founded our government, but they thankfully and wisely left out any mention of a god or gods.

    1. “left out any mention of a god or gods”

      There was a time when that would be a convincing argument, but nowadays, the Christian manner of dating – “before Christ” and “in the year of our Lord” – has become controversial, so that all the best people are replacing this terminology with “before Common Era” and “Common Era.”

      Yet the text of the Constitution includes this: “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in *the Year of our Lord* one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

      This may have been a clerk’s insertion rather than something voted on by the delegates –

      – but in any case it was a common practice at the time, and the modern PC formulation hadn’t been concocted yet.

    2. Moral codes like those practiced by religions can be derived without dependence on the supernatural.

      The only results you’ve achieved so far are Marxist revolutions that murdered around 200 million people in the span of 50 years, but keep trying.

      1. Those bourgeoisie, kulaks, and wreckers were oppressing the working class. I have no sympathy for them. Just like I have no sympathy for a white man being beaten by a Black man. Assault is physical violence AND privilege so a BIPOC can’t assault a white person because BIPOCs are members of the oppressed class.

  11. If anyone is interested in learning more, Robert Reilly recently gave a lecture titled American on Trial, based on his book, that can be viewed or listened to for free here (it just requires an email):

  12. God is dead. Power comes from persuasion or brute force and in the case of all governments a combination of both.

    1. Bear in mind that the power you speak of is the time derivative of the ability to kill people. Ask yourself if the use of such a thing ought to rely on superstition, credulity and unsupported assertions as to supposed thoughts of invisible actors.

  13. The USA already won that Trial when it almost instantly became the worlds freest and most wealthy nation in the world.

    It’s on Trial again today because too-many thieves want to destroy the USA so they can justify their lazy careless ‘entitlement’ to thievery.

    So of course they’re pretending the foundation of the USA is “faulty”. Individual rights, justice, liberty and freedom run a-foul with criminal-communistic thievery. Individual justice must be coupled up with “faults” of religion idealism or racist or sexist or some other 100-Million excuses so slavers can be slaves without going to jail for it…

    1. edit — “can have slaves without going to jail for it”

  14. When will Reason hire Robert Dear as a senior editor?

  15. This shouldn’t be a surprise except that any modern argument also misses the real point. The US was founded by Freemasons. Which is very obvious to anyone.

    Freemasons were founded as a interdenominational pluralist society during a time when there was no such thing as interdenominational tolerance. Where the basic humility of belief in a being greater than oneself was as much a requirement as NAP is for libertarians. But that doesn’t have to be called God.

    Where ethics common to all religions could be put into a format phrased in completely secular terms drawn from the building trades.

    Freemasonry has very much faded away since really WW2 and the population shift away from small towns and urban neighborhoods on Main St to suburbs and box stores and franchises. Since there are no more Freemasons, there are no more people who really kind of understand that impulse of the founders.

    1. Freemasonry is cosmopolitan bunk. We’re far better off without it.

      1. Yes I suppose indentured servitude where orders are simply followed hieracrhically from above without question and where those issuing those orders from above are bound by nothing except their whims is exactly what you believe.

    2. Don’t forget the 1820s, when some Masons bumped off a former brother who was going to expose their rituals.

      It prompted something of an anti-Masonic movement – many Masons quit and the remainder may perhaps have mellowed.

      Former President John Quincy Adams went back into politics as an Anti-Mason (I think the movie *Amistad* skips that part). It’s how Thaddeus Stevens got his start.

      1. Like any institution – once it gets some power it gets corrupted into something that it wasn’t before. In some parts of the ountry post-independence, the Masons morphed from what I described into basically an old-boys network. Not a surprise and not a surprise that there would be a reaction against that. Later on, Masons morphed into basically a mutual insurance society.

        But still – as long as Masons were getting new generations of members, there were still people who understood the whole Masonic ethos. That disappears when there really are no more new Masons and the main religious thinking is totally and narrowly denominational and as rigid as it was before the Masons came into being.

        1. Well, the Founders’ Masonic vision of God as the Grant Architect of the Universe, promulgating universal laws governing the natural and moral worlds, is certainly preferable to Kirkland’s vision of the boot of Progress stomping on clingers’ faces forever.

  16. So even if this is true, it doesn’t therefore follow that America must continue to be a judeo-christian nation to continue to support such principles.

    I have often heard this argument as sort of a dogwhistle that suggests that american liberty is only compatible with a very specific type of culture.

    Or to put in today’s language, Trump nation is the “real america” and american ideals are only compatible with wearing whigs and having sex in missionary position.

    Obviously I’m using hyperbole here, but it’s easier to point to the kind of “culture” I’m talking about then exactly define it.

    As an example, I, who am a punk rocker with blue hair who leans broad libertarian and started my own small business that had to deal with BS regulation and do gooders, would not be part of this culture. Christians and jews, yes. Atheists, Buddhists, others- not so much, or at least as long as they are willing to recognize themselves as a small semi-foreign second class.

  17. Obstruction of Justice for starters…….. Read More

  18. America has been quite exceptional in its religious tolerance. It still is. So something must account for that other than a piece of paper.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.