DeMint: We need a “big God” to have a small government

posted at 8:50 pm on September 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

A memorable passage from today’s Values Voter Summit. Like O’Donnell’s rhetoric against the “ruling class,” it’s smart retail politics and important at a moment when social conservatives are getting very nervous about the GOP’s flirtation with moderation on cultural issues. DeMint’s task here: Convince “values voters” that the tea-party message about smaller government and fiscal responsibility is somehow inextricably bound up with religion. Not something that’ll win you points with a Chamberlain-esque RINO atheist candy ass, but there’s maybe three of me versus umpteen million Christian conservatives out there in the voting pool. If you’re looking to win one of us over, which group is it wiser to target?

DeMint then devoted the rest of his speech to refuting the idea that the conservative movement should focus on fiscal issues rather than social ones. “I hear regularly as I travel around this country, someone will tell me, ‘I’m a fiscal conservative conservative, but not a social conservative.’ I want to straighten him a little bit this morning, because the fact is, you cannot be a real fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that’s based on values,” he said to loud applause.

To make his case, he said that without strong Judeo-Christian values, the American public becomes dependent on the government. “When you have a big government, you’re going to have a little God,” said DeMint. “You’re going to have fewer values and morals, and you’re going to have a culture that has to be controlled by the government. But when you have a big God, you’re going to have a responsible and capable people with character to control themselves and lead their own lives. And you can’t have a little God that promotes freedom and allows people to keep more of their own money, and a government that’s not bankrupt. A government that’s not bankrupt. We’re talking about fiscal issues.”

We don’t need to have a full-on believer/infidel food fight here about whether devoutly Christian countries necessarily have more effective governments (ahem, Mexico), but I’m curious to know what the Objectivists among us think of DeMint’s argument. Last I checked, Saint Ayn was both an atheist and a pretty darned ardent believer in small government. (In fact, I’d bet that hardcore self-described libertarians are less likely to be religious on average than self-described conservatives or Republicans.) To be fair to DeMint, he doesn’t actually say that those are incompatible: What he says is that “values” are a key check on government expansion but not that government will necessarily expand without that check. He’s implying it, though, based on the assumption that people need some sort of top-down authority — God or government — to be in control. I think Rand would disagree, but am open to correction. Any Objectivists care to weigh in?

By the way: There was one speaker at today’s Summit whose speech was notably short on “values” talk. Hmmmmm.


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But, Obama has made government bigger.

ThePrez on September 17, 2010 at 8:53 PM

I agree with demint

offroadaz on September 17, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Demint gets it.

My collie says:

Because people like Jim Demint are there, in the Senate, I have a great deal of confidence that newcomers like COD will do JUST FINE, thank you very much.

CyberCipher on September 17, 2010 at 8:56 PM

I’m a Conservative, but not Christian Conservative. I’m a Hindu. I get a bit uneasy when the Christianist start thumping their bibles. Christians do not have the Values Market cornered and when they push that meme, it more than offends me. Yes, we need a Big God, but He’s not exclusive Abrahamic. Aum.

Dandapani on September 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM

BTW, Sarah Palin said this at her speech today…

“I want to get back to Iowa soon…I want to get back to Delaware very soon to start knocking on doors.” — Palin

Palin, STFU and know your role… why are you kneecapping Christine?

Palin seriously needs to go away the closer we get to the election…

ninjapirate on September 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

We don’t need to have a full-on believer/infidel food fight here about whether devoutly Christian countries necessarily have more effective governments (ahem, Mexico),

Catholics are Christians?

(i kid, i kid!!!)

in all seriousness allah, the problem with these ineffective “Christian countries”‘ government is not that they are Christian but that they have basically “STATE RELIGIONS”. virtually every Christian nation that has
“competitive” churches (us, the aussies, nz, canada, uk, etc…) does well….. those with a state church (latin america, old europe) tend to stifle everything….

picklesgap on September 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

By the way: There was one speaker at today’s Summit whose speech was notably short on “values” talk. Hmmmmm.

Romney’s in a tough position. If he talks about “values”, more than likely it’ll just bring about more of the anti-Mormon garbage. Unfortunate, but true.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –John Adams

18-1 on September 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM

And yet, no data whatsoever backs this up. A completely unfounded assertion on the part of DeMint, what a surprise.

ernesto on September 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM

And yet, no data whatsoever backs this up. A completely unfounded assertion on the part of DeMint, what a surprise.

That’s RINO talk, young man.

Allahpundit on September 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM

By the way: There was one speaker at today’s Summit whose speech was notably short on “values” talk. Hmmmmm.

Pick me off the floor. I’m shocked Romney is no longer a social conservative. That’s so last election cycle.

conservative pilgrim on September 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Palin, STFU and know your role… why are you kneecapping Christine?

ninjapirate on September 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

I would’ve thought Palin’s endorsement of O’Donnell would’ve been enough to give Castle the win. I’m sure you might’ve said something along those lines in the past. Brilliant.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:02 PM

He’s implying it, though, based on the assumption that people need some sort of top-down authority — God or government — to be in control. I think Rand would disagree, but am open to correction. Any Objectivists care to weigh in?

Well, the most libertarian societies we’ve seen are the US and UK, and they were both far more libertarian when they were more seriously Christian.

18-1 on September 17, 2010 at 9:03 PM

You can get a free booklet that expands upon this argument here: http://www.culture4freedom.com/indivisible/

“What do marriage, family, and religion have to do with property, free exchange, and profit? Washington policy circles may separate these into so-called “social” and “economic” issue sets, but for millions of Americans the dividing lines fade away in the reality of everyday life. Together these core social and economic ideas form the foundation of American liberty. Indivisible is a unique set of essays by well-known social and economic conservatives—each writing from the other’s perspective—to show the interdependence of these principles in advancing freedom and human dignity.”

D0WNT0WN on September 17, 2010 at 9:04 PM

I might point out that I find Objectivism very very rational… and I am Catholic.

‘Saint Ayn’, as you call her, was a virulent anti-theist. That is my _only_ problem with her philosophy. The fact that she had to fight a war of words with people who had completely destroyed the definitions of ‘selfishness’, ‘altruism’, ‘pride’, and ‘humility’ means that she had to stake out some very tough territory.

Objectivist ethics are quite interesting, although she never gets around to explaining why human existence is its own reward (at least in the articles of hers that I have read).

Having said all that, she gives the most brilliant case for the dignity of man qua rational animal. I can almost forgive her antitheism just for that.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:04 PM

By the way: There was one speaker at today’s Summit whose speech was notably short on “values” talk. Hmmmmm.

The Republican version of Obama, isn’t he?

Cody Baker on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

And yet, no data whatsoever backs this up. A completely unfounded assertion on the part of DeMint, what a surprise.

That’s RINO talk, young man.

Allahpundit on September 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Everything has to be backed up by data?

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Government is by the people, not a god Demint.

Zaggs on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

So what is he ultimately getting at here? Does he want government to promote belief in God in order to reduce spending and taxes?

Mark1971 on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

We don’t need to have a full-on believer/infidel food fight here about whether devoutly Christian countries necessarily have more effective governments (ahem, Mexico)

And Spain (Catholic) and Greece (Orthodox) and Ireland (Catholic) – the Big Three Failing Countries in Europe which also happen to be the most Believing.

You are on to something here.

Niko on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

DeMint’s task here: Convince “values voters” that the tea-party message about smaller government and fiscal responsibility is somehow inextricably bound up with religion. Not something that’ll win you points with a Chamberlain-esque RINO atheist candy ass, but there’s maybe three of me versus umpteen million Christian conservatives out there in the voting pool.
===============================

Interesting point!

canopfor on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

I’m a Conservative, but not Christian Conservative. I’m a Hindu. I get a bit uneasy when the Christianist start thumping their bibles. Christians do not have the Values Market cornered and when they push that meme, it more than offends me. Yes, we need a Big God, but He’s not exclusive Abrahamic. Aum.

Dandapani on September 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Now, to be fair, I think Sen. DeMint isn’t saying that it’s the government’s job to promote Abrahamic religion; he’s saying that if a lot of people in a nation truly adhere to Christian values, it’s more likely that the nation will have small, limited government.

Of course conservatives can be found in all faith traditions – I happen to know a libertarian Muslim. I don’t think DeMint is trying to suggest otherwise. I think he’s simply saying that people who truly embrace the Christian ideas of Man’s infinite worth, of freedom of conscience and free will, and of the inability of princes to save us, are people naturally open to embracing limited government and voluntary association. That’s not really an offensive idea, is it?

Inkblots on September 17, 2010 at 9:06 PM

(Incidentally, Spain and Greece also have the lowest fertility rates in Europe.)

Niko on September 17, 2010 at 9:06 PM

I’m a Conservative, but not Christian Conservative. I’m a Hindu. I get a bit uneasy when the Christianist start thumping their bibles. Christians do not have the Values Market cornered and when they push that meme, it more than offends me. Yes, we need a Big God, but He’s not exclusive Abrahamic. Aum.

Dandapani on September 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Don’t worry: when Americans invoke “God”, they are usually thinking more of the founding values of the US than anything really fundamental to their religion.
Usually.

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:06 PM

And yet, no data whatsoever backs this up. A completely unfounded assertion on the part of DeMint, what a surprise.
That’s RINO talk, young man.

Allahpundit on September 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Nope, just simpleton flatulence.

darwin-t on September 17, 2010 at 9:06 PM

And yet, no data whatsoever backs this up. A completely unfounded assertion on the part of DeMint, what a surprise.

ernesto on September 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Statements like “every individual has inherent rights” and “democracy, or at least a democratic republic, is the most efficient form of government” are likewise unfounded and not backed up by data.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Everything has to be backed up by data?

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

ddrintn: Got a link,(sarc,kidding):)

canopfor on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Mexico had a notoriously anti-Christian revolution about 90 years ago where they executed most of their priests.

levi from queens on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Government is by the people, not a god Demint.

Zaggs on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

18-1 on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Basically, the issue with Objectivism is that it denies human beings as creatures; that is, that we are all created beings.

It is logically self-evident that all created beings owe their existence to their creator, and in the case of rational beings (e.g., human beings), that implies a certain relationship.

The fact that God has chosen to elevate that relationship to one far above what we deserve demonstrates a few things about the qualities of God.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Of course conservatives can be found in all faith traditions – I happen to know a libertarian Muslim.
Inkblots on September 17, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Any chance we can get you to open a Mosque at “Ground Zero”?

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

“Last I checked, Saint Ayn was both an atheist and a pretty darned ardent believer in small government.”

Saint Ayn also had a nasty tone-deafness when it came to nurturing and developing her converts. Ayn is extremely lucky her novels were written when they were written, for she would have been buried by people of all stripes for pushing her points the way she pushed them.

BradSchwartze on September 17, 2010 at 9:08 PM

ninjapirate on September 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

You forgot to mention that the comment was made after her speech, while she was shaking hands, and being hounded with questions. I heard a bit of sarcasm in her voice when she said this, poking fun at CK.

conservative pilgrim on September 17, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Hey ninjapirate, why don’t you STFU. You are so annoying when it comes to Palin. Maybe you can put a bullet in her head and end your fear of her.

Exactly what are you anyway. A ninja that dresses like a pirate, or a pirate that dresses like a ninja?

If O’Donnell wants Palin in Delaware then it will be up to O’Donnell not some jackass commenter on a blog. Unless, of course, you are running the O’Donnell campaign. If you are running her campaign please don’t dress her as a ninja or a pirate.

chief on September 17, 2010 at 9:09 PM

“every individual has inherent rights” and “democracy, or at least a democratic republic, is the most efficient form of government”
come straight from our founders documents.

If we could JUST enact them as so purely declared !!

pambi on September 17, 2010 at 9:10 PM

I will agree with DeMint on one point. When people put politicians in the role of savior, which Obama encouraged, it simply doesn’t work.

They are just people. Without humility, we truly do totally gum up things.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:10 PM

I would have to agree

gophergirl on September 17, 2010 at 9:11 PM

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Don’t go there. You’re about to get people who think economics is a standalone science riled up.

BradSchwartze on September 17, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Look at Europe, especially, the UK. As their governments and their “aid” programs grow bigger, their church memberships grow smaller. Why? Because as the government assumes one of the major roles of church in society, to care for the less fortunate, the church begins to dwindle and die for a lack of usefulness, relevance and purpose.

But I ask you, who is the better distributer of true charity? Government or the church? That’s why I think DeMint is right. A strong active church, coupled with a smaller government, makes for the most compassionate of societies.

parteagirl on September 17, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Tea Party’s already won

Even before Christine O’Donnell handily defeated Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) in an epic upset Tuesday night, the Tea Parties, all of them, had already won. No matter what happens in the midterm elections on Nov. 2, the Tea Party has moved the Democrats to the right and the Republicans even more so, and President Obama’s agenda is dead.

freedomplow on September 17, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Jim DeMint, proving once again that Republicans are the Stupid Party. We are on a huge roll, so why not say something completely alienating to the many social liberal/fiscal conservative types and, yes, skeptical-about-religion types (like me & many others) who have jumped onto the train?

As for Mitt Romney, please, please, no.

JudetheFossil on September 17, 2010 at 9:12 PM

Ann: Whenever we forget God’s existence, the existential need of a created being for a creator will always create one for us.

What do you think the First Commandment is about, if not to fight this first and most important issue of humanity?

The Fall was due to breaking the First Commandment. This is almost certainly why the First Commandment is the First.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:13 PM

The Founding Fathers said that same thing about the need for religion and morality; that includes Washington, John Adams, and Jefferson.

mydh12 on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Any chance we can get you to open a Mosque at “Ground Zero”?

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Well, as a Catholic I really wouldn’t be the one to do something like that. People are of course free to get upset and complain about things like that all they like – so long as they respect the owners’ property rights. The only thing that upsets me are folks trying to use eminent domain to steal the owners’ right to their property.

Inkblots on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Does the majority of secular humanists support conservative fiscal policies?

RedRedRice on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Saint Ayn also had a nasty tone-deafness when it came to nurturing and developing her converts. Ayn is extremely lucky her novels were written when they were written, for she would have been buried by people of all stripes for pushing her points the way she pushed them.

BradSchwartze on September 17, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Saint Ayn’s writings are also deathly dull. I never could quite get the fascination with her.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

I’m a Conservative, but not Christian Conservative. I’m a Hindu. I get a bit uneasy when the Christianist start thumping their bibles. Christians do not have the Values Market cornered and when they push that meme, it more than offends me. Yes, we need a Big God, but He’s not exclusive Abrahamic. Aum.

Dandapani on September 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM

I don’t really think that was what DeMint was trying to say.

Hindus have a pretty big God.

HondaV65 on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

(In fact, I’d bet that hardcore self-described libertarians are less likely to be religious on average than self-described conservatives or Republicans.)

Unfair, and cheap shot. Just because we don’t want Big Gov’t legislating social prescriptions DOES NOT MEAN we are any less religious or spiritual.

Render unto Caesar, for cryin’ out loud.

John the Libertarian on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

parteagirl on September 17, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Going to church really isn’t all that big. I don’t think they are the best sources of charity, even, today. They sure do their part. Don’t get me wrong, but church attendance is falling, not growing.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

demint is being ridiculous. please show me the line from “marriage must be between only a man and a woman” and “we need to reduce the size of government.”

the majority of social “values” are total losers for republicans for good reasons. The only value that matters is valuing liberty and freedom (for all), anything else is just a cultural aether that shifts with the passage of time.

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

OMG! He mentioned GOD!

He kind of looks like Reagan doesn’t he?

freedomplow on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Ah, it was only a matter of time before the socons tried to ruin the good thing we have going.

Here’s the thing about the civil war we’re having: It depends what you’re “moderate” on. We SHOULD be a “Big Tent” and inclusive on social issues, and pretty much anything not core to the philosophy (freedom and limited government).

The only moderation the Tea Party rightly rejects is one that challenges those core tenets. THOSE principles are uniting, and do in fact appeal to those who have stayed away from conservatism because of overt religiosity. I don’t blame them, and it’s a shame socons continue to perverse the definition and identity of conservatism.

How do you think they get away with smears like “ZOMG this Teabagger nut O’Donnell is going to ban masturbation!!” ? Because far too often “conseratives” act like their personal — I repeat, personal, as in yours, not mine or any one else’s — views are somehow relevant to politics and policy.

jjraines on September 17, 2010 at 9:16 PM

OK, my only comment on Palin’s speech?

Use the teleprompter. It’s wrong to let all the teleprompter jokes about Obama deter you from using soemthing that will help you connect with the audience better.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

ddrintn: Her fiction, or nonfiction? Perhaps I read Atlas Shrugged at the right time (in 2008), but I didn’t find it that dull.

Her nonfiction is not dull at all, at least for a philosopher.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

OMG! He mentioned GOD!

He kind of looks like Reagan doesn’t he?

freedomplow on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

He can certainly rile people up can’t he? He’s honest – like Palin.

Refreshing

gophergirl on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

What he says is that “values” are a key check on government expansion but not that government will necessarily expand without that check. He’s implying it, though, based on the assumption that people need some sort of top-down authority — God or government — to be in control

Hmm, I think he’s saying that self-government – and limited self-government – requires the governing of the self. The governing of the self requires an inner law.

And, for him, that inner law comes from God.

In every society there has to be a law from within or a law from without; the more you have of one the less you need of the other.

Of course, where he errs is in assuming that only religion can provide that inner check.

SteveMG on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Render unto Caesar, for cryin’ out loud.

John the Libertarian on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Right with you, John. Put not your trust in princes, buddy.

Inkblots on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Dale Peterson is up next!
============================

http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-SPAN.aspx

canopfor on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Cameo: Seriously?

The family is the basic social unit of society. As such, when you destroy it, people must rely on a larger societal unit for those basic needs that a family fulfills.

Thus, maintaining the cohesion of the family unit obviates the need for a larger government.

QED?

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Preach. Choir.

Next.

profitsbeard on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Hmm, I think he’s saying that self-government – and limited self-government – requires the governing of the self. The governing of the self requires an inner law.

But what is to be the government’s roll in this?

Mark1971 on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I don’t think they are the best sources of charity, even, today.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Go to church. They’re still devoting all of their time and money to noble causes. I attended a church this summer in which nearly a third of the congregation is donating money and going down to the Yucatan to build brick houses for the homeless.

John the Libertarian on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

ddrintn: Her fiction, or nonfiction? Perhaps I read Atlas Shrugged at the right time (in 2008), but I didn’t find it that dull.

Her nonfiction is not dull at all, at least for a philosopher.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Fiction. I’d rather watch paint dry than try to get through The Fountainhead again.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

The bigger the government, the smaller the people and their social institutions, because government will take over their roles and responsibilities. In order to reverse the current situation, people will need to once again look to God and others rather than to government.

mydh12 on September 17, 2010 at 9:20 PM

What’s interesting from my perspective about O’Donnell and Coons? They should get married.

Seriously, they are peas in a pod. Both are charming, passionate, and idealists.

It could be the next Carville/Matlin union!

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:21 PM

ddr: I must admit, I didn’t make it all the way through The Fountainhead myself. ;)

The Virtue of Selfishness, OTOH, is an excellent read. =) (The title is so provocative… kind of like Soseki’s ‘My Individualism’.)

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Oh, and on the natural response AP and others brought up, here’s another:

If anything being a “Good Christian” naturally promotes the opposite of conservatism. Atleast, it can and is easily perversed this way.

Is DeMint that ignorant of geopolitics, and that highly Christian nations are even more leftist than our secular friends on the Continent?

jjraines on September 17, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Going to church really isn’t all that big. I don’t think they are the best sources of charity, even, today. They sure do their part. Don’t get me wrong, but church attendance is falling, not growing.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

True. But then I haven’t seen a neighborhood Atheist Homeless Shelter either.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Mark1971: I think it’s very clear that the government, as an institution, can have no say in how big it is. That is a positive feedback loop, and directly fulfills the phrase, “The government is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding government.”

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Does the majority of secular humanists support conservative fiscal policies?

RedRedRice on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

No. Secularists, in the last couple elections, have become one of the most significant groups within the Dem party, as big as unions.

mydh12 on September 17, 2010 at 9:23 PM

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 9:15

PM

I agree, but I don’t think that’s an issue either the house or the senate is going to address, anyway.

We don’t have to agree on every issue. I’m socially liberal, but I still support the teaparty, because I do agree that fiscal discipline is really the only thing we have NOT tried yet.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Saint Ayn’s writings are also deathly dull. I never could quite get the fascination with her.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

She was writing at a time when conservatism in all its stripes was at its nadir as a philosophical idea.

Rand may not have been a Steyn or Buckley, but she played a small role in making sure that they were what they were.

18-1 on September 17, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Raines: The decline of Catholic Europe is indeed sad. I blame the loss of knowledge of their faith, to be honest.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Well, as a Catholic I really wouldn’t be the one to do something like that. People are of course free to get upset and complain about things like that all they like – so long as they respect the owners’ property rights. The only thing that upsets me are folks trying to use eminent domain to steal the owners’ right to their property.

Inkblots on September 17, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Oops. I misread your comment. I thought you wrote that you were the Libertarian Muslim.

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:24 PM

There’s actually some logic to DeMint’s argument, if you accept Goldberg’s thesis that fascism (and its statist relatives, including progressivism) replaced God with a cult of the State. It goes back as far as the French Revolution and the “Cult of Reason,” at least.

irishspy on September 17, 2010 at 9:25 PM

It’s a good point about the secularists. Only the humility of the created being can prevent the pride of a creator.

Without that humility, it is all too easy to believe that you know better than your _fellow created being_, and try to ‘improve him’ for ‘his own good’.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM

John the Libertarian on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I spend at least 30% of my time in volunteer efforts. And I did attend a meditation group of a local church.

I’m still a bit uncomfortable, admittedly. I personally don’t think it’s a darn thing about the church message. It’s actually very “new ageish,” (in Texas, no less!), it’s more about the very new age stuff. I’m from CA, and I explored my spiritual molecular levels and my inner child 20 years ago. *haha

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Left wing media and Olbermann is beating O’D with a stick.

Jump on the Olbermann wagon…

freedomplow on September 17, 2010 at 9:27 PM

True. But then I haven’t seen a neighborhood Atheist Homeless Shelter either.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Well, it wouldn’t be called an “Atheist Homeless Shelter”, even if everyone who set if up was atheist. Lacking a church (the Humanists aside), we mostly group along lines that simply don’t mention religion at all.
So, there are probably atheists supporting homeless shelters, the just don’t really advertise about it the way that churches do.

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:28 PM

AllahPundit, you do have to remember the audience he’s speaking to.

rbj on September 17, 2010 at 9:28 PM

I’m sorry, Allah, that as an avowed atheist you cannot draw the comfort from this line of thinking that so many Americans do.

God is there anyway, and He loves you and wants you to be joyful.

disa on September 17, 2010 at 9:29 PM

I spend at least 30% of my time in volunteer efforts. And I did attend a meditation group of a local church.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM

I wasn’t going after you personally. I was countering your assessment of church-based charity. It’s as strong as ever.

And I have a big problem with Obama trying to end charity-based deductions. What other agenda could this be than to supplant the Church with Big Gov’t?

John the Libertarian on September 17, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Sorry DeMint, do not agree.

I want a minimalist federal government, one that concentrates on its roles in foreign polices, borders/customs, and other constitutionally mandated roles.

I do not need the federal government fighting values battles – leave that to communities and families.

A lot of social conservatives want the federal government to be quite activist when it comes to values, with government programs and laws that represent that, and comfortable with a bigger federal government role in our lives than pure fiscal conservatives, provided it is their values they see.

And DeMint is old enough to remember that Social Conservatives are a late comer to the GOP, having been one of the larger blocs of the Democratic Party for so long, and social conservatives gave us such wonders as Jimmy Carter, LBJ, and enthusiastically supported FDRs big government programs.

I know what he is doing, he is trying to play smart politics and get social conservatives on board with the tea party and resurgence in fiscal conservatism. However, its just impossible to state that the two go hand in hand, because they do not.

firepilot on September 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM

True. But then I haven’t seen a neighborhood Atheist Homeless Shelter either.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:22 PM

LOL* For sure. Atheists are really rebels and way too busy to help anyone else. :)

Churches are a bit interesting to me in terms of charity works. They can get ripped off easily. The best services are coming from the city level.

They support a huge number of functioning and effective services.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM

demint is being ridiculous. please show me the line from “marriage must be between only a man and a woman” and “we need to reduce the size of government.”

the majority of social “values” are total losers for republicans for good reasons. The only value that matters is valuing liberty and freedom (for all), anything else is just a cultural aether that shifts with the passage of time.

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

But of course – marriage can be between a man and woman or a man and a horse or a woman and a roller coaster.

Please – you’re being ridiculous. Marriage by the definition of ten thousand years of human history is between a man and a woman. In fact – marriage is pretty much an institution found in almost every culture but I challenge you to find any culture 100 years or more ago that held that men could marry men.

Back in the box with you!

And as far as this …

The only value that matters is valuing liberty and freedom (for all), anything else is just a cultural aether that shifts with the passage of time.

Would not CHARITY be one of those “unshifting” values? You don’t think that’s important? What about HONESTY – or that a shifty value to you also? What about COURAGE – does that definition change for you over time? Ah – we can get along without courage right?

HondaV65 on September 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM

I thought God is already big.

SouthernGent on September 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Dandapani on September 17, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Things would be easier if so many people didn’t require dogma. There is one God, He is everyone’s God, and you have nothing to fear from Christians.

I think you know where I’m going with this.

disa on September 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM

And I have a big problem with Obama trying to end charity-based deductions. What other agenda could this be than to supplant the Church with Big Gov’t?

John the Libertarian on September 17, 2010 at 9:29 PM

I didn’t know he was doing so? Really? The Black communities all revolve around their church, and those tax breaks are important to them.

I’d be surprised.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Practice fiscal conservatism, and social conservatism will follow without anyone uttering the words ‘social conservatism’.

joejm65 on September 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Fiction. I’d rather watch paint dry than try to get through The Fountainhead again.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Atlas Shrugged also involves a lot of wading through plodding text and unconvincing dialog. I’d probably rather watch paint dry than read it again, too, particularly the last third of it.

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

freedomplow on September 17, 2010 at 9:27 PM

If you want firm evidence that Crazy Christine is going to win on Nov. 2, look at Cow Skool Keef’s behavior. He needs his she-devil, and he’s going to get it come hell-or-high-water.

BradSchwartze on September 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Practice fiscal conservatism, and social conservatism will follow without anyone uttering the words ‘social conservatism’.

joejm65 on September 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM

That’s how it’s worked for me, anyway. I agree.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Going to church really isn’t all that big. I don’t think they are the best sources of charity, even, today. They sure do their part. Don’t get me wrong, but church attendance is falling, not growing.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:15 PM

To clarify, going to church and being the church are two different things.

parteagirl on September 17, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Those who created our country — the Founding Fathers and Mothers — understood that there is a divine order which transcends the human order. They saw the state, in fact, as a form of moral order and felt that the bedrock of moral order is religion. … The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive.

— Ronald Reagan.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 9:34 PM

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Well, you would think, with 6 billion+ people on this earth, constantly organizing themselves in various social forms, that one could point to something to support the argument, rather than rely on oversimplified thought exercise.

ernesto on September 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM

firepilot on September 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Be careful. If nothing else, you need Social Conservatives to help provide drive, desire, and spiritual guidance. Not to mention, lots of manpower to help knock on doors, make phone calls, and attend rallies.

And you really, truly, don’t want the GOP to go back to an era where the Social Conservatives were nowhere to be found there. The GOP put on a rather nasty face in those days.

BradSchwartze on September 17, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Jim DeMint, proving once again that Republicans are the Stupid Party. We are on a huge roll, so why not say something completely alienating to the many social liberal/fiscal conservative types and, yes, skeptical-about-religion types (like me & many others) who have jumped onto the train?

As for Mitt Romney, please, please, no.

JudetheFossil on September 17, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I get what you’re saying. You and I are probably alike as far as being skeptical.

But there’s a fundamental concept that our founders and framers knew that you are not understanding. That is: You have a choice…do you want your rights to be given to you by a God (a “Creator,” any “Creator”) or do you want your rights to be granted to you by man (aka government)? There are no other options.

If your rights are granted by a God, even if you don’t believe in God at all then they can never be taken away.

If your rights are granted by man, then they can be taken away, altered, denied, etc. by man. Whoever happens to be in charge. Who knows what this country is going to be like in 50, 100, 300 years?

Atheists and skeptics have nothing to fear re: some kind of theocracy, as long as we adhere to the Constitution. Ironically, the more Left we drift the more doors are opened for some kind of authoritarian theocracy.

There are many, many good books about this. Here’s one I like:

http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Despotism-Democracys-Drift-Montesquieu/dp/0300164238/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1284773058&sr=8-1

DeMint gets it.

visions on September 17, 2010 at 9:36 PM

To clarify, going to church and being the church are two different things.

parteagirl on September 17, 2010 at 9:33 PM

I relate in that I think my choices, actions, attitudes are important, as they communicate to others. Being a part of a spiritual perspective is truly great.

However, I’m not Christian. So, politically? I’m not too interested in Christian debates.

but I am definitely a person of good-will. I would hope that any government structure would also be.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:37 PM

For a bunch of so called conservatives, the socons sure dig activist government when it comes to their issues.

rickyricardo on September 17, 2010 at 9:38 PM

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Well, you would think, with 6 billion+ people on this earth, constantly organizing themselves in various social forms, that one could point to something to support the argument, rather than rely on oversimplified thought exercise.

ernesto on September 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Well, that leaves you out, doesn’t it.

.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 9:38 PM

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