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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What’s odd to me about the teaparty/Beck rhetoric? Seriously, if you have to talk about it, then it’s already not true.

I disagree with Beck on one key point. We cannot HELP but be infused with Judea-Christian thinking.

It’s absolutely the water in which we swim, regardless of the institutions, churches, etc.

So I think he’s “masturbating” a bit on TV. Just my 2 cents.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:39 PM

GT: Reagan was quite wise. ;) I think C.S.Lewis and G.K.Chesterton both lay out the issue with lacking a basis for ethics clearly. (Lewis’s Abolition of Man is probably the more accessible.) Note that his argument is not, inherently, religious. It does support a Natural Law that is objective. Naturally, a Law presupposes a Lawgiver, but Lewis doesn’t require it in his argument.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I recently saw a chart which showed that members of Congress who voted for fiscally conservative issues were also social conservatives. Then, it showed that members of Congress who voted for big spending also voted as liberals on social issues. I just thought that was interesting.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:41 PM

rickyricardo: You think so? I think that the government should get out of the business of religion, and that a small enough government wouldn’t have the ability to mess with most social issues.

As an example, I don’t think that the government should be in the marriage business at all.

But I assure you, I am a social conservative by anyone’s standards.

Scott H on September 17, 2010 at 9:42 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.

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

Like “the government”, frequently. ;)

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

I think DeMint was giving his opinion, not a paper on physical chemistry.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Murkoski is on NOW!
=================================

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

canopfor on September 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM

I’ll weigh in with the “endowed by our Creator” camp. Big God refers to our freedom to practice our own religion (or not).

kringeesmom on September 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Murkoski is on NOW!
=================================

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

canopfor on September 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM
Tell us what she says. I can’t stand to watch.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

The hard part about fiscal conservatives? I think people might still be really nervous about another crash, and I don’t think they’d want those people in charge at that point.

TARP absolutely did spare us from a run on banks, etc., and people aren’t stupid. They know that.

Now, post-Tarp, I think a lot of moderates are not in agreement with the actions taken.

But anyway, I think that’s going to be the biggest question on people’s hearts when they vote.

Would you honestly wish to put people in charge who say, “Let it all fall!”

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 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

If Social Conservatives want to get on board the fiscal conservatism train, by all means they can.

I would not say the GOP – pre fiscal conservatism jumping ship from the Democrats – was a nasty party at all. Gerald Ford was a great person, and a good President. However, social conservatives supported Jimmy Carter instead.

Goldwater was not some mean person either, the LBJ campaign did paint that, and Social Conservatives overwhelmingly supported LBJ.

Its my view that a small federal government, gives people the most freedom to live whatever kind of life you want. You do not need a socially conservative activist federal government, to live a socially conservative lifestyle.

However, with someone like Obama up there who is as far from fiscal conservatism as one could be, it effects us all, and we all have no choice but to pay up for it, and the effects get passed down to our kids.

firepilot on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

DeMint is right, as much as it frightens the daylights out of some.

A free society with a small and limited government presupposes a self-ordered society. Whether it be the church or some other set of institutions, or just a habit of peaceful cooperation and mutual accountability, a free society must find an agreeable balance of order and freedom.

When America was first designed, society was overwhelmingly rural small towns. Since the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War and the massive movement into the West, American society has urbanized and fragmented to the point where the small stable families, clans and small towns we used to live in no longer exist. And likewise, the other institutions of social cohesion like the church no longer draw our allegiance either.

And so by default we are left with only the coercive State, the worst possible answer to any conceivable question.

Lew on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

If he means anything other than people of faith volunteering our time and money to help those less fortunate as being an imperative to ending big government, he’s treading some dangerous ground here.

There’s one awakening going on in this country that’s undeniable, that’s the political awakening that’s manifesting itself through the tea parties.

There may very well be a spiritual awakening going on in this country and Beck’s rally may be evidence of such.

Let’s not wreck both by trying to wrap one in the other, ESPECIALLY the political awakening.

If the guy next door doesn’t believe in God, I can live with that.

What I can’t live with is the guy next door to me being totally dependent on an all encompassing, intrusive and paternal government and believing that that all encompassing, intrusive and paternal government is somehow A GOOD THING.

Focus on the task at hand: Cutting government, that’s what the people want. The tea party may have drawn in a lot of conservatives but we’re not here for the purpose of pushing a social agenda.

DON’T make the same mistake the GOP establishment made about what this movement’s really about.

SuperCool on September 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Lisa M. is really making Palin look good, eh?

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

If Social Conservatives want to get on board the fiscal conservatism train, by all means they can.

firepilot on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

They’re already there.

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Must every government in the entire United States be small? Might it be good enough that Americans make their “federal” government constitutional and federal again? Is that perhaps a way to decrease the number and strength of the causes of strife among the Americans as a whole? There seems to be something American conservatives can say to left-”liberals” that is conciliatory and persuasive, as well as constitutional: “We respect your wish to pursue justice and the common advantage, as you understand them. But we demand that you do so by properly constitutional, federalized means. We demand that you let the “federal” government be federal, that you not imperil all of the United States and every American by trying–and failing!–to make the “federal” government all things to all people. Let federal government provide a common diplomacy and a common defense for the states and people. Cease inflicting your notion of Paradise on everyone else. Go and try to build your Paradise in your own state.”

You perhaps thought I had strayed from our topic.

Kralizec on September 17, 2010 at 9:47 PM

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

That’s my sense, too.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Gerald Ford was a great person, and a good President. However, social conservatives supported Jimmy Carter instead.

firepilot on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

In what reality?

GT on September 17, 2010 at 9:48 PM

TARP absolutely did spare us from a run on banks, etc., and people aren’t stupid. They know that.

That was the problem. They should have failed and sent a message to the other financial houses that what they had been doing would lead to failure. If you don’t allow the system to self correct it won’t until you reach the point of total collapse.

Would you honestly wish to put people in charge who say, “Let it all fall!”

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

It isn’t ‘all’ going to fail unless you put the government behind the banks and then if it fails you will see a total failure.

sharrukin on September 17, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Obama Re-Writes Declaration of Independence to Leave Out “Creator”

RedRedRice on September 17, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Kralizec on September 17, 2010 at 9:47 PM

That sounds good, but the constitution is really so flexible that we could end up in endless debates, too.

That’s why we have the Courts.

It’s not quite as simple as some teaparty people seem to suggest. And this whole Beck interpretation of what the founding fathers really meant makes me squirm, anyway.

I love to read real history. It’s not nearly so simplistic as he authoritatively asserts it is.

I do worry about people being mislead. We’re a great, great country precisely because our system is flexible.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I really don’t think that many of our leaders actually grasp how serious our financial situation is. They want to go on with business as usual. I want leaders that are prepared to take the bull by the horns because that may be our only way out of this mess. The very term “moderate” sounds like there is a need to wake up to the urgency of the looming financial crisis.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Must every government in the entire United States be small? Might it be good enough that Americans make their “federal” government constitutional and federal again? Is that perhaps a way to decrease the number and strength of the causes of strife among the Americans as a whole? There seems to be something American conservatives can say to left-”liberals” that is conciliatory and persuasive, as well as constitutional: “We respect your wish to pursue justice and the common advantage, as you understand them. But we demand that you do so by properly constitutional, federalized means. We demand that you let the “federal” government be federal, that you not imperil all of the United States and every American by trying–and failing!–to make the “federal” government all things to all people. Let federal government provide a common diplomacy and a common defense for the states and people. Cease inflicting your notion of Paradise on everyone else. Go and try to build your Paradise in your own state.”

You perhaps thought I had strayed from our topic.

Kralizec on September 17, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Well said.

visions on September 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

ddrintn on September 17, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Yeah, well, not subscribing to a religious myth doesn’t grant one the wisdom to support limited government.

Count to 10 on September 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

sharrukin on September 17, 2010 at 9:51 PM

I respect your opinion, but I really don’t agree.

I think it would have been truly awful. I agreed with Bush on Tarp and Obama on Tarp.

Pinch your nose, yes. But if we can’t even try to stop a complete collapse after being the global financial leader for decades? Say what?

That is unacceptable, to me.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM

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.

This atheist is with them.

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I really don’t think that many of our leaders actually grasp how serious our financial situation is. They want to go on with business as usual. I want leaders that are prepared to take the bull by the horns because that may be our only way out of this mess. The very term “moderate” sounds like there is a need to wake up to the urgency of the looming financial crisis.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM

I do think the administration fully knows. I think that’s part of the “disconnect” we see. They have a “secret,” and it oozes out in their attitudes.

It’s very dire, not just for the US, but for the entire world.

Maybe the US is the boy with his finger in the dike right now. I sure get that sense.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM

Maybe the US is the boy with his finger in the dike right now. I sure get that sense.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM
That is exactly how it feels, and I don’t like that feeling.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Yes, we need a Big God, but He’s not exclusive Abrahamic.

And no one is saying that.

The message I heard is, you are governed by the morals of your faith, not any particular faith.

You can prostitute yourself and then beg for absolution all you want. How you conduct yourself is how people will see you as what you are.

Even the atheists and agnostic knows the difference between right and wrong. Where else does the power of reason come from?

Kini on September 17, 2010 at 10:00 PM

In what reality?

GT on September 17, 2010

which do you disagree with? That Gerald Ford was a good person and a good President?

Or that Social Conservatives overwhelmingly supported Jimmy Carter over him? Because they did.

http://electoralmap.net/1976.php

firepilot on September 17, 2010 at 10:00 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?

Maybe I need to read what he said more slowly, but I don’t know that he is necessarily using God in a literal sense. I don’t see how he can be using God in a totally literal sense as I am not aware that God changes sizes.

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 10:00 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),

The Mexican Government was founded on separation of Church and State, just as ours was. In fact, like Henry VIII, they confiscated all of the property of the Church for their own. Where do you think many of the ruling class of Mexico got their wealth?

If one wants to understand the full impact of true atheism on the history of Mexico, one merely has to examine the life of Governor Tomas Garrido Canabal of Tobasco

unclesmrgol on September 17, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Where else does the power of reason come from?

Kini on September 17, 2010 at 10:00 PM

I think Karl Rove thinks it comes from him.

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM

I think Karl Rove thinks it comes from him.

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM
Good one. Ha.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I recently saw a chart which showed that members of Congress who voted for fiscally conservative issues were also social conservatives. Then, it showed that members of Congress who voted for big spending also voted as liberals on social issues. I just thought that was interesting.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Jonah Goldberg did a column on that a while back. I thought it was especially interesting because I don’t think of him as a social conservative.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:04 PM

But if we can’t even try to stop a complete collapse after being the global financial leader for decades? Say what?

That is unacceptable, to me.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM

That is how the market is supposed to work and it isn’t a prestige gimmick.

However as you say, I suspect we will not agree on this.

sharrukin on September 17, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Here-Jonah did it in Nov 2008 right after the election.

GOP Road Sign: Keep Right

To listen to many pundits and analysts, it means Republicans must become Democrats. The GOP has become too socially conservative, and if it wants to win the support of mainstream voters, it will need to become more socially liberal. To be “economically conservative but socially liberal” is the beginning of wisdom for this school of thought….

Economically conservative social liberals are the “jackalopes of American politics,” in the words of National Review’s Kate O’Beirne. The press keeps telling us they exist out there in huge numbers, but when you go looking for them, they refuse to emerge from the bushes.

In fairness, many people do describe themselves this way. Most of the time we simply call them “Democrats.” Those who call themselves Republicans should more properly be called “confused.”

This is not to say that one can’t be a moderate on this issue or that and be a Republican. But the idea that social liberalism and economic conservatism can coexist easily is not well supported by the evidence. For example, in Congress and in state legislatures, the more pro-life you are, the more likely you are to be a free-market, low-tax conservative. The more pro-choice you are, the more likely it is that you will be remarkably generous with other people’s money.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 PM

He says it better than I. No sense in reinventing:

Is it possible that there is no Natural Law and man can know moral order and unalienable rights from his own reasoning, unaided by the supernatural or God? There are, of course, those who argue this case — including the Athiest and others who attempt to distinguish Natural Law from Divine Providence. It is not the view adopted by the Founders. This position would, it seems, lead man to arbitrarily create his own morality and rights, or create his own arbitrary morality and rights — right and wrong, just and unjust, good and bad, would be relative concepts susceptible to circumstancial applications. Moreover, by what justification would “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” be “unalienable rights” if there is no Natural Law, since reason alone cannot make them inviolable? What then is Natural Law if its origin is unknown or rejected? It is nothing more than a human construct. An individual may benefit from the moral order and unalienable rights while rejecting their Divine origin. But the civil society cannot organize itself that way. It would become unstable and vulnerable to anarchy and tyranny, imperiling all within it, especially the individual. The abandonment of Natural Law is the adoption of tyranny in one form or another, because there is no humane or benevolent alternative to Natural Law.

Levin, Liberty and Tyranny (On Faith and the Founding, p. 26)

knob on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 PM

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?

No, actually the question is whether Chamberlainesque RINO atheists would rather belong amongst Theistic individualist free-marketeers or whether you can stomach voting for people who want America to become an intrusive, centrally-planned collectivist welfare state.

It’s an unfair choice, I know.

Khorum on September 17, 2010 at 10:08 PM

The myth of atheism lends itself to mnay freedom destroying philosophies.

PrezHussein on September 17, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Question: Is “fiscal conservative” synonymous with “smaller government” and “lower taxes”? No.

Remember, Nixon was a “fiscal conservative” but “socially liberal”. He gave us the Environmental Protection Agency. How well has that worked out for us?

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 PM
Thanks for finding that. I forgot that it was Jonah Goldberg.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

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

HondaV65 on September 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM

please tell me how two adults that love each other isn’t a family. or explain how the freedom to marry the person you love hurts the cause of being fiscally responsible.

Courage and honesty are great values, please explain to me how either has anything to do with gay marriage. Better yet explain it to any of the thousands of gay men who have died courageously fighting for our freedoms. Liberty is it. If republicans push liberty and freedom everywhere they can they will dominate the political landscape for the foreseeable future. social issues are losers because society will always gravitate towards social liberalism. always. it’s been happening for all of recorded history and a minority in this country isn’t going to roll it back.

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Ayn Rand wrote books. She never tried to put together the blueprint for a Constitutional Republic. The Founders did.

As to the subject of the Founders religious beliefs, M.E. Bradford in his book Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution has an excellent chapter titled, “Religion and the Framers: The Biographical Evidence”.

Part of the confusion that so often leads us to a misunderstanding of the original Constitution and Bill of Rights is the special status to which a selected group of early American leaders have been elevated as the quintessence of what the Founders had in mind in accomplishing our national independence and then channeling the impetus generated with the Revolution into the creation of a new form of government, one that is “part national” and part federal.” These few are forced to serve as heralds of a “golden moment” of “perfect toleration” and public enlightenment, the embodiments of reason, and are put forward as windows on the American soul, on the collective spirit from which, as a people and polity, we most legitimately derive. The difficulty with this tendentious interpretive strategy is that the student of early American history who goes to the trouble to learn about the private lives of a reasonable number of important public figures in the original thirteen states can discredit it with ease. The selective, disingenuous past visible when filtered through such a list is one well-calculated to foster a partisan misuse of the Constitution in rearranging the present. With the moderns and impenitent futurists who invoke this authority with reference to religion, the names thus collected are a constant: Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin along with such lesser figures as Benjamin Rush and James Wilson. To this set it is conventional to add that part of Madison which seems to have a natural place in such company. Apart from Madison, none of these heroes is a recognizable Christian. And even about Madison there are certain doubts. The point is that by emphasizing as “representative men” the members of this elite group of deists and secularists, modern interpreters of the First Amendment are thereby released to ignore the distance between the very English/Whig/prescriptive world of the Framers and the favorite political nostrums and simplifications of the contemporary intellectual community. To describe the Framers out a larger body of evidence taken from the entire generation to which they belong—of the 150 to 200 principal Founders of the Republic—is to acquire another view of their composite character, especially with reference to the original American tradition concerning liberty, the state, and religion.

As I have come to know through my own work, the concept of the Framers as ordinary Christians, as members in good standing of the various Christian communions found in early America, is supported by the recorded patterns of their lives. What I propose in the way of a collective portrait draws upon evidence from the usually ignored 95 percent of that group—ignored because they are not precursors of the present dispensation in law, ethics, and public policy.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:13 PM

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

You’re welcome. The title had stayed in my mind.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Ayn Rand wrote books. She never tried to put together the blueprint for a Constitutional Republic. The Founders did.

As to the subject of the Founders religious beliefs, M.E. Bradford in his book Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution has an excellent chapter titled, “Religion and the Framers: The Biographical Evidence”.

Part of the confusion that so often leads us to a misunderstanding of the original Constitution and Bill of Rights is the special status to which a selected group of early American leaders have been elevated as the quintessence of what the Founders had in mind in accomplishing our national independence and then channeling the impetus generated with the Revolut!on into the creation of a new form of government, one that is “part national” and part federal.” … The difficulty with this tendentious interpretive strategy is that the student of early American history who goes to the trouble to learn about the private lives of a reasonable number of important public figures in the original thirteen states can discredit it with ease….With the moderns and impenitent futurists who invoke this authority with reference to religion, the names thus collected are a constant: Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin along with such lesser figures as Benjamin Rush and James Wilson. To this set it is conventional to add that part of Madison which seems to have a natural place in such company. Apart from Madison, none of these heroes is a recognizable Christian. And even about Madison there are certain doubts. The point is that by emphasizing as “representative men” the members of this elite group of deists and secularists, modern interpreters of the First Amendment are thereby released to ignore the distance between the very English/Whig/prescriptive world of the Framers and the favorite political nostrums and simplifications of the contemporary intellectual community.

To describe the Framers out a larger body of evidence taken from the entire generation to which they belong—of the 150 to 200 principal Founders of the Republic—is to acquire another view of their composite character, especially with reference to the original American tradition concerning liberty, the state, and religion.

As I have come to know through my own work, the concept of the Framers as ordinary Christians, as members in good standing of the various Christian communions found in early America, is supported by the recorded patterns of their lives. What I propose in the way of a collective portrait draws upon evidence from the usually ignored 95 percent of that group—ignored because they are not precursors of the present dispensation in law, ethics, and public policy.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:17 PM

If you don’t know who M. E. Bradford was. Russell Kirk (that’s the Russell Kirk) said this in his foreword to another book of Bradford’s Founding Fathers: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution:

Bradford’s national reputation is founded upon his painstaking and accurate scholarship—and upon his rhetorical skill as well…In general, American historians have been daunted by the tremendous task of fighting their way through antique printed collections of politicians’ letters and through thousands of holograph letters, uncollected, in dusty archives and private hands, but Mel Bradford was possessed of fortitude and a desire to write real history. He knew that there is no better way to ascertain the much-debated “original intent” of the Framers than to pass beyond the somewhat meager journals of the Convention, and beyond The Federalist Papers, to the labyrinthine treasury of letters the Framers wrote home or to one another.

…More fully than most commentators upon those Framers, Bradford has carefully examined their several religious persuasions or affiliations, discovering few Deists or unchurched.

Kirk also writes that he and Bradford were frequent correspondents and met at least once a year. From the foreword it is quite evident that he had the highest esteem for Bradford.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:19 PM

One other thought:
The Republican Party without it’s Fiscal Conservatives would have no brains, but the Republican Party without it’s Social Conservatives would have no soul!
Never forget that this party drew it’s first breath in the religious movement for abolition after the Whig debacle of 1848. To now suddenly decide that further discussion and debate of the moral and cultural nature of our public politics is somehow embarrassing and beneath our dignity, would be a blatant betrayal of historic proportions.

Lew on September 17, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Is it possible that there is no Natural Law and man can know moral order and unalienable rights from his own reasoning, unaided by the supernatural or God? There are, of course, those who argue this case — including the Athiest and others who attempt to distinguish Natural Law from Divine Providence. It is not the view adopted by the Founders.

Levin, Liberty and Tyranny (On Faith and the Founding, p. 26)

knob on September 17, 2010 at 10:07 PM

Mark Levin’s knowledge of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers is woefully incomplete. He is a very smart guy, but still not nearly as smart as Thomas Jefferson, whom he needs to read more of.

If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that no such thing exists. We have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit: their own affirmations, and their reasonings in support of them. I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in Protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than love of God.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I recently saw a chart which showed that members of Congress who voted for fiscally conservative issues were also social conservatives. Then, it showed that members of Congress who voted for big spending also voted as liberals on social issues. I just thought that was interesting.

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:41 PM

I’ve noticed this trend for some time and Jonah Goldberg had a nice write up on it a couple years ago, a social conservative is more likely to support fiscal conservatism than a social liberal. Social conservatives also tend to be believers.

Through my own personal experience, I know of plenty of Libertarians, many of them atheists, who voted for Obama because of their irrational fear that Palin or “SoCons” would institute some kind of moral dictatorship. This was all ridiculous ofcourse considering how Bush, one of the most religous Presidents we’ve had in a long time, did not such thing but no matter, so many Libertarians and liberal Republicans sold their soul to Obama and are now paying the price.

Daemonocracy on September 17, 2010 at 10:24 PM

please tell me how two adults that love each other isn’t a family. or explain how the freedom to marry the person you love hurts the cause of being fiscally responsible.

try biology 101…

the freedom to marry the person you love…isn’t that nice…so you’re for polygamous marriages, and pedophile marriages too…after all those are just sexual orientations just like homosexuality and heterosexaulity.

social issues are losers because society will always gravitate towards social liberalism. always. it’s been happening for all of recorded history and a minority in this country isn’t going to roll it back.

newflash gomer: 31-0 when put to the vote…you lose.

and gay marriage will of course severely limit religious libety, and freedom of speech for those who disagree…but thats why your jack-booted brown-shirt movement wants…

right4life on September 17, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM

See my comments above.

INC on September 17, 2010 at 10:25 PM

know of plenty of Libertarians, many of them atheists, who voted for Obama because of their irrational fear that Palin or “SoCons” would institute some kind of moral dictatorship.

libertarians are liberals…during the gulf war they sounded like wackos left-wingers.

right4life on September 17, 2010 at 10:26 PM

please tell me how two adults that love each other isn’t a family. or explain how the freedom to marry the person you love hurts the cause of being fiscally responsible.

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 10:13 PM

OK, I’ll play. Why don’t we take it a step further. Lets say 6 adults that love each other are considered by your standards a family. How does that hurt the cause of being fiscally responsible?

Geee….I dunno. Evidence maybe?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/10/earlyshow/main4005519.shtml

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/783225/how_polygamy_impacts_the_welfare_system.html

Here is the problem with your argument. Who decides what qualifies for a family? You? What makes you so right that two men married is ok but two men and three women is wrong? Following your argument, at what point is any marriage for any reason for as many people who “love each other” become wrong? You have to put your foot down sometime. And when you do, your opinion is no less arbitrary than those who believe that one man/one woman is the better preference for society and fiscal responsibility.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:26 PM

In the meantime, the GOP establishment, which totally lost the last election, is acting like a bunch of spoiled, entitled children.

Discouraging. There is not yet a party that represents real people.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:28 PM

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:28 PM

we’re making progress…look at rove foaming at the mouth…you know we scored big time!!

right4life on September 17, 2010 at 10:29 PM

know of plenty of Libertarians, many of them atheists, who voted for Obama because of their irrational fear that Palin or “SoCons” would institute some kind of moral dictatorship

Sort of the aftertaste of the moral majority era.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:29 PM

mobydutch on September 17, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Well, it’s because the banks are all entermeshed. It’s global finance.

*sigh*

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:30 PM

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:26 PM

well, for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

but as a follow up, what is the purpose of marriage? historically it’s been nothing more than a means of conveying inheritance and other legal rights (so far as the government is concerned.) based on that, why not have gay marriages? nothing in your links backs up any of your points wrt gay marriage, because frankly you have none. this is why the social cons need to be ignored, the independents in this country KNOW we are going in this direction and nothing will change it. It’s painfully obvious to anyone willing to look honestly at the issue.

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Huckabee is the first out the door on TV to say, Lisa is going to lose 2 elections, not just 1.

And I agree with him, too. She should return the money.

AnninCA on September 17, 2010 at 10:34 PM

If a small government — better: limited government — doesn’t have a measurable effect on our prosperity and liberty, then it isn’t worth advocating. DeMint betrays here what he really thinks of the “middle America” he’s supposedly championing. To him, they’re not capable of understanding the basic economic arguments for limited government; they’re as much bitter clingers to their guns and bibles in his view as in Obama’s. Worst of all, judging by how many people — people who are perfectly capable of understanding the tangible benefits of limited government — are lapping up his sloppy condescension, he’s right about them.

RightOFLeft on September 17, 2010 at 10:34 PM

cameo on September 17, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Wow. Your arguments based on Wikipedia. Color me unimpressed.

Any chance you can come up with your own original thoughts?

.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:38 PM

The left fully intends Govt to replace any semblence of God…

Ever notice the lefts religons of Enviro, Welfare, Big Govt are fully worshiped by Liberals much to the extent a Muslim worships Islam/Koran….both to the point of violence.

This is a time for fiscal conservatives to take center stage, a point made earlier that most conservatives focus on the founders values and principles—and not to push overt Christianity over the masses

sbark on September 17, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Question: Is “fiscal conservative” synonymous with “smaller government” and “lower taxes”? No.

Remember, Nixon was a “fiscal conservative” but “socially liberal”. He gave us the Environmental Protection Agency. How well has that worked out for us?

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

to be blunt, the last true ‘conservative’ president was coolidge.

Fighton03 on September 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:26 PM

GT…you answered your own question in the title of your link….’/how_polygamy_impacts_the_welfare_system.html’

Fighton03 on September 17, 2010 at 10:49 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), but I’m curious to know what the Objectivists among us think of DeMint’s argument.

Sigh; Mexico is not Christian, it is Catholic. There is a big difference.

Here is the array from Good Place(s) to live to Bad Place(s) to live. Notice that, as you get further from God, the places get crappier:

Places to Live – Best to Worst (Relationship to God)

U.S.A. (Christian- Also known as “Protestant”)
Israel (Jewish)
U.K. and Commonwealth- Canada, Australia (Halfway between Christian and Catholic)
Europe (Catholic)
.
India (Hindu & others)
.
Most of the Middle East & Much of Asia(Muslim)
North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam (Atheist)

The farther you remove yourself from God, the worse the society becomes. It is very evident if you look at the world today (as shown by the above progression).The closer our society is to God, the better it is as well. The departure from our Christian roots has brought us all sorts of ills.

DeMint is absolutely correct.

Theophile on September 17, 2010 at 10:53 PM

What I can’t live with is the guy next door to me being totally dependent on an all encompassing, intrusive and paternal government and believing that that all encompassing, intrusive and paternal government is somehow A GOOD THING.

The Constitution protects you from such things. Conservatives are fighting for the Constitution.

Again, the only way some kind of “theocracy” could ever take hold here is if we abandon the Constitution. Reason #40593928 why we need to (politically) fight Progressives, statists, Modern Liberals and all others that reject the Constitution.

visions on September 17, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Fighton03 on September 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM

As much as I love Reagan, I can’t disagree.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Fighton03 on September 17, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Shhhhhh……Cameo might actually read it and get my point.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than love of God.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM

To which foundation do they ascribe? How does that other foundation secure the rights found in Natural Law? If it does not secure the existence of Natural Law, upon what other basis will you ascribe unalienable rights? If not by Natural Law, how will this athiestic foundation defend the unalienable rights you seek against the myriad of other potential systems of relativistic morals?

Positive law cannot secure unalienable rights, as positive laws are inherently mutable and may be instituted or changed by unvirtuous men. Rights granted by men may be taken away by men.

Jefferson must have bought off on Natural Law, amidst his deism, otherwise unalienable rights are not possible. The system of morality instituted by a man cannot be shown superior to the system instituted by another man, as there exists no judge superior to adjudicate the inherent rightness of their respective systems.

In short, moral relativism secures no rights, as the rightness of the law/moral cannot be proven. We depend on a deterministic, immutable moral foundation to safeguard the equities built into our system of government. This is why Natural Law is so important to our system, and Natural Law falls apart without a Divine being to institute it.

knob on September 17, 2010 at 11:19 PM

This is why Natural Law is so important to our system, and Natural Law falls apart without a Divine being to institute it.

knob on September 17, 2010 at 11:19 PM

A Divine being to institute it, but without one that enforces it. Truly an idea that makes no sense. And which ‘Divine being’? Yours or someone elses?

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 11:38 PM

1782…Congress approved the use of the Bible in Schools… In 1844, it was UNANIMOUSLY upheld by the United States Supreme Court, wherein their ruling read in part ” Why should NOT the Bible be taught as divine revelation in School? It is “the purest Principles of Morality” be learned so ‘clearly and perfectly.’

In 1963, almost 200 years later— this was declared “unconstitutional” by the United States Supreme Court

PRAYER FOR AMERICA Cool Video. For best results, Crank it

deedtrader on September 17, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Nixon was a “fiscal conservative” but “socially liberal”.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

In what sense was Nixon a “fiscal conservative?” Does a fiscal conservative institute national wage and price controls? Does a fiscal conservative run deficits the size (in terms of percent of GDP) of GWB’s?

He did, reluctantly, eventually support modest tax cuts, but only after opposing them for most of his administration.

Nixon ran on a platform of “law and order,” which can only be called “conservative” in that he was stridently anti-Communist (not the communist philosophy so much, but rather the communist bloc of nations.)

notropis on September 18, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Nixon was a “fiscal conservative” but “socially liberal”.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

In what sense was Nixon a “fiscal conservative?” Does a fiscal conservative institute national wage and price controls? Does a fiscal conservative run deficits the size (in terms of percent of GDP) of GWB’s?

He did, reluctantly, eventually support modest tax cuts, but only after opposing them for most of his administration.

Nixon ran on a platform of “law and order,” which can only be called “conservative” in that he was stridently anti-Communist (not the communist philosophy so much, but rather the communist bloc of nations.)

notropis on September 18, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Yeah, I agree. Nixon was a fiscal liberal and somewhat socially conservative, from what I can make out. I know George Will said that Nixon was only a tad less of a liberal than LBJ.

ddrintn on September 18, 2010 at 12:13 AM

devoutly Christian countries necessarily have more effective governments (ahem, Mexico)

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by “devoutly” because my Mexican friends are amazed at how many American Catholics go to church because Mexico is not anywhere near, in their albeit anecdotal evidence, as “devout” in their estimation. Ditto the sentiments, btw, my friends from France and Colombia and Brazil and Ireland and Spain.

They may wear Crosses and light candles but that really isn’t any more devout than my Protestants friends who skip Sunday services all fall because they are traveling on football weekends (or my Jewish inlaws because they are traveling on Fridays for football weekends.)

Some people even attend “devoutly” a denomination where the pastor says the “US of KKK A” during sermons.

Devout is subjective. That’s all.

Branch Rickey on September 18, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Some people even attend “devoutly” a denomination where the pastor says the “US of KKK A” during sermons.

Devout is subjective. That’s all.

Branch Rickey on September 18, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Beautifully put!

notropis on September 18, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Fighton03 on September 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM

As much as I love Reagan, I can’t disagree.

GT on September 17, 2010 at 11:01 PM

a true Liberal democrat here?????

Fighton03 on September 18, 2010 at 12:43 AM

If the idea is that Christianity moves in to fill the void left by a shrinking government then it should be framed in that way and there would be no disagreement. This whole topic is terribly framed such that often social conservatives want a big government to push out Christianity. Such an idea breaks the party and turns into the completely failed idea of Bush’s which becomes indistinguishable from liberalism: “compassionate conservatism”

Resolute on September 18, 2010 at 12:55 AM

GT on September 17, 2010 at 10:38 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

let me dumb my point down for you: you’re using logical fallacies, which doesn’t help your arguments at all (unless your point is only an idiot would argue gay marriage is somehow against fiscal conservatism, in which case we agree!)

look, we can argue until we’re both blue in the face, but the simple fact is gay marriage is coming and independents know it. At most they’re apathetic about it, and in a lot of cases they just want the argument to be over so they can go back to ignoring it. I have yet to hear a single argument against it that isn’t either absurd or can’t be reduced to “marriage has always been between a man and a woman!” It wasn’t all that long ago that marriage between races was illegal in a lot of the country, and people remember that. Now they (for the most part) see how ridiculous that is.

So fiscal cons can either hitch their wagon to a sure loser while ruining any chance we have of actually getting a serious reduction in government or they can leave the issue alone (or heaven forbid, offer a stop gap like civil unions) and actually remain relevant in the coming decades.

cameo on September 18, 2010 at 1:40 AM

Why can’t we take the common sense approach and focus on fiscal constitutional conservatism for campaigning and not shove the religious thing down people’s throats? The Tea Party is supposed to cut across all parties and appeal to those who want to crank it back closer to what the Founding Fathers intended.

Will the abortion law change if politicians don’t preach against it? Does gay marriage even matter if we lose our country on the path to socialism?

Everyone knows the Republican Party stands for socially conservative values, they need to focus on what’s important for this election – limited government and throwing out the socialist and RINO bums.

Common Sense on September 18, 2010 at 1:56 AM

Why can’t we take the common sense approach and focus on fiscal constitutional conservatism for campaigning and not shove the religious thing down people’s throats?

Common Sense on September 18, 2010 at 1:56 AM

Who is shoving it down your throat?

Why is it always the anti-religious folks who are always bringing it up to say ‘stop bringing it up’?

sharrukin on September 18, 2010 at 2:02 AM

There is no such thing as a “conservative nanny state”. I don’t need a government telling me that I am going to hell for not doing what I am told any more then I need a government calling me a bitter gun clinger racist for not doing what I am told.

Boxy_Brown on September 18, 2010 at 2:40 AM

I understand, AP, why you are at HA. You are very good at Sophistry:

In the second half of the 5th century BC, particularly at Athens, “sophist” came to denote a class of mostly itinerant intellectuals who taught courses in various subjects, speculated about the nature of language and culture and employed rhetoric to achieve their purposes, generally to persuade or convince others: “Sophists did, however, have one important thing in common: whatever else they did or did not claim to know, they characteristically had a great understanding of what words would entertain or impress or persuade an audience.” A few sophists claimed that they could find the answers to all questions. Most of these sophists are known today primarily through the writings of their opponents (specifically Plato and Aristotle), which makes it difficult to assemble an unbiased view of their practices and beliefs.

And a big, one of those, to folks who fail to understand that Wikipedia is, indeed, mostly self correcting.

It’s a good thing you do. Intellectual exercise is as necessary as physical.

A pot well stirred produces the most savory dish. Q Casteel

Caststeel on September 18, 2010 at 2:54 AM

I agree with demint

offroadaz on September 17, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Yes, I agree with DeMint, too, and very much so.

Lourdes on September 18, 2010 at 3:44 AM

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

Nice going there, Jude. Jump on the train with momentum and then attempt to lecture the long-time riders about their past (“The Stupid Party”), their ideology (you’re skeptical), and their personalilities (“please, please , no”).

Come on aboard, and you’re welcome on the train. Truly. But don’t sling dirt at the long-timers while you’re at it, and don’t lecture us about what we MUST do to survive. We get it. We really do.

Grace_is_sufficient on September 18, 2010 at 7:25 AM

But the idea that social liberalism and economic conservatism can coexist easily is not well supported by the evidence.

Um, here! *waving*

YehuditTX on September 18, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Sigh; Mexico is not Christian, it is Catholic. There is a big difference.

See, this is what happens when people bring religion into politics. They start splitting doctrinal hairs in the public sphere, where those hairs do not belong. Europe fought many wars between Catholics and Protestants and most of the survivors came to the same conclusion, out of which developed the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

YehuditTX on September 18, 2010 at 7:55 AM

This is why Natural Law is so important to our system, and Natural Law falls apart without a Divine being to institute it.

knob on September 17, 2010 at 11:19 PM

A Divine being to institute it, but without one that enforces it. Truly an idea that makes no sense. And which ‘Divine being’? Yours or someone elses?

Luka on September 17, 2010 at 11:38 PM

Any Divine being. Don’t you get it?

If there is no “Divine being” coming down from the heavens to strip you of your rights then…*gasp*…your rights will never be taken away. It’s a near-perfect system.

visions on September 18, 2010 at 8:48 AM

I’m sure someone in te chain already pointed it out, but Huckabee and “compassionate conservatives” — and heck even the Sojourners and lefty ‘religious’ groups seem to undercut his theory.

Firefly_76 on September 18, 2010 at 8:57 AM

“Fiscally Conservative but socially liberal”= Big government.

The Left controls the so called “socially liberal” movements; they will impose their redefinitions through government.

Robert Nisbet, the great conservative social scientist, argued persuasively, that when civil and social institutions (eg. especially the family and churches) are marginalized, government moves in to take over their functions.

The aim of the Left, through their “social liberalism” (social revolution is a more apt description)), is well on it’s way to success. Unfortunately, they have many useful dupes who call themselves “conservatives” and “libertarians”.

wraithby on September 18, 2010 at 8:58 AM

cameo on September 18, 2010 at 1:40 AM

Ah, here we go with the wikipedia lecture again. No original thought.(/rolleyes)

I don’t agree that gay marriage in inevitable. From a social point of view, some things are just simply wrong and we should stand against it win or lose. Its never wrong to do right.

You disappoint Edmund Burke.

As for tying in fiscal responsibility, as was pointed out in this thread, “the idea that social liberalism and economic conservatism can coexist easily is not well supported by the evidence.”

What you apparently fail to understand is that the same argument for gay marriage is the same argument for polygamy and endogamy. Social norms are necessary for a stable society. And a stable society is necessary for economic growth.

GT on September 18, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Social norms are necessary for a stable society. And a stable society is necessary for economic growth.

GT on September 18, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Though clearly the social norm with regard to gay couples has changed significantly during the past 50 years.

Stable societies don’t have static social norms. Even with some social instability GDP can continue to grow, as it more than doubled during the turbulent 1965-1975 period in the US.

dedalus on September 18, 2010 at 9:36 AM

dedalus on September 18, 2010 at 9:36 AM

True to a point. But how much higher would GDP be if social conservatism has been followed?

Part of social conservatism is the strong believe in personal responsibility.

How much of GDP have we spent on the AIDS epidemic?

How much of GDP have we spent on Welfare?

What positive effect has social liberalism on GDP?

GT on September 18, 2010 at 9:51 AM

What positive effect has social liberalism on GDP?

GT on September 18, 2010 at 9:51 AM

I’m more Austrian than Keynesian. Where practical, liberty and responsibility should be tied to the individual and not the government.

To your final question, my first thought is the liberation and education of women. While adding women to the workforce has had a mixed bag of social consequences, it certainly has added to GDP.

dedalus on September 18, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Key engine of economic growth:

“Thou Shalt not Steal”
“Thou Shalt not envy”
“Go forth and multiply”
and throw in all the stuff about work, etc.

The Bible is where the concept of Private Property Rights comes from, it is God’s(Natural) Law, without that we’d have no STANDARD by which to say Private Property is true and Socialism/Slavery is false. If Man decides what is True or False, there are literally Billions of potential standards and we have no strong basis to say Socialism really is false.

God is Immaterial and Universal, his Law transcends all of his creation. The immaterial laws of Science, Math, Logic…and what we call “natural law”.

Randian Libertarism is amoral and filled with internal contradictions. She thinks Property Rights ‘magically’ appear within a person, just there move along, no more questions…..the point is, like in Far-East countries, a God-Less Libertarianism even in Randian fashion, while it may not lead to Tyranny on Paper, it does in Reality, when fully implemented

jp on September 18, 2010 at 11:19 AM

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)…

Precious little dig by our resident beta male… Ignorant as well.

The Mexican government has been anti-Christian for a century. They are a “revolutionary” government in the mold of the Jacobins. So violently anti-clerical in the 1920s that the people arose in revolt. Pope John Paul canonized 25 martyrs from that period as saints in 2000.

It’s so typical of the anti-religious to arrogantly assert falsehoods.

rcl on September 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM

I understand, AP, why you are at HA. You are very good at Sophistry:

Caststeel on September 18, 2010 at 2:54 AM

He’s like watching a sculpture. I hope Salem sufficiently compensates him for his talents.

Texas Gal on September 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM

The battle is not political, it’s spiritual. And don’t make the (common) mistake of assuming “religion” and “Christianity” are the same, or even close. They aren’t. What you worship is your “god”, (think North Korea) not necessarily THE GOD. Some quotes from Dead White Men, some of whom were Slaveowners:

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”
“The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.” John Adams

“I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others. … I am a real Christian — that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” Thomas Jefferson

“As to Jesus of Nazareth … I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.” Benjamin Franklin

“The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.”
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” Thomas Jefferson

Or you could read the writings of the Founding Fathers for yourself, but when Senator DeMint mentions a “big God”, blind panic and/or semi-hysteria probably aren’t sensible responses.

oldleprechaun on September 18, 2010 at 12:25 PM

To your final question, my first thought is the liberation and education of women. While adding women to the workforce has had a mixed bag of social consequences, it certainly has added to GDP.

dedalus on September 18, 2010 at 10:13 AM

What makes you think that is purely socially liberal? Read up on Calvin Coolidge.

Meanwhile, is the current national debt primarily indicative of socially liberal or socially conservative policies? How much did we spend on “the War on Poverty” in the last 40+ years?

GT on September 18, 2010 at 12:25 PM

sculptor.. you probably knew what I meant.

Texas Gal on September 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM

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