Hitting Bottom

© Karen Roach | Dreamstime.com

At NRO, Rich Lowry tries very hard to make Rick Santorum sound like a respectable candidate.

As Jeffrey Bell, author of the new book The Case for Polarized Politics, notes in a Wall Street Journal interview, Santorum’s style of social conservatism is deeply American. No other Western country saw the rise of such a social-conservative movement after the social upheaval of the 1960s. Bell traces American social conservatism back ultimately to the God-given natural rights enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. Sure enough, Santorum is given to quoting the Declaration.

Why are Americans uniquely crazy? Maybe it’s something in the environment. The air, the air, is everywhere …

That won’t stop Santorum-haters from portraying him as threateningly un-American.

Has anybody been calling Frothy “un-American”? I can’t say that I’ve seen that. “Dangerously blinkered religious fanatic” is closer to it.

Patrick Buchanan explains the slippery slope America has been sliding down:

An early triumph of secularism came with the Scopes trial in 1923 in Dayton, Tenn. Clarence Darrow, defending a teacher who had violated state law by introducing Darwin’s theory of evolution into the classroom, mocked the Old Testament teachings of the Evangelical Christians, to the merriment of the establishment.

From that day on, Darwinism was taught in our schools, first as theory, then as fact, then as higher truth. With the Darwinian tenet — we evolved, we were not created — established truth in the public schools, secularism set about driving its enemy, Christianity, out completely.

Under the Warren Court in the 1950s and 1960s, it succeeded.

All Christian commandments, holidays, prayers, pageants and plays were gone. Where Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter had declared that America is a Christian nation, Obama has declared, “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation,” but rather a nation of all faiths.

Shudder. Of course, this really goes back to The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom (1786), of which Thomas Jefferson said,

The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.

The Santorum campaign is what happens when the old zombie ideas — cut taxes; deregulate — are so worn out even the candidates are bored with them.

16 thoughts on “Hitting Bottom

  1. Patrick Buchanan seems unaware that Scopes was found guilty. The attention that it focused on the issue took a bit of time, “from that day on” would indicate a misunderstanding.

  2. In reality, Icky Sticky Ricky is the neighbor who chastises you for missing your early morning religious service on Sunday, saying that you’re not raising your children right, and, when you’re gone, he dumps some of his dog-poop, the leaves and grass from his lawn, and other detritus, onto yours when you do go to those services, before leaving for his 11am service.

    If Icky Sticky Ricky becomes President, we won’t have to worry about who he’ll appoint:
    Torquemada would replace Roberts.
    And Father Coughlin would be the other voice of the Catholic Church, making Bill Donohue sound like “Meatheat,” compared to his Archie Bunker.

    Rick Santorum will be the man who takes “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and takes it from a precautionary novel to an instructional manual.

    Be afraid. BE VERY AFRAID!!!

  3. From that day on, Darwinism was taught in our schools, first as theory, then as fact, then as higher truth.

    Unadulterated balderdash. (When talking to an old fart with hyperinflated ego – or is it his bowel that’s hyperinflated, explaining both the appellation *and* the masses of hot air that wafts from him? – I like to try to sling their lingo.)

    Science is not about “higher truth”. Science is about working models. Evolution is a wonderful, wonderful model. It fits all of the data we have, it makes very useful predictions, and, while it does raise questions (I’ve seen it said that there seems to be times when evolution has “taken off” with more changes occurring more rapidly), we don’t discard it *until we find a better model*.

    We didn’t discard Newton’s gravitational laws until Einstein came along and said “see, here’s what Newton missed!”

    That’s why we don’t teach creationism or its porcine twin with lipstick, intelligent design. They’re not models; they don’t make predictions.

    If God were to come down and say “My children, I did create the heavens – really, the “universe” – and the earth in 6 distinct stages, and then spent some time resting”, and everyone were to become deeply and intimately aware that this was Truth – it wouldn’t change the science a bit. Evolution would still be the best model we had.

  4. That George Washington fellow also failed to understand that the United States is supposed to be a Christian nation:

    For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

  5. Bell traces American social conservatism back ultimately to the God-given natural rights enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.

    I’d trace it back ultimately to the God-inflicted torments enuniciated in Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God‘.

  6. “No other Western country saw the rise of such a social-conservative movement after the social upheaval of the 1960s.” What an honor– to be the MOST screwed up western nation. Could it have roots in corporate ownership of the media? Nah, must be a coincidence.

  7. “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

    –Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

  8. “No other Western country saw the rise of such a social-conservative movement after the social upheaval of the 1960s.”

    They forgot Chile under Pinochet, one of the rightards’ favorite dictators. Sure it took a military coup, a few thousand deaths, tens of thousands tortured and a decade of oppression, but it was all worth it in the eyes of the ever-so-moral leading lights of the right wing.

  9. “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. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    Evangelicals love the phrase, ‘endowed by their Creator’, is if there is an implicit endorsement of religion. You have to put the Declaration of Independence in cultural context. A LOT of colonists believed the church-sponsored precept that Kings were appointed by God and rebellion against the King was equivalent to rebellion against the Almighty. The excuse for a break from England had to address this concern. Jefferson did by asserting that governments derive their powers – not from God – but from the consent of the governed.

    When you read the Declaration as it was written, you see Jefferson asserts a DIRECT relationship between men and god, without religion, and from that Divine contract spring the natural rights of man, independent of any creed. A just government is subject not to God, but to Man, because it is from Man that the authority of just government is derived.

  10. I want to remind everyone that Rick Santorum has a ‘vest’ed interest in continuing to bring up Jesus and Christianity – he wants to be the leader or “Vest’ern Civilization.
    And Ricky knows what’s ‘vest’ for all of us.

    Yes I know that was terrible.
    But you try being witty at 6:20am.

  11. That’s not just lipstick on a pig, it’s Botox on a Shar-pei.

    (Sorry, wrinkly dogs; I know your species has a troubled relationship with Santorum….)

    Seriously, though, Kyle’s reminder about Chile is important. But then, in contemporary terms, Santorum’s thinking is less in line with Western democractic principles, and has much more in common with the Taliban.

  12. Santorum isn’t actually coming up with his own ideas. He’s mainstreaming ideas associated with the religious dominionists. I really don’t think he notices or cares what anyone outside his followers think. Gulag, I think you are right about Sanctimonious viewing “The Handmaid’s Tale” as an instructional guide.

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