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    “Since the state will never really leave us alone”

    “Since the state will never really leave us alone”

    Matt Lewis has a very interesting take on the “culture wars,” The culture war was never a fair fight (emphasis):

    Let’s take a step back for a moment first. Many prominent conservatives, like anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, argue that conservatives just want to be left alone. In fact, Norquist has dubbed conservatism the “leave us alone” coalition.

    Cultural conservatives see this as naïve. The state, they reason, will never leave us alone. We either win or we lose the culture war, but you can’t opt out. In this regard, they are like Winston Churchill, who said of his predecessor: “Mr. Chamberlain can’t seem to understand that we live in a very wicked world … English people want to be left alone, and I daresay a great many other people want to be left alone too. But the world is like a tired old horse plodding down a long road. Every time it strays off and tries to graze peacefully in some nice green pasture, along comes a new master to flog it a bit further along.'”

    Since the state will never really leave us alone, social conservatives reason that the state should encourage ordered liberty. That means that the state should incentivize behavior that has served Western Civilization well over the years. In other words, as Dylan said, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody,” so social conservatives reason that a virtuous society should encourage behavior deemed virtuous by traditional Judeo-Christian culture, and discourage behavior at odds with that.

    This, of course, is unpopular in the modern world — not just amongst liberals, but also with libertarian-leaning conservatives, and the general public. In today’s America, there is huge value placed on people being able to do what they want and be who they want to be. Trying to deny them those “rights” has become something of a taboo in many circles.

    The leave us alone political philosophy is one to which I am extremely sympathetic.  But I doubt it’s possible regardless.

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    Comments


    I miss live and let live.

    I think holding an ideal in mind while working within current reality is the most sane approach. We are being forced, shoved, pushed, driven like cattle into Marshal McLuhan’s “Global Village” tribal collective by the Federal Gov’t. And I refuse to go quietly!


     
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    Freddie Sykes | March 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    We need to separate what goes on in private from public behavior. We have a vested interest in demanding civilized behavior in public. There is a big difference between walking down the street drinking, doing drugs and doing it in your home.

    The best way to start is to take the 4th Amendment serious. It implies that warrant should only be issued after someone swears to the wrong doing going on. In some cities up to half the warrants are unfounded. If that happens, we need to start trying them for perjury.

    By ‘cultural conservatives’, I take it to mean Christians? If so, the ‘Christians’ that I used to attend Revival meetings, if they are truthful about it, are more Reconstructionists and Dominionists then Constitutionalists. These are the ones who truly believe they can do a better job than Oliver Cromwell’s failed attempt at a Christian Republic. And that ‘Individual Liberty’ is a ‘worldly’ concept.

    Many are in the habit of saying that America was founded on ‘Judeo Christian principles’. That may be true of the foundation of their personal moral system. But none has met my challenge to point out where in the scriptures do we derive our constitutional system of checks and balances. And where in the scriptures did we get the blueprint for our Republican electoral system?

    Israel was governed by non-elected Judges before Yaweh gave into the popular request for dynastic rule (not as an act of rebellion by the populace against tyranny but a stubborn desire for it).

    How can anyone say that we live in a Constitutional Republic and not acknowledge the 4th century BC republican Romans for inventing the original political failsafe against tyrants?

    I doubt many have read enough scripture to spot passages like Romans 13:1 to realize that the ‘Judeo Christian’ premise of cultural conservatives doesn’t lend itself to Jefferson’s idea of Res Publica.


       
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      SDN in reply to Aucturian. | March 28, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Many are in the habit of saying that America was founded on ‘Judeo Christian principles’. That may be true of the foundation of their personal moral system. But none has met my challenge to point out where in the scriptures do we derive our constitutional system of checks and balances. And where in the scriptures did we get the blueprint for our Republican electoral system?

      You have exactly reversed the process. As John Adams pointed out and we have empirical observation in the real world:

      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

      Those who would live under our Constitutional system must have a moral foundation that will lead them to certain habits of thinking e.g. refrain from such immoral behavior as requiring the government to steal from others to give to them. For 90% plus of the Founders, that moral foundation was derived from the Christian Scripture, leavened with a generous helping of Greek / Roman philosophers referred to favorably by various Christian philosophers as Augustine.


         
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        gs in reply to SDN. | March 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        John Adams submitted the first Treaty of Tripoli to the Senate for ratification. Article 11 reads:

        As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

        Boldface mine.


           
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          SDN in reply to gs. | March 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm

          Hey, when talking to a Muslim, taqiyya is always required.

          Seriously, you present one sentence, in a document written in the language of tactful diplomacy, while ignoring the dozens of quotes from multiple Founders that say the exct opposite.

          I don’t wonder at those who believe you to always argue in bad faith.


     
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    BannedbytheGuardian | March 28, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Everyone missed Michelle’s comment that Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual……….

    Fair warning there.


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