Patterico's Pontifications

5/10/2011

Richard Cohen’s Exceptionally Wrongheaded Essay

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:22 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So Richard Cohen decided to tackle “[t]he myth of American exceptionalism” and well… it goes about as well as you would think it would.  It’s a tour de force of either mind-numbing stupidity or just plain dishonesty.  Let’s read it together, shall we?

He starts right off by declaring that

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,” W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in 1903 — and I will not quibble. But the problem of the 21st century is the problem of culture… what I would call the culture of smugness. The emblem of this culture is the term “American exceptionalism.” It has been adopted by the right to mean that America, alone among the nations, is beloved of God. Maybe so, but on some days it’s hard to tell.

So right off the bat, he is getting it wrong.  That is not what the doctrine of American Exceptionalism is about and a quick Google Search would find a plethora of informed statements on the subject.  For my money the best summary is Stephen Calabresi’s that “the idea of America as a special place with a special people called to a special mission[.]”  And it has been present for well over four centuries.  A classic example of that exceptionalism was found in the X, Y, Z affair, where the French expected American diplomats to engage in the same casual corruption that every other nation engaged in.  Our diplomats refused for little other reason that we were Americans and we were different.

Alas, he goes on:

The term “American exceptionalism” has been invoked by Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and, of course, Sarah Palin. I would throw in Michele Bachmann, since if she has not said it yet, she soon will because she says almost anything. She is no exception to the cult of American exceptionalism.

So he accuses Bachmann of being about to say it because “she says almost anything.”  Did an editor actually read that line?  She says almost anything?  Really?  Does she say “Karl Marx was right?” or “the Jews should be wiped out” because somehow I doubt it.  It’s really fascinating to watch a person actually demonstrate irrational hatred toward the woman.

Then he goes on to explode the “myth” of American Exceptionalism (that is, to kill his straw man) by basically arguing that America is cursed, cursed I tell you:

For an industrialized nation, the United States has a very high murder rate and, no surprise, a very high execution rate. We have a health-care system cleverly designed to bankrupt the average person and a political system so dysfunctional that we may go into national bankruptcy, blaming one another for spending too much or taxing too little, but not both. God indeed works in mysterious ways.

And he goes on.  And on.  And on.  Seriously, after the shellacking he gives this country, would it for once be appropriate to question his patriotism?

He goes on to write:

Let no person think there is not a certain kind of American exceptionalism that I believe in and cherish. It is our astounding capacity for tolerance

And for one second he might have started to understand how and why America was different.  He might have noticed how Europe has hate speech laws that oddly are never applied to the increasingly anti-Semitic Imams, but are vigorously applied to anyone who sounds the alarm about such Imams.  He might have noticed just how empty and fleeting the tolerance and freedom is over there.  But then he plunges back into hating his fellow Americans:

It turns out, however, that some of those most inclined to exalt American exceptionalism are simply using the imaginary past to defend their cultural tics — conventional marriage or school prayer or, for some odd reason, a furious antipathy to the notion that mankind has contributed (just a bit) to global warming.

But if you thought that was weak so far, he turns up the idiocy to 11 in the last few paragraphs:

The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.

Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter. And yet clearly America must change fundamentally or continue to decline.

Which is idiotic on so many levels I hardly know where to begin.  First, he is upset at the Republicans in 1860 for not being willing to compromise?  Should they have been more flexible on the subject of slavery?  At Cooper’s Union, Lincoln told us what compromise on the subject required:

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

And by the end of the speech, Lincoln makes it clear that this price is too high:

Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored – contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man – such as a policy of “don’t care” on a question about which all true men do care – such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance – such as invocations to Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.

But in Cohen’s eyes this was the wrong position. I dare say there was a square chance that if Cohen’s desire for compromise was followed, that slavery might still exist in America today (assuming there was no bloody slave uprising).

And this after praising America’s tolerance?  The amendment writing racial tolerance into our fundamental law was written in the aftermath of that same war.  It was unlikely to have entered our constitution without it.

And this after quoting from W.E.B. Du Bois?  The mind boggles.

And the Southern devotion to slavery was not born of religious devotion.  They turned to faith to give themselves permission to have slaves, but the desire to actually have and keep them were born from a variety of factors.  For the slave holder, it was maintained because of the intoxicating power it created, as well simple wealth.  For the non-slave holder, it was the fear of what the slaves would do if freed that drove them to support the institution.  Even that is a greatly simplified version of it, but the key thing to understand is that their devotion to slavery had nothing to do with faith.

And the most idiotic element of that passage is simply this.  The abolitionists and those merely anti-slavery were American Exceptionalists and yes, infused that belief with faith.  But this did not lead them to declare that “what God has made exceptional, man must not alter” as Cohen hallucinated.  No, they believed that America’s exceptional mission meant we had to change, specifically cleanse ourselves of the sin of slavery, or risk the wrath of God.

Indeed, throughout our history those who mixed faith and human rights were profound agents of change, and not protectors of the status quo.  It was Thomas Jefferson and the founders who said that we were granted unalienable rights by our Creator, a doctrine that led them to change, to overthrow the British and set on our own course as a nation.  And it was Martin Luther King who said:

One may want to ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law…. Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Jefferson, Lincoln and King believed in our exceptionalism, and believed that our rights were a gift from God and not subject to compromise.  And all of them were agents of change.  We should be so lucky to have giants like them among us today.

Instead, Cohen would have us follow the path of Stephen Douglas, the man who sung the siren song of compromise.

Not that compromise is always bad, but what compromise are we talking about?  A compromise that doesn’t reduce our debt by a single penny, that only reduces the rate of increase of our debt.  In his time Abraham Lincoln confronted whether this nation can endure half slave and half free.  In our time we are contemplating whether this nation can endure, period.  And there can be no compromise on that point.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

85 Responses to “Richard Cohen’s Exceptionally Wrongheaded Essay”

  1. Excellent post. I just want to add that our current battle with Jihadi’s can be summed up in much the same was as Lincoln did by just replacing the word slavery with Islam.

    We have bent over backwards showing that we are not at war with Islam and that we respect others’ religious beliefs, but that isn’t good enough. We will continue to be at war with them unless we accept their beliefs. There is no room for compromise.

    NJRob (c6719d)

  2. Richard Justsaynoen has some Sexually Transmitted dumbassery.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  3. Double posted on accident in the previous posts.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  4. Unbelievably stupid way to frame an argument. I can’t believe his editor let this crap get published by NYT. Can they not read?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  5. “The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.

    Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter. And yet clearly America must change fundamentally or continue to decline.”
    As per Cohen, if only those silly Republicans had ditched their ideals about the evil of slavery and compromised, we could’ve avoided the Civil War, slaves be damned. What’s the big deal about human bondage when compromise can be had? Further any schoolchild with a proper American history textbook knows they tried that with little success in the Missouri Compromise, which only made things worse. In fact by many accounts the fighting and guerilla war before, during and after the war in the areas of supposed compromise in Kansas and Missouri were the bloodiest and most brutal battles . In fact it bred a whole groups of murderous outlaws like the James Gang.

    Bugg (4e0dda)

  6. We made that decision with Plessy, and the stench of it, echoes till today, after half a million dead
    less than two generations earlier.

    narciso lopez (79ddc3)

  7. And the Southern devotion to slavery was not born of religious devotion. They turned to faith to give themselves permission to have slaves, but the desire to actually have and keep them were born from a variety of factors.

    And one of those factors was the belief that blacks were inferior, and this was part of the Divine (or at least natural) order of things.

    Indeed, throughout our history those who mixed faith and human rights were profound agents of change, and not protectors of the status quo.

    And those who mixed faith with something other than human rights could also render some remarkable changes, unfortunately not usually good ones, and often remarkably evil. For instance, 19 Muslims on September 11, 2001….

    Which means to me that religion is not the important part of the American legacy, and that human rights is. But that does not mean you are right and Cohen is wrong.

    There are two kinds of “exceptionalism”, one more narrow and religiously based than the other; and Cohen was attacking the narrow kind. (I don’t mean to say that Cohen made a good argument. I merely mean that it does exist and he should have attacked it, if only with better arguments.) There is a segment of America which believes we have a special place in world history courtesy of the Deity, and that an important part of our heritage and therefore our place in the world is tied up with the Christian religion. Obviously, this sort of thinking is usually found associated with Christians, especially those of fundamentalist/evangelical Protestant belief. For them the religion part is more important than the human rights part of our legacy, and many of them do look back to a presumed golden age of the not quite recent past.

    The more broader type, which I’m pretty sure is the sort you adhere to, emphasizes the human rights part more than the Christian part: basically, that this country instantiated human rights as a political system before and better than almost any other country, and this sets us apart from other countries. This type does not see any point in the past as being a golden age, but sees yet more improvement being possible until we draw closer yet to such a golden age, or even reach it in some distant future. And that sort of exceptionalism is probably held by most people in this country, including political liberals like Obama. You need someone as radically alienated from the rest of the country as Chomsky to find someone who doesn’t agree with this.
    But some people–and I’ll leave it to you to decide if you are one of them–believe this gives us an inherent superiority, and others take it further to think that this superiority in turn gives us the right to boss others around. Cohen could have attacked that, but he didn’t, at least not in this op-ed.

    kishnevi (38f6c3)

  8. Let’s just say that this essay is an exceptionally stupid piece of worak–even for Richard Cohen.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  9. Correction in above “exceptionally stupid piece of work

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  10. 5 Bugg: Further any schoolchild with a proper American history textbook knows they tried that with little success in the Missouri Compromise, which only made things worse. In fact by many accounts the fighting and guerilla war before, during and after the war in the areas of supposed compromise in Kansas and Missouri were the bloodiest and most brutal battles.

    The Missouri Compromise was enacted in 1820, and it kept the peace for 30 years. The Compromise was loopholed in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act which opened Kansas Territory to slavery and possibly becoming a slave state. That was followed by those vicious struggles.

    BTW, the Act was the work of Stephen Douglas, who was not pro-slavery. He argued that the settlers should vote on it and famously remarked that he didn’t care “whether slavery was voted up or voted down”.

    One last point: the fighting in the Far West was exceptionally nasty, but it wasn’t anywhere near as bloody as the great battles in Tennessee and the East like Spotsylvania, Malvern Hill, or Stones River (to name a few of the lesser slaughters).

    Rich Rostrom (d34a68)

  11. My exwife used a similar gambit by prefacing a statement with “you think” and then proceed to tell me what i thought and why i was wrong to think whatever she said i thought. She could not quote me saying anything like her carnak exposition. Since she controlled both sides of her issue, i had no need to take part in her tirade. One of many reasons why she is my ex. Too bad we can not so easily escape overwrought liberals and their projections.

    dunce (b89258)

  12. It must drive Hax nuts not to be able to carry some water here.

    Simon Jester (550374)

  13. Maybe I am too partisan, but I see this sort of essay as a last gasp of the American Left. Two years ago they thought they were heralding in an Age of American Liberalism, which would finally bring us towards a European-style social welfare state. They had elected a charismatic minority President who held every single left-wing view on their checklist, they had a female left-wing old school ward boss as Speaker of the House who would ram through legislation at breakneck speed, and they had 60 votes in the Senate to curtail any filibusters from Republicans.

    Today, Cohen sees all of that crashing down. In his heart he probably knows that the Democrats will almost surely lose the Senate in 2012, and there is a pretty fair chance that Dear Leader will lose his reelection bid. All that media liberals have left to offer is anger — cheap shots at those who are part of the Tea Party movement, demagoguery against any plans to undo the damage that has been done over the past two years, and contempt for the very idea that a solid majority of Americans don’t want to be the European social welfare state that the left has been angling for since Eisenhower retired. I am afraid that we will be hearing more and more of this in the years to come.

    JVW (f8a58a)

  14. I thought Barcky’s call for setting aside partisan politics after delivering a hyper-partisan speech was cute.

    JD (918665)

  15. I agree with JVW. The Left spiked the football a bit too soon.

    They will win eventually, though. History demands it. Then we will follow the sad decline of the rest of the Western world. The culture of success must be defeated for the equality of all to suffer.

    Simply put, the mantra of the left always come down to one thing: We are not worthy.

    Ag80 (4797fe)

  16. I don’t think I’ve ever seen, read, or heard anyone use “American exceptionalism” to argue against AGW theory. Maybe some gremlin in Cohen’s head?

    Cohen writes like a stereotypical Left Coast progressive. East Coasters are more “it’s a shame” type of people. Go to the Pacific and it’s more angry and condemnatory.

    They don’t just need to be right, they need to destroy the entire ego of dissenters. Not only is America not exceptional in a good way, she is in fact exceptional in a bad way! You are deluding yourself because you are a fool or if not then you are a sinister Machiavellian if you disagree with me.

    Whatever, Richard Cohen doesn’t produce votes. Well he produces votes for Republicans probably.

    deepelemblue (a78b16)

  17. American exceptionalism is like the exceptionalism of Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. We’re going belly up Barry just like them.

    Arizona Bob (aa856e)

  18. “There is a segment of America which believes we have a special place in world history courtesy of the Deity, and that an important part of our heritage and therefore our place in the world is tied up with the Christian religion. Obviously, this sort of thinking is usually found associated with Christians, especially those of fundamentalist/evangelical Protestant belief.”

    kishnevi – Are you making this up as you go along? Have you ever met people such as you describe? I have not.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  19. kishnevi – Are you making this up as you go along? Have you ever met people such as you describe? I have not.

    I don’t think he actually really knows anyone he would probably call a “Bible-thumper.”

    On an individual level evangelical/”fundamentalist” Christians in America are more interested in proselytizing than anything else by a large margin. This probably would offend kishnevi too for whatever reason (Islamic or Buddhist or atheist proselytizing no doubt doesn’t), but most of them don’t think that America was created by God as a crusading Christian nation. That’s just insane.

    deepelemblue (a78b16)

  20. They will win eventually, though. History demands it. Then we will follow the sad decline of the rest of the Western world. The culture of success must be defeated for the equality of all to suffer.

    I don’t know, Ag80, I think I am much more optimistic than you are. Rather than the inevitable decline towards quasi-Socialism (as Marx would have it), I think we are first going to see the collapse of the European social welfare state. Look at what is happening in places like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Italy — countries that thought they could legislate the good life rather than working hard for it — and figure that they are going to have to roll back the huge public sector employment, early retirements at full pensions, and strangulation of commerce through over-regulation. I think they will move in our direction far more than we will have to more in theirs. Heck, even France is reconsidering the proposition that a mandatory 35 hour workweek and 8 weeks of vacation somehow leads to more employment.

    JVW (f8a58a)

  21. Unbelievably stupid … (an) editor let this crap get published…NYT…Can they not read?
    Comment by SPQR — 5/10/2011 @ 5:39 pm

    Stupid and NYT: a marriage made in heaven.
    They have editors?
    All advanced learning is surrended upon signing the employment contract.

    Richard Cohen is just one of the many insufferable Progressives that the rest of us must endure…
    it must be some penance that has been proclaimed for Man’s continueing existance upon the face of the North American Continent.

    AD-RtR/OS! (208869)

  22. “but most of them don’t think that America was created by God as a crusading Christian nation. That’s just insane.”

    deepelemblue – Agreed. Just another cartoon characterization.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  23. Richard Cohen is very smug.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. JVW:

    I would like to agree with you, but the lure of government omniscience is too tempting and when you realize that the promise is false, it is too late.

    Ag80 (4797fe)

  25. Not really a fan of Stephen Calabrisi’s definition.

    For me, what makes the U.S. exceptional is that it is the only country founded on an idea, not an ethnicity. That idea is expressed in the Declaration and executed in the Constitution.

    That Richard Cohen hasn’t really been much of a fan of that idea might explain his attack on the very concept of exceptionalism.

    beer 'n pretzels (3d1d61)

  26. Progs such as Cohen do not believe in Liberty & Freedom…
    those are subversive concepts.

    AD-RtR/OS! (bb0766)

  27. Have you ever met people such as you describe? I have not.

    In real life, no, thank G-d. But I’ve met them in cyberspace. They really do exist. It’s the mindset that produces, for example, Judge Moore of Alabama, and then takes it a step further.

    On rereading my comment, I see I could have been clearer. What I meant is that a subset of evangelical/fundamentalist Christians believe this, not all of them.

    But look here (bolding by me)

    Preamble

    The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

    This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.

    The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

    The Constitution of these United States provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” The Constitution Party supports the original intent of this language. Therefore, the Constitution Party calls on all those who love liberty and value their inherent rights to join with us in the pursuit of these goals and in the restoration of these founding principles.

    The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are Constitutionally elected by the citizens. In such a Republic all Life, Liberty and Property are protected because law rules.

    To be fair to them,they want the US to become what used to be called isolationist in foreign affairs, and most of their platform is strictly secular, anti-big government. But they can’t keep G-d out of it altogether:

    We particularly support all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

    We commend Former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court for his defense of the display of the Ten Commandments, and condemn those who persecuted him and removed him from office for his morally and legally just stand.

    On an individual level evangelical/”fundamentalist” Christians in America are more interested in proselytizing than anything else by a large margin

    Actually, all of the evangelical/fundamentalist Christians I know in the real world (there’s a lot of them) are far more interested in getting me to agree about the evil of abortion than having my soul saved. I have been witnessed to from time to time, but never with the frequency to which people try to discover and possibly change my views on abortion. which is why

    This probably would offend kishnevi too for whatever reason

    is untrue. I’ve never been offended–although sometimes bored if they keep it too long.

    (And just to be clear, discussions on abortion don’t offend me, either.)

    kishnevi (38f6c3)

  28. A good rule of thumb when facing an ethical dilemma is to see what Richard Cohen advises, and do the opposite.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  29. Ho hum. Another attack on Christianity (and the Judeo-Christian tradition). First you set up the Strawman and decide what his beliefs are. Then you proceed to demolish them, and him, with your canned arguments.
    My own belief is that American Exceptionalism, as a concept and as the thing itself, is indeed an outgrowth of the afore mentioned tradition. Yes, the lazy will use the concept to boast; to make themselves feel superior. It is the striving to fulfill the ideals of the concept that lead to the thing itself. Fairness, Justice, the rejection of Corruption, and the belief in the Rights of the Individual are but some of these ideals. This striving has lead to the creation of one of the most successful nations in history. No nation of men can ever be be perfect. The road has not always been straight. But the utility of the concept has, I believe, been proven out through our course since our inception as a nation.

    Michael Ordonez (71c22d)

  30. The point of Cohen’s exercise, is to identify American exceptionalism with slavery, and hence
    discrediting the former,

    narciso lopez (79ddc3)

  31. Richard Cohen has sexually transmitted dumbarsery.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  32. “Actually, all of the evangelical/fundamentalist Christians I know in the real world (there’s a lot of them) are far more interested in getting me to agree about the evil of abortion than having my soul saved.”

    kishnevi – That is proselytizing to accept their view. Doh.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. Sad to say, this insanity is typical of Cohen.

    Nate Whilk (d9e903)

  34. “The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States.”

    kishnevi – In a different country, the same party would have said the same thing. This is not the evidence you seek. Again, you misinterpret things you do not understand.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  35. not even a Jesus douche like Santorum is bibble babbling about school prayer anymores

    And find me anyone remotely relevant who is.

    I think school prayer’s mostly just a dirty socialist WaPo National Soros Radio Mew York Times journalistic shibboleth.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  36. “Jesus douche”?

    My wife’s family know’s Rick, he’s more than a standup guy, Happy – he’s the kind of person you would want at your table complimenting your cupcake…

    And he would almost mean it

    EricPWJohnson (c0a978)

  37. Therein lies the danger of American exceptionalism. It discourages compromise, for what God has made exceptional, man must not alter.

    Those who understand neither politics nor religion should refrain from commenting on them.

    Jim S. (505c3e)

  38. “There hasn’t been a genuinely free, republican form of government in most of history for most of the world. That’s the answer. We have it. That’s American exceptionalism. We’re the first. That’s why those of us who love the Constitution genuinely love it. You can call it a “fetish,” I don’t care. It’s why we genuinely love it. It is that special. There’s only one earth, and there’s only one chance we all have to live on it.”

    Someone who knows what Richard Cohen doesn’t.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (03f08c)

  39. kishnevi – That is proselytizing to accept their view. Doh.
    Proselytizing to accept their view of abortion, which they do.
    As opposed to proselytizing to accept their view of Jesus, which in general they don’t.
    Comment by daleyrocks — 5/10/2011 @ 10:33 pm
    You did read the rest of it, didn’t you? About our law being based on Biblical jurisprudence, etc.?
    My point is not that such people are not found in other countries. My point is that such people exist here, in the USA: the people, for example, who claim the Founders were almost all believing Christians, etc, and some of them take it to greater lengths. Obviously, the Constitution Party doesn’t take it to those lengths. But some do, and there’s no reason for you to say they don’t exist.

    kishnevi (79f7e6)

  40. Well, kishnevi, the US was founded on generally Christian principles, so there is that.

    There’s also the fact that most of the truly important concepts of “human rights” that are so important to people (and which people now want to separate from religion) are specifically and uniquely Christian. That may be why people talk about Biblical principles.

    For example, the idea of a “secular space” in government was unknown until Jesus said “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” The whole idea of a separate secular space that is not required to be religious was created by Christianity.

    Also, the idea that “all men are created equal” is specifically and uniquely Christian. Other societies, even other modern societies like Britain, essentially have groups or classes of people who are not really equal with everyone else. Why should those in power accept the proposition that they are equal with people without power? Because when the leaders accept Christianity, they must accept this lowering of their own status.

    And finally, there’s “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” which would seem to indicate to me that everyone at the meeting agreed on language that is at the very least Deist. And since so much of what is contained in the document is found in Christianity and nowhere else, you can draw your own conclusions about what kind of Deity they would have to be talking about for that to make sense.

    Rob (1858aa)

  41. Another Christian bashing article with the straw man of Christian endorsed slavery.There is something about white non-Christians that juist oozes hatred for Christanity. Then they throw in the Inquisition and Crusades to further enhance their position. They then really try a stretch with tying the holacoust with Christian indifference ( Germany was a Christian state). If this blatant hatred was against islam ,they would be fearful of their lives. but they know Christians don’t behave that way so we are easy targets. But its time we did something and that is – pray for them and be on guard to vote against legislature that is against the teaching of God.

    Otto (06b4f8)

  42. …but the key thing to understand is that their devotion to slavery had nothing to do with faith.

    I think that goes too far.

    No, I don’t think their religious beliefs compelled Southerners to be slaveholders, but you can’t totally divorce their faith as a rationalization for the “peculiar institution” (and indeed, you don’t a few sentences back). Like the abolitionists, those who supported slavery found justification for it in the Bible which, as you know, is chock full of it.

    The Clueless Conservative (5576bf)

  43. The abolitionist movement, from Wilberforce over in Britain, to the leading figures in the North, arose out of religion, not self interest.

    narciso lopez (79ddc3)

  44. For example, the idea of a “secular space” in government was unknown until Jesus said “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” The whole idea of a separate secular space that is not required to be religious was created by Christianity.

    Umm, let’s just say that it took a good deal of time for Christian society to put that into action, and people still have trouble with it today, both in and out of Christianity. The idea itself was principally advocated in Great Britain by the Enlightenment thinkers, but if you think separation of church and state is a good idea, then you ought to go and thank a Baptist the next time you meet them. The first groups to fight for the idea were the churches which became what we know as the Baptist denomination–which is ironic, given how modern Baptist churches are often identified, fairly or unfairly, as the ones who are trying to diminish that separation.

    Also, the idea that “all men are created equal” is specifically and uniquely Christian. Other societies, even other modern societies like Britain, essentially have groups or classes of people who are not really equal with everyone else. Why should those in power accept the proposition that they are equal with people without power? Because when the leaders accept Christianity, they must accept this lowering of their own status.

    Again, if you are correct, you’d have to admit it took them quite a while to put the idea into practice. Britain for example was a vigorously Christian country all the way through the first part of the 20th century, and the class system was very much alive for all that time. In fact, the decline of Christianity in the UK and the decline of the class system happened during roughly the same time–although I don’t think one caused the other, and the decline is not total. There still is an Established Church in England, after all, with lords and ladies and monarch and all.
    which would seem to indicate to me that everyone at the meeting agreed on language that is at the very least Deist.
    Not necessarily. Atheism was so far out of the mainstream in that era that it required some bravery to publicly acknowledge it, and among the consequences would be (if someone chose to pursue the issue) being deemed ineligible to hold public office in most, if not all, of the thirteen States. Thomas Paine is probably the best known example of such an atheist. The best strategy for an atheist in publc life at that time was probably to politely evade the issue, and not make a fuss about language such as that in the DOI.

    Comment by narciso lopez — 5/11/2011 @ 8:18 am

    I don’t think anyone here disagrees with that. The question is what happened on the pro-slavery side: the pro-slavery forces used religion to justify their belief in slavery. To what degree was that merely taking advantage of existing beliefs to buttress their argument, and to what degree it was, instead, expression of their actual beliefs which, if it did not motivate, their belief in slavery, at least reinforced it?

    kishnevi (79f7e6)

  45. “the idea of America as a special place with a special people called to a special mission[.]”

    And America’s special mission would be…?

    Does the duck drop down with the $100 bill when you use the secret word?

    Does uttering the phrase “American exceptionalism” wipe out all of our problems like some Harry Potter incantation?

    Dick Cheney (90eb9c)

  46. I don’t want to hear Bachmann talking about American exceptionalism either. She’s proved herself time and again ignorant of early American history, though willing to allude to it and pronounce on it foolishly and embarrassingly incorrectly. That indicates to me she doesn’t much care about it if nothing else, and I’d prefer to hear about it from someone who does enough to know it.

    SarahW (af7312)

  47. “But some do, and there’s no reason for you to say they don’t exist.”

    kishnevi – That’s not what I said, but it is the logical conclusion. I said I had not met any of the type of people you had described. You acknowledged you had not either. You have not presented any evidence that they exist, except in cyberspace, in coversations only with you.

    “What I meant is that a subset of evangelical/fundamentalist Christians believe this, not all of them.”

    kishnevi – First, the Constitution Party is not a subset of a religion. It is a small political party (approx. 500,000 registered voters) with the platform you outlined. Finding a couple of people who do not fit the description in the platform as you attempted to do does not refute the overall historical accuracy of its statements and is mere pettifoggery on your part. With respect to your comments on the U.K., are you suggesting we need a class system here for consistency? What is your point?

    Do you have something against the Baptists or do you have an actual point to make?

    “I’ve never been offended–although sometimes bored if they keep it too long.”

    kishnevi – Since you’ve claimed to get offended by people wishing you Merry Christmas, that last statement just does not ring true.

    You seem to live with a hatred/fear/ bigotry against evangelical/fundamental Christians, religious right, Christianity, that pops up on a regular basis on this blog. I see a lot of it coming from ignorance and misunderstanding, but I’m not sure where the rest stems from.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. Bachmann is not someone what appreciates that less is more.

    Shhhht. Nononono sweetie.

    Let’s have some quiet time.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  49. Heck, why didn’t Cohen take his Wayback Machine even farther?

    “If only the Founding Fathers had compromised with King George, all those Revolutionary War deaths would have been avoided and our messed-up America would never have existed.”

    wormme (3121a0)

  50. Cohen also seems to forget or can’t reconcile with his theory, that the abolitionist movement was led from the pulpits in this country and that many a southern preacher was run out of town for preaching against slavery.

    Paul Gross (1caaa5)

  51. I keep on unintentionally double posting.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  52. I don’t want to hear Bachmann talking about American exceptionalism either. She’s proved herself time and again ignorant of early American history, though willing to allude to it and pronounce on it foolishly and embarrassingly incorrectly.

    Really? When has she done so?

    (And don’t try telling me about her confusing Lexington NH with Lexington MA. That’s a question of geography, not of history, and it’s a bit of geographic trivia that she had no reason to know. From Minnesota the distance between the two is nothing; it’s like someone from outside New York confusing Long Island with Long Island City, or Manhattan with Manhattan Beach.)

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  53. kishnevi – Since you’ve claimed to get offended by people wishing you Merry Christmas

    No, he hasn’t.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  54. “No, he hasn’t.”

    Milhouse – So my paraphrase is off? He just thinks people who wish him Merry Christmas are idiots and keeps his offense internal? The following two comments seem a little in conflict:

    Comment by Mike K — 4/11/2011 @ 5:45 pm

    (Speaking from experience)
    They do it even when you’re wearing a yarmulke with Hebrew writing on it….

    The only possible response is to smile and thank them. Speculation on their schmedrik quotient must remain strictly internal, and is often unwarranted. They mean well, they simply have never apparently thought to stop and wonder if perhaps some people would prefer not to be wished Merry Christmas and Happy Easter.

    Comment by kishnevi — 4/11/2011 @ 5:55 pm
    ___________________________________________

    When I wish someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter or whatever, I am not proselytizing. But your mileage may vary. I’m sorry that someone wishing you well, in the context of their own faith, is mildly insulting.

    It’s not insulting, at least for me. It’s just that most of the time these people extend their holiday wishes under the belief (apparently) that everyone celebrates (or should celebrate) the holiday. The idea that some people don’t seems to have never entered their brain (or whatever entity they have in substitution thereof).

    There are some people who give these wishes because they want to share their feelings of joy and goodness with everyone, but demonstrate the knowledge that it’s their holiday and not mine. Those people I have no problem with………..

    Comment by kishnevi — 4/11/2011 @ 6:47 pm

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  55. Milhouse – Annoy versus Offend?:

    —they are being polite and wishing you well during a season that they believe should bring out the best in one another

    Yes. But some people understand enough to say “Happy Holidays”. Which is what I tell people at those times of the year (or, more often, “Enjoy your holidays”). And people who say it in a way that means “I hope you enjoy this holiday even if it’s not a holiday you personally celebrate” or who say it in a situation where it’s not obvious that I’m Jewish–they don’t annoy me. It’s the ones who seem to think that it is a holiday I celebrate that annoy me. And it doesn’t take anything more than a superficial knowledge of Judaism to know that Jews don’t celebrate Christmas–which is why I think it’s fair to call those people stupid. Apologies if I offend with that.

    Comment by kishnevi — 4/11/2011 @ 9:26 pm

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  56. You seem to live with a hatred/fear/ bigotry against evangelical/fundamental Christians, religious right, Christianity, that pops up on a regular basis on this blog. I see a lot of it coming from ignorance and misunderstanding, but I’m not sure where the rest stems from.

    It all stems from you imagination, Daley. You don’t like the fact that some people who call themselves Christian have an unreasonable view about the Divine Will regarding this country? You don’t like the fact that many people over the centuries who called themselves Christian killed Jews solely because they (the victims) were Jewish, and those killings did not stop until the middle of the 20th century? Well, I don’t blame you: that’s the response an intelligent believing Christian would make. But they are facts, and they remain facts whether or not you like them, and pointing them out in their appropriate context is not bigotry.

    So let me be perfectly clear (to quote the words of a famous Republican): I have no dislike, ill will or bad opinion of Christianity or any of its forms. Sometimes Christians do things that annoy me. But to be annoyed is not to be offended or insulted. Thinking people are idiots does mean that I am offended or insulted by them. If you see bigotry in my comments–well, it’s not there.
    Beyond that, I won’t go, except for this:
    Do you have something against the Baptists or do you have an actual point to make?
    Actually, I was praising Baptists. Separation of Church and State was first pushed by the groups and the churches which were the colonial era predecessors of the modern Baptist denominations. That’s something a lot of people don’t realize. Given how the modern Baptiat churches are often pictured (please note the phrasing–I’m not saying they actually are) to be in the forefront of trying to roll back that separation, it’s ironic. But that’s why I said that if you like the idea of church state separation you should go and thank a Baptist, because without their colonial forerunners, it might never have come into being.

    kishnevi (bad70e)

  57. Yeah but let’s defend islam’s right to kill jews……………..referring to people in general.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  58. “It all stems from you imagination, Daley. You don’t like the fact that some people who call themselves Christian have an unreasonable view about the Divine Will regarding this country?”

    kishnevi – Imagination? I think not, going back to your harangues about how Jews were treated better under Muslim rule in Spain than under Christianity based on some revisionist history made your position clear.

    I am interested in learning more about this unreasonable view of Divine Will you mention.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. Daley, the quotes you just supplied show Kish saying the exact opposite of what you claimed he had said. They show him not being offended when people show their ignorance or obliviousness by wishing a happy holiday to someone who clearly doesn’t observe it. And he’s right; it’s not offensive, it’s just a bit clueless.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  60. Oh, and it takes no revisionist history to make the very obvious statement that, overall, “Jews were treated better under Muslim rule in Spain than under Christianity”. Under Islam there were some bad times for Jews in Spain, but also lots of good times; under Xianity there was nothing but bad times and worse. Overall, the Jewish experience in Christendom and Dar al Islam were about the same, taking the good with the bad; but in Spain the record is very much on one side. From the Jewish point of view there can be no question that the Reconquista was a Very Bad Thing.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  61. kishnevi – Imagination? I think not, going back to your harangues about how Jews were treated better under Muslim rule in Spain than under Christianity based on some revisionist history made your position clear.

    It’s not revisionist history, it’s fact It’s a well known fact. Jews were treated better in general by the Muslims than by the Christians of the medieval era. Anti-semitism is something Muslims learned from Christians. Active persecution of Jews in Muslim Spain was essentially confined to one relatively short period under the Almohads. Active persecution of Jews in Christian Spain was constant and often murderous, both under the Visigoths that ruled Spain before the Muslim conquest and under the medieval Christian kingdoms that were established during the Christian Reconquest, and culminated first in the great Expulsion of 1492–one of many expulsion orders given in Christian Europe, including England and France–and then in the Inquisition’s prosecutions of Jewish converts and their descendants (the “New Christians”), and the restrictions placed on New Christians which were essentially racist in character, which had no parallel in any Muslim country.

    That you can’t accept the fact that people who called themselves Christians [you see--I'm even willing to stipulate that they were not Christians in the sense that modern Protestant culture uses the term, to mean someone who is "born again" ]did evil things in the name of Christ says a great deal about you.

    kishnevi (bad70e)

  62. Jews were treated better in general by the Muslims than by the Christians of the medieval era. Anti-semitism is something Muslims learned from Christians.

    Kish, I don’t believe that is true. It’s certainly not true that Moslems learned antisemitism from Xians; Mohammed, for one, didn’t learn it from anyone. And if you examine the entire record of the Jewish experience in Xendom versus that in Dar-al-Islam, you will probably not find much to pick and choose between them. There were good and bad times in each. But if we restrict ourselves to Spain, then what you say is true. There were no good times for Jews in Xian Spain; only bad times and worse times.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  63. “It all stems from you imagination, Daley. You don’t like the fact that some people who call themselves Christian have an unreasonable view about the Divine Will regarding this country? You don’t like the fact that many people over the centuries who called themselves Christian killed Jews solely because they (the victims) were Jewish, and those killings did not stop until the middle of the 20th century?”

    kishnevi – Let’s rehash. As Milhouse points out, you were thoroughly corrected on your misimpressions of the treatment of Jews in Muslim Spain, although you put up hard fight. It suggested your information sources were incredibly biased.

    With respect to treatment of Jews in other centuries by other people, I don’t think anybody “likes” that, unless they are Muslim, but facts can’t be denied.

    What I actually object to most is your dishonest creation of cartoon characterizations of the beliefs and behaviors of members of various Christian faiths such as you did on this thread. Whether you do this out of ignorance/fear/bigotry does not matter to me, it is a regular feature of your commenting and of the left, to create a bogeymen of the “evangelical/fundamental right” or “religious right.” The left has been doing it for at least 25 years. It’s the same kind of bigotry and stigmatization as calling Tea Partiers racist with no knowledge or understanding.

    I don’t think it would serve your interests for me to pull up examples of your comments evidencing such behavior, so I will leave it here.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  64. “Daley, the quotes you just supplied show Kish saying the exact opposite of what you claimed he had said.”

    Milhouse – I disagree. Go back and read that thread.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  65. As Milhouse points out, you were thoroughly corrected on your misimpressions of the treatment of Jews in Muslim Spain, although you put up hard fight. It suggested your information sources were incredibly biased.

    No, he wasn’t. He was 100% right about Spain, and I’ve said so at least twice in this thread alone. Can’t you read?

    Milhouse – I disagree. Go back and read that thread.

    I don’t need to go back to that thread, because I’m referring to the quotes you provided here in this thread. They prove the exact opposite of your claims.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  66. @daley
    you are witnessing 2 Christian haters, not bashers but haters. Make no mistake Milhouse is one also. They use these strawmen ad nauseum , things that happen centuries ago( with inaccuries thrown in) with no relevance today to try and marginalize Christians and keep them quiet.Then the phony outrage of being greeted with a Merry Christmas is just an excuse to vent their anger.
    In these modern times kish and Milhouse are the bigots, they are the ones who practice religious persecution. I can just see that hate, hate, hate and hate in their words and hearts.
    It’s times like these that i must remember to see kish and Milhouse through a reflective mirror and pray that Jesus forgive me for my sins as well as for theirs.

    Otto (06b4f8)

  67. “I don’t need to go back to that thread, because I’m referring to the quotes you provided here in this thread.”

    Milhouse – Suit yourself. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    “No, he wasn’t. He was 100% right about Spain, and I’ve said so at least twice in this thread alone.”

    Milhouse – My mistake, I thought your statement “Kish, I don’t believe that is true.” applied to Spain under Muslim rule. Would you agree with Kishnevi’s assertions that Muslim rule in Spain was like allowed something like the Renaissance or some sh*t for Spanish Jewry? It sure does not sound like it, but it does sound like you two are both reading from the same f*cked up texts.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. Milhouse – For your edification, here is Merriam-Webster on the word annoyed:

    annoyed
    adjective

    subjected to and reacting with irritation

    Synonyms aggravated, bothered, exasperated, galled, irked, irritated, narked [British], peeved, put out, scunnered [chiefly Scottish], teed off, vexed

    Related Words displeased, distressed, disturbed, perturbed, troubled, upset; angered, angry, indignant, inflamed (also enflamed), infuriated, irate, ireful, mad, outraged, rankled, riled, roiled, shirty [chiefly British], sore, steaming; bristly, cross, disapproving, huffy, piqued, resentful; bearish, bilious, cantankerous, choleric, churlish, crabby, cranky, dyspeptic, fretful, fussy, grouchy, grumpy, ill-humored, irascible, irritable, peevish, petulant, snappish, snuffy, testy, touchy; badgered, bedeviled, frustrated, haggled, harassed, harried, hassled, inconvenienced, persecuted, pestered, pinpricked, plagued, provoked, tested, tormented, tortured, tried

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  69. Milhouse, thank you for your attempt to help, but there are certain things on which daley seems immovable.

    Daley–to be annoyed is not to be offended and not to be insulted. So you are wrong on that. And you are wrong on your history and your claim what I say about what SOME christians do or did is inaccurate or bigoted.

    Otto–People who said they were Christians and who said they were acting in the name of Christ killed Jews well into the 20th century, and they helped theNazis killed Jews along with that, and people are yet alive who witnessed that–not centuries ago. And they are quite relevant. Other people look at Christians complaining about Muslim bigotry, and remember the past, both recent and remote, and find the complaints that much less credible.

    For the rest, “argue not with a fool in his folly”.

    kishnevi (9ee373)

  70. Would you agree with Kishnevi’s assertions that Muslim rule in Spain was like allowed something like the Renaissance or some sh*t for Spanish Jewry?

    Um, yes, that is exactly what happened.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  71. My mistake, I thought your statement “Kish, I don’t believe that is true.” applied to Spain under Muslim rule.

    Why on earth would you think that, when I quoted exactly what it applied to? And what part of “But if we restrict ourselves to Spain, then what you say is true” did you not understand?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  72. Just to be 100% clear, without any possibility of misunderstanding: What Kish wrote about Spain is true; his mistake was in assuming that this was typical. In Spain Jews had both very good and rather bad times under Moslem rule, but only very bad and much worse times under Xian rule. This is an indisputable fact. But elsewhere in Dar-al-Islam Jews have had bad times to rival anything we’ve suffered in Christendom, while in Xendom we’ve had good times to match anything we’ve enjoyed in Dar-al-Islam. Overall, I don’t know which has been worse, or whether they come out even.

    (Note that I do not count the Holocaust as having happened in Xendom, or as being directly its fault. Germany was post-Xian, and the various churches were powerless to do anything about it. Xianity bears a lot of indirect blame, and many Xians did willingly collaborate in it, but the direct blame falls elsewhere. Xians can validly see it as an object lesson in what happens when people abandon Xianity for socialism.)

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  73. “but there are certain things on which daley seems immovable.”

    kishnevi – I just dislike dishonesty and will continue to dispute what you say when you make up stuff about the beliefs and knowledge of Christians. It is just that simple.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  74. “What Kish wrote about Spain is true; his mistake was in assuming that this was typical.”

    Milhouse – I have absolutely zero faith you went back to read what kishnevi read wrote on the thread in question given your gasbaggery about being correct all the time. Just to be 100% clear, my assertions were specifically about what kishnevi wrote and the bigotry contained therein. If you have not read his comments, my suggestion is not to jump to conclusions or his defense. You may have your own opinions, but those are outside the realm of my comments just to be 100% clear.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  75. F@cking echo chamber.

    JD (d48c3b)

  76. The persecution of jews in Reconquista Spain was in part because they were seen as sympathetic and even allied to the moslems who had just been defeated.

    Nazi Party in Germany was not christian in nature, althought as Milhouse and kishnevi relate, there were plenty of nominal christians in the hierarchy. The Nazi party even attempted for a period to inculcate a counter to christianity in a faux revival of German “paganism”. It was not very successful.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  77. “Daley–to be annoyed is not to be offended and not to be insulted.”

    kishnevi – Did I not acknowledge that my paraphrasing was off after I dug up the actual quotes in #55 & 56? Readers of the thread reacted strongly to your comments.

    aunursa was the commenter who said she was offended. Not you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  78. JD – Badge licking authoritarian racist.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  79. Comment by SPQR — 5/12/2011 @ 4:46 pm
    Actually, the question of Christian involvement with the Holocaust is pertinent not to Germany itself but mostly to the local collaborators in Eastern Europe, especially with the movements that might be best described as Christian nationalist in orientation. And it certainly was not Nazism which prompted Poles to riot and in some cases kill some of the few surviving Jews who returned to Poland after the Nazi defeat (in the years 1947-48, IIRC)

    Your point is true about Spain, but many other factors entered into it; and it’s balanced off by the fact that the Jews had co-operated with the Muslem invasions at the start of the Muslim era because of the Visigothic persecutions.

    I just dislike dishonesty and will continue to dispute what you say when you make up stuff about the beliefs and knowledge of Christians. It is just that simple.

    Daley, I will say this once now: I don’t make up things about Christianity and Christians. I cite facts, usually well known ones. Your complaints reveal not any bigotry in me, but much ignorance in you. It’s as simple as that.

    And with that out of the way, I will make this offer: come up with one respectable source(ie, meets academic standards, etc.) that gives evidence that Jews in Muslim Spain were worse off, or at least no better off than they were under Christian rule in the Reconquista era, and I will unreservedly apologize.

    kishnevi (60aae7)

  80. bin Laden shot dead
    in Undaroos® and jammies
    that justice or what

    ColonelHaiku (6b1d0e)

  81. kish- phony charge re Holacaust and tying it to Christians. No Christian has ever condoned Hitler’s act and there is nothing in Christian doctrine that condones that behaviour. God is no respecter of people is well known Christian doctrine and the fact that in this world there are millions of Christians of all races just shows how false that charge is.One day visit Brooklyn Tabernacle Church and then Jews for Jesus center, then the Chinese Church in CT and then the Korean Church in Great Neck, etc etc. to see how Christianity works.
    Hatred and bigotry will blind a person from seeing things as they truly are.
    Milhouse – Come out , come out where ever you are.
    Your speaking in tongues schtick just doesn’t hack it.
    Both of you need to be exposed for your vile distortion of Christianity.

    Otto (06b4f8)

  82. “Daley, I will say this once now: I don’t make up things about Christianity and Christians. I cite facts, usually well known ones.”

    kishnevi – Your assertions earlier in this thread show the exact opposite. You are not off to a good start defending that statement.

    Would you like to talk about free will and the Dutch Reform Church?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  83. Comment by daleyrocks — 5/12/2011 @ 10:12 pm
    There are such people. Just because you would rather they not exist, does not mean they do.

    As for the Dutch Reformed Church:

    While the Dutch Reformed Church was based in the Netherlands, other churches holding similar theological views were founded in France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, England, and Scotland. The theology and practice of the Dutch Reformed Church, and its sister churches in the countries named, were based on the teachings of John Calvin and the many other Reformers of his time.

    Calvin’s teachings on free will and predestination are not obscure; anyone who does not know about them has no right to complain that someone else is ignorant about Christianity. So you ought to realize that a church that bases its doctrines on the teachings of Calvin teaches the concept of predestination and related matters.

    kishnevi (a6ffde)


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