Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ron Paul on Separation of Church and State

I'm not a supporter of Ron Paul. I find him far too much of a social conservative to be worthy of support. And he's a bit crazed with loony conspiracy theories. He likes to pride himself on being a Constitutionalist and praises the Founders for their policies.

But how well does he know the Constitution? He wrote:
The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.
Let us put aside for a second his opposition to "rigid separation between church and state" and concentrate, not on Constitutional theory, but on Constitutional facts. Mr. Paul claims that the Constitution is "replete with references to God". Now replete means abundantly supplied or filled. So if the Constitution is abundantly filled with references to God how many are there? Let's get precise. How many times is God mentioned in the Constitution?

Zero! And if you don't believe me you can go check Ron Paul's own congressional website where he has a copy of the text. Go to the page and read it yourself. It is worth reading now and then. But if you don't have time do a page search for "God" and see all the abundant references on your own. All zero of them.

And what about the drafters of the Declaration of Independence? That would be Thomas Jefferson. Paul says he would be "aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion." Hostility? Didn't Jefferson actually say something about that? He said that the clergy, who opposed Jefferson strongly, "believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Eternal hostility to the schemes to promote state religion.

Jefferson had a lot to say about religion. Little of it would be liked by Ron Paul. And most of it sounds pretty hostile.
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
Jefferson said he was a Christian only in one sense, that he thought the moral teaching of Jesus made sense and in no other way. He did not think Jesus was a god, the son of god, or born of a virgin. He did not believe in prayer, divine revelation, the trinity or the resurrection. Jefferson took a razor to his own Bible and cut out of the New Testament every reference to the supernatural and divine. What was left has been called The Jefferson Bible.

But the fundamentalist Right is busy pushing a revisionist view of American history in order to fit with their theocratic agenda. And apparently Ron Paul is willing to help. But assuming he isn't then why the lie? Ron Paul has read the Constitution, he brags about his in depth study of the Constitution. He has the Constitution on his website. So why claim that it is filled with references to God when there is not a single mention of God anywhere in the document? He knows better.

PS: I know that the Ron Paul cult troll the internet looking for ways to boost him and cut down anyone who disagrees with St. Paul. For the record, I am a libertarian but one who does believe in separation of church and state. And I'd take Jefferson any day as president.

Labels:

62 Comments:

Blogger Ficus said...

I think that you have to take into consideration the point that he made during the June republican debate: that such matters are best left up to folks on a local level rather than blanket rules made on a federal level.

For example, in my hometown, there is a nativity scene on town-owned property. Both the scene and the property were donated to the town by a local church. The folks in town have no qualms with the nativity scene whatsoever; in fact, it's a rather classy attraction in an otherwise mundane small town during the holiday season.

A few years ago, there were some efforts, led by people who live out-of-town (and many of them out-of-state) to have the scene removed because it supposedly violated the separation of church and state clause of the Constitution.

Those of us in town found this to be completely absurd, that outsiders could tell us what we could and could not do with our public property, regardless of the fact that no one in town had an issue with it.

The problem ended up going away when the Supreme Court ruled on a similar challenge to a nativity scene in Florida (ruling that equal representation should be given to other religious scenery if others wish to erect monuments or whathaveyou).

While it worked out in the end, in my opinion, it never should have been an issue to begin with. Let local people make local decisions about local stuff.

I do not think that the framers of the Constitution, including Jefferson, would have had a problem with local people putting nativity scenes on public land, or local people praying prior to school events, or anything of this nature, so long as such things are agreeable to everyone on a local level.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger PleadTheTenth said...

Right..I take a practical view to candidates which is this: Sometimes there is a world of difference between what they believe on a certain issue and what they will/can do about it if elected. For instance, I am pretty much pro-choice, but I would have no problem voting for an otherwise appealing Mayoral candidate who was pro-life, because (s)he could do very little about that. With Ron Paul and his social conservatism, perhaps that is an undeniable fact. So is the fact that he proposes some very dramatic things, such as getting rid of 90% of the federal beauracracy. I don't want that to happen, but I like Paul anyway because we need that voice. Say he were eleceted, he could veto all he wants, but the congress could easily muster up veto-proof majorities to save the Dept. of Ed.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

The idea of “our public property” is an absurd one. It doesn’t belong to “us”. It belongs to the state and is maintained and funded through coercive taxation.

You seem to be saying that if the federal government infringes on the rights of people that is wrong. But if the local government does so it is just peachy.

Jefferson was quite clear when he said that no man should be compelled to support an opinion that he disagrees with. Public property is financed by all people. To use that property to promote a religious belief is to compel non-religious people to finance the propagation of that message.

The state must not prevent the private use of land to promote a religious viewpoint but neither should publicly funded land be turned over for that purpose.

You also neglect the main point I was making. Which is that while Paul says he is an expert on the Constitution he wrote a piece claiming the Constitution is filled with mentions of God when in fact there is not a single mention. He has read it, he brags about that. So why then tell the public the Constitution says things which it most clearly does not say? If another politician said the Constitution specified government welfare programs the Paul supporters would be up in arms accusing the man of lying (and he would be). When their own candidate claims content for the Constitution which simply does not exist they ignore it.

Pleadthetenth: Strictly speaking any president can be vetoed by the Congress. When you say “we need that voice” the question is which voice? The antigay, antiabortion, antiseparatoin of church and state voice? Is it the voice of the man who published in his own newletter some pretty racist sounding material? Is it the voice of the man who praises extremists like the John Birch Society? Is it the man who voted to spend billions to wall in America? Is it the man who says it is the job of government to defend traditional marriage?

What Paul is counting on is that people are so sick of the war that they will ignore all his other positions. As I see it being prowar is sufficient grounds to refuse to vote for a candidate but being antiwar is not a good enough reason to vote for a candidate. Paul is fairly good on economic issues in spite of some of his more crank opinions and obsessions. But he is horrid on civil liberties.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger Randall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Here is what Jefferson said:

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical."

I have deleted Randall who had nothing to say on the topic and merely posted a promotion for Ron Paul which he has posted on numerous other websites. This section is for comments directly related to this article.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger Bret Moore said...

Dear Godlesszone -

I'll give you two guesses as to which laws are easier for you to change: National / Federal laws, or Local laws.

Ergo, the choice is clear. Centralization will, and has, lead to tyranny. It is inevitable. Power corrupts. Decentralize and the fights are a lot easier for the little guys. It's that simple. This is, however, really a non issue. The critical question is, who is prepared to actually stop the war (on everything, all the time)? None of the others, not even the Democratic Congress for crying out loud. They are all traitors.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger Bret Moore said...

Oh and one more thing re: the "anti-gay, anti-blah, racist, etc" line of "reasoning." First of all, it matters nothing what the man's personal opinions are, so long as he is rigid about not forcing it on anyone else through government. I believe him when he says that. Second, who else are you going to pick? Hillary? Obama? Edwards? These are all deeply flawed people, even Kucinich. I won't even go into the republican side - they're just as bad if not worse.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger Bill said...

First, I would like you to cite the source of your Ron Paul quote, as it does not sound like him at all. I like RP because even though he has his own views, as he is entitled to, the one thing he has always stipulated is this: it is not the governments place to impose morals or values on the people. I actually believe you are mistaken here, and I am writing to discover the exact degree of your fault, is all.

Ron Paul understands better than most, I think, the grip which the fanatic believers in fairy tales here in America have on our government. Let us not delude ourselves: these type talk all kinds of religious gobbledee-gook, but their only real god is money, such as here:

What if our mercenaries turn on us? The Christian Rights War On America:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20070603_What_if_our_mercenaries_turn_on_us_.html

and here:

The Squalor At The Heart Of Abstinence
Meet the religious conservatives at the faith-based feeding trough who are getting rich controlling sex education in America.
www.thenation.com/doc/20070618/reynolds


Ron Paul is serious about taking America back from the foreignors who took control of our currency way back when, and to do that he must ride the edge of the sword, and that is never pleasant, especially for a thinking person among dolts. In this land where education has been used as mind control so that media can then push the various rage/pleasure/fear buttons, I think we not only have our work cut out for us, but must make the effort to really educate people as to what has been done to them in the name of some false God which is just a paper God afterall.

BG

Also please see:

http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm

which is a wonderful resource for the unignorant:

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Bret: Local laws are easier to change and easier to avoid. But that doesn’t mean local violation of rights is okay. It is just another version of the “love it or leave it” school of thought. I argue from a rights perspective and it is wrong to violate rights at ANY level of government.

Ron Paul said it is the government’s funciton to support “traditional marriage” so he is willing to have his view enforced by the state. He only bickers over at which level the coecion should be done. That may be Constitutionalism but it is not libertarianism.

And what you offer is also another version of the lesser of two evils. If I won’t support Ron Paul who will I support. So far, no one.

Bill: take one minute and google the quote. You’ll find it no problem on a site he writes for all the time. I prefer to promote that site but you can find it if you want to. I tested it and it came up the first time just using the first sentence. I have known Ron Paul since the mid 80s and this sounds just like him and it was him writing one of his regular pieces.

Exactly what \do you mean about “taking Ameican back fromt he foreigners who took control of our currency way back when”? It sounds like one of those loony conspiracy theories that slips into anti-Semitism so easily.

Again I will note that no one has asked why it is that Paul claimed the Constitution is filled with references to God when the word “God” or anything similar does not appear even one time. Even if he is right about separation of church and state (and he isn’t) you can see for yourself that the claim about God being mentioned throughout the Constitution is completely false.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger t3knomanser said...

GodlessZone: I agree with every concern you have about Paul. Offer me a better candidate, and I'll happily take that one over Paul.

Here's the thing- I don't like Ron Paul. I hate Ron Paul the least- by an overwhelming margin. This coul easily be confused with "liking" him, but that's pretty far from the truth.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

T3knomanser: Again that is merely a different version of the lesser of two evils theory. It is fine if you want to hold it. And I don't really argue on that point. If you still want to vote for the man go ahead -- if you get the chance. (I suspect that he'll be out of the race long before most states get a vote.).

My point is he is bad on separation of church and state and I don't think he's a libertarian. If you think that is still good enough for you go ahead. I also argue he is being dishonest to blatantly make a claimn about the Constitution that is false by anyone's investigation. If the man would tell a falsehood as obvious as that what other falsehoods less obvious might be happening?

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger Indioheathen said...

When Ron Paul ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket back in '88, his positions were far more libertarian than not. Back then he was anti-abortion as he is now, but didn't advocate overturning Roe vs Wade, and doesn't now.

Also during his '88 campaign, and as part of that campaign, he visited a gay bar in San Diego County.

If the Libertarian Party were a major party, Paul would probably be a Libertarian congressman today instead of a Republican one. Most of his contituents are well-aware of his libertarian leanings, and the majority of them obviously agree with him on most of them, otherwise they wouldn't keep re-electing him to office.

It's true that he's always had a foot in bed with right-wing conspiracy alarmists, and I suspect he has crawled into bed with them even further as a greater vote-getting strategy, and which is why he probably takes a compromising stance on abortion and same-sex marriage in advocating that individual states decide on their legality rather than the federal government.

And as far as his support of a Demopublican-built Berlin Wall along the U.S./Mexico border goes, it makes sense for him as a U.S. Representative to take that stance if the majority of his constituents in his long border district have indicated that they are in favor of it.

Ron Paul no doubt has compromised some of his libertarian principles on the campaign trail as a means of garnering more votes among non-Libertarians who have grown more anti-status quo Demopublican.

I don't live in the U.S. anymore and thus don't vote there anymore, even via absentee ballot. However, if I did, I would make an exception under the circumstances and vote for the lesser of two evils if there were a Hillary Clinton/John Edwards ticket (which is what for now I predict will happen) and a Fred Thompson/Ron Paul ticket (which is less likely to happen).

The bottom line is that to me overall, Ron Paul's current positions appear to be more libertarian than not, and from a pragmatic standpoint, libertarian-leaning voters that are registered Republican ought to vote for him in the primary as a lesser-of-THREE evils strategy.

We must also keep in mind that Paul was the only Republican member of Congress to vote against the invasion of Iraq.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Indioheathen: Ron Paul in a speech before the House, June 4, 2003 said that Roe v Wade was “a ruling that constitutionally should never have occurred.” He said the best solution to the abortion crisis was one not currently available -- which would be the Court overturning Roe v. Wade. He said he voted for a bill to ban “partial birth” abortions becuase it was “helping revers some of the impact of Roe v. Wade.” Also note this was not a state right’s argument he was making. He voted for a federal ban not for allowing the states to decide.

He said he is concerned “with the rights of unborn people” and “frustrated by our inability to overturn or significantly curtail Roe v. Wade.” He also said “we should focus our efforts on building support to overturn Roe v. Wade. Ideally this would be done in a fashion that allows states to again ban or regulate abortion.” I think we can say that yes, he does want to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In addition Paul did not merely argue that the states should decide on same sex marriage. He argued that the states ought to protect traditional marriage and said he was opposed to giving gays the same right to marry. So not only has he said the states should have the right to do this he says they ought to do this. He supported the Marriage Protection Act and, while not in Congress at the time, said he supported the Defense of Marriage Act as well. It is one thing to say leave it to the states but the states ought to respect individual liberty and quite another to say leave it to the states and they ought not respect individual liberty.

Nor shoud you neglect that he said the current policy of the military is “decent” toward gays. This allows the military to throw them out if it is discovered they are gay. He misquoted the policy claiming it had to do with “disruptive conduct” which, like his claim about God in the Constitution, is entirely fabricated. And when all the candidates were asked if anyone of them would allow gay people to serve in the military Paul kept silent.

I would not vote for a pro-war candidate myself. But I need more than merely being anti-war. Ron Paul, today is more like Pat Buchanan, than like the Ron Paul of 1988.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger ninpo10 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

I am printing Nipo10s main points below and deleting the very long post he made quoting lots of other people. His points are here and I shall reply.

ninpo10 said...
Does the fact that God is not mentioned in these documents mean that the foundation,its content and the original intent of the framers were not based on natural law? The documents do not mention the word secular, atheism or deism either, does that mean it is not based on a secular premise? And what about the statement in the constitution in the closing portion that states 'in the year of our Lord" What lord are they talking about?


The fact is they framed it exactly as someone who holds to a Christian/Biblical World-View would frame it. The Christian worldview holds that God is supreme to any government and the state is accountable to God (Romans 13). It would be fair to assume that the framers already assumed this premise and did not have to write was already common knowledge, which is no national church and the freedom to practice religion (Christianity) are foundational to liberty.

What was the world-view of the period of the framers? And how did the rest of the world see us?

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Ninpo: That God is not mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that the founders did not consider natural law valid. But natural law is called “natural” because it is not “supernatural”. It is a concept that predates Christianity and was found in Greece and was a concept specifically opposed by the early church. Thomas Aquinas reintroduced natural law concepts from Green and Roman literature. The Protestant Reformations again were basically anti-natural law. Apparently you think that natural law is another term for supernatural revelation. That is false. I’m sorry you are so woefully informed about the natural law tradition. As conservative jurist Walter Berns notes held to natural law specifically in opposition to a Christian concept. He said: “I would go further, the very idea of natural rights is incompatible with Christian doctrine, and by its formulators, was understood to be incompatible. “

You then clutch at straws to argue that since the term “the year of our Lord” was used. The Founders were not in the position to redo the Western calendar. This was a common way of stating the date and was used by all people of the time, including nonChristians in the US.

The Constitution does not hold God supreme. It says the people are supreme. It does not take a Christian world view at all and plenty of Christian scholars are honest enough to admit that. The Christian world view as outline in Romans was that God is supreme, that he appoints rulers, and that people are required to obey their rulers as they would obey God. The Constitution makes no mention of God in this equation and says the people are supreme and government is to obey them. That threw out the Christian nonsense that bound people to tyranny for centuries.

The frames of the US system were the authors of the Constitution and the Declaration, not the Mayflower compact written by a bunch of Calvinist authoritarianism who put the first socialist system into practice in the US (a common storehouse, that created the food crisis which was later solved by private property which is what Thanksgiving celebrates.)

Like most fundies you distort Jefferson. He did think the Bible should be read but he also thought it filled with nonsense as well as some good morality. That which he thought nonsense would be the parts you take most seriously.

Washington, Adams and Jefferson were all deists. None of them believed the Bible inspired or that Jesus was divine. None of them believed in prayer, miracles or divine revelation. They thought there was a “watchmaker” god who started the universe and then sits out what happens. They believe in “religion” in the sense of a system of moral values not a system of supernatural beliefs.

Deists did think there was a deity but Jesus was not him. And Jehovah was a monster. That was their view.

You quote Franklin speaking in very general Deistic terms (he was a deist himself) and mentioning that he suggested praying at the Constitutional convention. He did, five weeks into the process. The suggestion was rejected! Never once did the session open with prayer. And Christians of the time condemned the Constitution as godless. The fundamentalist minister Timothy Dwight, alive at the time, said: “The nation has offended Providence. We formed our Constitution without any acknowledgement of God; without any recognition of His mercies to us, as a people, of His government, or even of His existence. The Convention, by which it was formed, never asked even once, His direction, or His blessings, upon their labours. Thus we commenced our national existence under the present system, without God.”

As John Adams wrote: “The United States of America” was founded on “the simple principle of nature” without superstition by men who never “pretended... [to have} had interviews with the gods or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven” and was contrived “merely by the use of reason and the senses.”. It was “founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery.” Under Washington the US Senate wrote the Treaty of Tripoli (signed in effect by Adams) which said “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Rev. Jedediah Morse (1798) attacked the Founding Fathers saying “The existence of God is bolding denied. Atheism and materialism are systematically professed. Reason and Nature are deified and adored. The Christian religion, and its divine and blessed Author, are not only disbelieved, rejected and condemned bu even abhorred...”

Right-wing Christianist Gary North lamented the Founding saying: “To put it another way, why were the lawyers in charge of the Convention and the pastors absent? Why were the pamphlet debates of 1787-88 conducted in terms of Roman historical examples and not biblical historical examples? Why was there never any appeal to specific biblical laws, but endless appeals to natural law? Why were the symbols adopted by the Continental Congress, the Convention and the post-War nation systematically non-Christian? Why, if the Constitution is Christian, is the name of Jesus Christ missing?” His answer to all these questions was because the US was not founded by Christians.

June 16, 2007

 
Blogger Publius II said...

NGZ is correct in saying that this was not intended to be a nation of Christianity. Many people who call themselves Christians (of which fact it is not for me to debate), have claimed and claimed and claimed that the U.S. is a "Christian Nation." This is completely and utterly false.

The fact that there certainly WAS a strong influence in a few of the men who were instrumental in the Founding of this country that was decidedly biblical (Adams, for example), even Adams recognized the need for neutrality on matters of religion, when it comes to law.

Why is this even an argument? There simply and PLAINLY shall be no law passed by Congress respecting religion - of ANY kind! People are to be left alone by the state in matters of religion. It doesn't get any plainer than that.

June 17, 2007

 
Blogger Ethereal said...

Oh, My birthday is tommorow (06/18) and I be twenty-five. So you all have a good day.

Robert

June 17, 2007

 
Blogger Ethereal said...

I am not a supporter of Mr Paul or any other politician. They all joined together as criminal gang that want power of people.

It is insanity to constantly vote either republican or democrat to expect a different result, when in reality, they all seek power and are criminal psychopaths.

Whoever has the final say about your life, liberty, and/or fruit of your labor, is the true owner, period.


Robert

June 17, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

First, Robert, Happy Birthday. Twenty-five! Still a baby. I remember 25. Vaguely.

Publius, I appreciate the confirmation, in spite of our religious differences. But I’m perplexed by your reference to Adams. I assume you mean John. John Quincy would be a little later to consider a founding father. If I read you correctly you are saying John Adams was one of the few men who was “decidedly biblical”.

He and Jefferson saw pretty much eye to eye on the matter of religion though they differed considerably on some matters of politics. Adams was critical of orthodox Christianity and particularly critical of Calvinism and Catholicism. He called god “an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blapshemy [the incarnation of Christ] is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world.” He was raised a Congregationalist but rejected the inspiration of the Bible, the divinity of Jesus, the trinty, etc. He then became a Unitarian. Wife Abigal was the daughter of a deistic type minister who rejected original sin, divinity of Jesus, etc and who preached reason and morality. Much of what we know about Jefferson’s views on Christianity are derived from the correspondence between him and Adams -- both were extremely critical in private.

June 17, 2007

 
Blogger Publius II said...

My apologies. I was thinking James Madison, not John Adams.

Adams (both Quincy and John) were Unitarians.

June 18, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

James Madison! On what do you base your opinion that he was a Biblical Christian?

Of all the founders Madison was the most silent on his own religious beliefs though he was an absolutist on the “total separation of church and state” as he put it. We don’t have much to go on actually but we do have some hints.

Rev. Alexander Balmaine was the minister who performed Madison’s marriage. Balmaine wrote of Madison: “His religious feeling, however, seems to have been short-lived. His political associations were those of infidel principles, of whom there were many in his day, if they did not actually change his creed, yet subjected him to a general suspicion of it.” Bishop William Mead of Virginia wrote of Madison: “our conversation took such a turn --though not designed on my part-- as to call forth some expressions and arguments which left the impression on my mind that his creed was not strictly regulated by the Bible.” And one participant in a dinner with Madison said: “He pretty distinctly intimated to me his own regard for the Unitarian doctrines.” (See Irving Brant’s biography of Madison.)

And while Madison made reference to “Nature’s God” and even “The Great Spirit” he left out references to Jesus Christ. So he avoided orthodox Christian terms prefering the terminology of deism.

One year after graduating from Princeton he wrote a friend suggesting they become “fervent advocates in the cause of Christ” but as Blamaine noted this was “short-lived” and from that point on his writings or speeches never mentioned Christ. He, like the deists, said Christianity was the best religion but did he mean it the same way the deists meant it? If so it is not what you would call Christianity. It is the sort of Christianity we find in the Jefferson Bible, devoid of the supernatural and divine. And in one letter he wrote American Indians telling them that they worshipped “the father of us all” which is the same being he worshipped.

Madison’s words and actions imply a deist not an orthodox Christian but I don’t think the evidence is overwhelming as it was with other founders like Jefferson, Franklin or Adams. But certainly it was widely believe he was a deist at the time.

In 1832 Rev. James R. Wilson wrote that Madison had been an orthodox Christian but when he returned from university “to the grief of his parents, abandoned the study of Theology, and entered the office of the infidel and libertine Jefferson, as a student of law. Though Mr. Madison has pledged himself neither in public nor private, to the belief of Christianity, yet he is not known to have employed his influence, like Jefferson, in attempts to abolish the Christian Faith.”

In regards to Madison’s religious beliefs I would say the preponderance of the evidence is that he was a deist but it is not beyond a shadow of doubt. What evidence there is does not point to any statement of Christian orthodoxy after he became a close affiliate of the radical deist Jefferson.

June 25, 2007

 
Blogger Publius II said...

Thanks for the reply on this. I'll make my response in the new post.

June 27, 2007

 
Blogger eddie said...

I recently googled Ron Paul and was led to Wikipedia where I came upon the reference to the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,aforementioned in this comment post.
Several years ago I was involved in a political forum/discussion and was confronted by this same erronius belief held by a Christian muscian who was pontificating in the forum.
I pulled up the US Constitution and found not one reference to God therein.
To this end it surprised me that no one has edited the wikipedia entry and
and made the correction,which in itself is probably a service to the many as it points to a blind embrace of christianity without investigation by Ron Paul,not a good sign for a 'Libertarian' candidate.

July 10, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

My question is... If not Ron Paul.. Then who? and Why? Rudy or Hilary or another one of the globalists? hah. Obama?

I'm from Chicago and he's a close second for me but, I just don't think he is aware enough of the severity of our nations problems.

They are so deep yet so intertwined with daily activity it's hard to see where the separation is at..

Which is Ron's problem.. It's going to be hard for anyone in his position with such passions for putting this nation back on track to not only find the difference between the weeds and the flowers but to separate his passions from them as well. Seems to me he is of the mind- Why not just till and turn over the whole damn farm? I think I can forgive him for chopping down a cherry tree or two, we can always plant another one.

You being a critic have a very lofty position of nay saying all you want.. If Ron is not your favored available solution then who? I also do not find it such a damning problem for him to want to instill some 'Christian morals' into our government.. We can always phase them out.. Besides.. What evidence is there to say he is not talking about 'Christianity' in a similar manner as the founding fathers are.. He constantly advocates liberty- not so much the dogma of religion. I have yet to read/hear anything about the supernatural retardation of Christianity, but I have heard lots about 'morals'.. My interpretation of the speeches I've seen of his have been closely in step with what I understand of the founding fathers' views of 'christian morals'....

Bottom Line- Our nation is in need some SERIOUS house cleaning. If Ron Paul is not elected our problems continue to fester and a violent revolution will be on its way.

If he IS elected it'll end up being an episode of one of those major house cleaning reality shows where we get to pull Everything out and as him host of the show he says toss it- but if we really like it we can still keep it, even if it doesn't serve a strict function...
Oh and we get a short sermon on peace, love, and harmony.. except for them damn naggers.

Show me someone who has a better understanding and a better solution. I'm all ears.


AND anyone saying that all politicians are crooks is just making a dumb generalization. Franklin, Washington, Jefferson- politicians. Theres got to be at least ONE good one left around here..

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Seeker: Here is the problem. Ron Paul isn’t chopping down cherry trees. He’s talking about people. When he fights immigration he is hurting people. When he supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he is hurting people. When he wants to ban abortion (and he has supported federal measures on this matter contrary to the perception he gives) he is hurting women. The victims are not a few metaphorical cherry trees but millions of people.

Regarding his discussion of Christianity -- he’s a member of a fundamentalist Baptist church. What do you think he means?

Where we differ is that you are looking for a knight on a white horse to save the country from numerous problems. I don’t believe nations change that way. And when people are desperate and look for knights on white horses they usually regret it. The changes that are needed in the US are long-term and cultural and not the sort of thing that can be fixed with flash-in-the-pan campaigns. And since Mr. Paul has no intention of being president, and has almost zero chance of holding the office, it doesn’t make a difference. And if by some divine intervention (and you know what I think of that) it does happen he can’t clean house. He can’t change the system.

Presidential powers are limited on the changes he wants. He can’t do them without Congress and Congress won’t give him what he wants. Congress will only change when the values of the public changes and that requires a long-term rethink by the American people. Campaigns are not the way that is done. And to the degree that they sap resources away from those long-term efforts they are actually counterproductive.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

Ok. Back to the question... Whats the better solution?

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

First off. I don't think he's a knight by any means..

Immigration? We've got people practically walking over here from Mexico.. that is a major problem.

Don't ask don't tell- I don't know what you are specifically referring to here.. big business and the shit they pull? Well.. Right now all they have to do is pay the government off and they can do what ever the hell they want anyway.. So lets stop trying to make government do something about it and do it our selves.

Abortion- is an issue for an entirely other debate- I have always been pro life aside from exceptions like rape/incest/extreme drug addiction cases.. the borderline criminal. but if some one was too wrapped up in the moment to put on a jacket then there's their reality check.. and that debate could go on and on.

Fundamentally- It seems quite clear to me.. Life starts at conception and at that point it is no longer JUST the womans choice it's that child inside of hers too.. Adoption or keeping it should be the only choice- but that creates another problem that would require quite a bit of overhaul as well. Abortion is simply a quick solution- which is a problem.

The system won't be changed by a major flash. But it will be a rude awakening for many... A sunshine through wide open curtains if you will.. You can still throw the pillow over your head (not you personally)and everyone always does.. But you still know it's time to wake up and make some changes around here.

I think we are in close accordance with what needs to happen in this country.. The elections coming up are a major opportunity to instigate the start of those changes.. He wants to change the philosophy of the role of government.. I'm personally of the mind we will eventually not need any government. Once people start to become entirely responsible for themselves and a yet to be defined public duty...

Who is your presidential pick of the litter? Or do you propose an entire upheaval? Or what?

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

How does this necessary 're-think' become implemented through our government? elections.. How do you know lots of people in this nation have been going through a 're-think'?

I think there are more people involved in these sorts of discussions across the country and ever before.. Aside from perhaps when this country was just being formed..

I think the time for change is at hand right now. If not now then when? If a purposed Ron Paul election is not going to be the symbol of the American people being ready for change.. Then who? Then What? If it's not done through social nonviolence and political fresh air- even if its a bit nippy.. Then What??

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

If you are a conservative there is nothing to discuss. I am a libertarian and not a socialist of either the Right or the Left.
Why are Mexican immigrants the problem? Where did you family come from?

And from the rest of your post the indication is that you are a conservative. So that would explain your support for Paul and my opposition. I do not pick any of the litter.

Politicians are followers not leaders. Cultural changes are what I think are needed to replace statist thinking from conservatives and statist think from progressives. And since this is not the purpose of this blog I am not going into a discourse on libertarian strategy -- and since your positions outlined here are conservative why would you care?

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

I think you are afraid of the unknown and afraid of change. Step out of your office and go advocate something with some action.

"GET THAT AFFECT BABY! GET THAT AFFECT!"

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Rethinking does not come from elections which just are slogans and promises. People don’t think hard about issues nor are they questioning the fundamental values they hold about life. It is fluff of the worst kind, without substance. Sound bites, slogans, bumper stickers but little else. It is a time when people unfamiliar with the issues, uneducated for the most part in the policies and the economics of things, get to pretend they really do know what is going on gleaned from five minutes of nightly news. Then they go out and cast votes for people who do their damndest to never say anything meaningful and won’t carry it out anyway.

As for you last message I think you know nothing about me. I work full time in libertarian circles and was active in Paul’s previous presidential run when he was still something of a libertarian.

If you think “doing something” by and of itself is worthwhile then go at it. That’s a labor theory of value that Marx would applaud. Some activists have negative value and the less they do the better off the cause they support. Others simply waste time and resources doing things that have no impact. If you want to change a society you have to change the values people hold and that means a long term educational effort.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

I'm sorry to be flooding your comments like this..

Mexican families are not the problem. The way they are coming into this country is the problem. ACTUALLY the best solution would be to start up lucrative trade and business with them so they can help themselves in their own country..

I'm actually an anarchist who's willing to work within boundaries.. for now.

I am just really curious as to what your proposed 'social changes' are.. I really don't think that 'social changes' are far from 'political changes' or that any 'thing' is too far removed from any 'thing' that it's all essentially interconnected and a change on one will have a ripple affect through everything else.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

The way they are coming in is a good thing. Legal immigrants qualify for welfare, illegal ones don't. Second, they are mostly employed, and better off because of it. Their employers are better off and they produce goods or services that have value -- if not no one would hire them and they wouldn't have an incentive to come to America. I have no problem with illegal immigration or with the immigrants.

Social changes that I refer are changes of values. It is a basic understand of morality and ethics and economics. And that requires a new form of activism. Politics follows the values of the public, it doesn't lead it. It only follows and thus you are following the social changes of the past. To change how people think requries education efforts directed particularly at the young. It is long term in nature and can take years -- other efforts like think tanks are beneficial. And instead of wasting time in poltiical campaigns it would be better for people to form lobbying groups to protest the plethora of stupid laws that will come from whoever is elected. Voting changes nothing. Groundswells of protest over specific issues do have impact and change votes -- notice how it stopped HIlarycare last time. That sort of action is far more useful than wasting time and money on candidiates who can't win. Instead work to change the votes of candidates who do win.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

damnit. being at work and trying to put entirely cohesive thoughts together is a challenge..

I am honestly not sure how I feel about 'national sovereignty' and all of that.. I think eventually it will no longer serve a purpose..

But I like your take on the immigrants thing.. I personally think welfare is a thing of the past, it's way too abusable.. And while it's being abused- I also know of SEVERAL illegal immigrants getting a federal check- which then in turn goes straight over to the other side of the border.. and that does nothing but hurt my situation... I have two relatives suckin on the government teet as well that are just fat and lazy and have found excuses and whined enough to get something for free.

I agree that 'campaigning' and all of that.. is a complete and total waste.. thats why you do it for close to free on the internet! I personally havn't put anything up that hasn't been entirely free nor have I donated.. Those charges to donate speeches sound like a church tithing sermon.. I see too many similarities between rally speeches and campaigning and sermons and evangelism..

I understand that politics is something similar to a dog chasing its tail.. But if someone like Ron Paul is elected instead of Rudy or someone.. Is that not a positive sign?

What was the percentage of the actual voters to total population? Pretty pathetic from what I remember.. Those who do fill that stereotype probably also fill in quite a bit of that percentage of non voter population too..

You've got to know that who ever is up on capitol hill does have a fairly direct affect on personal life. Even if it is always a pick between lesser of two evils you still better pick. Or we end up with Puppet Bush and the neocons..

I also think that the idea that people are dumb and don't think about deep or meaningful things is actually having a larger impact than the actual numbers of those ignorant people.. But I'm not sure.. They all fade away either way.. The entirety of our present moment will eventually be reduced down to a few sentences.. or a catch phrase even.

I'm not yet educated enough to see things beyond patterns and simple metaphors.. I'm only 20, I opted for experience a free living than hire-education... I just thought I'd try and question and prod you as much as I could, seeing as how you seem to be calloused in your views yet very intelligent.. Just getting your point of view on some of my points of view between all of this.. Thanks.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Well, a RP victory is not in the offing so no worries there. But if it happened what would it mean? Really. Would it indicate support for his opposition to the war? Or is it his antiImmigrant position? Is it support for his wacko conspiracy theories about NAFTA Superhighways and similar such stuff? Or is it because he wants to keep the antigay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies? It is such a mixed bag that it wouldn’t indicate much. That’s why single issue campaigns are better. No confusion as to what it means.

Alas this year is not a choice between the lesser of two evils but the lesser of about two dozen evils. But this blog is pretty limited to discussing religion and reason. For political discourse I recommend freestudents.blogspot.com.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

The superhighway isn't a conspiracy.. heres its official website. http://www.nascocorridor.com/
It only serves to dissolve the borders of North American countries.. We're going to one up the EU.. with a singular NAU..

I would personally love for this globalization government to put all of this architecture together.. only for there to be a major social revolution where we decide we don't need 'government'.. that we are all perfectly capable of cooperation and organization without authoritative regulation.. I think it's a sort of inevitability.. but to what literal extent? I don't know..

I like his campaign because he wants to cut down the size of the federal government.. If it hurts at first, well I expect that.. But it gets a big monkey off my back and gives me a better chance at fending off the dozens of smaller monkeys that are surely waiting to take its place..

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

do you run the other blog? i like your insights on the things i like to talk about.. i don't really see fighting the big man in the sky idea all that terribly important.. the youth of today already know better..

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

The highway proposal exists. The lunatic conspiracy theory the Birchers invented, and which Paul latched onto, is what is wrong. There is no CFR plot to merge the US with Canada and Mexico. The way conspiracy theories are built is to take a kernel of truth and surround it with a web of nonsense.

The EU is headed the wrong way at this time. It is building a centralized superstate which is stiffling competition not promoting it. The reason they pull other nations in is to force them to adopt the same stupid policies they follow because they can’t compete against the smaller, freer eastern European nations.

As for your question regarding the other blog -- all I can say is check it for yourself and see. I prefer not to reveal my identity here because some religious fanatics are dangerous and will try to harm or harass me. I’ve dealt with enough on that already and don’t want more. In fact it was their harassment that helped push me to start this blog. My tribute to them.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger TheSeeker said...

hahaha

yeah. with the union thing.. damn i can just keep talking cant i.. I was reading about those things..
that the EU is just tying itself in knots with bureaucracy and they're headed on a down slide trying to enforce conformity..

question is.. How would national sovereignty be enforced with this super highway? We're having a hard enough time as it is.. why wouldn't they just push to have the borders dissolved? it kind of seems like they might as well.. once again though in the long run im not opposed.. kind of support it actually.. it would force social evolution. the more divided- whether through religion, 'race', country citizenship.. what ever.. the more divided we are as a single race the worse off we are..


And I don't quite know what to think about CT's.. some seem plausible but they are fear mongering just as bad as those they are claiming to be the fear mongers.. which seems kind of backasswards.. at least in many cases.. and so what if national borders were to be effectively dissolved between these countries? well i dont rally know.. it seems that there would be quite a few positive things.. everything they are hoping to achieve by building it in the first place.. but what are the draw backs? perhaps local crime would go up.. people would be harder to control.. I've sent emails back and forth with Alex Jones and he wasn't ever able to convince me that what they were supposedly 'doing' was that terribly wrong in the long run.. he seemed short term minded and afraid of 1984.. like he read it while on acid and it permanently imprinted his brain with the terror of this happening.. now. the killing and all of that- which is entirely hypothetical is tremendously terrible.. but it isn't proven..

I think what's important is that there is a social/spiritual evolution to follow it up.. I think it's inevitable, enough people already think it's necessary- it's going to happen. *hopefully* hah. alright. im done. ill take a hint. take it easy.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

This has to be the last reply here since it so off topic and I’m in the middle of other projects.

The so called “super highway” is not really that super. The amount of trade between the US and Mexico has increased substantially and most travels by truck. The highways in Texas don’t connect well and pieces are missing. This is a US highway within the US. That a road connects to road in another country doesn’t end national sovreignty. Roads have always meet at borders. Mexico owns and controls the roads on their side just as the US controls the roads in the US. There is no sovereignty issue involved except in the mind of the conspiracy theorists who concoct such things. If roads didn’t meet at the borders it would a damn site uncomfortable to travel. And in recent months I driven through five countries. I’m glad the roads connected.

I think Alex Jones is particularly nuts, myself.

Borders are important and not important. It shouldn’t be important for the movement of goods, money and labor. Having them open encourages wealth creation. But recognizing the limits of politicians is important. The smallt he geography they control the better. It encourages competition between governments. Oddly regulated borders inhibit competition in the marketplace. But sovereign borders encourage competition in governments.

I suspect one reason some politicians want the US border walled in is not to keep people out but to keep people in. The easier it is for Americans to leave the better. Freedom in many ways is the ability to opt out. And this is what borders prevents. It forces people into being the subjects of a monopolisitic political entity called the government. And that destroys freedom.

September 25, 2007

 
Blogger angelo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 04, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

A "Fr. Angelo Pepps" decided to leave along sermon here which pleads with us all to repent and find God. I have deleted it. What any of it had to do with Ron Paul is beyond me. But since he wants to "share the faith" I don't think it mattered. I don't post messages about why people shouldn't believe in unlikely gods on their sites and would appreciate the same sort of respect from them. I would appreciate it but then I would never expect it.

October 04, 2007

 
Blogger jude said...

Ron Paul never said that he did not believe in the separation of church and state...as your own quote shows, he thinks that the spirit of the constitution's separation of church and state has become too rigid...BIG difference. and that makes you either totally uninformed, utterly biased, or an outright liar.
the following is all that the constitution has to offer on the issue:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
The rest of it is Madeline O'hare and her ilk, who have taken God out of our lives in terms of a daily, easily accessible option and any type of expression, particularly Christian.
You are a moron...and the worst kind too. The kind that cannot see what is right in front of them because the sheer mass of their bias makes the densest forest look like a desert.

October 20, 2007

 
Blogger ipsemet said...

oh come on. I may not always agree with Ron Paul but your quoting him from '03, when he was talking about people who wanted to stop christmas.

Totally misrepresenting his message.

October 31, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

ipsement: Your comment is indicative of the cultic atmosphere that surrounds this conservative. First, I have to say, that anyone who thinks there was an effort to stop Christmas has to be either dishonest or completely misinformed. There was no such effort. Second, neither the year nor the circusmstances change the Constitutional principle at stake. That's what constitutional principles are for.

Third, that Paul publicly lied about the mentions of god in the Constitution is not a small matter. Or would you argue he just never read the document which he claims to defend to the letter? Fourth, your arguments don't support your conclusion. When Paul says the Constitution is filled with references to god (and there are none) then how do I missrepresent his message? So which is it? Did Paul lie about the references to god in the constitution, whichwould mean he is dishonest, or was he ignorant of the actual text of the document? There is no middle ground there.

The more I see him in action and the actions of his followers ( a combinaiton of some well-meaning actual libertarians, in a campaign with nutty "Truthers", racists, bigots, theocrats, Birchers and every lunatic fringe Right-winger around) the more I believe Ron Paul will be a major cause for the decline of libertarianism -- mainly because of his very public distortion of the libertarian message on numerous issue -- of which his ignorance of the constitution is just one.

October 31, 2007

 
Blogger Kayden said...

I have been a Ron Paul supporter for some time now. I was swept up into his cult following and have been a hard core RP'er ever since. I even spent seven hours making a gigantic Ron Paul Revolution magnetic sign for the tailgate of my truck.

I may soon be taking that magnet off.

I feel that Ron Paul has some great ideas. I think that eliminating the Federal Reserve is key to restoring our freedom. Ron Paul is the only candidate I know of who has this same belief, (and stands at least a small chance of being elected). Even if he cannot actually do it, at least as President people could be better informed about it and be able to take action, as opposed to ignorantly allowing the Federal Reserve to commit its crimes.

However, there is one thing I believe in, politically speaking, more than I believe in the eradication of the Federal Reserve and our current fiat system: the separation of Church and State.

I agree one hundred percent with the thought that if Ron Paul truly followed the teachings of our Founding Fathers, that he would be one hundred percent for the firm separation of Church and State. I think his mind has been clouded by his own religious beliefs. I care not about his religious affiliation, so long as he does not allow it to cloud his political decisions.

Unfortunately, from what I have been reading tonight, I believe that just might happen if he is, indeed, elected. Our forefathers were of many varied religious backgrounds, but the vast majority of them were unshakably for the firm separation of Church and State. If Ron Paul cannot see that, I fear that the other things he could accomplished may be eclipsed, at least in my own mind.

He has so much potential, at the very least to inform the populace of things that have gone unnoticed to the general public, (the Federal Reserve in particular), but I dare say I would be very hesitant to allow him to do such things if he is going to do them while also narrowing the separation between Church and State.

However, you mention that choosing the lesser of two evils is pointless. I agree with this on some level, but I'm reminded of a quote by Max Frisch: "In actual fact those who do not care for politics and sit on the fence do indeed side for a political party: The ruling party." In other words, by not voting for anyone, you are in essence casting a vote for whoever the rest of the people are voting for. Your inaction is in actuality not "in-action", but in-direct action.

I can't tell you that Ron Paul is the best choice anymore, thanks to this new information which I'm ashamed to say went unnoticed by me for a long time, but I think it unwise of you to just sit idly by and not vote for anyone.

I, myself, am worried about the implications of having Ron Paul elected. It would be great to have somebody destroy the Federal Reserve, but if it's at the cost of my freedom to live religion-free...

Perhaps I should just start my own country... :(

November 07, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Kayden: I understand your frustration. I supported Mr. Paul in his previous presidential bid and have had many discussion with him prior to his current "fame". He was once much better on the issues and has drifted in recent years.

I only posted on the separation issue here because this is not a political blog but one on religion and skepticism and reason. So I don't say much political.

I accept the problems with the Fed. However, I should say that there is a lot of bad information about the Fed being circulated -- some really loony stuff that is inaccurate. And I suspect Paul buys into a lot of that. It would be a case of taking the right position for the wrong reason. And while I wouldn't mind abolishing it I am not that convinced that the differences will be major. But then that isn't going to happen anytime soon so we won't know for sure.

November 07, 2007

 
Blogger RandyMLee said...

Dear godlesszone,

You bring up valid criticisms of Dr. Paul, but what is your point? That Libertarians should not vote for him? Well, let's consider that position. I have been a registered Libertarian since nearly the founding of the party and for all of my voting career. I have never voted for a republicrat. I will now. Dr. Paul is a flawed Libertarian. Libertarianism is itself flawed. It is flawed philosophically and, far more important, it is deeply flawed pragmatically. For all Libertarianism's elegant philosophy it has been a dismal failure at effecting any real change. Thousands of innocent men and woman are wasting their lives in prison as I type these words. What did libertarianism ever accomplish to recover their stolen liberty? Damn near nothing! On the other hand Dr. Paul represents the thin edge of a very long wedge that could actually have a chance to begin to dissolve the repulicrat hegemony. The lesser of two evils? Hardly! More like the first chance to expunge the evil. He deserves my vote, your vote, the vote of all rational Americans.

Sure, if he were to be elected, and things actually started to change, then we could argue over the fine points and promote those who more closely mirrored our views. In the meantime, for liberty's sake, let's not bicker. Instead, let's work to get the man elected. OK?

All that said, the sad truth, in my estimation, is that we no longer have the right to vote. We go to the polling place, push the button, and the machine counts our vote however it has been programmed. Giuliani or Clinton take your pick... :(

Our only REAL hope is to demand the complete elimination of all automated voting machinery. Pieces of paper, hand marked, hand counted, (and no absentee voting). That is the way to minimize fraud. Sorry to stray so far from your original subject, but in the final analysis, if our vote has been stolen, what else matters?

December 01, 2007

 
Blogger RandyMLee said...

By the way, I too am not sure that eliminating fiat money to return to the gold standard is the best monetary system. In history there are examples of the gold market being manipulated for the benefit of a few at the expense of many, just at the critics of fiat money complain is being done by the Fed. However one thing I am sure is wrong is the lack of transparency. How does the Fed really work? Good luck finding out. I can't. You will read all sorts of supposition, but no hard facts. Please tell me I am wrong and provide the references!

December 01, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Randy: Dr. Paul is not a flawed libertarian but a flawed conservative (a bit redundant, I know). How is liberty for people flawed? Is the liberty that is flawed or the political system that creates incentives to destroy liberty? And when you say that it flawed pragmatically are you saying that liberty simply doesn’t work better than the alternatives or are you again saying that the systems in politics undermine liberty?

I suggest you are confusing the problems with politics with the “problems” of freedom. That I believe, represents a flawed interpretation of liberty. Liberty is not politics but the antithesis of politics. Politics is about running the lives of others liberty is about leaving others alone. And perhaps the problem is with politics itself. Maybe the idea of voting in liberty is flawed.

And the reasons you express for supporting an non-libertarian alternative who doesn’t mind infringing liberty, provided it is the states that are doing it not the central government, is because you are tired of losing elections. Again the assumption is that winning elections will change things. I have my doubts. It almost sounds like the man who heads out on Friday night to meet a nice woman and then ends up someone extremely unpleasant justifying his selection because the really nice women have told him “no”.

Ron Paul does not deserve votes. No politician does. And I don’t think muddling the libertarian message with Right-wing, conspiracist, populist messages will help get the libertarian across to the public. Confused conservative tirades about separation of church and state harms the libertarian message. confused conservative theories about secret banking plots to rule the world associates libertarianism with nutty Bircher ideas not liberty. Arguing that the states have the power to violate the First Amendment is not protection rights merely transfering who is infringing them.


Even Ron Paul indicates libertarians should NOT vote for him. He consistently votes against free trade measures on the basis that they are less than perfect. Now I happen to think he does this because he is a not so closeted paleoconservative ala Pat Buchanan. But Paul pretends it is because the measures are not pure free trade and therefore must be rejected. He is however willing to vote for other impure legislation. So publicly Paul says don’t vote for anything that is isn’t pure. Does that include himself?

He introduced legislation that would ban flag burning. He introduced legislation to Constitutionally define life beginning at conception thus outlawing abortion -- while pretending that he wants the states to decide he tries to push through federal measures on abortion and free speech. That doesn’t sound like federalism but centralism.

He claims to practically worship the Constitution saying it isn’t in there he won’t support it. Really? Yet, as I have noted he has tried to change the constitution indicating that he wants it changed to allow bad things. He doesn’t support the constitutional right of courts to overturn legislation that violates the constitution. He wants laws that strip the courts of that right. He doesn’t want the constitution when it comes to granting citizenship to all people born in America -- he wants that stripped away. He doesn’t want the 14th amendment of the constitution which specified that all constitutional rights belong to all Americans even at the state level. He wants the states to be allowed to strip constitutional rights. He says he doesn’t want unconstitutional actions yet he proposes millions in earmarks to bring the bacon home to his own district. Where in the constitution is that specified?

You have been so convinced that one can vote in liberty that you confusing politics with freedom. You seem to think that political wins will be the equivalent of liberty winning. So you have substituted political victory for the victory of liberty. You appear to confuse a victory for politics with a victory for liberty.

PS: I am not sure Paul is entirely right on the Fed. I know he is nuts on the conspiracy junk. But this is not a site for discussing the Federal Reserve. Paul was discussed because of his anti-libertarian view on separation of church and state.

December 02, 2007

 
Blogger Justen said...

First of all, Godlesszone, I have to say that you're opinions are very well justified. I was impressed with your breadth of knowledge in all of the topics discussed thus far. However, I believe that you are more preoccupied about the purity of your beliefs the well being of our country - the US.

I don’t believe that is a question of the small issues at this point - such as abortion and religion in government.

There is a crisis about to hit our monetary system. Our debt accumulated from our war on terror abroad and at home has amassed to a ludicrous amount – total direct cost will be over $600 billion in 2008 according to this report - www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf. That is without taking into account the additional security measures, such as Homelands, that have been implemented in the US since the start of the war – another $40 billion a year. Spending on the war does not even follow the normal budget request process. It bypasses the Budget Committee, and the Armed Services Committee – going directly to the Appropriations Committee. War spending is simply out of control – and what’s worse is we don’t even have a substantial goal for our military efforts – it’s all in the name of eliminating “terror”. This war can continue indefinitely. The result is unchecked reckless spending with no timeline for an end.

Add to that the Social Security burden of the retiring baby-boomers, Medicare, and Medicaid. These could increase the tax of the average household by as much as $11,651 - http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/wm1549.cfm.

The Office of Management and Budget released its annual Mid-Session Review and assessed a $248 billion deficit last year for our country. We are bleeding money.


One important thing to consider at this point is our money has no intrinsic value. The only thing that gives our money its value is the faith from our lenders on our ability to repay loans and the amount of money in circulation.

Another point is our economy is in a recession right now and has been since 2001 - http://money.cnn.com/2001/11/26/economy/recession/index.htm. With our GDP in the red, our economy has slackened, decreasing the value of our dollar.

How is our Federal Reserve responding to our recession? They are setting the interest rate lower which they must implement by increasing the total amount of money in the system. This also reduces the value of each dollar.


How is our system going to respond? We as a country will bear the consequences of our borrowing of ludicrous amounts of money and the receding value of the dollar. If the world financial community was to assess our predicament, they could determine we do not have the ability to overcome and make good on the money loaned. Since our currency is based on our ability to repay loans, this could mean a complete loss of faith – on the part of the lenders - in our dollar. If this were to happen, it would result in exponentially increasing inflation – and eventually economic collapse. Because our money is not based on a physical system, this could happen overnight. If you don’t think this could happen here in the US – you are wrong. It has happened in the past and will happen again in the future - an inevitable end to a flawed system.

I support Ron Paul because he is the candidate with the most reasonable plan to counteract the financial collapse of our system. His plan includes eliminating the Federal Reserve and pushing the gold standard – so our money has physical value - also an immediate end to the war and excess government programs we cannot afford.

December 09, 2007

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Justen: I am worried about the state of the economy in the United States as well. That, however, is not the entire picture and I think you are missing some important considerations.

Let us assume that as President Ron Paul will do something good for the economy. I am not entirely sure he would. First, my own impression is that he’s not very knowledgeable about the topic and most his “economics” writing is ghost-written by others. Certainly several of his comments on the economy have been shown to be entirely mistaken. Second, Paul has publicly said he will keep the welfare state and that we can pay for it out of savings from ending the war. But ending the war won’t put the budget into surplus so that “solution” is merely postponing the problem not solving it. But let us assume he might have some good advisors but the crowd he hangs out with are the least knowledgeable about Austrian economics in my opinion -- although they claim it the loudest. But very few serious academics of the Austrian school of economics take clowns like Hoppe serious. If a racist like Hoppe is on Paul’s list forget it.

But it’s neither here nor there. Paul has about no chance at all of being the Republican candidate. If I assume you are entirely right that Paul will do exactly the right thing on the economy it doesn’t matter since he doesn’t have a chance of being nominated by the Republicans. So unless Paul has been lying about running as a third party candidate he won’t even be on the ballot in November. He won’t be implementing the “perfect” policies you imagine he might for that reason.

But what he has done is harm the reputation of libertarianism with his populist, anti-trade, anti-immigration, anti-abortion, social conservative, conspiracy-mongering agenda.

As I see it the US will face problems, perhaps a crisis. So too does the libertarian movement for numerous reasons. A gaggle of bigoted Southern faux libertarians associated with open racists like League of the South are pushing an agenda to change the libertarian movement into something very different from the philosophy of liberty. Finding the differences between them and people like Pat Buchanan is increasingly difficult.

My analysis is that what good Paul might do won’t is pure theory and unlikely to happen since he won’t get anywhere near the presidency. But the harm that Paul can do to the libertarian brand name is already done.

December 09, 2007

 
Blogger kevin said...

I am a Christian and a supporter of Ron Paul's. I amy not agree with him 100%. But his ideas about getting the government to a more decentralized institution is very agreeable. I do agree that our government, by nature of all governments, is secular...AND SHOULD STAY AS SUCH.

No man-made Theocracies have EVER worked. Religion should stay fully out of government as government should do the same. What one believes on a personal level is their business, but it the fact that as a society we have entangled the two that we are so divided and polarized. I feel we should get back to the true principles of the Founders and we should stay out of entagling alliances (which applies to the Christian Right) and we should trade FREELY and without restraints and protectionism. The Founders where much wiser than us and we should look to them to really put this nation back on track.

The nanny state needs to end as does saying we are a Christian Nation, we were never created as such and will never be. Our leaders can be such, but they should keep those beliefs with themselves and not promote those within the government. I see a man like Ron Paul as a jumping board to get us as a Society to move back to our Founders intentions and let's face it-would any of us even be having these types of discussions to this extent. I wouldn't even be voting this election if not for Ron Paul. I would consider my myself very much a Libertarian and again I don't agree with Dr.Paul 100%, but I am at least renewed in my hope that we can come full circle as a society and begin to fix the messes we have made.

December 15, 2007

 
Blogger Bob Fuller said...

This is most likely a "tempest in a teapot," because the Establishment will do whatever it takes (we've seen it time and again) to stop anyone who really opposes them from getting into or keeping a position of power. However, it's interesting to watch those who will eventually roll over and support the "lesser of two evils" sold-out democratic candidate, and the pro-Bush neocons too, get all hysterical about Ron Paul.

I don't agree with Ron Paul on every issue. I don't agree with Dennis Kucinich on every issue, either, but I'd vote for either of them because they're so much better than any of the alternatives. I sympathize with their supporters, but the fact is that neither Kucinich or Mike Gravel have a snowball's chance in hell of being the Democrat's nominee, and neither are succeeding in "stirring the pot" and drawing attention to the critical, core issues of our time like the maverick libertarian Ron Paul. Ron Paul ISN'T the chosen candidate of the "Christian Right" because he'd end our lapdog subserviance to Israel and quickly get our troops out of the middle east. If you'd like to see us get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, dump NAFTA, abolish the Federal Reserve, repeal the Patriot Act, and end the phony "war on drugs," (or at least die trying) Ron Paul's your man.

If we're serious in our opposition to the empire and its police state surveillance society, we - left and right alike - need to stop the infighting and support whoever is most effectively getting the pro-peace, pro-freedom message out there, past the smokescreen laid down by the War Party and the corporate media. In my humble opinion, our best chance right now - and it may well be our last chance - to awaken the sleeping masses and strike a real blow against the empire, lies in coming together to support Ron Paul. What we can't do, if we love our country and our freedom, is let "the powers that be" succeed in splitting the antiwar vote into squabbling, ineffective fragments. Nothing would please them more.

December 16, 2007

 
Blogger Ignatius said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been thoroughly educating myself on all the candidates. Ron Paul appealed to me until now. I had no idea he said that about Separation of Church and State. Any IDIOT should know that the Constitution never mentions GOD once. How did the crazy churchies steal our Constitution anyway? It's scary.

That's it. I'm voting for Hillary. At least she understands the concept behind Separation of Church and state! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su3JIS9VbtY

January 15, 2008

 
Blogger Nate and Audrey said...

I believe this is the writing of Dr. Paul that you are quoting from:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul148.html

and to be honest (IMO) he (Dr. Paul) is right - the "separation of church and state" WAS meant to keep there from being a "central church" like they had in England. (at that time) It (the idea of separation of church and state) is now very different from what it started as - either way in reading this article I in no way read that Dr. Paul wanted to bring the two together, he was referring to Christmas (for the most part) and the "hiding" or "shunning" of religion. (I.E. "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas") as far as stating that the constitution is "replete" with references to God - he did (well he said the declaration of Independance and the constitution not just the constitution) but either way if he meant a direct reference to God then yes he was wrong (the constitution) the declaration of independence does however mention God/the creator and many of our founding fathers were influenced by their Religion and it is possible that the use of the word replete was meant as the "spirit" of Religion - my thoughts are that stating that Dr. Paul is against the separation of church and State is a bit of an overstatement and taking this quote out of context. But that's just my opinion :) interesting discussion!

January 23, 2008

 
Blogger Nate and Audrey said...

I found these Jefferson quotes from this website:http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/qjeffson.htm

"Among the most inestimable of our blessings is that...of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support (Reply to Baptist Address, 1807)."

"I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them, an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises and the objects proper for them according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands where the Constitution has deposited it... Every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents (letter to Samuel Miller, Jan. 23, 1808)."

January 23, 2008

 
Blogger languid corpse said...

Ron Paul is a kook; plain and simple. God, Religion is abhorrent!

February 21, 2008

 
Blogger davers said...

You guys really need to look up "God" and "Religion". You'll be surprised. Every single dictionary proves they are NOT synonyms.

As long as you confuse the two, as assume that God is somehow affected by the religions of men you'll continue to be lost and confused.

October 30, 2008

 
Blogger Daniel C said...

You say you'd take Jefferson any day as President? Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Jefferson; however, your gripe about Ron Paul not knowing the Constitution because he takes on the assumption that Judeo–Christian belief is an intrinsic part of the Constitution seems minute compared to the fact that Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French. What part of the Constitution allocates territorial expansion to the executive branch?

January 25, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Ron Paul just didn't make an assumption. He lied. Or are you saying he doesn't know the constitution? He claimed it was filled with references to god. But, by no means, is that my only problem with Ron Paul. It is the only one one I referenced here. But Ron Paul is now headed for his last term and retirement. So why worry?

January 25, 2009

 

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