Democratic interpretation of the Bible and Constitution

Early defenders of the slave trade claimed that since the constitution or it’s preamble had no direct mention or prohibition against slavery, the forefathers never mentioned it, and therefore must have supported it. But Abe Lincoln and many others felt that the fact that it said all people were endowed by their Creator with “inalienable rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness” excluded slave keeping from being a lawful enterprise. Same thing today, most democrats read the constitution and claim it gives no protection to the unborn because it never explicitly mentions or condemns abortion…Really? In the same way some people choose to interpret the bible, as many democrats did in the south; God never directly prohibited slavery, nor did he explicitly condemn multiple marriage partners, and never does he use the word ‘abortion’, therefore he supported slavery and also abortion and multiple marriages. However, does God have to spell everything out for us? He doesn’t think so. He even spoke to us in parables at times with the very purpose of not spelling everything out for us. And yet the Christian nations were the only nations to ever ban slavery and infanticide and abortion and Moses was the first person in the world to recognize the rights of slaves. Both nations outlawed bigamy in time. “Love thy neighbor as thy self, “, ” when you help the least of these, you do so unto me,” etc, along with the knowledge that all humans were made in the image of God and “made from one blood” played a huge role in the minds of Lincoln and Wilberforce and ten thousand other abolitionists, no doubt. The evolutionists however, who were the first socialists, thought differently and had their own ideas about where rights came from;

“These lower races are…nearer to the mammals (apes or dogs) than to civilized Europeans, we must therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives.” (Haeckel, E., reprinted in Natural History 89, the journal, April 1980, 129

So the democratic party has at least been consistent in how they interpret the bible and constitution, and obviously how you interpret scripture and what you believe about where we came from, does matter

“This however has been known to be the great temper of mankind, that they have accordingly labored in all ages, to wrest from the populace the knowledge of their rights… I say rights, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.”
John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. III, p. 449, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law.”

“It is true that New York has no charter. But if it could support its claim to liberty in no other way, it might justice plead the common principles of colonization; for would be unreasonable to exclude one colony from the enjoyment of the most important privileges of the rest. There is need however of this plea. The Sacred Rights of Mankind ARE NOT TO BE RUMMAGED FOR AMONG OLD PARCHMENTS or musty records; they are written as with a sunbeam in the whole volume of human nature by Hand of the Divinity itself and can never be OR OBSCURED by mortal power ”

Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, John Church Hamilton, editor (New York: John F. Trow, 1850), Vol. II, p. 80, “The Farmer Refuted.

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Genesis and the rights of the Unborn

Where did our forefathers derive the idea that certain rights pre-existed governments and that innocent human life must be protected? That the right to life was not dependent on the consent of kings or governments? From verses like this;

“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind” Genesis 9

When a government abrogates those rights, whether the person is a one day old fetus or a doddering ninety year old, it becomes a rogue government. God will demand a price for the shedding of innocent blood. No one has the “right” to kill another innocent human for personal gain, and no government can legitimately give that right. Or strip the innocent of their protection. To do so is to invite judgement from the protector of the weak and unprotected. We stripped the blackman of his right to liberty and suffered 9 million dead or wounded in the war to free them, and we’re still paying the price. The mark of a civilization isn’t how it treats or caters to those who vote or hold money and power; it’s rather in how it treats the weakest and most defenseless. And those of us who stand on the sidelines and don’t fight for the protection of the unborn are just as guilty as the woman who allows circumstances to drive her into a government supported abortion clinic. Win or lose, if we fight we win at least a moral battle. Refuse to fight; it’s lose-lose.

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Obama’s innovative History Speech in Cairo

“As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality”

Or maybe not;

“The Dome of the Rock truly represents a work of what we would understand today as Muslim art, that is, art not necessarily made by Muslims…but rather in societies where most the people- or the most important people were Muslims.” Authority on Islamic architecture, Jonathan Bloom (Stark 2009)

Dhimmi. The conquering Arab tribes of Muslim warriors inherited an empire peopled by a literate and sophisticated culture¸ the Byzantines. The libraries of Alexandria and Constantinople held thousands of scrolls including the Greek Classics and were centers of Christian thought and philosophy. The heretical Christian cultures of the Nestorians and others were also centers of study and learning and they particularly focused on the arts of healing and medicine.

These peoples became the dhimmi, the non-Muslim secondary citizens of the new Islamic empire. This is not to shame the Arab tribes in any manner, but they were a nomadic people of the deserts and not students of architecture or science. But credit where credit is due and it was the conquered Christian and Jewish population that had maintained the Greek writings of a scientific and philosophical nature as well as developing architecture and other forms of an advanced culture.

Contrary to popular belief, the western end of the Christian empire, Western Europe, also had maintained many of the Greek writings of the ancients but not to the extent of the Greek Byzantines. It is to the Muslims credit that they eventually encouraged the dhimmi scholars to translate the Greek scrolls into Arabic and that they then began to study them for themselves. However it was the acceptance of the Greek writings of Aristotle and others, or at least the way the Muslim scholars viewed them, that probably played a role in the stagnation of scientific innovation in the Muslim empire.

While the Muslim scholars did devote themselves to studying the Greek classics, they came to regard them as if they were the last word in science. They applied them to Islam, but they never challenged them. This, according to Stark, was one of the reasons that kept Islam from growing beyond the Greeks and held back science in the Islamic culture indefinitely. The Islamic world thus absorbed without controversy the Greek idea that the Universe was a large animate being and conscious, as well as other Greek fallacies. While the scholars of the western Christian world would attain many of the Greek Classics later than the Muslims, when they did receive them, they not only read them; they challenged them. (Stark, 2003)

But the dhimmi Christian and Jewish populations were the backbone and source of almost all Islamic academic endeavors and it would behoove both the Islamic culture and state funded colleges in the U.S to be more open about this fact. As Gies commented;

“The Arab Age of Translation began during the reign of Harun-al-Rashid when scholar-physicians at a Nestorian Christian academy in Jundi-Shapur in southwest Persia were brought to Bagdad to translate Greek manuscripts…” (Gies)

As the quote at the head of this chapter indicates, the Caliph who ordered the building of the Dome of the Rock hired Byzantine architects and builders, and for the layout and design of Bagdad a leading Jew and a Zoroastrian were hired. Hindu numerals became known as Arabic and the majority of famous astronomers and mathematicians were Persian or from other dhimmi cultures. (Stark, 2009)

As we noted though, in Europe they mastered the Greek texts, attacked them from every angle and moved on. The famed historian Lynn White said;

“…Christianity by destroying classical animism (recall the Muslim/Greek faith in an animated living earth, ed.) brought about a basic change in the attitude toward natural objects and opened the way for their rational and unabashed use for human ends.” (Gimpel)

In Europe, in scholastic colleges from Italy and France and to England and Poland, empiricism and experimentation became the main force behind scientific advances during the medieval era, advances which would eventually bloom into the age of scientific discovery. Men with names like Newton, Boyle, Kepler, and many others would make the scientific breakthroughs which we are so familiar with today. Among these new areas of empirical pursuits came the study of the human body and as Rodney Stark notes;

“It was the (European) Scholastics, not the Greeks, Romans, Muslims or Chinese, who based their studies on human dissection,” (Stark, 2003)

So whatever sophistication the Islamic culture could boast, it owed much of it to the Greek Christian culture it inherited after its conquest of their territories. And it certainly couldn’t be said that Islam was far superior to the culture of the invading crusader armies from Europe. Interestingly enough, Medieval Europe actually abolished slavery centuries before the coming of the African slave trade would renew it. (Stark, 2003) And the move to abolish the African slave trade was led by Christian leaders, not Muslim.

The Islamic nations would not abolish slavery until the end of the twentieth century, Saudi Arabia in 1963, Mauretania in 1983, although the law is not always enforced. One of the reasons for this might be because Mohammad kept slaves himself. But whatever the reason, it does seem to throw a wrench into the oft repeated idea of Muslim cultural tolerance and superiority.

And at the end of the middle ages while Western Christian nations exploded into the future of the scientific age; Islam stagnated into darkness.

[I should add, the incompetency of the Muslim at sea was well known and anything they had was borrowed from the Dhimmi;

“Crusader superiority at sea was indeed so marked that some historians have portrayed Saladin as an early version of Napoleon frustrated by Nelson, dumbfounded and clueless when it came to blue water strategy.” (McLynn, Frank, Richard and John, Kings at War, Da Capo Press, 2007)

While the Muslims put the knowledge of the Dhimmi Christians in Egypt to work building ships, the ship building techniques of conquered Egypt had stagnated since Muslim conquest. The ships they built were copies of previous models and so the European navies had the edge both in size and technological advance. (Stark, 2009) Another problem was that because Arab knowledge of the sea was so limited, they relied upon Christian Dhimmi crews to man and operate the fleets and these crews naturally were more likely to scuttle the ships in combat than a Muslim crew would have been.]

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The youth Culture, sign of Apostasy?

 

The Youth Culture

 “I will make boys their officials, mere children will rule over them…the young will rise up against the old and the base against the honorable.” Is. 3: 4, 5

Youths oppress my people and the women rule over them, Oh my people, your guides lead you astray, they lead you from the path” Is. 3:12

 

Virtually everyone who writes on the history of the youth culture says the same thing, that prior to 1920 there really was no youth culture, as we know it today. Living in a culture like ours, where not only are we in our 4th or 5th generation of youth culture, but where it has reached the point of youth worship, its hard to imagine a normal culture.

I say normal, because, for the most part, excluding periods of Greek history, the youth did not have their “own” culture inside a culture like today.

People of all ages shared common values, common music, common dances, and the youth were trained to emulate the elders. So like many other aspects we have discussed concerning earmarks of The Apostasia, youth culture didn’t exist for the last 2000 years, and really exploded in the 1960’s. And as in the Darwinian and the Feminist challenge, the new values of the exploding youth cultural were accepted with open arms and they promised a freedom and worship of life and beauty that had never been experienced before.

However, as a survivor of the first explosion of youth worship and freedom, I can tell you quite frankly, that for many of us the results were not only less fulfilling than we expected; they actually led to death, divorce, disease, dysfunction, hurt and alienation. As the bible clearly tells us, death and suffering is the result of sin, not righteousness.

Looking back from today, it’s very easy to laugh at and see the fallacies of the sixties generation, but in fact, I believe that generation x and y are still following along the same route, only to a more sophisticated road map.

And every generation is somewhat distinctive from one another, each bearing its own differences; each one makes its own promises and each one has its effect on those both young and old and on the contemporary church.

That the 60’s generation was more blatant in its promises, than the proceeding generations, is true. But what is often not realized is that each succeeding generation is in fact coming from increasingly dysfunctional homes and is still accepting and idealizing, not rejecting, the basic values of the “God is dead so live for sex and drugs” generation of the 1960’s. In fact, the sixties generation could be excused to some degree because the new life styles and morals they were experimenting with had not been tried for the last two thousand years. There was a certain innocent foolishness to the affair. Succeeding generations have had the benefit of witnessing the dysfunction and trauma that followed the new experiment and yet have not rejected the overall premises behind them. They have become more jaded and careful in their drug use; they practice safe sex; they’re more concerned with making money. But their basic values are the same.

Each generation of youth culture followers are convinced that they are the answer, that they are entirely unique, and each is confirmed in that by worshipping adults, or adults that are simply confused.  And yet they all end up copying the 60’s folks in most ways, with subtle twists in their acceptance of rock music, rock stars, and rock lingo, rock dress, etc. Christian rock and the worship of money or stardom or fun or sensual enjoyment of all earthly goods; just another version of “ya yayayayy live for today”. Not that all rock is somehow wrong, but it was the music of the sixties that accompanied the drug and sex culture of the time period. There are a thousand nuances in modern rock but nothing essentially new or different being done today.

Just as the sixties music still holds a grip on the modern youth culture so do its values. Only go to college, make lots of money, and by all means, maintain your image and fulfill your dream. And while they’re not dying from drug overdose as fast as they did when I was growing up in the 60’s, we are not the light to the world our Puritan forefathers envisaged either. Nor can the present generation be faulted for what they have inherited. While other generations were not so blatant as the post sixties generations, the previous generations going backward in time have all been part of a long slide away from the ideals of the early Puritan colonists which founded the first colonies with the set purpose of building a nation that would be a light on a hill to all other nations

Our puritan forefathers may have been guilty of legalism at times and over zealousness, but what ever their faults, no one has ever accused the puritans of being a “lost generation”. And while it is a history not commonly taught anymore, the puritan societies were almost crime free, with little or no family dysfunction. No single parent kids, no children suffering through the pains of their parents bitter divorces, and no separate youth culture. They loved music and dancing, but everyone did it together, young and old alike.

This particular generation, generation x or xy, according to the youth experts and marketers is more obsessed with narcissism than any previous to it. It is often referred to as the “me” generation. So that personal beauty and hundreds of pictures on facebook, Myspace and anywhere and everywhere are quite common.  This is in part because this is the first generation that has had access to camera phones and face book pages, but it still seems to be an identifying mark of this latest phase of the youth phenomena.

Another aspect of this generation is their unquestioning acceptance of feminism; the uni-sex idea that exploded in the 60’s and emphatically is not found in the bible. They have also adopted an extremely low view of truth and seem to be even less sure of moral absolutes than the wild sixties people were. Their love of “networking” while not with out value, increases their dependency on each other for reinforcement of whatever is hip, cool, fun, etc. etc. They are never alone and never more than seconds away from their cell, their laptop, and thus never with out instant feedback for cultural reinforcement.

Now some of you are probably asking, yeah, but what does this have to with the arrival of the period the bible calls the Apostasia, or the great falling away? (2 thess.2: 3) Well, for one thing, like Darwinism, existentialism, feminism, and higher criticism, the youth culture started within the last hundred years or so. And like Darwinism, it had a huge impact on the culture, and not necessarily all for good.  The apostasy deals with the church and the Christian nations, because it is a falling away from a pre-existing faith.

It is not a falling away from religion or even a falling away from all forms of Christian worship. People love church and worship and the social union it can bring.

But this social union and worship, and even the preaching, is in the process of divorcing itself from the bible. It is a falling away from the reality and authority of scripture. Many will protest that they have scripture readings and bible teaching every Sunday and that is undoubtedly true. But my experience has been that certain parts of the bible, particularly those that are obnoxious to this culture will be either ignored, played down, or interpreted in such a way that they no longer run against the grain of the culture.

As scripture is reinterpreted and reinterpreted until even the most straight forward concepts must be forced to obey the Darwinian view of origins and the feminist view of sexuality and other cultural nuances  it becomes clear that the god of the Christian church is the god of the culture, not the Author of the Bible. This is the essence of apostasy.

We are doing what Daniel refused to do in Babylon and what Luther refused to do in the 16th century. We are bowing our knees to the culture, a culture which is arguably the most antagonistic to historical Christianity than any in the last two thousand years.  The Prophet Isaiah makes it clear that the rise of youth culture or youth culture becoming dominant is a sign of apostasy in general;

“I will make boys their officials, mere children will rule over them…the young will rise up against the old and the base against the honorable.” Is. 3: 4, 5

Youths oppress my people and the women rule over them, Oh my people, your guides lead you astray, they lead you from the path” Is. 3:12

But like everything in apostasy, though usually blindingly attractive, youth culture is a lie. Its promises are hollow and though flattering, false. You are not the only generation, you will not live forever, and you will die and meet your creator. And in fact your youth itself will fade quickly, if you live long enough. And if life itself is all about youth, then what?

The Bible makes it clear that there is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself in your youth, but it does remind you to;

“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth before the days of trouble come…for God will bring every work into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 12.

And if you are allowing yourself to be dragged along by your culture, and allowing it to dictate how you view yourself, others and even the Scripture, you are making a serious mistake. This culture, both in itself and in its sub-culture of youth is easily the most dysfunctional and anti-Christian, anti biblical culture that has ever existed, at least in the old Christian nations of which America was and is.

You’d be wise to spend time in the writings of Solomon and in perusing the words of wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs. And for those of you who have accepted Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah, and thus are to be “no longer living for ourselves but for Him who died for us.” 2 Corinthians 5:15, you might want to consider the narcissism and self absorption of the youth culture and the wisdom in allowing the youth culture to guide you, in the light of New Testament Scriptures.

“But mark this, in the last days terrible times will come, men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,…disobedient to parents, conceited…lovers of pleasure…and having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” 2 Tim. 3

Or, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those that call upon the name of the Lord in pureness of heart.” 2 Tim.2:22

“You younger men likewise be submissive to your elders, all of you cloth yourselves with humility one towards the other…” 1Peter 5:5

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Is Muslim memory of the Crusades the root cause of Islamic hatred towards Israel and the West?

Before I answer this myth, I would like to ask a question; even if Muslim angst over the crusades of almost a thousand years ago was the cause of modern Muslim aggression, what right would they have to nurse such rancor? What double standard allows the Muslims to bemoan the Christian crusaders efforts to retake their Holy Land and yet persist in trying to exterminate the Jewish presence in Israel?

Did not the Muslims themselves invade all of the territory that today makes up the majority of the Muslim Middle East? Did they not by fire and sword take Christian territories for themselves and slay, force into dhimmi or sell into slavery the inhabitants of those lands? Do they not seethe with anger and bemoan the presence of Israel and burst with covetousness to take back what they call “occupied land”?

If anyone has a claim to the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, surely it is the Jewish people, over both the Christian and Muslim people. The Jews had been in the land for at least 500 years before the tiny Christian sect first sprang up and over a thousand years before any Muslim raider tread the soil of the Holy Land. When the first Crusade entered into Jerusalem the Muslim presence was relatively new compared with the time it had been inhabited by both Christian and Jews.

When the Christians owned it, they mistreated the Jews. When Islam controlled it, they also mistreated the Jews. Maybe it’s time to let the Jews have their land and city back. The Muslims have their Mecca, and Mohammad never stepped a foot inside Jerusalem except in a dream.

What am I missing here that makes all other invasions into new territories or former territories barbarous and unfair, while the Muslim armies came into existence for that purpose and have done little else in past history but practice such forays for themselves? Are they alone allowed such aggressions? So it would seem. Are their motives alone never questioned? Apparently not, and modern scholarship mirrors the enlightenment scholars (if you could call them that) in falling over themselves to placate the Muslim self-righteousness and indignation.

Why is Muslim “expansionism” holy while the rest of the world’s invasions, even into territory to which they once had a claim, are considered the devil himself? It would be utter hypocrisy for a Muslim to hold a grievance over the actions of the Christian crusaders of the Middle Ages and perhaps that is why, in fact, they never did. At least up until the end of the 19th century.

No record of deep Islamic grief can be found prior to this and Stark notes that it seems to be a product of and reaction to the British and French activities in the Middle East after World War I. (Stark 2009) And even if there were a legitimate record of long held Muslim grief over the crusades, it should be discussed in context with the Muslim aggression that preceded them. To do anything less is dishonest and cowardly and only feeds the creation of historic mythology of the kind educators should deplore. It also feeds the Muslim sense of self-pity, covetousness and intolerance of the presence of the Jew in his land, and encourages them to continue their futile crusades to, as they have said, annihilate the Jewish nation and drive them into the sea.

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The Enlightenment that Never Happened

The Enlightenment that Never Happened

(Excerpt from Textbook Propaganda)

 

Forget Luther, forget Cromwell, forget Isaac Newton and a hundred other devout scientists and forget Comenius; forget the thousand years of scientific advance in the Catholic Scholastic colleges and the Papal bulls against slavery: the Enlightenment did it all, or so imply the textbooks

 

 

The scientific ideas of the Enlightenment…As literacy grew in conjunction with the Enlightenment…the new technologies and Enlightenment ideas changed society…”

World Regional Geography, p.74

“In the 1730s colonist it British North America began to participate in new ways in transatlantic intellectual, commercial, and religious networks. The most educated of them embraced and practiced science, while thousands flocked to sermons preached by the people who brought evangelical Christianity to both sides of the Atlantic…”

American Horizons: US History in a Global Context, Vol. 1, Schaller and Schulzinger, 2013

Science, Literacy, ideas of individual freedoms, you name it; according to the texts they all came from the atheistic Enlightenment period with a capital “E”. And even in far off British America the educated people practiced “science” while the lesser educated folks continued going to churches.There are two major problems with the above scenarios: first, no enlightenment period as portrayed in the textbooks ever existed with its implied influence on science, literacy or human rights. Second; the subtle idea in the second paragraph that (though not said explicitly) the people who practiced science in early America were not church going Christians like the rest of Americans, but somehow enlightened, is a blatant falsehood.

Let me be clear and not subtle like the authors of the textbooks; there was arguably not one atheist founder in any area of science until well after the 19th century, certainly not more than two or three out of the hundred plus giants of science from the Medieval Ages to the 1900s. Almost to a man they were all avid devotees of the Scripture and gave their faith in the rational Judeo/Christian God as their reason for pursuing science.

Secondly; there is no history of an atheist leader or society or government or individual who ever passed any decree for public schools for the commoners or education for the women. The Catholic scholastic university system had been in use for centuries (in England Oxford became a home for the Reformation) and it was Christian leaders like Oliver Cromwell and John Amos Comenius who supported learning for the commoners and women alike. The first book off the Gutenberg press was the Holy Bible, and it was Luther’s Bible that set the standard for the German language in Germany and the King James Bible in England that standardized the confused dialects of the people into one national language; there was no atheist influence on these languages from enlightened sources. If there was such a person or influence of the atheist enlightenment, please send the proof of their existence to the textbook writers, because they name no scientific leader or educational leader at all; atheist or Christian.

You might think that they left out specific names and movements because their sweeping view of history wouldn’t allow the space. Let me assure you, they left out the specifics because there are not any. The desire to read the bible in their own languages when it became suddenly available and to read the debates between Luther and Erasmus or Zwingli was the primary cause of the major explosion in literacy among the common people in Europe. It would be hundreds of years before the handful of atheist scholars would name their own period the enlightenment.

And the idea of individual freedoms and such coming from enlightened sources is quite a stretch also. Most of the famous men portrayed as enlightened were pro-slavery, while the church had been pursuing ideas of individual freedom long before the days of Augustine; Hobbes was still a long way off. By the time of the bloody French revolution, atheism was certainly aflame in France and the period was a foreshadowing of other atheist revolutions that would take place in Marxist Russia and beyond where hundreds of millions were slaughtered. In France, they not only killed the king, they wiped out the entire nobility. The streets literally ran red with human blood. How enlightened is that?

In England it was Cromwell and the Puritans who overthrew (though they did not want to kill the king) the Monarchy; and who brought an end to the ban on Jews and ordered public schooling for the commoners and brought about a period of scientific discovery; but they were not atheists. But I am doing what the textbooks do; long rants and generalizations without much actual data though I have already named more historical figures in these first paragraphs than you will find in the entire textbook discussion on the development of individual freedom, science and technology and literacy in Europe. Why bother with such details? They can be so messy.

The idea of individual freedoms started in Europe because the Europeans had the bible and the bible made it quite clear that God, the God of the Jews, was if anything the God of the poor, the down trodden and the weak. The bible made it clear that “all men were made of one blood” and that your status or gender or age had nothing to do with your standing before God. It took a while for these concepts to sink in and develop and even longer for them to take shape in the political arena, but they did.

As late as 1797 the Enlightenment scholar Edwin Burke was saying, “The cause of humanity would be far more benefitted by the continuance of the (slave) trade and servitude…as by the total destruction of both or either.” (Davis, the Problem of Slavery in the Western Culture, Cornell University Press, 1966) Other so called Enlightenment heroes such as Voltaire, Locke, Hume and Hobbes all supported the slave trade and Voltaire viewed the Africans as an inferior race. (Stark, Rodney, For the Glory of God, 2003, Princeton University Press, p. 359) A few of the men identified with the Enlightenment were against slavery, but no sharp outcry, no abolition movement or group ever sprang from the files of the Enlightenment atheists.

Plato and Aristotle argued in favor of slavery. They maintained that certain races are inferior and are born to be slaves and their use gave the superior races the time and leisure to become, well, enlightened. The Church began to baptize slaves and recognize them as equals and buying them out of slavery, as early as the third century and even Pope Callistus had been a slave. But as Rodney Stark points out in “The Victory of Reason” (Random House, 2005), it wasn’t until the fall of the Roman Empire that the Church really began to move against slavery with a will.

In 657 A.D. Saint Bathilda, who was the wife of King Clovis, began efforts to abolish slavery and buy slaves from out of their bondage. In the 700s Charlemagne opposed slavery with the help of many bishops and the Pope. By 1200 A.D. slavery was abolished in Europe everywhere but in southern Spain where a trade was kept going with the Muslim slave traders. When the New World slave trade opened up again centuries later, several Papal bulls were issued against it; none of which are ever mentioned by any of the three textbooks we have been reviewing. This essential act of recognizing the individual rights of men was not a product of the Enlightenment or any other movement anywhere. No other movement against slavery is found in any other culture or religion, with the exception of certain Jewish sects. And Moses was the first to recognize the rights of slaves.

Now, but what about science? Surely the Enlightenment brought us science, right? Please name me one founder of modern empirical science that was an atheist and I will name you a hundred dedicated Christians. Let me list a few for you here;

Isaac Newton, who discovered of law of gravity and three laws of motion, an accomplished mathematician who made the first reflecting telescope and so much more, clearly stated his faith not only in a God, but in the Bible. He said that god,” governs all things and knows all things” and that, “The true God is a living, intelligent, powerful being…”, “He endures forever, and is everywhere present…” and on and on. He wrote literally millions of words on theology and the study of Scripture.

Robert Boyle, founder of modern Chemistry who helped to debunk the beliefs in alchemy so prevalent all over the globe. He was a devout biblical Christian who started a missionary enterprise, and established a will to help support the defense of biblical Christianity. And he wrote a book whose main thesis was that it was a religious duty of man to study and observe nature.

Johannes Kepler, one of the main founders of modern astronomy, who claimed that as a scientist he was thinking God’s thoughts after Him. He had intended to become a theologian but instead decided to pursue astronomy because he said, “The Heavens declare the Glory of God.” quoting the Bible.

Christopher Columbus, who said in his journals;

“It was the Lord who put into my mind ( I could feel his hand upon me) that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies (India)…There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures…” (Libro de Profecias)

More modern examples would be Lord Kelvin, the leading founder of modern physics, who was devout in his biblical faith in a creator and who said, “…the atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words…”

Or Louis Pasteur, who discovered and founded the science of microbiology, and who called Darwin’s idea of spontaneous generation, “Dumb, dumb, dumb.”, and said that the study of nature brought him closer to God.

Francesco Redi, the scientist who falsified spontaneous generation experimentally years before Darwin inspired Pasteur to again disprove it with his experiments. Redi said;

“I shall express my belief that the earth, after having brought forth the first plants and animals at the beginning by order of the Supreme and Omnipotent Creator, has never produced any kinds of plants or animals, either perfect or imperfect; and everything which we know in past or present times that she has produced, came solely from the true seeds of the plants and animals themselves, which thus, through means of their own, preserve their species”

Redi, F. [1688], Experiments on the generation of insects, translated by Mab Bigelow. Reprint, Millwood, New York, Kraus

Or Joseph Lister, who helped save millions of people through his development of antiseptics and their use in medicine. The son of devout Quakers he said, “…In my opinion there is no antagonism between the Religion of Jesus Christ and any fact scientifically established…”

And as for the technological advances, As Lynn White points out, by “the late thirteenth century, Europe had seized global scientific leadership.” “…so much technical progress took place during this era (the middle ages) that by no later than the thirteenth century, European technology surpassed anything to be found elsewhere in the world”…  (Stark, For the Glory of God, p.134)

Eyeglasses, extensive use of wind and waterwheels, the fire place and chimney, cannon and muskets, the iron horse shoe and horse harness, the manufacture of paper, the list is too long to put into this chapter. Suffice to say the technological advance of Europe had nothing to do with the 18th century enlightenment.

I have no idea who “The most educated of them embraced and practiced science” were in the textbook quote in our heading about early America. Whoever they were I can assure you they were not atheists or even Deists. Of course once again, they don’t bother to give us any names or discoveries so one can only wonder. Not that many Americans were actually working on experimental science projects at the time, though Benjamin Franklin comes to mind. He never confessed to the teaching of the Church on salvation by the merits of Christ through faith, and was the member of no sect¸ but was he an atheist? He said this is what he believed;

“There is one God who made all things, and he governs the world by his providence, that he ought to be worshipped by adoration, prayer and thanksgiving, the most acceptable service of god is doing good to men, the soul is immortal and God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice either here or hereafter.” Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography

Not an atheist creed.

So, no, I guess he wasn’t one of the textbook’s enlightened “embracers of science” either. I’m sure they must have existed somewhere. Or maybe, like the secular myth of the Enlightenment, they didn’t. At least, not outside of our modern college textbooks.

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Slavery was a Curse, not a boon to American Prosperity

It is popular among many to claim that American prosperity was built off the institution of slavery, as Rome in fact was. The historical reality is, as Abigail Adams and many others proclaimed that slavery was a curse which was turning the south into a wasteland while the north prospered. Beware of ideologies and political platforms that have to “retell” history in order to manipulate your vote.

Henry Seward, who became a leading cabinet member in Lincoln’s administration, and his wife Francis took a journey to the south in the summer of 1835 and describe the conditions of the south to those in the north;

“At the time of their journey, three decades of immigration, commercial enterprise, and industrial production had invigorated Northern society, creating thriving cities and towns. The historian Kenneth Stamp well describes how the North of this period “teemed with bustling, restless men and women who believed passionately in ‘progress’ and equated it with growth and change; the air was filled with the excitement of intellectual ferment and with the schemes of entrepreneurs; and the land was honeycombed with societies aiming at nothing less than the total reform of mankind.” Yet, crossing into Virginia, the Sewards entered a world virtually unchanged since 1800. “We no longer passed frequent farm-houses , taverns, and shops,” Henry wrote as the family carriage wound its way through Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, “but our rough road conducted us … [past] low log-huts, the habitations of slaves.” They rarely encountered other travelers, finding instead “a waste, broken tract of land, with here and there an old, decaying habitation.” Seward lamented: “How deeply the curse of slavery is set upon this venerated and storied region of the old dominion. Of all the countries I have seen France only whose energies have for forty years been expended in war and whose population has been more decimated by the sword is as much decayed as Virginia.” The poverty, neglect, and stagnation Seward surveyed seemed to pervade both the landscape and its inhabitants. Slavery trapped a large portion of the Southern population , preventing upward mobility. Illiteracy rates were high, access to education difficult. While a small planter aristocracy grew rich from holdings in land and slaves, the static Southern economy did not support the creation of a sizable middle class.”Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005-10-25). Team of Rivals (p. 77). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Booker T. Washington described conditions on the plantations from a slaves perspective;

“Ever since I have been old enough to think for myself, I have entertained the idea that, notwithstanding the cruel wrongs inflicted upon us, the black man got nearly as much out of slavery as the white man did. The hurtful influences of the institution were not by any means confined to the Negro. This was fully illustrated by the life upon our own plantation. The whole machinery of slavery was so constructed as to cause labour, as a rule, to be looked upon as a badge of degradation, of inferiority. Hence labour was something that both races on the slave plantation sought to escape. The slave system on our place, in a large measure, took the spirit of self-reliance and self-help out of the white people. My old master had many boys and girls, but not one, so far as I know, ever mastered a single trade or special line of productive industry. The girls were not taught to cook, sew, or to take care of the house. All of this was left to the slaves. The slaves, of course, had little personal interest in the life of the plantation, and their ignorance prevented them from learning how to do things in the most improved and thorough manner. As a result of the system, fences were out of repair, gates were hanging half off the hinges, doors creaked, window-panes were out, plastering had fallen but was not replaced, weeds grew in the yard. As a rule, there was food for whites and blacks, but inside the house, and on the dining-room table, there was wanting that delicacy and refinement of touch and finish which can make a home the most convenient, comfortable, and attractive place in the world. Withal there was a waste of food and other materials which was sad. When freedom came, the slaves were almost as well fitted to begin life anew as the master, except in the matter of book-learning and ownership of property. The slave owner and his sons had mastered no special industry. They unconsciously had imbibed the feeling that manual labour was not the proper thing for them. On the other hand, the slaves, in many cases, had mastered some handicraft, and none were ashamed, and few unwilling, to labour.”

Washington, Booker T. (2012-05-12). Up from Slavery: an autobiography (pp. 6-7).  . Kindle Edition.

Booker also said: “I pity from the bottom of my heart any nation or body of people that is so unfortunate as to get entangled in the net of slavery. I have long since ceased to cherish any spirit of bitterness against the Southern white people on account of the enslavement of my race. No one section of our country was wholly responsible for its introduction, and, besides, it was recognized and protected for years by the General Government. Having once got its tentacles fastened on to the economic and social life of the Republic, it was no easy matter for the country to relieve itself of the institution. Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes inhabiting this country, who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition, materially, intellectually, morally, and religiously, than is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe. This is so to such an extent that Negroes in this country, who themselves or whose forefathers went through the school of slavery, are constantly returning to Africa as missionaries to enlighten those who remained in the fatherland. This I say, not to justify slavery—on the other hand, I condemn it as an institution, as we all know that in America it was established for selfish and financial reasons, and not from a missionary motive—but to call attention to a fact, and to show how Providence so often uses men and institutions to accomplish a purpose. When persons ask me in these days how, in the midst of what sometimes seem hopelessly discouraging conditions, I can have such faith in the future of my race in this country, I remind them of the wilderness through which and out of which, a good Providence has already led us.”

Washington, Booker T. (2012-05-12). Up from Slavery: an autobiography (p. 6).  . Kindle Edition.

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