The Pantheism of Barack Obama; predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville 200 years ago, when he said pantheistic world views would lead to the failure of American democracy

The Pantheism of Barack Obama; predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville 200 years ago, when he said pantheistic world views would lead to the failure of American democracy

Often when I am writing against what claims to be an atheist world view, I forget that far more prevalent in contemporary America is a pantheism that embraces atheist views, but also picks and choose among all the various and manifold religions in America today. Millennials particularly feel themselves quite enlightened when they shift from one view to another, even while claiming to be Christian. Which helps explain the popularity of Barack Obama as well as their ability to absorb whatever behavior is acceptable among their age group without controversy. The following is direct from Tocqueville’s book on America written in the early 1800’s. (after Barack Obama’s quote)

“So, I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith. On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where already there are a lot of Eastern influences…And I’d say, probably I’ve drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith…So I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people” Barack Obama

”When the conditions of society are becoming more equal and each individual man becomes more like all the rest, more weak and insignificant, a habit grows up of ceasing to notice the citizens and considering only the people, of overlooking individuals to think only of their kind. At such times the human mind seeks to embrace a multitude of different objects at once, and it constantly strives to connect a variety of consequences with a single cause. The idea of unity so possesses man and is sought by him so generally that if he thinks he has found it, he readily yields himself to repose in that belief. Not content with the discovery that there is nothing in the world but a creation and a Creator, he is still embarrassed by this primary division of things and seeks to expand and simplify his conception by including God and the universe in one great whole.

If there is a philosophical system which teaches that all things material and immaterial, visible and invisible, which the world contains are to be considered only as the several parts of an immense Being, who alone remains eternal amidst the continual change and ceaseless transformation of all that constitutes him, we may readily infer that such a system, although it destroy the individuality of man, or rather because it destroys that individuality, will have secret charms for men living in democracies. All their habits of thought prepare them to conceive it and predispose them to adopt it. It naturally attracts and fixes their imagination; it fosters the pride while it soothes the indolence of their minds.

Among the different systems by whose aid philosophy endeavors to explain the universe I believe pantheism to be one of those most fitted to seduce the human mind in democratic times. Against it all who abide in their attachment to the true greatness of man should combine and struggle.”

Tocqueville, Alexis de (2011-04-21). Democracy in America – by Alexis de Tocqueville (V. 1 & 2 with linked TOC and footnotes) (Kindle Locations 9782-9784). . Kindle Edition.

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About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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