12/07/2005: More 'Christian Nation' Canards...
Clearly someone who has missed out his "Constitution 101" and never read Jon Rowe on this topic of *Natural Rights" and the age of Enlightenment is Carlos Alberto Montaner in this bit of sophistry: Natural Rights: Darwin vs. God:
The whole philosophical and juridical structure that supports liberal democracy hinges on the existence of a superior being from whom emanate the ''natural rights'' that protect individuals from the actions of the state or from the will of other people. If the premise of God's existence disappears, the theory of the existence of natural rights is automatically eliminated and the door is flung open to all kinds of abuses.
But, as our Brilliant Thinker, Jon, has pointed out so often in his essays on the formation of our Constitution [and blogged Here:
"...The fact is the Ten Commandments were an historical legal code -- for the Old Testament Jews. And for much of Western History, Christendom did indeed incorporate the Decalogue into its civil code. And this resulted in theocratic tyranny, exactly the type of thing that we rebelled against when we Declared our Independence in 1776.
For instance, examine exactly what the Ten Commandments say and then ask how we might derive a "civil norm" from each. In the First, the God of the Hebrew scriptures forbids worship of any other God but He. David Barton, a shining star of the religious right and propagator of the "Christian Nation" theory, in an affidavit supporting the public display of the Decalogue, proudly gives us examples of colonial civil laws, dating back hundreds of years before the Founding, based upon the First Commandment (and other parts of the Bible) that give the DEATH PENALTY for worshipping "any other god but the Lord God."
This is quite frankly the antithesis of the theory of religious liberty that founds our nation. Also laughable is the attempt to draw some kind of connection between the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence. If anything, these two theories need to be reconciled with one another.
For instance, the theory of religious liberty that founds this nation is part-and-parcel of the natural law of the Declaration of Independence, which many people regard as the organic law of the United States. According to such theory all men -- even those who would worship no God or twenty Gods, in the words of Jefferson and Madison, have unalienable Free and Equal Rights of Conscience and hence the right to worship openly as they please. This is the polar opposite of those colonial civil codes, based on the Ten Commandments, that demand the Death Penalty for worshiping "False Gods."
and check out this latest post about those "Natural Rights" posted Here.
So - we need to send Mr. Montaner [and all his ilk] back to remedial education classes in both Religion 101 and Constitution 101.
[And thanks Jon - for all the great work on following the threads of these issues from our Founding Fathers and our Constitutional underpinings.]
Karen on 12.07.05 @ 06:58 AM CST