Friday, March 04, 2005

Judeo Christian Means American

John and I finally finished the 'Why Republican' piece and sent it to the PV News. Not much commentary until yesterday when faithful visitors Ralph and Anony (wish you would give me a nickname to use) responded about the Judeo-Christian values part. Anony thinks it is exclusive, or devisive, not big tent. That is just a misconception about the meaning of J-C.

When Toqueville called America "exceptional" he was referring to our common belief in the creed of Americanism. From the beginning, and more so with every passing year, Americans are not a racially defined people but a people defined by our unique ideology. Americans are a racial polyglot but a cultural and ideological melting pot. We are "e pluribus unum," out of many one, and the moral creed that our culture and our laws rest upon is Judeo-Christian. Anyone who adopts that culture may be an American, whether his race is Arab or her religion is Hindu, or whatever. [One may even be an atheist, under the law, but I wonder how good an American you could be.]

Samuel Huntington in Who Are We describes the American Creed as defined by Jefferson to include the English language, the English rule of law, the responsibilities of government and the rights of the people defined by the Constitution, religiousity, the Protestant work ethic, the belief in advancement and Judeo-Christian ethics based on the Ten Commandments and the Bible. Buy into those things and you qualify to be an American and a Republican. We want you!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy, too easy, to say "That is just a misconception about the meaning of J-C."

I think you got it right the first time. The Republican part is moving to be more strongly associated with a fundamentalist Christian agenda, and that has long-term implications for war and peace.

The tragedy of it for me, is that it walks straight into history that should be plain to us. Civil society, peaceful society, can be stable - but when it declines to some point, it can reach another stable state. Religous strife has been a big player in that state-change.

The Irish and English have been killing each other for "J-C" (as you put it) for about 400 years. It is amazing to me the degree modern peoples will attempt to recreate the Irish solution.

Lebanon was by all reports a jewel on the mediterranean up through the 1960s. Religious conflict flipped it into that other stable state. It is stuck there.

I'm sure that many conservatives think they can use "J-C values" as keywords, and pick up mulitple audiences. At one extreme traditional types may take a liberal interpretation of government enligntened by a certain moral philosopy, and at the other fundamentalist groups will take it to mean an anti-evolution agenda.

The problem is that this isn't a slippery slope, this is jumping off with both feet.

This leads to 100 year wars.

(and anonymous speech has a fine history in America.)

3:06 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Re:Anonymous speech. No problem with anonymous speech here. It would be easier to engage in discussion without the possible confusion with multiple anonymous's.
Re:Fundamentalist Christian thought taking over the Republican party and the potential agenda against other religous persuasions including love-of-the-stateism, the tent seems capable of including Mormons and Jews. The history of western civilization is nothing more than the give and take and final resolution of the greek philosophers and the Christian religion. What that means to me is that man is subordinate to a higher authority. What won't fit for me is the idea that man and the goverments he creates is the higher authority.

8:13 AM  

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