The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


Blog Archive

Jun 11, 2009

Mr. Chadwell Part 6

Mr. Chadwell can be found at

Well, I guess THIS would be the wrap on this issue. You may be familiar with the old saying "A text without a context is a pretext." I think this applies in this case.

I think you have to take into account what is meant when a nation is "founded on" Islam and realize that such nations have no tolerance for dissenting religious views either from within OR from without. (You know, because Islam is such a "peaceful" religion. Gag.) In the case of the Treaty of Tripoli, this becomes key. It was in the interest of the U.S. at that time to make these nations understand that we were not founded on Christianity the way they were founded on Islam and that we were not the sort of country that would make war with other countries over different religious beliefs. (and the Muslim nations were, by the way) I think that this is the thrust of article 11. In other words, the Treaty of Tripoli was written to a Muslim nation or nations, not to our citizens, and those Muslim nations would have understood this in a particular way.

This seems like the best way to harmonize article 11 with those other quotes from the same men that signed the treaty. Again, we cannot merely sweep their other comments under the rug. If we can, then why don't we sweep the language of the TREATY under the rug? Nope… that wouldn't be right either.

Another interesting point may be found in that very first line of article 11. The article states that the GOVERNMENT of the United States isn't founded on Christianity. I don't think I would want to say that the government is necessarily the same as our nation as a whole. This has always been unique to our government… it governs, but in a very limited way (or at least it was limited at one point in history) and so much of the nation operates, in a sense, independently of the government. Much of American life (even today, believe it or not!) is NOT governed. (enjoy it while you can!) Therefore it could be said that, while America as a nation with its society and culture was "founded on" Christianity, the government itself was set up according to Christian principles, but with limits established that would ensure freedom of religion in spite of the fact. I'll grant you that this line of reasoning is a bit more convoluted than the first, but treaties are not entered into lightly nor worded carelessly… you can bet that every word in that treaty was very carefully chosen. There's probably a reason why they referred to the government and not the nation.

Here are three more quotes which I could have included previously… I offer these because I actually think they threaten my second argument because they speak of GOVERNMENT being supported by religion (Christianity). "Founded on" has the idea of a foundation, and foundations (and pillars) support things.

Patrick Henry, 1799 "The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor… and this alone, that renders us invincible."

Patrick Henry says that religion (Christianity)--and the morality and virtue which flow from it--is the only thing that makes our nation invincible.

Daniel Webster, 1800 "To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper."

This one ought to get our attention. Morality is grounded in religion (again, Christianity) and without that, there is no grounding for morality. We have not preserved morals at all. Nationally we have embraced the notion that morality is relative, that what's right for you may not be right for me, that there is no such thing as truth, that all religions are equally valid (and, in reality, false). Therefore we have no grounding for morality, no foundation. Without that, Daniel Webster says, the superstructure MUST fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated (perverted or of impaired quality) and corrupt, laws become invalid and constitutions are like garbage. Welcome to the 21st Century.

Charles Carroll, 1800 "Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

What else needs to be said? Obama himself, though he claims to be a Christian, decries the Christian religion and has undermined any solid foundation of morals. Don't get too excited about that… lots of recent presidents have done precisely the same thing. I think there are rough days ahead for the United States.

Anyway, I think you get the idea. I think it's very difficult to rely on article 11 of this treaty as any kind of "proof" that American was not founded on Christianity or is not a Christian nation. The treaty had a very narrow context with a very narrow life span. It is predictable that atheists embrace the Treaty of Tripoli and yanked it out its context and used it to support their own world view… a world view which the founders clearly rejected. They do the same thing with evidence for evolution. They take finch beaks that change size and shape over time, pull that fact out of its context, ignore the fact that the finches' beaks end up getting smaller again and that the finches never become anything other than finches, and then from this they conclude that a single-celled organism can evolve into, well, YOU. Fits the pattern, doesn't it?

I think that's all I've got. Hope it all makes sense. I'd welcome your comments, critical or otherwise.

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