Friday, June 20, 2008

The Ecclesiastix Gang (Jimmy Madison nostalgia hour, continued)

Father Madison's Sermon:

"""Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects. [James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr., January 1774]

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. [James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]""""

Res ipsa Loquitur. Few if any contemporary American politicians possess the spine (or the communication skills) which would allow them to proclaim such thoughts. (Unlike Demopublicans, the Founding Fathers were not "accommodators"). Secular, Madisonian principles (not to say the First Amendment) thus seem to permit civil unions of any type (heterosexual, same-sex, or otherwise), regardless of the Founding Fathers' own view of the "morality" of such unions (TJ and Madison, no Hucklebees, most likely had a taste of european decadence during their sojourns in Pre-Rev Paris: Ben Franklin (pal of Voltaire) certainly had, and rumor is Ben paid a visit to a brothel or two).

Can ah, ah get a witness? A men

The Founders love of liberty (not so great in all respects, like the economic) would seemingly take precedence over any supposed piety: better Ellen DeG. and her gal legally hitched than any imaginable Huckocracy--tho' that's not to say Ellen's not obnoxious as F, and part of the Ho-wood machine: a dyke with a gift for gab does not an Alan Turing make (Turing, father of the algorithm, cracked the nazi radar code (Enigma), and was queer, reportedly (as was his mad mentor Wittgenstein, reportedly)). However obnoxious a Turing might seem (and he does, in some ways) he prevented a great deal of damage: the crack of Enigma was arguably one of the key turning points in the allies' fortunes. British law even in 50's still contained a few quasi-theological statutes, and the authori-tays prosecuted Turing for "sodomy" more or less (later he ---reportedly---committed suicide via a cynanide-laced apple. We here at Contingencies suggest Moider as a possibility, perhaps with soviet (or Oxbridge-marxist) involvement).

The noun "Marriage" does traditionally have a theological meaning (and heterosexual meaning), however, and churches, whether one supports them or not, have the right to bless or not bless (or grant) a marriage. But theologians do not have the right to dictate civil law, nor is it simply a matter of a vote, taken mostly from baptist zombies (a point lost on some of the zealous anti-same-sex union crowd). Maybe eliminating the word "marriage" from all state and fed. documents might assist the forces of secularization.

Reading a bit of MadisonSpeak, however quaint, should remind us that opposition to ecclesiastical oppression and religious dogma (as JM and his pal TJ were so opposed) does not imply opposition to political order, and a traditional, secular sort of conservativism. By disliking preachers (or priests, imams, rabbis, etx.) one does not thereby join the sans-cullottes (or, in our day, the marxistas (and the Democrats have boo-coo marxist ties: they are the backroom boys (and gals) now (refer to UC professoriat for examples)). The cool reason and structure that characterizes Madisonian prose has obviously mostly vanished, whether in terms of mainstream journalism, academic writing, or blogland: calibans of links und rechts surround us (some even quote Nietzsche and Darwin).

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