The Jefferson Memorial in the spring with cherry trees.
In his “Notes on the State of Virginia” Jefferson rhetorically asked, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God?”
Our Founding Fathers realized that rights and freedoms depend on citizens whose darker angels are restrained by a received moral code. John Adams put it this way: “We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.”
For the founders, moral truth was not a matter of empirical observation, personal opinion, or popular consensus; rather, it was the product of an external source of knowledge: the divine mind of God. Without a transcendent origin, moral codes become matters of power and politics. Rights and freedoms—and who has claim to them—are then neither inalienable nor durable, but subject to the caprice of the tyrant or the tyranny of the crowd.
The atrocities committed during the last century by the regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Mussolini are sufficient to disabuse all but the most glassy-eyed dreamers of the futility of producing a moral society from a purely secular state.
—from Secular Fantasies: The Golden Rule Is Powerless Without Judeo-Christian Presuppositions by Regis Nicoll
Further reading from Salvo:
Citizens Cain & Abel
The Dilemma of Soulcraft & the State
by Cameron Wybrow
Truth vs. State
It Takes Courage to Confront False Ideologies
by H. Lynn Gardner
Utopian Creep & the Struggle for Human Rights & Freedom
by Terrell Clemmons
Looking for some ideas for Summer reading? Well if you have an issue of Salvo lying around,* flip to the back and you’ll find a regular department called the “Blips.” There you will find a full page review of a book or a movie we think Salvo readers will want to know about, as well as ten to fifteen shorter mentions of interesting titles available.
Past Blips include:
Steeled Faith: A Review of Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by John Lennox
Redemption Afoot: A Review of Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World Through Everyday People
A Loving Proposal: A Review of Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage
Clearing Up Cosmos: A Review of The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Landmark Series
A Review of How the West Won by Rodney Stark
A Review of Blue: For Earth. For Humanity. For Freedom.
A Review of The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller
The Moral Facts of Life
A Review of What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide by J. Budziszewski
A more complete list of past Blips can be found here.
*If you are not a subscriber, SUBSCRIBE TODAY! 4 issues for only $19.99 PLUS the Science and Faith issue free.
Mike Adams is always a good read. Here’s something recent from him:
Onward Christian Pansies
Last week, a young Christian male asked me a pretty direct question. He wanted to know whether I ever worried that my blunt commentary on social media was “turning people away from Christianity.” I thought it was an honest question. So I gave him an honest answer. I told him that I believe the problem is just the opposite of what he considers it to be. In other words, it isn’t occasional blunt commentary that turns people away from Christianity. It is the constant displays of Christian cowardice that make people both reticent to join and quick to attack us. . . .
If you’ve spent any amount of time flipping through an issue of Salvo or perusing salvomag.com, you will have noticed that we agree with Mr. Adams assessment. You can read more about the good professor in the Salvo archives:
The Story of Mike Adams, Atheist Criminologist
Guide for the Misguided
A Clarifying Journey of Intervention, Detox & Recovery
And related to the title of this post, here’s a good article from Salvo contributing editor Regis Nicoll.
Speak No Evil
Judging by the New Blasphemy Code, Moral Views Are Excluded
. . . The person who can’t or won’t discern good from evil is destined to be a victim of those who are adept at disguising one as the other. Thus, abstaining from moral judgments is not a hallmark of nice people, but of foolish ones. And the person who makes judgments while insisting that he doesn’t or shouldn’t is naive, if not hypocritical. . . .
Every issue of Salvo includes a department we call the “Great Escapes“—Real-life stories of people finding freedom. Here’s a sampling of who’s been featured in the past:
• Sabbath School: On the Emancipation of Frederick Douglass by Means of Liberal Education
• A Change to Believe In: How The Raving Atheist Became The Raving Theist
• Son of Hope: The Story of “Son of Sam,” David Berkowitz
• The Evidentialist—J. Warner Wallace: How a Cold-Case Atheist Detective Became a Case-Making Christian
• Solitary Refinement: Fr. Roman Braga: How One Man Found Freedom Inside a Communist Prison
• Captive No More: The Thoroughly Rational Conversion of Michael Minot
• Recalled to Life—Annie Lobert: A Call Girl Becomes Christ’s Girl
Read their stories and many more in Salvo. Subscribe today!
Looks like Mr. Science is at again. No not that one, the other one.
I am not going to comment on any of the myriad problems with this line of thinking for human government—even Popular Science has already given it a proper take-down: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Proposed “Rationalia” Government Won’t Work: Rationally speaking, it would be bad for people and bad for science—but I would like to point out a good book that was reviewed in Salvo that counters a lot of the blustery “science” that Tyson espouses in his recent revamp of Cosmos.
Clearing Up Cosmos
The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Landmark Science Series
Douglas Ell became an atheist as a youth because of misinformation handed down to him in the name of science. It took him thirty years “to climb out of the atheist hole.” Sadly, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the 2014 series brought to you by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, and a host of like-minded celebrity atheists, served up thirteen dazzling episodes containing similar misinformation. The series mixed, quoting Jay W. Richards, “one part illuminating discussion of scientific discoveries, one part fanciful, highly speculative narrative, and one part rigid ideology disguised as the assured results of scientific research.”
If you like science—science done well, that is—you’ll find invaluable help making sense out of Cosmos with The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos: Fact and Fiction in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Landmark Science Series, an easily readable volume co-authored by Ell, Richards, David Klinghoffer, and Casey Luskin. The Unofficial Guide to Cosmos sorts out, episode by episode, the legitimate science from the liberal doses of materialist philosophy, revised history, and brazen ideology the makers of the series have carelessly (or intentionally?) stirred into the mix.
Read the rest. . . .
And more from Salvo on this topic can be found under SCIENTISM. Here’s a few:
Militant Science & Apostle Krauss
by Regis Nicoll
ETI In the Sky
What the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Means for Us
by Hugh Ross
Dr. Eric Hedin & the Contested Boundaries of Science
by Terrell Clemmons
The Salvo website has recently been made easier to navigate and explore its content. You can now browse by topic or author.
One tag word we decided to use has become old-fashioned (and even derogatory), but regardless it’s one that we thought fitting and deserving of proper usage. And if we don’t use the word properly (and proudly), who will? Take a look at what Salvo has had to say about this over the years.* Could also be filed under: Common Sense.
*As of today we’ve only archived as far back as Salvo issue 18, but thought it was extensive enough for use now.