Consitution

Welcome to Plantation Nation

Welcome to Plantation Nation

autonomy, Civil War, conflict, conservatism, Consitution, critical judgment, culture, emancipation, Enlightenment, Healthcare, Ideology, justice, Minorities, Philosophy, Politics, republic, slavery, Spirituality
Say what you will about the conservative Republican vision for the Nation, it at least has the salient virtue of pristine consistency. The problem is that what this vision is consistent with is an era over 150 years in the past. Since the subject is conservatism in the early 21st-century mode, this is not terribly surprising. We are 60 years past the time of, say, President Eisenhower when the phrase “forward-looking conservatism” was not the oxymoron that it has now become. Rather, what is surprising is that the earlier paradigm which conservative Republicans are apparently using to model their policy proposals is a paradigm that was long ago soundly discredited: the Confederate States of America. In at least three broad areas of public policy – health insurance reform, hostility to union
Understanding the Religious Right … Or Maybe Not

Understanding the Religious Right … Or Maybe Not

Christian Church, Christianity, conservatism, Consitution, Ideology, Politics, Reformation, Religion, Scripture, Sexuality, Spirituality, Theology, Tolerance
OK ... 'fess-up time! I'm sure this will not make anyone choke on their beer and pork rinds, least of all anyone who even superficially knows me, but ... well ... here goes ... I don't understand the religious right. OK ... that's it ... I don't understand the religious right. Four master's degrees, adjunct faculty (once upon a time) at 2 universities, published criticism of the poetry and prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins in some fashionably obscure postmodernist academic journals ... visiting Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, 1988 ... so I’m good at understanding stuff. But I don't understand the religious right ... Why? Well ... OK ... here's the thing, or at least a Reader's Digest condensed version thereof. The religious right comprises Protestant denominations that, whatever their
Tom Paine Died for Your Sins

Tom Paine Died for Your Sins

autonomy, Consitution, critical judgment, Politics, Religion, Spirituality
I left Christianity gradually and "came out of the closet" as an atheist -- first to myself, then to others -- over a period of several years. But my vestigial Christianity continued to haunt me like Banquo's ghost at MacBeth's feast. I continued to assess the rectitude of actions according to the moral precepts of a God in Whom I no longer believed -- and Whose alleged actions in history, both in the Bible and out, if true, gave me good cause to question God's moral character, even questions of existence aside. (I.e., even if a God exists, the Bible itself indicates that Bill Maher was right:  the God of the Bible slaughters people in industrial-strength quantities.) Once I realized this, I was faced with the still-ongoing task of constructing an ethic divorced from God. This task, whil