Monday, September 21
Shadow

Religious War

17 September — Constitution Day

17 September — Constitution Day

abolition, autonomy, Civil War, community, conflict, conservatism, Consitution, critical judgment, culture, Education, emancipation, Enlightenment, Ideology, inclusive, mind, mindfulness, Minorities, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Religious War, republic, Science, Skeptic, slavery, Spirituality, Theology, Tolerance
*************************************************************************** I normally do not "recycle" posts, but every year on or about 17 September, I re-publish this "Skeptic's Collection" column commemorating the completion and signing of the US Constitution by the 55 members of the Constitutional Convention, gathered in Philadelphia from 25 May through 17 September of 1787.  So I am making an exception to my "no-recycle" rule and republishing a chapter of my recent e-course on the history and  foundations of the US Constitution. The Constitution is an imperfect document, and the original, pre-Civil-War version especially so. In fact, that antebellum Constitution was pretty explicitly pro-slavery because of provisions like the "3/5 clause", the prohibition against interfering w...
Rhesus Monkeys, Cantaloupes, And Donald Trump

Rhesus Monkeys, Cantaloupes, And Donald Trump

activism, autonomy, awareness, bigotry, causality, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Church, citizenship, civics, conflict, conservatism, constitution, critical judgment, culture, Current Events, Discernment, Education, Enlightenment, Environment, epistemology, Evangelicalism, Evolution, Executive Branch, faithfulness, Fascism, Fear, Fearless, Freedom, Fundamentalism, God, history, justice, Presidency, Presidential Pardon Power, progressive politics, Rationality, Religion, Religious War, remembrance, Renaissance, Resistance, Science, Scripture, Secularity, separation of Church and State, Skeptic, social justice, Theodicy, Theology, Tolerance, Trump, Uncategorized, Universe
This is an excellent article on presidential power to levy tariffs and to grant pardons. But the article opens out onto an issue that dramatizes why Donald Trump is not a President within the liberal-democratic, rights-centric, Enlightenment-based nature of the American, in fact, the entire Western, political culture. In fact, not only is Trump not a part of that system, he is as alien to that political tradition as, say, a rhesus monkey is alien to a cantaloupe:  they are simply radically different kinds of things. The structure of the Constitution incorporates certain aspects that the Framers selectively imported from the European, especially British, Enlightenment and deliberately built in, and that they intended in 1787 to be the strengths of the Constitution. These stre...
Toward Becoming “Un-Lapsed”

Toward Becoming “Un-Lapsed”

Abrahamic Traditions, autonomy, awareness, Buddhism, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, critical judgment, culture, efficient cause, Epiphany, Evangelicalism, Fascism, Fundamentalism, God, Grace, Holy Mystery, Ideology, instrumental cause, mindfulness, monotheism, Mystery, Myth, Numinous, Religion, Religious War, Scripture, The Divine, Theology, Uncategorized
For the past … I dunno … dozen-plus years, I have been what polite people would call a “lapsed Catholic”. I say this even though I met the Catholic Church at a time of spiritual shipwreck / accedie – what some call the “noonday demon” -- and that the Church gave me a vision of humans in community with the Divine that I never found, either as a fundamentalist, or as a non-fundamentalist but still conservative-evangelical, Christian. It may be that the Catholic Church saved my life. To this day, the issues I have are not only or even primarily with the Catholic Church – I mean, who among us with a non-flat-line EEG does not have issues with the Church? – but primarily with that Church’s God. (Or as I usually express it these days, “Gawd”.) But that latter is another rant for another time...