Every so often, I read posts from progressive, non-fundamentalist, religiously devout people – usually Christian, but not always – on, e.g., Facebook expressing astonishment and mortification at the manner in which the conservative evangelical / Reformed Christian church (with certain conspicuous exceptions, to be sure) has slavishly rallied around the Presidency of Donald Trump. This surprise is understandable if you only pay attention to the surface rhetoric of the conservative Christian church. But focusing on the superficial, conscious, “prefrontal-cortex” part of conservative Christianity is like looking at the surface of the earth and concluding that, except for the odd volcano here and there, the earth’s core is pretty much like the earth’s surface, that is to say, pretty dull:
As anyone knows who has read more than a half-dozen or so of these “Skeptic’s” columns over the years, especially those emphasizing some aspect of history, one of my all-time favorite quotes is by the German historian and philosopher of history G. W. F. Hegel: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history,” an assertion no less true for being facially self-contradictory. A simpler, more colloquial, and less high-falutin’, way of saying the same thing is “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”. Many of the comments, predictions, and prognostications being bandied about by the liberal / progressive community in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections sorely tempts me to conclude that, having lost the last presidential election, progressives have a
This "Skeptic's Collection" column was first published in October of 2014. But in light of the recent mass shootings in, e.g., Las Vegas, NV, Sutherland Springs, TX, and Parkland, FL, it seems appropriate to reprint it now, especially given that the bravery, eloquence, and conscience of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the latter city seem to have eventuated -- at least so we may hope -- a kind of moral conversion of the public debate on gun control. This column may well also be published as an essay in the Be-Zine, the other e-periodical for which I write. That is quite all right. To quote Mao Zedong: "Let a hundred flowers bloom". I want to add my modest impetus to the newly "woke" consciousness regarding the Second Amendment.
A well-regulated militia,