Damn this could be the start of something. I can perhaps feel the tug of the keyboard upon my fingers, even if only for a short burst. In any event my blog sloth is under an attack from both duty and desire. The QotM is back, this time with a quote from James Madison. Madison was our fourth president and had a busy hand in the writing of our constitution. Indeed he is considered the father of our constitution. Not only that but Madison basically set the stage for how our government operates.
For most of my regulars you all know this series is dedicated to the common trope that our nation was founded for x-ians by x-ians. This oft repeated lie you will hear echoing throughout our great land and beyond. It is my job, nay my duty to point out this little fallacy when I can.
Without further ado, our quote from James Madison :
“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.”
Anyone with an eye for seeing beyond the facade that is religion can see that, but few could have said it better. It seems every time I do one of these I am struck by the way the truth was as evident then as it is now. Only those willing to shed the blinders of religion get to see that ugly and shallow truth.
My quote source: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html
A little more history on James Madison and the Virginia Plan that eventually morphed into what we see as our government today: https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-constitution-amendments/james-madison/
I believe in my laziness, I let last month get by me without a Quote of the Month, and this month nearly so. I got up this morn with the intent of doing something with the blog today and QOTM is it. Most of my followers (I think that is a tad creepy, but glad to have you!) know that this series is about the x-ian revisionist history that claims our country was founded upon x-ian principles, but for the new guys/gals… It most certainly was not. A look at the founding father quotes which are easily available, will quickly confirm the founding fathers were at best deists. Which back in the day, with the limited tech, and the pervasiveness of the church, was a great step in the right direction.
I was browsing for a quote and this one by Ben Franklin hit caught my attention, as it captures perfectly well that which I see on a steady basis of creationists. This quote is quite elegant in its simplicity, and quite to the point, which is as relevant today as it was in centuries past. Without further ado:
“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” Ben Franklin, from the Poor Richards Almanac.
January was such a mess for me, I do believe I skipped a month in this series. Well we are well into February and I have no good excuses for letting this month slide. With no further ado, the quote of the month…this one by one of my favorite free thinkers, Thomas Jefferson.
“They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.”
I am constantly impressed that the great thinkers of yesteryear saw in their times the same habits exhibited by the faithful as we do today. Indeed in this day and age entire enterprises have been developed by the faithful to denigrate, and obfuscate in an attempt to subvert or deny the many factual evidence based explanations posited by science. After all this science stuff is the Achilles heel of their beliefs. Just about every claim of fact by the faithful has been proven null and void by science. They have little else to do but sit by and cry foul, all the while extracting donations from their followers. They have no interest in providing anything useful to the topic, all they care about is the casting of enough doubt in science (even though they are always wrong in their claims), to keep those donations coming in.
That’s a pretty good gig if you can get it. Posture up claiming you know the truth, but never having to provide any evidence of said truth. Howl and wail about how science is wrong, but never have to point out exactly where and how it is, and if they do try that they are soon shown to be attacking a misconception, partaking in quote mining, or using the proven staple of outright lying. This matters not. All that matters to them is to play their part in the production. Pat each other on the back, and convince the sheep to send money.
I sometimes wish I could get in on that easy money thing, but I keep hitting some sort of wall of integrity every time I think that way. I just could not do it. I often wonder what kind of person can sleep at night, knowing everything they do and say…is just part of an enormous con? I doubt that person would be an atheist.
The obligatory link to the page I extract these quotes: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html
Lets go with George Washington this month. Here is a quote that echoes my sentiments of the state of religion today. Anyone with an ounce of sense, who is paying attention to the goings on in the world today, will see that things really haven’t changed much since 1792.
“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
George Washington – letter to Edward Newenham, 1792
If anything, things appear worse now than they were then. People blowing each other up over what? Religious views. Palestines killing Jews. Jews killing Palestines. Muslims killing just about anyone they see as a threat or symbol against their tyranny. In Africa we have Muslims killing x-ians and vice versa, and x-ians going on good old fashioned witch hunts, where their children and neighbors are being killed (for being witches? really? I thought we had moved past that). You have all kinds of religiously motivated atrocities going on all over the place, why then is this religion thing heralded as something good again? Someone remind me.
I honestly feel like religion is the single largest threat to society… ever. Unless those that practice religion of all stripes can learn to be tolerant of other peoples beliefs, and reconcile old differences of opinion, what we see today will continue to fill 20 second slots on the nightly news, Infinitely. I see nothing to indicate otherwise. An ideal world, in my opinion, would be one free of religion, and the prejudice that comes with it. Can we move out from under this darkness, this machine of evil, this unrelenting opression already? Religion is not the sweet goodness its adherents think it is, they are just blinded, or indifferent, to its true nature.