Fourth of July — Free-Fire Zone #21

Liberty Enlightening the World

We ask our non-US readers to indulge us as we celebrate America’s Independence Day. But first — the news:

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits — has recycled an essay by their founder, old Henry Morris, who once wrote Liberty and the Word of God , in which he said:

[T]rue freedom results from continued study of the Scriptures and obedience to them.

He also mined a few scripture quotes, such as “the truth shall make you free,” but even with all his quote-mining skills, there wasn’t much old Henry could do. The words “freedom” and “liberty” appear only a few times, and (except perhaps for the Exodus) not in the way that we understand the word. The bible is all about monarchy, on Earth as it is in heaven; it’s not much of a blueprint for the American Revolution.

In other news, we see that the Discoveroids, as they traditionally do on this day, have once again hijacked poor ol’ Thomas Jefferson. At their blog, see: On Independence Day, Recalling the Intelligent-Design Views of the Man Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence, where they say:

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday, as we will, and while you’re doing so don’t forget to recall the intelligent-design views of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence that we celebrate.

Now that you’ve been purged at both ends, dear reader, consider the foregoing to be a reminder that liberty requires constant vigilance, in every generation. Okay, that’s it for the serious stuff.

Last year we gave you a bunch of links to peruse, and we’ll repeat them once more, with a few others tossed in. Here’s a link to the Declaration of Independence, plus the Articles of Confederation, which was mostly drafted at the same time as the Declaration, but it wasn’t ratified until 1781. Hey, no collection would be complete without Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

Here’s the Constitution. Let’s not overlook President of the United States in Congress assembled, listing ten Presidents before George Washington.

Here’s the Federalist Papers — with a search feature at the bottom of the page. And here’s our post on Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. While we’re at it, here’s our post on The Unknown Bill of Rights.

But wait — there’s more. Check out Primary Documents in American History (1763-1815). Loads of goodies there. You ought to be aware of this: Veto of federal public works bill by James Madison, because pork barrel spending is unconstitutional. And it’s always handy to have a link to Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Searchable!

Now then, we’re not really expecting any news today, so we’ll have to entertain ourselves. Therefore, we’re declaring another intellectual free-fire zone. As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Fourth of July — Free-Fire Zone #21

  1. An annoying recent trend among paranoid authoritarians masquerading as conservatives (on talk radio, etc.) is to downplay the Founding Fathers’ defense of the Enlightenment and play up (quote mine) their religious statements, to pretend that they would support today’s anti-evolution activists (& by implication, disagree with their theist critics like Ken Miller and Francis Collins). Please, especially if you consider yourselves conservative or at least centrist, do what you can to counter that misinformation.

  2. docbill1351

    I say “the Founders died 200 years ago” and I … do … not … care.

    Thank you, Founders, but you’re dead and we’re not. It’s our country now and it’s a different world and, really, today your beliefs mean diddily squat.

    You can’t drive forward if you’re only looking in the rear view mirror.

    Happy Fourth of July!

  3. Jack Hogan

    Still waiting for that Coppedge ruling. Does the judge really need this much time to reach a decision and write it up? Is the delay a reason to worry?

    My WAG is the judge’s ruling will address free speech and religious freedom and that is why he is taking his time.

  4. Jack et al
    On Coppedge, I think Hiroshige knows his
    ruling will be landmark. I’m also sure he saw how venal and at odds with reality and science Coppedges bizarre behavior was in the workplace. It’s a record of a crummy employee technician being caught in a large lay off but I agree, there will be some findings regarding Coppedges creationism babble. Is there any public funding at JPL? There certainly is at NASA. If JPL is contractually employed by NASA perhaps there is a legal link. We could ask “Disraeli” Becker . Me ? I’m going to check out the links above. A good way to spend the Fourth.

  5. longshadow

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

    Some things never change….

  6. Longie says: “In other news, HIggs boson found”

    And still no sign of the intelligent designer.

  7. longshadow

    Background on the Higgs, and its implications, written by Our Curmudgeon’s favorite physicist, Lisa Randall:

  8. Retired Prof

    docbill1351, your irreverence toward the Founders is justified, except in regard to one crucial passage in the Constitution: Article V, providing for amendments to adjust the document to meet current needs. We should continue to revere that one. Amendments may not permanently stave off the need to invoke the principles in the Declaration of Independence and overthrow the government violently, but so far so good.

  9. I don’t agree that the Bible is entirely about monarchy. Particularly Genesis, after the Noah story, where both Abraham and Jacob are shown arguing, making demands, and even wrestling with God. And, often, living independent of at least any temporal authority.

  10. A recent and very interesting book on the subject is “The Myth of American Religious Freedom” by David Sehat. I found it very illuminating.

  11. And here is the tweet that sums up my anger with any and all Americans who would destroy science:

  12. I looked pretty hard, but didn’t notice Kadinklefloppen or Casey at the Geneva
    Conference on Higgs-Boson. They weren’t invited? Tsk, tsk.. Were they at the Giant’s Causeway this weekend looking for Nessie instead?

  13. will: “They weren’t invited?”

    They were “expelled”. 😉