Thanksgiving at RenewAmerica

Buffoon Award

The RenewAmerica website is the eighth winner of the Curmudgeon’s coveted Buffoon Award. What we found there today confirms the wisdom of that decision. It’s titled The Pilgrims and the U.S. Constitution.

We assume from the title that we’re about to read some nonsensical historical revisionism, because we already know that the Pilgrims, who are remembered on Thanksgiving day, had nothing to do with the US Constitution. Until they gave it up when they realized it was killing them, they were practitioners of bible communism — see Of Plymouth Plantation: “Every Man for His Own Particular”. Their brand of religion was responsible for the Salem witch trials. The Founders of the United States were influenced by the Enlightenment, and they repudiated virtually all the Pilgrims’ precepts — see Salem and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Cities.

Nevertheless, the article at RenewAmerica claims that we owe our Constitution to the Pilgrims. It was written by Jerry Newcombe, described as “an on-air personality/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries.” We’ve also encountered his work at WorldNetDaily. He used to work with James Kennedy, the now-deceased televangelist who made the influential “documentary” Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, based on the book From Darwin to Hitler by Discovery Institute “fellow” Richard Weikart.

Okay, you know what we’re dealing with. Here are some excerpts from Newcombe’s article, with bold font added by us:

As we get ready to celebrate another Thanksgiving, there’s one more thing to be grateful to God for – the U.S. Constitution and the political freedom it has brought. What many people don’t realize is the link between the Pilgrims, authors of our Thanksgiving tradition, and our nation’s founding document.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If ever there was a “missing link,” the one between the Pilgrims and the Constitution is it. Newcombe would have better luck searching for Noah’s Ark. Then we’re told:

When the founding fathers sat down in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 at the Constitutional Convention, they had almost 150 years of constitution-making on American soil to draw from. And devout Christians of earlier generations, who used the biblical concept of covenant as a model, were those who provided the precedents.

Aaaargh!! We totally debunked that in Is America a “Christian Nation”?, where we quoted the Constitution:

Article. VI, Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Article. VI, Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. [Note: an “affirmation” is a secular oath.]

That would have horrified the theocratic Pilgrims. We also said:

Hamilton and Madison, who explained the Constitution clause-by-clause in the Federalist Papers, did so totally without scriptural references. That’s because there was no scriptural basis for concepts like a decentralized federal republic, a two-house legislature, limited government with enumerated powers, representation based on population, checks and balances, prohibiting religious qualifications for holding office, allowing secular oaths, and providing that a man-made Constitution was the supreme law of the land.

Let’s read on from Newcombe’s article:

One such document [alleged precursors to the Constitution] was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut of 1639, which was inspired by a sermon that examined principles of government from the Bible. This covenant, which mentions “the gospel of our Lord Jesus,” was the first complete constitution written on American soil and is the reason that to this day Connecticut is called “the constitution state.”

Aaaargh!! None of that was included in the US Constitution. The most likely reason Connecticut has that nickname is because of a compromise their delegates proposed at the 1787 Constitutional convention, resulting in the two chambers of Congress — see Connecticut Compromise. Newcombe continues:

A covenant is an agreement before God, binding a community together. The Pilgrims, Puritans, and other dedicated Christians engaged in writing about 100 various agreements for self-government, paving the way for the Constitution. The first of these American covenants was written by the Pilgrims before they even disembarked the Mayflower, a month before they even set foot in Plymouth.

Nowadays, a covenant is nothing more than a contract; but the biblical meaning of “covenant” is an agreement made between God and the Israelites. Neither the early colonial charters nor the Mayflower Compact were biblical covenants. The Mayflower Compact does have the phrase “just and equal Laws,” which some say is the first mention of what we now think of as “equal protection,” but the Mayflower Compact was so unimportant during the Revolution and later the Constitutional Convention that it wasn’t even mentioned in the Constitution or the Federalist Papers.

Here’s our last excerpt from Newcombe’s article. He quotes from the Mayflower Compact, presumably because he thinks it proves his thesis:

The Mayflower Compact says: “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, King James . . . Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these present, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid.”

This document signed on November 11, 1620 was a milestone in history and a major step in the process of the creation of America.

[…]

The Constitution and those, like the Pilgrims, who helped pave the way toward its creation, are blessings to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Thus endeth the history lesson. Happy Thanksgiving.

Yes, that’s what the Mayflower Compact says, and that’s when it was signed. It’s part of our Colonial history, and it’s fine to remember the Pilgrims on Thanksgiving day. But they had nothing to do with the Constitution, and we should all give thanks that their weird theocratic ideas are not the law of the United States.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Thanksgiving at RenewAmerica

  1. The US Constitution has more in common with the government of the Iroquois Nation then to the pilgrims and their buyBull!!!!

  2. If Jerry set out to prove he knows as little about history as IDers know about science, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

  3. This comment is better suited to a Free- Fire Zone, but I just want to say I’m thankful that I’m not living under theocratic rule such as exists in Saudi Arabia.

    There were two rather conflicting articles in today’s Orlando Sentinel.
    One tells of local Muslims buying billboard space along Interstate 4 claiming that theirs is a religion of peace.
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-highway-billboards-muslim-americans-20151124-story.html

    The other is an item about a palestinian artist sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for writing allegedly blasphemous poetry.
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-bc-ml–saudi-apostasy-case-20151126-story.html

    It’s interesting that both articles appeared in the same day’s paper.

  4. Another solid essay from our Curmudgeon. Thank you.

  5. retiredsciguy linked to a story in the Orlando Sentinel about billboards advertising Islam as a religion of peace. He remarks that it sat oddly with another story in the same issue, of the death sentence passed on a poet in Saudi Arabia for writing what was held to be blasphemy. True, it does sit oddly. I see that one of the billboards tells readers that Muslims are their doctors.

    It was, as I recall, a group of Muslim doctors from the local hospital who, called to jihad, loaded a 4WD with petrol and improvised incendiaries, and tried to drive it through the glass doors of the Glasgow airport terminal, there to explode it to the glory of Allah and the discomfiture of the unbelievers. The vehicle was stopped by security bollards – a fairly obvious barrier to anything short of an M1, I would have thought – and the driver succeeded only in destroying the car and anticipating his personal fears of Hell by suffering seventy percent full thickness burns. Still, the intention was there. Of course the local imams condemned the act and disassociated themselves from it in the most emphatic terms.

    That’s because they, and the Muslims commissioning those billboards, are engaged in only the first of the four-step process of creating an umma, ie, a separate autonomous Muslim community. Most Muslim populations in the west are still engaged in that first phase, but there are some that have progressed beyond it, to the second, and even the third.

    At the outset, the faithful will be scattered and few. They should, during this first phase, be careful to practice the utmost charity, benevolence and good works, emphasizing to their neighbors those precepts of their faith, and continuing to engage the unbelievers with all cheer. They must build a mosque, on a carefully chosen site, but must present this as a place of worship only, and a center for good works. This will bring in converts, and reassure hardened infidels of the goodwill of Muslims.

    With the mosque as a center, a set of businesses will naturally grow up around it. Halal stores, food shops, restaurants; a book store; a bank run on Islamic lines – for the faithful may not lend or borrow money at interest. A crucial and early addition should be a school nearby, probably beginning in the mosque itself. This must be of exemplary academic standard, but of course it will teach the faith.

    The faithful will naturally wish to live near these services. More businesses used by the faithful will be added over time: a travel agency to assist with the haj; clothing and dress shops for proper Muslim attire; a barber. And so on. Thus, the Muslim population in some given district or area will become increasingly concentrated.

    Unbelievers may notice what’s happening. They must be reassured. Muslims simply wish to practice their faith, and to live at peace with their neighbors. Thus, the billboards. The mosque should invite unbelievers to see for themselves that it is only a house of prayer, a place of worship.

    Once Muslims have become an identifiable population within a district, the second phase begins. More and more, the faithful must be encouraged to use only Muslim businesses and services. The sharia requirements not to lend or borrow at interest already provide an entry to this. At the same time, haram services will naturally decline. Liquor stores and places of public entertainment that are unIslamic can’t prosper in a neighborhood that disdains them. Persons practicing unIslamic behavior in public in this neighborhood can be – shall we say – strongly encouraged to move on without actual violence. Thus, unbelievers will avoid the area, and by that very act, will distinguish it from their own. This is the object of the second phase: the actual establishment of a Muslim enclave, not only in the minds of the faithful, but tacitly acknowledged by the unbelievers.

    Once this is achieved, the third phase can begin: to become an actual polity. Muslim scholars (distinguished and learned men all) will hear cases and adjudicate according to the sharia. Muslims are already taught that the only legitimate marriage is according to the faith; it must follow that marriage according to the customs or laws of unbelievers is both unnecessary and invalid. (Among Muslims in Britain, 80% of marriages are not registered with the State.) The sharia court therefore has an obvious body of law to administer – Muslim family and divorce law. But of course, it can also hear other matters – contracts, business relations, commercial disputes. Thus, a body of law and custom will grow up, and a structure is established that is sufficient for all ordinary purposes between Muslims, thus further separating the faithful from the unbelievers.

    This process might take generations, for Allah is patient. But when it is complete, there will exist a community of believers, living together, practicing the Faith under their own law and authority, with few unbelievers among them, and even that few reticent. It will no longer be part of the unbeliever state, in fact and in effect.

    The final step is to have this recognized by the unbelievers, even if only tacitly. This recognition is inevitable, given the success of the earlier phases. The rulers of the unbelievers will come to acknowledge that their writ does not run, in the Islamic umma. They might react violently, and attack the Muslims. That is the time for jihad, and all Muslim authorities are in complete accord on that point.

    Very few Muslims therefore endorse the present jihadists except in the defence of Muslim lands, and certainly not ISIS’s claims to be the Caliphate. Of course not. The time is not yet ripe, in the West. But if the differential birthrate in Europe is any indication, with the unbelievers not replacing their own population, the only requirement is patience, and the time will come, as Allah wills.

  6. A question for DL.

    “Once Muslims have become an identifiable population within a district.”

    Like has happened in Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad, you mean? Muslims have been very identifiable populations within the districts of those countries since at least 80 years.

    “Thus, the Muslim population in some given district or area will become increasingly concentrated.”

    How come muslims haven’t in the three countries I mentioned? How come muslims are scattered all over the town where I live? How come most supermarkets in Surinamese areas with large amounts of muslims are run by Chinese immigrants – and muslims actually buy there? Granted, they also sell halal food. All Surinamese supermarkets do, run by Chinese or not.

    “to become an actual polity. Muslim scholars (distinguished and learned men all) will hear cases and adjudicate according to the sharia.”

    How come this hasn’t happened in the three countries I just mentioned, while Suriname had its first muslim minister about 60 years ago? How come no single Surinamese muslim even talks about sharia – as if that’s a well defined concept?

    “This process might take generations”

    Ah, that’s the answer. Eighty years is still not long enough! They just abide their time! In the meantime I’ll enjoy my relationship with a practicing muslima, thank you.

    “all Muslim authorities are in complete accord on that point.”

    I asked some Surinamese ones. While they thought it an uncomfortable question they answered that jihad refers to a spiritual fight against evil in human nature. May I suppose that your rebuttal contains the word “taqqiya”?

  7. Will the Great Voice from above will be as benevolent to me as to Mega and correct the erroneous after “and muslims actually buy there?”

    [*Voice from above*] I am benevolent even unto such as you.

  8. I take it, mnbo, that you didn’t read this bit:

    ” Most Muslim populations in the west are still engaged in that first phase…”

    Of course, it would much depend on the resources and demographics of the Muslim community involved, and how split it was internally between shia and sunni and others. In the countries you mention, the populations, the proportions, and the resources available are all small. In the metropolitan Netherlands, Belgium, and above all Sweden, the process is far more advanced. So it is in my own country, where inner city districts like Lakemba and Auburn, suburbs of Sydney, have entered into the second phase I described. I respect your own experience, and hope it becomes more general – but my own observations differ.

    Enjoy your friendship with the muslima. Ask her if she believes the word of the angel who spoke to the prophet, as given in the holy and noble Qu’ran at 5:51, 5:80, 3;28, 3:118, 9:23, and 53:29, among other places.

    Apologists always claim that jihad refers to a spiritual fight against evil in human nature. It does, too. But it also refers to armed combat against the unbelievers, and no Islamic authority disputes it. Faced with that, apologists usually retreat to saying that it is limited to defense – or no worse than immediate reprisal – against attacks made on Muslims or Muslim lands, and that there are other strictures. For example, no individual can declare jihad. It can only be declared by a wise and temperate ruler, as advised by the best available scholarship. It must avoid killing women, children, the helpless and peaceful and unarmed people. Sure.

    Then ask if the jihadists who kill randomly are heretics and apostates from the Faith, since they ignore and deny these very important strictures. The apologist will either flatly refuse to answer or will turn verbal somersaults to avoid giving one.

    I hope you’re right, and that it’ll all blow over, and Muslims will settle into the western democracies as citizens and valued members of the community, adding yet another vibrant strand to the intricate blend of our shared culture, while becoming integral to it.

    I regret to say, however, that I have my doubts that it’ll happen.

  9. The whole truth

    [url=http://postimage.org/][img]http://s17.postimg.org/t009teclb/church_and_state.jpg[/img][/url]

    [*Voice from above*] It grieves me to see you struggle. Is this what you’re trying for? Church and State

  10. The whole truth

    “It grieves me to see you struggle.”

    I am humbled by your benevolence.

    “Is this what you’re trying for? Church and State”

    Yes, thank you.

  11. I regret having left some important facts out of my comments above.

    Firstly, and most importantly, I did not mean to imply in any way that Muslims in general are inclined to jihad in the sense of an armed struggle. The vast majority are peaceable, generous and hard-working people who make excellent citizens and good neighbors. Any form of general coercion, especially violence, towards them is barbaric, vile and crudely wrong, purely evil, and a reproach to a civilized society. Reasonable defense against armed and deadly attack can never, never justify such a thing.

    In this I am as one with the classical and scholarly interpretation of “jihad” that I outlined above. My “sure” at the end of it was not meant to indicate that I didn’t believe the Islamic scholars that stress these strictures. “Sure” was NOT meant ironically. I AM sure that the scholars are enunciating classical and correct Islamic doctrine in stating these strictures. My point was that the jihadists are not. They are ignoring and breaching those conditions, and that fact is blatantly obvious. It would seem to follow that they are in heresy and apostasy from own religion, but after considerable searching, I have yet to find Muslim authorities who are willing openly to say as much. I would be grateful for any reference; I can only say that it should be better known.

    Nor did I mean to imply that all Muslims, nor even most, wish to follow the course I described in creating an Islamic umma. Nevertheless, in Europe, in Britain, and in my own country, Australia, I have witnessed myself or seen credible accounts of that course being followed.

    Ghettos, whether enforced or voluntary, are evil things, for both their inhabitants and for the rest of the people around them. They alienate. They invite abuse. They encourage friction and separatism. They prevent engagement and integration. The fact that the fanatics on both sides want them to exist is reason enough for all others to say that they shouldn’t.

    I apologize for the possible implications of my remarks, which implications were unintended. Let it be plainly understood, I could not care less about whether a person is a Muslim or not, a believer or not, a theist or not. I am concerned about ghettos. I am concerned about what some Muslims call jihad, however small that particular group of Muslims may be. I think I am right to be concerned about those things.