This is pretty much a copy of what we posted last year. We wish our American readers a happy Fourth of July, and we ask our non-US readers to indulge us as we celebrate America’s Independence Day.
You may see some nonsense about the Fourth at creationist websites. The Revolution was a few generations before Darwin wrote Origin of Species, so that gives creationists some wiggle room to say crazy things about the Founding Fathers, but regardless of what creationists may claim, the Founders were very much part of the Enlightenment, and there was nothing biblical about the American Revolution. Most of the clergy opposed it — divine right of kings, you know. The bible is all about monarchy, on Earth as it is in heaven. It’s certainly no blueprint for the American Revolution, or the Constitution — see Is America a “Christian Nation”?
The Discovery Institute frequently attempts to hijack the Fourth of July by claiming that American Founders like Jefferson were — or would have been — supporters of their “theory” of intelligent design. They’re doing it again today. For some of their previous travesties, see, e.g., this from ten years ago: Discovery Institute: Another July 4th Hijacking, and then Discoveroids Again Hijack the Fourth of July, and then Discoveroids Pervert the 4th of July Again, and then The Discoveroids and Thomas Jefferson, Again.
We always take this occasion to load you up with a bunch of historical links, so we’ll do that once again. Here’s a link to the Declaration of Independence, plus the Articles of Confederation, which — except for a few tweaks — was also drafted in July of 1776, but it wasn’t ratified until 1781. No collection would be complete without Common Sense, by Thomas Paine.
Those links are about the Revolution. The time when we were living under the Articles is the often-neglected period when we had ten Presidents before George Washington — see President of the United States in Congress assembled. Finally we come to the Constitution.
Here’s the Federalist Papers — that splendid and still authoritative series of essays by the Constitution’s principal authors, who explain the meaning and purpose of its every clause. The website has a search feature at the bottom of the page. For some wholesome family amusement, invite someone over who insists that the nation was founded on religious principles. Encourage your friend to search through the entire thing for all the religious words he can think of, and then let him ponder the results.
It’s astounding what you can find at Primary Documents in American History (1763-1815). And you ought to be aware of this: Veto of federal public works bill by James Madison, because pork barrel spending is unconstitutional. Hey — it’s always handy to have a link to Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Searchable!
We’re not expecting any of our kind of 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 © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.