Sunday, March 6, 2016

Wow. Abraham Lincoln actually said this.

So, like, wow, man. Abraham Lincoln actually said this. I knew he had 'reverence for the law' (ugh), but really? 'Political religion'?

In a nutshell, to adopt the political religion and to sacrifice unceasingly upon the altar of the state? Shameless. Stalin would truly be proud.

"Let every American... swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others... let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor... Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap – let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; – let it be written in Primmers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; –And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.” - Abraham Lincoln

Check out the source, here.

Of course, libertarians have been calling out statism as a form of religion for some time, now. There's tons of stuff around the internet by libertarians you'll find on this, but this one is my personal favorite:

"Libertarianism is "cultish," say the sophisticates. Of course, there's nothing cultish at all about allegiance to the state, with its flags, its songs, its mass murders, its little children saluting and paying homage to pictures of their dear leaders on the wall, etc." - Tom Woods

Sophisticates? Sophists, maybe, but I've got to give it to ole Tom Woods -- he's always been a treasure trove of righteous indignation and disdain for state fundamentalism. Regardless of calling out political religion for what it is and has been for decades, though, libertarians are usually mocked and laughed at for it. This phenomenon is not simply isolated to 'the right' or 'the left' (whatever either of these concepts even mean anymore, anyways) though. Both conservatives and pro-regressives are horribly guilty of worshiping the state as a kind of religion. And now we've got further explicit evidence from another one of 'Our Dear Leaders' that that's exactly what it is and exactly what it aims to be. 

Oh, well, what's this? A wikipedia on 'Civil religion'? What's that, you ask?

"Civil religion is a concept that originated in French political thought and became a major topic for American sociologists since its use by Robert Bellah in the 1960s. It means the implicit religious values of a nation, as expressed through public rituals, symbols (such as the national flag) and ceremonies on sacred days and at sacred places (such as monuments, battlefields or national cemeteries). It stands outside the churches, although church officials and ceremonies are sometimes incorporated into the practice of civil religion"

Hrm. Let's dig a little deeper, shall we? Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his reverence for his 'social contract'? But, of course.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau coined the term in Chapter 8, Book 4 of The Social Contract (1762), to describe what he regarded as the moral and spiritual foundation essential for any modern society. For Rousseau, civil religion was intended simply as a form of social cement, helping to unify the state by providing it with sacred authority. In his book, Rousseau outlines the simple dogmas of the civil religion:
  • deity
  • afterlife
  • the reward of virtue and the punishment of vice
  • the exclusion of religious intolerance.


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