Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Democracy problems & other odds & ends

Desiring to bring to the conservative Christians the glaring problems with the Iraqi constitution, I did not focus on my own beliefs. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the internet is wide open for any all readers; thus, there are questions and concerns about what has been (mostly) unsaid in this series.

Being an interactive blog I expected, well, interaction—I was hoping some comments from those concerned about America supporting an Islamic Socialistic state! (But, perhaps, too many people have been accustomed to socialism to even recognize it anymore). Instead, I got various and sundry comments about “neocons” and “Christian fundamentalist”. So, I’ll try to summarize some clarifying comments:

1. This first point acknowledges the comment that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land (article 6) . I do acknowledge that my fourth article/posting is short and vague. Thus, I’ve modified it slightly.

2. “so you're against democracy are you?”
I am against Democracy when defined as direct democracy, majoritarianism , or economic egalitarianism (positions the founders tried to avoid). I believe in a federal republic, sometimes called a representative democracy.

3. " 'the people are the cornerstone to modern society' " - yes, so they should be. the system is known as democracy, the system you seem to oppose."
Besides what is noted above (and not merely believed by a fringe group!) about democracy, the cornerstone of any society should be law—that is what protects the minority from the majority. Thus, the majority cannot enact murder, for instance, against the minority.

4. " 'only God and His Law are our authority and legitimacy' " - so why isn't America a theocracy (maybe that's what you want)"
Maybe—depending on how one defines “theocracy”. The American law-system is based upon certain philosophical doctrines; over the course of our history, there has been a struggle over what those doctrines should be. Currently, we have a non-reflective worldview used in America, Evolutionary Materialism, with relativism as a corollary. Of course, Materialists use logic—which has no physical existence--but that’s another matter.
I would have no problem with the original American set-up in which Protestantism was the recognized “cultural glue”, such that some of the States limited governmental offices to Protestants only. Thus, our nation basically--in its law and cultural expectations-- followed the Ten Commandments. This, however, did not mean any one church ruled the nation, or that people were killed for being Muslim, but it entailed a general belief and practice that most citizens had in common (a worldview). More precisely I would like a return to the older Christian America as consistent with such a worldview (hence, no slaves, etc., but that is another post).

5. "Then again, the Iranians are allowed to vote as well.” Exactly, that is one of the major problems of Democracies. Another Hitler could be voted in. However, if a Republic is based upon a common worldview (that is one against Nazism or Communism), reinforced through the societal institutions, then this would be much less likely. But a free-for-all Democracy is unpredictable and dangerous in the long run.

6. “It seems there's another US christian fundamentalist / neocon who needs to learn more about his own country's history and constitution.” Nope, sorry—too many assumptions: I am not a neocon:I did not vote for Bush; I am against the Iraqi war; I am against international "interventionism". However, if one wishes to continue this friendly dialogue, perhaps his or her philosophical assumption (worldview) should be placed on the table for all to see—making blanket allegations from the cover of cyberspace is too convenient.

As for “fundamentalist”—I am not sure what that is supposed to mean. Some use it as an ad hominem associating Christians with Islamic terrorists; some use it (again as an ad hominem) more narrowly for "unthinking" Christians (which do exists); others use it for Christians who believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures (that's me!). Within conservative Christian circles (in the US anyway) it may mean those who "don't drink, smoke or dance" (i.e. legalists) or those who are dogmatic thinkers. It used to mean simply those who believed in the miracles of the Bible and its inspiration (Torrey's The Fundamentals). It is more proper to call me Reformed Presbyterian (ala Westminster Confession (1646)--OPC)

I guess with that many definitions of "fundamentalist" under my belt, that should preclude me from being "unthinking". Then, again, many non-Christians don't even know this much about Christianity.

I hope I have clarified myself enough. Remember, I am trying to write to a Christian audience--but I'm willing to dialogue with others.


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