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At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

In Defense of a Separation of State and Science

posted by Jack Kerwick

Guest writer Myron Pauli, a Ph.D. in physics, argues for the need for a separation of State and Science.  As always, Dr. Pauli offers much food for thought.

Most of us understand the concept of separation of church and state (government). But few understand how that can carry over into separation of education and state or science and state. Government determination of “truth” often winds up backfiring on both government and truth.

Government had been pushing various enlightened concepts such as compulsory “universal” education since the mid-19th Century. State laws known as “Blaine amendments” ensured that taxpayer funds would not go to Catholic schools but only to “universal” (e.g. racially segregated Protestant-controlled) schools. By 1919, populism, feminism, and progressivism had advanced to better mankind (at government gunpoint) via Prohibition. When progressive Woodrow Wilson tilted us into the Great War, local governments undertook to ban teaching foreign language (Meyer v. Nebraska (1924)) and sectarian schools (Pierce vs. Society of Sisters (1925)).

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Another progressive concept to uplift mankind in the early 20th Century was eugenics, pioneered by Charles Darwin’s half-cousin, Sir Francis Galton. Eugenics was enthusiastically endorsed by Margaret Sanger and the American Birth Control League and distinguished American eugenecist Dr. Charles Davenport. Like all “political issues”, some tried to suppress this movement with legislation while others tried to enforce this with legislation. In 1924, Virginia passed two “enlightened” laws: the Sterilization Act and the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Dr. Davenport, for example, founded the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations in 1925 which had a “commission on bastardization and miscegenation” to campaign against racial mixing and advised Nazi Germany. The Sterilization Act was endorsed by the Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell (1927) in a decision by progressive hero Oliver Wendell Holmes (“three generations of imbeciles are enough”) with only one dissent (the “reactionary Catholic” Pierce Butler).

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Davenport’s science was incorporated into the standard textbook “A Civic Biology” which ranked the races: Ethiopian-negro ; Malay-brown ; America Indian ; Mongolian-yellow ; and “finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians”. Some did not like the modern eugenics including Catholics and the World Christian Fundamentals Association. The latter pushed through a law banning teaching of evolution in the Tennessee Public Schools although the official Tennessee biology textbook was none other than “A Civic Biology”! (thus teachers were ordered to violate the law!). A test case was set up with John Scopes as the teacher whose name became infamous and later led to such works as “Inherit the Wind”.

The popular view is that the ignorant Protestants were suppressing free speech although I would gladly wager that any public school teacher reading the white supremacy part of “A Civic Biology” in 2015 would be terminated permanently within 24 hours. Ironically, H. L. Mencken, a defender of evolution, wrote that the “anti-evolution law, whatever its unwisdom, was at least constitutional – – that policing school teachers was certainly not putting down free speech.” Mencken, of course, stood FOR evolution but endorsed the right to of parents to keep their children “ignorant”. What happens in both the “Inherit the Wind” drama and in the actual court case is that Scopes loses but the fundamentalists make fools of themselves. Science, education, and politics all blended into one giant mess.

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In 1930, the ever-skeptical Mencken, reviewing a book by cosmologist Sir James Jeans, wrote “I believe that fully four-firths of what cocksure physicists tell us about the nature of electrons will be laughed at on some near tomorrow…”. Ironically, the agnostic Jeans’ “Steady State” cosmology later lost out to Catholic priest George LeMaitre’s “Big Bang” cosmology as data accumulated.   Science eventually sorts itself out without “official” help.

In the movie and the actual case, the “bigoted” William Jennings Bryan is not allowed to give his “final speech” and soon drops dead. In spite of my own belief in species mutation and evolution, I find this part of the “ignorant” Bryan’s 1925 speech to be quite prescient, especially in light of Hiroshima: “In war, science has proven itself an evil genius; it has made war more terrible than it ever was before. Man used to be content to slaughter his fellowmen on a single plain – the earth’s surface. Science has taught him to go down into the water and shoot up from below and to go up into the clouds and shoot down from above, thus making the battlefield three times as bloody as it was before. But science does not teach brotherly love. Science has made war so hellish that civilization was about to commit suicide; and now we are told that newly discovered instruments of destruction will make the cruelty of the late war seem trivial in comparison with the cruelties of wars that may come in the future.”

Perhaps science and “education” should employ more skepticism and humility and less reliance on political endorsements and dogmatic certainty.  

 

 

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Ron Paul, Donald Trump, and Libertarians: Reality vs. Fantasy

posted by Jack Kerwick

While appearing on Alan Colmes’ radio show some months ago, former presidential candidate Ron Paul expressed his belief that Trump is “almost the opposite of a libertarian” candidate.

Trump, according to Paul, never expresses his desire to “give you your freedom and your liberty to run your life as you choose.” Rather, he in effect assures us: “I know the answers and I’m going to do this and I’ve done this, I’ve done this, this and this.”

Surely, Paul is on to something. That being said, the following considerations should be borne in mind.

First, that Paul rejects Trump for not being a libertarian implies that he thinks that only a presidential candidate (or any kind of candidate?) who is a libertarian deserves the support of liberty-minded voters. Presumably, this in turn is because Paul thinks that only libertarian candidates intend to restore the Republic of individual liberty bequeathed to Americans by the Founders.

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But libertarians, to an arguably greater extent than partisans of any and all other stripes, know that intentions are overrated. Intentions needn’t have any bearing on the goodness or badness, the desirability or undesirability, of an action.

A greedy businessman, say, may want nothing more than to cheat his gullible customers. Yet he thinks that ultimately he will make greater profits if he treats them honestly and establishes for himself a reputation of being an honest businessperson. Another businessperson is a “racist” who personally would prefer to hire and trade only with his co-ethnics. But realizing that there is much more money to be gained by supplying goods to other ethnic communities, self-interest prevails over his idiosyncrasies. And thanks to self-interest, potato farmers in Idaho awake before sunbreak every morning so that untold numbers of strangers in distant states can have potatoes with their steaks.

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Libertarians are the first to realize that the intentions of individuals are utterly irrelevant to evaluating the goodness or otherwise of their actions in the private sector (or economic realm).

Do intentions now suddenly assume categorical importance once they play out in the public sector?

Secondly, no candidate—including Ron Paul himself—will govern as a libertarian.

That’s right: Every candidate who runs for the presidency—and this, obviously, includes three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul—couldn’t govern as a libertarian even if they wanted for nothing more than to do so.

Take Paul as an example. Paul endorses the federalist scheme of government and liberty as it was delineated by the Framers of the United States Constitution. However, from its ratification to the present day, our Constitution has been twisted and stretched to the point that its present day manifestation can hardly be said to be recognizable to its 18th century counterpart.

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We are living in a Post-Constitutional Order (PCO).

Nothing less than a “fundamental transformation” of present governmental arrangements is required if any “constitutionalism” worth the name is to prevail.

In fact, even this prescription is wide of the mark, for it isn’t just the size and scope of government that must be revolutionized. So too must the mindset—the beliefs, values, conceptual categories—of the vast majority of Americans who have by now endured multiple generations of being habituated into accepting as axiomatic all sorts of profoundly unconstitutional ideas about the government’s relationship to a free citizenry.

Indeed, no kind of president promises to be as aggressive an activist politician as a libertarian president.

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Ron Paul, like his son, knows this better than anyone. After all, as a libertarian committed to “states’ rights,” Paul should’ve been content remaining in state and local government. But Paul continually set his sights on the White House. Why? The answer is clear: It is as President, but only as President, that Paul could exert the immeasurable power and influence necessary for prosecuting his vision for America.

Paul was no different than any other candidate insofar as he too assured voters of what he would do and what he would make possible once those voters granted him the power to do so.

Rand Paul continues in the same vein.

Both Pauls accepted the premise of the PCO, the premise of a powerful, activist presidency.

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Both Pauls accept the premise, then, of a strong, centralized government.

Now, none of this is to knock either of the Pauls. Nor do I mean to imply that the Pauls aren’t genuine lovers of liberty or “Constitutionalists.” Rather, the take away from all of this is that even if—no, especially if—a President Paul sought “libertarian” or Constitutional ends, he would, of necessity, given the current mess, have to engage in an uninterrupted exercise in activist governing.

Paradoxically, a libertarian president, for practical purposes, will look upon the government in a manner that is as far from that of the libertarian ideal as any.

He must regard it as an agent of “fundamental transformation.”

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President Paul would have to avail himself of every quantum of power available to occupiers of this office if he wished to trim it down to its original, Constitutional size.

Of course, no liberty-minded politician, even if he (or she) held “the most powerful position in the world,” will manage to accomplish remotely as much as he’d like. Yet libertarians wouldn’t judge him on whether his tenure climaxed with the inauguration of a libertarian idyll.

Libertarians would judge him on what he did while in office to undo some of the incalculable damage that the enemies of liberty had inflicted upon the country over generations.

They’d judge him on what he did to budge the country just a bit further toward that ideal.

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Libertarians would judge a libertarian president on whether he exacerbated or, to even a minimal extent, diminished the post-Constitutional crisis.

These two preceding points brings us to our third.

If intentions aren’t what ultimately matter as far as the worth of public actions are concerned; if even the most stalwart of libertarian presidents couldn’t govern as a libertarian; and if even a libertarian president would be judged favorably by libertarians as long as his actions nudged us just slightly closer to a libertarian ideal, then there is no a priori reason for the libertarian to reject Trump.

That Trump is not a libertarian does not mean that none of his positions are libertarian. At any rate, his views on the robust interventionist foreign policy of the Establishment, the mess in the Middle East, Russia, etc. are (for the most part) libertarian-friendly. Domestically as well, Trump has sounded off on positions ranging from the Second amendment to immigration which are perfectly compatible with libertarianism.

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In other words, even though Trump is not a libertarian, a Trump presidency could have the effect of weakening, however slightly, the PCO.

This is not an endorsement of Trump. Nor do I mean to suggest that any of this will happen in the event that Trump is elected to the presidency.

My objective in raising these considerations is to caution libertarians against denying reality in pursuit of an ideal to which even some of their heroes, like Ron Paul, could never so much as pretend to live up.

In denying this concrete reality in exchange for some dreamy abstraction, libertarians could miss opportunities for changing the reality for the better.

 

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The Second Part of An Interview with World Net Daily’s Ilana Mercer on my “The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front”

posted by Jack Kerwick

Republished here is the second installment of Ilana Mercer’s interview with me for World Net Daily. I address questions on some of the issues with which I deal in my recently published book, “The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front.”  It is available in paperback and in Kindle at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Ilana Mercer (IM): Barack Obama as a devotee of “Blackism”: Why do you think this president is incapable of empathizing with the untold number of white Americans dead by blacks and Muslims?

Me: What I call “Blackism” is an ideology, a recipe for achieving racial “authenticity.” Like any ideology, it is the distillation, the cliff note, of a cultural tradition, the tradition of black Americans. Biological blackness is necessary for authentic “blackness.” It is not, though, sufficient.

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Blackism is designed for the Barack Obamas of the world, those who are at least partially black biologically but for whom black culture is a foreign language. The ideology is a simple method that, being a method, is comprised of a few principles that need only be affirmed in order to achieve “racial authenticity.”

One of these principles is that ultimate reality is comprised of collectivities, primarily racial collectivities. Another principle is that non-whites are perpetually oppressed by whites.

It isn’t that Obama or any other Blackist would think to deny that whites (and others) can and have been harmed and killed by blacks and Muslims. It’s only that they must see such violence as stemming from “root causes”—“racism,” a “legacy of slavery and Jim Crow,” “the Crusades,” “imperialism,” “poverty,” etc.—that, ultimately, whites should have rectified.

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IM: Like me, you are still haunted by the “Knoxville Horror”? (Tell our readers what it is) Why?

Me: This real life story is the stuff of nightmares. In 2007, in Tennessee, a young white couple in their early 20’s, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, were carjacked, abducted, raped, tortured, and finally murdered by four black men and one black woman.

Newsom was blindfolded, sodomized with an instrument, and shot execution-style. His body was then set on fire.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, “Christian suffered horrific injuries to her vagina, anus, and mouth. She was not only raped, but savaged with ‘an object’…She was beaten in the head. Some type of chemical was poured down her throat, and her body, including her bleeding and battered genital area, likely scrubbed by the same solution [.]”

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“She was then ‘hog-tied,’ with curtains and strips of bedding, her face covered tightly with a small white trash bag and her body stashed inside five large trash bags before being placed inside a large trash can and covered with sheets.”

The medical examiner concluded that “Christian died slowly, suffocating [.]”

Far from being the chronic victims of interracial crime, as the Racism-Industrial-Complex would have us think, blacks are much more likely to be the victimizers: In roughly 90 percent of all attacks involving blacks and whites, the former are the perpetrators.

Thankfully, your average black-on-white attack doesn’t involve the savagery of the “Knoxville Horror.” Yet the latter is the textbook illustration of the reality of black-on-white racial violence, as well as the randomness and mercilessness that far too many such attacks do involve.

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Beyond this, the “Knoxville Horror” is the textbook case of the media’s complicity in the evil of black-on-white violence, for just as it routinely refuses to cover the latter, so the national media refused to cover the ghoulishness in Knoxville.

IM: In “The American Offensive,” you recount the forgotten white, race riots of the 1800s. You reach an unexpected conclusion about the founding American people, also a pathologically passive population. What is it? (p. 128)

Me: Black crime in-general, and black racial mob violence specifically, are huge, persistent problems in contemporary American life. Only the most self-delusional and shameless of race propagandists would think to deny this (though even they admit that black criminality is a problem, albeit, to hear them tell it, the result of a larger problem: “white racism”). Colin Flaherty is one courageous writer who has meticulously, unapologetically, chronicled this phenomenon.

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Given current racial realities, then, it may surprise people to hear that most race riots in this country until well into the early decades of the 20th century involved white perpetrators and black victims. And they were brutal, making the black perpetrated riots of today look like temper tantrums.

My point in noting this is not to engage in but another exercise of white guilt-mongering.

Rather my point is to remind people that just because whites no longer engage in the type of racial mob violence for which blacks are known today doesn’t mean that history couldn’t repeat itself if circumstances were just right.

Since enough violence has a way of eventually begetting more violence, this is something worth bearing in mind.

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 IM: Since you went to press, it has become even clearer that the Grand Old Party that lies about its commitment to liberty must die. What do you suppose Edmund Burke would’ve said about the Republican Party? (p. 171)

Me: I can’t imagine that Burke, particularly the Edmund Burke who railed against the French Revolution, would’ve recognized the Republican Party as a conservative party, much less a party committed to preserving liberty.

Burke was well aware of the tradition-specific particularities of social orders, and especially those of his own social order. He loathed the metaphysical abstractionism of his enemies among the French Revolutionaries and their apologists. Yet the Republicans’ creed of choice, “American Exceptionalism,” the creed that America is the only society in all of time to be rooted in an abstract proposition, is of a piece with Burke’s enemies’ insistence that societies must be organized around “the rights of man.”

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I think that Republicans (and their mouthpieces in the so-called “conservative media”) know that Burke would have no affinity for them. This would explain why they never invoke him.

IM: You’ve dismantled neoconservatism—the creed that animates the foreign policy prescriptions of every single Republican presidential hopeful other than Rand Paul and Donald Trump. How does the Bashar-must-go; Putin-is-Lucifer lunacy comport with your analysis of neoconism?

Me: Because of the neocons’ radically ahistorical notion of America as an “exceptional” nation, the only in all time to have been founded upon a “proposition” or “principle” affirming self-evident, universal “rights”—which they in turn translate into “Democracy”—and because principles have no borders, so to speak, neoconservatives have no regard for the particularities and contingencies that define societies: All that counts is that the universal, “rights,” be defended.

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Yet the only way for this to occur is for the United States government to have virtually unlimited power. That’s right, for all of their talk of “limited government,” neocons ache every bit as badly for a huge, activist government as do leftists of any other stripe.

And this in turn implies that they must see enemies around the globe—or at least where there is no “Democracy.”

IM: à l la Frédéric Bastiat, author of “The Law,” you teach: “Laws do not tell citizens what to do … they tell citizens how they must avoid acting regardless of what they choose to do.” How does this classically liberal concept of “The Law” clarify why NOT ONE “conservative” is indeed a conservative in the mold of Russel Kirk or Burke?

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Me: Laws have no purpose in the sense that they aren’t devices for achieving predetermined outcomes. Laws qualify, they do not specify, actions. In this crucial respect, they differ in kind from commands, orders, and policies.

The great apostles of liberty in the classical conservative and libertarian traditions have always understood this. Neocons and other leftists do not. The proof of this is in the neocons’ obsession with policy, particularly foreign policy, and the incessant chatter about “leadership” in government that their foreign policy prescriptions entail. Leaders have followers, those who the former compel, one way or the other, to do as they are told.

In contrast, free men and women are self-directed. This is what the law makes possible.

Policies, commands, and orders preclude it.

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An Interview with World Net Daily’s Ilana Mercer on my “The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front”

posted by Jack Kerwick

Below is the first of a two-part interview that I did with World Net Daily’s Ilana Mercer on my recently published book, The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front. This first installment was published last week at WND.  The second installment should be published on Friday, January 1, 2016.

ILANA MERCER [IM]: In “The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front,” you address the demographic drumbeat meant to downgrade and demoralize what is derisively called the “white vote” in this country. Explain, with reference to 2016.

JACK KERWICK [Me]: To no slight extent, it is GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s American-friendly position on immigration that accounts for why both Republican and Democrat Establishmentarians alike despise him.

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For a half-of-a-century, American policy has overwhelmingly favored non-white immigrants from the Third World. I think that the doctrine of “American Exceptionalism”—the doctrine that America was “founded” upon some ahistorical abstraction (an “idea” or “proposition”)—coupled with an ideology of anti-“white racism”—the belief that whites are uniquely “racist”—informs contemporary immigration policy. The objective is to simultaneously neglect and repudiate the country’s Eurocentric, Christocentric history.

Trump challenges this narrative. Thus, he is vilified by those who stand to gain from it.

IM: No sooner does one immigration give-away fail (the Schubio Gang of Eight), than a new political zombie will resurrect the marvelously intuitive idea of importing masses of migrants from countries in which Christians are being exterminated. On the eve of Christmas, tell us who’s killing whom around the world. (p. 95)

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Me: For all of the talk about “Islamophobia,” in reality it is Christians (as well as other religious minorities) in Islamic lands around the globe who are routinely subjected to unimaginably barbaric treatment courtesy of their Islamic oppressors. Inasmuch as this phenomenon of Islamic-on-non-Islamic cruelty transpires throughout Africa and the Middle East, it transcends ethnicity, nationality, and culture.

Open Doors (OD) is an organization “dedicated to serving persecuted Christians throughout the world.” OD reports that 40 of the worst 50 countries on Earth for Christians are countries with majority Muslim populations.

Still, to listen to the left and (faux) right, with all of their talk of “Islamism” or “extremism,” one could be forgiven for thinking that none of this is happening, that the problem is with something they call “Islamism” or “extremism.”

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IM: Slavery was abolished by white Christians; it is still practiced robustly—even religiously regulated—by some Muslims. Tell our readers about this never-discussed reality and the tenets that permit slavery in Islam.

Me: Though, as you mention, white Christians of the 18th century spearheaded a moral revolution that resulted in the abolition of slavery around the world, it is still practiced in parts of the Islamic world.

Not being an Islamic scholar, I can only say so much as to why this is the case. Unsurprisingly, the Quran not only authorizes, but commands, the practice of slavery. Moreover, Muhammad owned slaves, and observant Muslims are expected to emulate the example of “the Prophet.”

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While it’s true that the Bible—the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures—also allow for slavery, there is no analogical relationship between it and the Quran on this score. The Bible’s teachings are contextualized within a narrative interpretive framework. The Quran, in glaring contrast, has no such framework.   The kind of chronological or historical sequencing of events in the Bible is not to be found in the Quran.

IM: The powder keg of indigenous, American, black racists adopting Islam: Elaborate. (p. 98)

Me: That Islam—or at least a racialized version of it—has attracted scores of black Americans, to say nothing of black American criminals, over the decades is no secret. This connection between black Americans and Islam is at once revealing and troubling.

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It’s revealing in that it suggests that those who have been reviled for noting the impulse for militancy within the Islamic tradition just may have been on to something all along, for it is precisely the perception of militancy that appeals to those blacks who feel alienated from mainstream American culture. After all, it isn’t Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism or some other non-Western faith to which they’re gravitating, but Islam.

That the phenomenon of alienated black Americans endorsing a militant ideology is troubling is self-explanatory. Those who are already ripe for violence now have a theological justification for violence.

IM: What do you mean by the terms “Racial-Industrial-Complex” and “racially correct suicide”? How can they be combated and averted?

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Me: The RIC consists of those who stand to gain from promoting the myth that “racism”—white “racism”—is an omnipresent, omnipotent force. Since RIC is every bit as entrenched and powerful as any other industry, its countless agents must labor inexhaustibly to create ever-expansive notions of “racism.” Only if these professional “anti-racists” can show that there is a need for their “services” can they justify their existence.

“Racially correct suicide” consists in valuing some delusion of “racial justice” over any and all other considerations—including that of improving, or even just maintaining, the quality of life in America. For example, following recent incidents of Islamic mass murder in places like France, American commentators were quick to jump on their high horses and castigate Europeans for allowing the formation of “No Go” zones, high-crime bastions of Islamic immigrants into which even authorities dare not travel.

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Yet America has its own share of “No Go” zones—even if many of these are bastions of Hispanic immigrants. I refer to America’s barrios.

And to judge from the backlash that Donald Trump has faced in the wake of his proposal to suspend Muslim immigration—a proposal that is hot on the heels of the mass killing in San Bernardino—it’s hard not to conclude that his critics would prefer to avoid the charge of “racism” or “Islamophobia” rather than avert harm to Americans.

This is “racially correct suicide.”

Combatting RIC is no easy task. The only way that I can think of to fight this juggernaut is to cut through the rhetoric and unmask—continually unmask—this self-serving sham for what it is.

 

 

 

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