Friday, July 4, 2003

Friday July 4, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM


Today many Americans celebrate a declaration of certain “self-evident” truths.  Others feel that these alleged “truths” are misleading.  Seeking a worthy opponent for the authors of the Declaration on this secular holy day, I settled on the following recently published book, a sort of Declaration of Dependence of government on God (an imaginary entity who speaks only through politicians, clergymen, and other liars):

Christian Faith
and Modern Democracy:

God and Politics in the Fallen World
By Robert P. Kraynak
Univ. of Notre Dame Press. 304p
$49.95 (cloth) $24.95 (paper)

From a review in the Dec. 24, 2001, issue of America, a Jesuit publication:

“The author, who identifies himself as a practicing Catholic, asserts that Christianity is weakened by its close alliance with the contemporary version of democracy and human rights…. 

The author states that ‘modern liberal democracy…subverts in practice the dignity of man.’  He defends his thesis relentlessly and persuasively…. 

Some readers of this well-organized volume will be disappointed that the author makes no mention of the four billion non-Christians among the world’s 6.1 billion inhabitants. The four billion Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists must be included in any attempt to make the modern state responsive to traditional and generally accepted norms of morality.”

— Robert F. Drinan, S.J.

Jefferson would probably appreciate Drinan’s remark on catholic (i.e., universal, or “generally accepted”) norms.

The “traditional and generally accepted norms of morality” Drinan mentions are discussed ably by Christian apologist C. S. Lewis in his book The Abolition of Man, which argues for the existence of a universal moral code that I am pleased to note he calls, rightly, the Tao.  As an Amazon.com reviewer notes, Lewis uses this term in the manner of Confucius rather than that of Lao Tsu.  I prefer the latter. 

For details, see the Tao Te Ching, (The Way and Its Power).  This is a far more holy scripture than the collections of lies called sacred by most other religions.  Both the leftist Jefferson and the rightist Kraynak wrongly assume that talk of a “Creator” means something.  It does not.  Classical Chinese thought is free from this absurd Western error.  Lewis at least had the grace to acknowledge the importance of non-Western thought, though he himself was unable to escape the lies of Christianity.

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