On Secular and Religious Conformity

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Subtitle: Deplorables v. the Establishment

As the Establishment fights back against the Deplorables who threaten their power, wealth, and social justice schemes, we may do well to consider another era in which government came down hard on those with dissenting beliefs and perspectives. While today’s turmoil is rarely set in the framework of a religious conflict, it is helpful to do so. This isn’t the first time government relied on religion and statutes to enforce conformity in speech and the press.

On one side are the Deplorables. While not all Deplorables are evangelical Christians, the ones who are not should thank those who are. From Christianity, Deplorables know that God and His laws are superior to government and is answerable to Him. They know that governments that regard themselves as superior to God inevitably become oppressive, if not tyrannical and often genocidal. So, even those Deplorables who do not regard themselves as practicing Christians have absorbed enough of the American religious tradition to remain freedom-loving and patriotic.

On the other side is the Establishment. Their avarice and ambition know no limit as they disregard the harm they do to the nation. To the Establishment, the lofty goals and purposes of government expressed in the Preamble to our Constitution are rubbish. The purpose of government to the Establishment is self-enrichment and totalitarian control of we, the Deplorables, those outside the Establishment.

To reach their goals the Establishment must do away with the natural and societal rights of our 1st Amendment. Everyone has the natural right to their religious beliefs and practices.1 From the equality we all share across a free republican society, in which no one’s opinion is a priori’ assumed superior to the opinions of others, freedom of speech and the press are prerequisite to self-government. Free government itself relies on unfettered speech and press.2 The same goes for the societal right of all to peaceably assemble and submit their complaints and concerns to fellow citizens in government for redress.

Yet, our 1st Amendment freedoms are under assault as Establishment media and culture suppress anti-Establishment opinion, especially Christian faiths. Christian religious practices are increasingly proscribed as Deplorables are forced to keep mum about their faith or lose their jobs.3

Now, regular readers of this blog know of my frequent references to 17th century England, and here I will draw some more examples from a period that influenced our Framing generation and the 1st Amendment.

With all theoretical secular and temporal religious power in one man, the 17th century Stuart monarchs attempted to enforce religious conformity through Parliamentary statutes backed up by the King’s church, the Church of England. This was particularly the case after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, when Parliament gave the throne of a worn-out kingdom to Charles II.4 To unite his realm, Charles II passed a series of restrictive laws to enforce outward religious conformity, and to silence troublesome religious sects that posed a theocratic threat to the Church of England and political threat to the king.5

At the top of the 17th century’s list of Deplorables were the Quakers. Under Charles II, it was soon illegal for Quakers to worship together or refuse to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Church of England. All positions in government and universities, including Parliament, were restricted to members of the Established Church. Men whose oaths were not recorded in their local parishes by the 24th of August 1662 were fired from their posts. Not only were thousands of Quakers imprisoned, but all religious dissenters were suspected of subversion and rendered second-class citizens.

Today, the Establishment enforces its radical secular beliefs through a social justice religion. Its ministers in government, academe, entertainment and media compel conformity with Torquemada-like passion. The Establishment regards the Christian religiosity and patriotism of the Deplorables as sedition; it practitioners are shunned from the reigning Establishment society. Such are its canons that non-conforming Deplorables face loss of their livelihoods.

Whether the established church is the Church of England, or the variously named church equivalents of social justice or climate change, its adherents demand outward conformity. Non-conformists, those who inwardly question homosexual marriage, college speech codes, White Privilege, Christian Privilege and BLM/LGBT had better keep it to themselves and outwardly profess faith in things that contradict their Christian faith and the nation’s founding principles. Of course, the Establishment’s restrictions aren’t limited to matters of faith. Despite the threat to our national existence, debate over illegal immigration and the growth of islam are off-limits. Criticism of these articles of Establishment faith is verboten; these are mortal sins and the Deplorable dissenter risks the prospect of finding himself cast out of society.

Add Facebook and Twitter restrictions to non-Establishment beliefs, and we the Deplorables are supposed to be grateful for the occasional crumb of free speech tossed our way, as if roped-off college campus “free speech zones” cancel out physical assaults on conservative guest lecturers. Like state-controlled Catholicism in China, the American Establishment professes 1st Amendment freedom . . . if it controls it.

1. The liberty right to religious worship does not extend to practices, in the name of religion, that harm individuals or society. That is religious license, and license is not a right. Thus, there is no 1st Amendment right to practice bloody Islam.

2. Free Government is that happy condition wherein government respects and protects the unalienable, Natural Rights of the nation, and makes no law without its consent. This definition is, of course, derived directly from our Declaration of Independence.

3. The establishment clause of the 1st Amendment does not prohibit prayer in public places including schools. Catholic nuns forced to pay for contraception, and Christian public officials forced to marry two homosexuals violate the 1St Amendment.

4. After the execution of Charles I in 1649, Oliver Cromwell soon established a military dictatorship. This Interregnum between the Stuart monarchs lasted until 1660.

5. Clarendon Code.