Articles

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Left's Values Are Our State Church

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

The First Amendment assumes that the proper sphere of government is policies, not values. And so it protects the right of political participation and prohibits a state church that would define values.

The government had the right to decide to go to war with France. It did not have a right to decide what you should believe. Politics extended into the realm of policies, not beliefs.

But as religious belief declined, politics replaced it as the repository of moral and ethical values. This transformation began on the left. The left was the least religious in the traditional sense. And the most likely to build up an ideology of secular values with which to displace traditional religious values.

The last century witnessed an extensive effort to scrub religious values out of government. But this effort was matched by an equally comprehensive project to replace them with the left’s own values. Unlike the wall between church and state, there were few legal safeguards against writing values into legislation if they were irreligious ones. The church was deemed to be the true threat. Not the state.

But the end result looks very much like an establishment of religion. Even in the church sense.

The values written into the legislation reflect those of certain churches, but not others. When nuns are forced to pay for birth control and Christian photographers with traditional beliefs are compelled to participate in gay weddings, the government is picking religious establishment “winners and losers”.

The winners are roughly on the religious left and the losers on the religious right.

Unitarians win, Baptists lose. Quakers win, Mormons lose. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) triumphs over the Presbyterian Church in America. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America prevails over the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. It’s hard not to see this as an establishment of religion.

This isn’t about doctrinal battles or gay marriage. It’s about the culture war fallout from the left’s power to write its values into law and into the codes of conduct that hold sway in in private organizations.

We take the truth of our values on faith. They are a matter of subjective conviction, not objective fact. To those who believe in them, they appear to be the absolute truths of the enlightened. But they cannot be proven to be true in any meaningful way. You either believe in them. Or you don’t.

Google fired James Damore for questioning a tenet of its beliefs. That is in theory illegal. The search engine monopoly created forums in which employees were meant to discuss these very issues. Damore was not fired for expressing his views at work, but for politely expressing the “incorrect” view.

California law protects employees fired for both religious and political views. But the “hostile workplace” pretext that led to Damore’s firing is an example of how the left’s values are the basis of legislation. Much as “public accommodation” civil rights protect the demand to participate rather than the right of religious dissent, the protection of minority participation is at the heart of the left’s bid for equality. But this has never truly been a matter of law, but of values. The law mandates the elimination of obstacles. It does not demand that values winners and losers be chosen to achieve equality. That is a leftist bias.

The left defends imposing its values by force through outrage at selective “suffering” on the one hand and abstractions about the empowerment of participatory equality on the other. Ultimately though it cannot defend its values without reference to those values. That is typical of belief systems.

The left’s secular religion functions as a theocracy. It promises salvation through Socialism, warns that human sin will destroy the world through global warming and is engaged in a perpetual struggle against those who do not share its values. It wages war on religious freedom because it is a kind of religion.

There can be no political freedom where there is no religious freedom. Religion is more encompassing than politics can ever be. Politics addresses which policy best accomplishes a particular goal. Religion tackles the question of what the goal should be. If you don’t have the freedom to determine your own goals, then your ability to choose policies is as meaningless as some European elections.

Leftist systems seek to create “democratic” arenas in which we are free to disagree on policies, but not goals. They do this by writing values into the system so that only one sort of goal is deemed acceptable.

Deviations from the goal are not acceptable. Questioning the goal is heresy. And leads to sanctions.

Trump Derangement Syndrome, Google’s firing of James Damore and the violent attacks on conservative speakers are all examples of what happens when the goals are blasphemously challenged.

Politics is far more likely to turn violent over values rather than policy. That is why the Founders wanted politics to be confined to policy rather than values. We can rationally debate policy, but we can’t debate values. We can argue over what we feel to be true, but the revelations of our deepest selves cannot be proven. And when they are challenged, anger, hostility and even violence quickly follow.

The First Amendment helped build a system where our representatives debated what we should do, rather than what we should think. Politicians were meant to get things done, not argue dogma. The culture war we are in is less about what we should do than what we should think. The violent confrontations and clashes are not really about campus safe spaces or Confederate memorials, but how we should see ourselves. The confrontations are meant to be both polarizing and clarifying.

They’re a religious war. The left has established its religion. And violence against heretics swiftly follows.

America is in the midst of an ugly conflict because our political system was hijacked by the Church of the Left. The legislative and judicial hijacking of our system has turned our politics into a culture war. To end the conflict we must return to a true understanding of the First Amendment. It is not the role of government to tell us what to think or what to believe. And any government that embarks on such a totalitarian enterprise will tear apart our society and destroy our way of life.

As the left is doing.

27 comments:

Empress Trudy said...

Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

Anonymous said...

Truth.

Infidel said...

Many excellent points, but the 107 degree heat outside may be affecting my brain, so I will just mention one small point that occurred to me.

Notice the left tolerates crazy metaphysical belief systems like flying saucers and such. Why is that? Maybe because it is not a threat to the left overall.

SwanSpirit said...

And Hussein Obama is their god. I have been saying this for years, but not as brilliantly as you have. But it is obvious that the left worships at his feet, and have done so for years. He encourages it, as it replenishes his narcissistic supp!y.
And republicans are heretics, and anathema.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, but here it is, marching on the streets,goons wearing black masks, and punishing non-believers.

John C. said...

That is the most brilliant description of the psychosis of leftism and its profound metamorphosis into State Religion I have ever read. Thank you Mr. Greenfield.

JackIAm said...

One can see a counterpoint in the GERMAN SOCIALIST STATE, in 1941, with the words expressed by their infamously esteemed, propaganda minister, a real nice leftist gentleman Herr Joe Goebbels. He seemed by his quotes to have another derangement syndrome of his own, perhaps hitler derangement syndrome!

Reading just a few of Goebbels quotes, ominously disturbing, considering the current people of today’s reality, such as sick soros, high-on-himself hussein, crooked hillary and countless more, involved in anti-American subversive activities of the left, absolutely lying and doing heinous dirty tricks, titled by the criminal “perpetraitors” as “RESISTANCE”, against a lawfully elected POTUS, of a conservative style, and many tens of millions of voters who elected him. Yes, how dare the democrats be traitors, and subversives, to voters and to American Freedom! But then, upon doing research, I’ve found, that is exactly what defines democrats-racism, deceit, hatred-for most or all of their existence. We’ve already impossibly had a democrat assassin’s attempt, months ago, on several elected officials, including S. Scalise, along with many unimaginable encouragements of such acts, by the eternally sick hollywood deviates, of eternal disturbance.

How far is history going, to repeat itself, this time around, with miseducated non-learned “Gruber style”, “American” atheists holding faith in “accidental happenings of history”, both young and old. Those, the democrats virtually alone, are the most gullible ones. See the quotes below, where the old is new all over again. So familiar is the ring of history ….

We have made the Reich by propaganda
[Translation, we have made the socialist state, by sun tsu, machiavelli, and alinsky propaganda….WHICH MEANS-A HELL OF A LOT OF DECEPTION AND LYING..]

IF YOU REPEAT A LIE OFTEN ENOUGH, PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IT, AND YOU WILL EVEN COME TO BELIEVE IT YOURSELF. [ah, but it wasn’t real socialism, we must try again, and again, ibid..]

“THINK OF THE PRESS AS A GREAT KEYBOARD
ON WHICH THE GOVERNMENT CAN PLAY.”
[And when press is all brainwashed democrat, it is a “player press”-auto plays=fake news networks]

The war we are fighting until victory or the bitter end is in its deepest sense a war between Christ and Marx. Christ: the principle of love. Marx: the principle of hate. [Isn’t that a fine ‘how-do-you-do’! Now the Jews are off the hook, and the Christians are the enemy of marx. But we now know it really is a war! And we know Christ is the principle of LOVE, marx, not so much, as always, the leftist democrat MARXISTS ARE THE BIGOT, THE HATERs, Goebbels officially STATES it….]

What does Christianity mean today? [1944] National Socialism IS A RELIGION. All we lack is a religious genius capable of uprooting outmoded religious practices [why outmoded, who ageed?] [CHANGE!-(familiar?-hussein-soros!)] and putting new ones [globalists] in their place. We lack traditions and ritual. One day soon National Socialism will be the RELIGION OF ALL Germans. MY PARTY IS MY CHURCH, and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery. That is my gospel.

A nation without a religion - that is like a man without breath. [Even Putin says that, to calm the masses….]

At night I sit in my chamber and read the bible . Far in the distance roars the sea. Then I lie down and think for a long time about the calm and pale man from Nazareth. From Joseph Goebbels

“We [socialist nazi leaders] shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, OR AS THE GREATEST CRIMINALS” [Goebbels shows more reality and presence of mind here, than today’s democrats admit to] These are quotes from Joseph Goebbels

These are for real, [except for explanatory comment brackets], those were direct quotes of the infamous hitler minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, a nazi socialist, of the totalitarian hitler regime, from this source: http://www.azquotes.com/author/5626-Joseph_Goebbels .


EbonyRaptor said...

Spot on Daniel. And very scary.

HolylandIsraelTours said...

What can I say. Brilliant. Sharing it on every social media possible. Thank you Daniel. ��

Nancy Assaf said...

I awoke to my soggy South Louisiana day and was heartened to read your erudite analysis. It left a slither of sunshine in my brain!

D.D.Mao said...

Perhaps our Canadian readers can elaborate or refresh us some on the article below entitled: "Canadian Supreme Court Rules Biblical Speech Opposing Homosexual Behavior Is A Hate Crime" 28 February 2013


http://christiannews.net/2013/02/28/canadian-supreme-court-rules-biblical-speech-opposing-homosexual-behavior-is-a-hate-crime/

Dennis Latham said...

Google deleted my entire comment. I guess big brother is watching.

Linda B. said...

Thank you for putting some thoughtful words and ideas behind some people's current human experience.

For me though, it is still unclear how a government system can operate devoid of values, and focus solely on policy. Maybe this demonstrates my need for learning more.

My observation is that values (religious or not) influence goals, and goals influence policy. It seems, in a democracy, this results in the values of the "majority" being put into policy, effecting everyone in that "democratic" society. The outcome is that the voices of the non-majority are stifled, or at worse silenced by policy and law. Maybe someone can explain how government policy is not value-laden.

Anonymous said...

But why is the left in bed with Islam? Surely even they can see their ideals are not consistent with those of Moslems?

kevin said...

"We take the truth of our values on faith. They are a matter of subjective conviction, not objective fact."

Some values are truly subjective (such as, which color of socks to wear). But some values are objective, even if we may not know exactly what they are. For instance, compression socks can be objectively good if they fulfill a medical need (this can be proven). What is a proper value is determined by the nature of the species in question. Morality must be based on the ideal element of this nature. What is truly a value (to a particular species and organism) must be determined by the is (the "is" of a species and a particular person), because the only other alternative would be, values are determined by the "is not". Values exist, therefore they are something; and something must come from something, and cannot come from nothing.

Alternately, we could say, if there is a deity, the deity could determine what is a proper value, and such values would be objectively good.

JackIAm said...

Here will be found both history, and perspective, as each author reveals the true dirt, filth, the enemy left, the alinsky left, the socialist, communist, lenin democrat left are swimming in, 24/7. You must be of foul mind to be a part of such unimaginable evil thinking, completely lacking God. These are as Ebony rightly said preceding, scary, and very sobering lectures. Again, the lectures included below, demand learning, by all sane conservatives, all good people, who want a safe land for their progeny, and truly all who aren't sure what to believe.

Learn how both hussein and crooked hillary are fundamentally related, as truly foul disciples of alinsky, hillary having been offered a job, working for alinsky, so enamoured was she of hell. Existing are many more foul dangerous enemies within America, most intent on her destruction, so that they may rise triunphant from America’s ashes, magically, as always with the lot that is the democrat party. Any means, no matter how crooked, cheating, or criminal, or worse is fair, to their war against the “evil empire” which they have been for a wide array of “reasons-excuses” convinced is and always has been America. Never has America been an evil empire, mistakes yes, but never evil empire.

No matter that reality is that slavery lives on well alive, today, 2017, in islam, and has been around for thousands of years before mohammad. No matter countless other realities of good actions America has done for people of the globe, and very well, overall her own people. America is not a perfect God, so it must be bad, say the enemy of America. Learn how foul is the “pseudo brain work” of the democrats leftists. You will get an idea of the massive group of people, hussein and hillary are at the top of, and how foul each in their own ways are, and some of the dangers they represent to our Blessed America, which with knowledge and true education, ‘can we hold and deserve America (“can we keep her”-Franklin)’?

Time is very well spent here in each of these 1hour lectures, of vital intelligence on the American enemy within.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRUP5yEm1WE Horowitz Hillsdale College What Constitutional Conservatives Should Know About Saul Alinsky 1.1hr.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRQ8NaZZAiE (Joseph A. Morris - Acton Institute) Alinsky for Dummies 1.2hr.

JackIAm said...

Linda, some of your questions may be closer to answered by watching this lecture, by Pat Caddell, a man trying to hold on to a lost worthless dangerous so called party, a corrupt ghost of a party. He devestates the democrats he tries to hold on to, for no particular reason I can understand.

Pat speaks many truths, devestating truths of democrats, that the Republicans have failed to act on, and he speaks some to that end, the “establisments” also. He says what Trump should do, if elected. It is a pretty important, revealing lecture. It is certainly supportive of my language and passion in describing a foul group of evil people, dedicated to themselves, not America, which is you and I and all of us citizens of fairness and Freedom, of a Republic, not of a Democracy ‘gang’ of democrats.

Anon, my take is the democrats suck up to the pure born of evil islamics, because they just don’t get it. They want their votes, that’s all, but they do not know that can-will never be all. They are dumb enough to think like hitler, that he could use the islams, and then control them, when these democrats theoretically take over “the power”. They have not studied them, and have no more of clue than did adolf, of islam reality. They are more related to adolf, the socialist totalitarian. But as atheists, they simply cannot understand full reality, nor have they studied the details of true islam, and the 160 or so koranic verses of jihad nor the 4000 distinct verses (of 7000) of the hadiths, of the fundamental koranic islam of commanded hate and murder, of 1400 years. The democrats have been going downhill, since they came to being, and now are just plain traitors, being degenerates to American Exceptionalism. See how Pat Caddell puts it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVZcGeuAjus Pat Caddell (Hillsdale College) The Democratic Party Today 1.1hr. 2016

Further, you know it is good, this lecture is delivered at HILLSDALE COLLEGE, 2016.

D.D.Mao said...

"There can be no political freedom where there is no religious freedom. Religion is more encompassing than politics can ever be"..........Daniel Greenfield



Let me begin by saying it is not a function of government to legislate morality nor is it a function of government to go to the other extreme and license depravity. At one time religion was such a huge part of society that they took care of keeping this on a fine line. As a commenter named Brooks Imperial said recently "culture is becoming law". But lets not fool ourselves here and point the finger in only one direction. We on the right are to blame as much as the left to a point. You have only to look no further than the 2016 election with the warped logic people used to justify voting for either candidate. When we dismiss the crude and vulgar comments made by the candidates and justify it by saying "We have to get in the gutter with them to fight them", Voting for so and so will be the end of the republic or refer to those opposed to you as "cucks" it's time to look in the mirror. All morality, religion and civility were thrown out the window and values and principles were mocked......not only by the electorate but by the religious leaders when they voiced their support for either candidate. You are right Daniel "America is in the middle of an ugly conflict" but not based solely on the left hijacking politics but by our use of "whataboutism" as a lame excuse to make two wrongs into a right. By letting the logic of "Why look under a rock when you can use him as a stepping stone" prevails over morality and principles. When the deplorables "want the truth exploited, but it must be their truth, couched in their words, in the hands of their people, and achieved by their methods."(with a nod to Robert Moses)

John Noble said...

Greenfield misses a very important point that can be summarized by his statement, “Politics is far more likely to turn violent over values rather than policy. That is why the Founders wanted politics to be confined to policy rather than values.”

He erroneously assumes that politics and values can be separated from policy. Our founders understood that the code of freedom found in the Declaration of Independence was a Judeo-Christian biblical code in which the most beneficial governmental policies are derived from those values. They implemented those values into the U.S. Constitution. The left is at war with those values and the policies derived from them. The left opposes the separation of powers in favor of strong central government. Leftists are Linolnesque in their promotion of top-down government which replaced the founder’s nation-state, biblical, bottom-up system of sovereign local self-government as created in 1787. Leftism is just another name for secular humanism, post modernism, moral relativism. All embrace redistribution of wealth ideologies (socialism, communism, Islamism, etc.). They are all aberrations of biblical truth regarding God’s order for decentralized, human government. All forms of leftism have pagan values embedded within an internationalist value system, a framework which is diametrically opposed to nationalism. Internationalism is another word for the Tower of Babel one-world government political policy premise based on a specious value judgment that rejects biblical absolutes and God’s rightful authority to know what is best for his creatures. Internationalist values reject God’s right to set norms & standards for human behavior with consequences for obedience and disobedience. Leftism is the belief that man is self-sufficient and that man is smarter than God. It is an extension of the Angelic Conflict in which Satan continues to defy divine authority and assert himself as the Supreme Being. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Isaiah 14:14

jaynie said...

Excellent essay. So true that the government is not in power to dictate how we think. As once upon a time those in government were aware and acted so. Man, it seems like those days are gone. Plus, may I just say that, even in ironic condemnation, images like that are real disturbing. Thanks for your hard and amazing work, Daniel.

Johnny said...

>>But why is the left in bed with Islam?... The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That's why. The left is the enemy of conventional society.

UPOP said...

"Here are all the elements for a religious faith that shall not be confined to sect, class, or race," wrote John Dewey. "Such a faith has always been implicitly the common faith of mankind. It remains to make it explicit and militant." John Dewey is the progressive humanist who is the father of our education system. Consider the irony: religion is not allowed in our schools. So by all rights, John Dewey's secular humanist religion is illegal to be taught in the schools.

Anonymous said...

A century ago, Dewey was very clear that the Progressive Movement he helped found was a secular religion.

Of course, if you note that he was also the father of our modern education system, and that system was deliberately set up to indoctrinate children in the ways of the secular religion, people start looking at you funny.

Anonymous said...

"Freedom of speech?! We are not going to commit suicide." Vladimir Lenin

Karl Marx as Religious Eschatologist

The key to the intricate and massive system of thought created by Karl Marx is at bottom a simple one: Karl Marx was a communist.

A seemingly trite and banal statement set alongside Marxism's myriad of jargon-ridden concepts in philosophy, economics, and culture, yet Marx's devotion to communism was his crucial focus, far more central than the class struggle, the dialectic, the theory of surplus value, and all the rest.

Communism was the great goal, the vision, the desideratum, the ultimate end that would make the sufferings of mankind throughout history worthwhile. History was the history of suffering, of class struggle, of the exploitation of man by man. In the same way as the return of the Messiah, in Christian theology, will put an end to history and establish a new heaven and a new earth, so the establishment of communism would put an end to human history.

And just as for postmillennial Christians, man, led by God's prophets and saints, will establish a Kingdom of God on Earth (for premillennials, Jesus will have many human assistants in setting up such a kingdom), so, for Marx and other schools of communists, mankind, led by a vanguard of secular saints, will establish a secularized Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

In messianic religious movements, the millennium is invariably established by a mighty, violent upheaval, an Armageddon, a great apocalyptic war between good and evil. After this titanic conflict, a millennium, a new age of peace and harmony, of the reign of justice, will be installed upon the earth.

Marx emphatically rejected those utopian socialists who sought to arrive at communism through a gradual and evolutionary process, through a steady advancement of the good. Instead, Marx harked back to the apocalyptics, the postmillennial coercive German and Dutch Anabaptists of the 16th century, to the millennial sects during the English Civil War, and to the various groups of premillennial Christians who foresaw a bloody Armageddon at the Last Days, before the millennium could be established.

cont.
https://mises.org/library/karl-marx-religious-eschatologist

Shlomo Rifkind said...

I have a good friend who to my constant consternation is both a Religious Jew (!) AND identifies with the left and the Democratic Party - especially concerning environmental issues and Social Justice.
I sent him your above blog and he wrote me this note:
"No time to go into detail now, but I disagree with the premise of this article. Policies cannot be devoid of values. The question is what values do our policies reflect and promote. Voters have the right and responsibility to put into place government that implements policies that advance the values of the society."
How would you answer my friend?

Daniel Greenfield said...

Shlomo, there should be values transparency. If we're going to make values into the basis for legislation, then religious and secular leftist values should have the same access. And judicial rulings based on values, rather than laws and founding documents, should be treated as an intrusion by a state church.

D.D.Mao said...

A sober, pragmatic well thought through judgment but that's what we have come to know and love about your blog. All the best.................D.D.M.

John said...

Rifkind's friend is RIGHT, but his leftist values are WRONG. Unfortunately Greenfield is also WRONG. Here is why.

Judeo-Christian values should be supported by judicial rulings and NOT be treated as if they were an intrusion by a state church. However, judicial rulings SHOULD be treated as an intrusion by a state church in cases such as Islamism, the Anglican Church of England, and the old Holy Roman Empire because they are or were theocratic, totalitarian unions of secular government with a religious hierarchy. They should be rejected and Judeo-Christian values should be supported. Why? Because America has a Judeo-Christian heritage and was founded on biblical values which protect human freedom and are NOT intrusive of it. Orthodox evangelical Christianity is not a theocratic union of church and state. While all other religious systems are paganistic, not all are theocratic religious states, thus the U.S. Constitution allows their adherents to practice their faith. While not all of our founders were Christians, they understood the evils of strong central government, especially those that are united to a religious hierarchy. Those who wrote our founding document and the colonies who joined the Union recognized that the values expressed in the Declaration of Independence came out of the Bible, and those values were NOT theocratic, secular humanist, or pagan in origin. They understood that God’s order for human government was exemplified by Moses who organized the 12 tribes of Israel into decentralized local self-governments with “bottom-up” authority which began with the individual, then the father as head of the family, the tribal leaders, and all the way up the chain of command. The left embraces “top-down” government with social justice enforcers, Linolnesque in their role of destroying the “bottom-up” constitutional republic form of government created in 1787, they replaced it with a “top-down” redistributionist system of communist tyranny now known as the Democrat Party. The left has been responsible for the unconstitutional judicial rulings based on their pagan values which have misinterpreted the founding documents and created a federal ecclesiology, i.e. state church.

When Christopher Columbus Langdell became Dean of Harvard Law School in the late 1800’s, he invented the “case law” study method, a secular humanist dialectic, Socratic method which became the prevailing mindset used by attorneys and judges for presenting evidence, judging cases and formulating the rule of law. It replaced interpreting the constitution based on original intent of the founders. Law students no longer study the constitution. The courts use unconstitutional case law decisions as precedent to make decisions, all of which are in violation and in breach of the constitution. For example, the left tries to justify their separation of church and state argument by saying that religious speech should not be allowed in the public square. They use a specious 1947 Supreme Court decision as the basis for their argument. The Everson v. Board of Education case overturned 150 years of judicial understanding about Thomas Jefferson’s reply to the Danbury Baptist Association’s inquiry regarding the role of the federal government in matters of religious freedom. Until Everson, every court had recognized that Jefferson was referring to the wall that prevented government from imposing a religious denomination on the people. Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible were the subjects of daily discourse between the founders and formed the basis for their values and the founding document which reflected those values. Church services were held in the capitol and were attended by them. On December 4, 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol building as a church building, and services continued on a regular basis until well after the civil war. Honoring the God of the Bible was not and is not regulated by the government. It is an expression of gratitude and recognition by the people that their freedoms and blessings are derived from God, not man.

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