The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Monday, September 26, 2011

When "Right Wing" really meant it

Reading Dennis Sanders' excellent blog, my attention was called to a blog by Walter Russell Mead called “Via Meadia,” in which a post appeared (dated September 20, 2011) called “The ‘Christianist’ Nightmare: It’s Just A Bad Dream.”

The gist of this article was that if it looks as though the Bachmanns, Perrys, and Santorums of today's Republican Party are leading to a “Christianist” take-over of the country, one needs to realize that over the past 60 or more years, there has been so much improvement in people's freedom that the worst of the things that they advocate is still so much milder than what things actually were like in his (and my) youth. The post is so long that, rather than quote it here, I recommend that you read it on his blog. But it reminds us not to worry so much.

Mead, according to his post, attended a segregated school — I did not, because I grew up in New York City. But I was certainly aware of segregation in our Southern States. And back in 1952, a music teacher that I had considered friendly to me turned viciously hostile — because I refused to sing carols with words like “O come let us adore him, Christ the lord.” (She actually conspired with another teacher to try to keep me out of my own graduation ceremony — which, thankfully, failed.)

Mead is responding to other, younger, bloggers who are afraid of the future; his point is that the trends toward freedom are so strong that we shouldn't worry about “Christianism” taking over. I share his memories; I suspect we are about the same age. And I thank him for reminding us of these facts.

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