Rejecting America’s premises

Albert the Pious goes on a long riff today about passage of a bill in New South Wales, Australia, which permits abortion up until 22-weeks, and after that only when two doctors and a hospital advisory committee agree than an abortion is appropriate. Mohler misrepresents the post-22-weeks constraint as effectively meaningless, but I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in this:

Another issue we need to recognize here, and this explains something of the parallelism between the United States and Australia on this issue, it is the fact that we are now a part of a global, political, and moral conversation. We’re also seeing that the global elites have been driving this pro-abortion agenda because behind that pro-abortion agenda is the agenda of absolute personal autonomy. It is the agenda of autonomous human beings who possess rights. Of course, those rights are not founded on any kind of objective reality, but they are posited now in this infinite battle of what Harvard Professor Mary Ann Glendon calls rights talk.

It has always been clear to anybody who knows anything of this country’s history, and who thinks, that the Evangelical Right is intensely hostile to the Enlightenment ideals that are America’s premises — but it’s rare to hear it put so explicitly.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Let’s put to rest one recurring falsehood: Jefferson, who wrote “endowed by their Creator” was a Deist; he believed in the watchmaker god who built and wound-up the universe’s clock and then gave the pendulum a tap and took off. He did not — repeat, NOT — believe in the personal, busybody god of the Abrahamic religions; he said many times during his life that he thought that idea was ridiculous.

The rest of that passage from the Declaration of Independence sets out plainly the view that the people have the right to decide for themselves how they shall be governed, and the Constitution begins with the words “We, the People.”

So, again, as I have argued for years, the Evangelical Right is deeply hostile to America’s Enlightenment ideals; they really do want a theocracy administered by conservative Christians like themselves. Unhappily, they are too stupid to consider the possibility that Methodists might someday get the upper hand, or even — GASP! — Catholics.

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