Thursday, May 18, 2017

They Call Us Civilized

Napalm showers
Showed the cowards
We weren't there to mess around

Through heat exhaustion
And mind distortion
A military victory mounted on innocent ground

Years and years of
Bloodshed and warfare
Our mission was only to get in and kill

Jeff Deist recently commented:

Re Jeff Bell's original point, it may make far more tactical sense to promote the spread of Christianity than liberty. One has existed for a few thousand years, and has a checkered but gainful history.

I agree, on one condition and on one basis:

The condition: it is Christianity that includes Christ (and I know Jeff means this).  It sounds silly, doesn’t it, that I would write such a thing.  Yet – as Laurence Vance has demonstrated exactly 538, 243 times – so-called Christian churches are the first to cheer on behaviors that bring a smile to the anti-Christ.

The basis: the “Christian” that includes Christ is completely consistent with the non-aggression principle, and the non-aggression principle offers the only political roadmap consistent with the Christianity that includes Christ.

The problem: Christians boo Ron Paul when he speaks in terms that Christ would understand.  The other problem: many libertarians don’t like to think in terms of morality – instead they think of efficacy and efficiency; yet morality is the only thing that differentiates the NAP from every other political system – after all, once the argument is efficacy and efficiency, well…you can have an argument.


I see priests, politicians
Heroes in black plastic body-bags under nations' flags
I see children pleading with outstretched hands
Drenched in napalm, this is no Vietnam

I can't take any more, should we say goodbye
How can we justify?
They call us civilized!

-          Blind Curve, Marillion


  1. A Christianity that includes Christ means a Christianity that groks the tribute episode.

    Far too many Christians, in my experience, just do not understand what "render unto Caesar" means.

    In my view, to the extent a Christian worships flag and national anthem and the Praetorian Guard, such a Christian should plan on an eternity with Lucifer.

    Liberty Mike

    1. I think there is a place for respecting a flag (obviously not worship), but it has to be the right flag representing the right things. Today the US flag represents the adversary, the extinguisher of everything pure and good.

      It's bizarre to me that well-meaning "patriots" adopt the evil American flag as a symbol. It's the flag of their oppressors.

  2. Just one observation here, and mostly just because I was mentioned.

    Anytime a large group of people begin to follow formal rules of morality, behavior or duty, that group becomes highly susceptible to manipulation by small groups of pretenders or even individual charlatans.

    The groups attract these kind of people because they offer a lot of power. They are more susceptible because the charlatans only have to play to the mean intelligence of the group to gain control.

    I wouldn't personally "promote" any religion or political position to a large group of people. Why make it easy for the tyrants? It's one of the reasons I feel at home among libertarians. We can't agree on much of anything : )

    1. "We can't agree on much of anything. "

      But when we do, it's voluntary. :)

    2. "But when we do, it's voluntary. :)"

      Ha, I guess we do agree on a few things!

  3. This article gets to the heart of something that many of our erstwhile commentators (Mr. M, Mr, Vance, et al.) struggle with that I do not.

    I do not use the word Christian in the same way, and sense, that y'all (and most everyone else) do/does. To me, it is only to be used by someone describing someone else (they were first called Christians at Antioch). I would never use it to describe myself merely because I attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I would hope that others, viewing my behavior and manner, might therefore hold me in such esteem that they might call me a Christian...but I am not worthy to be called by that name. It is HIS name.

    For this reason, unless you speak AND BEHAVE in such a manner that I can see the Holy Spirit at work in you, I will not call you a Christian just because you misappropriate HIS name.

    So, these people you (Mr. M) are trying to differentiate between are not "right" Christians and "wrong" Christians. They are "right" Christians and non-Christians. By their fruits ye shall know them. Not their vain professions.

  4. It was A.D. 390. The Empire's general in Thessalonica had tossed a charioteer in the hoosegow on a charge of sodomy. The populace, long since addicted to the Empire's bread and circuses, vehemently objected. The general died in the murderous rioting that followed. The Emperor Theodosius I meted out swift — but also disproportionate and indiscriminate — justice for his fallen viceroy. Seven thousand Thessalonians were wheedled into the circus and put to the sword.

    St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and Confessor of Emperors, did not take kindly to the Christian Emperor's regression to pagan justice. Theodosius expected summary forgiveness, but Ambrose demanded he complete a lengthy regime of prayer and penance. Some accounts have the unarmed prelate stiff-arming the monarch at the porch of the cathedral. Even if only inconsistently and sporadically, the episode set the tone for the relationship between throne and altar in the West. Right would thereinafter entertain a claim against might.

    Yes, professed Christians have too frequently and unflinchingly bent knee to throne. But it was the Faith itself that asserted a moral authority transcending throne. The distinction between City of Man and City of God gave rise to uniquely Western notions of individual liberty and limits to state power.

  5. Stalin was literally Hitler. Until Hitler invaded Poland. Then Stalin became virtually Hitler.

    Virtual Hitler is milder than Literal Hitler. So Churchill and FDR forged an alliance with Stalin. Even though Stalin had also invaded Poland.

    World War II was the Good War, both morally and practically. You just have to know how to keep score.

    Never mind the barbarous firebombing of German civilians. Even on amoral libertarians' own terms--efficiency and efficacy--the justifications for U.S. military intervention in the Good War leave me scratching my head.

    How did defeating Hitler in Western Europe only to hand Eastern Europe over to Stalin serve even crassly defined American "interests"? Think Cold War, concomitant hot wars, a budget-busting network of military bases, shifting (and shifty) alliances, national-security state controls, ubiquitous surveillance, a war on terrorism, an ensuing refugee and migrant crisis, the impending dollar collapse, etc. If this strategy be utilitarian, may the Lord smite me with sappy dreamers.


      It is almost 5 years old and I would certainly rewrite portions of it today, yet here you have a younger bionic's take on the matter.

  6. Interesting read and commentary, as seems to be the norm on this blog. I regularly visit BM for this reason. I have never commented, as I rarely have anything useful to add to the thoughts presented. And it is likely that I should not share my thoughts now.

    Disclaimer: I am simple beef farmer in WV with an interest in philosophy and history, whose educational background merely included a few years at a private liberal arts college. So my comments probably should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Regarding Christianity:

    1. In my limited study, Judaeo/Christian philosophy are really the only religion/s that demonize and condemn the bringer of light and knowledge (Lucifer literally meaning "light bringer"). In more ancient religions, the Greek pantheon and Prometheus comes most directly to my mind, the bringer of light and knowledge is celebrated as the champion of man. Prometheus was hated and punished by the gods for his actions, but was celebrated by man.

    2. From the point of Constantine adopting Christianity as the official religion of the failing Roman Empire, Christianity became a propaganda and control tool of government, rather than just a means of personal spiritual enlightenment, justifying sacrifice for the "greater good", taxes, the subjugation of women, the divine right of kings, etc.

    3. If Lucifer/Satan was/is the ultimate liar and The Great Deceiver, what would the greatest deception be? Possibly, the very religion of Christianity itself and the church that has been built around it? If one considers the every growing list of inhumane acts committed in the name of Christianity, I think one must consider the aforementioned question.

    Personally, I am an atheist/stoic, to put a label on my personal philosophy. I do think the individual Jesus of Nazareth existed and was an enlightened philosopher and "rebel" leader who was upsetting the status quo with basically an anarchist (to use a modern term) philosophy. Rome of that time didn't take much interest in local religions as long as Roman law and rule were respected by those they conquered. I can not see where they would have taken any interest in Jesus unless they saw him as a threat to their rule and law.

    Whether Jesus actually claimed to be the son of God, I think can be debated. Deification of mortal men is common to give more power to their words and actions. Look at the deification of Lincoln that occurred in just a few decades as an example. The Christ story is very similar to the story of Osiris. And considering that Jesus supposedly spent time in Egypt, I do not think it is a large leap in logic to assume that the Osiris story was partially
    adopted by his disciples.

    These are, again, just some thoughts from a simple beef farmer, who according to some people who know him (including family) "thinks too much". Thanks, BM, for the work you put into your blog and especially the timeline you have assembled. It difficult to find anything that is as comprehensive.

    R. Doering

    1. Thank you for the extensive comment; I would welcome if you did so more often.

      One cannot deny certain negative aspects of Christianity - or, more specifically, actions taken by those calling themselves Christian.

      One also cannot deny that Christianity has been used as a tool for power.

      At the same time, for something approaching 1000 years, the Church offers a competing governance structure - on and off keeping a check on the king.

      Also at the same time, Christianity offers a moral and philosophical framework compatible with the NAP; as people have a demonstrated history of coalescing around a religion as opposed to a political idea, this is worth considering.

      As to the nature of Christ, that we hold different views matters little.

    2. What is Judeo-Christianity, dude? Don't you know that Jesus was utterly opposed to the traditions that are currently known as "Judaism"? Jesus called them pharisees, and it was what they were known as in those days. When it became the dominant sect they simply called themselves "Jews".

    3. BM - Yes, you could say that the church has offered a competing government structure. But could it not be argued that like all forms of government it was based on a monopoly of force, or the threat of force? What is the ultimate threat of force, eternal punishment and damnation in the afterlife?

      As mentioned, The Divine Right of Kings was used the church to legitimize governments of force. Can you honestly say that the church as practiced the NAP with how South/Central Americans have been treated, Native Americans, victims of the Inquisition, the Crusades, slavery, women (Eve, the evil temptress; Rule of Thumb), etc...?

      I would agree about the NAP and how it relates to the teachings of Jesus. But I have had many "discussions" with individuals who claim Jesus was a socialist (it is somewhat a mainstream belief now days). So, I would have to say that the NAP philosophical part is lost on many modern Christians and the Church in general. And the Church certainly has not practiced the NAP, historically. "Onward Christian Soldiers"...

      Matt - Old Testament/New Testament, two wings of the same bird. The original Christians believed that one had to become a Jew in order to be a Christian. Thus, circumcision among Christians. How often is the Book of Psalms quoted by Christians? Or Genesis, etc? Why are the Ten Commandments displayed by Christians, if Judaism and Christianity are separate religions? Sorry, but the two are as intertwined philosophically as they are politically.

      Yes, Jesus was harassed by the Pharisees, as was John the Baptist, largely because their teachings were somewhat contrary to the status quo (I mentioned that he was considered a rebel by both the Romans and Jewish hierarchy, as his teachings were a threat to the status quo, in my original post). But the Pharisees only represented one sect (about 6000 as estimated by Josephus)of what was known as the Hebrew religion, of which Jesus was a Rabbi.

      Question: The Bible was written by the hand of man, and has been translated many times over (who knows how accurately). If man's hand can influenced by God, can it not also be influenced by the Great Deceiver? And is man wise enough to tell the difference?

      R. Doering

    4. R. Doering

      Do you want me to argue that the Church on earth was perfect? I cannot. It is made of men, imperfect as we are.

      As to the monopoly - this is my point: it was not a monopoly but a competing governance structure. For much of the Germanic Middle Ages, there was no "divine right of kings." This would have been considered nonsensical even to the kings themselves.

      Start from the oldest post to the newest, if you are interested:

  7. "Is god willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able, and willing?
    Then whence comes evil?
    Is he neither able to or willing?
    Then why call him god?"
    ~ Epicurus


    1. RD

      He is God. Who are we to judge God? You dare cite man's view to judge God?

      Reasonable to those who do not believe; farcical to those who do.

      No skin off of your back if I believe, is there? After all, I am pretty good at shaking the dust off of my feet; you, surely, are as courteous.

    2. BM

      "Do you want me to argue that the Church on earth was perfect? I cannot. It is made of men, imperfect as we are."

      That was my very point regarding the Bible.

      Anyway, I did not comment with the purpose to get anyone to denounce their faith. I hesitantly shared some of my thoughts merely to put forth some questions that I consider worth thinking about, that I have pondered for since my youth. I did not arrive where I am today philosophically on a whim.

      In the end it boils down to faith and belief. If you have faith and believe, that is fine with me. Personally, I cannot make that leap of logic, too many inconsistencies and contradictions for my simple mind to accept. I cannot believe in a god who allows innocents to suffer and evil to flourish. This is most likely my failure. But I will say, if I am wrong and I am judged by God, I will ask him the same questions and more. And if the answers are "Who are you to judge me?" or "I work in mysterious ways.", then I will happily accept what ever befalls me and you can say "I told you so" from your place in the land of milk and honey. I am not foolish enough to think I have any real answers.

      I apologize if my comments were upsetting. I will refrain from making future comments. I, again, thank you for your time and your blog. I do find reading it enjoyable. It is one of the few bookmarks I keep.

      Wishing you the best...

    3. Robert, your comments were not upsetting. My views on this matter are based on faith, nothing more; I accept that others don't share in this faith. This is why I don't debate such matters.

      "I told you so" will not come forth from my lips; the reasons why are as much theological as personal, so I will leave it at this.