Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Freedom Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

I was sorry to read an apology by my absolute favorite Conservative author, Andrew McCarthy, to Islamic moderates for the hypocrisy of Colonial Christians in the National Review recently.  I thought Mr. McCarthy knew his history better than that.

What the apologist-seekers say is true:  Colonial America was divided up into religious colonies.  The Quakers settled in Pennsylvania.  The Puritans held forth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.    The Catholics claimed Maryland for their very own.  Roger Williams, an advocate of freedom of religious freedom and separation of church and state, was kicked out of Massachusetts and founded Rhode Island the Providence Plantations (the state’s official name to this very day).

Settlers not of the colony’s particular religion, like Williams, were finding it very difficult to settle or remain in that colony and were forced to go off to find other places in which to live.  As the colonies became more organized, they realized this wasn’t exactly liberty’s light shining at its brightest, and they began to enact laws to protect settlers.

Churches were the original centers of the communities in those days, and chose their own municipal laws.  Until more centralized colonial governments began to form, they were the laws.  The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 signaled the beginning of the end of such religious discrimination (the very thing the Pilgrims had left England to escape).

Various wars had dissolved the English charters in the Bay Colony, leaving the religious settlements to govern themselves, something they’d had in mind all along.  After the trials, there was such a public outcry, the Massachusetts courts were forced to reverse the decision against the accused (many of whom had already been tortured and executed) and exonerate them (some posthumously).

By the time the Articles of Confederation had been found wanting and the Constitution was being constructed, the Founding Fathers knew the new Constitution couldn’t be passed without a Bill of Rights, the very first of which had to guarantee citizens the right to freedom of religion and speech.  A town couldn’t keep someone from living there because they were not a member of the local church, or even a member of any church at all.

Therefore, present-day Americans owe no apologies for the religious attitudes of Colonial, pre-Constitution, pre-Bill of Rights Americans, who weren’t even officially Americans yet.  We have no legal proof from any Muslims, not even Moderates, that if they should overrun our country, that they would not force a conversion or dhimmitude upon us.  Their history, contrary to ours, gives every indication that mandatory conversion is precisely what they would inflict upon us.

They have given us no word or vow which we can trust.  They argue our own Constitution against us – that someone is innocent of a crime until proven guilty – even though the circumstantial evidence (their history) is against them.  Yet, by the grace of our Constitution, they can immigrate here and worship whatever religion pleaseth them.

Hardly any American (save KKK members) would deny them their right.  Nobody would care, really, how they worship, except that we know from their own ideologists’ writings that conversion, the subjugation of other religions, is part of their mandate.

The Founding Fathers were honest, righteous men who mended the wrongs committed by the original Colonists.  They believed in democracy, not theocracy, or at least a form of it; even they believed that men needed to be governed – but with laws, not whips, swords, and onerous taxes.

They also knew very well that Man, in his weakness, must seek forgiveness, not from other men, but from God alone.  Jesus taught us we must love our neighbor and seek our neighbors’ forgiveness as well, and that it’s our duty to forgive, if we expect to be forgiven.

There is the ideological divide:  Christians believe in forgiveness, through Jesus; Muslims think only God can forgive, that Jesus was just some dude who did some nice things, and until we cross that bridge, until we come to it, the Muslims have been assigned the special task of punishing everyone else whom they believe is apostate or sinful.

Instead of apologizing to fellow sinners (the Muslims), Mr. McCarthy ought to have asked these “moderate” Muslims:  “Who died and made you God?”

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