Further Reading

Further Reading and Further Supplements to the Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Draft 2.4 of The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack – by William Baptiste SFO

Summary: The [Christian] “Pro-Life” principles taught Western Civilization starting in the 4th Century that every human life without exception was inherently precious and equally highly valuable and therefore human life wherever it existed should properly be protected by the State government as a sacred duty, one which governments/rulers since the 4th Century were accountable to which is why since the 4th Century leaders were no longer chiefly remembered for their civic achievements but for how well or poorly they treated their citizens and subjects who now had the new great dignity of being called persons.  Before this the norm used to be that individual human lives were cheap (easily killed even by the government when deemed inconvenient) and individual humans’ main value was in how they served the greater State or society as a whole.  Ancient Pro-Choice philosophy mirrored this low estimation of human life as cheap, a burden to take care of it rather than always a gift, and thus parents likewise had the right to choose to raise their children or kill their children if they were deemed inconvenient (before birth by various abortion techniques or after birth by infanticide).  The criminalization of abortion in 318 AD because Western Civilization had embraced [Christianity and its] “Pro-Life” principles changed all this, and started Western Civilization on a road (described in Chapter 2) that in a long process of logical development of the “Pro-Life” principles throughout history eventually gave us modern Human Rights and democracy.  The “Pro-Life” principle of the immense and equal value of every human life without exception which caused abortion and infanticide to be banned in 318 AD also logically meant humans of any lower class or social strata (even slaves) ultimately were EQUAL to any higher or royal or ruling class.  According to this “Pro-Life” logic slavery (which had accounted for 1/3 of the population in the 4th century) was limited and eventually ended in any form in Western countries.  According to this same “Pro-Life” logic that ultimately kings and peasants were of the same extremely high human value, gradually more and more humans were given a democratic say in their own government.  So criminalizing abortion ultimately gave us Human Rights and democracy.  It is no surprise then that de-criminalizing abortion has resulted in the current serious compromise of our democracies and the loss of Human Rights.  Money is worth more than human life once again as before the “Pro-Life” mindset became the norm, and in the “Pro-Choice” mindset human lives are once again only worth living if they are “contributing” materially to society, working to make things or to provide services for society, making money and spending it to help drive the economy – only then is your life worth living.  If you cannot produce much, or cost money to care for, then you are a burden and may as well be killed by euthanasia.  This mindset is a return to the ancient brutal perspective that individual human lives are not inherently precious but are cheap and their value is in serving a greater State/society – and logically this perspective can only lead eventually to what top euthanasia promoters like Britain’s Lady Warnock have already called a “duty to die” and an “obligation” for doctors to euthanize the less “productive” members of human society such as the old and sick and injured and handicapped (“even if they are not in pain” – because compassion for suffering is only an excuse and not the real reason behind legal euthanasia).  Do we really want to once again live in such a society where we are only valuable as far as we can serve the State/society?  And how can such a society remain a democracy for the long-term?  If human life is not inherently valuable and precious (which is why all individual humans were eventually given a vote in their own governance) but the State sanctions the legal killing of humans while still young in the womb and when old or sick or injured/handicapped (whenever they are a burden on State resources and not contributing to them), why should the State even bother to give us a vote?  Or should only the healthy vote, if only the healthy are not encouraged or shamed into being euthanized by “assisted suicide”?  The whole “Pro-Choice” premise underlying legal abortion and legal euthanasia radically abandons the inherent precious value of human life which is the historical and logical foundation of our democracies.  “Pro-Choicers” use the word “choice” as if it has something to do with “freedom,” when it only means the “choice” to KILL the humans who democracy says are so precious they deserve to have a vote or say in their own governance.  Modern “Pro-Choicers” just do not “get” that the “Pro-Choice” mentality is not new but ancient, part of the brutal ancient worldview typically governed by oppressive totalitarian States.  Today’s “Pro-Choicers” just do not “get” that after the “Pro-Life” principles were embraced by Western Civilization in the 4th Century, parents no longer had the “Pro-Choice” right to kill their children by abortion but were accountable to value all human life FOR THE SAME REASON that governments no longer had the right to kill their citizens but were now accountable to value human life!

. . .

Conclusion

So in summary, I charge that in de-criminalizing abortion after 1630 years of logically consistent development of the 318 AD criminalization of abortion gave us the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our democracies have made the biggest mistake in the history of Western Civilization, which is unravelling all the gains for human life made since abortion was first criminalized.  Governments are no longer obligated by a higher principle to protect human life wherever it exists and so more and more categories of humans can be legally killed.  Convenience and money are once again worth more than human life and since it is much cheaper to kill the old, sick or handicapped than care for their extra needs long-term (or to provide quality palliative care to the dying), policies that start by killing by euthanasia only those in extreme pain who ask for it (as in Europe) have inevitably degraded into euthanizing patients for more and more conditions (including psychological conditions) whether or not they are in physical pain and with or without the consent of the patients or their families.  Current “Pro-Choice” policies to aggressively abort the handicapped (and offer to “assist the suicide” of those who become handicapped), driven by a “Pro-Choice” abortion mindset in which handicapped lives are apparently not worth living and are not worth the extra effort of lovingly taking care of the handicapped’s special needs long-term, can only eventually become an obligation to kill the handicapped (by abortion or euthanasia) as long as this “Pro-Choice” mindset where a needy human life is a burden not a gift persists as the “guiding principle” for Western governments in replacement of the “Pro-Life” “guiding principle” of always precious humanity which all Human Rights and democratic freedoms were historically and logically built on.  “Pro-Choice” doctors can and do now pester mothers of (possibly) handicapped children to abort them, and offer to legally kill or “assist the suicide” of depressed patients instead of assisting them in overcoming their problems longer-term because their human lives are valuable and worthwhile despite any handicap/injury/disorder or circumstance.  This is allowed because our governments have no longer recognized human life as inherently precious since the de-criminalization of abortion, and thus government no longer even protects us from ourselves in the moments of weakness we all have when we temporarily lose sight of the value of our own human lives.  The de-criminalization of abortion necessarily cheapens every human life, in the biggest mistake in the governance of humans made in the last two millennia:  it means NO human life is any longer inherently precious just for being human, just like in any oppressive totalitarian State, and it logically requires that to continue legally killing humans unimpeded by moral objections the government must in oppressive totalitarian fashion restrict the Human Rights and democratic freedoms of all who object to killing humans, which is exactly what is happening to doctors and medical professionals who object to killing humans by abortion or euthanasia (including “assisted suicide”) whose jobs are now being threatened to keep them silent, and exactly what is happening to peaceful protesters of the killing of human lives near abortion clinics who are even being arrested and jailed for likewise believing in the historic and logical “Pro-Life” foundations of all Human Rights and freedoms (and one can reasonably expect that any government which already imprisons people or allows their jobs to be threatened for believing and acting on the “Pro-Life” foundations of democracy to defend threatened human lives will not even be able to keep up the pretense of democracy for much longer).

I do not charge current political parties and governments in the U.S.A., Canada, and Europe with malicious intent to end democracy like the Nazi party whose precedent they are unwittingly following in some important respects demonstrated in this treatise, but nevertheless in their ignorance they are actively undermining the very foundations of democracy itself and they need to be informed and warned of where they are heading.  It is imperative that voters learn this following history of the ideas which birthed democracy (Chapter 2) and then use their vote and democratic voice (while they still have one) to insist the foundational “Pro-Life” principles on which all Human Rights and democracy historically and logically depend (The Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy) are properly recognized and protected by their governments.  The purpose of this treatise is to provide this “Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack.”  Chapters 2 and 5 show the history and sound logic behind the “Pro-Life” position as the origin and the only reasonable long-term guarantee of modern Human Rights and democratic freedoms.  Chapter 3 shows how biological and medical science furnishes no support for “Pro-Choice” philosophy but supports the “Pro-Life” position, as well as does the whole weight of the medical tradition represented by the ancient doctors’ Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” to human lives.  Chapter 4 traces just how “Pro-Choice” philosophy has already logically led us far along the very same path towards the ultimate loss of democracy they suffered in 1930s Germany after abandoning the long Western “Pro-Life” tradition – but not yet so far along that we cannot reverse this negative momentum if we act now!

 

A Parting Thought:  Excerpt from the Conclusion of Draft 2.4 of the treatise The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack by William Baptiste SFO:

Western Civilization now stands at a critical “tipping point” where if current Pro-Choice anti-democratic trends continue we will lose our democracies, but we still have time to reverse this trend and shore up the badly eroded foundations of Human Rights and freedoms by constitutionally enshrining the historic Christian Pro-Life principles which historically and logically gave them to us.  The more government policies and laws respect and encourage Christianity the longer democracy and Human Rights will last; the more public policies and laws reflect and encourage the Christian Pro-Life principles and the Christian sexual ethic which grounds stable loving families which are the building blocks of stable and loving societies, as governments crafted their policies and laws according to Christian principles during the whole period our modern Human Rights and freedoms were developing logically FROM these Christian principles, the longer Human Rights and democracy will last.  But if current anti-democratic trends which are simply the logical progression of Pro-Choice philosophy (which has always been associated with totalitarianism) continue, we WILL lose our democracies.  Remember: according to Pro-Choice philosophy there is no logical reason that individual humans who have no inherent value because abortion is legal and who are legally euthanized when they can no longer serve the greater State/society SHOULD even have a democratic vote in their own governance; so we cannot reasonably expect Pro-Choice governments to maintain democracy long-term (which is precisely why democracy is now being compromised specifically to ensure Pro-Choice abortion killings can continue without Pro-Life doctors and others freely objecting to killing humans); modern democracy only came about in Western Christian Civilization, and only because Christianity taught the historic Pro-Life principles that every human life without exception is a supremely and equally valuable person (a Christian theological term) who therefore must be free from all government coercion in matters of belief so as to freely seek (and hopefully find) this wonderful truth about human existence, which are the only reasons why it is very appropriate that every human life has a democratic vote in their own governance.  The original Abolitionists were Christians who called for the abolition of legal slavery precisely because legal slavery violated this historic Pro-Life principle and therefore legal slavery was fundamentally incompatible with democracy.  “Pro-Lifers” are literally the New Abolitionists, calling for the abolition of abortion precisely because they are standing up for precisely the same principle of the immense and EQUAL value of every human life without exception (whether Black or Preborn) that the original Abolitionists championed to end slavery, because legal abortion is every bit as fundamentally incompatible with democracy as legal slavery was, and for precisely the same reason – all human life is too equally precious to enslave or kill.  Legal abortion (and the big-money abortion industry) violates human dignity to an even greater extent than did legal slavery, because Black human slaves were sold alive, and the dismembered corpses of aborted preborn humans are likewise sold (or traded) but after first being killed.  The fundamental incompatibility between democracy and legal abortion will incessantly scream for resolution with legal abortion as it did with legal slavery, and in the end we will have no choices but to keep democracy and lose legal abortion (as we lost legal slavery), or keep legal abortion and lose democracy.  Pro-Life is fundamentally Pro-Democracy and Pro-Choice is fundamentally Anti-Democracy and voters must from now on be fully aware of this.

 

© 2015, 2016 William Baptiste SFO

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Foundation of the Foundations:

God is Love – The Foundation of The Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy [First Draft]

A Supplement to The Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy and The New Abolitionist Manifesto of Solidarity

Draft 1.1

By William Baptiste SFO, Founder and Director, Human Rights and Freedoms Forever!

 

One does not necessarily have to be a Christian to believe in and support the traditional Western Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy (which Christianity introduced into Western Civilization), in order to help ensure that Human Rights and Freedoms last for the long-term in one’s country.  Christianity also introduced religious freedom into the West because by its own principles, Christianity cannot properly be enforced or coerced but must be accepted freely as a free act of love for God.  But lasting Democracy and Human Rights does require one to at least respect the Christian origin of these principles of unequivocal human equality and unequivocal human preciousness which governments are obligated to protect – and the logically following necessity Christians first insisted on (to overturn ancient totalitarianism) that humans must be free from all coercion in matters of belief in order to freely seek and find these wonderful truths foundational to all Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms.  We must remember that every atheist government in history has been totalitarian and oppressive to human life and freedom precisely because, not sharing the Christian perspective, they see no logical necessity to accept the Christian-based Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy and so refuse to use them as the “guiding principles” of their governments and societies.  Similarly, any society which (we hope soon) re-affirms and accepts the Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy for the sake of lasting democracy, but without a healthy respect for their Christian origins (even though they do not have to actually embrace Christianity), is prone to eventually asking why they should accept these principles; questioning them; doubting them; abandoning them – and as soon as they do so, “Creeping Totalitarianism” will once more set in, just because Human Rights and Democracy flow naturally and logically from these Foundational Principles and no other.

Thus it is worth learning more about these Christian origins which The Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy themselves are grounded in.  I realize that personally embracing Christianity (as embracing any creed, including atheism) takes a certain “leap of faith,” which every individual is properly free to take or not to take (this is in fact Christianity’s teaching as the pioneer of religious freedom!).  But I believe that even if one is not personally convinced to become a Christian (at least, not yet), just having a sense of the sublimely beautiful if at points mysterious logic underlying Christianity’s Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy (which were prepared for in prior Biblical Judaism, which is the matrix of Biblical Christianity) will at least help to cultivate the necessary respect for Christianity which has presented these underlying First Principles of Democracy to the West, so that Democracy can last long on its solid foundations (I do personally recommend embracing Christianity, both for the reader’s best fulfilment and happiness in life, and for the best shot at lasting Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms in any country, the more citizens of which are actual practicing Christians who are thus committed to the underlying Christian Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy; but like God Himself who gave humankind Free Will, I respect the reader’s freedom to decline the offer).

I John 4:8, 16 in the Bible’s Christian New Testament, makes the very brief but immeasurably deep religious assertion of Divine Revelation absolutely unique to Christianity that God IS Love.  The immediately perceivable political ramifications of this religious insight (which shook the brutal ancient pagan West) are that humans best serve God and best reach their human potential and purpose by overcoming selfish self-interest and loving every human who was lovingly created by God equally precious (in God’s Image, as Biblical Judaism had previously established), a God who mysteriously IS Love who desires to adopt every human into God’s loving Family (on Earth called the Church).

From a Christian perspective,[1] essentially everything else in Christianity (including the Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy) can be summed up in the core principle (the core Revealed Truth) that God is Love, and the supremely fruitful Christian understanding of God’s Being as a Trinity of Love actually ultimately underlies the whole free and democratic way of life which only ever developed in Western Christian Civilization!  So the dogma which the now-secularized society regards as irrelevant at best and destructive at worst is actually the most practical thing in the universe, because it grounds all of our Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms in a way nothing else ever did or can!  The term and concept of precious human personhood itself (which grounds each valuable human person deserving a democratic say or vote) literally comes from the prior Christian theology of the One God in Three Persons Who make up the Holy Trinity.  The Dogma of the Holy Trinity (of Love) actually underlies and holds up the whole historical and logical process which gives us modern Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms!

Everything else in Christianity can be properly explained as an unfolding of this core Revealed Mystery of God’s Being.  Of course the infinite Absolute Being who created our finite human minds cannot be reduced to a formula that fits neatly inside them; whatever humans can understand about God can never exhaustively express God’s Reality; even whatever God reveals about Himself is still ultimately a Mystery beyond full human comprehension.  But humans can fruitfully understand the “contours” of the ultimate ineffable Mystery of God.  In the Christian Bible (fully incorporating the earlier Jewish Biblical Revelation) God reveals His complex (not simple) existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and as Love.  This Biblical Mystery of God’s Being is expressed theologically in the traditional primary Christian dogma/fundamental doctrine (Latin for “teaching”) of the One God the Holy Trinity of Love which so many find hard to understand.  Helpful but superficial analogies like “one finger has three parts/segments” aside, at a deeper level it is possible to grasp the supremely fruitful Christian understanding of God’s Being as a Trinity of Love which actually ultimately underlies the whole free and democratic way of life which only ever developed in Western Christian Civilization:  From all Eternity (which is the timelessness beyond time – note even Physics confirms that the universe of space-time had a beginning/Big Bang.  The “Big Banger” who started and directed it is timeless) God the Father eternally gives of Himself completely in Love, holding nothing back, and God the Son is generated; perfect Image of the Father, God the Son likewise eternally gives Himself completely in self-giving Love back to the Father, holding nothing back; and God the Holy Spirit IS the substantial divine Love Proceeding in both directions.  So parenthood, childhood, and the bond of Love which bind them are within God’s complex (not simple) Being; God is a Family of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  And God is Love (1 John 4:8, 16).  Love really is the essence of Family!  The fullness of Family Love which God is, is all about self-giving Love, and in the abundance of Love that God IS within God’s Being, God longs to continue to give of Himself in Love.  The God who IS self-giving Love longs to extend His Family!  This explains everything in the Bible from the Creation to the Cross to the Church.  God creates the natural universe as a family home for humanity made in God’s Image; when humanity proves initially too immature in love to keep the supernatural Family relationship with God in which humanity was created, God legally adopts humanity as His children anyway through a series of Biblical Covenants which gradually train infant humanity to greater maturity in love, culminating in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ in which God the Son (Second Person of the Holy Trinity) Himself becomes fully human as well, and dies on the Cross in atonement and reparation of all human sins against the Love that God is.  Through the both Divine and human Jesus Christ “the New Adam,” humanity is once more supernaturally adopted by God through the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit (the “Spirit of adoption” – Romans 8:15) Who the first Adam lost, but Whom humanity was created to not be complete without (hence the “God-shaped hole” which makes humans naturally long for union with the Divine, the longing that drives all religious exploration).  Jesus said “whoever believes and is baptised will be saved” (Mark 16:16); Christian baptism “in water and the Holy Spirit” makes one a member of the Christian Church, which is the Family on Earth of those who are not just legally adopted by God through the Biblical Covenants but are supernaturally adopted by God as well, God’s very Holy Spirit of Love indwelling them (and empowering them to gradually overcome self-centered human weakness and sins against Love as they (if they) cultivate this immanent and personal loving relationship with the God who IS Love).

Longing to give of Himself in Family Love even beyond His own Divine Trinitarian Family, God creates the Universe and Humankind.  As even the Greek philosophers noted “the last in execution is the first in intention;” God first creates the material universe specifically to be a material Family Home for material human beings God creates last intending to adopt them into His Eternal Heavenly Trinitarian Family.  As the purpose for the whole universe, as the height of God’s Creation, humans are created in God’s Image;  their bodies are made from the same material/matter as the universe (whether first developing through a lengthy evolutionary process ultimately directed by God or some other divine means is irrelevant to the Christian Doctrine of Creation which states God ultimately ordered the ordered cosmos which Science only studies because it first assumes as First Principles that the universe is such an ordered cosmos and NOT a random chaos); but these human creations are imbued with and animated by an Eternal spirit, like God’s, which allows human beings to be in a loving relationship with God; which allow humans the possibility (beyond that of the rest of the material universe, including living things like plants and animals) of being adopted by God into God’s Eternal Heavenly Family.  The human created Image of God physically mirrors the Creator, and so the natural human state is to be a family, like God whose Image humans are is a Family, each individual human belonging to a family of valuable, precious persons mirroring the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  Thus historically the word person was only ever applied to humans AFTER Christians first developed the theology and terminology of the One God, the Holy Trinity of Love who Eternally exists as Three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  As God the Father gives of Himself completely in love, holding nothing back, to generate God the Son, so parents to be successful as parents must give of themselves in loving self-sacrifice for the best good of their children, modelling such self-sacrificing love for their children who ideally learn to give back in love as they mature (abortion is so immature and sinful because it is specifically a rejection of even attempting mature self-giving love like God loves, not even giving your child up for adoption to more mature parents who can love him or her but instead telling your child “I would rather kill you than lovingly sacrifice anything at all for you”).  As God’s Trinitarian Family is in fact characterized by self-giving love between the Divine Persons, so human families of precious human persons made in God’s Image are most fulfilled and happy when, reflecting the God who IS Love who made them, each person in the family gives of themselves for each other in love, often giving up their own benefit or preference for the good of another (but when all family members are doing this for each other, everyone’s genuine needs are being met without anyone selfishly focussing on themselves!).

Unfortunately, humanity created in God’s Image was initially too immature in love to keep the initial loving Family Relationship with God and each other in which they were created.  Disobedience and murder soon followed as immature humanity “Fell” from the supernaturally-graced condition of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit – the condition in which they were created – which humans need in order to be whole.  The Early Church Fathers noted that the Bible testifies that God initially made humanity in “the Image and Likeness of God;” but after described humanity as being in “the Image” only; these early foundational theologians of Christianity understood that the ongoing “Image” of God is our human eternal spirit like God’s, with a rational soul far beyond any mere animal’s animating our material bodies (which are otherwise like those of animals); and they understood the “Likeness” of God was lost in the “Fall of Humankind” (Hebrew adam) from God’s Grace (or Divine Life) shared with us humans, and that what more precisely was lost is identified by just what Jesus Christ “the New Adam,” the new Head of (Redeemed) Humanity, restores to those humans who through Jesus Christ, God the Father’s Only-Begotten Son, are supernaturally adopted by God once again – that is to say, what Jesus restores is the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, also called “the Spirit of Adoption,” which had made the original Adam the similarly supernaturally adopted “son of God” – Luke 3:38.  The original Adam lost his initial supernatural adoption through immaturity in love manifested in disobedience.  Adam was just not capable of staying in that supernaturalized condition.  But New Covenant Christians cannot easily lose the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit as Adam did because in Christian baptism (the adoption ceremony) they become members of the Body of Christ Himself, in union with Jesus Christ the Head of that Christian Body, the Divine and human Jesus who offered to God perfect human obedience, even unto death on the Cross, specifically in repair of the original Adam’s disobedience.  If Adam’s imperfect human disobedience was like “breaking a window with a baseball” which lost humanity the indwelling Holy Spirit of supernatural adoption they just could not hold on to, Jesus Christ “the New Adam’s” perfect human obedience (because Jesus is both fully human and fully Divine) is like “repairing the broken window with bullet-proof glass so it cannot be broken again,” restoring the indwelling Holy Spirit of supernatural adoption to those humans who remain in Jesus Christ.  If the Trinity is the Primary Mystery of the Christian Faith, the starting point that ultimately explains all the rest, as above, the Incarnation is the Central Mystery of the Christian Faith – it is only because God the Son, Second Person of the Holy Trinity, is incarnated (“enfleshed”), in the one person Jesus Christ who has both a fully Divine AND a fully human nature (His Divine nature eternally inherited from God the Father, His Divine Father; His human nature inherited within Time from Mary his human mother), that Jesus Christ is ABLE to make true reparation for all human sin, because He is human; and He is able to maintain indefinitely the supernatural family relationship with God which merely human Adam could not, and which we humans without Him cannot, because Jesus is also God.

Thus the initial immaturity in love of infant humanity which lost us the supernatural adoption was not an insurmountable obstacle for the God who IS Love and who IS a Family.  As Covenant Family Theology best explains,[2] through a series of major Biblical adoptive or family-making legal Covenants (associated with the Biblical figures Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and “the New Adam” Jesus Christ), God the Father legally adopted humanity (in Hebrew, adam) and committed Himself to raise His adopted Covenant child humanity very gradually and very patiently to greater maturity in love until the time was right (“the fullness of time”) to restore the supernatural adoption through Jesus Christ.  In the era of each successive Covenant, God revealed more of the ultimate Mystery of God’s Divine Being so His gradually maturing faithful Covenant children could know Him better; and in each new Covenant era God “raised the bar” of the moral standard of love the Covenant Father expected His Covenant children to aim for and gradually mature in (knowing ahead that they would be terrible at it at first and would become better at it only gradually) – just like human parents have higher expectations of their older children and lesser expectations of their younger children; and just like human parents, God occasionally making non-ideal concessions to the weakness and immaturity of their children who are not yet able to perform adequately at a higher standard which will be expected of them later.

Thus, as very small human children first have to learn obedience just to be safe (they cannot yet understand why the road is dangerous to play on etc.; they just need to obey parental rules without understanding them in order to be safe), so in the overarching Biblical story of God very slowly and patiently raising humanity to gradually greater maturity in love,  God first gives Adam and Eve a test of obedience (“do not eat the fruit of this tree”) which they fail; but Noah passes a test of obedience (“build a huge ark/boat on dry land”), showing humans ready for the next step.  Thus in the new Noahic Covenant God gives the first specific strict rule or Commandment – not to kill humans made in God’s Image.  Later when humanity is older and can handle more, God gives Moses 10 such Commandments, mostly “you shall nots” of how to avoid the anti-love of sin.  But after Israel’s first great national sin worshiping the Golden Calf idol proves the Covenant children are too immature to just live by them but (like young human children) need things “spelled out for them” precisely, the simple “10 Commandments” are extrapolated into a much more thorough legal code (of 613 laws in the Biblical Torah or 5 Books of Moses) which explains how precisely to keep the 10 Commandments in the very specific circumstances of Israel at that time coming out of pagan idolatrous Egypt and going into pagan idolatrous Canaan.  It is important to realize that Biblical laws that seem arbitrary to a modern reader had a specific purpose in their original, proper context. “Do not boil a goat in its mother’s milk” is not arbitrary but forbids a specific Canaanite idolatrous practice; kosher food laws are not just healthy (modern nutritionists confirm) but (as the great medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides noted) they were a specific anti-idolatry regimen:  the Israelites were not to eat animals like pigs which their Egyptian slave-masters for 400 years sacrificed to idols and ate as part of pagan worship; and they were specifically to sacrifice (to God) and eat animals like cattle which the Egyptians worshipped (like the bull-god Apis, who Israel’s idolatrous Golden Bull-Calf recalled).  After Israel’s second great national sin worshiping Baal Peor, the Mosaic Covenant is reorganized into a Deutero Nomos (literally “Second Law;” the Book of Deuteronomy) which assumes a more immature Israelite and includes non-ideal concessions to weakness, such as laws regulating and limiting polygamy and slavery without strictly forbidding them, because the Covenant children are too immature to handle a more strict law closer to God’s ideal yet.  Like human parents, God the Father knows the children “have to be capable of walking before they are capable of taking out the garbage”!  Only in the later Christian era, when humanity in general and those faithful to the current Covenant in particular, are older and more experienced, will God expect strict monogamy, and lay down clearly the principles of human equality before God – and equal preciousness – which Christians like William Wilberforce will later use to end slavery entirely.  (Note: Some modern readers of the Bible foolishly argue that certain Biblical laws need not be followed anymore just because many of the minute details of the Mosaic Law are no longer followed by Christians anyway.  They do not understand that many of the 613 Mosaic Laws are no longer followed by Christians because they were simply a detailed extrapolation of precisely how to live the 10 Commandments in a specific historical context that no longer exists; now one could “boil a goat in its mother’s milk” (if one really wanted to) without it having anything to do with worshiping a false Canaanite god; in today’s context this does not break one of the 10 Commandments as it did back then.  But other laws concerning how humans are to treat or not treat each other so as to best fulfill the 10 Commandments and so be the most genuinely loving in God’s eyes still apply.)

During the gradual maturation process of God slowly and patiently raising humanity to greater maturity in love, many branches of His legally adopted human family descended from Adam and faithful Noah fall away from living under God the Father’s training in love, leaving His “Covenant Family House” and becoming runaway “prodigal son” or “Gentile” nations.  Even much of Israel itself falls away just like so many previous branches of the Covenant Family descended from Adam and Noah (the 10 “Lost Tribes” of Israel); but those faithful to stay under the Covenant Father’s Family House Rules (laws) do gradually mature in love and by the end of the Old Testament the post-exilic Jews who are all that is left of Israel (from the Israelite Tribe and Southern Kingdom of Judah) no longer go back and forth between worshiping God and worshiping idols (like so many earlier generations) but come to have an international reputation that Jews would rather die than deny their God (proved by many martyrs for their faith).  As Noah (who built a huge boat on dry land just because God said to) had to prove the Covenant children had matured by improving in meeting God’s expectation of simple obedience (which Adam and Eve failed) before God could progress to the next Covenant where God revealed more of Himself and had higher moral expectations, so Israel (or what was left of Israel; the Jews) had to demonstrate their maturation through improvement in meeting the last Covenant’s standard to aim for, with their consistent faithfulness as a nation to the Covenant Father even under threat of death, before it could be “the fullness of time” for the next Covenant, in which God revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and as Love, the ultimate Mystery of the Holy Trinity; and in which God raised the standard of love the Covenant children are supposed to aim and strive for to the perfection of Love (which God IS).  In the Christian New Covenant era, the standard of love the Covenant children are expected to aim for (knowing they will never do it perfectly) is much, much higher.  Rather than mostly avoiding the anti-love of sin as in the Mosaic 10 Commandments with so many “you shall nots” prohibiting specific unloving/sinful things (like lying and stealing and killing and cheating on your spouse), New Covenant Christian children following the moral admonitions of the New Testament (notably Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which deliberately parallels Moses giving the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai) are expected to actively look for opportunities to practice self-giving, self-sacrificing love (like God loves) – and expected to not limit these acts of self-giving love to just to one’s family and friends, but to all humans, even one’s enemies (God the Father makes no exceptions to whom He loves, and He expects His children to follow His example).

It is important to realize that New Covenant Christians too, like all God’s previous Old Testament Covenant children, of course would be terrible at actually living the new higher standard at first and (apart from periodic individual saints who did better) would become better at it as a group only very gradually.  But even in the Old Testament Mosaic and Davidic Covenant eras, Israel with much back-and-forth action as a nation gradually did in fact gradually come to closer approach the standard God set for them to aim for, until the Jews which were all that remained of Israel were actually mature enough as a nation that it became widely known they preferred to die rather than deny their loving God.  So likewise in the Christian New Covenant era, as a group Christians and Christian nations (with similar back-and-forth motions; both improvements and setbacks) by having that high New Covenant standard to aim for no matter how badly they did in the past, have overall gradually improved and within Western Christian Civilization eventually managed to end slavery (where traditional Christian principles prevail), and eventually articulated clear and specific Human Rights entirely rooted historically and logically in Christian principles – remember 1/3 of the population were slaves when Christianity began; and Human Rights were non-existent, but they started to be legally recognized a mere 5 years after the West stopped persecuting Christianity (in 313 AD) and started adopting its principles of equally precious humanity, with the criminalization of abortion and infanticide in 318 AD; Western nations were still mostly Christian (seriously declining Christian baptisms and Church attendance still in the future), when the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights articulated a mature flowering of the previous 1630 years of legally recognized Human Rights in Western Christian Civilization.  The Christian New Covenant “raised the bar” of the moral standard of love God now expected His adopted human Covenant children to aim for to the extremely high standard of treating every human – not just of your family, your race/nation, or those humans you like – as EQUAL, and EQUALLY PRECIOUS.  And this new high Christian standard for the proper treatment of humans – rooted entirely in the uniquely Christian religious insight that God is Love and therefore all humans are lovingly created “in God’s Image” as precious to God and must be treated accordingly – once adopted by the governments of Western Civilization (starting with the Christianized Roman Empire) as their “guiding principles,” utterly transformed the way humans were governed; making governments accountable to the God of Love for how they treated their human citizens and subjects, and for how they allowed them to be treated, which is why abortion and infanticide were criminalized so soon after Christianity ceased to be persecuted by the Roman Empire, as the very first legal recognition of Human Rights, laying the foundations for all of the later Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms which only ever developed in the Christian West (because if the government is obligated to protect and ultimately serve precious humans instead of exploiting cheap humans as servants of the State, it is also very appropriate for governments to give each precious human a say or democratic vote in his or her own governance).  The uniquely Christian insight that God IS Love is historically and logically the foundation of the Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy that every human life without exception is equally precious and must be protected by governments (Principle #1) which must allow humans freedom of belief without government coercion (Principle #2) so humans may freely and without impediment seek and find the wonderful (Christian) truth about inherent human preciousness which grounds all Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms.

 

[Rough Draft] Addendum:  Covenant Family Theology Shows God the Father Expected His Adopted Christian Children to be Immature in Love at First and Only Gradually and by “Back and Forth” Motions Improve (as individuals and as groups, nations) in Living the High Christian Standards to Aim For (Which Improvement in Fact Drove the Historical Development of Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms) – God Even EXPECTED the Current Christian Divisions Due to Immaturity in Love within the Adopted New Covenant Christian Family – The Initial Undivided First Millennium Church Followed by a Divided Second Millennium Church Just as the Initially United Kingdom of Israel was Followed by the Divided Northern Kingdom of Israel and Southern Kingdom of Judah (Current Christian Divisions Among His Christian Children were Expected But the Covenant Father Also Expects Christians to Gradually Mature in Love and Make Progress at Healing Past Immature Divisions;  Progress Which is in Fact Seen the Modern Ecumenical Movement which has Already Seen Divided Christians Discussing the Differences Which Separated Them Centuries Ago with a Mutual Brotherly Love and Respect which Was Not Present When They Separated, Finding Most Differences Not Near as Serious as They Were Perceived to Be Centuries Ago Even If Not Yet Resolved – Meaning Many Christians Can Now Properly Act Like God’s Adopted Family (Bickering and All, like Families Do!) Based on Vast Common Christian Faith Even While Certain Disagreements Formally Dividing Them Are Not Yet Resolved)

It is important to realize, as the Covenant Family Theology perspective on the whole Biblical history makes clear for the post-Biblical human history to the present day, that God did not expect His New Covenant Christian children to be excellent at living the extremely high standard of Love for every human which Jesus set for Christians to aim for; rather, God expected them to only very gradually, individually or in groups, make progress in living these very high ideals.  That is what happened, and that is what is still happening.  Whatever failures in living the high Christian standards today’s Christians can still be accused of, it is only because our Western societies were up until recently ostensibly Christian societies that individually and in groups / nations Westerners were motivated to try to find better and better ways to leave behind bad habits from pre-Christian times and better approach that high Christian ideal of recognizing equal human dignity and preciousness which, even though pre-Christian norms like social class, race and gender inequity continued, for the last 1700 years of Western Christian Civilization everyone knew that they should be trying to do better at meeting.[3]  Saintly Christian social reformers in every age called the attention of Christian societies to some area of their defects in meeting the high Christian ideal.  But now that Western Civilization has turned its back on the past 1700 years of Christian heritage, declaring itself “post-Christian” and divesting itself of the habitual trappings of Christianity especially at the level of governmental “guiding principles” at an unprecedented rate, the high Christian standards for the treatment of humans are no longer there to challenge Western society to be better and so naturally it is getting worse.  Much, much, worse, as the preciousness of human life is no longer a given and governments (like in totalitarian States) are legislating human life and death again, starting with de-criminalized abortion and euthanasia / “assisted suicide” – and in more and more jurisdictions taking away the democratic freedoms of those who object to killing humans, starting with those highly principled doctors who would refuse to kill humans on principle if they were free to do so.  In more and more jurisdictions totalitarian-style belief-control in enforced public “education” in anti-traditional, anti-Christian values which contradict the Foundational Principles of Democracy is returning us to pre-Christian times where there is no true religious freedom (which Christianity introduced into Western Civilization) and the government is once again in charge of what citizens may or may not believe or practice.  Already in many places people are only “free” to “privately believe” that every human life is precious, as long as they do nothing practical to actually protect human lives, and if they do, they are subject to arrest for things like peacefully protesting the killing of humans near abortion clinics; or subject to job discipline if they get too vocally “Pro-Life” in hospitals and schools and so on – even duly elected government representatives in some jurisdictions are being “gagged” and disallowed to speak a “Pro-Life” message in their governments, forbidden to actually represent their “Pro-Life” constituents who elected them in the government.  Democracy depends historically and logically on the Christian, “Pro-Life” Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy which are in turn founded on the uniquely Christian belief in the One God in Three Persons (a Christian-invented theological term) who IS Love, who created humans “in God’s Image” as valuable human persons who therefore have Human Rights which governments are properly obligated to protect.  Without these Christian foundations any longer being respected and used as the source of Western Civilization’s “guiding principles,” the once-free West is gradually but necessarily descending back into the pre-Christian norms of governmental totalitarianism without genuine Human Rights (the primary Human Right to Live having been legally eradicated the second abortion was de-criminalized in any Western democracy).

 

On God’s Ideal Unity of the Human Family and of the Church Family 

Covenant Family Theology shows every human being an adopted child of God at least through the early Covenants with Adam and Noah (and their descendants – all humanity!).  But in the era of each successive Biblical Covenant, many immature human children fell away from faithfulness to the Covenant Family, becoming “runaway” or “prodigal” adopted children of God (the “Gentile” nations); but some always remained in God’s “Family House” of the Covenant, following the “Family House Rules” which trained them to gradually mature in the practice of love (which God IS).  But God never forgot the many runaways who left to live outside of the Covenant Family, and had a plan from the beginning to eventually bring all His many runaway adopted human children from the earlier Covenants back into the ongoing Covenant Family when the time was right to establish the “New Covenant” of the “New Adam,” head of renewed humanity (Hebrew: adam), Jesus Christ.  This is why Jesus “the Good Shepherd” says in John 10:16 that “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” Jesus the “one shepherd” has “other sheep” who are “not of this sheep pen” of the Jews he is preaching to who are becoming the first, Jewish, Christians – the Gentiles of the Noahic Covenant, descended from Adam and faithful Noah. Jesus knows “they too will listen to” His voice, so that Jewish Christians and Noahic Gentiles will together form “one flock,” one Church, under Jesus the “one shepherd.”  This is why the Bible further says in John 11:51-52 that “Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one”.  All human beings are adopted children of God through the Covenants with Adam and Noah, but they were scattered through their unbelief and sin, except for the faithful line of the ongoing adopted Covenant Family, that line of faithful Sethites, Semites, Hebrews and Israelites known as the Jewish nation,[4] and those Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah (Christ in Greek) would be restored to the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God which Adam “the son of God” (Luke 3:38) lost, and this Jewish nation renewed in Jesus “the New Adam” would minister the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit to all the scattered children of God from the Adamic and Noahic Covenants – to all human beings who will come –  and those ministering Jews and the Gentiles who accepted Jesus through their ministry would be brought together and made one in Jesus Christ.  One human family renewed in Jesus, one Body of Christ, the Christian Church.  This was the loving family reality of the Undivided Early Catholic (Greek for Universal) Christian Church, one worldwide Church made up of many different nations (civilizations, cultures) restored in Christ, the restored portions of those nations becoming the different Rites or “Sister Churches” or Patriarchates (“Church Provinces”) which together made up the one early Undivided Universal or Catholic Church of Jesus Christ.  This universality or catholicity of the Undivided Early Church was so important to Early Christian identity that Early Christian writers constantly refer to the Church as the Catholic Church, which was the Catholic (Universal) Communion of different culturally-based “Sister Churches” of East and West united in orthodox (“right-teaching”) Christian faith against many breakaway heretical or unorthodox Christian churches (which died out).  This Catholic Church was never a single monolithic or uniform Church but a Catholic Communion of Orthodox Churches in mutually enriching “unity in diversity” in fulfilment of many Biblical prophecies in which the Gentile nations to the North, South, East and West of Jerusalem would all come to worship the True God whose Temple was in Jerusalem.  The Greek, Egyptian, Syrian and Roman cultures whose major cultural centers (Byzantium/Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome) were roughly to the North, South, East and West of Jerusalem – though stretched around the Mediterranean Basin – met Jesus and became different Christian cultures: Greek, Egyptian, Syrian and Roman Catholic “Sister” Churches with different cultural perspectives on the same Christian truths which they celebrated with different customs and rituals within one “Universal Christian” or Catholic Church Communion.  In the Bible, God Himself at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) had ensured that humanity descended from faithful Noah would spread throughout the Earth and thus develop into different cultural groups (because of different language and geographic location), different cultural groups which, once renewed in Messiah Jesus, would have different perspectives upon the infinite truth of God revealed in Jesus Christ, which would give them different insights into Divine Revelation which they would be able to pool together at the Early Ecumenical (worldwide) Councils of the Christian Church – Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Christians, Egyptian (Alexandrian) Catholic Christians, Syrian (Antiochian) Catholic Christians and Roman Catholic Christians together – so as to together come up with the most accurate and precise understanding of the Christian fundamentals, against many heretical challenges to the saving Christian faith.  The very differences of human cultures are mutually enriching and part of God’s plan for Humanity and for His Church, which Saint Augustine described as “the world, redeemed.”  The culturally-based Rites of the Church are “the nations of the world, redeemed.”  Understanding the Church this way, the way the Undivided Early Church of the First Millennium actually lived its life (which is why Vatican Council II confirmed for today’s Catholic Christians that the Catholic Church is properly not just “Roman” but made of many particular or “Sister” Churches “of fully equal dignity” – currently there are 26 such cultural “Rites” or “Sister Churches within today’s Catholic Communion; the Roman Catholic Church is only the biggest) is key to the eventual restoration of the loving First Millennium Christian unity in diversity lost by the currently divided Christian Churches in the Second Millennium, who are already united in vast common Christian faith but express it differently, just as the First Millennium Sister Churches of East and West did but without being divided from each other.  Most of the many differences between Christian groups today are of the sort which did not cause divisions in the Undivided Early Church but which enriched all Christians.

[Rough] The unfortunate historical reality is that after the Eastern Churches were separated from the Western, and after the Western Church’s Protestant Reformation, which not only divided Western, Roman Catholic Christians from Western, Protestant Christians, but also divided Protestant Christians from each other in dozens of different separated Protestant Reformation era Churches which continued to divide into literally 40,000 registered Protestant/Evangelical Church denominations by today, Christianity was no longer the unifying force in Europe it had been, and especially with so-called “religious wars” among Christian States (though these were mostly political wars using religion as an excuse – rulers could change from Protestant to Catholic or vice-versa if is suited them politically), Christianity lost much of its apparent credibility.  Jesus Himself had said that the world would recognize His disciples by their LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER, which they were no longer showing after the Protestant Reformation, and so the appearance of Christian credibility was lost, and Christianity gradually started to be marginalized in the West, the Christian voice gradually pushed more and more to the margins, until today when the Christian voice has been so marginalized in Western societies that it no longer sustains Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms, which historically, logically and utterly depend on the Christian and “Pro-Life” Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy which have been abandoned by the West, so that it is falling prey to “Creeping Totalitarianism.”  Even though Christians were not perfect, and their immaturity in love which they failed to show for each other after the Protestant Reformation caused them to lose the appearance of credibility, still it was only Christian principles which grounded the development of our whole Western free and democratic way of life, which we are now losing to “Creeping Totalitarianism” specifically because Human Rights and Democracy cannot last without the Christian principles they were built on.

So it is important for Christians and non-Christians to realize that God Even EXPECTED the current Christian divisions due to Immaturity in Love within the Adopted New Covenant Family which initially caused Christianity to become marginalized in the West.  In so many ways, humanity is weak and sinful, and finds it very difficult to Love like God loves, including Christian humans.  But it is the Christian New Covenant children striving (often failing) to “grow up,” to mature in Love and better meet the Covenant Father’s high New Covenant expectations we are supposed to aim for, that drove the whole historical development of Human Rights and Freedoms, and which makes humanity – for all its weakness – the best it can be at any given time, as long as it gradually struggles to mature in Love.  Abandoning the high Christian principles to strive towards has caused the West to abandon the striving to be better, which is why it is getting worse, with the Inherent Human Right to Live just a memory since abortion was de-criminalized, and now even coming to the brink of losing all the West’s highest values of Human Rights and Freedoms to “Creeping Totalitarianism.”  For Democracy to last, ideally Christians and non-Christians both should humbly acknowledge how very difficult it is to live Western Civilization’s highest values, which it got from Christianity, but how very worthwhile it is to have the high Christian standards to aim for and strive towards even when we fail to live them perfectly.  And devout Christians can testify that those who most fully embrace Christianity find a source of unending spiritual power to enable them to gradually overcome their human weaknesses and gradually improve in the practice of Love for every human life which, the more people who are accessing this Divine Power to Love, makes the world a better and better place.

 

Draft 1.1 Foundation of the Foundations © 2007, 2015, 2016 William Baptiste SFO

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To make it easy for today’s divided Christians to understand just what is the vast Common Christian Faith in which they are already united despite their denominational divisions, which is more than enough to help them show proper Christian Family Love towards each other and help them patiently work out their few remaining disagreements (which are of lesser importance than these vast areas of agreement), the following author’s handout is reproduced below:

The ‘Common Creed’ of Christianity:

The Vast Common Faith of (Eastern & Western) Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and (Western) Conservative/ Evangelical Protestant Christianity (and “Messianic Judaism”) Which is the Basis for Restored Christian Unity in Diversity “So That the World May Believe”

(and so that Christians can most credibly & effectively together guide Western Civilization into not losing its Human Rights and freedoms which depend historically & logically on Christian principles)

The One God, Creator of the Universe, who is Love, exists as a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; God created humanity in His Image intending to have a loving family relationship with humans described in the Bible as adoption (Romans 8:15), such that every human life without exception is supremely and equally precious to God and therefore all humans must be FREE from all government threats to their lives and FREE from all government coercion in matters of belief in order that they may FREELY seek and hopefully find this wonderful truth about human existence (the Christian “Pro-Life” Principles which historically and logically undergird all Human Rights and democratic freedoms); humanity lost its original relationship with God through sin but God so loved humanity that He made reconciliation possible through the Incarnation (enfleshment) of God the Son in Jesus Christ through Mary’s Virgin Birth, making Jesus fully God and fully man, able to make Atonement for the sins of all humanity, which He did by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead so that humanity can be forgiven and saved (and find human fulfillment) through Him; we acquire this forgiveness from sin and salvation unto eternal life through, drawn and empowered by God’s Grace, our turning away from sin (anti-love), accepting what Jesus has done for us and coming into loving, saving relationship with Him (and His Father and Holy Spirit) through belief and baptism, as He taught (Mark 16:16), which makes Christians members of the one Body of Christ the Church (which may be described as God’s adopted family); Jesus’ literal Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven; Jesus’ future return in glory and judgement and the bodily resurrection of all the  dead; the tenets of traditional Christian morality (described in the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, among other passages of Scripture) as how to be loving and so how to please the God who is Love; the inspiration and inerrancy1 of the Holy Scriptures which testify to all these things.

 

This above “common creed” encapsulates the essential or fundamental Christian teaching of all the Ecumenical (worldwide) and other major Councils of the Undivided Early Christian Church, Councils which both the Catholic Church (in its 26 Western and Eastern Rites or ‘Sister Churches’ or Patriarchates united under the Head Pastorship of the Pope – the Roman Catholic Church is only the largest) and the Eastern Orthodox Church (in its16‘Sister Churches’ or Patriarchates more loosely united in the very beautiful Byzantine/Greek Rite Christian worship) consider to have established the irrevocable norms of Christian faith in the early centuries of Christianity, and it also encapsulates all the details of the early 20th Century “Fundamentals” tract series which began the Protestant Fundamentalist movement as well as the details usually included in the many conservative and Evangelical Protestant creedal “statements of faith” (the early 20th Century Protestant Fundamentalist and Evangelical movements were “doctrinally conservative,” orthodox responses to the huge “doctrinally liberal” or unorthodox trend within the earlier Protestant “mainline” churches).  Those Protestant “mainline” denominations and congregations which are going increasingly “doctrinally liberal” or unorthodox may or may not still preserve with certainty all of these ancient fundamental beliefs of orthodox Christianity (orthodoxy means “right teaching,” as opposed to unorthodox or heretical teaching).  The above common Christian beliefs are the wonderful, life-changing, saving truths of Christianity which “turned the world upside down” in barbaric times and transformed the ancient world with God’s Love, laying the historical and logical foundations for all the later Human Rights and democratic freedoms which developed nowhere else in the world but in Western Christian Civilization – common truths which still make Catholic, Orthodox, and Conservative/Evangelical Protestant Christians (and “Messianic Jews”) brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus and most certainly instruments of God’s salvation in the world (despite our misunderstandings and disagreements over some of our different secondary doctrines, differences which each side sees in the light of the above common fundamentals we are already agreed on, meaning our differences are never as big as they seem).  This vast Common Core Christian Faith must be acknowledged before we ever discuss our differences, so we may discuss them fruitfully in family love.  And on the basis of this vast common faith currently divided Christians must work together in family love to preserve human life, religious freedom, and democracy itself which are all seriously threatened since Christianity was rejected as Western Society’s moral guide.

http://christian-unity-in-diversity.ourchur.ch                                                    © 2005, 2009, 2014, 2016 William Baptiste SFO

Footnote 1: Liberal Protestant Christianity questioned whether the Bible was wholly inspired by God and incapable of error (or inerrant), as traditionally affirmed, on the basis of some seeming contradictions between the Bible and science or history.  Some late 19th Century Catholic “modernist” scholars took up these Liberal Protestant objections to the Bible’s inerrancy and so Biblical inerrancy was soundly reaffirmed for all Catholic Christians by Pope Leo XIII in 1893.  A helpful ancient Christian principle is that Scripture is without error in all it intentionally affirms.  Some critics of the Bible accuse the Bible of making errors in science.  Though Scripture may occasionally incidentally use “scientific” terms common to the period in which it was written which were necessary for the original readers’ comprehension, in such cases the Scripture, a religious text, no more intends to affirm a scientific truth than a newspaper which declares what time the sunrise will be intends to affirm that the sun moves around the Earth and is therefore said to “rise.”  The pre-Copernican terms of sunrise and sunset remain in common usage because they usefully describe the appearance of things relative to our Earth-bound position, even though they do not describe the now well-known scientific reality that the Earth moves around the sun and the sun is technically not “rising” at all.  Making use of common terms is not an error.  Other seeming problems with the Bible’s inerrancy disappear once one recognizes the literary form or genre a particular Bible passage was written in, and in many instances, later historical or archeological finds have proven the Bible historically accurate in places where critics had previously accused the Bible of being historically inaccurate.

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Stages of Democratic Decay and “Creeping Totalitarianism”:

(a supplement to The Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy)

Having Forgotten Where Human Rights and Freedoms Come From and Having Eroded Their Foundations for Decades, Different Western Countries, States, Provinces and Other Jurisdictions are in Different Stages of Decay of Their Democracies, But All Are Following the Same World-Wide Anti-Democratic Trend (Paralleling the gradual loss of Democracy in 1930s Germany, more slowly but by similar stages), Necessitating The Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy as Part of the Antidote to this “Creeping Totalitarianism”

 

I recognize that within this worldwide Western Pro-Choice-To-Kill-Humans/anti-traditional/anti-Christian and ultimately ANTI-DEMOCRATIC and “Creeping Totalitarian” trend, different Western countries, states, provinces and other jurisdictions are at different stages of the decay of their human rights and democratic freedoms.  Not all jurisdictions have yet progressed from legally killing preborn humans to legally killing born humans (starting with “assisted suicide” and euthanasia).  Not all jurisdictions have yet progressed to formally restricting the democratic freedoms of those who believe in protecting human life (starting with doctors and medical professionals and peaceful protestors, the latter who have been actually arrested for peacefully protesting that killing humans is wrong near abortion clinics), though many jurisdictions have been less formally persecuting and silencing through pressure, job and funding threats and other “bully” tactics those doctors, teachers, lawyers and others who believe in democracy’s foundations in traditional values for some time.  Not all jurisdictions have yet progressed to (like totalitarian States) aggressive public education of children in anti-traditional values which further undermine the traditional, Christian fabric of Western Civilization which human rights and democracy are built on.  Not all jurisdictions have yet progressed to threatening the accreditation and licensing of teachers and lawyers and other professionals trained at universities which uphold all the traditional Western and Christian beliefs which include the Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy (so that the traditional democracy-grounding Christian principles have even less democracy-preserving influence than they already have been reduced to).  But (whether I am Christian or not) I recognize those jurisdictions which have decayed further, into the above areas, so far, effectively demonstrate where this whole world-wide Pro-Choice/anti-traditional/anti-Christian trend is going, towards the ultimate dissolution of democracy, because the progression is logical.   Because Christianity (which taught Western Civilization the supreme and equal value of every human life without exception, which caused abortion to be criminalized in 318 AD) is no longer respected and has been abandoned as the source of Western Civilization’s guiding principles (causing abortion to be de-criminalized), there is logically no longer any legally recognized Inherent Human Right to Live.  If there is no Inherent Human Right to Live because abortion is legal, then there ultimately is no necessary reason for any government to always protect human lives, therefore born humans as well as preborn humans can be legally killed, starting with old and sick or handicapped born humans by euthanasia, and there is no necessary reason for governments to grant every human a vote and democratic freedoms, if humans do not even have any intrinsic human right to live which the government is even obligated to protect.  Therefore of course human democratic rights and freedoms can be compromised and taken away wherever abortion-killing of humans is legal, and of course, as has already happened in several jurisdictions, the first to be forced to give up their rights and freedoms will be those pesky Christian doctors and others who oppose the killing of humans because they hold the traditional values human rights and freedoms are built on.  Human rights and democratic freedoms for everyone for the long-term depend on every human life without exception being legally recognized as so precious that the government is always obligated to protect and serve precious human lives, and only this can guard democracies from eventually falling to “Creeping Totalitarianism.”  Chapter 4 of the treatise The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack describes the slow, gradual loss of democracy by many small stages in 1930s Germany, showing how our modern democracies have already progressed through several of the early stages of the loss of democracy in Germany –  and have today even exceeded both legal slavery and Nazi Germany’s degradation of human life and dignity in one area: the big-money abortion industry which profits from legally devaluing and killing humans.  The Abortion Industry is more anti-human than the prior Slave Trade which similarly denied equal human preciousness, because legally-devalued Black human slaves were denied their human personhood and were sold (and used) live (though many died on slave ships taking them to their new masters).  Today legally devalued fetal-age humans are denied their human personhood and are sold (or otherwise traded[5]) and used after ALWAYS first being killed.  In the Slave Trade, only Black humans were unjustly devalued; legal abortion devalues every human who no longer has an Inherent Human Right to Live because they could have been legally killed before birth; legal abortion is the bigotry not against a group of humans, but the bigotry against the human race which denies any inherent human right to live at all.  Further, the Nazis only had time to experiment with making products from the many human corpses of those Jewish humans and others whose human lives had been legally devalued and then killed in the millions (such as “leather” lampshades and painting canvases made from Jewish human skin, etc.) before their anti-human Regime ended.  Today’s big-money abortion industry (the details of which vary from country to country) uses the human corpses and by-products of preborn humans whose human lives have similarly been legally devalued and killed in the millions to drive much research and development of health and beauty and other products, and even food testing.  Aborted fetal-age human “by-products” include aborted fetal-age human “cell lines,” used (unnecessarily) in many current common vaccines, which some try to claim are not actually made with aborted human babies but this is misleading because scientifically, biologically speaking such “cell lines” ARE in fact living HUMAN cells grown from actual aborted human baby cells instead of growing into a bigger healthy baby; living human cells with the killed baby’s absolutely unique human DNA; unique human DNA of an aborted human baby which cannot be completely removed from the final product vaccines and which is injected into your arms with your vaccine.  All this even though effective vaccines do not need to be made with human fetal cell-lines at all and vaccines made using animal cells, as used to be the norm, pose fewer potential health risks.  Unlike animal cell lines’ DNA, human DNA has the potential to insert itself into the developing brain cells of babies and toddlers through a process known as homologous recombination.  DNA does not cross species so this is not an issue with traditional animal based vaccines.

There are a host of moral issues here even completely ignoring the growing number of recent studies linking human DNA in vaccines to human children’s health problems, like the 2014 study Impact of Environmental Factors on the Prevalence of Autistic Disorder after 1979, published September 2014 in the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology, available on the Academic Journals website at: http://www.ms.academicjournals.org/article/article1409245960_Deisher%20et%20al.pdf. I note that in an unconscionable display of “Creeping Totalitarianism” and its control of the media to protect the profitable human-degrading Abortion Industry which drives “Creeping Totalitarianism” (recalling how the profitable human-degrading Slave Trade similarly protected itself from people discovering the truth about slavery as long as it could), whenever the link between aborted-fetal-cell-line vaccines and children’s health problems (including autism) gets media attention, as with the recent documentary movie Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe about a high-ranking cover-up of exactly such a link, typically the mainstream media only cites the discredited 1998 study making this association and claims vaccines are safe, completely ignoring the more recent and more thorough, independent scientific studies which draw the same conclusionThus when the media tries to discount the presentation of Vaxxed by emphasizing it was directed by the author of the discredited study, as if the whole idea of the vaccine/autism connection is just a matter of single disgruntled research doctor who lost his job for a bad study making this connection, the media is being unscientific and being a political pawn for continuing the inhuman and ultimately anti-democratic status quo of the Abortion Industry, and it is much more likely the discredited 1998 study was illegitimately discredited, the research doctor losing his job in an earlier example of the same kind of cover-up in defense of the profitable Abortion Industry (and thus it is pure justice that the researcher has opportunity to direct a documentary about a later, similar cover-up to the one which illegitimately cost him his job).  I say this on the purely scientific grounds that other, independent research scientists have since published studies (as recently as 2014) which support the same conclusion as the 1998 “discredited” study, which means the aborted human fetal-cell-line vaccine connection with autism is certainly very credible, even if not yet definitively proven.  If there are other studies also, which purport to support a different conclusion, then this is simply a common case of the overall scientific research being as yet inconclusive one way or the other; it is normal for scientists to disagree about things, and to have some scientists and studies support one conclusion, and others the opposite conclusion.  It is in fact part of the scientific method that independent scientists will perform different experiments and approach the data from different angles until a general consensus of scientists (who are not bullied by political pressure to publish certain conclusions) is reached (and even these are sometimes later proven wrong).  What is NOT normal is how politically charged and seriously biased in favor of the profitable Abortion Industry is the media coverage of this discrepancy in studies of the effects of aborted fetal-age human cell-line vaccines.  Theoretically, if public health was the primary concern, the fact that several scientific studies (not just one isolated study) draw the connection between vaccines containing aborted human DNA and autism, even if the connection is not yet definitively proven, since vaccines do not NEED to made with aborted human cells at all, to protect public health it would make the most sense for governments to not buy human DNA-containing vaccines, and use traditional animal-cell-host vaccines (which have never had such concerns) for the safety of the public, at least until the scientific method eventually comes to a definitive conclusion as to whether or not aborted human-cell-host vaccines cause autism.  But no – protecting the public this way, making sure people are safe until the scientific method has finished its entire process on this question, would cause too much damage to the profit margin of the Abortion Industry, and hence (just like there was political pressure to discount Abolitionist objections to keep the profitable Slave Trade going) there is political pressure, which the mainstream media has apparently caved to as pawns, to pretend that there is not even a scientific discrepancy in the research conclusions, and report only on the existence of the studies which suggest it is safe to continue using aborted fetal-cell-line vaccines, and mention only the discredited study which connects them with autism, unscientifically and unjustifiably ignoring those other more recent studies which support the 1998 study’s conclusions – in a case of dishonest, biased journalism which itself makes it seem most likely the 1998 study was dishonestly discredited due to political pressure to protect the profits of the Abortion Industry and keep democracy-undermining abortion legal (the only other explanation is the media is incompetent and really does not know about the more recent studies which support the 1998 study – so which is it, is the media just incompetent or is it evil?).

But really, the whole controversy about whether or not aborted fetal-age human cell-line vaccines cause autism is besides the main point:  even if there were no legitimate health concerns about using aborted fetal-age human cell-line vaccines (which several scientific studies show there are), the mere fact that these and other products developed using or made from legally devalued and killed human corpses or killed human “by-products” are allowed to be researched and developed, usually without even informing the public that this is even being done, and usually without giving anyone an informed choice nor a moral option (such as alternative vaccines made from animal cells as used to be the norm), is democratically irresponsible and unconscionable, especially given how politically controversial abortion is (for the excellent reasons shown in this Pledge, that legal abortion logically cancels all genuine human rights by denying the Inherent Human Right to Live).  It is yet another signal of the impending loss of our democracies which historically and logically depend on every human life being so precious the government is always obligated to protect human lives, that current governments do not even inform the public when health and beauty products and government-provided vaccines were developed using or actually contain aborted human parts or “by-products” with the killed baby’s unique human DNA, and do not even give citizens an informed democratic choice whether to use them.  “Creeping Totalitarian” governments that, having legalized abortion, no longer feel obligated to protect and serve human lives which they no longer recognize as having any Intrinsic Human Right to Live (the foundation of all Human Rights), of course feel little obligation to protect human dignity by seriously regulating this Abortion Industry and the industries supplied by it which profit from legally devaluing and killing humans (as the Slave Trade before it which killed many devalued Black humans)  — and this is yet another sign of the serious decay and degradation of our Western democracies.  While for the most part our democracies are slowly progressing through the same many small stages of the decay of human rights and democracy they went through in 1930s Germany but haven’t caught up to Nazi Germany’s level yet, this highly profitable Abortion Industry supplying other industries making products out of or using (at least in research and development) the corpses of devalued and killed preborn humans, is the one area where our current democracies have exceeded the level of degradation of humanity the Nazis only did not reach because their evil regime ended before they had the time to make so much money from killing humans.

Draft 2 © 2016 William Baptiste SFO, Founder and Director, Human Rights and Freedoms Forever!

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On the Judeo-Christian Origins of Science and the Incapability of Atheism to Ground Either Science or Human Rights or Democracy

[A Supplement to The Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy based on a longer selection of Excerpts (than those used in the Pledge) from the First Draft Chapter 6 of the Treatise The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack]

Draft 1 Collection of Excerpts

By William Baptiste SFO

 

In addition to those articles affirmed in The Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy and The New Abolitionist Manifesto of Solidarity:

I recognize the historical facts that the Jewish faith which Christianity grew out of already had a reputation for scholarship, which is why Alexander the Great put the Jews in charge of the great Library of the city of Alexandria which he named after himself; thus it was no surprise that the Early Christian Church founded two great ancient schools of Antioch and Alexandria as institutes of higher learning; and the modern university system itself literally grew out of this long Judeo-Christian tradition of scholarship.  I recognize the whole modern university system historically grew out of Christian Europe’s medieval cathedral schools[1] first dedicated to scholarly Bible study which then branched out into all the other fields of knowledge and scholarship (Theology – The Study of God and All Things in Relation to God – was historically “the Queen of the Sciences” and Christian “religious colleges” are still at the core of all the oldest and most established universities today).  In contrast, all atheists have is “atheistic flatulence,” “passing gas” in the form of insubstantial “hot air” and bluster, an unfounded arrogant condescension that perpetrates the merely 200-year old Enlightenment era myth that faith and reason, religion and science are somehow opposed, and ignores the world’s greatest thinkers from Aristotle to Einstein who recognized the difference between “silly superstition” (which the Enlightenment legitimately discredited) and the “genuine religion” without which Einstein said “science is lame.”[2]  Science, which looks for patterns of order in the natural universe from which it makes predictions and tests them by orderly experiments, is lame and cannot even get on its feet without acknowledging, as the Greek philosophers recognized as the first scientists did (after their deep exposure to the older Jewish Bible, the Christian Old Testament which first revealed this to humanity) that the universe is an ordered cosmos – with an intelligent orderer (God) – and the universe is NOT a random, undirected chaosWhether I am Christian or not, I recognize that this Biblical foundation is precisely why the pure (as distinguished from the applied) sciences, and the modern scientific method, historically developed only in Western Christian Civilization, developed gradually by many centuries of Christian scientists working logically from the Biblical, Judeo-Christian worldview and Biblically-revealed First Principles, as did the modern university system, growing organically and naturally out of the medieval cathedral schools.

Otherwise put, whether I am Christian or not,  I recognize that the pure sciences (studying nature for its own sake not for practical applications as in the applied sciences) and the modern scientific method developed nowhere else in the world but in Christian Europe precisely because Science requires the worldview which the Judeo-Christian Bible first taught Western Civilization (including the ancient Greeks who are credited with being the first Scientists, who themselves were first exposed to the Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament): the basic understanding of the universe as an ordered cosmos (NOT a random chaos) which can be studied to identify patterns of intelligent order so as to make predictions (and test them by experiment) – order implying an intelligent orderer, a Creator God, who the Bible introduced Western Civilization to.  It is important to realize that THERE WERE NO ATHEISTS INVOLVED IN THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE PURE SCIENCES AND THE MODERN SCIENTIFIC METHOD; only many centuries of Christians operating from a Christian worldview gradually developing the natural sciences and an ever better scientific method as we know now, working logically from First Principles revealed in the Bible – that the Universe is an ordered, structured cosmos, with an intelligent orderer, and NOT an ultimately random and undirected chaosAtheists when they do science are not thinking from First Principles.  They are only thinking from a method they inherited from the scientists of Christian Europe, a method steeped in the Judeo-Christian worldview and proceeding logically from Judeo-Christian First Principles.  I recognize that atheist scientists can only do science at all because they borrow the modern scientific method Christians developed and atheists (in the words of devout Christian and brilliant scientist Sir Isaac Newton, himself particularly involved in the development of the modern scientific method) merely “stand on the shoulders of giants” who went before them – Christian (and Jewish) giants who understood far more of the foundations on which Science rests than they do.  Atheists (with much condescending bluster or “atheistic flatulence,” belittling religious believers and pretending atheism has something to do with science) have to hide the fact they use a Christian scientific method built mostly by Christians upon Judeo-Christian, Biblical foundations (and hide the fact that atheist governments have consistently been among the most oppressive and totalitarian governments known to humankind – precisely because it ultimately does not matter how one ultimately random sack of bio-chemicals we call a human being treats another – there is no principle of atheism that can ground democracy nor the human equality democracy depends on, just as there is no principle of atheism (which believes in an ultimately random and undirected universe with no God) that can ground Science which both assumes as First Principles and then proceeds to indeed discover intricate order at every level of nature).

I recognize that all atheists are ultimately “religious atheists,” who believe with religious faith not proof that there is no God, against the evidence of an intricately ordered cosmos predicted precisely by Judeo-Christian theism; and I recognize that the (traditional) religious believer, especially the Christian, can be confident that in his philosophical position for the existence of an Intelligent Creator God who ordered the Universe, he is standing not only with the majority of human beings, but with the great majority of the world’s greatest and most accomplished thinkers and scientists throughout history to modern times (Aristotle to Einstein!).  I recognize that Einstein himself noted that “there is no conflict between science and genuine religion” and in fact that “science without religion is lame” – science cannot even get on its feet without recognizing the universe as an ordered cosmos, which implies an intelligent orderer (God) who designed the ordered patterns which science discovers.  Thus Einstein said “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” – the mere fact we can in great degree comprehend the universe means that it is ordered, order implies intelligence (there is no truly random process we know of that produces consistent order), and thus the supremely intricate and elegant order science has discovered in the natural universe points to the existence of a super-natural orderer-God beyond nature. This is hardly surprising since science in fact from its philosophical foundation and First Principles assumed there was an intelligent orderer God who intelligently designed the ordered cosmos (NOT random chaos) which is why scientists bothered looking for order in the universe in the first place!  This is why Einstein said in doing science he “wanted to know God’s thoughts.”  Since the Judeo-Christian religious tradition Einstein (a Jew) was raised in is the religion which understands God and the universe this way, Einstein, widely recognized as the most intelligent person and the greatest scientist of all time, despite his not being a traditional Jewish believer, even said that “the highest principles for our aspirations and judgements are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition[3]  And Einstein is far from alone among the secularized founders of modern physics (Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) in still having this basically Judeo-Christian mystical, religious side which is not separate from but integral to his brilliant scientific enquiry of the intricately ordered cosmos:   I recognize the documented fact that virtually ALL of the fathers of modern physics like Werner Heisenberg, Prince Louis De Broglie, Sir James Jeans, Max Planck, Wolfgang Pauli, Sir Arthur Eddington and Erwin Schroedinger were not atheists but in addition to their brilliant scientific work had mystical writings mostly in the Western or Judeo-Christian tradition (at least the Deism which is a basically Judeo-Christian Theism but truncated, depersonalized into a “watchmaker God” who ordered the universe and then left it alone – the loving personal interaction with humanity taken out but otherwise a Biblical conception of God).[4]  I recognize that this is not at all surprising to anyone who understands the history and logic that undergirds ALL SCIENTIFIC ENQUIRY in Western (Christian) Civilization.  The Judeo-Christian religion is not at all a merely “personal” or “cultural” conviction of history’s greatest scientists independent of their scientific work, as today’s atheists would have us believe.  Rather, it is specifically BECAUSE of their Judeo-Christian religious belief in a Creator God who intelligently ordered the universe that history’s greatest scientists were MOTIVATED to EXAMINE the natural universe, EXPECTING to find patterns of order (the sign of an ordering intelligence because no truly random process produces consistent and intricate order).  Whether I am Christian or not, I recognize that for particularly devout and practicing Christians who are scientists (like Newton and Galileo, who also pioneered the modern scientific method), science flows naturally out of one’s loving personal relationship with God because in examining nature you are studying your Beloved’s intricately designed craftsmanship.

I recognize that Galileo has been seriously misused as the “poster boy” most used by atheists to support the atheist myth of the opposition of faith and science.  This is a very superficial and inaccurate portrayal of the historical “Galileo Affair.”  Close reading of the historical documents reveals that Galileo’s conflict with some religious authorities was absolutely NOT a case of any inherent opposition between Christian faith and scientific reason, but Galileo (a devout Christian) was specifically disciplined (if unwisely) only for disobeying directions to teach Sun-centered Copernican astronomy as hypothetical rather than as absolutely true when it had not in fact yet been scientifically proven to be absolutely true.  Copernican Astronomy had in fact already been taught in Jesuit universities for a century as an alternative theory to the still-prevailing Ptolemaic Astronomy, and Galileo was freely allowed to continue to teach it as such; unfortunately in his enthusiasm for Copernican Astronomy he tended to get carried away and teach it as absolutely true even though by his own standards of scientific truth it had not (yet) been so proven, and would not be for centuries.  And we today, told from childhood that the Earth moves around the Sun even though we daily observe the Sun moving across the sky, too easily forget how back then, still long before the Copernican model would be necessarily and physically proven, how compelling is the millennia-old daily observed evidence of the sun moving across the sky from sunrise to sunset which is why still the majority of scientists at the time did not support Copernicus and Galileo.  But Galileo and all his detractors completely agreed about the complementarity of science and (Christian) religion.  I further recognize it is significant that in 1623 Galileo dedicated his new book The Assayer, which is recognized as one of the pioneering works of the modern scientific method, to his friend Maffeo Barberini who had just been elected Pope Urban VIII (in 1620, well after Galileo started publicly promoting Copernican theory in 1610, Barberini had written the poem Adulatio Perniciosa in Galileo’s honor).  By all accounts the Pope was delighted with Galileo’s book which did so much to develop the modern scientific method, which the Pope read (or had read to him) at the dinner table.  Galileo lived and died a dedicated Christian and scientist who like Einstein knew “there is no conflict between science and genuine religion” because (in Galileo’s own words) “the Holy Scripture and Nature derive equally from the Godhead, the former as the dictation of the Holy Spirit and the latter as the obedient executrix of God’s orders.”

I recognize that before Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus was ordained to minor orders in the Catholic Church and had a doctorate in the Church’s Canon Law.  As so many scientists in Western Christian Civilization, he worked for the Church (as a Church Canon) as well as being a scientist (without any conflict!).  In 1533 Pope Clement VII was pleased by Papal Secretary Johann Widmanstetter explaining to the pope and two of his cardinals Copernicus’ heliocentric (sun-centered) system.  Copernicus’ book was dedicated to the pope.  Copernicus’ sun-centered model was a hypothesis and had not (yet) been proven so there was no cause for a scientific revolution overturning so many previous centuries of the Ptolemaic earth-centered model which better accounted for our daily observations of the sun moving across the sky from East to West and thus for all appearances around the sphere of the earth.

Still, long before Galileo, Copernicus’ sun-centered model of the universe was taught without controversy in Jesuit universities as an alternate theory to the still-dominant Ptolemaic earth-centered model.  Galileo himself earlier in the 1610s had in Rome discussed his telescopic observations in support of Copernicus with Collegio Romano Jesuit professors as well as members of the Church hierarchy, and had been warmly received.  Unfortunately, as the decade progressed there came to be more controversy and debate over the claim of some Christians that Copernicus’ heliocentric model which Galileo was popularizing contradicted the Bible, which on the surface seemed to some to affirm the common observation of every sunrise to sunset that the sun moves around the Earth.

In one response to this controversy, Paolo Foscarini (1580-1616), a Carmelite priest, published an essay in 1615 explaining the Bible could be interpreted in such a way as to be consistent with Copernican astronomy.  Of course he was right, and in fact this is why there had not been any major controversy about Copernicus’ theory, nor about its being taught in Jesuit universities as an alternate theory, in the whole century before then.  More than this, Foscarini’s argument was in fact in the long tradition of the late 4th and early 5th Century Saint Augustine, brilliant philosopher and the greatest early “Doctor” (Latin for “Teacher”) of the Early Western Church, who had 1200 years before articulated the principle, when considering apparent contradictions between the Bible and science, that Scripture is without error in all it intentionally affirms.  Though Scripture may occasionally incidentally use “scientific” terms common to the period in which it was written which were necessary for the original readers’ comprehension (obviously, even the Divinely Inspired Bible cannot be reasonably expected to be written in terms of distant future science, which would make it incomprehensible to its original readers), in such cases the Bible, a religious text, no more intends to affirm a scientific truth than a modern newspaper which declares what time the sunrise will be intends to affirm that the sun moves around the Earth and is therefore said to “rise.”  The pre-Copernican terms of sunrise and sunset remain in our common usage even today because they usefully describe the appearance of things relative to our Earth-bound position, even though they do not describe the now well-known scientific reality that the Earth moves around the sun and the sun is technically not “rising” at all.  The Bible making use of common terms according to appearances which we still commonly do because it is what things actually look like is neither an error, nor is it in any way intending to confirm or justify the old Ptolemaic astronomy which holds that the sun actually moves around the Earth just as it looks like it does every day.  With advancing technology even a Smartphone still does what the Bible does, and tells us what time today’s “sunrise” and “sunset” will be, without intending to confirm the sun moves around the Earth and is thus said to “rise” and “set.”  Dr. William Carroll in Galileo: Science and Faith further points out that also the great medieval Christian Saint and Doctor Thomas Aquinas, recognized along with Saint Augustine as one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers of history, observed “that Ptolemaic astronomy provides only a model for the observed phenomena and that one could very well have a mathematical model in which the Earth moves.”  So from ancient through to medieval times and up to Galileo’s day, Christians knew that the Bible was not a science textbook and did not intend to affirm scientific truths when it used common terms descriptive of appearances.  Unfortunately, some Christians in Galileo’s day lost sight of this long Christian understanding and Galileo was inappropriately opposed by those mistakenly thinking they had to defend the Bible from Galileo’s advocating for Copernicus’ theory (even though Copernicus and Galileo themselves were both committed practicing Christians who knew there was no genuine conflict of any kind between the Bible they loved and the science they practiced).

The most important of those who unnecessarily opposed Galileo was Cardinal (Saint) Roberto Bellarmino, a member of the Italian body which later condemned Galileo in 1633 for not following instructions on the matter delivered by Bellarmino in 1616.  It is important to note that in 1633 Galileo was NOT condemned for being necessarily wrong, rather he was disciplined for disobeying instructions to present Copernican astronomy as a hypothesis and not as something proven true.  Since receiving instructions in 1616 Galileo had been free for 17 years to have his own conviction that the earth moved and had been free to promote (in teaching and in writing) the Copernican scientific hypothesis that the earth moved.  The specific wording of the charges of the September 1632 commission which led to Galileo’s famous 1633 trial were that Galileo “may have overstepped his instructions by asserting absolutely the Earth’s motion and the Sun’s immobility and thus deviating from hypothesis…”.  Thus it might even be said that Church authorities were standing up for the current standards of good science against Galileo’s over-exuberance in over-confidently asserting something that he had not yet proved.  Indeed, Cardinal Bellarmino was neither unscientific nor unthinking – and nor was he against the possibility of Copernicus’ possibly being right, but mainly against Galileo popularizing this and potentially causing social upheaval in the way people had always looked at the universe before it was substantially proved.  Why cause such an uproar in society, telling them the universe is very different than they thought, just for a theory not yet proved?  Cardinal Bellarmino and Galileo completely agreed that science and the Bible could not contradict each other because they had the same author (God); Cardinal Bellarmino and Galileo completely agreed that Galileo had not yet scientifically proved that Copernicus’ heliocentric model was correct; Cardinal Bellarmino and Galileo completely agreed that if in the future substantial proof that Copernicus was right came forth, it would NOT mean the Bible was wrong but that the Bible would simply need to be interpreted as Foscarini had already suggested, in accordance with Christian tradition at least since Saint Augustine in the 4th and 5th Centuries, in which the Bible does not intend to confirm or deny scientific models when it uses the common language descriptive of actual appearances of our daily observation of the sun moving across the sky in our daily experience from sunrise to sunset). The only place in which Cardinal Bellarmino and Galileo disagreed was in that the Cardinal did not think such substantial proof would be forthcoming (and though he admitted he was open to the possibility, he would need to see the proof before he changed his mind), while Galileo felt certain such proof would be forthcoming (note he felt certain; he did not yet have scientific certainty even by his own scientific standards of proof, in which mathematical models such as his were not conclusive and could not substitute for physical demonstration which would not come for centuries).

Most who pass on the glib false assertion that the Galileo affair proves religion and science are contrary or opposed have no idea about the context and details of the Galileo Affair, in which a mistake in dealing with Galileo was definitely made, but not at all the mistake such people think it was (and Galileo actually helped bring his troubles upon himself by not curbing his enthusiasm with appropriate scientific patience for physical proof he did not yet have).  Although while looking back with hindsight we might say the Cardinal erred in thinking it necessary to restrict Galileo at all, we can also see it is Galileo’s own over-exuberance for his work which got him into trouble; he felt so sure he was right he could not help overstepping the Cardinal’s instructions to treat Copernican theory as hypothetical rather than as absolutely true, and thus he was eventually disciplined NOT for being wrong but for treating as absolutely true what he had been instructed to treat as hypothetical and which would not in fact be scientifically proven absolutely true for centuries yet.  In the meantime, before such proof was forthcoming, the Cardinal wanted Galileo not to cause a public furor over excessive claims of the need for everyone to rethink everything they assumed about the universe based on daily observation of the Sun moving across the sky, when the scientific evidence at the time did not (yet) prove such a revolution in thinking necessary!

I recognize that the “Galileo Affair” must be placed in its proper context, wherein the entire higher learning of the natural sciences as well as the human sciences and the modern University System itself literally grew out of the Christian medieval Cathedral Schools, all flowing logically from the Biblical First Principles of the ordered cosmos intelligently ordered by God which made the orderly study of nature (and of humanity) both worthwhile and fruitful.   Only as recently as the 19th Century did the MYTH of a supposed long history of warfare between science and religion come to the fore.   Atheists have falsely reinterpreted history as if science was born when men including Galileo pioneered the modern scientific method, ignoring the whole long history of science building slowly but logically from the starting point of the at root Biblical foundations adopted by the Socratic Greeks – and ignoring the fact that Galileo, such a great pioneer of the modern scientific method, himself stood firmly within that long Judeo-Christian tradition of Science starting from the recognition of the universe as an ordered cosmos not a random chaos, which deliberately acknowledged the Judeo-Christian God whom Galileo was personally devoted to as the intelligent designer of all the intricate order which science explores and discovers (in Galileo’s own words:  “the Holy Scripture and Nature derive equally from the Godhead, the former as the dictation of the Holy Spirit and the latter as the obedient executrix of God’s orders.”).  It is only because by the 19th Century Galileo had been proven absolutely right with numerous physical demonstrations lacking in Galileo’s day, and people had long been taught since they were children that the earth moves around the sun even though every day (from our earthbound position) we observe the opposite that atheists could go back to the Galileo Affair and falsely reinterpret it as the now-common but insubstantial LEGEND of religion against science and progress.

I recognize it is important to remember, that if the natural universe is ultimately random, why would anyone bother looking at nature to find patterns of order?  The answer is NO ONE DID as long as the universe was understood as fundamentally random or chaotic.  Not until the universe was recognized as ordered by an intelligent orderer (which only happened after the ancient Greek consultation with the Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament which testified to this) did deep examinations of nature begin, expecting to find order, the sign of an ordering intelligence, because the universe first became understood as intelligently designed.  In using this term, I am not directly supporting so-called “intelligent design” theory as such. I recognize critics of intelligent design theory are correct that intelligent design is not a proper scientific theory.  What the critics have forgotten, however, is that instead, intelligent design is an integral part of the historical and logical philosophical foundation and starting First Principles of the Natural Sciences – intelligent design is WHY science is done in the first place, to discover as far as possible the precise nature of that intelligent design (which is why the scientists who developed the modern scientific method were Christians who felt no conflict between science and faith and why (Jewish) Einstein confirmed “a legitimate conflict between religion and science cannot exist.”[5]  Intelligent design is the very foundation of science and the historical and logical starting point for all scientific enquiry.

I recognize that the problem we have today is that this foundation of science was laid so long ago and became so natural and automatic and unconscious a part of doing science that both sides of the debate over “intelligent design” have in their conscious minds forgotten this underlying assumption of all scientific enquiry and both sides have often misused science in the vain attempt to “scientifically” justify their personal philosophical position for or against the existence of God.  Strictly speaking the natural sciences cannot prove nor disprove God’s existence by the scientific method which is simply not competent to answer any questions beyond nature like who or what created or ordered it – these are matters of First Principles which cannot be empirically proven but can only be demonstrated necessary for the field to proceed. And the scientific method proceeds historically and logically from the First Principles of the ordered cosmos, with an implied intelligent orderer who structured the universe in such orderly fashion (including the Law of Non-Contradiction) that the universe is NOT ultimately random nor chaotic but is susceptible to scientific investigation to unlock its secrets, because as Einstein said “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” and so its very order points beyond nature to a super-natural orderer beyond nature who the vast majority of history’s scientists explicitly recognized or worshipped, whether as the truncated but still basically Judeo-Christian impersonal Deist “watchmaker” God or as the fully Christian personal God we can have a loving personal relationship with, the specifically Christian God whom those scientists most involved in developing the modern scientific method, including Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton, believed in and personally loved.  Although technically neither the existence nor the non-existence of God can be proved strictly speaking “scientifically” because this question is beyond the purview and competency of Natural Science, the very fact that science works and the principles discovered by the pure sciences allow the applied sciences to give us such fantastic technology is powerful evidence that science’s historical and logical starting First Principles which acknowledge a basic Judeo-Christian concept of God are sound and true (and is equally powerful evidence that atheism which denies this historical and logical foundation of the extremely fruitful natural sciences is NOT sound nor true).  I recognize it is most reasonable to believe the universe really must be the intelligently designed and ordered cosmos science began by assuming it was as its necessary First Principles or else we could not reasonably expect science and technology historically and logically built from this foundation to work at all.

I recognize it is thus all the more extremely significant that all of the scientists of history in Christian Europe where the pure sciences and the modern scientific method developed worked from the specifically Christian assumptions of the Christian culture and worldview including the universe as an ordered cosmos intelligently ordered by God which the entire discipline of natural science had started from in the first place with the ancient Greeks of the Socratic School (who got it from their exposure to the older Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament).  I recognize several of the greatest and most accomplished scientists of all history (including some of those most involved in the development of the modern scientific method) were not only “cultural” Christians but particularly devout practicing Christians, including Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Nicolas Copernicus, Blaise Pascal and Gregor Mendel.  Whether I am Christian or not, I recognize that of course none of these saw any conflict between faith and science, because devout Christians find that a loving personal relationship with the God who created the universe merely spurs them all the more to intently study and seek to understand the intricately ordered handiwork of their beloved God in the wonder of the natural universe God created.  Their love of God the Creator spurred these men to make some of the greatest scientific discoveries in history because, as Einstein would later say, “the highest principles for our aspirations and judgements are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition” and therefore a legitimate conflict between religion and science cannot exist.[6]Because there is no conflict, Blaise Pascal  was both an exceptional Christian (philosopher and mystic), as well as an exceptional mathematician and scientist, mathematics today boasting “Pascal’s Triangle,” science measuring pressure in units called “pascals” and “kilopascals” of pressure, and the computer-programming language Pascal was named in his honour as the inventor of the first proto-computer (how many atheist scientists, who only borrow the scientific method Christians developed logically from Judeo-Christian First Principles, have anywhere near such scientific credentials?  They should seriously consider what philosophy calls “Pascal’s Wager”).

I recognize there are no atheists who gave us the modern scientific method, only atheists who use the modern scientific method developed continuously over the centuries mostly by Christians in Christian Europe upon the consistently underlying sure foundations of the Judeo-Christian principles of the ordered cosmos with an intelligent orderer (not a random chaos) which was adopted by the Greeks who laid the philosophical foundation for the whole edifice of logic and science both of which depend upon reality being structured in orderly fashion as further described by Aristotle’s First Principles of Being such as the Principle of Non-Contradiction.  Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous and most accomplished scientists of history, who has even been called “the greatest scientific genius the world has known,” was a devout practicing Christian[7] who said “If I have seen farther it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”  In this he actually articulated a practical principle of science: science by its nature builds upon what has been previously discovered and learned by the giants of the field who went before.  And the whole edifice of science started with the Greek giants adopting the Judeo-Christian Biblical insight of the ordered cosmos.  The Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament certainly had this key insight that provides the cornerstone of science first.  And the Greeks of the Socratic School were certainly well exposed to the older Jewish Bible which they studied for its legendary wisdom.  Everyone knows the Greeks loved wisdom; the Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish culture was much older than the Greek and Biblical King Solomon’s wisdom was legendary, so the Greeks made sure they knew the Jewish Bible.  There is an ancient rumour that Socrates, who studied with the Jew Ahitophel, actually converted to Judaism in his old age.  Whether or not that rumour is true, for certain Socrates’ “star pupil” Plato was so well-versed in the Jewish Bible, the Christian Old Testament, that Plato’s critics actually called him “Moses speaking Attic (a Greek dialect).”  And it was Plato’s “star pupil” Aristotle who, extrapolating from the borrowed Biblical insight of the ordered cosmos articulated the “First Principles of Being” or “First Principles of Existence” (such as the Principle of Non-Contradiction) which underlie the whole of Western logic and science.  So the ancient Greeks who are credited as the first scientists did not invent but only adopted the Biblical insight that the universe is an ordered cosmos not a random chaos, with an intelligent orderer, a basic Judeo-Christian-type God they called the Absolute Being[8] upon whom all other existence depends, when they established the philosophical foundation for doing science, expanding science’s core Biblical insight of the ordered cosmos into further descriptions of the orderliness of existence like the Principle of Non-Contradiction and the other First Principles of Being upon which all Western logic and science depend.  But the Greeks did little in the way of actual experimentation and it was later Christians in Western Christian Civilization who gradually built up the pure sciences and eventually the modern scientific method, naturally and logically developed from this ultimately Biblical, Judeo-Christian foundation first developed by the Socratic Greeks after they adopted the Biblical insight – pure sciences and a modern scientific method wholly consistent with their Biblical foundation (and not consistent with atheism).  Christians (usually operating within the early modern university system which grew out of the medieval Christian cathedral schools) studied nature looking for patterns of order upon which they made and tested predictions specifically because they were fully aware that in studying nature they were studying God’s creation which God had intelligently ordered; Christians including many of the greatest scientists of all history.

I recognize it is only the far less accomplished atheist scientists since the Enlightenment era who foolishly stuff together the “superstitious” type of religion which the Enlightenment legitimately discredited with the “genuine religion” “without which science is lame” (as Einstein said), apparently not keen enough intellects to see the difference between the two which the very greatest intellects from Aristotle to Einstein have always been able to see; dimmer atheistic intellects who are silly enough to claim that Christian faith and scientific reason are somehow opposed.  And they make this ridiculous claim all the while “standing on the shoulders” of the many Christian giants (including Newton and Galileo) who developed the modern scientific method for them, in a consistent development of Science’s First Principles which begin with the ordered cosmos (not random chaos) intelligently designed by an intelligent orderer.

I recognize the Enlightenment’s atheist “Cult of Reason” was an explicitly religious system with Christian churches converted to “Temples to Reason” (after executing the Christian clergy in the French Revolution).  The original 1933 Humanist Manifesto explicitly describes Secular Humanism as an “atheistic religion.”  Against the tremendous evidence of intricately designed order in the natural universe which science only discovered because it first assumed intelligent design, atheist Rationalism/Secular Humanism is a fundamentally religious faith that there is no God, but Secular Humanism today is merely less honest about this than it was in 1933 and pretends to not be essentially religious, so that atheist humanism can (insidiously) effectively function as an old-fashioned State Religion without criticism from competing theistic religions whose true freedom it curtails.  The proof that it is correct to say that we do not have true religious freedom to freely seek and find personal and spiritual fulfilment in the West today but only the “religious indifferentism” of the Enlightenment era which mistakenly lumped superstitious religion in with the “genuine religion” without which Einstein said “science is lame” is in the fact that we call this societal value tolerance.  One does not “tolerate” sunshine and ice cream or other good things; we only “tolerate” bad things that have to be put up with, like a toothache or a cramp.  Enlightenment style “tolerance” is NOT real religious freedom.  It is the religious value of religious atheists that acknowledges that since the vast majority of humans are traditional theists (or polytheists), traditional religion has to be “tolerated” or put up with, but religious atheists have long been very clear about the fact that deep down they are not tolerant at all and they long for the day when their religiously held atheism reigns supreme over all traditional religions.  And the one theistic religious faith religious atheists most of all cannot stand or tolerate is Christianity.  Atheists will more or less benevolently tolerate other religions because they are not a real threat to atheism.  But since Christianity owns the science atheists only borrow right from Science’s Judeo-Christian First Principles (as shown above), Christianity is a real threat to atheism, since atheism has literally nothing at all to offer to people once the myth that science and technology belong to atheists instead of the Christians who developed them is exposed for the insubstantial hot air or “atheistic flatulence” it is.  Thus atheists have to bluster and condescend with all the mighty “atheistic flatulence” they can muster to keep Christianity from regaining from relativistic atheism its proper place as the guide and guard of Western Civilization’s highest values.  Even a century ago Secular Humanists while they were still honest about being “an atheistic religion” made many statements showing their fundamental intolerance for Christianity, indicating they waited for the day they did not have to even see a church steeple when they walked down the street.  In practice atheism tends to be both thus disrespectful and intolerant even here in the “Free West,” but in atheist Communist States they simply do not bother borrowing basic Christian moral values like Secular Humanists do, so they do not have to wait and they can and do tear down the church steeples themselves, or do not allow them to be built, and they force churches underground because wherever atheists are formally in charge of the government, typically they are major Human Rights violators and do not allow religious freedom in any form, not even the very limp form called “tolerance.”

I recognize that in our Western democracies the logical process of atheistic values like moral relativism ultimately ending democracy and freedom is slower than in formally atheist (always totalitarian) countries, but these ultimately “religious atheist” values are inexorably working towards open totalitarian oppression here in the “Free West” just like in every officially atheist State.  Despite a large majority of theistic believers in the Judeo-Christian tradition (even if many are now more secularized because of atheistic influence, most claim some connection with this tradition), we have had ultimately “atheistic values” laws taking prayer out of the schools and government offices and laws abandoning the Christian Pro-Life values which originally paved the way for Western Civilization’s Human Rights and democratic freedoms, not only in legalizing abortion in the first place but directly oppressive laws meaning peaceful Pro-Life protesters can already be arrested and jailed for freely speaking the value of human life near abortion clinics; doctors in some jurisdictions are now being threatened with persecution and loss of job and livelihood if they do not provide abortion (or euthanasia) access which betrays the Pro-Life foundations of all modern democracy.  I recognize that this is a real totalitarian threat to democracy, and it is justified on the basis of the claim that “private religious beliefs have no place in the public sphere” including doctors’ offices and schools.  So our children for decades have been indoctrinated at school in religious atheist values like moral relativism and religious indifferentism where one religion is as good (or to the atheist, as bad) as another.  But once we realize that secular atheism is itself an ultimately religious creed based on faith not proof just like any other, and once we realize atheists used to be honest about this fact (as in the 1933 Humanist Manifesto which called Secular Humanism “an atheistic religion”) but are no longer, for the safety of humanity and for the long-term continuation of democracy atheists cannot be allowed to get away with their dishonest claim they are not fundamentally religious any more. Even though only a tiny fraction of people are truly committed (religious) atheists, these exert far too great a religious influence on Western society with their religious atheist (ironically absolute) dogma of moral relativism and so on only because of their insubstantial myth of the divide between faith and reason, religion and science. But specifically Judeo-Christian religious faith has far better and more reasonable scientific credentials than atheism: It historically and logically provides the First Principles and basic worldview, basic conception of the ordered universe, that science depends upon.

I recognize that today’s new generation of loud aggressive atheists have taken “atheistic flatulence” to new heights of belittling religious believers while (unconsciously or consciously) hoping if they are condescending enough no one will notice that the scientific method they borrow was not built by them but by Christians (and hoping that no one will notice that wherever committed atheists are in political power Human Rights and democracy have never existed simply because the Foundational Principles of Human Rights and Democracy are also utterly Christian and foreign to atheism).  I recognize that there can be little doubt that if these people were actually in political power, they would act like formally atheist governments always have – oppressive of any kind of true freedom to seek and find human fulfilment by exploring truth wherever it may be found and most especially oppressive of Christianity which invented true religious freedom in the first place (as shown above) even if historical Christendom (bearing many holdovers from pre-Christian times) did not always give it full expression (but even still, pre-Christian style “state-set” religion, when set for Christianity, almost never forced or coerced Christianity, and allowed the genuine religious freedom the West in fact had to take Christianity for granted and become secularized!).  As the Enlightenment’s “Cult of Reason” regarded all supernatural religion as bad, but perhaps tolerated it since “unenlightened” people seemed to need it, we still in our modern Western society only really have the Enlightenment’s “religious indifferentism” (“all supernatural or theistic religions are equally wrong”), a mere religious tolerance from our Western secular States which are still steeped in the Enlightenment’s religious atheist philosophy which in many ways sadly still functions as an unofficial “official State Religion” – and is slowly destroying Human Rights and Democracy which depend historically and logically on Christian principles!

I recognize that this is the biggest “con job” of history.  The fundamentally religious values of Secular Humanist “religious atheism” (such as their self-contradictory absolute that “there are no absolutes”!) effectively act as the pre-Christian-style “state-set religion” of our traditionally Christian Western States, effectively and oppressively indoctrinating our schoolchildren for many decades now in “religious atheism” or at least the “religious indifferentism” of the religious atheists, such that our schools instead of teaching true religious freedom to freely seek and hopefully find personal fulfilment and meaning in life through exploring spirituality, are merely taught to “tolerate” all supernatural religions, any one of which is as good (or rather, from atheist perspective, as bad) as another; for decades our children have been insidiously taught the religious atheist values that none of the theistic or super-natural religions matter, none of them are important enough even to teach in schools (I am glad to finally see some general introductions to the major world religions being introduced into some schools, but this still bears the marks of atheistic religious indifferentism and mere “tolerance”).  Traditional theistic religious values such as those on which our entire free and democratic society was built are told they must be merely private and have “no place in the public sphere” – allowing atheistic religious values (like moral relativism) to reign unchallenged in the public sphere and actually violating our democracies to a degree that should be shocking except after 200 years of the Enlightenment era myth of the supposed opposition of faith and reason, religion and science, we have become used to it.  So because of this myth the ultimately religiously held values of actually committed religious atheists who account for the tiniest fraction of our population have enough power to overcome democracy and large Christian majorities have to submit to fundamentally atheist policies like traditional prayer being taken out of schools and traditional religious symbols like the 10 Commandments or crosses removed from government buildings and the traditional morality our Human Rights and democracy developed from being rewritten by moral relativists who follow atheistic religious values (if there is no God who created and ordered the universe, then He did not reveal how to properly morally behave towards each other either and so nothing can be labelled immoral).  Western governments are both the victims and the instruments of this and have let this happen apparently because they are afraid if they challenge the dominance of religious atheism’s ideas in government and public policy the religious atheists will fart all over them with their condescending “atheistic flatulence.”  Can’t you hear them pass their gas?  “Oh, you’re taking us back to the dark ages, before science, if you let religious values guide public policy” – even though the specifically Judeo-Christian religious values underlie all Science and logic, all International Law, all Human Rights, and all Democracy and atheistic values guiding governments instead simply cannot maintain these (and formally atheistic governments are always totalitarian)!

But remember, it is absolutely NOT the case, as atheists would have us believe, that science has nothing to do with religious faith and is even opposed to it, such that all the great many scientists of history in Christian Europe where modern science developed were only Christians incidentally, because of their culture.  Rather, both historically and logically, science necessarily STARTS with religious faith in a Judeo-Christian-type intelligent Creator God who intelligently ordered the universe with great sophistication, which is WHY it is worth the bother to study nature at all, looking for patterns of order upon which one can make predictions or hypotheses and then test them through experimentation (and WHY the results of experimentation are expected to be consistent – because the universe is not a random chaos that might yield wildly different results every time you do the same experiment, but is rather an intelligently ordered cosmos).  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary confirms that the cosmos is “the universe regarded as a complex and orderly system; the opposite of chaos.”  The Greeks of the Socratic School who are recognized as the first scientists were certainly well-exposed to the much older Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament and studied it specifically for its high reputation for WISDOM which the Greeks honoured above all; and the Bible first testified to the universe as an ordered cosmos designed by an intelligent orderer God, rather than a random chaos, much earlier than the ancient Greeks adopted this same insight as the philosophical foundation for starting the field of Natural Science.

Who Then is “Backwards”?  Atheists typically paint religious believers as “backwards” (using insubstantial condescending “atheistic flatulence”) when in fact it is atheists who are by far the most “backwards,” being almost 2500 years “behind the times” by not believing in the historical and logical foundations of Science in an intelligently ordered cosmos with an intelligent orderer as did all the brilliant scientific minds who founded Science and who from that foundation gradually developed the pure sciences and the modern scientific method only in Christian Europe, atheists rather being so backwards-thinking they believe rather that the universe is ultimately undirected and random as did so many cultures which never developed the pure sciences nor the scientific method (and never could) simply because there is no reason to expect or look for order in an ultimately random universe!

The challenge of the Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy (and the Treatise The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack it is based on) to atheists is this: can you respond to the Pledge with intellectual honesty and in respectful dialogue to help make the world a better place without resorting either to the typical condescending “atheistic flatulence” belittling religious believers or to confusing and avoiding the issues by using big words without actually grappling with the substance of the challenge of the facts of the history of science and of the consistently logical historical development of science from specifically Judeo-Christian principles within a specifically Christian cultural context by mostly Christian scientist-developers (and the challenge of the facts of consistently oppressive and totalitarian atheist governments specifically because atheism cannot accept as necessary any of the (Christian) principles Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms historically and logically depend upon (such as human equality), showing atheism by its very nature is no friend of Human Rights or Freedoms)?

In all fairness I know that for all the very many atheists who are openly disdainful of religious belief and openly demeaning to religious believers (and violently oppressive to them wherever atheists run the government), there are also many atheists who can be very pleasant (at least Secular Humanists often borrow “nice” Christian values even though they do not “own” them and could not convince violently oppressive Communist atheists to be nice using purely atheistic values or principles).  I respect that either generally demeaning or generally respectful atheists may be honestly convinced in their atheism, even if their conviction is largely based on the Myth of the opposition of Christian faith and scientific reason which is debunked above.  But I invite them all to engage with Christians in intellectually honest and respectful dialogue concerning the challenges the Pledge and the Treatise it is based on bring to the atheist position – for the sake of the long-term continuance of the Human Rights and Freedoms we now enjoy which depend on Christian principles and which are so damaged by atheist principles.

The bottom line is that with Science and Technology just like with Human Rights and Democracy, the (Judeo-Christian) underlying foundations for them were laid so long ago and became such an automatic and unconscious part of Western Civilization’s mindset that people consciously forgot their foundations and started compromising them: by foolishly associating Science with atheism (when Science from its historical and logical First Principles depends on the universe being intelligently ordered); and by ignorantly de-criminalizing abortion (when all modern Human Rights and Freedoms developed through history from the starting point of the criminalization of abortion in 318 AD because all human lives were then understood – from Christianity – to be supremely and EQUALLY valuable and precious.

 

© 2015, 2016 William Baptiste SFO

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Footnotes to Foundation of the Foundations

[1] What I present below is a very brief (and rough draft) encapsulation which I hope expresses my own Christian understanding of how the Biblical Revelation that “God is Love” bubbles forth through all Biblical and post-Biblical history into modern Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms.  But it is not a “random” Christian’s understanding but an educated understanding I present as a qualified Christian theologian and erstwhile professor of Theology (having long ago established “mastery” of the field with a Master’s Degree with Honours, and more recently successfully completed Ph.D. Comprehensive Final Exams in Christian Theology, even though my terrible study conditions as a grossly under-funded doctoral student dealing with an automobile accident involving my whole family of eight eventually forced me to withdraw from studies before completion of a doctoral thesis – thankfully enabling me now to defend democracy and religious freedom against the four major assaults against them where I live in the year I withdrew!  I actually consider it Divine Providence that I was unable to complete my Ph.D. (for now) so that I was free to instead defend Democracy for everybody by writing The Pledge of Allegiance to Democracy and founding Human Rights and Freedoms Forever!).  The following presentation includes aspects of the Biblical interpretational framework I call “Covenant Family Theology,” which I built on the “Covenant Theology” of my famous professor the Biblical theologian Dr. Scott Hahn.  Not only does Dr. Hahn’s immensely popular and fruitful Covenant Theology approach for making the Bible really “come alive” as a Christian’s Family History incorporate the insights of Catholic and Orthodox and Protestant/Evangelical Christian theologians (representing the three major branches of sadly divided Christianity); when I was professor of a university course on the Early Church Fathers I traced the development of the Covenant Theology approach from its Biblical origins in “deifying adoption” or “Divine Sonship” (Romans 8:15,23; Galatians 4:5-6; 2 Peter 1:4) through the Undivided First Millennium Church Fathers of both Christian East and West and through the Second Millennium of the (sadly divided) Eastern and Western Churches right up to Dr. Hahn.  Thus I am confident that even if some Christians are not yet familiar with Covenant Family Theology per se, most Eastern (Orthodox and Catholic) and Western (Catholic and Protestant/Evangelical) Christians will find it very much in keeping with their own theological traditions, and will quite possibly find it the most beautiful more precise theological understanding they have come across (which is not to say Covenant Family Theology replaces other theological understandings; the Bible is extremely rich and no one theological approach of to it (in “faith seeking understanding”) yields all of its riches; but I believe Covenant Family Theology, which does so much to tie together into one beautiful and coherent whole the complete text of both Biblical Testaments; the orthodox fundamental tenets of traditional Christianity; and Christian history since the Biblical historical record ended (explaining even the current divisions of Christianity as a stage of immaturity in Love which God the Covenant Father expected from His adopted Christian children, though He also expects Christians to gradually mature and overcome our current disunity), is a particularly valuable theological approach which is complementary with many other approaches which may better illumine Biblical riches in other areas).  If the following brief rough draft presentation leaves questions, many more details of Covenant Family Theology are given in my book manuscript The Bible’s “Big Picture”: Using Covenant Family Theology to Understand the Single Overarching Story Told Throughout the Scriptures, Which Makes the Bible Our Family History as Christians and Love Unbounded:  Tracing Salvation History from the Eternal Trinity to the New Covenant Church – Using Family Theology to Answer the Question How and Why Does Jesus’ Death Save Us?, and in The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack’s first draft Appendix II: GOD’S LIVING ROOM: An Invitation to Join God’s Family Where Human Rights and Freedoms Are Always Assured, Using Covenant Family Theology to Help the World Benefit Even More from the Bible (The Bible Already Gave Western Civilization the Divinely Enlightened Principles Undergirding All Science & Technology (Ch.6) and All Human Rights & Democratic Freedoms (Ch. 2-5,7) – and the Bible’s Treasures Do Not End There.

[2] Again, many more details of Covenant Family Theology here only briefly alluded to are given in my book manuscripts The Bible’s “Big Picture”: Using Covenant Family Theology to Understand the Single Overarching Story Told Throughout the Scriptures, Which Makes the Bible Our Family History as Christians and Love Unbounded:  Tracing Salvation History from the Eternal Trinity to the New Covenant Church – Using Family Theology to Answer the Question How and Why Does Jesus’ Death Save Us?, and in The Education Necessary to Preserve Democracy Now Under Attack’s first draft Appendix II: GOD’S LIVING ROOM: An Invitation to Join God’s Family Where Human Rights and Freedoms Are Always Assured, Using Covenant Family Theology to Help the World Benefit Even More from the Bible (The Bible Already Gave Western Civilization the Divinely Enlightened Principles Undergirding All Science & Technology (Ch.6) and All Human Rights & Democratic Freedoms (Ch. 2-5,7) – and the Bible’s Treasures Do Not End There.

[3] For individuals, the Eastern and Western Christian tradition of the Sacrament of Confession / Penance / Reconciliation as a regular spiritual discipline (ideally at least monthly and no less than annually) is intended to ensure that Christians stay humbly aware of the fact that they always remain sinners who fall far short of the perfection of Love which is the New Covenant Standard of Love the Covenant children are now expected to aim for.  Those “self-righteous” and “hypocritical” Christians who so easily pass venomous judgement on others’ sins (with a blind eye to their own), who so annoy the sensibilities of non-Christians, are poor examples of Christians, acting like the self-righteous Pharisees whom Jesus criticized (at least in this area – some of these may be more mature and self-controlled and self-giving in other areas, which is genuinely good – but everyone has areas of particular weakness and theirs is they have fallen to the demonic temptation to sit in self-righteous judgement over others who sin more in areas they sin less, without humbly acknowledging God’s empowering Grace enabling whatever genuine moral strength and discipline they have, which ideally would lead them, when considering another’s sins, to humbly declare the traditional Christian expression of humility when considering other’s sins, “there, but for the Grace of God, go I”).

[4] The Jews are physically descended from Judah, son of Israel (originally named Jacob), father of the Israelites, Israel is descended from Eber, father of the Hebrews (including “Abraham the Hebrew” – see Genesis 14:13), Eber is descended from Shem, father of the Semites, and Shem (son of Noah, the last faithful Sethite before the Flood), is descended from Seth, the faithful son of Adam, father of the Sethites (also called “the sons of God” – Genesis 6:2,4 – as they were once-faithful descendants of Adam “the son of God” – Luke 3:38).

[5] In jurisdictions where directly selling human remains is illegal, the abortion industry gets around this by “technicalities” like monetarily “compensating for transport” of the killed fetal-age human corpses (or parts thereof).

Footnotes to:  On the Judeo-Christian Origins of Science and the Incapability of Atheism to Ground Either Science or Human Rights or Democracy

[1] Such as the University of Paris, also known as the Sorbonne, which grew out of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral School.  The central College of Sorbonne was one of its colleges of Theology, then “Queen of the Sciences.”  Doctoral degrees were first introduced here.

[2]  The ancient Greeks of the Socratic School, who are recognized as the first scientists, rejected the traditional Greek pantheon of gods as “silly superstition;” yet they worshipped the “Absolute Being” who ordered the cosmos so that it was not a random chaos.  Similarly, Einstein identified the kind of superstitious religion without science as “blind,” while distinguishing “genuine religion” as the foundation without which science is “lame.”  From Aristotle to Einstein, the world’s greatest intellects could always tell the difference between harmful superstitious religion and the vital genuine religion which grounds the scientific worldview of an ordered cosmos.

[3] From Einstein’s book (collecting earlier works) Ideas and Opinions (New York: Crown Publishers, 1954); cited in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the Worlds’ Great Physicists, a 1984 collection edited by Ken Wilbur.

[4] A collection of primary sources of some of these “beyond science” or “mystical” works of these Fathers of Modern Physics can be found in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the Worlds’ Great Physicists.

[5] From Einstein’s book (collecting earlier works) Ideas and Opinions (New York: Crown Publishers, 1954); cited in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the Worlds’ Great Physicists, a 1984 collection edited by Ken Wilbur.

[6] From Einstein’s book (collecting earlier works) Ideas and Opinions (New York: Crown Publishers, 1954); cited in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the Worlds’ Great Physicists, a 1984 collection edited by Ken Wilbur.

[7] If he was not a perfectly orthodox member of the Church of England, his problems understanding and accepting in faith the profound Mystery of one particular important point of traditional Christian dogma had no bearing on his having an utterly traditionally Christian perspective in most areas including all those in which faith has to do with science, particularly the ordered cosmos intelligently designed by God which for him as for all the other Christians who developed science into the form we know it today was foundational to the entire process of science which starts by examining ordered Creation for patterns of (intelligent) order.

[8] This insight of the Greeks recognized as the first scientists also is clearly preceded by the older Jewish Bible/Christian Old Testament the Greeks studied before they adopted it.  God specifically identifies Himself to Moses as “I AM” or “I AM WHO AM” – that is to say in Greek terms God is Absolute Being, Absolute Existence.  God’s defining quality is that He is that which necessarily exists or cannot not exist, and even the Hebrew Covenant name for God “Yahweh” is derived from the Hebrew verb “to be.”

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