The Strange Persistence of R. Scott Clark — III

Here I continue dissecting Dr. R. Scott’s Clark’s R2K rant against Theocracy.
Clark writes,

“It is no business of the state where I worship or how and the state has no business imposing a religion upon me or in coercing—all taxation is coercion—me into funding another religious sect (I do not use the term sect here prejudicially but neutrally since, as far as the civil magistrate is concerned, all religions are sects).”

Bret responds,

This sounds so noble. It is pure Americana. But let’s look at this closely before we salute this sentiment.

Is it really no business of the state where I worship? What if I worship in a mosque where they tell me that honor killing errant women is pleasing to Allah? Is it of no interest to the state if where I worship teaches that Allah is pleased with marrying 8-year-old little girls to grown adult men? Does the state have no interest when a synagogue is teaching from the Talmud Jesus is in hell boiling in excrement? Does the state have no interest when in worship the congregation is smoking peyote? (see Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith) Does the state have no interest when in worship marriage services are conducted marrying several women to one man? How about worship where child sacrifice is occurring? Does the State have no interest then?

You see, it is just not true that the State has no business where its citizens worship and it is not true that the State has no business in how they worship.

And does Scott really want to suggest that the monies he is taxed now do not go towards religious sects he disagrees with? What about all that money that is going to support the State humanist Churches called “Government schools?”

Next Scott tries to argue that the US Constitution is not a uniquely Christian document and while there is no doubt that the Constitution is lacking in a bold explicit affirmation of Christianity, Scott should not miss this clause,

“If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a law, in like Manner as if he had signed it . . . “

Article I, Section 7Constitution of the United States of America

Sundays excepted is in the Constitution as a nod to Sabbath laws, which in America existed because of its status as a Christian nation. Scott should be careful with his sweeping generalistic statements.

Scott then goes on to insist that the American experiment of a neutral public square and religious pluralism has worked well. Since Scott seldom looks beneath the surface he can’t see how badly this mythic pluralism has been. He can’t see how putative religious pluralism accounted for the bloody civil war where the Unitarian “Christianity” of the North murdered, raped, and maimed its way across the Christian South. Apparently, Scott can’t see how this putative religious pluralism is now ripping the country apart. I can’t force the man to see what his glasses will not allow him to see.

Scott next makes an incredible boner of a statement when he asks,

Is not one purpose of the Bill of Rights to protect our liberty from theocrats and despots?

Actually, “no” Scott that was never to be one of the purposes of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was drafted in its original intent to protect the Liberty of the States (not individuals) from those in the Federal Government who would seek to fix a uniform Christian Denomination on all the colonies. Most of the States in their State documents were explicitly Theocratic of one stripe or another and the Bill of Rights had the intent of making it clear that the Feds were not to mess with that. The Bill of Rights on this point was drafted with the express intent of protecting the State theocracies from any Federal interference. The States liked their theocracies that Scott so consistently laments.

So, given how wrong Scott is here how can his interpretation of American History be trusted at any other point?

Scott then makes, quite without knowing it I’m sure, the case for Secession when he acknowledges the impossibility of having a state Church in our modern context in America given the presence of so many false churches.

Next Scott with hostile intent violates the 9th commandment by slandering Reconstructionists with the Federal Vision brush. The man has been told constantly that Federal Vision does not equal Reconstructionism and yet he continues with the slander. This is another major reason I really really despise the man.

I may have one more go at Clark. His R2K analysis is so head up his arse on postmillennialism it is difficult to keep a civil tongue in my typing fingers. If I have another go at his article it will deal with Scott’s down’s syndrome understanding of Postmillennialism.

Who’s Doing The Stabbing & Who’s Doing The Bleeding?

 “The church is being brought ethical concerns and is responding with epistemological critique. Like a man who tells you he is bleeding, and you ask, ‘How did you come to that conclusion?’”

Rasool Berry
Teaching pastor at The Bridge Church in Brooklyn

I snatched this from a John Piper article explaining why it is wrong to label people who are Critical Race Theorists are Critical Race Theorists. This is an example that Piper used as to why we should not do that. Pastor Rasool, you see, is merely complaining about racism and has no other agenda, and when we rightly label his complaint as an example of CRT then we are guilty of slander. Never mind if the analysis of his complaint is accurate.

The Church indeed is being brought ethical concerns but they are ethical concerns birthed by a mother besides Christianity. The same people who are bringing all these ethical concerns are the same people complaining about “white fragility,” “systemic racism,” and “institutional racism.” The bleeding victim these people find is always non-caucasian and the perp of the crime is always some Christian White chap.

Epistemological critique is exactly what is needed because the complaint of “fallen man bleeding” seems to be always coming from the usual CRT suspects. I heard it ten years ago when I was at a Church conclave and one of the other representatives complained about Climate Change. When I tried to pin the chap with the complaint down he answered in a hostile manner that he knew people in Bangledesh whose crops were suffering and that it was because of the White Christian in the West who wouldn’t take Climate Change seriously. Here was a scenario where a representative of the bleeding man was faulting me for asking me how he came to the conclusion that the Bangladeshi farmer was bleeding. If the Bangladeshi farmer is bleeding it has nothing to do with something that doesn’t exist (anthropogenic climate change). He just wanted me to feel guilty and so support some form of reparations.

The bleeding man, exceptions notwithstanding, right now is the Christian White man and no tourniquet can be applied to staunch the bleeding because the guy doing the stabbing is the one complaining about how he is bleeding and how unfair it is that anyone would dare ask him how he knows he is bleeding. It is a classic example of accusing others of what you are yourself are guilty of.

Of Gubernatorial Thanksgiving Policies, Wuhan, & Liberty

Gov. Logan says that the Constitution doesn’t embrace
Walking around without a cloth mask on your face
In Oregon, you’re facing Thanksgiving prison time
It seems gathering seven in your home is a crime

In California, the Governor demands masks at meals
But in the Governor’s mansion, he does what he feels
In Michigan the resident feminist Governor Gnome
Has dictated that citizens are restricted to home

In Kentucky the accidental Governor Andy Beshear
Is going all Chicken Little by stoking up Wuhan fear
In Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has closed the bars
So bodily fluids won’t travel very far

And what of Pritzker, Murphy and Cuomo
As well as the various Governor Homos?
What of Governor Janet Mills in Maine
Whose Wuhan policies suggest she’s absent a brain

Do you really believe that these Governors care
For your health, long life, and your families welfare?
Or is it that mercenary and wicked globalist elites
Are fattening their wallets by practicing Wuhan deceit?

Whether these Governors are stupid or just evil
It’s past time for a citizenry revolt and upheaval
Time to water Jefferson’s Liberty Tree
Time to remind our Tyrants that we will remain free

Church History for the Romans 13 Crowd & Application for Today

“Do you suppose that the gospel has no principles and guarantees for true liberty in terms of the different relations in state and society? Simply look at those who live in obedience to it. This is not an obedience to the arbitrary will of man, but to the will of God. In the government one honors God’s servant. It is an obedience for the sake of conscience and for the Lord’s sake: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” This obedience does not submit to earthly powers in anything that goes against the commands of the Almighty. Those who submit to government for conscience’s sake, would not yield to any government when that very conscience does not allow it.”

Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer

To make this concrete in relation to wearing a mask as mandated by the Government were we to take van Prinsterer seriously as Christians we would have to discontinue wearing masks since wearing a mask goes against the commands of the almighty. Wearing a mask is sin for those who are healthy because it violates the 6th and 9th commandments. The 6th commandment because mask wearing is self-injurious and the 9th commandment because in wearing the mask we are propagating the lie that is the fake pandemic narrative.

Similarly, shutting down our business for a fake pandemic is sin because it violates the 8th commandment if only because we are allowing ourselves to be stolen from by the Government.

We would also insist that not gathering for Worship on the Lord’s Day because the State has demanded we stay at home is a violation of the 1st and 4th commandments in the context of a fake pandemic narrative. The 1st commandment because we in obeying the State we have put the state before God as God and the 4th commandment because we are refusing to remember the Sabbath.

In all these cases (Mask wearing, shutting down our businesses, and refusing to worship in Biblical Churches that are open for worship on the Lord’s Day) we are going against the commands of the almighty.

The Strange Persistence of R. Scott Clark — II

Thus, there were long and bloody wars in the 16thand 17thcenturies for religious supremacy.  Most of the time it was Rome, as in the French Wars of Religion (1562–98), the Eighty-Years War (1568–1648), and the Thirty-Years War (1618–48) are outstanding examples. When the American Republic was founded, the Reformation and post-Reformation wars were relatively fresh wounds which the founders sought to avoid.

R. Scott Clark
Article – The Strange Persistence Of Theocracy In America (2)

I single out this from Scott’s article because even though it is not something that Scott spends a great deal of time on, I suspect it serves as one of the key foundations for why Scott thinks that Theocracies are evil. So I am going to spend just a wee bit of time dismissing the idea that by the founding of “secular” America the long and bloody wars in the 16th & 17th centuries for religious supremacy were solved. Now, keep in mind, that I have demonstrated that theocracy is an inescapable category and so there is one sense in which Scott is correct when he references religious wars, but not in the way he might think. Now, certainly, all wars are religious wars but Scott thinks he can solve these types of wars by the glories of the “secular” state. The problem here though is, as argued by William Cavanaugh in his book, “The Myth of Religious Violence,” is that what Scott thinks is solved by the dismissal of Theocracy (as if that were possible) is not solved by the so-called secular state.

Cavanaugh admits that states can commit violence in God’s name, however, he also goes on to insist that the stronger claim that somehow religion is more likely to cause war than a putatively secular state is just not so. Scott has a myth going here that Cavanaugh slays in his work. “Secular” states are not more prone to peace than what Scott is designating as Theocratic states. (One would think that any time spent considering the 20th century would forever dismiss that theory.) Cavanagh offers three reasons why so-called theocratic states are not more prone to religious violence than secular states.

1.) Consistent with what we have argued in our response to Scott, Cavanaugh argues that the distinction between what is characterized as religious and what is characterized as secular is too unstable. Cavanaugh demonstrates that it is just not true that religious and secular can be easily distinguished. Cavanaugh notes that religion is given a black eye because it alone is supposedly absolutist, divisive, and non-rational and yet when counter-examples are offered that demonstrate that secular states are every bit as absolutist, divisive and non-rational suddenly the critics re-categorize the secular state’s actions as now becoming religious in its violence. Supposedly the otherwise secular state has suddenly fallen into religious behavior. It’s almost as if because a secular state is secular it can’t be violent and because a religious state is religious it can’t be not violent.

Of course, the fact that the distinction between religious state (theocracy) and secular states is unstable fits with what I’ve been arguing thus far. Indeed, I would go even further to say that the distinction between religious and secular is a complete myth.

2.) Cavanaugh offers that the religious/secular distinction is not one to be found throughout history. Historians, for example, do not find “religion” as distinct from non-religion in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman, Indian, Chinese, or Japanese societies. That probably is because the ancients were smart enough to not fall for the myth of secularism. The ancient world did not create a public vs. private realm. These ancients admitted what guys like Scott deny and that is that all of life is religious. By the late 1600s in Europe, the terms “religious” and “secular” are used in European nation-states, in Cavanaugh’s words to “exclude ecclesiastical authorities from certain types of public power. Religion … was invented as a universal and essentially interior impulse, completely distinct from the mundane business of politics and economics.” Once these European states colonized the globe, they took the distinction that they had created and forced it upon the third world cultures they had colonized – none to the liking of many of these peoples. Cavanaugh notes that in India for example, “to make Hinduism a religion was to take everything it meant to be Indian and confine it to a non-public sphere; to be public meant to be British.” This is not inconsistent with what R2K tries to do with its “theology” as for R2K everything it means to be Christian is confined to the non-public square (Church) while to be public means to operate as one dwelling in the common realm.

3.) The distinction between religious and secular allows the “secular” to push Christianity to the edges of the culture. Cavanaugh notes, “Until 1940 the Supreme Court invoked ‘religion’ as a unifying force in American society. Since 1940, however, the Supreme Court has repeatedly raised the specter of religious violence in banning school prayer, banning optional religious education from public school buildings, banning public aid to religious schools, and so on.” Clearly, what is happening here is that a new religion is operating under the guise of “secular” to the end of overturning Christianity as the public faith of the social order, all in the name of “secularization.” And R2K theology applauds this de-Christianization process.

The answer to what Cavanaugh identifies as a distinction that is too unstable is to realize that the distinction is a complete myth. R2K by supporting this mythic distinction is trying to provide theological support for the continuance of the Supreme Court’s creation of a post-1940 America where Christianity more and more slipped into public square abeyance so that different public square expressions of humanism are allowed to be the new public faith.

Further, none of this solves Scott’s seeming fears of the return of wars driven by theocracies that will fight for religious supremacy and it doesn’t solve it because theocracy never goes away. All wars are religious wars. Scott will just have to live with the idea that if Christianity isn’t willing to fight it will die, or it will commit R2K suicide.

In the next installment in this series, I will look at Scott’s interpretation of American History.