August 29, 2006

Divine Intervention

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From FoxNews: Rep. Harris: Church-State Separation a 'Lie'.

U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws."

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments which she clarified Saturday in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.

Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who called them offensive and not representative of the party.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is Jewish, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments.

For the full context of Harris' quotes, read the interview here.

At Real Clear Politics, Robert Tracinski argues for The Secular Right: What It Is -- And Why We Need It.

Religious conservatives warn that a morality based on reason and observation is not sufficient, because men will not all agree on what reason and the evidence proves. But when have men ever agreed on religion? And without reason and evidence to settle the argument, they usually resort to force.

The real alternative to [the] secular subjectivism [of the left] is not religious faith, but observation of the natural world--the world that can be seen and understood through reason. ...

[T]o derive a secular morality, we need more than narrow conclusions drawn from sociological studies. We need broad philosophical principles drawn from the grand lessons of history. For example, we can observe, in the rise of West since the Renaissance and in the corresponding decline of the Islamic world, what happens when men embrace reason, unfettered scientific inquiry, and technological progress--versus what happens when they cling to religious dogmatism and disparage secular learning. Or, alternatively, we can observe in the history of the Cold War what happens when one bloc of societies recognizes the individual rights of their citizens, allowing them to act on their own initiative in the pursuit of profit--versus what happens when another bloc imposes a totalitarian dictatorship, expunging private property and private profits and forcibly imposing central economic planning.

The lessons of history reveal the basic requirements set by man's nature for his survival, success, and happiness here on earth. That is the secular foundation for morality.

Today's academic philosophers--steeped in the subjectivist dogmas of the left--have not been up to the job of grasping and explaining these lessons. But astute readers may recognize which philosopher I think was up to the job. My own defense of the secular right is based on the ideas of Ayn Rand, the novelist, philosopher, and famous defender of capitalism who originated a secular philosophy she called Objectivism.

Posted by Forkum at August 29, 2006 05:35 PM
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