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Samizdata quote of the day

Some have asked how the Tea Party movement hopes to pressure Republican leaders or influence the party. That’s the wrong way to look at it. The goal is not to pressure Republican leaders but to become the Republican leaders. The goal is not to influence the party but to become the party.

- Richard Viguerie

48 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • …standing on a platform with the chairman of the Family Research Council.

    What a lovely big horse sculpture they’ve given us! I wonder what’s inside!

  • Nuke Gray

    Wooden you know it! Trojan Condoms?

  • …to become those leaders and to get rid of the leaders of the past who led us across the aisle over and over again.

  • …to become those leaders and to get rid of the leaders of the past who led us across the aisle over and over again.

  • Nuke Gray

    Shouldn’t Tea-partiers be seeing visions of representative government, and saying weird things like “No Taxation without Representation!”? Shouldn’t they be founding a new nation conceived in Liberty, embracing the rights of Englishmen, a government by, of, and for, the People? Shouldn’t they be against all factions and parties, not replacing them?

  • Bod

    If they did that, they’d end up doing a fair impression of the LPUK.

    It’s far easier to hijack a vehicle that’s been left with its engine running and no driver, than it is to build a car from scratch.

    Anyway, I don’t know of any Tea Partiers who’d want to embrace the rights of today’s Englishmen.

  • Kim du Toit

    Ho ho ho… I predicted a 50-seat swing in the House. At time of writing, 61, and maybe a couple more to come.

    What has escaped everyone’s attention is the bigger groundswell: massive Republican gains in the various state legislatures and governorships. South Carolina, for instance, now has a Republican legislature for the first time since 1870, and here in Texas, the Republican legislature could actually change the state constitution without needing a single Democrat vote (> 66% needed to do that).

    This is really huge news, because most Congressional districts are being redrawn after the 2010 census, and whoever controls the state legislature will control the redistricting process. For decades, Democrats have drawn districts which look like Rorschach inkblots, just to get safe Democrat majorities (so-called “gerrymandering”). This is now going to change, big time.

    Locally, our House Rep (Sam Johnson, PBUH) squeaked by with 66% of the vote, because this is one of the most conservative districts in the whole United States — Mr. Sam is more conservative than I am. (The Libertarian candidate got 2%, FYI.) TexGov Rick Perry, who carries a gun and eschews bodyguards, won with 55%.

    Now all we have to do is return our national government back to its Constitutionally-circumscribed roots. Wish us luck.

  • llamas

    From the vantage point of Casa LLamas, pretty-much the best result one could wish for.

    Tea Party-supported candidates who were not actually complete loons did handily, while those who demonstrated their looniness went down in flames. +1 for the Tea Party. Marco Rubio and Allen West wins = huge +1 for Tea Party. Hard to call them racists now, really. O’Donnell loss = +1. Angle loss – well, can’t have everything, I guess.

    Nancy Pelosi has to buy her own airplane tickets now = +1

    John Boehner gets the reins of power – cautious optimism.

    President Obama can’t pass anything that doesn’t get serious Republican support = serious support from the huge class of ’10, almost 1/3 of the Stupid bloc. He can’t just buy off a couple of RINOs anymore, and quite a lot of these folks look as though they really can’t be bought. I live in hope.

    MI state government went 100% Stupid, including a relatively-sane AG who is not (unfortunately[1]) forever tarred by his failures in re Detroit city corruption. Yay!

    Michigan’s Senate delegation went seriously Stupid (apart from the obvious Evil areas). Yay!

    But there’s no stunning, overarching winner with unlimited power. They’re all still tangled together. Good! That means they’re out of our way, and DC becomes an interesting, but sleepy backwater for at least a couple years. Like the Ultimate Fighting Championhip, great and mighty exertions will be made there, all of which Won’t Confront Me None.

    llater,

    llamas

    [1] I have met and like Mike Cox, and he was generally sound on all issues that matter to me, but he shot himself in the foot on that and the wound will never heal.

  • Duncan

    Though I’m very pleased with the outcomes last night, I am all the more ashamed of my home state of Massachusetts — bucking the national trend and voting almost exclusively democrat. All we managed was to strike down a tax on alcohol… better than nothing I guess.

  • Paul Marks

    Kim has hit on a key point – the House gains.

    Now we have to see how many of the new members of the House join the Tea Party Caucus that is being organized.

    By the way (Ian B. please note) the Tea Party Caucus will be much the same people as the people the Republican Liberty Caucus support.

    Those who get their news from the MSM (or from establishment websites) see all things in a fun house mirror.

    I am not really tall and thin Ian B.

    And the Tea Party people are not a Trojan Horse for a wicked plot to use the Federal govenment to impose conservative religious doctrine. That is a media (and academia) SMEAR CAMPAIGN. A rather successful one – but a smear campaign just the same.

    Indeed (as even the secular Jew Jonah Goldberg has often pointed out) it is the “liberal” side that has nearly always been the aggressor in the “Culture Wars”.

    Conservative Christians just want to be left alone – they do not wish to impose their religion on athiests or whatever. They particularly do not trust the Federal government – under Democrats or Republicans (and they have good reason not to trust it).

  • Sunfish

    I’m disappointed but not surprised.

    We lost the governorship to Hickenritter, and may have lost the senate seat to Obama’s hand-picked appointed incumbent (still undetermined), and managed to leave that slimy sack Perlmutter in CD7.

    OTOH, two districts that are historically Stupid rather than Evil are indeed Stupid again.

    At least the AG, Treasurer, and Secretary of State are now Stupid rather than Evil. And the legislature is too close to call.

  • James C. Bennett

    You’re not alone, Duncan. Not only did my foolish neighbors here in California vote straight democrat and eliminate the supermajority requirement on the budget, but they couldn’t even bring themselves to leagalize pot. It’s like they’re actively trying to piss off libertarians. Looks like there’s nothing left for me to do but set up an underground railroad for uncool nieces.

  • Laird

    Kim, a technical correction to your post: I don’t know what state you meant to refer to, but South Carolina has been Republican for a while now. We’ve had a Republican governor for the last 8 years (and, for that matter, for 20 out of the last 24 years), the state Senate has been Republican since 2000 and the state House has been since the mid-90′s, and 5 out of 6* of our Congressmen (and both Senators) are Republicans. Of course, a lot of these are merely RINOs** (former Democrats who switched parties when it became prudent to do so, and who still carry much of the same baggage), which hasn’t changed, but at least they’re still nominally Republicans.

    But our governor-elect is a Tea Party darling, not at all liked by the Republican establishment***, so the next 4 years should be entertaining.

    * Soon to be 6 out of 6!
    ** “Republicans in Name Only”
    *** In the primaries she knocked off the sitting Lieutenant Governor, the sitting Attorney General and a popular former Congressman.

  • Sunfish

    You’re not alone, Duncan. Not only did my foolish neighbors here in California vote straight democrat and eliminate the supermajority requirement on the budget, but they couldn’t even bring themselves to leagalize pot. It’s like they’re actively trying to piss off libertarians. Looks like there’s nothing left for me to do but set up an underground railroad for uncool nieces.

    All this negativity is why you need to meditate in school.

    With the house 250-185 (ballpark) I don’t see CA getting bailed out. Means the frakkers are going to come here instead.

    Yay. Just freaking yay.

  • Bod

    And in my case, a clean sweep by the evil party.

    Yay us!

  • Kim du Toit

    I stand corrected. ‘Twas NORTH (not South) Carolina whose legislature had been Democrat since the 1870s, and is now Republican.

    Laird, my apologies. But from Texas, y’all look the same to us.

  • Sunfish

    That’s okay. From watching how they act when they come here, I have to get close enough to hear accents to tell Texans and Californians apart.

  • Laird

    You’re forgiven, Kim. In most of the country, if you say just “Carolina” it means North Carolina; you have to specify if you mean the “South” variety of carolinian. One gets used to it.

    But just so you know, around these parts “USC” refers to the University of South Carolina, not that upstart school on the Left Coast. Our football team is better.

  • llamas

    Sunfish – are the DPs really that much of an issue in CO? From my observation, apart from a couple of places in CO, you actually have to work for a living? Or are they just passing through? I didn’t think CO had that attractive a job market right now.

    Sorry about that Senate seat, there.

    Off-topic – do you have any contacts in Routt County? I need a person with a historical bent, and I won’t be there until at least the spring of 2011.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Sunfish

    I’m sorry too. I’ve met Ken Buck. I like Ken Buck. I donated the pay from an overtime shift to his campaign and wish I could have volunteered for him. Life is like that sometimes.

    Most of the people living here are immigrants. And a lot from Texas (lousy drivers who think that because they drove like morons in TX they should also do so here) and Californians (like Texans with leftie politics.)

    And once they become residents here they can vote here.

    At least we booted Bernie Buescher out of the Secretary of State’s office, thus limiting the Evil Party’s ability to rig 2012.

    Alas, what little I know about Routt County comes from an unsuccessful day fishing in 2006.

  • Conservative Christians just want to be left alone – they do not wish to impose their religion on athiests or whatever.

    Jack Conway ran the “Aqua Buddha” ad against Rand Paul precisely because he thought it would play with the Christians. Paul responded not by pointing out the nasty bigotry inherent in such comments, but by loudly proclaiming his Christianity.

    I would have had enormous respect for Christine O’Donnell if she had said she wasn’t a Christian and enojyed the dalliance with paganism.

    Once again you seem to have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to American politics.

  • Most of the people living here are immigrants. And a lot from Texas (lousy drivers who think that because they drove like morons in TX they should also do so here) and Californians (like Texans with leftie politics.)

    My freshman roommate was from Alaska. As he and the other Alaskans liked to say, “Cut Alaska in two and make Texas the third-biggest state.”

  • Paul Marks-

    sigh

    It is a standard, sad-ass argument to accuse one’s percieved opponents of suffering false consciousness. I can go to any leftie website and be accused of getting all my information from “faux news”. I don’t need that kind of accusation here, thanks. No, Paul, I don’t get all my information from “the MSM”. No, Paul, I don’t even have a television.

    Paul, I have spent decades of my life, like you, studying history and politics and so on and forming my own opinions. They may of course be wrong. But I hope you may engage further with them than “you are brainwashed by the media”. It is a demeaning argument; not to me, but to the one deploying it. You can do better. Should I counter with, “you get all your information from Glenn Beck”? Would you admire me for that argument Paul?

    To the substantive issue, you may note that I did not pay heed to a “SMEAR CAMPAIGN”. I merely observed the identity of the platform speakers in the clip linked. The evidence speaks quite clearly for itself. Are you saying that Focus On The Family and the Family Research Council are not Conservative Christian Groups? Are you claiming that this cannot be an attempt by them to use the Tea Party to further their political aims?

    “Yes I am Ian, that’s what I’m saying”.

    Indeed you are Paul, thank you for admitting it. It is particularly ludicrous to claim that “conservative christians do not wish to impose their views on others” when Ms O’Donnell has spent her entire adult career as a lobbyist of the government on behalf of evangelical groups.

    Paul, I appreciate that you have taken our particular ideological differences personally. I don’t. But if you wish to engage in debate on the matter, at least try to look at the whole picture instead of only those parts that appear to support your position.

  • I would just like to clarify that when I referred above to Ms O’Donnell’s “adult career” I didn’t mean to implay an “adult career” in the sense of an adult career. She doesn’t approve of that sort of thing at all, you know.

  • Laird

    The last thing I want to do is get between Ian B and Paul Marks; I’d be crushed. But, if I may snipe from the sidelines, I find it fascinating that Christine O’Donnell has become such a bête noire for Ian. I think she’d have been a perfectly harmless Senator. But we’ll never know. Anyway, I’m sure Ian sleeps better now, secure in the knowledge that Chris Coons, that paragon of fiscal rectitude, will be occupying that seat for the next 6 years.

  • John B

    The general western view of religion is fairly hostile and tends to find a way to justify that position.
    Mind you, I’m not too keen on religion myself. As mentioned before I see it as man trying to do God’s work. Always dodgy territory.
    But I do think Christine O’Donnell would have been a cool addition to the Body Politic, so to speak.
    Likewise Sarah Palin.

  • Paul Marks

    Ian B.

    I repeat what I have already said.

  • llamas

    IanB wrote:

    ‘It is particularly ludicrous to claim that “conservative christians do not wish to impose their views on others” when Ms O’Donnell has spent her entire adult career as a lobbyist of the government on behalf of evangelical groups.’

    Well, what is Ms O’Donnell doing for a living today?

    Not being a US Senator-elect, that’s what – because the voters rejected her.

    I think there’a a lot of conflation going on here.

    Are there Christian conservatives who want to impose their religious views on others? Sure, there are. Ms O’Donnell may be one of them.

    Are there militant environmentalists who want to impose their religious views on others? Sure, there are.

    There’s a half-a-hundred factions with pretty extreme and anti-libertarian views who want to impose their ways of thinking on others – by force. I’m not sure why we keep singling out the Christian conservatives, in fact, they’re actually a pretty rotten example because (compared to some others) their desires are actually pretty tame. The deep greens and a whole slew of resdistributionists give me far more heartache than the God-botherers.

    But the real question is how much electoral traction any of these factions get, and the answer is (generally) little to none. In a country where such a very large part of the population self-identifies as being Christian, and with such a (relatively) high proportion of people being actively religious, you’d expect that the legislatures would be packed with committed conservative Christian activist lawmakers, busy outlawing health classes and mandating the teaching of Intelligent Design at the bidding of the voters who put them there – and yet it’s just not so. If it were, for example, no Kennedy could ever have been elected from Irish Catholic Boston – not with all that divorcin’ and fornicatin’ and abortionin’ and such.

    I think Paul Marks has more of the right way of it. For the most part, conservative Christians in the US want to be left alone to the ‘free exercise’ of their beliefs. Most Americans, even the very religious, understand and respect the tension between Church and state, and serious attempts to impose religious tenets by law are actually few and far between. Ms O’Donnell may be a good example, but generally candidates who over-rely on their religious affiliations for voter support do not do well.

    It may be remembered that President Obama famously dissociated himself from his church affiliation of more than 20 years, right in the middle of his campaign – and this from a church of a belief system that was/is extremely popular in one of his key demographics. Didn’t hurt his chances none, did it? Americans generaly grasp that religion is a personal matter, and they neither eward the candidate who falunts it, nor punish the candidate who downplays it. They reward or punish candidates who do (or fail to do) as the voters want them to do on political and economic issues.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul, that’s all you ever do.

  • llamas-

    I’m not sure why we keep singling out the Christian conservatives,

    They’re not being “singled out”. I’m just pointing out that they are another dangerous faction, like the left-factions. Instead, the question should be why so many people are determined to give them an easy ride, which then means those of us with balanced scepticism have to pop up again and repeat that they are another dangerous statist faction in the culture war.

    There seems to be a determination among some nominal libertarians to insist that the only possible threat is “the left”. That is like voting for N*z*is to oppose the Bolsheviks.

    Laird-

    O’Donnell isn’t my “bete noir”. I spent a lot of time on her initial thread here because it seems, amazingly, that a lot of people had no idea of the significance of her witchcraft issue- that it was all about her, and many Americans actually believing in witchcraft and Satan. In the twentyfirst century. How the heck is a nation supposed to make rational poltical choices when half its population are stuck in the worldview of the Bronze Age?

    Oh, but they’re not on The Left. So they’re by definition harmless. So that’s all right then.

  • This is becoming tedious, but I’m sure it’s just me…

  • No Alisa, you’re never tedious.

  • llamas

    I, personally, am a whole h*ll of a lot more worried about Islamists trying to impose their religious views on us than I am about conservative Christians.

    If I tell an evangelical Christian that he’s stuck in the Bronze Age and that his happy sky being is just a figment of his imagination – the most-likely outcome is that he’ll smile and tell me that he’s going to pray for me.

    Don’t confront me none.

    If I tell a hard-core Islamist the same thing, there’s a significant non-zero risk that he will try and do me physical harm. Confronts me quite a bit.

    I’m not a million miles from Dearborn, MI. In a few short years, the significant Muslim population there has imposed a variety of specific religious observances on the rest of the population, including religious accommodations at taxpayer expense, such as this:

    http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/3767

    Can you even imagine the idea of (for example) installing (oh, what are they called? the Catholic thingy for the holy water?) at taxpayers’ expense? Or a mikvah? Just staying on the plumbing riff?

    While I take the point that Christians are another faction and that they may be trying to get their views into a wider sphere of influence, I really don’t see any evidence that they are ‘dangerous’ – or not, at least, if we’re grading on a curve. It does seem, though, that they are always positioned in the MSM as being at the head of the dangerousness league tables. There are plenty of other nutters that we should fear far more, yet we never hear about them.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Well llamas; over the first millennium, a strange oriental religion imposed itself on Europe, by a mixture of evangelism, violence and, particularly, subversion of political elites. So really this can be looked at as one of those “all this has happened before and all this has happened again” things. Heck, it’s even the same god!. I wonder how the pagans felt when Theodosius outlawed them under the wise counsel of his bishops? I bet they were less than pleased.

    It just kind of annoys me that the next one arrived before we’d even gotten rid of the last one.

    This goes back somewhat to that angry thread a while ago that got onto the Reformation. The key thing about Christianity is that up until then, it was just as crazy and violent as Islam is today; the exhaustion of the religious wars and dawning of enlightenment led the peoples of Christendom to say they’d had enough and declare a new ideal of tolerance to end the bloodshed and, in the most part, have held to that. Christianity became a milder religion because everyone had reached the end of their tether with it being a violent one. Islam hasn’t been through that process yet. It seems unfair indeed that we must participate in that, when we already did the whole thing 400 years ago.

    But all that doesn’t mean that Christianity cannot be virulent. There are many on the american christian right who will use a great deal of force to impose their crazy values; one good example is drug-fuelled sodomite Ted Haggard and his followers chasing their enemies out of town; bars, presumed “witches” and so on were harrassed until they left. Ted used to phone (or claimed he did anyway) the White House weekly, at least until the meth-fuelled buggery got found out about. People like he and his followers are prepared to use a great deal of harrassment to get their way. No, they don’t kill people or attack them physically. But having your bar business ruined by a bunch of crazies on the pavement with placards shouting abuse night after night, that’s not very nice either.

    And let’s not forget Carrie Nation and the rest of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, wielding their hatchets…

    Any bunch of nutballs can be just nutballs until they get political power. A vegetarian is harmless. An evangelical vegeterian voting on restrictive food laws is not harmless. Likewise, an evangelical Christian. They become a real threat when they get their pious backside on a seat in the legislature.

    I am simply pointing out that we need to be wary of the nuts on all sides.

  • Ian:

    Funny that you’d mention Carrie Nation, even though she was a century ago. One of the ballot initiatives that got voted down on Tuesday was on in Washington State that would have allowed more liberal sales of alcohol. (If memory serves, it would have allowed wine sales in grocery stores, among other things.) The usual temperance twats were against it, as well as the rent-seekers in the booze industry.

  • John B

    Reality and deception.
    From my perspective it is interesting. To observe how truth is bent by those intent on misrepresenting the truth.
    It is, of course, very much up to you what you choose to believe.
    However if you believe the lie that Satan has worked in around and through what God has done then that is your choice.
    It is very similar to what has been done by the Global Warmists to this planet, the Far Left to the Tea Party. It is misrepresentation. Erecting of straw men in order to burn them down. You are doing it.
    If you want to know what Jesus actually said and gave as direction to the human race, check out the New Testament.
    Clue: Anyone who wanted to go with Him, He tended to ask – Are you sure ?
    Coercion ?

    Fine, you could say. Just keep the coercives out of any positions of influence.
    Well. In the race human you are always going to be faced with compromise.
    Your perfect libertarian is not here.
    Among those who name the name of Jesus you will find a restraining and enabling Spirit at work that, despite the humans involved, still brings about the beneficial.

    Of course one always has to be on guard against the forces of evil that infiltrate.
    Those forces have infiltrated most of what is seen as the church.
    But I think that among those who tend to be identified as conservative Christians you will probably find the best you are going to get in this world.

  • asommer

    Actually, we can get wine (and beer, of course) in regular stores in Washington State. Distilled spirits are what is sold through the state monopoly shops.

    ’tis a legacy of Prohibition, when our proximity to Canada made booze-smuggling and distilling very popular local pastimes. The Great NorthWet is wet in more ways than one…

  • llamas

    One reason that we have less to fear from Christian fundamentalists is that it is very much acceptable for the media to criticize them, quite brutally at times.

    Back in the days when the hard-core God-botherers were seriously trying to impose their views on the populace – often with significant support – they were kept at bay, in part, by a cynical and aggressive press. It’s hard to keep your moral crusade on track when H L Mencken is skewering you for a liar and a hypocrite in the Sunpapers, 6 days a week and twice on Sundays.

    Now we have zealots of every stripe doing their damndest to mold us to their ideas, and the press is conspuicuous only by their absence – or even their acquiescence. The only people whose activities they question these days are the Christians.

    Let there be the merest hint of impropriety at a community of Christians who are not bothering anybody, and the press is on it like a cheap suit, each reporter outdoing the other with lurid tales of unnamed depravities. Children are abducted en-masse from their parents by armed State officers, and the press looks on and cheers them on.

    Come to find out, days and weeks later, that there was no abuse, there were no nameless depravities, just a bunch of people living the way they prefer, and the whole thing is down to some disgruntled ex-acolyte – well the press has moved on the next story. too bad, so sad.

    But honour killings? Child brides? FGM? Domestic abuses of every kind? I see where some moron in SF has just managed to get the toys banned from McDonalds Happy Meals. Salt bans? Trans-fat bans? Speech codes. Can’t have your tamale wrapped in bacon! Strip-search scanners at the airport. Fines if you don’t buy something you neither want nor need. And the press simply ignores it – whether from fear, or because they approve of these things, matters little.

    No question that we need to be ‘we need to be wary of the nuts on all sides.’ But we should grade on a curve, and on that curve, the conservative Christains fall pretty damned low. But you’d never think it if you watch the MSM – to hear them tell it, some days, the nation would be a haven of peace and domestic tranquillity if it just wasn’t for those Christians and their looming theocracy.

    If we don’t watch out, we will wake up one day and find ourselves with a tyranny that will make us yearn for the simpler times when we shivered in fear that the high-school quarterback praying after throwing a touchdown pass was just another step on the slippery slope. When the religion of Gaia has been imposed on us, and we’re all shivering in the gloom of a 1/10th- watt CFL and riding our bicycles in the snow to another shift of shovelling switchgrass into the boilers – or something a whole lot worse - Christine O’Donnell is going to look pretty damned benign by comparison.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Actually, we can get wine (and beer, of course) in regular stores in Washington State. Distilled spirits are what is sold through the state monopoly shops.

    Thanks for the correction. Here in New York, we can’t even get wine in grocery stores. But at least we don’t have a state-run liquor monopoly.

  • Bah, I forgot to close the blockquote again! The first paragraph was written by asommer; I wrote the second.

  • asommer

    Given a choice between a state liquor monopoly and a state income tax, I know which I prefer… ;-)

  • Laird

    Sticking with the liquor topic, for what it’s worth, on Tuesday my small town and another one nearby voted (fairly overwhelmingly) to permit Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages in stores and restaurants, over the vocal objections of local preachers and their ilk. (South Carolina is a local-option state, and we’re slowly getting away from the old state-wide blanket Sunday sales prohibition.) This in the heart of the Bible Belt. The Christians here aren’t really as Bronze Age as Ian B seems to think.

  • Yes Laird, and my state voted to lower the age of homosexual consent a few years ago; doesn’t mean the Labour Party who did it are actually liberals.

    Temperance is more of a leftie thing than a rightie thing; the Temperance Movement was always a Progressivist movement (Christian, then Secular Left). So really, not sure what point you’re making. The Christian Right aren’t strongly associated with Temperance. It’s a Yankee thing primarily.

    The Bronze Age part is the bit where you believe in demons, magic and witchcraft. The interesting part about the Paul “buddhagate” is the tone of the attack ad and subsequent statements by the Democrat guy. It’s not “Rand Paul got up to some embarrassing stuff at college”, it’s “he denied the truth of the Bible, and prayed to an aquabuddha”. It’s a scary ad, really scary for somebody watching it from the Developed World; it treats Aquabuddha as a real false god. That’s the Bronze Age (or, at least, Mediaeval one should say really) part.

  • Laird

    Ian, I can’t speak to circumstances in England, but here in the US the temperance movement (historical) was indeed very much a Christian “thing”, and (current) opposition to “immoral” practices (such as drinking, or Sunday liquor sales) is also very much a Christian thing. So my point is that even is a strongly Christian (even evangelical) region of the country, a place where we have more churches than gas stations (let alone pubs!), attitudes are sufficiently secular (“tolerant”, one might even say) that we can reject by a 2-to-1 majority a century-old blue law and permit Sunday liquor sales. That’s not insignificant.

    With respect to Rand Paul, perhaps you missed the fact that he won his election, and rather convincingly (56% to 44%). So that silly Aquabudda ad obviously failed to gain much traction even among those Tennessee medievalists.

    You’re looking at the US from the far side of a rather large ocean. That gives you a different perspective than someone living here. In some respects that distance may give you more clarity, but in others it gives you a distorted view. I think this whole topic falls into the latter case. Evangelical Christians, even ones with political power, are very low on my list of worries.

  • Laird

    Um, that should have been “Kentucky medievalists”, not Tennessee ones. Sorry about that. But hey, the two states are right next to each other, and I’m sure the medievalists in both are roughly the same. It’s just that the ones in Tennessee didn’t get to vote for Paul.

  • Paul Marks

    Ian B.

    The texts of the Koran (and of the sayings of the “Prophet”) are quite different to the New Testament.

    Also the life of Jesus is quite different to the life of Mohammed.

    As for defects in practice – the Chritian Church not living up to the New Testament and the life of Jesus. AGREED.

    However, even in practice things were very different.

    Land law (de facto private property in) is the difference that I stress most between the West and Islam in the Middle Ages (indeed up to modern times), but it is not the only difference.

    Read Thomas Wood’s work on science – and the differing attitudes of the Roman Catholic Church and Islam on the basic methods and background assumptions of science (whether such things as the laws of nature could exist at all).

    You will get a very different point of view from BBC television shows.

    Still I suspect you know all this.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course it is the enemies of the Tea Party movement that wish the Federal government to use its power in social and religious questions.

    As Jonah Goldberg (a secular Jew) is fond of pointing out – it has normally been the “liberal” side who has been the aggressor in the “Culture Wars” seeking to use the Federal goverment and the Federal courts to make everyone live their way, to impose their values on people who do not share them.

    Tea Party people are interested in reducing the size and scope of the Federal government – NOT in useing the Federal government to impose their relgious and moral beliefs.