The Ironically Named ‘Contract for Liberty’

We have a pair of very loud Tea Party types who have been elected to the Michigan state legislature, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, and they’ve put out what they call the “Contract for Liberty.” It’s a mishmash of the usual nonsense we’ve become accustomed to from the Christian right, expressed in irritatingly flowery rhetoric.

Hearts Set Aflame for Liberty

It is now up to us to renew and restore a culture of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is time for principled, conservative leaders to stand firm in protecting America’s enduring national treasure of freedom. As God gives us the freedom to choose salvation through Christ or reject Him, our own government should allow us the self-determination of personal success or failure. God’s Providence, individual liberty, and personal responsibility make up America’s foundation, prepared and poured years ago. The national treasures that symbolize our Constitutional Republic, our Capitol and White House and all the other precious symbols, were crafted out of rock and metal but bound together by the blood, sweat, and tears of the sacrificial giving of our patriot leaders. All of these ideas flow from Divine inspiration of hearts set aflame for liberty by the moving of the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not the buildings, nor the documents, or even the people, but rather it is these ideas living in the hearts of men that enshrine personal liberty and freedom that keep the flame alive from generation to generation.

That kind of rhetoric hits my spine like nails on a chalkboard, but let’s focus on the substantive claims. In substance, this is identical to the “this is a Christian nation” rhetoric that I debated a couple months ago and all the arguments I made then negate this. The notion that the ideas found in the Constitution “flow from divine inspiration” of the Founding Fathers is simply nonsense. Would that include Thomas Jefferson? Was he divinely inspired by the “holy spirit” whose existence he explicitly denied? How about John Adams, who also explicitly denied the existence of the third person of the trinity (and the trinity as a whole, which both Jefferson and Adams argued was an incoherent, nonsensical idea)?

And if Jefferson was in touch with the holy spirit and thus divinely inspired, why didn’t the holy spirit tell him not to reject virtually everything in the Christian mythology? Why didn’t the holy spirit “inspire” him not to call the gospel writers a “band of dupes and impostors” or Paul the “first great corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus” or the Old Testament deity “cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust”?

And why didn’t any of these men bother to mention that divine inspiration? Why is there no mention of God or the Bible as sources for the ideas found in the Constitution in the Federalist Papers? Why was there no mention of those things at the Constitutional Convention? Why were the only mentions of it at the ratification conventions made in opposition to the passage of the Constitution? Indeed, as Donald Lutz’ study showed, there was no mention at all of the Bible from the Federalists in 1787 and 1788.

I imagine it goes without saying that the “contract for liberty” requires the elimination of a woman’s right to control their own reproduction and of gay people’s right not to be fired merely for being gay. Because when they say “liberty,” what they really mean is Christian privilege.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • regexp

    My brothers in-laws go on rants like this yet can’t name a single Founding Father. Except Andrew Jackson (yes yes I know). I usually just spend my time at family events playing video games with my nephews while corrupting them into the ghey lifestyle or so they accused me of at one point.

  • eric

    The national treasures that symbolize our Constitutional Republic, our Capitol and White House and all the other precious symbols, were crafted out of rock and metal but bound together by the blood, sweat, and tears of the sacrificial giving of our patriot leaders.

    Um, the White House did not achieve its current symbolic status out of any intent of our founders. It used to be plain stone; when the Brits and Canadians burned DC in the War of 1812, that left giant soot marks on the stone. So they painted it white to hide the burn marks.

    You might say that the White House is a symbol of our failure to protect our citizens from Canadian aggression. :)

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Hearts Set Aflame for Liberty…

    Someone needs Prilosec, STAT!

  • Acolyte of Sagan

    I imagine it goes without saying that the “contract for liberty” requires the elimination of a woman’s right to control their own reproduction

    And yet, just two paragraphs after The Right To Be Born in the Contract:

    3. Health Care Freedom

    There is no more fundamental right than to be free from government intrusion into the intimacy and privacy of our own bodies. The integrity of the patient/doctor relationships, along with our healthcare choices and decisions, should be free and protected from government intrusion.

    Can’t seem to be able to make their minds up. And why do I get the feeling that the authors (sic) of the Contract have got the Founding- and Pilgrim Fathers intertwined?

  • anubisprime

    Scared little bunnies pandering to other scared little bunnies…

    Short version…

    ‘when will this deluge of rationality stop?…please jeebus make it stop!’

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    1. Regulated Ladyparts.

    2. 2nd Amendment.

    3. No Obama[care].

    4. Christian Supremecy.

    5. Low Regulation (point #1 exempt).

    6. Ignoring Kelo v New London.

    7. No Food Stamps. No Corporate handouts (*wink*).

    8. Low taxes.

    9. No spying on The People.

    10. States Rights.

    #6, half of #7, and #9. 2.5 out of 10. Not bad for a Republican. Too bad that the last half of #7 will last up to the point they defund hippy stuff like wind power and no longer. Plus, I assume #9 means “no spying on me or mine”, which is what it’s meant up to now.

     

    Thank goodness they’re finally Taking Back our Government, instituting the same changes they’ve been for the whole time, but dressing them up in flowery speech instead of poor-baiting and slut-shaming. This should help to attract groups the GOP has had trouble attracting, like thugs and sluts.

     

    Because when they say “liberty,” what they really mean is Christian privilege.

    Now you’re just being ridiculous! Male privilege, too.

  • raven

    How long until they wreck the place, i.e. the state of Michigan?

    Brownback wrecked Kansas with his delusional Supply Side economics. To the point where people are leaving the state in droves. Last year more people moved out of Kansas than moved in.

  • Ethan Myerson

    And why didn’t any of these men bother to mention that divine inspiration?

    Because it’s not in the nature of these holy people to broadcast their faith. If there’s one thing I know about people who claim to be divinely inspired, it’s that they like to keep quiet about it.

  • eric

    @6: you got one slightly incorrect. #4 is really about preventing ghey marriage and allowing businesses to refuse service to them. “Religious faith permeates everyday living and our right to worship should not be limited to the doors of our homes or churches, but rather our right to worship should be allowed to extend into every area of our lives and this right should not be infringed upon by intrusive government. ” = no gheys need apply.

  • John Pieret

    All of these ideas flow from Divine inspiration of hearts set aflame for liberty by the moving of the power of the Holy Spirit.

    They why do we need their facacta “Contract for Liberty”?

  • busterggi

    Wrapped in a flag – check.

    Carrying a bible – check.

    Tyranny is ready for its close-up.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    “You might say that the White House is a symbol of our failure to protect our citizens from Canadian aggression. :)”

    Hey! you started it!… invading Poland burning Toronto (not to mention starting the War)!!

    Trivia: did you know that a cover of The Battle of New Orleans (“We fired once more and they began a-running…”) was a hit in Britain back in the late 1950’s?

  • eric

    @6: also #10 appears to be a diatribe against Michigan taking federal funds. Which gives us an answer to Raven’s question about how long it would take them to wreck the place: 1 budget cycle. They would lose approximately $61 billion in federal handouts. Link.

  • eamick

    #2: Uh, not quite. Snopes is your friend.

  • whheydt

    Re: regexp @ #1…

    Show the kids how to do things with a Raspberry Pi and turn them into hackers and programmers. Then your brothers in-laws will *wish* you’d you turned the kids gay.

  • wreck

    …and we must protect our precious bodily fluids

  • Kevin Kehres

    @6 Modus…

    1. Regulated Ladyparts.

    2. 2nd Amendment.

    3. No Obama[care]

    4. Christian Supremecy.

    5. Low Regulation (point #1 exempt).

    6. Ignoring Kelo v New London.

    7. No Food Stamps. No Corporate handouts (*wink*).

    8. Low taxes.

    9. No spying on The People (except scary brown people, of course).

    10. States Rights.

    Fixed it for them.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    The Ironically Named ‘Contract for Liberty’

    You aren’t reading it right. It’s “Contract on Liberty”.

  • magistramarla

    I’ve been a bit happier since I swore off reading the opinion section of the local paper, but this jumped out at me when I opened the print version yesterday:

    “A provocative notion: states must plan to survive without federal help”

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/A-provocative-notion-states-must-plan-to-survive-6002975.php

    It was written by a state representative, and the idiot is advocating that Texas should form an alliance with neighboring states and plan to do without federal funds. It sounds to me as though he is promoting secession.

    Later in the day I read this about California, which the Texas idiots like to call “a failed state”.

    “California Governor’s Record Spending Plan Is Major Boost To Education”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/09/jerry-brown-california-budget_n_6446046.html?utm_hp_ref=san-francisco&ir=San%20Francisco

    This makes me think that perhaps we should just let the red states sink after those of us with some sense have a chance to get out and move to a more sensible blue state.

  • Funny Diva

    1992-1993 called…they want their Contract on America back…

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …bound together by the blood, sweat, and tears of the sacrificial giving of our patriot leaders.

    Um…how much blood, sweat or tears did the actual leaders shed for the cause? Any mention here of the blood, sweat and tears of the people who actually WORKED and FOUGHT for the cause? (Not to mention the slaves whose freedom had to be sacrificed for Southern support.)

    On an OT note, you FTB folks really need to do something about your malware problem. Something here is causing practically every third keystroke to be ignored, and sometimes blocking keystrokes altogether. Your apparent unwillingness to control your own space really doesn’t make FTB look good.

  • dingojack

    Hey Teabaggers — Winston Churchill called, he wants his Blood, sweat and tears speech back!

    Dingo

  • hunter

    Raging Bee — I’m not sure it’s FTB — I have the same problem on other sites, usually with Disqus — input comes out scrambled, space bar doesn’t register, shift either doesn’t register or sticks, and sometimes it just stops.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #21

    I have a suspicion that it’s due to a poorly designed script on the site, possibly due to one or more of the ads.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I suspect the admalware too — it’s intermittent in FTB, and doesn’t happen anywhere else. I just posted comments in Pharyngla and Yemministing, and had zero problems; now I’m back here and having to retype every other fucking word.

  • Sastra

    As God gives us the freedom to choose salvation through Christ or reject Him, our own government should allow us the self-determination of personal success or failure.

    Apt analogy: if you make a mistake then you deserve to suffer forever in hell.