Let’s Repeal Second Amendment Christianity

Let’s Repeal Second Amendment Christianity November 17, 2017
Image via Pixaby
Image via Pixaby
A few thousand years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a gathering of Christians to be interrupted by men with weapons. In those days, the government actively persecuted Christians; arresting church leaders, jailing members, torturing those who refused to pledge allegiance to the Empire and publically executing those who were especially dangerous to the State.

Of course, this sort of thing has been going on ever since. Today, somewhere in the world, Christians are still in danger of being arrested, beaten, tortured or killed for their faith.

In America, what many deem to be a “Christian Nation”, there is a curious twist to this narrative. Here, where our faith is largely celebrated and openly accepted, Christians are still in danger of being shot and killed while sitting in the worship service. But the differences are that here, unlike in those other nations, the Christians being killed in the pews are subject to being shot, in part, because of their devotion to the State, not because they oppose it.

 That’s what’s so strange, really.

Christians a few thousand years ago were killed for defying the Empire. Today, Christians are convinced that God loves their Empire more than all the others. They also believe that God has given them the right to kill others – even to violently rebel against their own “Christian Nation” if necessary.

Those early Christians were unanimous in their insistence that Jesus demanded non-violent love in response to violence. They loved their neighbors in spite of the threats. They showed their love for their Nation by refusing to retaliate when provoked.

Today’s American Christians show their love for their Nation by refusing to challenge the notion that everyone deserves the right to stockpile weapons.

Early Christians willingly sold their possessions to share with those in poverty around them. Today’s Christians will kill anyone who dares to come after their possessions.

Early Christians, for the first 300 years at least, refused to own weapons and no historic accounts exist of any of them using violence to resist their persecutors or prevent other Christians from being arrested or killed.

Today’s American Christians refuse to allow anyone to take away their weapons. Even if it means this may keep them in danger of being brutally killed while they worship on a Sunday morning.

Why would they do this? Is there something in the teachings of Christ that drives them to inaction in the face of continuous gun violence?

Sadly, not. In fact, many of these same Christians reject the idea that Jesus taught non-violence or enemy love. They tend to believe that every American citizen has the right to own as many semi-automatic machine guns as they want. In fact, they will consistently defend that right at the drop of a hat and become extremely emotional if you try to suggest that this ideology is exactly the reason why so many people – including Christians – get gunned down by people with semi-automatic machine guns.

Be Careful What You Love

So, essentially, American Christians have a deep and abiding love for the Second Amendment. That love is deeper and more abiding than their love for the commands of Jesus not to harm anyone, even enemies, for any reason. The idea of turning the other cheek and overcoming evil with good not only seems foolish to them, it seems impossible.

It’s hard to blame them, really. Their pastors and teacher never really teach them anything about how devoted those earliest Christians were to those same love commands that Jesus gave to us. They usually only hear sermons that fit into the American Nationalist narrative.

Their Jesus looks more like a free-market capitalist Abraham Lincoln than the suffering servant who said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

So, many American Christians are especially immune to the Sermon on the Mount. They know more about the Constitution than the teachings of Christ.

This is why they are more likely arm their people so they can shoot the killer before he can shoot them on a Sunday morning. They just don’t have any better ideas than what their Founding Fathers gave to them a few hundred years ago.

Decoding Jesus?

When Jesus tells them that their Heavenly Father is kind to the sinner and the righteous alike, and that to be like God is to show love to everyone – even those who hate you – they assume it must be some sort of complicated parable or a riddle that is meant to lead them to throw up their hands in defeat so that they can bask in His infinite Grace. Or something.

Essentially, the Founding Fathers supersede the Heavenly Father and the Second Amendment overrides the Eight Beatitudes.

Believe it or not, for all of my dripping cynicism, I really do have a hope that one day these Christians might abandon their faith in American politics and develop a very real hunger and thirst for the wisdom of the Nazarene.

There is so much life in His teaching. There is so much hope. Without it, I don’t think I could make it another day.

Who knows? Maybe if a few of us wake up to embrace the words of Jesus spoken so long ago, we might just discover that God has an answer to our violence, and our pain, and our selfishness.

Maybe, one day, American Christians will have the courage to repeal their Second Amendment ideology and fully embrace those Eight Beatitudes of Christ.

Until then, I guess we’re stuck with the status quo.

Here’s to progress.

 -Keith Giles


Keith Giles is the Author of “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” and the co-host of “The Heretic Happy Hour Podcast”.

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  • kenofken

    Whatever Christianity’s early roots, it’s primary legacy is not one of non-violence. Since at least the reign of Theodosius I, force of arms has been at the core of spreading and maintaining the faith.

  • cken

    The second amendment is what keeps the government from becoming totalitarian. Eliminate the second and you will lose the first amendment. Then why bother having our constitution. It is after all an antiquated document.
    There is a serious distinction between somebody trying to rob you with a lethal weapon and being willing to share with those who are in need and ask for help. I agree with kenofken without Christians being violent there would be no Christianity today nor would there be a United States.
    Does loving your enemy mean offering no defense and letting them take what ever they want either on personal or national level. I am not sure the bible speaks to that directly.

  • Keith Giles

    By “early church” I mean pre-Constantine or the first 300 years.

  • Dachusblot

    Does loving your enemy mean offering no defense and letting them take what ever they want either on personal or national level. I am not sure the bible speaks to that directly.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” ~Matthew 38:42

  • Keith Giles

    Actually, the Second Amendment was about the State’s ability to raise a militia for defense if necessary [because America had no standing army for national defense]. And, by the way, no matter how many guns you own, the US Military is going to win any fight you try to start with them.

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    We hear a lot about racism today, but what about militarism? America is militaristic. And our militarism breeds our “gun violence as solution” problem.

  • Al Cruise

    “The second amendment is what keeps the government from becoming totalitarian. ” Totalitarian comes wearing many different masks, one could argue we are headed down that path now, with the coalition of the alt-right Republicans, conservative evangelicals and NRA wrapping themselves in the Constitution like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Behind every totalitarian leader are groups sycophants quelling opposition through the clever manipulation of the rights forwarded by Democracy.

  • kenofken

    “The second amendment is what keeps the government from becoming totalitarian”……….
    Not really. What keeps a government from becoming totalitarian is broad and deep participation in the democratic process from a population with education and critical thinking skills. Other critical safeguards include an unshakable commitment to the rule of law and independent judiciaries, a healthy civic culture which does not demonize people for differences of ideas, a broadly shared sense of national, vs tribal identity, economic systems which create reasonably just distributions of wealth and pluralism which accords everyone a baseline of respect and opportunity, as opposed to ethnic or religious balkanization.

    The “Second Amendment’ crowd, with fairly rare exception, works day and night to neglect or actively destroy all of these safeguards I just mentioned. They support a regime which thrives on stoking racial and religious hatred, which has seething and open contempt for the rule of law, which glorifies police and surveillance state violence and infrastructure, which seeks to deepen, rather than alleviate crushing economic disparities. It espouses rabid nationalism, suppression of complex and inconvenient facts and urges abandonment of reasoned debate to emotive worship of a strongman messiah figure with the stomach to break a few eggs for the greater good of the little people.

    If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk and all of their peers dedicated their entire fortunes to direct top think tanks to design the shortest and surest path to totalitarianism, they could not do any better than the gun rights movement in the United States right now. I’ve studied history folks, and this is exactly how you build a gulag state.

    “But they won’t come for me cause I got my AR-15”

    That would be funny if it wasn’t so incredibly delusional and pathetic. No modern military, let alone the most powerful in the world, is going to be stood down or defeated by semi-automatic shoulder fired small arms. It just ain’t happening. The only weapon capable of truly deterring our military is nuclear weapons, backed by very robust anti-aircraft, artillery and other large scale conventional warfare capabilities. To even begin to seriously inconvenience our military, you would need at a bare minimum heavy machine guns, anti-armor weapons and a near inexhaustible supply of high explosives and willing suicide bombers to deliver them.

    At the risk of being uncharitably blunt, I don’t see any of those things materializing within the Second Amendment or the Second Amendment community. When I visit any range, what I see is paunchy middle aged white guys like myself who are OK at punching holes in paper with a bit of effort, but who have never been under fire or really even missed a meal. Not a single one of them has ever faced the horrors of fighting an asymetric war against a super power from the wrong end of the power gap.

    There are legitimate uses of private gun ownership, but the militant obsession with guns in this country is fed by a Rambo fantasy that really ought to be retired to Hollywood and the video game console.

  • Yes, once the Christian leadership felt the rush of having the state behind them, violence and the struggle to maintain control took over.

  • Excellent analysis. “The NRA has identified itself so successfully with the dogma that owning a gun is patriotic, that conservatives opine that any talk of restricting that ownership is tantamount to treason. Since patriotism has become so completely entangled with Christianity among conservatives, they follow blindly along with the narrative. This toxic blend of blind patriotism and gun ownership among Christians has created a dangerous climate in America, the ugly results of which we see on an almost daily basis.

    Instead of seeking a reduction of the vast arsenal of guns in the hands of civilians, conservative Christians claim more guns will make us safer, despite the evidence to the contrary.“
    From my blog: https://weseeinamirrordarkly.com/2017/10/08/christians-and-the-2nd-amendment-an-unholy-obsession/

  • cken

    except you forget it is illegal for the military to fire against it’s own citizens.

  • cken

    I know the passage. It doesn’t say you or to let somebody kill you or steal from you. Unless you choose to interpret that passage as metaphoric.

  • Dachusblot

    And if the government becomes totalitarian, I’m sure it will care a lot about that.

  • Dachusblot

    It distinctly says that if you encounter an EVIL PERSON — in other words, someone who intends to do harm to you and others (I don’t know what other interpretation of “evil person” there could be) — then you are not to resist them. If they harm you, you don’t fight back. If they try to sue you for all you’re worth, you hand it over. And if they try to coerce you into doing something you don’t want to do, you go along with it and even go the extra mile. Just because it doesn’t specifically address the situation of someone breaking into your house, doesn’t matter. The message is clear: do no harm, even to those who intend to do you harm. Do not repay violence with more violence. And do not cling to your possessions. That’s not a metaphorical reading; that’s a literal reading.

    Now, do I think that ideal is actually attainable for human beings? No, not really. But the whole point is that we’re supposed to at least try, and when we fail… well, that’s what grace is for. However, just because we have grace doesn’t mean we’re allowed to stop trying to live up to Christ’s ideal.

    I also don’t think that this principle should be forced onto America on a national level, because America is not a theocracy; trying to force Christian principles onto our government is wrong, and I don’t think Jesus ever intended it that way. But an honest reading of the Bible does suggest that individual Christians are to be nonviolent in every situation. Meaning that if the rest of American culture is in love with guns and violence, then we Christians are the ones who should refuse to partake in that aspect of the culture because of the faith we stand for. But a large chunk of the Christian community in America has not only failed to reject the gun-worshiping cult in America, they have decided to revel in it and make it part of their identity. And that is unbiblical.

  • kenofken

    I am non-Christian (Pagan), and so scriptural interpretation is not my deal. That said, I see a whole lot of fertile ground between legitimate self defense and the insanity we have today in this country. The NRA – stooges for gun manufacturers, want us to believe that our only choices are radical pacifism and simpering helplessness on the one hand or an unfettered trade and obsessive hoarding of military battlefield weapons.

  • David Boyle

    this is amazing that we are still being persecuted in that manner, i almost didn’t think about how awful it is, the recent tragedies of people at worship being killed has been one of the saddest things in our society.i hate that these acts have become so prevalent.

  • Dachusblot

    I don’t think that “pacifism” and “simpering helplessness” are the same thing; there’s a lot of power to be found in the non-violent path (see: Ghandi, the Civil Rights Movement… and also Avatar: the Last Airbender because even though Aang is a fictional hero, he embodies the concept that one can be both pacifistic and extremely powerful). I think Jesus knew that, too, which is why he preached non-violence. If an evil person thinks he can wield power over you by forcing you to walk a mile with him, then cheerfully choosing to go an extra mile of your own free will is an effective way to deflate his power fantasy. Same thing with the whole “turning the other cheek” thing. It doesn’t mean you let people walk all over you, but you undermine their power by refusing to retaliate the way they expect you to.

    I do think that Jesus was using hyperbole in this passage, admittedly. The “turn the other cheek” bit comes right in the middle of a long section where Jesus takes common moral standards and deconstructs them. “You’ve heard people say ‘Don’t commit adultery,’ but I tell you that even looking at a woman with lust in your heart is just as bad”; “You’ve heard people say ‘Don’t murder,’ but I tell you that cursing other people in anger or judging them in your heart is just as bad as murder”; “You’ve heard people say ‘Love your friends and hate your enemies,’ but I tell you that you have to love your enemies too.”

    I feel like his whole point in that passage was more like, “People think it’s okay to just do the bare minimum — as long as they’re not committing murder or adultery, and as long as they love the people who like them, and as long as they’re only violent towards people who wrong them, then that automatically makes them good people. But I’m telling you that God’s standards are higher than that. ANYONE can do the bare minimum; I expect you to go a step further.” So… I don’t know if Jesus would actually say that Christians are never to defend themselves at all, but his overall point was definitely that his followers are called to a higher standard of love and nonviolence than what “common sense” tells us.

    But yeah, you’re totally right that it’s a false dichotomy. There’s a huge middle ground between “extreme pacifism” and “owning a military arsenal.” NRA propagandists always use the slippery slope of “But if we don’t let anyone & everyone hoard as many AR-15s as they want, then before you know it the government will be kicking down the doors of good upstanding family men everywhere and confiscating even their Red Ryder BB Guns!” Which is just silly fearmongering. And of course, there’s also the whole argument that regulation won’t actually stop anyone from getting guns, so there’s no point in even trying. Which is funny, because most conservatives feel the exact opposite way when it comes to abortion.

  • cken

    There are many evils in the world conducted by many people that doesn’t involve attempted homicide, assault and battery, or robbery. Evil is a very broad term.
    Actually I was born and raised with your interpretation of that passage and maintained that belief until I got shot five times one night by somebody who had to kill someone to get into a gang. One of the first things I did when I miraculously recovered was buy a pistol and get my conceal carry. I want to, at least hopefully, be able to shoot back. I can no longer believe that passage means you should just let somebody try to kill you for no reason without defending yourself.

  • Dachusblot

    First, wow, I’m so, so sorry that happened to you. That’s absolutely terrible. But I’m glad you survived. I’ve never been shot, but I have had someone pull a gun on me in a fit of road rage once. That was the incident that changed me from “no opinion on gun control” to “we desperately need to do something about the gun obsession in this country.” To me, my response was not that I wished I’d had a gun so I could shoot back (because, 1. I’m not sure I could kill anyone, even in self-defense, and 2. even if I could kill him, I wouldn’t want to live with that for the rest of my life). My response was more that I wished such an angry, easily triggered individual had not had a gun in his truck in the first place.

    It’s hard, though. Personally I’m of the opinion that, while we do need more regulation on guns than what we have now (restricting the sale of certain unnecessarily deadly weapons, for example, and having better screening and safety training for gun owners), we shouldn’t completely ban guns altogether. I think the problem of violence in our culture won’t truly be solved until Americans stop fetishizing guns and violence. Which is why it’s frustrating to me to see so many Christians, who could have the power to change our culture for the better in this regard, instead embracing the cult of guns and violence.

    “There are many evils in the world conducted by many people that doesn’t involve attempted homicide, assault and battery, or robbery. Evil is a very broad term.”
    Yes, you are correct. That’s why I said “someone who intends to do harm to you and others.” Harm could mean anything from violent assault, to robbery, to rape, to abuse, to enslavement, to oppression, to deception, to manipulation, to defamation, to neglect, to… etc. Obviously, though, attempted homicide, assault and battery, and robbery would all fall under the category of “evil”. So they’re included in the category of “people you should not resist,” according to Jesus.

    As for that biblical passage, I also think that it’s more nuanced than it appears on the surface. But I posted it in response to your statement that the bible doesn’t speak to this issue directly, because to me that was a very blatant example of the bible speaking directly to this issue. As I explained in another comment, looking at it in context, it’s part of a series of statements where Jesus takes “common sense” morality and deconstructs it through exaggeration: “You think you’re a good person as long as you’re not murdering anyone? I tell you that just getting angry at someone is equally bad.” “You think you’re a good person as long as you’re not committing adultery? I tell you that just ogling someone lustfully is equally bad.” “You think you’re a good person because you love people who like you? I tell you that you’ve got to love your enemies too, and pray for people who make your life miserable.” “You think violence is okay as long as they hit you first? I tell you that you’ve got to refuse to fight back, and even go out of your way to be accommodating.” I personally think he was exaggerating to make a point, and maybe didn’t mean all of that to be taken as an absolute rule (though I’m sure there are plenty of people who would disagree with me). But even if you read it as Jesus exaggerating to make a point, the overall message is the same: it’s normal not to murder, it’s normal not to commit adultery, it’s normal to love your friends, and it’s normal for human beings to want to fight back when they get hurt. But as Christ followers, we’re supposed to be better than normal. We’re supposed to go beyond the bare minimum. So, while I don’t think Jesus wants us to be helpless doormats, we as Christians should still refuse to participate in America’s gun culture, if we really wanted to take Christ’s teachings seriously. I don’t think that would necessarily forbid you from keeping one small pistol for protection (that seems like it would have to be a personal choice), but if you’re keeping guns because you love the guns themselves and revel in the idea of shooting down bad guys, then I think that’s unbiblical.

    Honest question — I really, really don’t mean this as a “gotcha” or anything like that, I promise — but do you think that having your pistol when that gang incident happened would have stopped you from getting shot? I only ask because I imagine that it would be hard to see that sort of thing coming. Just putting myself in that position, I don’t think I would react fast enough to shoot first.

  • cken

    I don’t know the answer to that last question, but maybe if I could have fired back I would have only gotten shot twice. Next you wouoldn’t have to kill somebody, if you simply wounded them most criminals would stop. Also I don’t think guns cause violence. They perhaps provide an all too lethal weapon for the expression of violence. I think violence, anger, and evil are innate in all humans. Fortunately those traits lie dormant in most of us. I do agree we should attempt to rise above those traits especially as Christians. The Hindus and Buddhists are probably more passive and more self controlled than Christians in general. Historically Christians and Muslims have been more violent than other religions it seems. I read and article recently that there are two kinds of Christians – those who profess to be Christians and those who live it and act it.. Maybe if there were more Christians who lived a Christ like life violence would subside. Unfortunately I have known atheists, gays, and minor criminals who haven’t been caught yet who live more Christ like lives than many Christians. Not long ago I heard a famous physicist/author speak, and he said to be a Christian is more than just going to church, more than praying, more than loving your neighbor, it requires total submission to following God’s will for you. Ironically Socrates who lived in a polytheistic society. also said, “mans sole purpose for living was to follow God’s will”. Where have we gone wrong. It may be that particularly in western cultures we love material things more than we love God. I read an interesting book called “Early Christian Writings”. It gave great insight into Christian life in the first century. Suffice it to say Christians today don’t measure up to their standards back then.

  • Bungarra

    Does that apply to the Police forces of the USA as well? Perhaps the definitions of citizens are a bit plastic. eg the crime of Black wile driving. Also, ask the citizens of Puerto Rico re hurricane relief?

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Progress in my mind would not only include a return to the teaching of Jesus but a return to Jesus himself. This article says a lot about the teaching of Jesus but nothing much about Jesus himself. Until we move beyond not only devotion to civil power structures and their values, but theological devotion to some of the teachings of Jesus (i.e., non-violence and delimited conceptions of Justice, while ignoring the righteousness that Jesus actually taught), we won’t know the only one who can teach us directly how to adopt and appropriately adapt his teaching to our current context.
    The person of Jesus as Lord and agent of creation, as God with us personally today, is the only one who can lead anyone into that non-violent, cross bearing witness to him and his gospel that was evident in the early church.

  • cken

    No it doesn’t apply to the police. I am familiar with “black while driving” it has happened to a couple of my friends. However, neither that nor hurricane relief have anything to do with the subject.

  • I grew up in an evangelical environment where a “personal relationship with Jesus” was emphasized. I do not doubt the sincerity of attempts to do so, I owe a great deal of my personal piety and desire to serve Jesus to that upbringing. Over the years I have come to understand that, although knowing God is a laudable endeavor, the Jesus I sought to have a relationship with was considerably tamed by the church, made over in a more respectable fashion, to more clearly resemble an American, White evangelical. Part of the problem, I believe, is the almost complete ignorance of Jesus within the context of the early church, Judaism and the Roman culture Jesus confronted. Evangelicals tend to be much more interested in finding (often times hidden) meanings for today. Hence the many conferences on Biblical prophecy at the turn of the 20th century, dispensationalism and the general obsession with “end times.”

    Yet without knowing the Siz im Leben all sort of fanciful interpretations have sprout up, one of the most obvious being this that of a self sacrificing, enemy loving Jesus who finally in Revelation gets tired of the whole “love your enemies” stuff, and comes back to kick some serious a**! (Thanks Mark Driscoll) So, yes, we need to become reacquainted with Jesus, but the real Jesus, not the cheap imitation the church has presented for the last 1600 years. And yeah, that means a reassessment of Calvin, Luther and the early church Fathers. Our theology needs a fresh infusion of Jesus.

  • Sven

    How disgusting. One more aging left-wing fggot.

    If you sodomites are Christians, Satan is a Christian.

    Crawl back into your nursing home, Methuselah.

  • Sven

    P ssy

  • The irony here is incredible.

  • Perry Widhalm

    NO! You wrote, “What keeps a government from becoming totalitarian is broad and deep participation in the democratic process from a population with education and critical thinking skills.” That pretty well described the Germany that elected Adolph Hitler and surrendered the rule of law for a sense of order. The Second Amendment is one of the most important safeguards and duties of Liberty. If fear of your fellow man has overwhelmed you, go hide in a hole. I will be on the side of people willing and ready to defend Liberty with their lives so that people like you can safely believe in your fairy tales.

  • Perry Widhalm

    Well … you Leftists seem to crave an Authoritarian government.

  • Perry Widhalm

    So says the Marxist Radical bent on creating an authoritarian State.

  • jekylldoc

    I am a sort of leftist, and I have no idea what you mean by this. I would be interested in hearing an explanation, not particularly so I can argue with it but so I will have some sense where such an idea would come from.

  • Perry Widhalm

    Thanks for your reply. For the most part, America’s far Left is dominated by Post-Modern Marxist thinking. As history has evidenced, Marxism is a failed ideology in every respect … philosophically, economically, socially. In every case, when Marxism is applied to actual events it requires authoritarianism to implement the revolution then the programs. Check out this Jordan Peterson video for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSzpc2vh8Ow

  • jekylldoc

    OK, thanks. I think I get the idea. When I said I am a “sort of leftist” I meant what is commonly called a “liberal” on the right. I am a sort of Bernie Sanders, Scandinavian type liberal. But I have no trouble understanding that “hard” leftists, right down to Hugo Chavez types who actually win elections, do consider authoritarian systems acceptable.

    Just as minor comments, I didn’t bother with Jordan Peterson, because I am familiar enough with post-Modernism. In my view they come in a wide variety of political leanings, but I would agree that most are Marxist or quasi-Marxist. It’s a bit silly how proud they are of that, in my view, but hey, it takes every kind of people.

    The other comment would be that you may be surprised at how much life there is left in Marxism. I am an economist, and told a Marxist economist I was talking to that when capital stops making lives better for others, society may just take back its acceptance of myopic corporate selfishness. Northern Europe, for example, has clearly moved away from socialism, but they are not very happy with the results, and could easily vote to move back again. Just consider what has happened to the rate of return on capital in the last 10 years, and how China and liberal Europe have gotten their acts together on climate change while free-marketish US is flushing the atmosphere down the toilet, before declaring what a failure Marxist analysis is.

  • Kirk Hodges

    Everyone knows Jesus was packing.

  • otrotierra

    Gun Idolatry is indeed a top priority for Second Amendment Christians, as this comment section illustrates perfectly.

  • Keith_Indy

    “Other critical safeguards include an unshakable commitment to the rule of law and independent judiciaries, a healthy civic culture which does not demonize people for differences of ideas, a broadly shared sense of national, vs tribal identity, economic systems which create reasonably just distributions of wealth and pluralism which accords everyone a baseline of respect and opportunity, as opposed to ethnic or religious balkanization.”

    Well, our society seems to be failing in so many regards to your critical safeguards list, and many of the things you are pointing out, can be said of many sides of the political spectrum.

  • jekylldoc

    Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.