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To: BlackElk; dufekin; Rurudyne; Howard Jarvis Admirer; tacticalogic; livius
English Prods thought of our country as their colonies (part of their country albeit without voting rights). Our country has little to do with volkism as you call it. Volkism is very much part and parcel of border mania, however. Only those nations who cower in corners fearing the future adopt volkism. My Church (RCC) has permanent principles. My nation has a constitution allowing for ...

Yet the Constitution was created by the British Protestants, not by the Catholics. They were informed by the tradition of Common Law and by such Protestant polities like Congregationalism (which departed from Anglican monarchy). Congregationalism is the very opposite of Roman Catholic style of government. The first is intensely democratic, moralistic and individualistic, the second is authoritative, deeply conscious of human weakness (think about the Sacrament of Confession) and communitarian.

You said: "Only those nations who cower in corners fearing the future adopt volkism."

Volkism was a German attempt to provide the substitute for religious spiritual unity - Germany was divided into Lutheran north and Catholic south - in order to unite Germany they invoked race and soil. This was a falsification, as true unity derives from religion and common culture.

United States after absorbing large number on non-Protestants lost the original collective self-understanding. This creates the temptation for the substitutes (other than volkism chosen by Germans), much more likely are Wilsonian global mission, elevating democracy to the new guiding principle etc ...

Well, we cannot reverse the history, the fact you and me would not be here if the other course were chosen in the past, as I said before, should not cloud out thinking.

Now the question is if America can or should conduct two new experiments -

1. bringing a large number of Mexicans/Latin Americans who have strong identity of their own
2. brining a large number of people from non-Christian countries, especially Muslims.

What type of unity can be worked out for so diverse people? What type of coercion (less or more formal like Political Correctness or stronger central government) will be applied? Will the original British concept of informal consensus and liberties survive this new phase?

142 posted on 12/27/2006 2:28:45 PM PST by A. Pole (Dzerzhinsky: There are no innocent people.There are only such who weren't examined in the proper way)
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To: A. Pole

IMHO, historical reference may not map to the Hispanic situation very well. European immigrants coming to this country had to do so with at least some sense of "leaving behind" where they came from that Hispanic immigrants do not experience. Being able to go back and forth more or less with impunity makes it a very different psychological exercise.


143 posted on 12/27/2006 2:40:01 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: A. Pole

You are confusing language, culture, religion, law and the political system and intellectual structure and rolling them up into one big ball. The latter two were drawn from European thought - not only British, but Continental. The legal system was based on the British common law system, although with modifications (except for Louisiana, which has a system based on Roman law, among other things).

Religion can be anything within the Judeo Christian sphere; Maryland was founded by Catholics and had a much more tolerant system than any of the other colonies that eventually became states. In addition, many low-church Protestants did not consider even the Anglicans to be Christians, so there was division even in what you are loosely calling the "Protestant" world. Congregationalism, which in our day is so liberal they are all just barely deists, was very rigid, authoritarian and theocratic, and our intellectual authors, such as Jefferson and others, were not part of it.

As for language, while the language of the US came very close to being German at one point, as the US consolidated and added states in the 19th century, the English language was always seen by any immigrant group as the way to get ahead and has always been learned by them. This doesn't mean they become English, though. Where would we be without such folks as the Eastern European Jewish immigrant kids who were the song writers of the 30s? But they didn't become WASPs - they simply wrote their songs in English, and wrote in a way that would appeal to the great majority of their fellow American citizens (who were by no means all WASPs).

I used to teach ESL for adults in New York and we had to turn people away from the classes. Some groups, such as Poles (the largest single group of illegals in NYC was for some time - and may still be - Poles, btw), lived very much in their own communities and would take a few classes and never return. But others, particularly Hispanics, were determined to get ahead and move beyond being hotel maids. So the secret with English is to make it more available, on the one hand, and more mandatory, on the other - no more "bilingual" ed (which means no education, actually), no more ballots in other languages, etc. The encouragement of the learning of English was actually part of Bush's immigration plan, which nobody here at FR liked and which, as a result, is being replaced by one that is much more "liberal."

As for culture, again, if the left had not been so aggressive at driving our shared holidays and traditions out of our schools, we would be much more integrated. But don't blame the immigrants. Put that energy into trying to get the schools to change their curricula and dump the five chapters on the glories of the Mayan calendar and instead put in a little bit about actual American history. It may interest you to know that North American Christmas customs are spreading throughout Latin America; at the same time, I don't see anything wrong with Americans taking some of the Latin American traditions, such as the Posadas, or the custom of building little replicas of Bethlehem or of bringing out the Niño for adoration after Christmas Mass. Many of the things that you probably think of as English in any case are actually German, and probably German Catholic, at that, since the Congregationalists and many other groups did not approve of religious imagery or celebrations and even Irish Catholics, because of centuries of persecution in their homeland, were a little weak on the colorful customs.

In other words, you are cutting your divisions too fine when you attempt to decide on what is a common culture. We already have a common culture that is not WASP culture. However, it is all essentially European culture, and the ideas that are behind it are European ideas, and the religion that shaped it is a Christianity that transmitted both the religion of the Jews and the philosophical understandings of Greece and Rome, shaped by the egalitarian revolution of Jesus Christ, where all were one and equal in Him.

The only question to me is whether we could survive without this, that is, under Islam, and my answer is no. For one thing, Islam is a theocracy (which is fundamentally anti-Christian and which even the Congregationalists finally rejected) and it has a legal system which has nothing to do with either common law or Roman law. In addition, it rejects the principle of equality under the law (which even the US has had to fight for) and in fact rejects the value of reason in any aspect of life. Not to mention the fact that it rejects figurative art, most music and dance, and just about anything we like in this society.

I'm all in favor of more Mexican immigrants, more Polish immigrants, more immigrants from any place that shares our essentially European philosophical background or is willing to respect it. Asian immigrants - who do not share it - respect it and have adapted very well. Muslims do not share it and do not respect it, and even those who have been born here and brought up in it despise it. So I think we have to cease worrying about things that are non-essential and have in fact already changed considerably over the centuries and have even varied from place to place and decide what is really essential. And then get the powers that be, such as the schools, to accept this.

While people here are sitting around hating Catholics and Hispanics, the Muslims are getting "prayer rooms" in the public schools and having the "call to prayer" broadcast on streets where the ACLU has tried to stop church bells.


146 posted on 12/27/2006 3:22:52 PM PST by livius
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To: A. Pole
Yet the Constitution was created by the British Protestants, not by the Catholics. They were informed by the tradition of Common Law and by such Protestant polities like Congregationalism (which departed from Anglican monarchy). Congregationalism is the very opposite of Roman Catholic style of government. The first is intensely democratic, moralistic and individualistic, the second is authoritative, deeply conscious of human weakness (think about the Sacrament of Confession) and communitarian.
I would go one further: because of the misdeeds of Randy Henry VIII the course of religious liberty in England, Wales and Scotland (but not Ireland for various reasons) took a different way than on the continent. A third way.

In the Catholic south, the struggle was for the State to have some measure of independence from the Church. Thus monarchs sought to expand their secular power as far as they dared. The ultimate expression of this was seen in the tumult of the French Revolution which was largely predicated on the desire to produce a purely secular State where "religious liberty" became something in a private box that people carried around with them.

In the Protestant north the struggle for religious liberty was very different. Even though the kings were ordinary parishioners one day a week––albeit with a really nice private pew––the rest of the week they were the king, and it's good to be the king. This gave rise to the birth of notions that these "Christian nations" were not such because of the Church per se but because of the People in the pews. This notion was skillfully woven into the notions which gave us modern nationalism as well as simpler creeds like volk. In such an environment there was tolerance of difference provided that in the end everyone was a "good" German (or whatever).

Aside: pity the people who weren't proverbial "good Germans" (or whatever).

But because of what Henry did in England the struggle was for the Church to have independence and autonomy from the State. The importance of this difference cannot be stressed enough.

Whereas in the Catholic south there arose a notion that the State should be free of the Church––with the logical inference that it should have some say in moral matters––in England (and especially Scotland) there arose an opposite and yet equal notion that the Church should be free from the State (something the Crown fought long and hard)––again with the logical inference that the People should have something to say about the affairs of the State ... even if they were religiously motivated. At issue is the logical absurdity of the notion of separation of Church AND State: two coexisting institutions with claims for the hearts and loyalties of the People cannot be mutually exclusive. Either the People will be free first and foremost in their duty to the State or they shall be first and foremost free in their duty to God. The French chose the former after we Americans chose the latter; however, either "choice" was predicated by a long history of social and legal development.

As for the contrast between England (but not especially Scotland –.^ ) and the Protestant north: the struggle for an independent Church clearly drew distinctions between Church and State that were blurred on the continent. As a result, I would suggest that English nationalism (and American) differed from the rest because it was not so tightly bound up with the alliance of Crown and Church. Thus before the rise of Social Theory someone could be a "good Englishman" and not necessarily be Christian at all. Indeed, it can clearly seen that nowadays one can be a "good Anglican" in England and be everything but Christian (especially if one is a clergyman).

Thus I would argue that the nature of religious liberty in America is constitutionally different than elsewhere: People are free first and foremost in their consciences towards God (and the State can settle for whatever crumbs remain) but there is a strong inhibition against setting up any specific doctrine or religious truth as a prerequisite for participation in society and its government so that no one is forced away from the table, so to speak.

My two cents.
151 posted on 12/27/2006 9:53:55 PM PST by Rurudyne (Standup Philosopher)
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To: A. Pole; BlackElk
Congregationalism is the very opposite of Roman Catholic style of government. The first is intensely democratic, moralistic and individualistic, the second is authoritative, deeply conscious of human weakness (think about the Sacrament of Confession) and communitarian.

*You are conflating church and laity. Congregationalism is a lay community.

In any event, The Rule of St Benedict long predated the Congregationalists - who used to arrest Christians in Masachusettes for NOT working on Christmas - and the Great Saint and Doctor of the Church, Bellarmine, among others, was a major proponent of Democracy.

In fact, were it not the the Catholic Church, the Congregationalists would never had a Europe Civilisation from which to pilfer the few good ideas they had

156 posted on 12/28/2006 2:43:25 PM PST by bornacatholic
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