June 29, 2005

The God Metaphor

The idea thet liberty is "God's gift to mankind" is incredibly old and is part of the foundation of this country. It's not supposed to be taken literally, however. It's a metaphor for the universality of the moral imperative that is liberty. In other words, it's everywhere at all times -like God- and it's something that's inherently good and right to do -like God's will- which makes it a great metaphor. Many people believed it literally in the sense that God wanted liberty for us all. But the real message of it is as a metphor, and that's how people like Thomas Jefferson would've meant it. Jefferson, after all, was effectively a Deist (like Franklin and Paine and others) and believed that God didn't intervene in human affairs after creating us. To say that it was God's will that we should be free didn't mean God had told Jefferson anything, it meant that it was morally right and applicable to all.

Perhaps the deiphobia of the nihilist left in Canada and Europe finds even a metaphorical reference to God unhinging, but they should realize the real-world applications and arguments. The point is not religion, it's about freedom.

Had a leftist made an argument about Jesus commanding us to forgive criminals or help the poor then secularists and nihilists would have understood and cheered - anything to stick it to religious conservatives. Unfortunately most modern religious leftist rhetoric is not genuine but reclaimed. It used to be that there were many religious leftists but most of them are weak or gone from political circles. Religiously left rhetoric is often a secularist attempt to reclaim a moral high ground for socialism as God's work.

It's too bad that they can't see the same parallels in the 'God's gift to mankind' metaphor. You don't have to believe in God of any specific type or form and certainly God doesn't have to intervene for you to accept the phrase (if God did intervene to bring it about, we wouldn't need to argue about its possibility because it would've happened). It's just a way to communicate that freedom is inherently right for everyone, and that all ethnicities and religions and countries are irrelevant to the call of freedom. You'd think that sort of hug-the-world rhetoric would have the left come running, but apparently many of them hate a Texan accent more than they hate tyranny.

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