One the strange things about our county is the way we strive to separate even the discussion religion from politics. Even devout Christians treat this as some sort of great victory, but it is in fact a disaster of the first order. When government must make moral judgements, how can we rightfully avoid the discussion of religion? Yet this we strive to do.

Reading Rediscovering Americanism by Mark R. Levin reminded me once again how those who now dominate the popular culture insist upon imposing secular blinders upon the People. Levin’s book is a great book. Because reading Levin’s books help me to discover and  motivates me to read the works of the great political philosophers, I enjoy reading what he writes. Still, Levin, like the majority of today’s political pundits carefully skirts the discussion of religious belief. Nevertheless, because those philosophers did not avoid the subject of religion, Levin cannot entirely avoid the issue.

Consider the quote from The Spirit of laws by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu that he put in his book. Here is an excerpt that includes the portion he quoted (I included one additional sentence at the front of the quote.).

After what has been said, one would imagine that human nature should perpetually rise up against despotism. But notwithstanding the love of liberty, so natural to mankind, notwithstanding their innate detestation of force and violence, most nations are subject to this very government. This is easily accounted for. To form a moderate government, it is necessary to combine the several powers; to regulate, temper, and set them in motion; to give, as it were, ballast to one, in order to enable it to counterpoise the other. This is a masterpiece of legislation; rarely produced by hazard, and seldom attained by prudence. On the contrary, a despotic government offers itself, as it were, at first sight; it is uniform throughout; and as passions only are requisite to establish it, this is what every capacity may reach. (from here)

What does that last clause, “this is what every capacity may reach”, refer to? In the translation of Montesquieu‘s work that Levin used, that clause was translated with these words: “everyone is good enough for that”. “Good enough”? Here the language is a bit more plain. We are talking about the capacity of the people with respect to knowledge and wisdom, education and virtue, understanding and forbearance,…..

Why does Montesquieu observe that moderate government “is a masterpiece of legislation; rarely produced by hazard, and seldom attained by prudence”? That raises several questions.

  • What is the source of knowledge and wisdom, education and virtue, understanding and forbearance,…..? What makes everyone good enough? Are we just born well-informed, wise, and virtuous? If not, how do we instruct our children? Who can we trust with their education?
  • Does government instill knowledge and wisdom, education and virtue, understanding and forbearance,…. into the People, or must the People instill knowledge and wisdom, education and virtue, understanding and forbearance,…. into their government?
  • What is the greatest danger to the People’s capacity to be “good enough”? Is it the government or the People?
  • What steps should a well-informed, wise, and virtuous People take to ensure that their children gain in understanding, wisdom, and virtue? That their children are good enough? Must this solution for this problem come from the government or the People themselves?

Have you ever read The Spirit of laws? Levin quotes it because the Framers of our Constitution borrowed Montesquieu‘s ideas. Note that Montesquieu had no doubt that moderate government was a Christian invention, and he makes that clear enough in The Spirit of laws, but today such talk is considered bigotry. Why? Exercising their own prejudice, the secularists who now dominate the popular culture insist that we adopt their beliefs about religion. Thus, they “generously” and “tolerantly” want us to believe that all religions are equally valid (or equally useless). That peculiar notion stems from their belief in multiculturalism.


  1. You stated……
    “Levin quotes it because the Framers of our Constitution borrowed Montesquieu‘s ideas. Note that Montesquieu had no doubt that moderate government was a Christian invention,”

    Not certain you can use the definition of morals in a secular country or community/


    a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.


    the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

    Multi Religions

    Not every religion has the same morals. For example, Christian Bible Commandment, Do not Kill. Muslim Koran has verse that list circumstances when it is okay to kill the infidels, Christians, Jews, or anyone not Muslim..

    Your philosophers needed to stipulate a particular religion and because he did not, we have the Supreme Court deciding laws, some not in agreement with Christian religious morals. Add multiculturalism to the mix and we have chaos in our nation.

    When the recent Supreme Court ruled that a religious person does not have to abide by a secular law if it is against his or her’s religious views, we no longer have any real knowledge, understanding, or wisdom..

    In my opinion the Supreme Court erred when they interpreted individual rights that other people view as immoral. Now they will have to make individual decisions and laws for numerous controversial issues from now until the end of time. Some of their recent decisions are by no means moderate in regard to religious morals, Christian or Muslim.

    Regards and goodwill blogging..


    1. I think we are substantially in a agreement.

      Consider a statement in my post’s first paragraph.

      When government must make moral judgements, how can we rightfully avoid the discussion of religion?

      What is a secular morality? Well, there are theories. Consider what Wikipedia offers.

      Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Greg M. Epstein also states that, “much of ancient Far Eastern thought is deeply concerned with human goodness without placing much if any stock in the importance of gods or spirits. (continued =>

      Essentially, there is no agreement as to what constitutes a secular morality. As a practical matter, in any country where God of the Bible is not honored, might eventually establishes what is moral.

      Why then do the United States and Western Europe still seem to have relatively moderate governments. Well, let me do something unusual and offer something from my personal experience. When I was 17 I read the “Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine. Although I had been raised as a Christian, I had never studied the Bible, and with the exception of a couple of years I had attended secularized public schools. In addition, I had watched my share of TV, and I had begun to adopt the Hollywood culture’s attitude towards religion. Therefore, since the “Age of Reason” was easier to understand (and therefore believe) than the Bible, it seemed more credible.

      Anyway, when I got around to telling my mother about my decision, she was not happy, but she told me some something that did not make sense at the time. She told me I was still a Christian. Since I could not make sense of it, I brushed off what my mother said, but after I finally got around to reading the Bible it finally made sense. Even though I claimed to be an agnostic, I still practiced a Christian morality. I did so because I had the benefit of Christian parents and a Christian heritage.

      Unfortunately, unless we teach our children the wisdom in the Bible — make them read it — we cannot sustain the benefits of a Christian heritage. With each succeeding generation, fewer people will set a appropriate example of Christian morality. When it seems easier to just do what seems right in our own eyes, why should we obey God if we don’t believe He exists?

      What about a society with multiple religions? Without shared religious values, it is not easy to establish a government, much less a moderate government. Here is the problem. What are laws? Laws enforce moral behavior, prohibitions against things like stealing, lying, murder, and so forth. In a society where the People have shared values and hold virtues such as honesty, temperance, prudence, and so forth in high regard, little government is needed. That is because the People themselves sanction improper behavior by chastising and even ostracizing those who behave poorly. On the other hand, when virtues such as honesty, temperance, prudence and so forth are not generally respected, the hand of government must become heavy just to maintain order.

      Did Montesquieu state Christianity was required for a moderate government? I think so, but the framers of the Constitution avoided the issue. I doubt it occurred to them that we would be so stupid that we would allow the government to secularize the education of our children. They also would have been troubled by the prospect of allowing huge numbers of non-Christians to enter our nation. They gave Congress unfettered authority to control immigration because they wanted to control who entered our country. The Federal Government was set up to prevent anything that even remotely looked like an invasion.

      So what about the Supreme Court? Did the Supreme Court err when they call some behaviors “rights” that other people view as immoral? Yes. Because the elites in our nation have started to deny the wisdom of the Bible, they no longer view the Declaration of Independence as our nation’s founding document.

      Read the Declaration of Independence. Consider how that document defines rights. Consider what Declaration of Independence calls the purpose of government. Then consider how Progressives define human rights. What the Declaration of Independence calls for is a limited, moderate government. What Progressives require is a government that know no practical limits. What Progressives call “rights” is whatever enough people will sell their votes to get.

      1. Great observations which in my opinion, explains the observations of King Solomon about the human limitations of wisdom without God. Check out two links below if interested

        “That which is crooked is not able to be straightened,” said Solomon, “and that which is deficient is not able to be quantified” (Ecclesiastes 1:15 ). Is Solomon not at least somewhat autobiographical here? Had he seen the vain attempts not only of other governments, but also his own? “I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun,” said Solomon, using a Hebrew word for oppression that refers to the exploitation of the poor, “and behold, the tears of the oppressed, and behold, they had no one to comfort them. On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them” (Ecclesiastes 4:1). What oppression had Solomon seen even in his own kingdom as he was building up the great programs?–warren-graff/the-wisdom-of-solomon-the-limits-of-government
        In other words, we have known of our human limitations of secular wisdom in comparison to Spiritual Wisdom for over 3000 years.

        If we continue on the present course in the USA, will the same outcome result in the USA secular path result in the same path of failure in time?

        When will we wise up?

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

  2. There’s a reason for that old saying, “Government we deserve”.

    “Thus, they “generously” and “tolerantly” want us to believe that all religions are equally valid (or equally useless). That peculiar notion stems from their belief in multiculturalism.”

    That, and the belief in Socialism (size of government seems to be inversely related to the strength of the population’s religious value system…the largest and most tyrannical seem to eliminate religion by force of law). “Spirituality” is pretty du rigor in secular circles these days as it requires no real value system beyond what feels good in the moment.

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