Re: [NTLK] OT: my sig

From: Jon Glass (
Date: Tue Mar 26 2002 - 08:00:45 EST

on 3/25/02 11:48 PM, Jeremy Bond Shepherd at wrote:

> I don't. Religious proselytizing stinks no matter where it's done, but
> particularly when it's so off-topic and repetitive as this sig is on the
> Newtontalk list.

Can I clarify what Adams was saying (since it was my sig that began this
silly OT thread). Basically, if you will allow me to freely paraphrase it, a
people that cannot control themselves, will be controlled externally through
force. Self control is essential to self-government. (get it?) Morality and
religion are essential elements of self-control. An irreligious and immoral
person has no self-restraint, and lacks a motive to self restraint. A people
that lack self-restraint are a danger to themselves and other societies.
They will be controlled by the external means of force or tyranny.

I would like to point out that the moral failures of even those leading
proponents of morality and religion serve to help illustrate the necessity
of government, and the need for moral restraint. For those who like to point
out the moral failings of certain leaders, please remember that their
failings serve as evidence that society has and needs those boundaries, not
the contrary. Freedom is not about license to do anything you want, whenever
you want, but about taking responsibility for your own actions, and being
willing to face the consequences of those actions, whether for good or for
ill. As a silly illustration. When somebody speeds, and gets a ticket, we
don't scream for the speed limits to be removed. We say that if he had
obeyed the law, he wouldn't have gotten a ticket. :-)

The sad truth is, that most people who disapprove of religion are really
opposed to any moral restraint. This is what they are really opposed to.
They attack religion or religious people, but what they are really attacking
is the idea of self control. People have always been immoral, and tended
away from self-restraint. The moral restraint of society exists to control
this excess. Unfortunately, it seems that in today's society, even the moral
framework upon which society is based, even when individuals didn't, is
crumbling. If so, where does that leave our society? Sure, those that don't
want any moral restraint will rejoice, but for how long?

There is also another item to consider. By telling someone that they cannot
"proselytize," you are restricting their freedom, and are becoming a tyrant
in a different way, but a tyrant nonetheless. In the end, you become the
very thing you despise. :-) (Besides, how would we convert new converts to
the Newton???!!!) (there, on topic)

> I would hope that anyone seriously interested in the role of religion in
> the founding of the U.S. government spend some time researching authors
> beyond David Barton.

Sorry for the long post I just wanted to explain the quote that seems to
have started this OT discussion. If you are really interested in this topic.
Don't read other authors (including David Barton--whoever he is), read the
founding fathers in their entirety. They have a lot to say! And they won't
twist their own words out of context, or try to make them say something they
aren't saying. :-) That is why I quote them--so you will be spurred to dig
further, or even (gasp) read them yourself. Besides, it's fun and
entertaining... :-)

P.S. Jeremy. If you really don't like my sigs, then filter me out. :-) I
don't mind, really. :-)

-Jon Glass
Krakow, Poland
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

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