The Theme is Freedom

Book Report

The Theme is

by M. Stanton

Finished June
5th, 2003

This is a masterful book.
The author spells out how religions, those of Christianity and
Judaism, are the fundamental axioms for freedom and limited
government, not the Enlightenment, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and
liberals. Their notions of freedom are untethered to bedrock. They
are always subject to the whim of majorities and legislatures and
tend toward expanding control and authoritarianism.

His praise for the slow
development of principles of freedom, as opposed to kingcraft, during
the Middle Ages, gave me a new appreciation of the work that went on

He speaks of the common
law and its value as a careful demonstration of what millions of
people have found to be to their benefit over aeons. It should not
lightly be tampered with.

Checks and restraints on

The Founders were
conservatives, not revolutionaries, as in France where their lack of
foundation principles, and former compacts, and constitutions, led
them to bedlam.

The Constitution has been
neutered. Our present law is subject to the whims of 5 people, a
majority on the Supreme Court at any given moment. This ought not to

From religion we learn
that individuals have inestimable worth, as being created by God.
They should never be enslaved, or killed, or subjugated. We learn
that government ought not dominate the church. We learn that kings
are subject to a higher law than themselves. We learn that men are
“fallen” and cannot be trusted to govern like angels.

Separation of church and
state is not found in the constitution. The constitution forbids the
federal government from establishing a church, not state
governments. Many state governments did sponsor religions well after
the 1st amendment passed. Religion ought not be expunged
from all public business. After passage of the Constitution, many
religious practices continued on. This shows that the 1990’s
reading of the 1st Amendment is incorrect in its abhorence
of mingling of religion in public life.

The Founders were
religious, not Deists.

He says that reliance on
Aristotle and Plato and the Greeks as the source of our notions of
freedom is mistaken. They were pagans. Paganism is the religion of
the current liberal reading of history. Christianity, the Bible and
Judaism made possible the development of freedom in England and

His prose is carefully
crafted. It is sometimes even lively. I enjoyed reading every page. I
bought a used copy to keep.


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