Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Requirements of Religious Freedom And the Proposition Nation

Claim: Religious freedom in America requires that religious traditions be given protections, even if most of society finds their beliefs and practices wrong/superstitious/even harmful.

Problem: Many muslims practice child marriage and justify it on religious grounds.

Conservatives and Liberals argue whether this means we must allow child marriage for all, or religious freedom for few/none.

The alt-right humbly suggests: maybe we shouldn't let people who practice that come to the US to begin with so this question is moot.

Being direct: it's obvious that some cultures and religious practices are utterly incompatible with American government. Why does no one admit this?

Now and then the argument surfaces about the 'proposition nation' where you can identify an American by the set of values they espouse and ideas they cling to, and these ideas can be had everywhere - from Bangladesh to Taiwan. But I don't think anyone takes this idea seriously. If they did, I'd have a question for them: what do you do with those American citizens who do not subscribe to that supposedly sacred list of ideas? If we're a proposition nation, and a lot of citizens reject those 'propositions', what then?

It's hard to get an answer for this, and it's clear why: we'll have to conclude our nation has been invaded. The Proposition Nation is occupied by people who reject the propositions, and these bastards are voting in our elections. They're even promoting their ideas above and against our nation.

Unless... we water down the Holy Propositions sufficiently. Enough to make sure that America's muslim and Somalian refugees, latin American illegal immigrants, west coast liberals and Trump supporters all accept the same propositions.

Not coincidentally, this also seems like the surest way to destroy a proposition nation.


Anonymous said...

The whole idea of a proposition nation, when that idea is tied to a geographic location -- as it is in the case of the United States -- is horseshit. And we know this because we can compare it to other proposition entities which show the vacuity of the "America is a proposition nation" idea. Consider, first off, that Christianity and Islam are "proposition" religions. Thus, if you believe certain tenets in those proposition religions, then you are a member of that religion; and you are a member regardless of if you live in Canada or Korea or Uganda. At the same time, if you stop believing those propositions, then you are no longer a member of those religions, regardless of where you live. By contrast, if you live in America and have citizenship there, then you are an American (at least the way we define it today), regardless of what propositions you believe. But if you are not an American citizen, and yet nevertheless still believe in every proposition as laid out in the Constitution, Declaration, etc., then you are still not an American. So unless being American is like being Christian, or being a Marxist, then linking the idea of a proposition nation to America is absurd. After all, we consider Americans to be people from a specific country/geographic location, not people with specific ideas. And so, as stated, unless "American" literally becomes a ideology that is trans-national, America cannot be a proposition nation. But if being "American" is like an ideology, then "Americans" could not be a nation anyway, for people from many different nations could adopt the "American" ideology (just as people from different nations can be Christians, but they are not a Christian nation). And so, in the end, I think that the "America as proposition nation" idea is absurd no matter which way you look at it and it has no coherent basis in reality.


Damian Michael

Valtandor Nought said...

The end game of watering down the propositions is a state in which your nation stands for nothing except a refusal to stand for things.

Which is survivable if you limit the ability to gain citizenship, based on things like ancestry and location of birth. Then, upbringing will in most cases achieve the desired goal of cultivating a cultural norm - and probably more effectively than requiring adults to sign on to a proposition.

But when nothing is required to become a member of the body politic except showing up and in some cases paying a fee, you don't have a nation-state of any kind any more.

Crude said...

I agree that proposition nations are absurd. But it seems like it doesn't even avoid the problem its proponents like to pretend it does - which is, ethnic/tribal loyalties. What if some ethnicities and tribes are far and away more likely to support some propositions and not others? Lo' and behold, we're back to square one.

If our Proposition Nation is reasonably conservative or right-wing in outlook, bad news; all evidence indicates it's going to be a very white nation. Not exclusively white, and plenty of whites 'won't make the cut'. But one look at voting patterns would indicate, if supporting conservative values (economic or social) is key, guess who's largely not American?


Agreed. Watered down propositions + supposed rejection of ethnic loyalties = no nation to speak of.

Mike said...

The proposition nation concept is corrosive to actual love and tolerance. That's something that none of its advocates accept. The implicit "othering" of those who are factually related to you by birth, community, shared culture/language, etc. because of different political views leads to no other outcome. Christians ought to be particularly upset about this because there can be no love where the only reason you recognize someone as part of your group is shared belief. Even Christians recognize that we are brothers and sisters not by shared beliefs alone, but by factual membership in a particular community (the body of Christ). That shared propositions are just part of the culture, but Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox are still Christians even when the propositions are not shared completely or at all.

Nate Winchester said...

OT crude, thought you'd have a laugh at:

Crude said...

Hey look, it's the Incredible Shrinking Catholic trying to morally lecture everyone.

Last I checked that complete Doughbeard of a man was posturing over how he's friends with an atheist pro-abortion feminist because she's paid him compliments. But Trump is horrible? Please.

Watching SHea's influence go down the toilet as he alienates every Catholic who isn't Pelosi-like is grimly amusing. He really is the PZ Myers of Catholic bloggers, except even Myers had more fame at one point.

Mike said...

Shea is walking, talking, blogging reverse psychological recruiter for radical Islam.

Nate Winchester said...

Well he was apparently tapped to write the intro to the eye of the tiger book so not completely diminished yet.