Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is Stephen A Douglas Leading the Current Democrat Party

There seems to a a lot of more silly charges of theocracy and now even the Bishops can't have a input on the Health Care bill. SEPARATION of CHURCH and STATE they say.

If one notices there are a lot of Jefferson/ Jackson dinners that Democrats have. No one seems to have Stephen A Douglas dinners. I don't expect Obama will be heading one up and praising him. However Douglas like many people should judged more in a more balance way.

Many historians say the election of Lincoln was what started the Civil war. Actually in my view it occured earlier. That is at the 1860 Democrat conventionin Charleston South Carolina. Douglaswhile trying to find a compromise stood firm on Southern Democrat demands that there be basically a nationwide federal slave code. A expansion of Federal power that would have been huge. That caused the southern Democrats to walk out, a split in the party, and ensured the election of Lincoln.

Still I can't help but think of Douglas and the current liberals , media , and the media led on by people like Chris Matthews.

Douglas said in the halls of the Senate in 1854.

Now, sir, what is this remonstrance ? These men do not protest as citizens. They do not protest in the name either of themselves or of their fellow-citizens. They do not even protest in their own names, as clergymen, against this act, but they say that ' WE Protest In THE Name Of Almighty God ;' and in order to make it more emphatic, that they claim to speak by authority in their remonstrance, they underscore, in broad black lines, the words ' In The Name Of Almighty GOD.' It is true, that they describe themselves as ministers of the Gospel, but they claim to speak in the name of the Almighty on a political question pending in the Congress of the United States.

It is an attempt to establish in this country the doctrine that a.body of men, organized and known among the people as clergymen, have a peculiar right to determine the will of God in relation to legislative action. It is an attempt to establish a theocracy to take charge of our politics and our legislation. It is an attempt to make the legislative power of this country subordinate to the Church. It is not only to unite Church and State, but it is to put the State in subordination to the dictates of the Church. Sir, you can not find, in the most despotic countries, in the darkest ages, a bolder attempt on the part of the ministers of the Gospel to usurp the power of government, and to say to the people : ' You must not think for yourselves; you must not dare to act for yourselves; you must, in all matters pertaining to the affairs of this life, as well as the next, receive instructions from us; and that, too, in the performance of your civil and official, as well as your religious duties.'

" Sir, I called attention to this matter for the purpose of showing that it involved a great principle subversive of our free institutions. If we recognize three thousand clergymen as having a higher right to interpret the will of God than we have, we destroy the right of self-action, of self-government, of self-thought, and we are merely to refer each of our political questions to this body of clergymen, to inquire of them whether it is in conformity with the law of God and the will of the Almighty, or not. This document, I repeat, purports to speak in the name of Almighty God. and then enters a protest in that name. We are put under the ban, we are excommunicated, the gates of heaven are closed, unless we obey this behest, and stop in our course and carry on these abolition views."

The Senator from Texas says the people have a right to petition. I do not question it. I do not wish to deprive ministers of the Gospel of that right. I do not acknowledge that there is any member of this body who has a higher respect and veneration either for a minister of the Gospel, or for his holy calling, than I have ; but my respect is for him in his calling. I will not controvert what the Senator from Massachusetts has said as to there being, perhaps, no body of men in this country, three thousand in number, who combine more respectability than these clergymen.

Probably they combine all the respectability which he claims for them; but I will add, that I doubt whether there is a body of men in America who combine so much profound ignorance on the question upon which they attempt to enlighten the Senate, as this same body of preachers. How many of them, do you suppose, sir, have ever taken up and read the act of 1820, to which I allude? Do you think there is one of them who has done so ? How many of them ever read the votes by which the North repudiated that act of 1820? Do you think one of them ever did? How many of them ever read the various votes which I quoted on that act and the Arkansas act? Do you think one of them knew anything about them ? How many of them have ever traced the course of the compromise measures of 1850 on record? One of them ? Yet they assume, in the name of the Almighty, to judge of facts, and laws, and votes, of which they know nothing, and which they have no time to understand, if they perform their duties, as clergymen, to their respective flocks.............

So this over the top rehtroric is nothing new I suppose. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!! Douglas says to the meddling ignorant pastors.

Douglas like many others I suspect are ignoring the logic of morals and in real political terms. It cannot be ignored despite all the threats. The Law teaches moral lessons. It is rarely never moral neutral. Lincoln understood this.


Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Interestingly, although he was given a Catholic funeral, Douglas was never baptized into any faith, never considered himself a Christian, and never attended religious services regularly.

Of course, he is best remembered for what might be called his "pro-choice" position on slavery, but his life's great work was to facilitate the westward expansion of the United States. Not only did he author the legislation by which many territories were organized and states admitted, he also advocated the eventually annexation of Cuba, Hawaii and other Pacific islands, and even more of Mexico than we'd already taken.

But religious he certainly was not. Douglas was all about expediency.

James H said...

I never knew he was given a Catholic Funeral. That is interesting. How did that come about

margotdarby said...

"Never baptized into any faith"? Preposterous.

Inasmuch as he had a Catholic wedding and a Catholic funeral, he most certainly received at least one Christian baptism. If he claimed one before his wedding, and there was any doubt about it later on, he would have received a conditional baptism toward the end, before receiving Extreme Unction.