Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

is very Masonic, in case you are interested in that sort of thing. Note, in the third paragraph:

to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Science, virtue and religion are best fostered when all of them are fostered. The dependence of man on the Divine Being is not just a form of speech; they believed it.

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George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Merkel calls Christianity world’s most persecuted religion

Ain’t it the truth. Whether by Muslims or reductive materialists (e.g. Dawkins), Christianity is under active Muslim persecution or wholly unwarranted derision from materialist idiots who ought to know better. But I think Angela Merkel is referring to Islam here.

 

BERLIN (AP) — Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups are criticizing German Chancellor Angela Merkel for claiming that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion worldwide.”

Lawmaker Jerzy Montag of the opposition Greens party on Tuesday described Merkel’s comments as “mistaken” and “not very helpful.”

Rights campaigners said ranking faiths according to how persecuted they are is pointless.

Human Rights Watch noted that Muslims in Myanmar, members of Falun Gong in China and Jews in many countries worldwide also face persecution.

Merkel’s comments came at a meeting of the German Protestant Church late Monday in which she emphasized Germany needed to protect Christian minorities as part of its foreign policy.

Merkel, the daughter of a pastor, also spoke out against a strict separation of church and state and said Europe was built on Christian foundations.

Reductive or eliminative materialism (there is nothing in the universe but matter and its motions, such that mind, intention, purpose and will are explained away in terms of ultimately physical phenomena), I refer you to Berlinski’s “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” and Thomas Nagel’s “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost certainly False”. Ironically, Berlinski is an atheist. and Nagel, so far as I can tell, is one too. They both understand bad arguments, however.

Big Bird

You know who I mean right? The muppet threatened by cutbacks to PBS? I was listening to the radio this morning about the US election campaign and I was made aware of the enormous power of symbols over human events. Is Romney the Grinch who will steal Big Bird, to mix our symbolic references? That the question can be seriously asked should tell us something of how our minds work.

Who is Big Bird? Is he “real” or “symbolic”? Or can something be real and symbolic at the same time, and yet be entirely the creation of human ingenuity? Well he sure is a character. You know him as well as you know some of your cousins. So he is “real” in some sense. But he is also a symbol. Ideally he would have no existence but for a man putting on a bird costume, and acting in children’s television. It does not worry you that this is so – Big Bird is not less real for being an obvious contrivance, not less symbolic because acted by a man in a feathered suit.

Thus our “knowledge” encompasses knowing fictions as we know persons, and those fictions can instruct us, change our behaviour for better or worse, and provide symbolic benefits whose reality we do not question.

Now imagine if God wanted to create his own Big Bird to instruct the human species. How would He do it?

Man does not live by bread alone but by mystery,love and high adventure.