Bellum Sacrum

Column by tzo.

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Once upon a time there lived a businessman named Muhammad who, at the age of 40, had a divine revelation. He then proceeded to pick up some followers, united them under the Constitution of Medina, took over Mecca, destroyed the pagan idols, then conquered and converted most of the Arabian Peninsula to Islam. After he died, the succeeding Caliphates expanded the Muslim Empire across northern Africa, southern Europe, and the Middle East, covering an area much larger than the Roman Empire had ever controlled.

Muhammad founded a religion that launched an empire. So what exactly are we talking about here? Religious chicken or State egg?

The Roman Empire had its own creation myth beginning with Romulus and Remus. Numa Pompilius supposedly had direct contact and personal relationships with a number of deities, and the rulers of Rome were always closely associated with the gods. The Catholic Church and the lineage of Popes sprang up right there in the midst of the empire when it officially shifted on over from poly- to monotheism. Are we quite sure that the Roman State absorbed and used religion as a means to justify its rule, or did religions develop or appropriate the teeth of the State for their own use?

Does it even make sense to try and separate religion from State when considering these social institutions when they are operating on such a grand scale? It seems that long-standing States are tied together internally by long-standing religions, which may have congealed into the States that contain them. In this world of politico-religious chickens and eggs, the salient point is not which came first, but rather that both are co-dependent entities that combine to create the ongoing, dysfunctional and violent social structures to which the world has unfortunately grown accustomed.

The common State creation narrative is that conquerors unite large groups of people over large areas of land and then take by force a tribute from everyone within their area of control. Then some time later the conquerors recruit religion as a means of justifying their rule so that at the very least the conquered become mollified, and in the best cases inspired to actual awe of their divine rulers.

But I’m not so sure that was always the sequence. The initial round-up of tribes and villages into large, controlled units very well could have been a combination of hard coercion (brute force) and soft coercion (training people to believe in superstition [or taking advantage of existing superstitions] so as to persuade them to surrender control over their own individual lives).

And superstition really boils down to plugging in supernatural answers to life’s unknowns, which were abundant in the past when people had not yet accumulated enough knowledge to understand the natural forces that comprised the world around them. Superstition was part and parcel of human life ever since large societies began to form, and so those who were able to convince the masses that they had some measure of knowledge and control over these forces found themselves in positions of power over the unenlightened crowd.

Hard coercion, soft coercion, or both—the end result is a small group of controllers and their controlled masses. And whichever may have come first, the truly successful empires have both genes in their DNA.

The Mongols and the Huns didn't pretend to have religious reasons for conquering all that they could. They also generally allowed the conquered to keep their religious beliefs and customs, as they were primarily interested in collecting tribute and wanted peace and order within their borders. But when those empires fell apart through overextension and internal strife, they were done. Without the coercion, the conquered were free to re-associate themselves with others as they saw fit.

But remember, these people kept their religious beliefs, and when these force-based empires crumbled, the people remained united in clumps through those shared beliefs. Then, like magnets, these clumps of people looked for States to protect them while States looked for people and territory with similar beliefs to incorporate.

After the Roman and Muslim Empires fell, Christianity and Islam continued on and at least a few people have been caught up in wars since then in the names of these “great religions.” Many nations still identify themselves as being either “Christian” or “Islamic” nations and seem ready and willing to annihilate the infidels both outside and inside of their State borders.

“Ethnic” strife typically occurs between folks with religion A and those of religion B (or subsets of either) who happen to find themselves within the same national borders, and the State-backed religion wins every time. Surprised?

Yes, religions can exist without violence, and yes, States can exist without religious justifications. But either dies off in the long run if it doesn’t merge with the other. Christianity and Islam have endured because they merged with States. The great empires of the past flexed their muscles and stretched out across the globe because they merged with religion. Today’s nations are just the current set of petty (and temporary) subdivisions that share common religious threads.

Witness Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of the Civilizations” theory, which he summarizes thusly:

The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

Notice he uses “culture” and “civilization” as synonyms. Yet if you look at the world map he uses to define the “major civilizations” of the world, it is a map divided into major religious beliefs.

Very few of all the myriad wars in human history are categorized as religious wars—especially the more current ones—and yet the reality is that almost all of them are indeed wars of religion at their core. The great majority of the world’s population holds on to irrational religious beliefs and these are the beliefs that ultimately create the justifications for killing innocent people. I really do believe it’s that simple.

In the absence of knowledge, superstition is understandable and to be expected. In today’s world, superstition is just plain irrational, and widespread irrational beliefs create hierarchical structures that inevitably dedicate themselves to launching wars against competing irrational belief systems.

Irrational beliefs become integrated into and are the basis of all religions and are the main root system that leads to violence and war. Today, “culture,” “civilization” and “ethnicity” are code words for religion so as to make barbaric wars of religion seem like a thing of the past and not a part of the modern “secular” world that likes to pride itself on its rationality, science, and logic.

But the Roman Empires and the Islamic Caliphates and the Crusades and the Inquisitions continue on, re-carving out new territories with new names, and it is all the same old bellum sacrum. Only the names have been changed to deceive the indoctrinated.

The commandment forbidding killing was not broken by those who have waged wars on the authority of God, or those who have imposed the death-penalty on criminals when representing the authority of the state, the justest and most reasonable source of power. ~ “Saint” Augustine

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tzo's picture
Columnist tzo
Columns on STR: 64

tzo now lives in your head.


Samarami's picture

You've a genuine Root-Striker here, Tzo. This puts the finger on the pulse of why it's virtually impossible to get a "libertarian consensus" in any wide mass of folks. When you enter religious dogma you dismiss all cognitive, critical thinking.

Thus "elections". "Democracy". "Our-Great-Nation". "Concordats".

The enormity of the truth is incredible.


Tony Pivetta's picture

This is from Nicholas Strakon of WTM Enterprises. You can read the full article at
I am a nonbeliever, but I understand that civilizations exist on particular foundations and work in particular ways. So it is with the civilization I love, the West — once known as Western Christendom, as anachronistic as that name may now be. Though not a Christian, much less a Catholic, I am easy with the dictum of Hilaire Belloc, a Catholic, that "the Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith.

When I relaxed my own cultural Bolshevism, twenty-five years ago or so, and began looking closer at the West and the achievements of Western Christendom, I was struck most powerfully by the success of Western Christianity in desacralizing the state. Two giants are always credited with laying the foundation for that pillar of the West-to-come: St. Ambrose, who defied Theodosius the Great and, for his unrepented crimes, denied the emperor entry to the Cathedral at Milan; and St. Augustine (baptized by Ambrose), who distinguished between the City of God and the City of Man. Under the classic Roman religious-political ideology, there was only one City, to which ran not only all roads but also all devotion and allegiances.


The desacralization of the state and the recognition of a separate City of God — if I may quote an observation of mine from 2010 — "set up a moral authority in competition with statist presumptions: an authority, indeed, that insisted it was much superior to that of the state as well as fundamentally distinct from it." In combination with the geography of northern and mountain Europe, and some of the Germanic and Celtic cultural legacies, political desacralization at the hands of Christians blocked the growth of a successor super-state in the post-Roman era and sowed the seeds for peculiarly Western ideas of individual freedom and restrictions on state power.


In Mediæval Europe, ironically enough, new roads led to Rome, after the shattering of unitary political power; and the more ambitious of the political rulers were not happy about that. Desacralization always had its enemies. As nation states began to coalesce, emerging national rulers strove to derive their authority from their own myths, subverting and subordinating the authority of the Church.


Glock27's picture

Greetings Samarai.
Can we count on just plain ol stupider than a box or rocks?

nost8r's picture

Nice followup to your previous article tzo. I still don't buy it. I think statists come in all shapes and sizes and will use any means necessary to solidify their power and enslave people. They should be opposed whether they use religion, philosophy, or just good looks. Besides, there are plenty of examples of atheist statists, but anecdotes don't prove a causal relationship, even when those anecdotes can be found in abundance.

tzo's picture

The article is aimed more at the enslaved, not the enslavers. The enslavers will indeed use whatever works. Just seems like religion works best.
"They should be opposed whether they use religion..."
Exactly. But the point is, the enslavers are not opposed BECAUSE they use religion and other superstition-based systems to eliminate opposition, much more than they use force.
The Statists I am referring to are the followers, the enablers, that lend support to the sociopaths, without which the sociopaths could not have power. IMO, in order to understand the audience that you may be trying to persuade, you have to understand all the hooks that government has sunk into family, school, religion, and language. Government is not some isolated entity that can just be extracted from many people without upsetting all those other institutions in which they have as their very foundations as people.
If it seems hopeless that I may wish to persuade people to abandon their set of religious beliefs that are used to justify the State, then isn't it also hopeless to persuade those same people to abandon their governmental beliefs while they continue to hold on to religious beliefs that justify the governmental ones?
Irrational beliefs that are used to justify aggression is the target, and government and religion are just two sides of the same coin. The dam of rationality has two holes in it, and plugging one hole doesn't stop the flood from coming through the other. And other such colorful analogies. :>

Glock27's picture


Why is it that those of faith have to always be in the act of justifying the state?

tzo's picture

They aren't. But when organized religions (the step after faith) grow to a large size and get incorporated into government, or spawn government, then they have become one with the government and must justify it. That doesn't even mean that all the members of the religion agree with the support of the State, but that has become one of its main functions. I ain't attacking any indivduals when I go on about religion, just the organizations that inevitable begin to abuse the "authority" granted to them when they become popular.
Not all Christians support the State. But does anyone really believe that most don't?

Tony Pivetta's picture


To paraphrase Rothbard, it is no crime to be ignorant of history and religion, both of which are specialized and even dismal disciplines. But it is totally irresponsibile to have loud and vociferous opinions on such subjects while remaining in a state of ignorance.

Those Christians who evaded the gallows and gulags in, e.g., Revolutionary France and Soviet Russia, would have had a hearty laugh at your bald assertion Christians are more apt to support the State than are atheists. Count me among the guffawing benighted.  

I submit the following for your rumination. WARNING: THIS PASSAGE WILL BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR DOGMA. 

"Without justice, what are kingdoms but great robber bands? What are robber bands but small kingdoms? The band is itself made up of men, is ruled by the command of a leader, and is held together by a social pact. Plunder is divided in accordance with an agreed upon law. If this evil increases by the inclusion of dissolute men to the extent that it takes over territory, establishes headquarters, occupies cities, and subdues peoples, it publicly assumes the title of kingdom!

"A fitting and true response was once given to Alexander the Great by an apprehended pirate. When asked by the king what he thought he was doing by infesting the sea, he replied with noble insolence, 'What do you think you are doing by infesting the whole world? Because I do it with one puny boat, I am called a pirate; because you do it with a great fleet, you are called an emperor.'"

~St. Augustine of Hippo, from *The City of God*, written between 413 A.D. and 426 A.D., at the height of the Roman Empire and well after Constantine legalized Christianity in 312 A.D. At this point, presumably, the Whore of Babylon had grown to a large enough size to get incorporated into government, or spawn government, or become one with government, or whatever it is the black legends claim as this evil institution's legacy. 

N.B., St. Augustine is one of the *four original Doctors of the Church*. The Church holds him in high regard for his contributions to her philosophy and theology. Odd, is it not, for such a State-loving institution to bequeath so lofty a title to such a bloody anarchist? 

Glock27's picture

I would not doubt what yu are saying. It's just somethimes when I get on here and read this stuff, I really wonder if anyone is really thinking or are they knee jerking to a comment. So much of the stuff has been hashed out already and it's like no one here is going to come into agreement on anything. I would hate to think of what a society of these giants would be like, really. I don't see us haveing much more than what we already have and possibly even less.
I remember a story Limbaugh told one thanksgiving week about pilgrams. When they landed they all were suppose to work and all would get a share of the produce. Well some worked and others didn't. The workers were pissed off and said no more. So what's his name allotted parcels of land out to each family and said, there, now, go and survive on your own. They did.
Where does justification come from and who decrees it?

mjackso6's picture

Glock27- The Hell of it is, even extremely intelligent folks seem to be perfectly capable of being 'dumb as a box of rocks' in one way or another. Sometimes it's awfully hard to predict just who's going to come down with a case of 'the dumb-a$z' based on how generally intelligent they are.

nost8r- I tend to agree that statists will hop onto any 'train' that will take them where they want to go. Most of them are opportunistic predators (only the hungriest, most ruthless ones climb far up the political 'food web') and will use whatever means that present themselves to get whatever they're after.

I have to lump the athiest statists in with the religious ones, however. Those athiests, folks like Joseph Stalin, used athiesm in the same manner as the religionists used their various 'faiths'. True athiesm (the 100% certain knowledge of and belief in the non-existence of a Supreme whatever) is as ultimately unprovable as any religion that posits unprovable notions about god/gods and unfathomable 'higher planes of existence'.

Both suppositions require faith; athiesm in the ~sure~ (but ultimately unprovable) non-existence of a Supreme Being, religion in the (certainly unprovable) ~existence~ of such an entity. The only intellectually honest position is agnosticism, a lack of unprovable belief ~or~ disbelief.

I can't say for sure, but I think that there's something to this supposition. I can't for the life of me think of a single attempt at agnostic Statism. I'm more than happy to be proven wrong though, if anyone can think of such an example...

Mike Jackson

Glock27's picture

MJ--my remark was a humorous retort to Samarami but I cannot disagree with the overall general statement you made regarding a box of rocks. Stupid is not curable. We have noted that in the past election, we have noted it in Dianne Frankenstein, and Scary Reid. and our honorable Jehovah [o]bama.To Boast. I have a Masters of Science in Learning Disabillities with state certificationss to teach the emotionally impaired, mentally impaired, physically impaired, deaf and blind. But. I have always maintained because of anecdotal evidence that a degree does not bestow intelligence upon anyone. I think you can pick that up from my comments in numerous places. I would be willing to give up my own life if I could be assured of the death of our current polictical structure.
I do not believe we will ever see a free society because it would tolerate beliefs and those would take advantage of this and do what they are doing to the USA now. Samarami and Suverans2 are right. You have to be free right now or you will never be free.

Paul's picture

I don't buy this either. The Roman Empire did have a long life prior to Christianity, for example. The early Romans were a pretty (religiously) tolerant bunch.

The state has used every possible justification for its existence. Apologia have been written for it by people of conventional religions, no religion, scientists, and even libertarians ("the only legitimate job for the state is the protection of rights"). The state corrupts and twists every human institution to its end. For example, do we condemn learning because the state runs "schools"?

One can just as well make the case that religious people, having their first allegiance to a god, are more resistant to the state than others. The Quakers are a prime example of non-cooperative religious folks.

The problem is not the person who professes a faith, per se. The problem is the number of people who give their true first allegiance to the state - whether they claim to profess some other faith or not.

Anyway, even assuming your paranoia of religion is the most sensible way to look at it, I don't see where you are going with this. Are you saying we can never have liberty until we convert everyone into atheists? Or what?

Suverans2's picture

("the only legitimate job for the state is the protection of rights"). ~ Paul

Correct! ...the protection of its members natural rights, to be more precise.

And, the fact that "the state corrupts and twists every human institution to its end", (and I do agree, which is why I am in favor of a well-armed militia[1]), has no bearing whatsoever, in my opinion, on the validity of the original statement.

[1] "Those who trade liberty for security have neither." ~ John Adams

Paul's picture

I am having difficulty believing what I read here. Suverans, who has declared his independence from the state, depends on it for protection of his "natural" rights?

Even if you believe the fiction of the existence of rights, it's hard to see how any rational and aware person can look to the prime and constant violator of rights to be their protectors.

Not only that, but do you really feel comfortable around here, justifying the state's existence?

Perhaps I misread what you wrote.

Suverans2's picture

Please, Paul, show me where I said I "[depend] on [the state] for protection".

"And, the fact that "the state corrupts and twists every human institution to its end", (and I do agree, which is why I am in favor of a well-armed militia...)"

Unless, of course, you think "a well-armed militia" is the state.

And, we are all too familiar with your no "just claim" to anything stance; might makes right in your mind, it would seem, so we needn't flail that horse any more.

Perhaps you did misread what I wrote, but it seems more like you intentionally twisted what I wrote, but I hope I am wrong, because it would make me sad to think that you had to stoop that low.

Suverans2's picture

Still waiting for you to "show me where I said I '[depend] on [the state] for protection'", Paul, or an apology if you are unable to do so.

Oh, and I am comfortable with what I stated, since I did not "justify the state's existence", I simply stated its only lawful justification for existence. It is lawful, because the collective can only rightfully do that which is lawful for the individual to do. And, since I know of no man-made state, which limits itself to its "only lawful justification for existence", I cannot "justify the state's existence".

    "If every man has the right to defend - even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right - its reason for existing, its lawfulness - is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force - for the same reason - cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups." ~ Excerpted from The Law by Frédéric Bastiat

Fortunately, for me, I do not have to be comfortable with what you claim I stated; since it is your false claim, it is you who must be comfortable with it.

Suverans2's picture

"One can just as well make the case that religious people, having their first allegiance to a god, are more resistant to the state than others." ~ Paul

One most certainly can, Paul.

"Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism." ~ Vladimir LENIN

mhstahl's picture

("Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism." ~ Vladimir LENIN")

Suverans, it is also, not coincidentally-nor alone-I think, inseparable from Randism and there is the rub.



Suverans2's picture

I am finding it difficult to disagree with you on that, Mike.

tzo's picture

You cannot "convert" a person to liberty if their religious beliefs divinely justify the existence of aggression done in the name of the State. If you can convince them of the evils of government, you can convince them of the evils of religion.
Is all religion evil? No. It's fine and dandy to believe in God or Jesus or who or whatever. But believing that a paragraph in Romans justifies the existence of government and war or that some passage on jihad justifies killing nonbelievers, then I hope you can admit that there will be problems.
I guess my essays are ways for me to examine all the ways government is attached to everything in people's brains, and to understand that government is not some isolated idea that can be banished without disturbing many other cherished beliefs in many people heads. Quite simply, government and religion are the two main branches that come from the external authority root that are used to justify aggression.
If a person TRULY believes the Bible and the Romans justification for government, how will you dissuade him from his belief in government without dissuading him from his belief in his religion? How can you separate the two?
If you can persuade a person (and many are NOT going to be persuaded) to critically examine and eliminate his belief in external authority, then his belief in government and his belief in the unjust facets of his religion will both be eliminated. Package deal.
All I am saying is that we cannot have a rational society until more and more people learn to be rational. I prefer this educational approach over picking and choosing which subjects are best dealt with rationally and which are best left to irrationality. That's all.

Glock27's picture

From some reading I have been doing I am beginning to observe that legally officiated legislators, El Presidenta downward and side-ways, that they have come to believe they own everything--they are the government so this sanctions their right, in some obtruse manner, have evolved this belief. In so doing they also evolved the thought that "If we own everything, then we also own the people." So now we can come to understand that the government owns everything, even the people. In the past four years this has become more evident--they are gradually getting the set of testicals to believe this is exclusively true and they feel comfortable openly expressing it. What do we do to prevent them from coming to the full blossome of belief that the truly own the people yet.
Just a thought I podered for a moment.

Samarami's picture


    "...One can just as well make the case that religious people, having their first allegiance to a god, are more resistant to the state than others..."

I'll amend Paul's statement to declare "religious people" should be more resistant to (the psychopathic leaders of) "The State" than others.

They're not , but they "should" be. At least I've not met one, and I've met not a few back when I was looking for valid authorities to lead me to become a good father and husband. I began my exodus from all that detritus nigh onto 30 years ago.

Because the Book promulgated by virtually all of them (I'm referring to "Christians" and "Jews" here) is a declaration against political action, and an admonition outlining the consequences of human government. It is a chronology of a family (beginning with the first two created human beings) of folks who apparently had their eyes opened supernaturally to the evils of those predator and parasitic schizoids who would jockey and lie and deceive their way into "kingship".

The focal point (as I see it) or back bone of the entire tome is encapsulated in one short, rather obscure, but very central verse: 1 Samuel 8:5.

The "kings" morphed -- as they all do -- into the groups we know of as "The State", or "Our-Great-Nation" ("nation" used interchangeably with "gentile" in various renditions and translations of the book) -- "the government".

I often marvel at the fact that "religious" people SHOULD be anarchists -- and anarchists "should" espouse a belief in creation (not "creationism" or religious dogma) if they have any observational skills whatever.

The enormity of the truth is incredible.


tzo's picture

Sam, I like the direction you moved in by saying that religious people

"should be more resistant to (the psychopathic leaders of "The State" than others."

even though through your firsthand observations (and mine) the opposite is the case.

But I can't quite got along with this, either. Religious people rely on scriptures to tell them what is right and what is wrong. Anyone who has to depend upon a book, and not their own critical faculty, is not thinking and—not surprisingly—every scripture collection seems to have passages that can be interpreted by the experts as a justification for aggression by certain persons of authority.

The Good Books all say "Thou shalt not kill, but thine governments shall."

So religious people get to feel all good about joining up with the great Princes of Peace because the "Thou shalt not kill" resonates with their sense of justice. But think about it: They wouldn't have chosen the religion if it DIDN'T agree with their sense of justice. So they really don't need it at all to tell them what to do in order to be good. People do not join religions in order to have someone tell them to do things they don't want to do.

But once they buy in based on the obvious good parts and submit to this "righteous" authority, they are ripe for being tricked into supporting unethical behavior when undertaken by the proper authorities.

There is no upside to surrendering the critical faculty.

Samarami's picture


    "...They wouldn't have chosen the religion if it DIDN'T agree with their sense of justice..."

It would be an interesting statistical study to determine what number of people who are actively engaged in one form of religion or another actually "chose" religion in the first place. Here's what I'm getting at: just like "statism" (a religion in itself, if you'd like to think that one through), most people in every culture grew up with some form of religion inculcated into their brains from infancy. Many have changed from one religious outfit to another (religion is the second largest business -- exceeded in revenue only by government. Think about it -- an all-encompassing symbiosis). But it would have been virtually unthinkable to not to participate in at least a modicum of one religion or another. Unnatural. Desertion of everything one holds to be true. Rejection of family, friends and community. Almost as evil as anarchy.

I doubt many on this forum spend a lot of time thinking about just what a small percentage of the population we and our general philosophy represent. We razz and spar with each other and some times get down-right angry over nuances of "liberty". A few get all too close to rudeness in their chastisement of others in what they believe is "real" libertarianism or anarchy.

But we share a general philosophy that is outside the realm of religion or statism. Beyond mere rejection, what we espouse stands outside either. Most of us can divide superstition from belief (we all have "beliefs" of one type or another). We acknowledge government for what it is. We see the king, and he is naked.

That said, what I was referring to about "Christians and Jews" -- and, if they really believe that Hebrew Book that I'll not disagree with you seems to advocate violence (looking at it with a preconceived context -- I won't debate that here or now) -- if they really believe it, they would have no choice but to embrace anarchy. From stem to stern it eschews human rulership. From beginning to end it admonishes harmony with a Creator ("Natural Law") and rejection of a king ("political action").

And "libertarians" or "anarchists" would look with a jaundiced brow at the shallow "science" (mostly tax-funded in one form or another) that has produced the "theory" of evolution.


Jim Davies's picture

Sam, was Darwin really funded by taxes? I didn't think so.  He would also be the first to agree that evolution is a theory; there's no need to put quotes around that word. All findings of true science are theories, including that of heliocentricity. After the elapse of time and the repeated failure of multiple tests and challenges to dislodge a theory, however, it does acquire a certain status of reliability, at least for practical purposes. It would be unwise to jump off a tall building and expect not to fall, even though the theory of gravitational attraction will never become 100% certain.
Your point that much contemporary "science" is tax-funded is true and worrying, though. The great discoveries of classical science were often made by gentlemen scholars, supported by money that had often been earned by honest trade; Darwin married into the Wedgewood family, for example. Being independent, these scientists were intellectually free to follow wherever the evidence led them, regardless of prevailing superstition. Today, that's much less so. "Global Warming" is a case in point.

Samarami's picture


    "...All findings of true science are theories..."

You'd be disappointed if I didn't josh you some, Jim -- would you not?

You may have missed my recent proclamation in regard to a "true scientist" I'm proud to recognize right in my own family:

    Rebekah Helen. Rebekah ("Becky") falls into the category of a true scientist. She perhaps spends more time and effort in discovery, asking questions, doing background research, constructing and testing hypotheses, analyzing and drawing conclusions than most of her more erudite colleagues. And when it comes time to communicate her findings Becky's pronouncements are not the least tempered by concern for funding: grants, soft loans, or tax incentives. She might just have an eye toward awards.

    Becky has no qualms in announcing her conclusions. She has no worry about the "...stirs and gasps in the scientific community...."

    "Grandpa! Your breath stinks!"

    I do not question her assessment. I find mouthwash. Quickly.

That, my dear friend, is true science.


Glock27's picture

Greetings Sam,

That was simply elegant...beautifully put also, for a Texan. You said you taught history at one time. World History of U.S.?

mhstahl's picture


" was Darwin really funded by taxes? I didn't think so."

Didn't Darwin do most of his research while traveling on the HMS Beagle, a Royal Navy warship on a naval survey mission to the Galapagos and other points?

Also, wasn't he affiliated with Cambridge, a public institution granted land and tax abatement by Henry III in the 13th century?

That does not discredit Darwin's work, of course, but it seems difficult to credit him with true financial independence, don't you think?

Being German, I'm inclined to point out that Darwin's speculation about why species develop-pangenesis-is not taken seriously today. The more accepted view is that of genetic inheritance, which is based upon the experimentation of Gregor Mendel-an Austrian monk and the true father of modern evolutionary theory...who happened to be funded by the Church (which is not ironic, as far as I know the Catholic Church has no issue with evolution to this day.)

It occurs to me that since Mendel's work was available-but largely unknown- while Darwin was wasting his time and genius with pangenesis, the scholarship of evolution might have been better served with the more modern system of peer-review.

Just a thought.



Jim Davies's picture

Nice come-back, Mike :-)
True, Darwin hitched a lift on the Beagle. Who bought his ticket? - I don't know. And true, he was at Cambridge. So was I. Does that make Henry III an anarchist?
Mendel, too, was a great scientist, I imply nothing to the contrary. Allow me though to split a hair; was he not Austrian, rather than German?

Suverans2's picture

Like this:

    "That said, what I was referring to about "Christians and Jews" -- and, if they really believe that Hebrew Book that I'll not disagree with you seems to advocate violence (looking at it with a preconceived context -- I won't debate that here or now) -- if they really believe it, they would have no choice but to embrace anarchy. From stem to stern it eschews human rulership. From beginning to end it admonishes harmony with a Creator ("Natural Law") and rejection of a king ("political action")." ~ Sam

HOWEVER, I will make one correction, that the Jews true dogma, (doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative), does not come from "that Hebrew Book", commonly known as the Bible, it comes from the so-called Babylonian Talmud, "the collection of ancient Rabbinic writings consisting of the Mishnah and the Gemara, constituting the basis of religious authority in Orthodox Judaism", and they are, in my opinion, about as contradistinct as fire and water.

Samarami's picture


    "... the Jews true dogma, (doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative), does not come from "that Hebrew Book", commonly known as the Bible, it comes from the so-called Babylonian Talmud..."

Which, as we've previously discussed, marks just one of many distinct differences that separate Israelites (ethnic, not necessarily "religious") from what has come to be called "Jews".


Suverans2's picture

I had to laugh, my friend, (not at you), but at the thought of proving that one is an "ethnic" Yisra'elite, (not to be confused with Israeli).

ethnic (n.) late 14c., Scottish, "heathen, pagan," and having that sense first in English; as an adj. from late 15c. from L. ethnicus, Gk. ethnikos, from ethnos "band of people living together, nation, people," properly "people of one's own kind"... ~ Online Etymology Dictionary

Speaking of "band of people living together"; after about 10 years of exhaustive study, it is my opinion that Jews were of the house of Judah, (born or naturalized [adopted]), Yisra'elites were of the house of Yisra'el, (born or naturalized [adopted]).

And, we haven't even touched on the "religious" Jews yet.

"Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon."

Samarami's picture


    "...Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon..."

Let's not forget our conversation some months back. There might be people -- perhaps Ron Paul types -- lurking on this site who will one day put us all to shame.


Glock27's picture

Reading recently pre-elections, that polls implicated that less than 19% of church goers don't vote. This was when the information regarding the attack on the Catholic church and use of baby stoppers.

Samarami's picture

Given that one has given rise to the other, it's not surprising that 81+% of "church-goers" vote in government elections. Psychopaths of state and sociopaths of religion have walked hand-in-glove forever and ever.


Glock27's picture

That didn't come out right Sam. It's suppose to be only about 19% do vote, the others stay home. Mind is gettin foggy.

Samarami's picture

I didn't see the report, Glock, but I would have guessed the other way around: that 81% of "church goers" are also "voters". Because religion in general is so soundly yoked with state. I'm trying to remember the sobriquets, but "religious right" and two or three other names for political "blocks" have given rise to Jimmie Carter, etc etc in "mainstream politics".


Glock27's picture

Greetings Sam,

Well--when I read it I was quiet supprised. I guess there's just no Jerry Falwell around to stir them up. Where I got that number I cannot recollect, so the validity of it could be way off.

Jim Davies's picture

Yet another blockbuster, Tzo. A delight and pleasure to read.
Might you accept a friendly amendment? - to "In today’s world, superstition is just plain irrational".
Superstition, I suggest, is by definition always irrational, not simply in today's world where rational enquiry has explained so many of yesterday's mysteries. Might it not be more accurate to say that while previously it was understandable, today superstition is superfluous?

Glock27's picture

Greetings Jim.
Irrational to who? The believer doesn't see it as irrational, so how can it be irrational? It is somewhat of a quandry. You may find it irrationals, I may find it imaginative and others may simply not care one way or another. Is it possible that a believer in a superstition can be rational on topics? A person who straps a bomb to his body, goes into a theater full of people and sets it off, now that is irrational to me, but to the person doing it there is perfect logic and makes perfect sense to him. I just have a difficult time is separating some things. Now to say I can grow green grass on my head would be irrational, but, at the same time it is possible to do. I am in a quandry. Some things are rational and some things are not--who is the tie breaker in this?

PaulTheCabDriver's picture

As a Christian and an anarchist, here is my take on it. First, historically speaking, the only successful, long-term, anarchistic societies have been based upon Christianity. These include Ireland, (post- Roman days) medieval Iceland, and colonial Pennsylvania. Can someone please name me an agnostic or atheistic, long term, (more than a decade) anarchistic society? I can think of none.
Secondly, though many tyrannies have had religious components (eg: the British Empire, the Spanish Empire), the absolute worst tyrannies in history have been atheistic. Communism and Nazism are the most hideous examples.
Second, statism is a form of idolatry (substituting something else in the place of God) and humans have twisted many aspects of Christianity to embrace it. The Bible clearly does not support statism, or human government. When Moses was given the Law, it included nothing about hierarchies, nor of kings or princes. When the people of Israel demanded a king, the Prophet Samuel warned them that they were rejecting God in doing so. When Christ was tempted, Satan showed him "all the kingdoms of the Earth" and promised to give them to Him, if only He would worship Satan. While Christ denied the temptation, He never contradicted Satan's claim that the Kingdoms of the Earth were Satanic in origin. When Christ was asked about paying taxes, He said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's", knowing full well that the people who asked him that question were familiar with the Psalms which say "The Earth is the Lord's and ALL IT CONTAINS, the world and ALL WHO DWELL IN IT." In fact, one of the charges that were brought against Christ at His trial was tax avoidance. The Bible condemns war in no uncertain terms (James 4:1). It condemns violence in dozens of places.
Many would point to Romans 13 as justification for statism and Christian support for the state, but this passage does not do that at all. Romans 13:1 states that the powers that be are ordained of God, and the rest of the passage then goes forth to describe this ordination. But an ordination is a set of explicit instructions; it is NOT carte blanche to do whatever you want. In fact, the only things the "ordained powers" are authorized to do in this passage are to provide justice, and punish crime. Anything that a government does above and beyond this is exceeding its ordination, and is not authorized.
The Christian church made a very big error when it allowed Constantine to co-opt it into the state, and Christians (and the world) have been paying for this error ever since. But the fact that many Christians are in error does not negate the fact that the Bible does not support government. Nor does it support the contention that Christianity is (or should be) friendly to worldly systems.

Suverans2's picture
    "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar...

And, what was the only "decree" spoken of, specifically, in the so-called New Testament?

    "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."

"...a decree...that all the world should be taxed."

Then there's this...

    "...we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition...and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes"

Actually insurrection would have been a better translation of the ancient Greek word stasis.

insurrection n. 1. A rising against civil or political authority; the open and active opposition of a number of persons to the execution of a law in a city or state. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

"A rising against civil or political authority"!

Anyone interested in what the "sect', i.e. party, 'of the Nazarenes", which Paul was accused of being a "ringleader", was?

tzo's picture

Hi PaulTheCabDriver,

When I was a kid, I remember my Mom saying that the basic message of Christianity could be summed up in one word: Love. If Jesus was the main man in the story, then the portion of the Bible set aside for him (a thin sliver) seems to back that up. Good enough for me. Whatever some guy who never met Jesus named Paul said a few years later (his scripture being a composite created from hundreds of existing versions that some self-proclaimed holy folks declared to be the official word of God some 400 years later) really doesn't seem relevant to me.

I think any proposed evidence of Jesus supporting government is handled quite well here:

I see no conflict between being a Christian and an anarchist. In fact, it seems quite natural.

But you gotta admit, that is just not how the vast majority of Christians view the thing. I could be wrong on that, but point me to large collections of congregations where the people and their pastors are loudly condemning government murder of innocent people, including their own government. Show me the churches that advocate voluntary society without government.

The entire religion was spawned by the Catholic church, whose Popes trace their lineage back to Peter, who actually hung out with Jesus. Has one single solitary Pope from within the Papal State ever set down his golden scepter for a moment and proposed that anarchy is the best form of social organization and that government must violate the teachings of Jesus just to exist? That States, his included, are unethical?

After all is said and done, I really can't believe that it is bad luck or coincidence that 99% of Christians don't think as you do when it comes to government. Faith and belief is one thing, but when it morphs into religion and that religion becomes widespread, now you have an organization that is quite similar to a government and the type of people who will take power are the exact opposite of the ones who, in theory, should.

And the reason why they have power is that they have convinced the masses that they posses external authority, just like a government does. Power grabbing human beings who ascend to the top of such structures will quite naturally use the authority to justify the use of force at their whim. Human civilization in a nutshell up to now.

I am not belittling anyone's faith or beliefs. My observation is that when you collect up a group of people who share the same faith and beliefs and create a hierarchical structure within that group wherein a few are experts and really know the details and are given authority by the rest, then that is the recipe for government every bit as much as a horde or horsemen storming over a hill to capture a village.

Christianity, in theory, should not support government. But it does. The Constitution, in theory, should support only a minimalist, non-growing government dedicated to the defense of rights. But it does not. Some theories, due to their inherent flaws, are just plain dangerous to put into practice and should be avoided.

Samarami's picture


    "...The Christian church made a very big error when it allowed Constantine to co-opt it into the state, and Christians (and the world) have been paying for this error ever since. But the fact that many Christians are in error does not negate the fact that the Bible does not support government. Nor does it support the contention that Christianity is (or should be) friendly to worldly systems..."

My only disagreement, Paul of the Cabs, is this: When you use the term, "The Christian church" you're reifying -- insulating the scallywags who collaborated with the Constantinians to adulterate Truth (whatever "Truth" is to you) from their evil deeds. That conspiracy has morphed into this gigantic symbiosis of church and state. And it is those conspiracies that gave rise to this massive ("catholic") group of deceivers masquerading as "religious leaders" right here, right now -- in every shape, size, color, dogma imaginable -- most of whom march hand-in-glove with the beast.

The Catholic Church and all her Protesting daughters.

Within one or more of those outfits may be a remnant I'll speak of in a minute, sitting in pews (what an awful eponym for a bench on which to place your smelly butt), awaiting their time and their message.

And to this extant Tzo is (in my opinion) correct to lambast that dogmatic group (or any dogmatic group for that matter) of perpetrators who led large masses of folks into tyranny through the phenomenon of "religion". Once again, it's important to be able to understand the difference between "belief" and "religion". Far too many "libertarian" writers and speakers fail to distinguish that dichotomy.

This failure results in insults -- overt and covert -- to that very remnant who may soon come on board to put all of us schmexperts to shame in their capacity to help lead us and our families, friends and neighbors into true freedom and sovereignty. And it affronts "believers" who are right now reaching out to libertarians for help.

That's speculation on my part. Please don't accuse me of "superstition" in this matter. It's much more deeply grounded than "superstition".

The word "Christian" appears only three times in the "new" addition to that all-time best selling Hebrew book; and in none of the three is it anything that could be interpreted as complimentary. Never do Peter, or James, or Barnabus, or Shaul ("Paul"), or any of the other heavy-hitters in that segment of the Book refer to each other as "Christians". It is an epithet -- nothing I would wish to be called. Yet a number of my "libertarian" friends (confused, but "libertarian" nonetheless) do call me that. Or "a Jew" (I'm not).

I could outline the history of "popes" and "emperors" from the first Holy Roman Empire to the third (the German word for "empire" by-the-way, is "reich"). But I'll stop with my observation that many, many otherwise talented and effective writers for liberty and freedom become inept and clumsy and impudent when trying to reach out to the "believers".


Glock27's picture


Just out of curiosity, having read your, post wondering then if the black americans and indian american continue to have a right to hold all future generations responsible for what happemed to their ancestors. How long do we pay, is there a reprieve. Maybe I missed something. I have a hard time following some of this stuff because my history is rather weak in a lot of areas.

Samarami's picture


    "... How long do we pay, is there a reprieve...."

I don't "pay". Do you?

Of course, I avoid the use of the term (or the mindset) "right". That term implies I look to some authority to grant said "right".

I don't so look. I maintain sovereignty. I have no "rights". If I persevere in a program of liberty I have no need for "rights".

Natural law? That's a different story, for another time.


Suverans2's picture

Oh, fercrisake, Sam, not you, too! If a right is a "just claim", and it is, are you seriously stating that you have no "just claim" to anything, not your life, not your liberty and not your lawfully acquired possessions? Or, are you going to create your own definition of the word "right", as you have for the word "sovereign". I can be a "brain surgeon" as long as I define "brain surgeon" and as a "handyman".

Glock27's picture

Greetings Suverans2
Come Suve, if someone as dumb as I am about all this stuff and I can understand sam you should to oH Great and Mighty Learned one. A right does come from an authority, someone granting you the right to perform in a certain way. Is a right a "just Claim"? What is a Just Claim"? How will I know it is a just claim, might a judge tell me that or who tells me?
1 I sling the word around also and shouldn't. Thee's a lot of things I shouldn't do but do.
You've been in a fiesty mood lately. LOL :))))))

Suverans2's picture

G'day Glock27,

"oH Great and Mighty Learned one"? Was this another one of your feeble attempts at humor?

Question for you, "dumb as I am", (your words, not mine lol), would you say that you have a "just claim", i.e. a "right", to your own life, and thus you have the "right", i.e. the "authority[1]", to defend it? Or, would you say that you don't?

[1] See RIGHT, n. definition #11.

Glock27's picture

Just kicked out a pm. Dont want it all over the place. Whether I hae the right or not makes no difference to me I will stop anyone trying to take my life, wife, grandkids or kids. Where does Just claim come from? And who invokes it?