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Was America Founded on Judeo-Christian Values?

Robert Dimuro

Posted on September 16, 2018 16:36

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Does anybody in politics or the media have a grip on what America really is?

The popular Conservative idiom that virtually everyone has heard - “Judeo-Christian values” - is a widely-accepted, bipartisan generalization about America’s founding moral philosophy. However, contemporary and historical evidence challenges this way of thinking about America.

This is not to say that a straight line connects America’s founding principles with the principles to which America adheres today. In reality, we are so misguided about what America is and what it ought to be that, in my estimation, if the founders were able to time-travel to America at the dawn of the 21st century they would not recognize any of our institutions or ways of thinking as “American.”

I say this not as a testament to the incredible technological innovations or vast influxes of new peoples and cultures that characterize the modern era but rather as a result of transformations in political ideology, governmental structure, and philosophical attitudes that would completely alienate our founding fathers if they could witness America in action today.

In last week’s article, I repudiated our immense federal bureaucracy as a “fourth branch of government” that does not represent the people and is only beholden to its own power. This is not only an alteration of government structure but also a complete transformation of the role of our federal government in how it operates and the responsibilities that it’s expected to fulfill.

Earlier this month, Tucker Carlson blasted multi-billion-dollar corporations such as Amazon and Walmart for paying many of their employees wages that are low enough to qualify them for welfare and food stamps. Objectivist Amy Peikoff rightfully called Tucker out on his position, questioning why it’s immoral for Amazon to pay their workers wages that are merely dictated by the free market.

After struggling to answer this question, Tucker said that it’s a part of our “Christian code” for the powerful in society to have a moral obligation to look after those who are less fortunate.

Almost immediately, Tucker realized that this answer would open him up to attacks because he invoked Christianity in his response; however, the only defense Tucker could create for himself was saying that that’s simply how he feels. In other words, he failed to derive a secular argument for his position against the low wages given to employees working for multinational corporations.

Tucker's failure to derive a secular argument is not surprising for someone who adheres to a Christian moral philosophy. However, for the sake of logical consistency, Tucker (and any Conservative) must not try to claim that this philosophy is the continuation of the founders’ ways of thinking.

The moral philosophy of the founders is a product of the Enlightenment, which was a movement centered around reason - a repudiation of the Christian dogma that had oppressed Europe since Late Antiquity.

When reading the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, it’s clear that the founders promoted freedom, happiness, and individual rights over the principles espoused by the oligarchs of Christian theology.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on September 16, 2018 16:36

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