Recently, I wrote that "[t]he essential principle of American politics is that it insists upon the exercise of cold reason in governance; revelation can play no part, nor can any religion have any kind of privileged status. Period. The End."
I truly thought that this glancing reference to one of the more famous statements on the nature of the US government by one of our most famous statesmen was patently obvious, especially since I dropped other hints in my post as to my reference, even going so far as actually to name the author.
But apparently, no one caught it. Which would be no big deal, except that, amusingly, one of our far-right commenters, Fidel Cigar, found the invocation of "cold reason" to be nothing less than the political philosophy of "lefty totalitarian greaseballs".
So...for those of you who agree with Mr (or Ms.) Cigar, that a government that relies solely upon "cold reason" is little more than a police state run by slippery, Brylcreem-challenged leftists, here is the original quote I was obviously referring to:
Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence. Let those [materials] be moulded into general intelligence, [sound] morality and, in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.By the way, I didn't make the quote up.
One other point. Notice how, for this fellow, sound morality proceeds directly from materials fashioned through the exercise of cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason. On the other hand, for Fidel Cigar, morality has nothing to do with reason. As well as nothing to do with any knowledge of history, science, and a slew of other reality-based paths to knowledge, as his ignorant and bizarre comments demonstrated.
PS For the pedantic, it is true that the statesmen's topic is not religion versus reason in government. Rather it is the importance of obeying laws from the danger of the lynch mentality that would, say, hang congressmen who disagree with the president on foreign policy. Because the separation of church and state is such an essential principle of our government, it is quite appropriate to use this quote as I did.