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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 29, 2013 8:30am-9:01am EDT

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>> the power of this state. benjamin wiker obtained a ph.d. in ethics from vanderbilt university and has taught in many colleges, the brokers moral darwinism, how we became hedonists showing darwinism completely undermines the ethical foundations of christianity, judaism and islam because its materialism, cosmology is incompatible with
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natural law. he has also co written books, the architects of the culture of death and ten books that screwed up the world. his book today is "worshipping the state: how liberalism became our state religion". please welcome benjamin wiker. [applause] >> thank you very much and thank you for bringing me here once again. cit is benjamin wiker. everyone does that. it is note singh, not even a small one. "worshipping the state: how liberalism became our state religion," the title of my book is obviously all level in-your-face, makes a rather outlandish claim, first implies liberals worship the state and second that liberalism itself has become a kind of established religion. that brings us to an obvious set
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of questions. is this just overblown rhetoric to sell a book or is it true that liberalism really has become our established state religion? and liberals somehow do in fact worship the state? we can add on top of this what does it matter? what does it matter? let me begin with a last question first. what does it matter if liberalism is in fact a religion or at least functions like a religion? because it functions like one and in fact is a religion than christians and other opponents of the agenda of liberalism can litigate to disestablish it as a state imposed world view. i mean to propose this quite seriously as a new and effective strategy. christians and other like-minded folks can turn the tables on liberal secularism by actively bringing cases to disestablish
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it as the state imposed world view. in education, the federal agencies, even in the courts. the success of this kind of endeavor will depend on a well developed argument showing that liberalism is in fact not only functioning like a religion but actually is a religion so that its establishment by the federal government violates the first amendment. that is what worshiping the state does in a rather long her argument and we can have today so i am providing a quick and overview. so we can ask that question is secularism, liberal secular is a much kind of religion? that is a strong claim but it is not one that i am the first one to make. if you look at the work among others of michael barely, most
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famously eric fogelin in the 19th century and 20th century political religions like fascism and nazism we find one of the most interesting facts of secularization in the west was that the secular state soon became an object of worship and i would love to bring in as all cases we should a quote buy g. k. chesterton. once abolished god, chesterton said, the government becomes the god. wherever the people do not believe in something beyond the world they will worship the world but above all they will worship the strongest thing in the world. the strongest thing in the world now is the modern secular state and that is why it has become an object of worship, has been made
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sacred. and traced this secular political realm to the french revolution. i hope you studied it where you did have a purely secular civil government put itself forward with its own civil religion meant to displace christianity and simply a matter of historical fact that since the french revolution in one form or another you have these political religions are rising, that is why they turned political religion describe to describe that very phenomenon. with these political religions we find when god is removed in the church is suppressed, the state becomes simultaneously the church, and the god worshiped. that happened with the french revolution, the religion of
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humanity or religion of reason and nazi is a man fascism. and examples of political religions. those are what i call worshiping the state, hard liberalism. in worshiping the state, i am focusing on modern liberalism you are familiar with. what we associate with liberal democracies in europe and more and more in america. i term that soft liberalism. that is what we are going to focus on today. in order to understand the claims i am making we will do a history of liberalism, worshiping the state is a history of liberalism, a blueprint for a bigger history than we need to sort out all the confusion that we find. i will try to provide a clearer understanding of what liberalism is in its essence and i trace it
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back 500 years to the 1916s, 500 years to machiavelli as the founder of modern liberalism. and at its roots when we look at the roots of modern liberalism what we find is a dual movement which defines what liberalism really has been over the centuries in one form or another simultaneously rejection of christianity because it occurs in a christian context and simultaneous embrace of this world as the highest good, the material world as the ultimate and the only home. liberals in america today are the intellectual heirs of this twofold the desire for freedom. of course you all know latin so you know about free, that is the root word in liberalism.
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modern liberalism if you trace it back to its origin is defined by the desire, the duel desire to be free from the burdens of christianity, free from christianity and a desire to be free to enjoy this world in its pleasures and hindered by any obstructions. they go together. so liberation from christianity and the embrace of this world which is kind of new paganism is phosphors of the ongoing secularization in the west we have seen over the last two or 300 years. note the really obvious thing about secularization, secularization means the christian -- means liberation from christianity. this twofold desire explains why liberals end up being the
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fiesta, rejecting christianity and simultaneously hedonistic, is immersing themselves and worldly pleasures. so the anti christian liberalism that you find in the aclu, the new york times, political correctness is what has occurred after 500 years of kind of liberal revolution which began i remind you in an entirely christian culture as a rebellion against christianity and machiavelli is very clear about this and its negative goal defines liberalism's positive form. you have to understand that to understand liberalism, the desire to remove the church and replace it with a secular state in at providing worldly pleasure gave modern liberalism its structures, beliefs and goals so the desire to displace christianity and replace it with
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liberalism defines the intellectual pool of moral, cultural, and political goals of liberalism. as the liberal state takes over the form and functions of the church excludes the actual christian church from having any presence or influence in the public square and it uses the power of the state to establish itself as the reigning world view. that is as the established world view just like a religion. liberalism is not, therefore, a narrow leaf defined political position. is not neutral. it is a world view every bit as extensive as the one that it tries to replace. since it is every bit as extensive in functions just like a religion. in our case and established religion with its own specific dogmas and doctrines, its own foundational belief held to be sacred and the question of land to follow upon them.
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that is the origin of political correctness by the way. liberalism therefore satisfies what scholars of religion polyfunctional this definition of religion. we can get to understand more about it functioning as a religion if we look at its typical believes. in latin that would be creed, to believe, the typical beliefs of liberalism that decline it clusters the world view and how extensive it is, how it -- liberals tend to be secular mind if not atheistic, they have a predictable moral position even if their advocates of moral relativism, u.s. term sexual liberation agenda, bowling got of contraception, provision of abortion, interchange ability of the sexes, normalization of homosexual, gay marriage, the right to abortion and perhaps
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even infanticide and euthanasia, from life to death, liberals also favor big government and declared the government should be secular, they mean by this that it should hold the basic world view of secular liberalism and establish it by force of law, that as we know means two things. first, big government should drive religion, especially christianity of of the public square to privatize bnl on the other side of the great wall of separation. second that big government should impose the predictable array of liberal moral positions on every one. note also in their belief system they have their own cosmological view that is the big picture the way they understand the universe, nature and human nature is essentially and self consciously godless and
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materialistic. that is it reduces human beings to the matter of their bodies, treats them as one more kind of animal in no way morally privilege or distinct from other animals and provides a distinct view of what life and death are. life is simply, collectively and that is the seizing of chemical activity. that means liberalism will have a particular way that it views politics and i call this in "worshipping the state: how liberalism became our state religion" a soulless view of politics, defines human nature entirely by its bodily needs, comfort and pleasures and avoidance of pain and legislate accordingly. it isn't neutral. those are the typical believes you find among liberalism and it should be obvious when covering these things that it presents a full creed, some of you are aware of the 4 christian creed, talks about everything so you
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have this extensive creed that covers dog for liberalism by denying him, defines the national world by materialism, human nature by materialism, i kind of godless evolution, defines human good and evil in multiple areas including sexually and marriage, this does by physical based hedonism and therefore determines what should be legal and illegal. everything will be defined by the pleasure it gives individuals according to their own judgment and finally it defines life and death being that extensive it functions exactly like a religion so you can litigate instead because it functions like one. but it also is one and i can't provide in the time allotted, much larger section, "worshipping the state: how liberalism became our state religion" when you look of the nineteenth century, the origins of modern soft liberalism and socialism you find that it really was a religion,
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self-conscious transference of our worship from god to command the and that this worldly transformation of humanity by state power, to our last lecture you're trying to replace god you need a lot of power, that is why the modern secular state has to have a lot of power and if you're trying to replace god you have got to have a big budget and that is why we are in a fiscal collapse in the west so that is my attempt to squeeze in that last little history. thank you, and want to go to questions. i hope you haven't many of them. >> my name is mark from the law school in naples. religion as discussed hard to define. just about every paper, every book begins with a definition of what we are talking about. it seems the definition you are
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working from is a functional definition. talk a little more about the best way to approach the definition of religion. >> such a great question. i will say something really surprising. the very notion of religion was invented by modern secularism in an attempt to demote christianity to be one more species of the genus no better or worse than any other. there's a long history of the notion of religion having been invented. so pretend the vast complexity doesn't exist and as to the second part we talk about religion today because we have been taught to talk about it, all different believes that way, that is liberalism's home turf on its home turf, what do you mean by religion? scholars have a difficult time explaining, stamp collecting is a great passion. would you die for it?
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they have trouble so they come of with a functional list view or and essentials list view which means they are out there worshiping the capital, functional list means they are using religion, using liberal worldview to function like religion. so for the sake of litigating, you are on a less difficult situation to rely on -- that is what the court does any wet. that for example is why i can't remember the court case. why the supreme court affirmed i think unanimously that satan is a man with the worship the and several other different kinds qualify as religious worship protected in state prisons because they have an overly broad definition. that is fine, it is broad enough to attach itself to liberalism and therefore can't be an established world view pushed by the federal government.
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it is strategic rather than exact. this is the messy world. >> question in front. >> madeleine lucas. my question is since the philosophy of classical liberalism is much more in line with what we currently believe as conservative philosophy when you are talking about this are you referring -- the difference between the nineteenth century and classical liberalism and what liberal means today? >> i was hoping you would answer that question. i gave her $10 to do that. no i didn't. i take that up in my book and it is even messier than the religion question because the question is obviously what is at the foundation of classical liberalism. by that you mean the liberalism you contrast to john locke. generally that is what people mean. that is why i treat john locke
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in great detail in this book "worshipping the state: how liberalism became our state religion". i am going to tell you i tried to get conservatives to understand that john locke is deeply ambiguous and ultimately of terms the same world view as contemporary liberalism you're trying to battle by defining human beings solely as a-presents a soulless politics in which economics is the highest defined science and creates one morsel was paula 6, the result being conservatives have a difficulty articulating why it is that morality should enter into a political decision. they want to be fine everything simply by does it contribute to economic life or not. those are the pleasures of the
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body, human beings as -- that is a problem so i present a long argument, wake up, it is deeper than that. >> thank you for the presentation. going back to two points, vote first one regarding the different revolution and a second factor, that secularism is also an attempt to control but morality, just mention to two points that have not been -- in 1905 in france, a huge impact on the definition from a cultural perspective of the region, it is also facing continued two reasons, one being the fact there is an attempt by
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the french government to the fine a it liberal moral that will be tough in this which is precisely an attempt to switch from christian morality and it very sacred one. very strong precisely because it is linked to the traditional perspective in teaching the factors -- and also wrote to read the fine for social pact that is agreed on in the beginning of the 20th century with this law in 1905 and a new type of definition to read the
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fine peer interaction between the and origin and big debate. >> that 1905 law is the third french republic what about separation of church and state. that is an important law and it is in here. the reason is our first amendment says nothing about the separation of church and state. you are aware of that. nothing at all. it was borrowing in a way the french republic's understanding of the secular separation of church and state that defines how it was that the 1947 court case was actually litigated and how it determines our understanding of the first amendment today. in france it was an attempt to get the catholic church out of everything instead of a purely secular state. our first amendment says nothing about that.
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these ideas came from thomas jefferson's statement about creating a secular state, this was done through liberal takeover of law studies in america. i go through the takeover of the universities of worship in state as well. the 1960s began in the 1860s, importing radical european secular liberalism to the american universities and the reason was no american university could give you a graduate degree. so go to europe in the 1800s and steady german university, we got the most radical secular enlightenment views brought back to america, got ensconced in universities. by the 1800s it form the foundation of understanding of the intelligentsia from university pushed down to our culture and part of that was in
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the development of our law schools. that is how law school got contaminated. have to go back to the 1800s but one thing they imported with all due respect was this bad idea from 1905 law of the french republic. >> you were -- neither of us were there. not to blame. you are off the hook. >> the thing about liberalism is they pretend to be tolerant but are so intolerant of religion. >> at least of certain kinds. they have no problem tolerating as i have written elsewhere any religion but christianity. there is a reason for that and i wrote some articles about that. why can't liberals understand what islam is up to? they have a long history of because liberalism is defined
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historically against christianity, and nineteenth century lift of other religions as superior to or at least equal to christianity where the studies of religions came from. and any religion as better than christianity or at least equally good to knock christianity of of its central pedestal in the culture. and continue to go out trees. and out of a public square. against christianity, and the battle to unseat it. >> thank you. [applause] >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch keep public
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policy events. and past programs on the web site, you conjoin in the conversationiamedia sites. >> for the last 15 years booktv covered the national book awards ceremony. in 2002, book 3 of the multivolume biography of lyndon johnson, master of the senate was awarded the national book award for nonfiction. the pulitzer prize for biography or autobiography went to david mccullough in 2002 for his book on john adams and a national will critics circle award for general nonfiction went to some and the power for a problem from hell. miss power, current u.s. ambassador to the united nations was on booktv in 2002. >> my book is an effort to understand how so many individuals who believe in the promise of never again and if france would even say when asked to define what never again means would say not that it means
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never again should genocide happen which is something one could interpret as meaning but rather that they see it as meaning never again will we stand idly by and let genocide happen. there are individuals in the u.s. government, individuals in this room, this museum, the city, our realm world who believe they should be active in the face of genocide yes when genocide confronts us in real time, when we see the early signs or the description of intent, the alarm bells don't go off or we feel so disempowered within the bureaucracy or outside of it that we don't -- we don't summon the reserve of outrage and retrospective remorse that is available to us. >> booktv continues with more nonfiction authors and books every weekend on c-span2. >> it would have nullified dozens of arcane state law
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limiting women's rights. they would no longer for example be subject to settle mechanisms of wage discrimination that even persist even today. and symbolically women would have been recognized and this is more important, both as a mothers as well as workers. the biggest irony of the story is it was a well organized, articulate campaign of activist women who engineered the defeat of the era. >> the backlash against the women's liberation movement later today at 1:00 eastern on c-span3's american history tv. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2. here is our prime time lineup for tonight's. at 7:00 eastern time we will hear from fred gray, the attorney for rosa parks. she recount his career and
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involvement in the civil rights movement. cash bailey hutcheson from the 2013 national book festival. at 9:00, eric crosser joins booktv on afterwards in an interview with lynn davis and talks about his book command-and-control:nuclear- weapons and the illusion of safety. at 10:00 p.m. thomas ridge argues the idea of cyberwar fears overblown. we wrap of the prime-time programming at 11:00 eastern with wonder woman by deborah spot. that happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> kate brown writes about two cities, richmond and washington and ozersk where plutonium was produced. because the programs were highly secret both communities were largely insulated from the outside world. the accidents and corruption that occurred in both places were unknown for decades. you can learn about them now on
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booktv. >> thanks for coming tonight. this book is about tweet to cities. the first two season the world to manufacture plutonium. one was american -- you want me to -- ..


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