Each “Human Right” a God of the State

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This is from a meditation on Cicero’s De Domo Sua  by Canadian essayist David Warren. It begins with a reference to Cicero’s observation about the State and religion being coincident in Rome, as they always were in every civilization before Christianity invented the separation of Church and State, and as they always have been and will be whenever Christians lose the battle, against the various states, for the separation of Church and State.

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One of the finest things about ancient Roman public life, Cicero tells us at the outset of De Domo Sua, is that Religion and the State are controlled by the same persons. The Roman Senate is a one-stop shop. So when he wants something – in this case, to get his property back, after the government took it, and had it consecrated to a god – he knows where to go.

The same authority can have it de-consecrated, as well as materially restored to its former owner. They can also have the statue of “Liberty” removed from the location where Cicero’s house had stood. Yesterday it was holy, but today it might be just an inconvenient pile of stone.

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Later on comes the acknowledgment of the elephant:

The official religion of the government of the United States – which goes generally under the name “secular humanism” – is replete with idols. They are not rendered in statuary in the Roman style, but mostly in words, for abstract conceptions. Each enunciated “human right” is, for all practical purposes, an Official State God, requiring formal acknowledgement and worship by all, including those with “private religions.”

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Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.

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About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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