Tag: consequence

A Letter Concerning Toleration

I have wanted to post this for a long time. But recently it seems like it’s imperative. It’s not a short read…or an easy one…but it is a damn good read regarding toleration. Why? …Because he’s one of the most conservative religious figures in history…and yet he’s speaking/arguing in favor of tolerance. Not in half-baked ambiguous rhetoric, but using both logical argument as well as biblical verse forms what’s considered one of the renowned arguments in favor of religious tolerance ever. There are of course a few points that arent covered in this letter that are addressed in later discourse, but a lot of the logic is still pretty sound.

A Letter Concerning Toleration

by John Locke (1689)1

john_lockeHonoured Sir,

Since you are pleased to inquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely that I esteem that toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church. For whatsoever some people boast of the antiquity of places and names, or of the pomp of their outward worship; others, of the reformation of their discipline; all, of the orthodoxy of their faith; for everyone is orthodox to himself; these things, and all others of this nature, are much rather marks of men striving for power and empire over one another than of the Church of Christ. Let anyone have never so true a claim to all these things, yet if he be destitute of charity, meekness, and good-will in general towards all mankind, even to those that are not Christians, he is certainly yet short of being a true Christian himself. “The kings of the Gentiles exercise leadership over them,” said our Saviour to his disciples,” but ye shall not be so.”1 The business of true religion is quite another thing. It is not instituted in order to the erecting of an external pomp, nor to the obtaining of ecclesiastical dominion, nor to the exercising of compulsive force, but to the regulating of men’s lives, according to the rules of virtue and piety. Whosoever will list himself under the banner of Christ, must, in the first place and above all things, make war upon his own lusts and vices. It is in vain for any man to unsurp the name of Christian, without holiness of life, purity of manners, benignity and meekness of spirit. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ, depart from iniquity.”[2] “Thou, when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren,” said our Lord to Peter.3 It would, indeed, be very hard for one that appears careless about his own salvation to persuade me that he were extremely concerned for mine. For it is impossible that those should sincerely and heartily apply themselves to make other people Christians, who have not really embraced the Christian religion in their own hearts. If the Gospel and the apostles may be credited, no man can be a Christian without charity and without that faith which works, not by force, but by love. Now, I appeal to the consciences of those that persecute, torment, destroy, and kill other men upon pretence of religion, whether they do it out of friendship and kindness towards them or no? And I shall then indeed, and not until then, believe they do so, when I shall see those fiery zealots correcting, in the same manner, their friends and familiar acquaintance for the manifest sins they commit against the precepts of the Gospel; when I shall see them persecute with fire and sword the members of their own communion that are tainted with enormous vices and without amendment are in danger of eternal perdition; and when I shall see them thus express their love and desire of the salvation of their souls by the infliction of torments and exercise of all manner of cruelties. For if it be out of a principle of charity, as they pretend, and love to men’s souls that they deprive them of their estates, maim them with corporal punishments, starve and torment them in noisome prisons, and in the end even take away their lives ; I say, if all this be done merely to make men Christians and procure their salvation, why then do they suffer whoredom, fraud, malice, and such-like enormities, which (according to the apostle)4 manifestly relish of heathenish corruption, to predominate so much and abound amongst their flocks and people? These, and such-like things, are certainly more contrary to the glory of God, to the purity of the Church, and to the salvation of souls, than any conscientious dissent from ecclesiastical decisions, or separation from public worship, whilst accompanied with innocence of life. Why, then, does this burning zeal for God, for the Church, and for the salvation of souls ; burning I say, literally, with fire and faggot ; pass by those moral vices and wickednesses, without any chastisement, which are acknowledged by all men to be diametrically opposite to the profession of Christianity, and bend all its nerves either to the introducing of ceremonies, or to the establishment of opinions, which for the most part are about nice and intricate matters, that exceed the capacity of ordinary understandings? Which of the parties contending about these things is in the right, which of them is guilty of schism or heresy, whether those that domineer or those that suffer, will then at last be manifest when the causes of their separation comes to be judged of He, certainly, that follows Christ, embraces His doctrine, and bears His yoke, though he forsake both father and mother, separate from the public assemblies and ceremonies of his country, or whomsoever or whatsoever else he relinquishes, will not then be judged a heretic.

Show 1 footnote

  1. Reviewed from Popple’s translation




Surprises from the News

I started off with so much content I could write for miles…

Republicans party endorsing a guy who got Article 32’ed for torturing a detainee is now running for a seat in Congress…

Dallas leads the nation in children that are unlikely to be fed properly…

I read further and just got so angry at people…it astounds me that so many of you would embrace hate so much that it seriously matters what color our president is, but you’ll conveniently ignore the fact that your own community has starving children.

I keep on getting slack for being a lefty. I’m not a lefty.

I’m a guy that thinks murderers need to be shipped off to an island they cant swim away from…ever…and barring that they may choose to die or serve the rest of their lives without rights, serving the state and military…period. I think it’s possible to live in a land of conscience and consequence, without infringing on the freedoms we hold so dear.

I think anyone trying to regulate guns is an idiot and targeting the wrong demographic.

I think that anyone that chooses to have an abortion should have that right…even though I wouldn’t ever consider it with a child of my own…it’s about choice, and the government shouldn’t be involved in the least with it.

I think that a healthcare system that provides for 96% of Americans is better than a system that only accommodates those lucky enough to be able to afford it right now. It’s not about Socialism, it’s about Americans taking care of each other. For a lot of people I think it’s “out of sight – out of mind” and acting like we’re going to get taxed harder for this is ignoring the fact that if it wasn’t for this, the government would have found another reason to do so…and very likely with far less noble intent.

The shooting in Fort Hood is a tragedy. The man that did it…regardless of intention or mental condition needs to be hung…it’s that simple. The people trying to paint him in a positive light need to stop. Concocting new psychological disorders to clearly define the man’s state I don’t really think is necessary but thats the crap every shrink makes a living off of. The bottom line is that his act was premeditated and he killed the very people that expected him to save them in mind if not in body. It’s not murder alone, it is treason in my opinion. Hang him and save this country some time and a whole fekton of money.

If you’re wondering where the rage comes in…it’s when anyone starts deciding they have the right to commit violence and then murder.

I also have to lay the blame for every problem we’re facing now at the feet of a president and administration that was in office for just over a year and picking up after an 8 year train wreck of foreign diplomacy. I mean seriously…how could it not be Obama’s fault? We voted him in rather decisively…he must be the most evil guy on the planet right?

This whole – it’s not OUR problem because I am not with THEM. Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? Ignore the politicians and simply look at the results of our previous voting practices. The worst we got from Bill Clinton was a little diddling in the oval office. We can’t be anywhere near as jovial about the tragedies in decision making made by Republican presidents.

The sad part, is I dont even remotely favor one over the other.

I think they are both useless facets of government now. I think it would be so much easier for us to find an honest leader if it wasn’t profitable to be President or be in the government. Like making it illegal for business to show any interest in government, etc. Otherwise it’s just a much more convoluted but just as effective method of buying government.

Anyhow. Just stuff I have been chewing on.