Club meeting

Dave Killion — October 6, 2011

The Book Club is meeting tonight to discuss chapters 13 – 19 of “They Thought They Were Free“, and here are some quotes I will be bringing up –

My education ┬ádid not help me, “he said, “and I had a broader and better education than most men have had or ever will have. All it did, in the end, was to enable me to rationalize my failure of faith more easily than I might have done if I had been ignorant.”

Libertarians have names for people like this: progressives and conservatives. Strictly speaking, I would have to confess that libertarians must certainly be plagued by the same phenomenon, but in practice I don’t see it.

Outside Catholicism only women, and especially old women, were very religious any more, except in the villages; and to some extent this was true even there. The Protestant cathedral stood almost empty, sometimes with more tourists than communicants. The women tried to make their husbands go to services with them for the children’s sake, but they were not always successful. The sermons had always been dull, and now they had lost ant great meaning, any comfort, any relevance to people’s lives.

The trouble was that the Catholic Church as well as Protestant was supported by taxes. Thus it did not want to have to consider people’s wants in order itself to survive, or minister to their needs. When their wants and needs changed, the Church, especially the Protestant Church, didn’t know it.

It’s my understanding that throughout Europe, the Church served as a strong counterweight to the state prior to government support of religion. I think the growth of secularism in modern times, plus the replacement of conventional religion with worship of the environment and the state, have continued to undermine the ability of the various spiritual communities to restrain government.

There’s a bit more, but I think this is enough for today.

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