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America as a Christian Sparta

7/3/14, by Clement Pulaski


All serious right-wingers eventually come to the sad conclusion that in the very earliest stages of any given civilization, one can already find the seeds of its own decline. Whatever great victories and accomplishments still lay in the future, many perceptive observers throughout history came to see that their fellow countrymen had already given in to certain vices and no longer understood the true source of their power and vitality. Despite the warnings of these prophets, these Catos, the process of decline was not reversed. With each successive generation, the nation's bright triumphs became more and more mixed with decay.

And thus it was with the founding of our own dear nation, which is to be celebrated later this week with the July 4th holiday. While the corruption of contemporary America is obvious to any sensible individual, this corruption was already visible to Samuel Adams, one of our Founding Fathers. In a letter to John Scollay written in 1780, Adams complains that the Americans of his day were too eager to enjoy wasteful frivolities. Americans had fought for a form of government that was supposed to work as long as they carefully guarded their self-control and sobriety, but then they decided to celebrate this form of government with vanity and pomp:

Our Government, I perceive, is organizd on the Basis of the new Constitution. I am affraid there is more Pomp & Parade than is consistent with those sober Republican Principles, upon which the Framers of it thought they had founded it. Why should this new Oera be introducd with Entertainments expensive & tending to dissipate the Minds of the People? Does it become us to lead the People to such publick Diversions as promote Superfluity of Dress & Ornament, when it is as much as they can bear to support the Expense of cloathing a naked Army? Will Vanity & Levity ever be the Stability of Government, either in States, in Cities, or what, let me hint to you is of the last Importance, in Families? Of what Kind are those Manners, by which, as we are truly informd in a late Speech, "not only the freedom but the very Existence of Republicks is greatly affected?" How fruitless is it, to recommend "the adapting the Laws in the most perfect Manner possible, to the Suppression of Idleness Dissipation & Extravagancy," if such Recommendations are counteracted by the Example of Men of Religion, Influence & publick Station? I meant to consider this Subject in the View of the mere Citizen.

After indicting his contemporaries, Adams goes on to praise the virtues of the Puritan founders of New England. It was the faith of these devout men and the fruits born of it that had laid the foundation for a rational, Christian republic in the new world.

Our Bradfords, Winslows & Winthrops would have revolted at the Idea of opening Scenes of Dissipation & Folly; knowing them to be inconsistent with their great Design, in transplanting themselves into what they called this "Outside of the World." But I fear I shall say too much. I love the People of Boston. I once thought, that City would be the Christian Sparta. But Alas! Will men never be free! They will be free no longer than while they remain virtuous. Sidney tells us, there are times when People are not worth saving. Meaning, when they have lost their Virtue. I pray God, this may never be truly said of my beloved Town.

In these few words, Adams perfectly captures what Boston, or America as a whole, could have been: a Christian Sparta. Adams envisioned a combination of two of history's most notoriously "stern" societies: Puritan New England and ancient Sparta.

The Puritans were known for their theocratic demand that society be reconstructed on firm Biblical principles, and that we glorify God in all areas of life. The ancient Spartan state was what many would call "fascist"; that is, the entire state was run like a strict military unit. The Spartan citizen body and the Spartan military were one and the same. Spartan men were prized for their military valor, Spartan women for their ability give birth to Spartan warriors. Sparta was also very well known for its contemptuous attitude towards material wealth and luxury. Even at the height of their power, Spartans continued to dine in common mess halls, not opulent palaces. If we can imagine this Spartan valor leavened with the Christian faith and Puritan zeal, a truly awesome possibility presents itself.

The modern liberal will object that Puritan New England and ancient Sparta were both completely lacking in freedom and therefore fundamentally un-American. Such an objection would only display the depth of the liberal's ignorance. As Adams points out, men are only free as long as they are virtuous. That is, the responsibility, self-control, and discernment needed in order for a republic to avoid tyranny will disappear when public morality becomes lax. American freedom cannot exist without a strong public morality enforced by both church and state. This is something which all of our Founding Fathers agreed upon.

This Independence Day, more Americans will be imbibing beverages named after Samuel Adams than seriously considering the words of the Founding Fathers. Those of us who understand the Satanic nature of the contemporary United States will find little to celebrate, but when reading these words by Adams, we should both mourn and take heart. Mourn, because what Adams prophesied has certainly come to pass. Take heart, because in his vision of a Christian Sparta, we can see what we will need to become in order to be victorious: militant lovers of God, of valor, and of self-denial.

When the Puritans first landed in America, they found themselves in a great sea of barbarism and heathenism. A similar sea of barbarism and heathenism stands before us today, but with God's help, Christian civilization will flourish once again.




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