Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Barry Arrington Channels Thomas Lanier Clingman

Thomas Lanier Clingman (1812-1897) was a Christian pro-slavery Senator from North Carolina who today is memorialized in the eponymous Clingman's Dome, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail.

Here are some excerpts from a speech Clingman made on the floor of the Senate, January 18 1860, as reported in the Wilmington Journal, February 2 1860, page 4:

"If the negro were in fact in all other respects like the white man, his blackness would have been of no more consequence than the difference between black and red hair or light and dark eyes. The feeling against him grows out of the fact that he is in all respects different from the white man and inferior...

"...Omnipotence has made a difference between the white man and the negro..."

"When, sir, some twelve years ago I, in discussion, threw out suggestions about the difference of the races, I was denounced as one who attributed injustice to Almighty God in alleging that He had made the negroes inferior..."

"For the inequality of the negro Providence is responsible, as He is for the entire creation which surrounds us. When human laws are in accordance with the system of nature they are wise; but if in oppositien [sic] to it they are productive only of mischief..."

"Hitherto they [the Abolitionists] have enlisted the sympathies and feelings of the North by falsely assuming that the negro and white man have in all respects the same nature. Let the inequality which the Creator has made be recognised, and their systems fall to the ground..."

"But we are asked how we will go about making a revolution or dissolving the Union ? ..."

You can read the whole thing yourself. To summarize: Clingman viewed the equality of black man and white man as absurd; that this inequality was ordained by his god and "the system of nature"; that only "mischief" could result from ignoring this; and that if the North persisted in its absurd views then revolution might be the consequence (although Clingman concluded that this would probably not happen).

Now go read Barry Arrington on gay marriage at the pro-intelligent-design blog. (What Barry's bigotry has to do with intelligent design is, as usual, unclear.) The similarity between Arrington's rhetoric and Clingman's is astonishing. (One difference is that Arrington misrepresents the truth, as when he states "Every time the people have voted on the “right” to same-sex marriage they have rejected it by fairly wide margins." Perhaps Arrington thinks the good inhabitants of Maine are not people. But why should a lawyer be aware of legislative history?)

Some people claim the debate between evolution and intelligent design is about science. It's not. All the science is on the evolution side. The debate arises almost entirely from a medieval, ignorant, and uninformed view of the world that has more in common with 1860's North Carolina than it does with a modern secular democracy.


William Spearshake said...

What is almost as amusing as Barry's homophobic rant, is Gordon (Kairosfocus) Mulling's comments. So far, he has posted over 10,000 words of comments to this OP. does he seriously think that anyone reads his condescending sermons?

colnago80 said...

Perhaps Arrington thinks the good inhabitants of Maine are not people.

Not to mention the good inhabitants of Maryland and Washington State. I would also not that Prop. 8 passed in California by 52 to 48, hardly a landside. Arrington, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Larry Klayman or Matt Staver or Orly Taitz is a congenital liar, like all the other creationists.