Sundays With The Christianists: A ‘World History’ Textbook For Home-Schooled Child Laborers

  Part 6: How I Learned to Love the Dark Satanic Mills

A Trans-Atlantic Steampunk Jesus, Hurrah!Greetings, intrepid Temps-Voyageurs! Let us not tarry, for there is much to explore in this quaint and curious volume for Christianist 10th-graders, World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective. Last week, we finally reached the founding of the USA, that pivotal moment when the Founders decided which parts of the Bible to include in the Constitution. (To be fair, World History doesn’t actually say that, limiting itself to the far more cautious “the hand of God was clearly visible in the framing of the Constitution.”)

Today, we visit the exciting world of the Industrial Revolution, which you may remember was that time during the Olympics Opening Ceremonies when chimneys came out of the floor and Kenneth Branagh looked like Abe Lincoln but was actually the Great Industrialist Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Now, let’s be off, and mind you don’t tread on any butterflies. (Ha-ha, that is a joke — evolution is not real, so stomp as many as you wish!)

Now, if you learned about history in the Government Schools, you may have been indoctrinated in the Marxist belief that the Industrial Revolution resulted from some confluence of economic and technological developments. This just shows how badly you have been lied to! In reality, it was an “indirect but profound result of the spiritual revivals that swept Great Britain and America in the 18th century,” because, you see,

The rise of modern science had led to the discovery of many of the natural laws that God established to govern the universe, but it took a revival of Biblical Christianity to thoroughly dispel superstition and motivate men to seek ways of using these discoveries for the benefit of mankind. Driven by a renewed sense of responsibility and a desire to help others, men began to apply modern science to industry resulting in an explosion of new technology (p. 343).

Oddly enough, the holy profit motive is not mentioned! Similarly, spiritual progress was mostly what led to improvements in agriculture beyond the subsistence level:

 
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During the first part of the l8th century, the masses of lower-class Englishmen both in towns and in the country were known for their crime, immorality, drunkenness, ignorance, and poverty. Many depended on “charms” and astrology for good crops. Such superstition always produces fear, and many people feared the forces of nature rather than following God’s command to harness nature for the good of man (Gen. 1:28).

This end of superstition brought about a new era of science-minded agriculture, and today, only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature.

The Wesleyan revival of the 18th century changed the way people thought by changing their hearts. Englishmen began to depend less on charms and astrology, and more on principles (God’s laws) of agriculture, to make their crops grow. As farmers gained a greater sense of responsibility and as inventors gained a new desire to help others, the stage was set for greater productivity. Work was given a new sense of nobility. People began to take seriously the injunction of Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men(p. 343).”

And what evidence do the editors give us that increased agricultural production was the result of a turn to the Bible? Well, for one thing, work was considered more noble, since it was in boldface and italics, indicating it will be on the test. For another thing, agriculture definitely became more advanced during this period, and not before, when people were spiritually deprived. We guess that’s pretty much settled beyond dispute, then.

The book then goes on to discuss the miraculous benefits wrought throughout England, America, and Western Europe by the Protestant work ethic, defined here as

the way of life based on the Biblical teaching that God expects all men to work and that all work is a noble duty to be performed toward God… lt brought the greatest good, physically and spiritually to those individuals who obeyed God’s command to use part of the profits of their industry to help others.

World History conveniently leaves aside the detail that the term was coined in 1904 by Max Weber, who was himself not exactly a born-again Christian. It’s also a gross oversimplification of Weber’s thinking (for one thing, Puritans did not use their wealth to “help others,” since that was thought to encourage sinful idleness among the 47 Percent). But it’s a much tidier story to say that it was all part of God’s plan to help more people live better lives.

So anyway, on to the Industrial part of the Revolution:

Much has been said about the evils of life in the industrial cities of the 18th and 19th centuries. Indeed there were difficult living conditions (low wages and poor housing) and bad working conditions (long hours, air and water pollution created by factory waste, dangerous working areas, and child labor). But many Europeans had suffered even worse conditions on the farms they left behind…These people found it more profitable to leave the farms and work in the cities, where they could improve their standard of living.

They were underprivileged anyway, so this, this was working very well for them. The text approvingly cites the 1843 visit of Mrs. Cooke Taylor to the factories of Lancashire. She had expected, based on “the statements put forward in the newspapers,” to see people suffering from “starvation, oppression, and over-work,” but after her visit, wrote

“Now that I have seen the factory people at their work, in their cottages and in their schools, I am totally at a loss to account for the outcry that has been made against them. They are better clothed, better fed, and better conducted than many other classes of working people” (p. 346).

This scrupulously detailed account, taken from F.A. Hayek’s Capitalism and the Historians, gives the lie to all that nonsense by Dickens, Blake, Frances Trollope, and others about the travails of the urban poor. We would not be surprised to find out that many of them had color televisions, too.

For the most part, the Industrial Revolution is depicted as a wonderland of improved living conditions and thrilling inventions, summed up by another italicized proclamation that will, of course, be on the test:

Improvements in technology always improve upon or add to our natural resources to make life better for all (p. 347).

Anyone who says otherwise is a malcontent, a socialist, and probably a dirty Papist. Capitalism, we are told,

is the only economic system consistent with personal liberty and responsibility. It is also called free enterprise because it leaves the individual free to make something of himself if he has the enterprise (energy and initiative) to do it. A nation is free when its people accept the responsibility for their own welfare. When the people turn that responsibility over to the government by demanding more services and regulations, the nation loses its freedom (p. 354).

The enslaved masses of Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands really have no idea how they suffer, we suppose. And where the secular student might read about the “Gilded Age” as a time of great wealth and privilege for some, and exploitation and tainted meat* for most, the reader of World History will not find that term at all. Instead, we learn this about John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan:

Such successful entrepreneurs have been called “robber barons” and have been criticized for their relentless” drive to eliminate competition, expand their businesses, and increase their profits. But their critics often forget the manifold benefits these “captains of industry” brought to mankind. In their drive to increase their own wealth, they brought manifold benefits to others; through their businesses, they not only provided thousands of jobs but also stimulated other industries. Each also helped to provide the world with much-needed commodities to help create better, safer, and more enjoyable living conditions for mankind (p. 355).

Or at least, those members of mankind who didn’t develop black lung disease or get their arms ripped off by machinery, and not everyone did! Of course, the text does warn us that greed for its own sake is bad and sinful, while

Riches yielded to God bring great blessings; the person under God’s control will see every possession as a gift of God and will obey God by giving part of his wealth back to Him in tithes, offerings, and charity (p. 356).

Oh, and those child laborers that we mentioned a few paragraphs back? They were just fine, really, which is why the authors quite literally never mention them again. “Child labor” isn’t even in the Index. Maybe a charity gave them a Bible.

* Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, a staple of most histories of the era, is nowhere to be found. Sinclair himself gets a brief mention later on, as a “socialist writer” who “charged America’s industries with being ‘oppressors’ of common workers.” The big silly.

Next Week: The British Empire, and why Darwin ruined everything.

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About the author

Doktor Zoom lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his pseudonym after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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246 comments

    1. schvitzatura

      Noblesse-oblige gas, truly. Devonshirian Cavendish's problematic phlogiston residue.

      Amercia's Constitution, protected by a gas discovered through divine providence by a proper, white, wealthy Englishman. How à propos by A Beka, indeed.

    1. tessiee

      The difference is that only in a capitalist system can you get our arms ripped off by a machine for personal liberty and responsibility — not like those OTHER systems, if you know who I mean.

      1. Negropolis

        I mean, giving your arm for your government is bad (just ask a soldier, right?), but giving your arm for a corporations? You should be happy to lose a limb for "free" enterprise.

    2. Jukesgrrl

      Arkansas Representative Jon Hubbard doesn't recommend this for African-Americans, otherwise how would they pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

  1. memzilla

    Hello, Beka Press? The Mesopotamians called, something about 8000 years of unpaid royalties for inventing the plow?

  2. AlterNewt

    " Capitalism, we are told, is the only economic system consistent with personal liberty and responsibility."

    "ALL WORKERS MUST BE AT THEIR STATIONS WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS"

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      “The hand of God was clearly visible in the framing of the Constitution.”

      But sister, that was the hand of God clearly visible in my pants…

      Nah, the nuns wouldn't buy it either.

  3. eggsacklywright

    "only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature."

    Like Rick Perry, such as?

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      Maybe someday, with her help and a little luck, all the people of South Africa, The Iraq, and Like Such As will get the maps they so desperately need.

    2. BloviateMe

      Crap I missed this before I posted. I'm clearly one of the lazies, and my poverty is well deserved.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Yeah, but all those bad things went away with the Wesleyan Revival, and then everyone's standard of living improved. It's right there in the book.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Vlad is a live and mostly well. I think the starter it conking out, though; first start of the day involves a lot of coaxing. I need to send some people some thank-you schwag, don't I?

          Organizational skills of a fruit bat, I swear.

      1. Negropolis

        I want the writer to go to a Camden nightclub in the early morning, what with its knifecrimes and alcohol poisoning and whatnot and tell me that it's all gone away. lol

    1. Doktor Zoom

      And then He kills a kitten.

      (I dunno, is the link redundant? Everyone knows that meme, don't they? I think the link is probably redundant.)

      (I may also over-think these things sometimes.)

  4. eggsacklywright

    "When the people turn that responsibility over to the government by demanding more services and regulations, the nation loses its freedom (p. 354)."

    Makes perfect sense, no? Oops, there goes some freedoms now.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      I'm still waiting for one example of a modern, successful society that lacks any services and regulations but sports plenty of freedums.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        US Amercia, in that Golden Time before the gummint regulated everything. Like, maybe, during the Industrial Revolution. Everyone had it so good then.

        1. thatsitfortheother1

          Like 150 years ago during the great land rush. Forty acres and a mule.

          Except that the government gave them the land.

          And the mule.

          1. doloras

            It would be, if most Somalians were CHRISTIANS. But you see they pray to Allah the Moon God so they can't be trusted with freedumz.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            Well, dash it all, I guess we're all in for a bumper crop of puns now. It's enough to drive a man to battery.

          2. Doktor Zoom

            The Spanish Inquisition made frequent use of the Rack. And the pinion.

            EDIT: In the New World, the Inquisition made torture devices out of the local pine trees of the Southwest. Thus, the invention of the Rack in Piñon.

          3. eggsacklywright

            Speaking of Elvis C, "had to step on the brakes to get out of her clutches" is still one of my faves.

  5. deanbooth

    will obey God by giving part of his wealth back to Him in tithes

    I'm surprised this wasn't in bold italics. It may not be on the test, but it's the whole point of having a test to begin with.

      1. eggsacklywright

        And one can still hedge against the God-tax thing by moving monies to the Caymans, where God cannot see.

      1. tessiee

        "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" is one of the best album covers ever. The music ain't bad, either.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          "If you had just a minute to breathe
          and they granted you one final wish,
          would you ask for something
          like another chance?"

          Not of I was going to have my arms ripped off by a machine again.

  6. Woodshedding

    Now I'm really confused. "Work was given a new sense of nobility." That means it's an entitlement, right? And should be done away with? But I thought I was supposed to rise up and demand my RIGHT to work (aka sacrifice my life so that shareholders, those with disposable income to begin with, can get more money they don't need). Excuse me for a moment, I need to go outside, breathe deeply, and clear my thoughts with some fresh smog.

  7. C_R_Eature

    "History is Bunk"
    – Henry Ford, Captain of Industry, courtesy of The Unfettered Capitalism of the Industrial Revolution.

    "Your Bunk is History"
    - This year's latest 100-year storm,exacerbated by Anthropogenic Climate Change, courtesy of The Unfettered Capitalism of the Industrial Revolution.

  8. eggsacklywright

    "only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature."

    Pat Robertson will be disappointed. Pray for rain, pray away the ghey, works every time.

  9. C_R_Eature

    "The rise of modern science had led to the discovery of many of the natural laws that God established to govern the universe, but it took a revival of Biblical Christianity to thoroughly dispel superstition and motivate men to seek ways of using these discoveries for the benefit of mankind."

    This has to rank right up there – with some of the pronouncements of George W. Bush – as one of the most inaccurate sentences ever constructed in the modern English language.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      There's some colorless green ideas that want to talk to you. They were sleeping furiously, but you woke them up.

    2. PsycWench

      A revival of Biblical (is there another kind?) Christianity dispelled superstition. There's some serious irony right there.

      1. weejee

        You do have to toil with the concept a bit to fully get your arms around that dearest mantra of the protestant work ethicists "arbeit macht frei."

          1. Doktor Zoom

            I honestly don't remember. First ran across it as a "others also liked" item in Amazon, but I have no idea what would have brought it up.

          2. Doktor Zoom

            The Panzercakes are nothing to sneeze at. Each is a perfect 88mm round, and will take out your hunger with deadly accuracy.

            "Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your cookbook!"

          3. Mittaplasia

            They're so light and fluffy white, we'll sell a million by tonight. They're so light and fluffy brown; they're the finest in the town…

          4. Mittaplasia

            I saw him at a small venue back in St. Louis, 1970's.There were clotheslines strung on the stage, Frank went into a long guitar jam and asked for panties; and, boy, did he get 'em!Good times!

  10. eggsacklywright

    "Improvements in technology always improve upon or add to our natural resources to make life better for all "only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature."

    Look at LRADs and drones, huge benefits for all.

  11. PubOption

    What a difference a year makes. Mrs Cooke Taylor found better conditions in the factories than she expected, in 1844 a guy from Manchester, name of Engels, wrote 'The Condition of the Working Class in England', and claimed that their condition was terrible. I suspect that Beka's author(s) had to work a lot harder to find Mrs. Cooke Taylor's comments than they would to find Engels'

    1. tessiee

      Yes, but Al Gore lives in a big house, and a character in one of Marilyn French's novels said that all men are rapists; so therefore, we don't have to pay any attention to anything that Engels has ever said, written, or empirically observed.

      also, he was married to the Partridge Family's mom.

  12. Blueb4sinrise

    "…the masses of upper-class Englishmen both in towns and in the country were known for their crime, immorality, drunkenness, ignorance, and moneez."

    Fix-shopped for moar crime, immorality, drunkenness, and ignorance.

  13. PsycWench

    Do you think the people who write this crap really believe it? It seems inconsistent with enough logical ability and intelligence to craft a Word document.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      It seems inconsistent with enough logical ability and intelligence to feed and clothe one's self.

  14. mbobier

    As a Christian, I am finding this series by the peerless Doktor Zoom fascinating, frightening, and depressing all at once, sort of like a gory car wreck. But then, my librul arts ejukashun allowed me to develop the ability to distinguish between education and indoctrination, so I'm probably a Socialist, anyway.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Thanks! The really fun thing is that these guys would almost certainly say that since you've been tainted by empiricism, you now put human reason above God's Eternal Truth, and so they'd throw you out of their version of Christianity.

      Mind you, that's a bit like Victoria Jackson saying that someone's just not funny.

      1. Simple J Malarkey

        "they'd throw you out of their version of Christianity"

        A lot of us Christians have never been in their version of Christianity. If for no other reason, because of their War on Halloween!

        The progressive evangelical Christian blogosphere (yes, there is such a thing!) often refers to "American christianist tribal identity." The markers of tribal membership are the specific rightwing political stances, willful ignorance of science, fear of outsiders, and hostility to reason, that are illustrated so vibrantly in this mess of a book. These markers are entirely independent of any religious — or moral or ethical — impulse or motivation. They are strictly political and economic expressions of primal terrors.

        The American christianist tribe has succeeded in defining "Christian" on their terms in media and politics, because it is so useful to the PTB to coopt and undermine genuine Christian engagement in politics and society, and give the platform to the tribe.

        The civil rights movement came directly out of evangelical protestant churches. Since then, the rich and powerful have all but drowned out Christian voices of prophetic judgment in the public sphere, and left us with the shouting of the christianist tribe that turns the message of true Christianity on its head, blessing the oppressors and cursing those who suffer.

        What may be even worse, the christianists are waging War on Halloween. Instead of Halloween parties, their churches have "harvest festivals" for their kids. You know that ghosts and demons and vampires are make-believe, right? You know that an 8-year-old isn't going to lose his soul because he goes trick-or-treating wearing battery-operated plastic glasses with red light bulbs. Well, these tribalists believe in ghosts, and they really are scared of your tween dressing up like Edward Cullen. Their primal terrors are real.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          "American christianist tribal identity" is a search string that I expect to make much use of — thanks!

          The War on Halloween has been bogged down since at least my childhood in the 60's, and probably longer of course; I remember that one house in the neighborhood that gave out anti-"occult" Chick Tracts instead of candy.

          1. Simple J Malarkey

            "I remember that one house in the neighborhood that gave out anti-"occult" Chick Tracts instead of candy. "

            I should be more optimistic. They can't win the War on Halloween as long as we have the superior weapons: toilet paper and eggs.

            Here's a recent blog post on the tribalists.

          2. Doktor Zoom

            Hey, the good guys have CANDY. These twits will never win the War on Halloween.

            Of course, parents will then have to fight the battle of the bulge.

          3. BloviateMe

            Those fucking Chick Tracts, you pointed to that as being the propagandist nightmare of my youth in an earlier post.

            My hostility towards those fucking things knows no bounds. To a young and undeveloped mind, they are akin to being mentally Sandusky'd.

            I haven't egged a house in decades, but if my kids had ever come home with one of those from trick or treating, I'd be immediately warming up in the bullpen, and sending the misses to the egg store ASAP.

            Fuckers.

          4. Simple J Malarkey

            Don't forget the toilet paper. Also be on the lookout for the houses with raisins and pretzels.

        2. mbobier

          For SJ Malarkey — Hang in there, brother. Don't let the christianists get you down. And thank you for the tribal identity business; I look forward to a good search session or two with that.

  15. sbj1964

    The Christian faith caused the dark-ages 800 years of complete stupid.Is-lame has caused 1400 years of backward ignorance for Muslims,and counting.Think where we would be today without these brain drain faiths of the middle east sandbox.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Naw, that was the Roman Church's fault. Once Bible-based Christianity came along, everything was fine. Go back and review.

    2. schvitzatura

      How certain can we be that Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, or the fevered works of bloody Hindoos would allow for rational thought and a quality of calculus product out of proper Newtonian/Leibnizian theorems?

      White Christian Calculus, FTW!

  16. Pithaughn

    This: big religion is allowed to spew this non sense because it teaches the masses to work harder than is really necessary so that the capitalists can exploit your surplus productivity. Personally, I like to work just enough to not get fired ( although I've been fired from almost all my jobs, so failure at that ) but not contribute to the "bottom line" . Luckily I can do magic with the ones and zeroes, so they keep me around.

  17. Beowoof

    Well we do need to get back to the Gilded Age, where rich republicans can fuck people over at will with no consequences. After that is truly freedom, (for them, for you not so much).

  18. Blueb4sinrise

    …and more on principles (God’s laws) of agriculture, to make their crops grow. As farmers gained a greater sense of responsibility….

    ….many Europeans had suffered even worse conditions on the farms they left behind…These people found it more profitable to leave the farms and work in the cities….

    Not sure how close these two sections are in the book, but sure sounds like a problem for the narrative to me.

  19. tessiee

    "only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature. [...] The Wesleyan revival of the 18th century changed the way people thought by changing their hearts. Englishmen began to depend less on charms and astrology, and more on principles (God’s laws) of agriculture, to make their crops grow"

    OK, so what they mean is that only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural invention *that is not THEIR kind of supernatural intervention* would help their crops or affect the forces of nature.

    Also, is a Wesleyan revival anything like a Lesbian revival? Because I can totally see how that could change the way people thought by changing their hearts.

    1. eggsacklywright

      No, this revival is more along the lines of the Creedence Clearwater variety, and it is a well-known fack that Ms. Clearwater was of the thespian persuasion.

  20. tessiee

    This is like when Homer Simpson made Lionel Ritchie sing his hit song, only with every single word of the lyrics changed to "beer" — except it's less entertaining and makes even less sense.

  21. SnarkOff

    If the Hand of God is visible but the Hand of the Free Market is invisible, which one wins at thumb-wrestling?

  22. tessiee

    Well, my day is made for knowing that generations of my unnamed ancestors, who spent their lives walking behind a mule's ass plowing a field 14 hours a day, day in and day out, had a sense of nobility. Here I thought they just spent their lives working like dogs and had barely enough to live on. Silly me.

  23. tessiee

    "Narcissistic Defenses

    Distortion
    Grossly reshaping external reality to suit inner needs (including unrealistic
    megalomanic beliefs, hallucinations, wish-fulfilling delusions) and using
    sustained feelings of delusional superiority or entitlement.

    Immature Defenses

    Blocking
    Temporarily or transiently inhibiting thinking.

    Controlling
    Attempting to manage or regulate events or objects in the environment to
    minimize anxiety and to resolve inner conflicts.

    Rationalization
    Offering rational explanations in an attempt to justify attitudes, beliefs, or
    behavior that may otherwise be unacceptable."

    From everybody's favorite pit of perdition, the DSM.

  24. BloviateMe

    So, in my quest to become a card-carrying member of Real America, I have a followup question. It is stated: "This end of superstition brought about a new era of science-minded agriculture, and today, only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature."

    So, how does this play into it?: "Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas."

    Is Perry a savage then? …or was it tongue in cheek, and his way of mocking ACTUAL savages?

    I'm confused, and my indoctrination is stunted until someone can iron out this particular wrinkle for me.

    1. eggsacklywright

      Well, at least you're aware that the opposite of irony is wrinkly, so that's a step in the right direction.

  25. BloviateMe

    By the way, it's a well known fact, that I just made up, that Upton is short for Uppity. So his exclusion is only natural.

  26. tessiee

    "These people found it more profitable to leave the farms and work in the cities, where they could improve their standard of living."

    Ooh! Ooh!
    *waves hand to be called on*
    You know who ELSE thought work made you free?

  27. tessiee

    The one bright side of this otherwise genuinely scary and stabby-feeling-provoking group of people is that their beliefs engender a vicious cycle of NOT THINKING EVAR, which will keep them stupid and ignorant (two different things), and therefore, unable to craft the sort of argument that would persuade anyone with an IQ higher than Forrest Gump's.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      The downside is that they have a huge, receptive audience for that same reason. And they vote.

  28. jesus_vs_gojira

    When these kids retire at 70 from their minimum wage Wal-Mart jobs and realize that President Ryan got rid of Social Security and Medicare back in 2016, they can reflect on the immortal words of John Lydon: "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

  29. C_R_Eature

    You know Who Else used religiously based historical revisionism to justify an unfettered expansionist industrial policy and to promote cultural supremacy?

  30. DahBoner

    "A nation is free when its people accept the responsibility for it's own welfare"

    Somalia is a free nation? Because you're pretty much on your own there with no taxes & government…

  31. tessiee

    "Capitalism, we are told, is the only economic system consistent with personal liberty and responsibility."

    Now I'm thinking of that movie in grade school where Mom couldn't find the cake mix she liked because "Comrade Commissar" decided that it wasn't popular enough (like that's not *exactly* how *capitalism* works, but anyway).

    Also, the National Lampoon "commie menace" article where the little boy comes in the house crying, "Mom! Dad! They shot Freckles!"

  32. Mittaplasia

    The people who fall below the Gumpline are already in Mitt's corner and they couldn't craft a paper plane.

  33. Guppy

    The rise of modern science had led to the discovery of many of the natural laws that God established to govern the universe

    But not those laws. You know the ones.

    Many depended on “charms” and astrology for good crops.

    Worse yet, others relied on artifacts and relics from Romish "saints!" Cromwell helped that sort to see the light, though.

    the way of life based on the Biblical teaching that… all work is a noble duty to be performed toward God…

    Doesn't Genesis say, like, the exact opposite, that labor and toil are divine punishment for the Fall? Right on up there with the pains of childbirth?

    Improvements in technology always improve upon or add to our natural resources to make life better for all

    Improvements like breech-loaders and rifled artillery!

    A nation is free when its people accept the responsibility for their own welfare.

    I note that this is individual welfare they refer to. Anything that even mentions the idea of "general welfare" is the work of the Devil and should be immolated posthaste. Oh, wait…

    But their critics often forget the manifold benefits these “captains of industry” brought to mankind.

    Like that wonderful dam at Johnstown! There's your "trickle-down economics!"

    1. schvitzatura

      If you can cast a brass church bell you can make a cannon. Add a cuckoo clock and interchangeable parts and BAM! Minigun!

  34. Hera Sent Me

    I thought a person who piled bullshit that deep would be asphyxiated by the stench it gives off.

  35. skmind

    </snark>

    Doktor, this is a great series. Have you considered turning these into a set of videos like Thunderf00t's "Why do people laugh at creationists?"

  36. fartknocker

    Was it me or does this little textbook skip the French Revolution and the deployment of the guillotine onto the Royal class? Second, I can't wait for next week where I will learn how unions were created by Satan.

  37. BlueStateLibel

    I bet those fancy 18th century English working-class people also had cable television and microwave ovens. Also, I distinctly read this morning that Jesus said the way for the rich to enter heaven is to give up all their wealth, why no mention?

  38. tessiee

    "only simple, superstitious savages would think that supernatural intervention will help their crops or affect the forces of nature. [...] Englishmen began to depend less on charms and astrology, and more on principles (God’s laws) of agriculture, to make their crops grow. " — Revisionist History for Loony Christers book

    "This so-called new religion is nothing but a pack of weird rituals and chants, designed to take away the money of fools. Now let's say the Lord's Prayer 40 times, but first, let's pass the collection plate." — Reverend Lovejoy

  39. LibertyLover

    Driven by a renewed sense of responsibility and a desire to help others, men began to apply modern science to industry resulting in an explosion of new technology (p. 343).

    I guess applying science now in order for us to combat climate change is out of the question.

    You see, man's self-extinction by carbon heating is all part of God's plan.

  40. LibertyLover

    I have a question here:

    For another thing, agriculture definitely became more advanced during this period, and not before, when people were spiritually deprived.

    Since we have become more spiritually deprived — turning away from God and such— is that the reason why God is punishing man by using science to allow Monsanto and other companies to use science to tamper with our food and grains with GMOs?

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Hubris, you bet. Unless you're a Christian stockholder in Monsanto, in which case see "all technology makes life better."

  41. Ayn Rand Paul Tard

    All I can add is this quote from uncle Bill Burroughs “Never do business with a religious son-of-a-bitch. His word ain't worth a shit — not with the Good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

  42. MiniMencken

    I can't wait for the chapter that tells us God wants us to "cross on green, not in between." Also, why God thinks we should eat the salad before the main course, not afterward.

  43. vulpes82

    These are the kind of people who read Dickens and sympathize with the guy who goes "Mooooooooooooooooooore?!?"

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Sadly, I didn't cover it in the main post, but in the comments back in Part 3. Cromwell was apparently just a little too zealous, but overall meant well:

      Charles just pushed good Christians too far. After Charles "instigated a royalist rebellion and a war with Scotland" to regain his crown, Cromwell simply was "determined to be rid of him once and for all." The text simply notes that Cromwell threw the conservatives out of Parliament, deposed the king, and then the Rump Parliament convicted Charles of treason and had him beheaded. They're also not too worried about the Protectorate, noting that "many people viewed the new government as a military dictatorship rather than a republic." Also, too:

      As "Lord Protector," [Cromwell] gained powers that not even James I or Charles I could have had. On the other hand, Cromwell rarely exercised these powers. Instead, he concentrated on maintaining peace and order in England, promoting religious toleration, and defending the country from foreign powers.

      So, yeah, a little bit of dictatorship is OK as long as order is maintained. These fuckers don't mind tyrants who are also Bible-believing Christians.

      Also, the Restoration worked because "the fear that Romanism might be reimposed was enough to bring Englishmen together."

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Thanks Dok. I don't always get to dig into the comments. I was curious if they had covered the round heads raping and burning nuns to defeat the Papist. Seems like it would be a highlight.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          No, nothing about that, unless they had a really sick intent when writing the final sentence in this passage:

          "Cromwell imposed the strictest discipline on his troops, winning their loyalty by the example of his own courage in battle. His chaplains preached constantly tot he troops, inspiring them with sermons on the Providence of God. Hardened by military discipline and stiffened by religious zeal, Cromwell's army was nicknamed the 'Ironsides.'"

  44. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    A nation is free when its people accept the responsibility for their own welfare. When the people turn that responsibility over to the government by demanding more services and regulations, the nation loses its freedom (p. 354).

    But I thought that "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.". So, isn't it only by giving the government all my freedoms that I am truly free? Or is Kris Kristopherson the spawn of Satan?

  45. decentcitizen

    This is what happens when you confuse culture with history. You learn a lot about where you live and very little about what happened.

  46. Negropolis

    "Such superstition always produces fear, and many people feared the forces of nature rather than following God’s command to harness nature for the good of man replacing that supertition with that of fearing the Almighty God.

    /fxed

    BTW, Niall Ferguson went on about the "Protestant work ethic" without any irony in one of his more recent documentaries. It made me want to throw up. But, because he has a British accent and went to university and travels all around the world with his Muslin-hating partner I guess that makes him right-proper.

    John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan

    I damn-near expected to see them respun as "job creators" in text. I love how an unintended consequences becomes the central focus of how we're supposed to view them. Sure, they robbed the fuck out of society for their own gain…but they created jobs, y'all! And besides that, Mrs. Lincoln…?

  47. ttommyunger

    Becuz up is down, black is white, in is out, cold is hot and right is wrong- for faith, also, too, as well as….

  48. Flat_Earther

    We should not forget the Southern Baptist role in slavery. The interpreted the Bible as supporting the practice of slavery and encouraged good paternalistic practices by slaveholders. They also preached to slaves to accept their places and obey their masters. His ideas are really just an extension of religious freedom.

  49. owhatever

    "Beware borrowing money from Jews, for they will want it back, with a nice interest rate, or they sell your soul to the devil after sending some knee-breaker from Sicily around to collect." — Marvelcomicus 12:3

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