ORIGINS BLOG

This blog is a journal of research, of the Historic Research Group, Whangarei, New Ulster, New Zealand on subjects as diverse as: ARCHAEOLOGY, BIBLICAL LAW (Theonomy),CHRONOLOGY, CUSTOMS, ETYMOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY, ETHICS, GENEALOGY, GEOGRAPHY, HERALDRY, HISTORY, LAW, LEGENDS MAPS AND MANUSCRIPTS, MIGRATIONS, MONUMENTS, PHILOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY POLITICS, THEOLOGY, TRADITIONS, TRANSLATIONS, VEXILLOLOGY (study of flags)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

ORIGINS e-Newsletter edition – Number 2 - 2006

In this Issue: The Minuteman News and Reviews; Kipling and Burns; Saxon Invasion – book review; Heston

Minuteman News and Reviews

NEW ZEALAND’S CELTIC ROOTS EXPLORED

We’re all familiar with jokes that portray the Irish as dim-witted and the Scots as notoriously canny.
Such representations are now being investigated as part of a new research project being undertaken by Dr Angela McCarthy, Victoria University’s JD Stout Research Fellow in New Zealand Studies.
Dr McCarthy says Irish and Scottish migrants supplied approximately 40 percent of New Zealand’s foreign-born population in the later nineteenth century and 20 to 30 percent throughout much of the twentieth century, yet little research has been undertaken to ascertain how they, and wider society, perceived their national and cultural identities.
“Too frequently scholars seek the existence and continuity of visible signs of ethnic affiliation,” Dr McCarthy says.
“They focus predominantly on formal associations with fellow expatriates and group affiliations in the new homeland. In the Irish context, this includes a concentration on such associations as the Orange Order and Hibernians, while for Scots there is a tendency to narrow in on St Andrews Societies and Burns Clubs.”
While these aspects are important, McCarthy plans to approach the topic through an alternative methodology.
“Approaches based on visible, cultural, and group identities frequently neglect the thoughts and feelings of the individuals participating in the process of migration. I will therefore incorporate analysis of such personal testimonies as letters, shipboard journals, and diaries. This sense of self-identification will then be compared with official and public sources including asylum registers, nominated migration files, and cartoons.”
The research links into the Irish-Scottish Studies Programme’s major project on Scottish migration and its many contributions to New Zealand’s society, which was awarded a $510,000 grant from the Marsden Fund earlier this year. Overall findings will be reported in a substantial multi-authored book. Several conferences and scholarly articles are also planned.
Dr McCarthy plans to explore not only the broad sense of Irishness and Scottishness that existed in New Zealand but also the local and regional affiliations at both origin and destination. The ways in which such identities were constructed along gendered, religious, and class lines is also a major component of her research.
As well as its comparative approach, the project will also represent a major departure in studies of migration for its analysis of the descent group as well as the migrant-born generation.
Dr McCarthy is appealing to members of the public with Irish and/or Scottish connections who may have personal testimonies from their ancestors to contact her at the Stout Research Centre, Victoria University, P O Box 600, Wellington, phone 04 463 5620 or email: angela.mccarthy@vuw.ac.nz.
PS: It is interesting to note that New Zealand has more Pipe Bands per head of population that any other country in the world (the same goes for golf courses - a game that was invented by Scots).
I recently attended the annual NZ Pipe Band Championships and witnessed the following:
Picture in your mind 53 Pipe Bands all lined up with 53 Drum Majors in front of them holding their maces, and in front of them the Head Drum Major (RSM) with his mace. Imagine the colour of their kilts and trews in the different tartans, with their bonnets and glengarries and different coloured tunics and shirts. Then at the command of the Head Drum Major they all as one person start playing and march forward. It was a grand sight to see - aye. (Ed).

IF - by Rudyard Kipling

1 - If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

2 - If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

3 - If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on !";

4 - If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

RUDYARD KIPLING
1865-1936 was born in Bombay, India on December 30th 1865, son of John Lockwood Kipling, an artist and teacher of architectural sculpture, and his wife Alice. His mother was one of the talented and beautiful Macdonald sisters, four of whom married remarkable men, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Poynter, Alfred Baldwin, and John Lockwood Kipling himself.

Many of Rudyard Kipling's older books have a swastika printed on their covers, which has led to many claiming that he is racist. The truth is that the swastika is an Indian sign of good luck, often used by Hindu traders on their account books; when the Nazis started to gain recognition he commanded the engraver to remove it from the printing block. (Note that the arms of the Nazi swastika bend to the right, not to the left as in Kipling's which is more typical of the swastika used by Buddhists on their flag.).
It is also interesting to see the similar philosophy that is presented in the poem by the Scot Robbie Burns “A Man’s A Man For A’ That”. It makes you wonder that Kipling being of Scots ancestry would have been exposed to Burns and would have had an influence on him.

A Man's A Man For A' That

1795 - Robbie Burns

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.


THE SAXON INVASION

A book review

Excerpted from: “The Origin and Early History of Christianity in Britain”

By ANDREW GRAY, D.D.

We have seen that the church was rescued from the Pelagian heresy but it had more formidable foes to encounter. No longer protected by the powerful countenance of the Roman Emperors, she was now grievously oppressed by the frequent incursions of those predatory tribes who occupied the Northern frontier of Britain - the Picts (as the Caledonians were then called), and the Scots (a tribe who had migrated from Ireland). In their distress, the people of South Britain sent an appeal to Rome for help, inscribed, "The Groans of the Britons." But there were Northern barbarians at the time threatening Rome itself. The great fabric of the Empire was tottering to its foundation; and Rome, feeling obliged to concentrate around the capitol the scattered forces of the Empire, had withdrawn her legions from Britain in A.D. 410. Attila, surnamed "The Scourge of God," with his conquering hordes had crossed the Alps and was advancing on Rome. The Romans had all they could do to defend themselves, and so the petition from Britain was unheeded.

In this extremity of desertion on one hand and suffering on the other, the Britons persuaded Vortigern Prince of Damnonium, to send deputies to the Saxons requesting their assistance. This was an evil hour for the Britons, for of all the German tribes, the Saxons were the most warlike and savage. Gildas speaks of "the stupidity and infatuation under which the Britons acted, in calling to their help a nation whom they dreaded more than death." The Saxons readily responded to the request, and under Hengist and Horsa, their leaders, they landed in Britain (A.D. 449), and made short work with the Picts and Scots. This first success speedily brought over more of their adventurous countrymen, who became so charmed with the fertility of the soil, and the mildness of the climate, that they soon assumed the attitude of conquerors; and joining the Picts and Scots against the Britons, by force of arms, they maintained their possession of the country. For a time Britain, unaided and alone, successfully withstood them. Indeed under Ambrosius Aurelianus, A.D. 489, they seem to have won an important battle at Bannesdown.

But eventually victory crowned the efforts of the enemy; and never was a victory more complete, or more cruelly misused. Probably all of the hordes that dismembered the Roman Empire, the Saxons were the most barbarous. The Goths and Lombards had been christainized: and the Franks, if not Christians, had at least been softened by Roman civilization. But the Saxons were heathen; they worshipped the sun and moon, and Wodin, or Odin, and Thor, the thunderer, and many other false gods. The greatest virtue with them was courage, and the greatest vice was cowardice. And so Britain, from east to west, became involved in rapine and slaughter. Her cruel masters turned their ruthless hands against every thing and person that had a religious character, destroyed every church they could reach, and slew the Christians at the very altars. The Bishops and clergy were hunted down like wild beast, and they either miserably perished, or else sought refuge in expatriation. And, as if this condition of things was not already bad enough for the despised and down-trodden Faith, Vorigern, the prince already referred to, married the daughter of Hengist, thus forming a royal alliance with paganism.

The plunder that fell into the hands of these Saxon spoilers attracted the cupidity of other piratical tribes. The Jutes and the Angles rushed to the quarry, and with murderous rapidity carried fire and sword to every part of Britain proper. The Britons long maintained the unequal combat, but after a struggle of 150 years, were compelled to receive the yoke of their heartless pagan conquerors.

We can easily understand from the fierce character of the people, how the Teutonic settlement in Britain was quite unlike that of the Goths, the Lombards, or the Franks, in the countries which they conquered. The conquest of Gaul, or of Italy, was little more than a forcible settlement in the conquered country, which was destined in the course of time to absorb the conquerors. French, for instance, is not the language of the Frank, but of the Gaul, whom the Frank conquered. But the German conquest of Britain was a complete dispossession or slaughter of the conquered people. Wherever the conqueror went, the vengeance he took on the Britons was terrible. Whole villages and towns were consigned to the flames, and a promiscuous slaughter of the inhabitants ensued. Everything Celtic was as effectually wiped out of the land as everything Roman was wiped out of Africa by the Saracen conquerors of Carthage. Britain ceased to be Britain, and became England. The religion, the laws, the language were all changed; and, as if to recall to the people the daily remembrance of their slavery, the very days of the week took the names of the deities which had dethroned Christ.

To learn more about this book go to: Artisan Publishers’ website - www.artisanpublishers.com


Cultural Warfare
By Charlton Heston

Actor Charlton Heston, born October 4, 1924, was one of some performing artists who received the Kennedy Center honors on December 6, 1997. Mr. Heston remained in Washington D.C. and addressed the 20th Anniversary of the Free Congress Foundation and the 4th Birthday of the NET TV network. The following are excerpts from his Insightful remarks. Mr. Heston and Mrs. Heston celebrated 50 years of marriage in 1994.

Cultural Warfare

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001

Charlton Heston on America

Actor Charlton Heston, born October 4, 1924, was one of some performing artists who received the Kennedy Center honors on December 6, 1997. Mr. Heston remained in Washington D.C. and addressed the 20th Anniversary of the Free Congress Foundation and the 4th Birthday of the NET TV network. The following are excerpts from his Insightful remarks. Mr. Heston and Mrs. Heston celebrated 50 years of marriage in 1994.

A cultural war is raging across our land-storming our values, assaulting our freedoms, killing our self-confidence in who we are and what we believe. (Mr. Heston then asked those present who owned a gun to raise their hand.)

I wonder how many of you own guns but chose not to raise your hand? How many of you considered revealing your conviction about a constitutional right, but then though better of it?

If so, you are a victim of the culture war being waged against traditional American freedom of beliefs and ideas. You have been assaulted and robbed of the courage of your convictions. Your pride in who you are and what you believe in has been ridiculed, ransacked, and plundered! It may be a war without a bullet or bloodshed, but with just as much liberty lost: You and your country are less free!

Because you choose to own guns- affirmed by no less than the Bill of Rights- you embrace a view at odds with the cultural war lords. If that is the outcome of cultural war, and you are the victims, I can only ask the obvious question. What will become of the right itself? Or other rights not deemed acceptable by the thought police? What other truth in your heart will you disavow with your hand?

Rank-and-file Americans wake up every morning, increasingly bewildered and confused at why their views make them lesser citizens. The message gets through; Heaven help the God fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian, middle-class Protestant - or even worse, evangelical Christian, Midwestern or Southern - or even worse, rural, apparently straight - or even worse, admitted heterosexuals, gun-owning or even worse, NRA-card-carrying, average working stiff - or even worse, male working stiff - because, not only don't you count, you are a down-right obstacle to social progress. Your voice deserves a lower decibel level, your opinion is less enlightened, your media access is insignificant, and frankly, mister, you need to wake up, wise up, and learn a little something from your new-America and until you do, would you mind shutting up?

That is why you didn't raise your hand. That's how cultural war works. That's what happens when a generation of media, educators, entertainers, and politicians-led by a willing President-decide the America they were born into isn't good enough anymore. So, they contrive to change it through cultural warfare of class distinction! Ask the Romans if powerful nations have ever fallen as a result of cultural division. There are ruins around the world that were once the smug centers of small-minded, arrogant elitism. It appears that, rather than evaporate in the flash of a split atom, we may succumb to a divided culture!

The Constitution was handed down to guide us by a bunch of wise old dead white guys who invented our country! Now some flinch when I say that. Why! Its true-they were white guys! So were most of the guys that died in Lincoln's name opposing slavery in the 1860's. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is "Hispanic Pride" or "Black Pride" a good thing, while "White Pride" conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I'll tell you why, Cultural warfare!

You don't see other Hollywood luminaries speaking out on this do you? Its not because there aren't any. Its because they can't afford the heat! They dare not speak for fear of CNN or the IRS or the SAG or NBC! It saps the strength of our country when the personal price is simply too high to stand for what you believe in. Today, speaking with the courage of your convictions can be costly, the price of principal can be so high that legislators won't lead and citizens can't follow, and so there is no arm to fight back. That's cultural warfare!

Mainstream America is counting on you to "draw your sword" and fight for them. These people have precious little time and resources to battle misguided Cinderella attitudes, the fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition, the feminists who preach that it is a divine duty for woman to hate men, blacks who raise a militant fist with one hand while they seek preference with the other, New Age apologists for juvenile crime who see roving gangs as a means to only the merchandising violence as a form of entertainment for impressionable minds, and gun bans as a means to only the Lord-knows-what. We have reached that point in time when our social policy originates on Oprah.

Its time to pull the plug!


The ORIGINS e-NEWSLETTER is published by the: Historic Research Group which meets every month to discuss a wide range of subjects - as shown on the header. The main feature of research is the historic identity of the ancient Israelite people with the modern Scandinavian / Nordic - Celtic - Germanic and related European peoples also known as Brito-Scandinavians and Caucasians. The HRG is not a church or an ecclesiastical group, nor is it aligned with any religious group, but because it is theistic in its world and life view, it holds as the foundation for its research - THE BIBLE - WHICH IS SELF-CONSCIOUSLY AN HISTORICAL BOOK. It is hoped that you enjoy reading this e-newsletter. Feel free to pass it on.

Permission is granted to copy this newsletter as long as no changes are made to the contents. Individual articles may be reproduced as long as credit is included. The views of the authors of the articles are their own and not necessarily the views of the Historic Research Group.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

ORIGINS eNewsletter edition – Number 1 - 2006

In this Issue: The Minuteman News and Reviews; Did Jesus Exist; Agnostic – Agnosis; Cultural Relativism; Moral Relativism; Battle of Falkirk 1746

Minuteman News and Reviews

During the period after the American War of Independence, the British Government decided it needed a new place to send its ever growing convict population (it was that large that many were kept in rotting hulks of ships on rivers like the Thames). The reason being is that they lost the ability to ship them to the former English, then British colonies that became the United States of America in 1776. To over come this and on the basis of what they found in Captain Cook’s reports - they send a fleet to Botany Bay in Australia in 1788.

Many of the convicts were sentenced to death, but had their sentences commuted to Transportation for 7 years or life for crimes that were as diverse as sheep stealing or the theft of 30 yards of cotton material. This was under English Law which covered England, Wales and Ireland, with Scotland having a separate legal system to the English - (there were over 200 crimes that had the death penalty un English law).

The established English church gave consent to this, even when the Bible did not. Biblical Law stated that restitution must be made in the case of theft - to the rate of 200% to 400% depending if it was a commercial or private item stolen. To hang a young woman for theft of cotton material is a travesty of justice that the Church of England should have protested about - but they did not (neither did the other churches).

So therefore, the blood of hundreds of people condemned to die under English law - that had a flagrant disregard for Biblical Law - is on the hands of the leaders of this religious organisation - to this very day. Where is their public apology for this? Don’t hold your breath!

It is fortunate for the young woman mentioned above that her sentence was commuted to Transportation to Botany Bay.


Did Jesus exist? Italian court set to decide

Reuters Friday, January 06, 2006 01:49 IST

ROME: Forget the US debate over intelligent design versus evolution. An Italian court is tackling Jesus — and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.

The case pits against each other two men in their 70s, who are from the same central Italian town and even went to the same seminary school in their teenage years.

The defendant, Enrico Righi, went on to become a priest writing for the parish newspaper. The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month.

“I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression,” Cascioli said. Cascioli says Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is “Abuso di Credulita Popolare” (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is “Sostituzione di Persona”, or impersonation.
“The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala,” Cascioli claimed, referring to the 1st century Jew who fought against the Roman army.

A court in Viterbo will hear from Righi, who has yet to be indicted, at a January. 27 preliminary hearing meant to determine whether the case has enough merit to go forward. “In my book, The Fable of Christ, I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ’s existence,” Cascioli said.

Speaking to Reuters, Righi, 76, sounded frustrated by the case and baffled as to why Cascioli — who, like him, came from the town of Bagnoregio — singled him out in his crusade against the Church. “Since I’m a priest, and I write in the parish newspaper, he is now suing me because I ‘trick’ the people.” Righi claims there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of Jesus, including historical texts.

He also claims that justice is on his side. The judge presiding over the hearing has tried, repeatedly, to dismiss the case — prompting appeals from Cascioli.”The judge will to decide if Christ exists or not” Even Cascioli admits that the odds are against him, especially in Roman Catholic Italy. “It would take a miracle to win,” he joked. —Reuters


Cultural Relativism: Truth Is Relative

Cultural relativism is the view that all beliefs are equally valid and that truth itself is relative, depending on the situation, environment, and individual. Those who hold to cultural relativism hold that all religious, ethical, aesthetic, and political beliefs are completely relative to the individual within a cultural identity. Relativism often includes moral relativism (ethics depend on a social construct), situational relativism (right or wrong is based on the particular situation), and cognitive relativism (truth itself has no objective standard).

Cultural Relativism: A Misguided Movement Towards Pluralism & Tolerance
Cultural relativism pervades today's society. As long as we don't "hurt" anyone, anything goes. Absolute truth has been discarded along with God. We live in a society of pluralism and tolerance. We reject the idea of universal right and wrong. With a diminishing list of objective standards, our legislative system is having a harder time defining the laws, and our court system is having a harder time interpreting them. In just a few decades, our entertainment industry has pushed the "acceptance" of lewdness and indecency to levels we never imagined. Our children are losing their moral compass and lashing out in violence like never before. Our schools teach that we are an accident of evolution. Our institutions teach that we must accept all types of lifestyles or be deemed "intolerant," or worse, "hate mongers." Relativism encourages us to accept pornography in the media and fornication in our colleges and universities. Many things that were deemed a "sin" only a few years ago are now either accepted or promoted in our culture. According to the relativists, all points of view are true except for those that teach absolutes -- absolute truth, absolute right or wrong, or an absolute God.

Of course, cultural relativism is appropriate in some respects. For example, food, clothing, language, and driving rules are different within cultures, and it's important that these relative differences remain. However, these are not issues of universal "right" and "wrong." These are not matters of mathematical certainty. These are not issues of "truth." In a relativistic society, we have no right to judge or punish anyone. Right and wrong are now defined by socialization. Society changes and morality becomes a moving target. In truth, if the standard of right and wrong is based on relativism, then society has no standards at all.

Cultural Relativism: Illogical Conclusion
Cultural relativism is the philosophical belief that all views are equally valid. However, if you test this position under general rules of logic, you soon discover that relativism is illogical and self-defeating. If relativism is true and all points of view are true, then the assertion that relativism is false, is true. Is this contradictory? Yes. Is truth contradictory? No.

Relativists believe that all truth is relative. Therefore, the statement, "All truth is relative," would be absolutely true. If this statement is absolutely true, then not all things are relative and the statement is false.

Relativists declare that "there are no absolute truths." However, this is an absolute statement, which is supposed to be true. Therefore, it is an absolute truth and the statement is false.

According to the relativist position, I can have my own version of truth. Therefore, a truth for me is that relativism is false. Based on the relativistic rules, I have just established that relativism is false. Of course, the relativist will say "no" to my logic, but then what is true for me is not really true, and, again, I have proven the philosophy of relativism false.

Give it some thought…


Moral Relativism - What's It All About?

Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person's individual choice. We can all decide what is right for ourselves. You decide what's right for you, and I'll decide what's right for me. Moral relativism says, "It's true for me, if I believe it."

Moral Relativism - Is It Really Neutral?
Moral relativism has steadily been accepted as the primary moral philosophy of modern society, a culture that was previously governed by a "Judeo-christian" view of morality. While these "Judeo-christian" standards continue to be the foundation for civil law, most people hold to the concept that right or wrong are not absolutes, but can be determined by each individual. Morals and ethics can be altered from one situation, person, or circumstance to the next. Essentially, moral relativism says that anything goes, because life is ultimately without meaning. Words like "ought" and "should" are rendered meaningless. In this way, moral relativism makes the claim that it is morally neutral.

In describing her view on morality, the President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America once stated, "…teaching morality doesn't mean imposing my moral values on others. It means sharing wisdom, giving reasons for believing as I do - and then trusting others to think and judge for themselves." She claims to be morally neutral, yet her message is clearly intended to influence the thinking of others… an intention that is not, in fact, neutral.

Evidence that moral relativism is seen as more "fair" or "neutral" than a "hardline" stance on morality is seen in a 2002 column from Fox News analyst Bill O'Reilly, who asked "Why is it wrong to be right?" In his article, O'Reilly cites recent Zogby poll findings regarding what is being taught in American universities. Studies indicate 75% of American college professors currently teach that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Rather, they treat the questions of good and evil as relative to "individual values and cultural diversity." The problem with this, according to O'Reilly, is that "they see the world not as it is, but as they want it to be. And annoying questions about moral absolutes and unacceptable behavior are usually left unanswered."

Moral Relativism - Where Do You Stand?
Moral Relativism is a worldview. To determine for yourself which position to hold where morality is concerned, you must first determine what you believe about the origin of life. Do you believe life evolved or do you believe life was created? Evolution and moral relativism go hand-in-hand, for evolution teaches that life is accidental, without meaning or purpose. Therefore, anything you do is OK, because it ultimately doesn't matter. If you believe we are created, however, moral relativism cannot work. Creation implies a Creator. All things created are subject to a set of laws, whether natural or divine. Moral relativism says anything goes …but does it? Is it better to torture a child, or to hug that child?

C.S. Lewis points to the nature of most quarrels as a clue to what we truly believe. Inherent in those quarrels is a concept of fairness, as in "how would you like it if someone did that to you?" When we make that statement, we are appealing "to some kind of standard of behavior [we] expect" the other person to know about. Where do you think that standard originates?

In his September 19, 1796 Farewell Address to the nation, George Washington stated: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars." William McGuffey, author of the McGuffey's Readers, which were the mainstay of America's public school system from 1836 till the 1920's, wrote: "Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man." Where do you think the world is heading today?

Morality Defined
Morality speaks of a system of behavior in regards to standards of right or wrong behavior. The word carries the concepts of: (1) moral standards, with regard to behavior; (2) moral responsibility, referring to our conscience; and (3) a moral identity, or one who is capable of right or wrong action. Common synonyms include ethics, principles, virtue, and goodness. Morality has become a complicated issue in the multi-cultural world we live in today. Let's explore what morality is, how it affects our behavior, our conscience, our society, and our ultimate destiny.

Morality and Our Behavior
Morality describes the principles that govern our behavior. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. In today's world, morality is frequently thought of as belonging to a particular religious point of view, but by definition, we see that this is not the case. Everyone adheres to a moral doctrine of some kind.

Morality as it relates to our behavior is important on three levels. Renowned thinker, scholar and author C.S. Lewis defines them as: (1) to ensure fair play and harmony between individuals; (2) to help make us good people in order to have a good society; and (3) to keep us in a good relationship with the power that created us. Based on this definition, it's clear that our beliefs are critical to our moral behavior.

On Point 1, Professor Lewis says most reasonable people agree. By Point 2, however, we begin to see problems occurring. Consider the popular philosophy "I'm not hurting anyone but myself," frequently used to excuse bad personal choices. How can we be the good people we need to be if we persist in making these choices, and how will that result not affect the rest of our society? Bad personal choices do hurt others. Point 3 is where most disagreement surfaces. While the majority of the world's population believes in God, or at least in a god, the question of Creation, as a theory of origins, is definitely hotly debated in today's society.

A recent report in Psychology Today concluded: "The most significant predictor of a person's moral behavior may be religious commitment. People who consider themselves very religious were least likely to report deceiving their friends, having extramarital affairs, cheating on their expenses accounts, or even parking illegally." Based on this finding, what we believe about Creation has a decided effect on our moral thinking and our behavior. Without belief in a Creator, the only option that seems to be left is to adhere to moral standards we make up for ourselves. Unless we live in a dictatorial society, we are free to choose our own personal moral code. But where does that freedom come from? The view of many who do not adhere to Creation is that morality is a creation of humanity, designed to meet the need of stable societies. All kinds of life are in a process of deciding between life and death, choosing what to do with power and/or authority. This ultimately leads to a system of virtues and values. The question is: what happens when our choices conflict with each other? What if something I believe I need in order for my life to continue results in death for you? If we do not have an absolute standard of truth, chaos and conflict will result as we are all left to our own devices and desires.

Morality and Our Conscience
Morality impacts our everyday decisions, and those choices are directed by our conscience. Again, we must decide for ourselves where the conscience originates. Many people hold to the idea that the conscience is a matter of our hearts, that concepts of right, wrong, and fairness are "programmed" in each of us. This is in keeping with the writings of Paul the Apostle, who points out that even those who do not believe in God frequently obey God's laws as given in the Ten Commandments: "for when nations, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them" (Romans 2:14-15 (NKJV)). Again, those who do not believe in God are left with the only possible conclusion they can come to - that our decisions are based solely on our need to survive. What we call our conscience, then, would be based on learned behavior, rather than part of a Divine design.


The Battle of Falkirk 1746

Battle: Falkirk
War: The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745
Date: 17th January 1746
Place: On the moor to the south west of Falkirk some ten miles south of Stirling in Scotland.
Combatants: The Highland Army of Prince Charles and the royal troops of George II
Generals: Prince Charles, Lord George Murray, and Lieutenant General Henry Hawley.
Size of the Armies: Around 5,000 highlanders and 7,000 royal troops.
Winner: Prince Charles

British Regiments:
Falkirk is not a battle honour for any British Regiment. The regiments present at the battle were: Cobham’s (10th), Ligonier’s late Gardiner’s (13th) and Hamilton’s (14th) Dragoons, the Royals (1st), Howard’s Old Buffs (3rd), Barrel’s King’s Own (4th) Wolfe’s (8th), Pulteney’s (13th), Price’s (14th), Blakeney’s (27th), Cholmondeley’s (34th), Munro’s (37th), Fleming’s (36th), Ligonier’s (48th) and Battereau’s (62nd) Foot. Artillery.

Account:
Following the defeat at Prestonpans, Cope was replaced by Lieutenant General Henry Hawley as commander in chief of the royal forces in Scotland. During the latter part of 1745 the highland army marched south towards London.

It got no further than Derby before turning back and marching into the North of Scotland where it joined the Jacobite forces besieging Major General Blakeney in Stirling Castle.

Hawley led his army out of Edinburgh to relieve Blakeney and arrived at Falkirk for the final approach. On 17th January 1746 the rebels were seen marching up onto Falkirk Moor to the south west of the town.

The royal army formed up while word was sent to Hawley in his lodgings. Hawley at first refused to believe the rebels could be advancing. Finally he galloped into the camp, his napkin still tucked under his chin.

Hawley ordered the army to march up onto the moor. The weather had broken and it was raining hard. It was also nearly dark.

Hawley had formed the view in the 1715 Jacobite rising that the highlanders would not stand against cavalry. The royal army formed facing the rebels on the moor with the three regiments of dragoons in

The artillery was stuck in the mud at the bottom of the hill. Hawley ordered his dragoons to charge. The dragoons approached the highlanders and received a volley which caused them to break and flee down the hill back to Falkirk. The highlanders then attacked the two lines of royal foot. the front line on the left.

Most of the royal regiments fled, other than three regiments that held their ground; Ligonier’s, Barrel’s and Price’s. The royal army made its way back to the camp and headed off towards Edinburgh.

The steady regiments followed, Barrel’s grenadiers attaching themselves to the traces of abandoned guns and dragging them into the camp. The highlanders had become considerably dispersed and many of them were in doubt as to who had won the battle, which had lasted around 20 minutes.

Casualties:
The reports indicate that the royal army lost around 350 men killed, wounded and missing. Some 300 were captured. The highlanders lost some 50 dead and 70 wounded.

Follow-up:
Following the battle Hawley led his army back to Edinburgh. There the Duke of Cumberland arrived to take over command on 30th January 1746.

Regimental anecdotes and traditions:
• It is said that Cope made ₤10,000 in a wager that his successor would be beaten by the Highlanders as he had been.
• Hawley was a protégé of the Duke of Cumberland. He was said by Horace Walpole to be illiterate, was a brutal disciplinarian and had the nickname ‘Hangman’ Hawley. As had Cope, he wholly neglected to ensure that he had a proper train of artillery. His handling of the army, mostly veteran regiments of foot from the Flanders war, was grossly inept.
• Hawley hanged all the deserters from the army he could lay his hands on. Captain Cunningham the artillery officer was tried by court martial and thrown out of the army after a ceremony of “degradation”.

References:
• Fortescue’s History of the British Army Volume 1 Part II
• Battles of the ’45 by Tomasson and Buist


The ORIGINS e-NEWSLETTER is published by the: Historic Research Group which meets every month to discuss a wide range of subjects - as shown on the header. The main feature of research is the historic identity of the ancient Israelite people with the modern Scandinavian / Nordic - Celtic - Germanic and related European peoples also known as Brito-Scandinavians and Caucasians. The HRG is not a church or an ecclesiastical group, nor is it aligned with any religious group, but because it is theistic in its world and life view, it holds as the foundation for its research - THE BIBLE - WHICH IS SELF-CONSCIOUSLY AN HISTORICAL BOOK. It is hoped that you enjoy reading this e-newsletter. Feel free to pass it on.



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