Crude and the Incoherence of the Proposition Nation of America

Over at Crude’s blog, he discusses the idea of religious freedom and the proposition nation. Specifically, he writes:

Now and then the argument surfaces about the ‘proposition nation’ where you can identify an American by the set of values they espouse and ideas they cling to, and these ideas can be had everywhere – from Bangladesh to Taiwan. But I don’t think anyone takes this idea seriously. If they did, I’d have a question for them: what do you do with those American citizens who do not subscribe to that supposedly sacred list of ideas? If we’re a proposition nation, and a lot of citizens reject those ‘propositions’, what then?

It’s hard to get an answer for this, and it’s clear why: we’ll have to conclude our nation has been invaded. The Proposition Nation is occupied by people who reject the propositions, and these bastards are voting in our elections. They’re even promoting their ideas above and against our nation.

Unless… we water down the Holy Propositions sufficiently. Enough to make sure that America’s muslim and Somalian refugees, latin American illegal immigrants, west coast liberals and Trump supporters all accept the same propositions.

Not coincidentally, this also seems like the surest way to destroy a proposition nation.

In response to Crude, I provided the following:

The whole idea of a proposition nation, when that idea is tied to a geographic location — as it is in the case of the United States — is horseshit. And we know this because we can compare it to other proposition entities which show the vacuity of the “America is a proposition nation” idea. Consider, first off, that Christianity and Islam are “proposition” religions. Thus, if you believe certain tenets in those proposition religions, then you are a member of that religion; and you are a member regardless of if you live in Canada or Korea or Uganda. At the same time, if you stop believing those propositions, then you are no longer a member of those religions, regardless of where you live. By contrast, if you live in America and have citizenship there, then you are an American (at least the way we define it today), regardless of what propositions you believe. But if you are not an American citizen, and yet nevertheless still believe in every proposition as laid out in the Constitution, Declaration, etc., then you are still not an American. So unless being American is like being Christian, or being a Marxist, then linking the idea of a proposition nation to America is absurd. After all, we consider Americans to be people from a specific country/geographic location, not people with specific ideas. And so, as stated, unless “American” literally becomes a ideology that is trans-national, America cannot be a proposition nation. But if being “American” is like an ideology, then “Americans” could not be a nation anyway, for people from many different nations could adopt the “American” ideology (just as people from different nations can be Christians, but they are not a Christian nation). And so, in the end, I think that the “America as proposition nation” idea is absurd no matter which way you look at it and it has no coherent basis in reality.


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