The Real News of the Month

May 2007
Volume 14, Number 5

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
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  -> American Idols
  -> Editor's Note: Will You Help Us Continue?
  -> Since Publius
"Reactionary Utopian" Columns Reprinted in This Issue


American Idols
(page 1)

     How can this country survive much longer, when the 
younger generation is so appallingly ignorant? Only half 
of them can name the first book of the Bible, or any of 
the four Gospels.

     Worse yet, in a way, I'm not sure they can even read 
the NEW YORK POST! They all know who the current American 
Idol is, but a shocking number are unable to identify Amy 
Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco. No use trying to converse 
intelligently with such people about Antony and 

     I have my own problem with the POST. My eyes are so 
weak now that without my reading glasses I can't tell 
whether it still supports Israel. I'll have to start 
getting the Braille edition, I guess.

     Today's atheists baffle me too. If they don't 
believe God exists, why do they hate him so much? That 
doesn't figure for me.

     I mean, I don't believe in Zeus, myself. But for 
that very reason, I don't hate him. (Or, to be safe, Him 
-- some people in this multicultural society of ours are 
pretty sensitive about capitalizing pronouns.)

     I've always found it hard to hold grudges against 
deities that don't even exist. When, as a kid, I didn't 
believe, I couldn't even work up a head of steam against 
the one wise people tried to tell me did exist.

     A tolerant fellow Christian just told me he thinks 
atheists are entitled to their opinions. I told him I 
think they're entitled to my opinions; I've heard enough 
of theirs! Don't even get me started on the subject of 
that fool Darwin. The world would be a lot better off if 
he'd taken up astrology, like Attila the Hun.

     At least astrology is a science with a long and 
respectable pedigree. Not that it can't do a lot of harm 
in the wrong hands, I suppose. But so can physics. It 
wasn't astrologers who gave the world the atomic bomb.

     Why don't the atheists get angry at Zoroastrians, by 
the way? Talk about troublemakers. I used to live next 
door to one of those people. Never again. Of course, with 
the Internet, you can't get away from them now. And they 
always seem to know how to find Yours Truly. I guess 
that's what I get for answering their messages.

     One of the pretty clear lessons of history is that 
Zoroastrianism tends to lead to war in the Middle East. 
It's so obvious that I'm surprised that the atheists 
still haven't caught on to it. Why do they always give 
Ahura Mazda a pass when they're inveighing against gentle 
Jesus? Do they assume nobody will notice? Well, some of 
us are keeping score.

     They accuse us Christians of being Manicheans, for 
example, but they seldom say a word against the actual 
Manicheans. How fair is that? If you ask me, it's the 
same old tired story: atheism talks, polytheism walks. 
Watch the treatment of the Catholic Church on public 
television, and you'll see what I mean. I've had it up to 
here with these people.

     I wish I could say I don't have a god in this fight, 
but I do: the only one today's atheists seem to care 
about, the only one they can never forgive. Read the 
Psalms, listen to Handel: he is the king of glory. The 
hatred of the atheists bears perverse witness to him. So 
does their persecution of his believers, which is so 
unlike their indifference to the old pagan gods and 

     Atheism is tolerant, they say. Maybe I'm missing 
something. We never seem to hear about the sins of 
organized irreligion, still active in China and Cuba. In 
the West it's called "separation of church and state."

     As Charles Baudelaire observed, "Satan's cleverest 
wile is to make us think he doesn't exist." It has come 
to sound quaint to speak of the diabolical, no matter how 
evident it is.

     Most atheists now prefer to call themselves 
agnostics, meaning that even if there is a bare 
possibility that some sort of God exists, he can't speak 
to his own creatures, so we should ignore any messages 
from him.

     And religion is all right, they say, as long as it 
makes you feel good. Just don't try to impose it on 
others by acting as if it's really true.

Editor's Note: Will You Help Us Continue?
(page 2)

Dear Loyal Subscriber,

     Last month, I enclosed a letter with your copy of 
SOBRAN'S. We have just started to receive responses as of 
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am repeating some of it here.

     As you know, my business partner, Fran Griffin, and 
I started SOBRAN'S newsletter in 1994 to provide my 
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Later, with the emergence of the Internet, we added the 
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     However, the printed edition involves many more 
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     I love writing for you, but we cannot continue the 
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                                            Best regards,

                                            Joe Sobran

P.S. I have been a writer now for almost all of my 61 
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Since Publius
(page 3)

     Why do we joke about Monopoly money? The Milton 
Bradley board game dates back to 1932. I played it as a 
child, then with my own kids as a young father, then with 
my grandson; and today, I understand, you can still buy 
Park Place for a mere $2000. A steal!

     In short, Monopoly money has kept its value much 
better than the "real" money churned out by that huge 
counterfeiting ring, the Federal Reserve System. That's 
because, as a friend quips, it's backed by the full faith 
and credit of the Milton Bradley Company.

     If you instinctively get indignant about what the 
government does to money, you are felt to be a crank. 
Well, that's me, I guess. The U.S. Constitution 
authorizes the government to "coin" money, not to "print" 
the stuff, let alone delegate the printing to another 
agency. I'm literal-minded that way -- a real misfit in 
this era of the Living Constitution.

     You needn't believe in the original Constitution to 
see what a shell game it has become, a plaything of the 
powerful. Read the FEDERALIST PAPERS with care, and 
you'll realize what revolutions have taken place under 
our noses. In Federalist 62, Publius (James Madison, in 
this case) offers a prophetic short warning against 
modern democracy:

      It will be of little avail to the people that 
      the laws are made by men of their own choice, 
      if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot 
      be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be 
      understood; if they be repealed or revised 
      before they are promulg[at]ed, or undergo such 
      incessant changes that no man who knows what 
      the law is to-day can guess what it will be 
      to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of 
      action; but how can that be a rule, which is 
      little known and less fixed?

     Throughout history, republics have proved highly 
perishable. How to create a durable one, in spite of 
"popular fluctuations"? That is the problem Publius 
confronts. He argues confidently that the proposed 
Constitution can solve it. The careful constitutional 
design enables legislation while making it sufficiently 
difficult to impede impetuous and venal laws.

     Publius is obsessed with the problem of "faction," 
by which he means any special interest (as we now say) 
opposed to the interest of the whole community, even if 
that faction happens to be a majority at a given time, as 
was the War Party that plunged us into Iraq. He may be 
thinking more of religious factions than of economic 
ones. He is an unabashed conspiracy theorist, speaking 
readily of "cabal," "intrigue," and "the vicious arts by 
which elections are too often carried." The idea that 
conspiracies are alien to politics is a supremely silly 
idea. Politicians have been known to have things to hide.

     Since the tendency to faction can never be 
eradicated from human nature, Publius says it must be 
controlled as far as possible by "obstacles." Chief among 
these, under the Constitution, will be the division of 
the legislative power between two dissimilar bodies: a 
popularly elected House of Representatives and a Senate 
selected by state legislatures. If a factional law 
manages to pass both bodies, it may still meet an 
executive "negative," or veto. Finally, the courts may 
deem it unconstitutional. (Publius failed to foresee the 
problem of a factional judiciary usurping legislative 
power.) The Seventeenth Amendment, requiring popular 
election of senators, defeated the whole purpose of the 
Senate as a separate body and an impediment to pure 

     If he were here today, then, Publius would not be 
moaning about "gridlock." That was the whole idea of 
constitutional government! Nor would he deplore "partisan 
bickering in Washington" -- not if the alternative were a 
superfaction, two major parties acting in concert against 
the public good (to save the unconstitutional welfare 
state, for example, violating the rights of property and 
passing enormous debt on to posterity).

     Whatever the purposes of the other late (post-1865) 
amendments, their actual effects, aside from ending 
chattel slavery, have been largely baneful. The 
Fourteenth Amendment, illegally ratified under duress, 
has virtually repealed the original Constitution and the 
Tenth Amendment, putting all state laws at the mercy of 
the Federal Government; the Sixteenth Amendment has 
effectively made all Americans slaves of the U.S. 
Government; the Eighteenth Amendment monstrously expanded 
Federal power.

     Publius might be especially bemused by the 
Twenty-Second Amendment. Under the original Constitution, 
the executive branch was so weak that there would have 
been no point in limiting a president to two terms, and 
impeachment was a ready remedy for any usurpation of 
power. But by 1951 the presidency, with its 
bureaucracies, had swollen far beyond traditional 
monarchical proportions; impeachment was a dead letter; 
the Electoral College Publius describes had become a 
joke. The amendment was a desperate, tardy, and futile 
stopgap against the danger of tyranny.

     That tyranny, which has grown far more oppressive 
since 1951, is immeasurably worse than any American could 
have imagined in 1787.


REPRINTED COLUMNS ("The Reactionary Utopian")
(pages 7-12)

* The Fadsters (April 23, 2007)

* Defending the "Procedure" (April 26, 2007)

* A Great American Actor (May 1, 2007)

* The Sanctimony of the Atheists (May 8, 2007)

* Giuliani, the Pope, and Aristotle (May 11, 2007)

* My Cane (May 15, 2007)

* You Must Remember This (May 17, 2007)

* Special Edition (May 22, 2007)

* The Great American Fascist (May 29, 2007)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran, except where

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