Sunday, December 28, 2014

“What the Muslims Want” seems to rebuke a civic people

I read with interest, “Self-determination the theme at Kwanzaa event at Southern University,” by Matt McKinney, The Advocate, December 28, 2014, The celebration seems to rebuke the preamble to constitution for the USA. The preamble states a contract by a civic people. "Civic" refers to ineluctable connections because persons occupy the same land at the same time rather than "social," which implies association by preference or class.

It seems to me I advocate classical liberty, because I propose collaborative personal autonomy for each no-harm person. “No-harm," or civil refers to cooperation with legal civic governance, in the USA, the rule of written law--even while refinement or amendment of the law is underway.

I found “What the Muslims Want,” authored by Elijah Muhammad, who died in 1975, at and wonder if it differs from the Malcolm X version referred to in this article. The list seems divisive and denying that the 400 years it references happened during millennia of unceasing African slavery by Africans. Slavery was criticized by some colonists, was the cause of the Civil War, and is abolished in America through today, with the exception of the sex trade.

By “a civic people,” I refer to persons in all times who are able, based on physics-based ethics, to reject false teachings in their own scripture. Colonial Christians at odds, reading the same Holy Bible, charged their religious sect to publicly speak against slavery. Examples of a people who opposed colonial slavery include Richard Baxter, 1665; the Anabaptists, 1683; the Society of Friends, 1696; Cotton Mather, 1706; the Dunkers, 1723; the Quakers, 1758; and Thomas Paine, 1775, who founded the first colonial abolition society along with Benjamin Franklin and Quakers in Philadelphia. Perhaps the unique circumstance of Europeans escaping religious oppression in their home countries gave them the perspective to relate to the plight of slaves, making the ancestors of colonial Europeans unique in this regard and empowering them to sustain the Civil War. (However, I am not convinced that Europeans really colonized America for religious reasons; I am suspicious that that opinion is propaganda originating with the doctrine of discovery.)

More importantly, humankind has found, through DNA, that what thoughtful people always perceived is true: People of all skin colors are human--moreover, kin. Today’s DNA, sampled from any person, originates from a couple in Africa some 200,000 years ago. A political activity to divide kin seems in opposition to physics-based ethics, whether encouraged by a religious institution or not. By physics-based ethics, many proponents of racial division know better but do not admit it to themselves, inviting personal woe.

People in Baton Rouge have a unique opportunity: There exists here each 1) an idea, 2) a theory, and 3) an emerging practice, to establish, at last, a people who voluntarily collaborate for governance by a civic people. By collaborate I mean negotiate civic morality based on physics-based ethics then make it clear to elected and appointed officials, both state and federal, what a civic people require. Candid civic discussion of actual civic needs empowers a people to focus on civic accommodations so that every no-harm person may pursue the happiness they perceive during every decade of a long lifetime. By “no-harm person” I mean a person who obeys the law even if they  publicly express that it involves injustice. In other words, a person in civic debate, perhaps leading to new civic law, does not lie or otherwise miss-communicate, foremost to himself or herself, because he/she wants to make his/her civic needs plainly understood and considered by a collaborative people. Thus, a civic people govern a civic people, and cooperatively supervise both state and federal governance.

The idea is to use the preamble to the constitution for the USA, perhaps updated from needs of inhabitants in 1787 to needs of inhabitants in 2015, to organize and promote collaborative resolution of civic concerns. Respecting updates, for example, in 1787, a people needed a union of states, whereas today a people need personal integrity. Thus, "perfect union" might change to "integrity." The theory is that most people can recognize that the preamble is a civic sentence that accommodates each person’s pursuit of either a no-harm religion or no religion, by each person admitting to self that civic collaboration is necessary to support personal pursuits, such as religion, and by adopting physics-based ethics rather than religion as the effective and collaborative basis for expressing and resolving civic concerns in this country.

Thus, a civic people require global religious institutions to accept that their leaders in the USA conform to US civic law, despite conflicting global religious doctrine or canon. Since ceremonial, legislative religion is federally, uniformly imposed, a people will need reform in that regard sooner or later. No longer in this country should a non-theist be forced to rationalize the tyranny of governance under theism, or support its ruinous conflicts with civic needs.
It seems self evident that the preamble, with its absolute phrase, “We the People of the United States,” is unlikely to ever represent the sentiment of 100% of inhabitants. Because each person is born essentially uninformed and must cultivate the personal desire for civic collaboration while the opportunity exists, minorities of people who suffer ignorance, dissidence, deviation, criminality or evil seem inevitable. Often, early death as a consequence of personal behavior terminates the opportunity. However, there is historical precedence for a super-majority of 70 % to 75% of inhabitants, a civic people, who strive to benefit from physics regardless of personal ideologies. This is not a new human phenomenon, as demonstrated by the colonial Christians who opposed slavery during the 17th and 18th centuries and as speculated about by philosophers, political scientists, and psychologists for perhaps ten thousand years.

Persons who sense that the list, “What Muslims Want,” is not their preference and other Baton Rougeans and persons beyond Baton Rouge may learn more and contribute by inviting the Microsoft PowerPoint animated discussion, “A Civic People of the United States,” last presented at Bluebonnet Library on September 20, 2015 for Constitution Day. Contact me at to schedule a discussion with your group. The effort is sponsored by A Civic People of Baton Rouge.

 Copyright©2014 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Revised December 10, 2015.