William Blackstone’s concept of God, for the record

According to Stevie D, a book reviewer on Amazon:

Judge [Roy] Moore is so blinded by his personal beliefs, he cannot see the US Constitution and our history without the prism of Christianity. He misinterprets historical facts to support his view. Sir William Blackstone is mentioned [by Moore] as a legal scholar that influenced the founding fathers on the rule of law by God. In Blackstone’s writings, he refers to God as in the God of Nature and laws of nature. This is the God of Diesm [sic] and Secularism, not Christianity.

But that’s not true. In the words of Blackstone himself:

The legislature hath indeed thought it proper that the civil magistrate should again interpose with regard to one species of heresy, very prevalent in modern times; for, by statute 9 and 10 W. III c. 32, if any person educated in the Christian religion or professing the same shall by writing, printing, teaching, or advised speaking, deny any one of the persons in the holy trinity to be God, or maintain that there are more Gods than one, he shall undergo the same penalties and incapacities, which were just now mentioned to be inflicted on apostacy by the same statute (2). And thus much for the crime of heresy.

My two cents

English: Mezzotint portrait of English jurist ...
Mezzotint portrait of English jurist Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) by Thomas Hamilton Crawford (1860-1948) after Joshua Reynolds (0723-1792) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Humanistic (and hypocritical) historical revisionism? You betcha. One battleground I see between Christianity and humanism is in the field of history, including legal history. It seems that William Blackstone is one of the most influential figures in Western legal history, and if his analysis of Western law demonstrates that it’s Christian, it’s a feather in the cap of Christians in the legal sphere (at the expense of liberal activists). Amazon’s book reviews can be an interesting source of surveying this battle. On one hand, we have Judge Roy Moore with a clear Christian approach to law and an accurate understanding of Sir William Blackstone…and then we have some guy from New Jersey who reviewed Moore’s book, and stuffed up his assertions on Blackstone and Moore. Then at the end, he has the audacity to say that Moore is the one indulging in “true revisionist history”! Christians 1, historical revisionists 0. I agree with Joseph Stephen of Faithful Generations; he said that Christianity is continually being revised out of Western history, and I can see how.

Quote sources

  1. Stevie D. “Stedes”. (2010). Amazon.com: Stevie_D. “Stede”‘s review of So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle for Religious Freedom. Available: http://www.amazon.com/review/R31VOWKS4S4RHG/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm. Last accessed 24th Mar 2011.
  2. Blackstone, W. (1836). Commentaries on the Laws of England: with an Analysis, of the Work (Volume 4, 19th edition), p. 49 . Available: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=LFJDAAAAcAAJ&dq=william%20blackstone%20commentaries%20on%20the%20laws%20of%20england&pg=PA49#v=onepage&q=%22The%20legislature%20hath%20indeed%22&f=false. Last accessed 24th Mar 2012.
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