How the Hebrew Bible Shaped the Ideas of One of Liberalism’s Founding Theorists

Many of the ideas that shaped the modern West—including individual rights, the inviolability of personal property, and the need for religious toleration—have their roots in the work of the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704). Yet for all that Locke is associated with secularism and the separation of church and state, he cites the Old Testament more than any other classical source in his Two Treatises on Government. By contrast, the treatises make no mention of the New Testament. Yechiel Leiter, a scholar who has devoted much time to exploring the significance of these facts, discusses Locke’s biblical thinking in conversation with Ari Lamm. (Audio, 52 minutes.)

Read more at Good Faith Effort

More about: Hebrew Bible, John Locke, Liberalism

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland