Christian nations?


You who place your faith in fire

Warship Philadelphia burning at Tripoli

Alongside the religious fanatics who swear that German Lutherans and Catholics never built 66 death camps in which to exterminate “selfish” juden in the 1940s, a new variant of end-times Millerites has emerged–possibly in counterreaction to the Islamic reaction to the George Holy War Bush dynasty invasions of Ottoman territory beginning in 1990.

Faced with the literal text of an international treaty declaring that These United States are NOT a mystical theocracy, American National Socialists vehemently insist that the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1796 between Tripoli and These United States is a lie, fiction, a clumsy fabrication with no basis in reality. Richard Dawkins, the scientist and author of The Selfish Gene, is somehow dragged into accountability. Here is some text excerpted from my own 1909 collection of treaties:

Article XI. As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. (page 1786)
I, Joel Barlow, agent and consul general of the United States of America, for the city and kingdom of Algiers, certify and attest that the foregoing is a true copy of the Treaty, concluded between the said United States and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, of which the original is to be transmitted by me to the Minister of the said United States, in Lisbon. In testimony whereof, I signed these presence with my hand and a fix there to the seal of the consulate of the United States, and Algiers, this fourth day of January, 1797. Joel Barlow. (…) Know ye, that I, David Humphreys, Commissioner plenipotentiary aforesaid, do approve and conclude the said treaty, and every article and clause therein contained, reserving the same nevertheless for final ratification of the president of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said United States. In testimony whereof, I have signed the same with my name and seal, at the city of Lisbon, this 10th of February, 1797. David Humphreys.

That was the hotly denied Treaty of 1796, but the superseding 1805 Treaty of Peace and Amity with the Mehomitan Musselmen of Tripoli soon followed. Its Article XIV is toned down compared to its Freethinking precursor. For one thing, French Napoleonic communism in its post-Terror period had spread to Italy, and looking north from Africa, the myrmidons of Mohammed probably preferred watching secular socialists to having so many crusader-types busily gunning for them. But Americans–at the time caught up in the apoplectic fits of the Second Great Awakening–doubtless looked aghast at the very idea of abandoning Jesus in the confrontation with the Barbary Coast Saracen blackamoor.

The toned-down 1805 Tripoli Treaty disclaimer of fanaticism began:

Article XIV: As the Government of the United States of America has in itself no character of enmity towards the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen; and as the said States have never entered into any voluntary war or any act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, except in the defense of their jus rights to freely navigate the high seas, it is declared by the contracting parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. (…)

Since the offending “America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion;” has been neatly elided, National Socialists of all denominations will doubtless endorse this version as real, genuine, legitimate and not a clerical error based on mistranslation of an alien language they themselves couldn’t read if they had to. The balance of the Article consists mainly of As-samalu-alaykums reminiscent of a Cecil B. de Mille production on how Crusaders and Salazar agree that Allah is God–or perhaps the cover of a Charlie Hebdo comic.

Christians and Mohammedans; love conquers hate

Need a legal or political translator triangulating English, Spanish and Portuguese?

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