The bible as a handbook of political advice

Hume rebukes the Christian Coalition.

David Hume comments on a Parliamentary debate of 1572 about what to do with Mary, Queen of Scots:

… the Commons made a direct application for her immediate execution. They employed some topics drawn from practice, and reason, and the law of nations; but the chief stress was laid on passages and examples from the Old Testament, which if considered as a general rule of conduct (an intention which it is unreasonable to suppose) would lead to consequences destructive of all principles of humanity and morality.

History of England Ch. 40

Reading about the antics of religious fanatics and political scoundrels four hundred and change years ago makes a very pleasant respite from reading about the antics of contemporary religious fanatics and political coundrels; the Duke of Alva was no doubt just as bloodthirsty as Osama bin Laden, and Thomas Cromwell at least as brilliantly nasty a political operator as Karl Rove, but dead men are far less threatening than live ones.

So I hope my readers will pardon me if I refrain from explaining why “Jeff Gannon’s” sexual orientation as as remote from the substance of the scandal surrounding him as Jim McGreevey’s was to that scandal, and keep my mind on the Sixteenth Century for a while longer.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com