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More Please

Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein (1527)


Thomas More — defender of religious liberty (at least as seen by most). The Thomas More Society of Richmond, Virginia gave a replica of More’s cap to Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Guess what headgear Scalia was sporting this morning to Obama’s Second Inauguration? That’s right:

From First Things:

Wearing the cap of a statesman who defended liberty of church and integrity of Christian conscience to the inauguration of a president whose policies have imperiled both: Make of it what you will.

19 comments to More Please

  • -fritz-

    Nothing good to say!

  • Scott M.

    That hypocrite More.He was about as holy as my cat Sammie.

    • Scott M.

      Seen by most whats,Floyd?He had a cage on his estate in Chelsea to lock up poor Protestants.

      • The broader message Scott. I don’t look for perfection or even necessarily a lack of hypocrisy in messengers. Religious toleration leads to religious liberty. As such, he is in a continuum with Roger Williams and Baptists down the road.

        • Texacalirose

          This, Floyd, exactly. And as such, I too spoke to the positions of the modern day Thomas More Society, not the state of the State in the 16th century. Great hat!

        • Scott M.

          Murderer and torturer.Are you serious,Floyd?

          • So George Washington et al. are to be disregarded since they owned slaves? King David and St. Paul the murderers? You’re awfully judgmental for an avowed atheist.

            • Scott M.

              I was raised Protestant…I’ll never dip my flag to Thomas More.

            • David Marcoe

              Scott has a point, Floyd. I don’t know if his criticisms of him are fair or unfair–I would have to learn more about his life–but all three examples you cited are of men who repented of their former ways. And as for Washington, he inherited slaves through marriage and lived in a social system that made it difficult to free slaves when one had a mind to, which he nonetheless did do in his will. We can’t just pick and choose what parts of a man’s character we like and then exalt those. We have to take the total measure of a man’s life.

              • Texacalirose

                We can’t just pick and choose what parts of a man’s character we like and then exalt those. We have to take the total measure of a man’s life.

                We can’t just pick and choose what parts of a man’s character we
                dis

                like and then exalt emphasize those. We have to take the total measure of a man’s life and make our judgments based on his greater good, understanding and accepting man’s fallibility.

                What do you think? Is repentance the only controlling force to determine a man’s worth? What is the total measure of More’s life? What is his legacy? What righteous deeds are being conducted today in his name?

              • David Marcoe

                1) You state a corollary to my original statement.

                2) I was giving a summation. To say, “We have to take the total measure of a man’s life and make our judgments based on his greater good, understanding and accepting man’s fallibility,” is not at odds with what I said.

                3) A – “What do you think? Is repentance the only controlling force to determine a man’s worth?” I was distinguishing between More and the examples Floyd used. You’re reading more into that statement than is there.

                B – “What is the total measure of More’s life? What is his legacy? What righteous deeds are being conducted today in his name?”

                To answer: “I don’t know if his criticisms of him are fair or unfair–I would have to learn more about his life…”

                In summary: You said nothing that disagrees with what I said.

                • Texacalirose

                  Great! Thanks for clarifying that.

                  So where do Scott M’s assertions fit in to all this? What point that he made is your focus: “Scott has a point, Floyd”? It seems overly academic to note that a human, mortal man is flawed, and I’m trying not to infer that you’re just pointing out the obvious to Floyd and me.

                  “You said nothing that disagrees with what I said.” What are we discussing then?

                  In summary, Scott M. focused on negative aspects of More’s life, character, etc. Floyd and I have focused on the positive.

                  And thanks for the chat, always.

                • David Marcoe

                  Perhaps an obvious pointed needed to be articulated? In any case, Scott brought up those negative aspects which are problematic to lionizing More as an icon of religious liberty. Floyd gave counter-examples, but those examples were at variance in an important aspect: they repented of their wrongs, where More (to my limited knowledge) did not. Now, I did not venture to judge More in light of that, but Scott did raise a legitimate prima facie objection, which was not adequately rebutted by Floyd’s examples, or simply saying “I don’t look for perfection.”

                  • He was beheaded and his head put on a pike for a month as a traitor. I can’t judge him any further. His defense of himself has helped lay the groundwork for religious liberty. In that I’ll paraphrase Joseph to his brothers… what you meant for evil God meant for Good.

                    That defense came at the end of his life. He received just earthly consequences for his work (even if unfair legally he did reap what he had sown).

  • Texacalirose

    That is a strong fashion/political statement. Scalia didn’t wear it because it’s becoming and warm; he wore it because it’s a symbol of his support for the tenets of the Thomas More Society. It is a signal to religious conservatives to “bring it to me.” This Protestant gal is pleased to see it and this ole gal prays her Protestant prayers for Scalia’s continued good health. Amen.

  • Rock it, Scalia! Catholic swoon … that’s right, it’s still my birthday and I’ll swoon if I want to, swoon if I want to.

  • Scott M.

    Grinding what’s left of my teeth.

  • Rufus

    Fantastic little dig by Scalia! Wonderful!

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