Cole’s Law

You all have heard of Godwin’s Law, right? A review:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Here is my new law, which we will call Cole’s Law:

In any given political discussion, if religion is mentioned, the probability of the discussion shifting to a flame war about religion and the Founding Fathers approaches one.

In general, the offending party is usually trying to vastly overstate the role of religion in the foundation of the country to prove that religious extremism should now be accepted. To counter, someone will quickly count the number of times “God” is mentioned in the Constitution. Tedious discussions of the Federalist papers, deists, democracy in Greece, and the Enlightenment quickly are offered up as ‘proof.’

9 replies
  1. 1
    Christie S. says:

    I agree. It’s always been my stance that you (generic) have the right verbalize your opinion and I reserve the right to either agree or call you an epithet of my choosing.

    Hey, at least it’s honest. No religion necessary.

  2. 2
    pennywit says:

    Sorry, you’re too late. Cole’s law has already been codified:

    Thinly sliced cabbage.

  3. 3
    Jon H says:

    Interesting factoid: the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius contains several references to “God”, but it’s pretty clear he’s not talking about Jehovah, what with being a pagan and all.

    (That said, it’s entirely possible that it’s an artifact of the translation I was reading.)

  4. 4
    ape says:

    I’ve not observed enough examples to agree with Cole’s Law, although I’ve been in enough political theory seminar to know that the mean distance before Godwin’s Law comes into effect in verbal debate is even lower than in blogs, down to about 2.1 comments.

    Further on Cole’s Law: don’t equate the Theocrats with the secularists. It’s not tit-for-tat.

    Check out the marvellous history of the David Barton misquotes:

    “Religion [is] the foundation of government” said the Godly Barton, quoting James Madison, who said:

    “Because finally, “the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of conscience” is held by the same tenure with all his other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consider the “Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of government,” it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis.”

    all the words ARE there.

  5. 5
    JG says:

    I like Cole’s law. I would add also that the person on the side of a non-religious gov’t will be declared a liberal almost immediately.

  6. 6
    Christie S. says:

    Thanks, JC, for fixing my early morning screwups. :D

  7. 7
    Ken Hahn says:

    May I propose a corrollary to Col’e Law. In any discussion in which one side offers an opinion based on any religion, the probability that the other side will proclaim them bigots or theocrats approach one.

  8. 8
    CadillaqJaq says:

    John please generate a “Cole’s Law” now regarding Halliburton and/or Bush’s TANG service.

    It’s been weeks since either of those hot-button topics caught any print.

  9. 9

    […] Balloon Juice scholars have informed me that there already exists at least one Cole’s Law. In light of that I’ll define the following as Tim F’s Law: […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Balloon Juice scholars have informed me that there already exists at least one Cole’s Law. In light of that I’ll define the following as Tim F’s Law: […]

Comments are closed.