but for good people to do evil—that takes religion."
Steven Weinberg ~ A Designer Universe?
In 1845, John L. O'Sullivan published an article in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review in which he wrote that it was "our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions."
This was the first explicit reference to "manifest destiny," though the concept it conveyed was hardly unique. Or new.
I was quite excited several days ago to run across a book explicitly linking Ralph Waldo Emerson and manifest destiny. The following is from West of Emerson: The Design of Manifest Destiny by Kris Fresonke, p. 48...
...Transcendentalists still bore a lingering devotion to what by the 1840s were antique systems of providential thinking, such as the argument from design, which rendered them a harmless opposition. The sense of being outmoded eventually stirred in many Transcendentalists an ill-advised enthusiasm for what seemed the closest surviving relation to providence, namely manifest destiny...Later (p. 89) the author writes:
Drafting his sermon LXIII in 1820, for instance, [Emerson] wrote a paragraph resolving the difficulty of understanding Providence, which was admittedly "too vast for human optics"... The solution, he mused, was to use small clues to to infer great notions, or "to pick up here & there a pebble contrivance & say see! a God! as Newton thought." Emerson was repeating (and appropriating) Newton's own biographical metaphor of himself as a child on the beach collecting pebbles; he also was sketching the intellectual processes of the argument from design.
Then, having clue one to start from, I found this...
from: West of Winthrop: landscape and language in the Washington territory by Paul J. Lindholdt
the design of
"as long as race is something only applied to non-white peoples, as long as white people are not racially seen and named, they/we function as a human norm. Other people are raced, we are just people."