Political Manifesto for the 21st Century

January 7, 2010 by

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Declaration of Independence, 1776)

We affirm these self-evident truths, and declare that it is time to abolish our form of government, not by armed revolution, but by the election of representatives who will change it.

The Constitution of the United States allows for the people to elect their representatives every two years, and to elect every senator every six, and to elect the president every four. Each state constitution allows the citizens of that state a similar power to choose their government. Through electing representatives that represent our desire to preserve our government solely to protect the individual rights of everyone, we propose the following changes be made.

  1. Limited government. Our governments are limited by the constitutions that form them. We need to enact a common understanding among the people of what those limits are and impose them on our governments. We need also to strengthen the already existing limits, overturning bad interpretations by our courts, legislators, and executives, and impose new and stronger limits on our governments which will forever ensure our individual liberty.
  2. Dramatic cuts to spending. Our governments should spend our money procuring only those goods and services that will protect our rights.
  3. An end to government charity. It is the role of our churches and the individual to supply charity to the poor, not the state. If the individual and churches cannot supply the charity, government could only do worse. Having government provide charity absolved the conscience and duty of the people from their proper role to love their neighbor.
  4. An end to unfunded legislation. Any program that congress enacts must be completely and fully funded at the time of its creation. We will not enslave future generations to programs that we create but do not fully fund. Existing programs that are unfunded should be canceled or modified until they can be funded.
  5. Dramatic cuts to taxation. Our governments should collect far less taxes than the people can bear. The people should be free to pursue whatever economic matter they wish without burden or undue influence due to taxes. Taxes should not be used to punish the rich or to mold society’s behavior. They should only be used to raise the necessary money to meet the spending requirements of a government that protects the rights of the individual. Any surpluses should be immediately refunded to the people in proportion to taxes paid, or used to pay off debts. Taxes should never be raised to meet spending; rather, spending should be cut to meet tax revenue.
  6. An end to government debt. Our people have become more prosperous than any other people in the world. We do not need to borrow money anymore to provide for the needs of government. Paying interest on our government debts is slavery, not freedom. We are not free until we have paid off all of our debts. Any debt that we must incur should be paid off within a very short time frame, so that our debts are not repaid by our children.
  7. An end to bureaucratic regulation. Any kind of regulation must be debated and passed by the legislatures of our governments, and no other way. No public official should be allowed to set policy that governs the life of anyone but their own employees. No court should dictate legislation. No executive should issue orders except to his troops and employees. Anyone exceeding these limits should immediately be removed from office by impeachment because they are a threat to our liberty.
  8. An end to over-litigation. The laws of our country are unjust, in that they are used to punish those who have done no wrong with tort laws and allow the criminal to go free. Let our laws be simple and just so that we no longer have need of lawyers. Do not allow our constitution to be interpreted as giving shelter to the guilty or limiting the freedoms of the individual.

We boldly declare that freedom and liberty are dramatically different than tyranny and slavery. In a free society, government works differently than in an enslaved society. Our governments should be eternally fearful of the will of the people, forever locked in by the limits of the constitution which creates them, and ever subservient to the people, both the individual and as a whole.

We emphatically reject the tenets of communism, socialism, fascism, totalitarianism, colonialism, and every other form of government or political idea that sets one person above another, that limits the freedom of the individual for the “greater good”, or attempts to convince any individual that they have no rights or fewer rights than the rights man is endowed with by their Creator.

We boldly declare that in our society, the checks and balances in our government includes the individual, private organizations such as businesses or churches or political groups, and federated governments such as the local, state, and federal governments. By distributing the power to govern among these people, organizations, and governments, no one person or group of people is able to obtain much power over the rest.

We also declare that there is enough in this world, and to spare, if the individual is freed from the constraints of government to seek his own fortune in life. We also declare that the man who has obtained wealth is capable of providing charity to the poor, jobs to those who want them, and also to pursue the critical role of participating in politics to keep government constrained. We encourage all men, everywhere, to embrace their freedom, seek their own fortunes, and once having obtained it, spend their time and resources as they see fit in service to their fellowman, without the entanglement of government.

A Sane Monetary Policy

July 15, 2015 by

Whatever the Fed is doing, it is hurting us badly. We have to stop the Fed.

The Fed is, of course, the Federal Reserve. It is a private corporation chartered by the United States. It prints money and provides the cash through loans to banks and sometimes (but lately, increasingly) to the Federal Government.

Why does the Fed have the special honor and privilege of printing our money? Why can we only obtain said money by borrowing it? This is, of course, an absurd arrangement and it needs to stop.

Let’s pause a moment to discuss what money is and what money is not. Money is an idea. Anything can be money, literally anything. Money is something that each person chooses for themselves to put value in. Because a lot of people put value in money, other people do the same. For instance, I would like dollars because other people want dollars and I can use those dollars to do things like give me food or fix my car. That makes dollars money. But suppose one day everyone stopped wanting dollars. What good would dollars be? They would be no good at all. A good example of this is the pieces of paper in the game of Monopoly. No one considers that money except for the purposes of playing the game.

Money exists because we, the people, say it does. A dollar has value because there is someone out there who gives it value. This is the basis of money. Money is really something created by and sustained by us. It is our own invention.

The Constitution of the United States gives explicit power to Congress to print money. Up until the Federal Reserve was formed, Congress held on to that power. During times of trouble, when more money was needed, Congress printed more money. When there was too much money, Congress could tax it back. In this way, Congress could control the money supply. It is the truth that for much of our history Congress was very conservative with its power, insisting on using a gold and silver standard for our money. While gold and silver are a good form of money, they are money as much as pieces of paper are money. In the ’70s, the Federal Reserve took us off of the precious metal standard and just printed as much money as it wanted.

A sane monetary policy this is not. Why do we trust a small group of people to make decisions that affects everyone? Shouldn’t everyone have a say in how much money we print and what we use to back our currency? That’s what the Founding Fathers thought, and so they kept monetary policy in the hands of Congress. If there was too little currency, the people would demand that Congress print more, or change what backed it. If there were too much money, then the people could demand that Congress limit its supply. How would the people know if there was too much or too little? They can look at the prices of the things they buy. If they are going up, we have too much money. If they are going down, too little. Prices going up are a problem in and of itself, but prices falling is the worst problem imaginable. It compels poor people to spend their money too early, and pushes all the money into the hands of those who can wait the longest. Manufacturers shut down, retailers close their doors, and the economy goes desolate. This is called deflation, and is the worst possible thing that can happen in an economy. Inflation, on the other hand, is problematic because it discourages investment and saving. It gives an advantage to those who are good at math, and leaves poor people wondering why they are earning more money but not living a better life.

I propose the following resolutions to our current economic problems.

First, abolish the Fed. Have the Federal Government take over the Fed and assume all of its assets. This is perfectly moral in my mind because the Fed is using the power of Congress to create whatever assets it has. It is, and should’ve been, a creature of the Federal Government from the beginning. In so doing, a large chunk of the Federal Debt will disappear.

Second, end fractional reserve banking. This allows banks to effectively print their own money. They do so by loaning out money they have more than once. While this should have the effect of helping the economy, it does so by making debtors out of the American people. Banks should have no more power to print money than anyone else.

Third, have congress print all the money the country needs to keep our currency stable. What should congress do with this money? Spend it, of course. What is the fairest way of all to spend it? I would say it is simply writing a check to each citizen of our country. I would perhaps expand that to each resident of our country. This can appear as a refund for taxes. How much money to create? It’s pretty easy to calculate: Take the rate of growth times our economy’s size and print that much money.

Fourth, eliminate taxes. All of them. Where will congress get money to spend? See step 3 above! Taxes have the effect of diminishing the money supply. It also diverts economic action from its most productive to its least productive. If we were living in an age where productivity didn’t increase every year, then taxes would make a lot of sense. But we aren’t. Taxes are hindering progress. It is shutting down ideas before they even start. We don’t need taxes to pay a debt we don’t have. We don’t need taxes to print money.

Some people want taxes to “hurt” the rich. Seriously consider that sentiment. Why do you want to hurt someone else? In what universe does using government’s power to hurt someone who is doing something legally and lawfully moral? You may think it is immoral to be rich, but consider yourself. You’re likely in a category of wealth that the world has never seen before, and so you suffer from whatever moral failing as any of the rich do.

Note that the net effect of the above is that the only way the money supply can increase to keep up with demand (economic growth) is to have congress print more money. Congress must print this money, and they must spend it, otherwise, our economy will experience deflation. If congress messes up and prints too much money, then we get inflation. Suppose we do get inflation. What does congress need to do? Print less money, or stop printing it altogether for a little while. If they print too little, what happens? Prices fall, and spending slows. What should congress do then? Print more money. How simple can it get?

Also note that by eliminating taxes and eliminating fractional reserve banking, the full economic power of our nation can be unleashed. If we take the additional step of reducing regulations to almost non-existence, we get the added bonus of eliminating the requirements for countless bureaucrats along with the problems they cause. This will also further unleash our full economic growth potential, which demands that congress print even more money to keep up with growth.

With the economy booming, and congress frantically looking for ways to spend the money to prevent deflation, they’re going to settle on the one obvious solution: Simply cut people checks. Whether they give the money only to the poor or the elderly or the young or all people together, it hardly matters. As long as the money gets out among the people, it will be spent, it will further boost economic growth, and it will keep the people happy, and help where it is needed the most. This is why the House of Representatives was deemed to be the one that writes budgets. Since they are elected every 2 years by the people, they are careful to consider the immediate political impact on their district. What member of the house doesn’t wish they could simply write checks to their constituents?

Imagine living in this kind of society. There are no taxes. There is little regulation. Whatever you want to do to make money, as long as it is legal, you can do. If you mess up, that’s OK, congress is going to write you a check, and maybe a handsome one.

Suppose we reach a point where we can’t print and spend money fast enough to keep up with growth. I would say we would have reached to singularity where we no longer need money at all. Anyone who wants to spend money can get a hold of as much as they need. Anyone who wants anything can get a hold of that as well. We’ll be living in an era of unprecedented wealth and growth, where words like “poor” will lose their meaning.

Zo is right: Whites aren’t to blame, democrats are

July 10, 2015 by

Zo brings up a really good point: Liberals aren’t consistent. They talk all about giving every child a future, but abort babies, which pretty much eliminates any future the child had.

He also points out that the democrats are trying to get America to pay for the sins of their past. For instance, with slavery, the Republican Party was formed for the very purpose of abolishing it, and the Democratic Party was there for the very purpose of preserving it. The KKK was the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party, used to kill republican “carpetbaggers” and blacks alike. The Stars and Bars are a flag flown by democrats and has nothing to do with the republicans, except that republicans will defend the liberty of their enemies to say things they don’t like.

It got me to thinking about why people are even poor in this country. Why, in this land of freedom and prosperity, can’t everyone rise up from poverty into wealth? The answer lies in democrat policies.

Why Object Morality Can’t Exist

July 7, 2015 by

The only political argument is really a religious argument. It is, “What is right?” This question is at the heart of statements such as, “The government should not perform marriages at all.” The word “should” implies that there is something good and something bad, and also implies that we should do the good thing. All of this is based in morality. The speaker of that statement is simply stating what his morality is, as much as someone who says a statement to the contrary.

In arguing morality, it really comes down to one’s preference. There is no way we will ever agree on a system of morality unless we all choose to do so. Even the idea that we should use logic in our moral system is, itself, a moral assumption. (Did you see the word ‘should’ there?)

When I state that my moral system is God’s moral system, I am looked down upon by Atheists. They think I am just making things up, saying that is what God says, and then adopting it because I like it. In short, my idea of God’s morality is really subjective and not logical or objective at all. The funny thing is they are doing the same thing with their moral system, whatever it may be.

The difference between saying, “I think this is moral therefore it is moral” and “I think whatever God says is moral, therefore it is moral” is I am actually relying on something that could be objective and shared. This isn’t much different than people who think that morality should be defined by what the majority thinks or morality should be defined by logical conclusions from a set of initial assumptions such as “freedom is the ultimate good”. If we rely only on our own personal selves to define morality, then we are at risk of adopting a bad morality because of the limitations of our mortal, ignorant, irrational selves. But if we rely on something external to ourselves, then we at least have  a chance to get things right, or a better chance at getting more things right. The common morality of a million people is more likely to be better than the individual morality of one person. But this, again, is a moral statement. (Did you see the word “better”, “right”, “bad”, etc…?)

So really, it all starts with an individual decision. What morality do you choose for yourself? Then you expand from there.

One person might say, “I choose whatever I think is right, independent of what others say.”

Another might say, “I choose whatever I think is right based on what popular opinion says.”

Another might say, “I choose whatever I think is right based on a set of assumptions and the logical conclusions of them.”

Another might say, “I choose whatever I think is right based on whatever I think God says.”

Really, who is to say that one decision is better than another? Based on the morality you choose, you choose which of those is best.

So Atheists and others who look down on me for making my own decision based on what I think is right are really denying me the same freedom they wish they could have: the ability to choose what is right. Surely they think that treating someone else differently than the way they expect to be treated is fundamentally wrong. (A moral statement.) If not, then I think we can tell a lot about what they think of other people and their rights and freedoms, and what their morality really is. And that is simply that they think they are better than others.

So if you don’t afford others the freedom to choose their morality, really, you believe that you are better than others. This is, I think, a logical statement about morality independent of morality.

An interesting logical fallacy that I have seen used to attack my moral system is that I wouldn’t believe that murder is wrong unless God said so. This is true. Since I have handed my freedom to choose what is right to God, he determines what is right and wrong. And if he said murder is not wrong, I would not think it wrong. But God does say murder is wrong, so I think it is wrong. So really, this argument is absurd. I do think that murder is wrong. I think so because God says it is wrong. So really, if you’re measuring the value of a moral system based on whether it deems murder is wrong, my moral system is just as good as any other that deems murder wrong.

Of note, I also believe that God is unchanging. He will never, ever change his stance on murder. It will always be wrong. No exceptions. Nowhere does he ever excuse murder, except where he forgives the murderer their sins. But this act of forgiveness does not erase or change the fact that murder is wrong in God’s eyes. Does your moral system have a similar mechanism? On the one hand, is it unchanging? On the other, does it allow for forgiveness of moral wrongs?

If you arrived at the conclusion that murder is wrong based upon your own choice, then who is to say that you will not choose differently tomorrow? That makes your moral system inferior than mine, because you have no guarantee that murder will forever be wrong.

If you arrived at the conclusion that murder is wrong based upon popular opinion, then who is to say that popular opinion will not shift one day? We know from history cultures and societies where murder was not only tolerated but demanded. This makes your moral system inferior to mine, because there is no guarantee that murder will always be wrong.

If you arrives at the conclusion that murder is wrong because of your logical reasoning based upon a set of assumptions, who’s to say that your logic will stand forever? After all, we have used logic in the past, only to find we made an error. I know from my own experience that I am more likely to make a mistake with logic than not. I am no computer. I am an irrational being, just like all of us. So there is no guarantee that murder will always be wrong in your system either.

In fact, the only moral system that demands that murder always be wrong is a system that relies on unchanging facts and tenets which can never be revoked. Only an unchanging God who has spoken on the matter can do such a thing.

Now, our understanding of God’s moral system is flawed. I say this because I know from experience. However, the way you correct someone’s flawed understanding is to bring them closer to God. You have to educate and enlighten them. When necessary, you need to get answers from God himself. However, if we can come to agree on what is and isn’t God’s word, or at least a subset of it, we should be able to do pretty well on the big things like murder, even though we get minor things wrong. And I think that is most important.

The Truth

July 3, 2015 by

Last time I posted about love. That is, real love, the only kind of love we can learn from the Source, God Himself. That’s what our country needs and doesn’t have. It’s the critical element in bringing us to where we all wish we could be.

This time I will post about Truth.

Truth and God’s unalterable commandments are intimately intertwined. They are one and the same. Truth is reality the way it really is, and God’s commandments are a description of it.

As we begin to investigate truth, our first discovery is how little of it we really have. We may think we know something, but do we really? Investigating the truth of anything we know reveals how little about it we really know. For instance, as I studied physics and earned my BS, I was astounded at how often professors would reply “I don’t know” to questions that lay people think had been answered long ago. “What is really happening in Quantum Mechanics?” “I don’t know.” “Where does mass come from?” “These things contribute, but ultimately, I don’t know.” Etc, etc, etc…

It was Socrates who observed, “The only thing I know is that I know nothing.” This is a good thought to ponder on for more than a few moments.

An investigation of the truth of things ultimately drives us to humility. In the state of humility, we begin to see how insignificant and unimportant we are to the universe. We begin to see the pointlessness of our actions and the futility of our plans. It is difficult to accept this kind of truth, oftentimes driving people to embrace the philosophy of nihilism. But it is something we must accept and must resolve for ourselves.

I wrote a few paragraphs back that God’s commandments are a description of truth. If you think of the commandments as arbitrary decisions made by an incompetent being, then this is obviously contrary to what you think about the commandments. However, if you accept that there is a divine being who surpasses all limits of the material universe, and you accept that he is really on our side, then you accept that his commandments are a communication to us about something important and true.

Namely, his commandments describe to us what we are likely to do, what we shouldn’t do about it, and what we should do about it. We do not always understand his commandments when they are first given to us, but my experience is that over time we grow to understand them and appreciate them.

Among the category of true things, the most important truth to consider are questions about real human nature and our own personalities. The most important truth we would like to know is, “What should I do?” This is why God gave us commandments in the first place. Without them, we, in our ignorance, have no hope of doing anything right. We have no way of connecting “here” to “there”, “here” being our current state of existence, and “there” being the state of existence we would like to achieve. And so, the first steps in our journey towards truth is accepting the commandments and learning to live by them.

Once we begin that journey, we quickly discover that not only are we living contrary to the commandments, but we have little or no hope of ever living according to them. On top of that, the fruit of our disobedience catches up to us, and we suffer from the terrible burden of our own wrongdoing. Thus, the moment we set out on the journey of obedience, truth is there to stop us and remind us of our pathetic situation. In addition, as we ponder the commandments, we realize that the most important ones regard something that we can never hope to keep. Thus, like Socrates, we are left to cry out, “The only commandment I keep is none of them.”

This on its own would discourage anyone, were it not for an element of God’s character we call grace in the Christian world. In the Jewish system, there was a series of performances and sacrifices the people of Israel could do to free themselves from the consequences of their disobedience and bring their intent into alignment with God’s. In the Christian system, that sacrifice has already been paid with the blood of Christ. All we have to do is accept the free gift which he offers.

Turning our lives around to align ourselves with the commandments is thus a necessity. It requires that we accept the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ himself. It requires that we confess to him with our own mouth the many wrong things we have done and beg him for forgiveness. It requires that we confirm with him that we intend to keep all of the commandments, and that we demonstrate this with good works. We do not understand why this works, but it does. People who follows these steps find the burden of disobedience and error lifted. In many cases, they see the consequences of their bad choices evaporate, sometimes being replaced with blessings as if they had kept the law in the first place.

We begin to feel more of God’s love as we do this. This is love that we can share with the people around us.

We also begin to see people in their immoral, fallen state as peers, not enemies. The commandment that Jesus gave us to love our enemies, and do good to those who hurt us begins to be ingrained in our hearts. We genuinely seek for the salvation of those who consider us their enemies.

Thus, the pursuit of truth is not without purpose. In the end, we can find it, align ourselves with it, and live life the way God intended it to be lived, in joy and happiness and peace.

This is also what America needs. It seems today’s culture is so busy on living in the virtual, or changing reality, or rewriting the rules of human nature, rather than understanding what is real and what is not, and understanding the truth about our mortal state. We don’t need people trying to deceive each other about the way we are. We need people searching for truth in their daily lives.

For those of you who are confused about why God’s commandments are so important, let me summarize them with the following two statements. God’s commandments all hinge on showing our love for God, and showing our love for ourselves and our neighbors. In order to show love for God and people, we need to have love for God and people. Or perhaps I should summarize the commandments with a single phrase: Love one another.

If that is the case, if every commandment is ultimately an expression of love for God and love for each other, then none of the commandments are a bad idea unless you think love is a bad idea. Thus, you cannot be “pro-love” and “anti-commandments”. The two are intertwined.

For those of you who think you know better than God what the universe is all about and what human nature really is, you have yet to study history enough to know the truth about who we are and what we will do. The only times in history when we have done any good at all is when we have been obedient to the commandments. In every other case, bad things have occurred.

 

Christians, Jews, and others: We need not fear God’s commandments. We shouldn’t hide what they are. Each is a letter of love from God to man. Each is a recipe for love. It is ignorance of God’s commandments that make people hate them, not the truth. If we could all see the truth, we would all conclude that the commandments are correct. So do not give up trying to teach one another the commandments. None of us can keep them all, but we still need to know what they are, measure ourselves against them, and turn from our faults when we realize we have them.

Let’s Start at the Beginning

June 30, 2015 by

I’ve often pondered how I can help our community, our state, our country progress towards true liberty and freedom, true happiness and fulfillment. I don’t consider myself separate from others, no matter what they think of me. I see everyone as my brother and sister. I feel compelled to help them. What little resources I have I try to find the best way to spend it for their service.

I won’t recount all the things I’ve tried and all the successes and failures I’ve had. Suffice it to say, there have been successes and there have been failures. I have seen that I have been a help, but other times I have hindered. Nevertheless, I will keep on trying.

What is ailing us? We need to be careful to separate cause and effect. We can talk about all the effects, but to do so we may miss the cause. We cannot do anything about the effects anyway, if we do not discover the cause and change it. And so I’ve pondered and thought and prayed for many years to understand the cause. I think I have finally found the answer.

It is love.

We are failing as a country because we have forgotten how to love. We don’t even know what that word means anymore. In our culture, it has been transformed and perverted such that it doesn’t mean what it used to mean. I would use another word, charity, to describe the idea, but even then that has lost its original meaning and now means something that it inspired others to do, but no longer the inspiration of it.

If I were to use three words, I would call it the “love of God” or the “love of Christ”. Either way, it is the same.

Even then, how many understand the true depth and capacity of God’s love? I have barely scratched the surface, and I am continually amazed at how deep it goes. We cannot know God’s mind nor can we even feel what is in his heart to a fraction of what it truly is, but from what we do know, it is enough to give us more than what we need.

Love doesn’t begin. It is a gift. It is given. A child that shows love shows it because his parents gave it to him. If his parents didn’t give it to him, he receives it from some other source. Woe to the child that never had love, that never experienced it! How can he learn it? It cannot be done.

Love is more than a feeling. It is an action, a choice. It is a motivation to action, and the action itself, and the results of the action. Love is a lifestyle. Love encompasses all.

If we knew what that love was, and felt it and experienced it and shared it and lived it — all of our society’s problems would disappear. But how?

There is no other way to learn that love than through the examplar of God’s love, Jesus Christ. Only be studying and following Him can we hope to approach that love. There really is no other way. We cannot gain love through intellectual pursuits. We cannot gain it through shouting or fighting or meditation. We can’t gain it any way except through Him and Him alone.

And so we begin.

The first lesson in love is our very lives. The fact that we draw breath is a sign of God’s love for us. He is giving us another chance to do something good. If we have done something wrong, he tells us we can change and try again. Every moment you are alive, allow yourself to feel God’s love for you, no matter what circumstances you are in.

See, this life is a gift. From what I understand, we are here on this earth because God wants us to experience it for ourselves. He knew we would come down here and do terrible things to each other, and experience those terrible things. He knew eventually we would die. He knew this yet he sent us down here anyway. For what purpose exactly, God only knows. What little hints he has given me has been assurance enough that what we are experiencing is worth it.

What does he ask us in exchange? He tells us to enjoy the things he gave us. He asks us to learn to love each other. He asks us to keep his commandments. He asks us to trust in Him. And when we screw it all up, He asks us to turn back and try again.

Regarding his commandments, we have been lied to. We were told that these were arbitrary restrictions. But they are not. They are a sign of a loving God who cares deeply about us. Let’s say you were walking along and you saw a father strapping his child tightly with thick belts, and attaching him to some kind of rope. At first thought, you would say, “Hey! Let your child go! They deserve to run around and be free!” But a bit of context changes everything. See, the father was preparing his child to do some rock climbing. Those straps and ropes are there to protect the child, so that the child can enjoy rock climbing without the threat of harm or death. The father is binding the child and carefully because he loves his child.

Another example: We see signs along the road, and they say things like “Speed Limit”, “Falling Rocks”, “No Shoulder”, and we might think that it is quite rude to tell <i>us</i> how to drive. But in reality, those signs are there to protect us from dangerous things. We can drive across the country safely if we heed them. If we ignore just one, our lives are in peril.

God’s commandments are the same. We ignore them to our peril. We keep them and find even more freedom and liberty. But this isn’t about the commandments. This is about love.

And as I said above, if you don’t feel His love, you have no love to share.

There are those who wonder whether God exists or whether he gave those particular commandments. The answer is simple: Ask God. He tells us to seek, knock, and ask. He promises us that we will find, the door will open, and answers.

So, the first step in the rebirth of our county is not changing our government. It is finding God’s love for ourselves. Once we feel that love, then we can start rebuilding our country. Without that love, we have nothing.

Go find God’s love. Right now.

On Gay Marriage: I will not submit

June 26, 2015 by

Today the Supreme Court announced that the Founding Fathers had hidden Same-Sex Marriage in the constitution.

However, today I announce that the Supreme Court is stupid. This is the same court that gave us Kelo. This is the same court that said a tax is not a tax. It is the same court that said yesterday that laws cannot mean what they say.

The Supreme Court, for those who do not know, has a wonderful track record on human rights. They recognized the right of white people to own black people, despite some of the white people saying that black people could not be owned. They also decided to make that ruling in such a war as to cause the Civil War. Thanks, Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court also recognized the right of women to murder their children — as long as they are still in the womb. We are racking up a body count higher than Hitler and Stalin and Mao. How long do you think God will ignore us?

The Supreme Court has also recognized its right to trump all other branches of government and even the people. Apparently, it feels it and only it has the power to read and understand the constitution, which it feels means whatever they wish it to mean.

I state, equivocally, that marriage is ordained of God. It is a gift from Him to mankind, designed to protect the rights of us and our children, provide greater economic stability even wealth, along with all the blessings of liberty. Stable marriages erase almost all of our society’s ills. It is the foundation upon which our country was built, but now 5 men and a group of well-funded people think they know better than their ancestors. They’re reforming our country in their image, not God’s, and taking for themselves the power and authority of God.

Our insult and mockery to God and common sense, as a country, is not going to be ignored. We’re already paying the price in our broken homes and communities. It’s only going to get worse as we dive deeper into the abyss of sin and ignorance.

I wish there was something good to say about this situation, but there isn’t. We are the very people the prophets and apostles warned us about. We are the very people the saints throughout history looked forward the Lord wiping off the face of the earth with fire. They celebrated our death and destruction. We were the same as the people who made fun of Noah for building a boat. The Lord is giving us every opportunity to turn back to him, but his patience does eventually wear thin as our hearts grow harder and harder.

The clarion call has already been issued to the righteous of this generation: Come out of Babylon, touch no unclean thing, and be ye clean. All those who hear that voice, follow. Let’s take up our crosses and help each other bear them. Let’s walk the quiet path that our Lord walked, through the mocking crowds and up that hill. We offer the world our love, compassion, and service, and they spit on us and mock us for it. The world will never accept us, will never like us, because the world has always chosen evil over good. It could be no other way.

Do not hope for salvation or redemption to come from man or government. They have no power to save. Pray that God will give us the power to endure, and perhaps even to overcome.

What Government do We Have?

June 26, 2015 by

Yesterday’s decision that laws don’t mean what they say, and today’s decision that the Founding Fathers stealthily embedded a redefinition of marriage makes me wonder: What type of government do we have?

If someone visiting from a foreign country were to visit us and take a look around, what would they say?

We’d like to think we are a democracy. That’s not right. People don’t write laws, except for the occasional initiative. Yet we saw when the people voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman, that was denied. We are not a democracy. There is a power superior to the people.

Maybe we’re a representative democracy. People elect their representatives, and they write the laws. And yet, we see that the laws they have written mean something else.

Surely, we’re a dictatorship, then. The president sits at the head of the government and chooses which laws to keep and which to break. Except in a few cases, the president himself has had his decisions overturned.

The ultimate government in our land is not the people, not the legislatures, not the presidents and governors.

It is the Supreme Court.

We are now an oligarchy. Those 9 justices (or rather, 5) make all the decisions about what is and isn’t law, what is and isn’t a right, and have the final say on every issue.

Are you happy? Is this what you wanted to see? Because that’s what we have.

Of course, it’s been this way for a while. Hopefully now most of America realizes the truth now.What to be done? The constitution has the answer. But who has faith in that old piece of paper anyway?The truth is the power lies in the hands of the people. When the people are ready to change things again, then it will change. Until that time, we are a sleeping giant. Please have sweet dreams while the Supreme Court ignores every fundamental right and natural law on their quest for vanity.

A thoughtful response requires a thoughtful response

May 1, 2015 by

I’ll try to limit the arguments to their core. If I leave something out that was important, I beg you’ll explain why leaving it out was wrong.

Your position is, unfortunately, a considerable straw man of libertarianism as a general concept – both classically and in its modern incarnation. But, to be fair, I do not speak for all libertarians nor do I hold a monopoly on the idea itself (just as I do not speak for all Christians/Christianity), so I can only address what I think and support. But I will try to concisely address some of your criticisms.

I will show you why reducing libertarianism to “Live and let live” is not a strawman. It is, in fact, the core morality of libertarianism, and in order to believe in it, you must adhere to it.

What awoke me to this fact was the contradiction between what libertarianism encouraged me to do and what Christianity encouraged me to do, both within and without government.

1. “[Libertarianism] holds one thing as morally superior to all other things, that the only good is non-interference. That is, ‘Live and let live.'”

It is not true that this philosophy holds only one thing as “good,” nor does the it prescribe any such broadly rigid rules of logic at all.

Every philosophy which speaks about morality must have a central moral tenet. In Christianity, it is that God is good. If libertarianism has none, then libertarianism cannot speak about good or evil at all, but simply facts of nature.

There is nothing about libertarianism that denies the goodness of helping others, or prohibits people from doing so.

I agree.

This statement is only (kind of) true when considered in the context of the state/government’s behavior, which is necessarily based on violence, and is only partially true to the extent that the government wields violence on behalf of one person/group in ways that do not directly protect individuals’ rights.

Here is the crux where Christians and libertarians diverge. Christian morality dictates that government *should* be of one form or another. In times past, they argued that there should be kings ordained by the pope. Today, they argue that the government should be structured on Christian morality.

Libertarians, as you are stating here, have as their guiding principle on what government should do as “protecting individuals rights”. All uses of violence outside of this is, apparently, abhorrent to you.

Never do libertarians list the rights that humans have! Nor do they have a resource that people should consult to discern what is a right and what is not. Isn’t that curious?

A common straw man asserts that because libertarians do not support violent government infringements of individuals’ rights that they must therefore endorse those rights too. This is simply untrue; I disagree with drug use, for example, but do not support the criminalization of it because it is victimless beyond the individual (who has an inherent right to self-destruct if they wish) and causes far more problems socially, economically, and with respect to freedom than these policies actually solve. This is where libertarians think government should and must give way to other, non-violent coercive institutions and developments (i.e., churches, communities, social mores, etc.).

And here we are! Is drug use a right? Would the Founding Fathers have said, “People have the right to destroy their brain with harmful drugs?” Of course not. Because they would never consider suicide a right, just like you don’t have a right to pluck out your eye or cut off your arm. See, rights, to a Christian, are those things God tells us to do. And part of that is to treat our body as a temple used to house the spirit of God. We don’t have time as Christians to desensitize our minds and alter them in psychadelic experience, what between our preaching of the gospel and baptizing of the nations.

Drug use can only be considered a “right” (keep in mind that the word “right” has moral connotations) if your morality is based on “let people do what they want (within these bounds we set for ourselves.)” I can’t imagine any other framework where the idea that someone can and *should* self-harm themselves to be a moral good. Only the Libertarian can claim moral victory by watching people kill themselves!

I am a Christian and a libertarian (which is just to say, I do not support Big Government, Big Parties, and the never-ending and inevitable cycle of transgressions they perpetuate). In fact, it is largely because I am a Christian that I am a libertarian. God did not grant me, or the state, or agents of the state, the right or authority to judge or punish others for their sins (that is solely His job, as I recall).

I beg to differ. Read the Old Testament. When God had his chance to establish his government the way he wanted to, he set up all sorts of laws about who we have to punish when they commit certain sins. In fact, after Noah, God put all of mankind under covenant not to murder, and to kill those who do murder. In other words, the Christian God does compel men to execute his justice in certain instances. To deny this is to ignore the Bible.

Also note that the church that Jesus established did inflict punishment on people who violated the rules of that church. There’s a reason why Christian nations have strict laws and there’s a reason why they enforce those laws. We do not leave it all to God and I have a hard time finding that passage in the Bible that says so. Some sins, yes, other sins, absolutely not.

Under the New Covenant through Jesus, God Himself avoids violently imposing His own will on us as He once did, choosing instead to peacefully allow us to follow or reject His way at our own discretion and risk.

That is, until he decides it is time to wipe away all the wicked from the earth.

You seem to subscribe to the lovey-dovey God who is all mercy and no justice. What happened to the Jesus who used a whip to drive out the moneychangers from the temple? What happened to the God who promised eternal damnation to those who did not believe in him?

The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. Jesus did not change the law, he fulfilled it. We confuse ourselves if we think the game is any different now than it was 5,000 years ago. God doesn’t change. Our understanding of him changes, but God is still the same and demands the same thing today he demanded back then.

He certainly did not grant me or anyone else the authority to use violent proxies (the state in this case) to impose my will on others (and you point out that this is not effective at any rate).

Let me clarify: You cannot use the force of government to force someone to believe something. You cannot use the force of government to do certain other things as well. But you can use it to, say, keep thieves out of your cities and keep child molesters from patrolling your neighborhoods. You can also use it to defend your borders and regulate markets. You can use it to rally troops for war or build religious sites.

While it is true that Jesus implored us to follow the Law of Moses, a key difference between the Old and New Covenants is that we are no longer instructed or empowered to violently enforce that Law. We effectively traded old sacrifices for Jesus’ final sacrifice. Where we used to demand an “eye for an eye,” we now are expected to forgive, as we ask for forgiveness from God. Galatians makes it fairly clear that Christ removed the curse of the Old Law from us through His sacrifice, and to adhere to those old ways gives great offense to God.

We’re free to disagree about our interpretation, but from what I see, he did no such thing. Yes, we are supposed to forgive, and agree with our enemies quickly, etc… but at the same time, the law is still in force. I don’t know exactly which passage you are referring to in Galatians, but I do know that Romans 6:15 says that just because we are forgiven for our disobedience it does not excuse us from obedience. How then can adhering to God’s law cause offense to God? It is what he commanded us to do, it is the law Jesus kept, it is the law that we are to keep when we are forgiven by grace.

But to try and not digress too awful far from the specific point, again libertarianism does not condemn helping others. However, one cannot violently rob Person A and give to needy Person B and still be doing the work of God or Jesus, even when Person B legitimately needs help. Indeed, taking from one and “giving” to another does not meet the spirit or intent Jesus’ teachings that urge sacrificial, selfless aiding of others. Just as Jesus could not fulfill God’s will through a proxy sacrificing their life on Christ’s behalf, neither can we truly meet the spirit of sacrifice in helping others if we use proxies to do so. Matthew 22:15-22 is often misconstrued to mean Jesus supported taxation; I posit that the real intent of this exchange was simply to demonstrate to the faithful that earthly quarrels of state and politics mean nothing when considered against the Kingdom of Heaven (similarly to how Jesus dismissed the importance of earthly Judaic royalty in His exchange with Pilate).

So in the last breath, you argued that we are not supposed to keep the law, and now you are arguing that we are? Charity has been clearly delineated in the Old Testament. The method whereby the rich are to help the poor and the poor to petition the rich are laid out in crystal clarity. I disagree with the methods liberals espouse because it is non-Biblical and a violation of the most basic commandments. You disagree because why? Because it conflicts with the central morality of Libertarianism: Don’t interfere.

2. “Thus, when we wrote, as a country, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’, we weren’t allowing any debate.”

In quoting the Declaration, which is (as you allude to) part of the Organic Law of this nation, you approached what libertarianism means to me: “…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…” This passage defines why the United States, as a national entity, were founded in the first place. And as you say, this is non-disputable. This is the essence of libertarianism. I do not know any libertarians who are demanding we “take God out of the equation of our history” or “take him out of the foundation that is the cornerstone of our country.”

You don’t know any atheist libertarians then? Because it’s all I hear from libertarians who are atheist. They want to get rid of that pesky religion that keeps interfering with their plans to make minimal government.

Note that a plain reading of the Declaration says it is God who tells men to make governments to secure the rights that God gave them.

Again, for me, it is precisely because I believe God gifted me with self-reason, individual rights, and equality under Him that I do not subscribe to a human institution that seeks to function outside of this paradigm. Libertarianism is, in my opinion, a basic rejection of supplanting God for the State, a rejection of turning to other fallible humans to overreach their basic rights and privileges under God to violently punish and/or control their fellow man in lieu of an individual, willing subjugation to Him through Christ.

Do you admit that Christ set those bounds for government, or do you think human reason sets those bounds? This is a very important question and shows whether you are a Christian first or something else first.

And honestly, I am not even aware of what “the atheistic libertarian argument” actually is. A beauty of libertarianism, unlike most other philosophies, is that it is so limited in scope (i.e., a rejection of unlimited, unchecked Big Government) that it is attractive to people of all walks of life. I believe it is the most inherently inclusive political philosophy that is in no way incompatible with spirituality in general, or Christianity in particular. One of the chief reasons that it is not more widespread is precisely because it is straw manned so much with disinformation, but the diversity of the movement’s makeup is undeniable relative to other, more common modern philosophies.

It is inclusive, until the pesky morality starts peeking its head in and saying, “Wait a minute. This law would maximize the freedom of the people to do certain things, but are those the *right* things that government should allow people to do?” Minimum government is not the goal of the conservative. It is an effect, true, but not the goal. Small government is better than what we have today, but government can be too small as well.

3. “Show me, praytell, where libertarianism has been implemented?”

This is an overly simplistic rhetorical and partial combination of logical fallacies known as begging the question, the naturalistic fallacy, and the nirvana fallacy. Because it is fallacy, it fails to properly address the substantive merits of the position, and instead asserts (but does not prove) a conclusion within the question itself. We are told to strive to be like Christ. Would it not be equally easy to say “show me, praytell, where anyone has actually been like Christ.” When this challenge fails, as it surely will since no one is truly Christ-like, does that invalidate the propriety of trying to be like Him? Just because something presents an extremely difficult pursuit does not mean that the pursuit itself is unworthy. Indeed, I have long held that that right thing and the easy thing are most often not the same things. What matters is the substance of the message – is Christ’s message worthy of emulation? – not whether it is practically achievable. I will never be like Christ; but I believe I will be the best person I can be by trying to be like Him within my limitations. This is also why I exercise despite knowing I will never be at the level of a professional athlete. Besides, the Constitution can be accurately described as a mostly libertarian framework, original de facto endorsements of slavery notwithstanding.

So you admit my argument is moot because… no one has tried libertarianism? That was my point.

Regarding whether any Christians have tried government by Christian law: Yes, yes they have, and you don’t have to look very hard on the European continent to see it. Which Christian has ever claimed to be like Christ? That is not the point of Christianity. Christianity admits that we are all flawed. We owe Western Civilization to all of the people who tried to rule as a Christian should rule, whether that was Charlemagne, the later emperors of Rome, the various Popes, or the kings and governors of the nations of Europe. I accept their flaws and their victories as contributing factors to my current status. As a people, we were pretty screwed up, but so was everyone else, and in balance, we turned out OK.

So have we tried rule by Christianity? Yes, and it worked exceptionally well. We beat the Middle East, the Far East, and all the islands everywhere else. No culture can compare to ours, and now our culture is infiltrating every corner of the globe.

4. “What inevitably happens when a ‘free’ people, or rather, a people with no government, exist, is evil people with evil intentions take over.”

This is a true statement; it is also a common straw man levied against libertarians. Again, I speak not on a monopoly basis, but neither I, nor any other libertarian I know or exchange ideas with, believe this. There is a marked difference between anarchy and minarchy. Libertarianism, as I embrace it, is recognition of the need for government but for it to do one thing only (as laid down in the Declaration): protect individual rights from those evil people you noted. That is a minarchy. This purpose behind the institution does not include the vast majority of functions that modern American government embraces, including (but not limited to) social engineering, regulating victimless behavior, violently imposing moralistic standards on others that infringe individual rights, etc.

So, Libertarian says, “Government is good, except ours.” With that argument, no one can ever implement Libertarianism. It seems also there is a fatal flaw in Libertarianism. There is the paradox that if you accept all freedoms, then you accept the freedom to limit freedom. Obviously, that leads to contradictions, which is my point. The ultimate end goal of minimum interference or securing rights for right’s sake is that exact contradiction. Who gets to define which rights are worth defending and which are not?

5. “This is the crux of my argument: Freedom does not work. Liberty is not an end unto itself. The result of unlimited freedom is captivity. Liberty does not beget liberty. It begets tyranny and slavery.”

Part of this statement is simply untrue, at least when considered in the context of codified law establishing American government (i.e., Organic Law). Liberty is the end unto itself for the institution of the United States as a nation. That end is, as demonstrated, explicitly written and codified via democratic treaty and cannot be legally ignored. The rest of the statement is philosophy that is not proven fact, and cannot be proven. It is what you believe, but I hold to a different belief. Liberty does not beget tyranny and slavery; tyranny in the guise of liberty surely does this I will acknowledge, but liberty does not. I wish to be free from my fellow man, not from God. Libertarianism does not present a conflict with God but with other men who, under God, are equal to me and therefore present no legitimacy in regulating my life beyond protecting their own divine rights. I wish to be free, and I recognize that in order for me to be free I must be willing to allow others the same consideration.

This is where you are wrong: “Liberty is the end unto itself for the institution of the United States as a nation.”

Liberty was not the intended consequence of the American government. It is a means to the end, but it is not the end. Read the preamble. It never says that the point of government is to secure liberty, it says that the point is to secure the *blessings* of liberty. We were not formed as a nation to protect liberty alone, but to ensure that we would be able to enjoy the fruits that liberty brings. Also, note that it is listed as the last of many ends of the formation of the government.

Did our Founding Fathers form the United States because they wanted to make sure people had access to harmful drugs, to prostitution, to homosexual marriages, and to all manner of perversions and filthy behavior? NO! To them, these things were not indications of freedom, but indications of subjection, namely, being subject to the powers of darkness, namely sin. There are no blessings you get from prostitution and other moral vices. They wanted no part in that, and they didn’t want to secure that for their children.

There are blessings in the freedom that comes from Christian salvation, the freedom from sin and the freedom promised by Christ to those who embrace the truth of his mission to save this world.

To this point, libertarianism is not incompatible with people governing themselves, as you mentioned in the subsequent paragraph. Indeed, libertarianism expects people to behave themselves within the constraints of their just rights (i.e., not infringing on others’ rights, person, property, etc.) and expects people to be held responsible for their behaviors when they fail to do so. Freedom is not the same as lack of accountability; freedom and personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin, so to speak. Again, I think a large part of this disconnect is the belief that libertarianism equates to anarchy, when in fact it espouses minarchy (i.e., stern limits on the government, which has no inherent right to exist vice stern limits on individuals who do).

Again, who defines the rights people are entitled to and government must protect? What should be the punishment for people who abuse their freedom, when it doesn’t directly infringe on someone else’s? The Bible dictates death to the adulterer, for instance. Why would the Bible say that? Do you trust the Bible’s morality or do you trust the libertarian morality, where sexual relationships outside of marriage are no evil because there is no harm and we should just ignore it if we have a religious objection to it?

6. “Our constitution does not enshrine every liberty.”

It is true our Constitution does not enumerate every liberty. However, the Tenth Amendment fairly clearly points out that it did not set out to, and that an absence of such a list does not preclude unmentioned individual liberties. Indeed, a libertarian argument would be that the federal government was never meant to provide any police authority whatever, let alone to those behaviors you have listed here as ones you disagree with. The Constitution is very clear – however it may be abused, misused, and/or ignored today – that no such power delegated (the use of that specific word is very important after all) to the federal government is not rightfully the federal government’s to assume. Those non-enumerated powers, including law enforcement, belong to the States and the people. It is true that regardless of this point, libertarians endorse decriminalization of behaviors that are arguably victimless as in your example, but this hardly equates to Godlessness or anarchy as is implied. To gay people having consensual sex, while sinful, does not violate anyone’s individual rights and is thusly outside the scope of federal government propriety (the federal republican aspect of this is a slightly different discussion with different implications, though it is fair to say that a libertarian views marriage/consensual sex as being outside the realm of legitimate regulation for state government as well).

I don’t need to remind you that I trust the constitution over our current government, which has perverted the constitution in every way I can imagine and then some.

There is a reason why the constitution doesn’t list every right. The federal government was not the place to protect those particular rights that weren’t listed. Note that the 10th amendment does not leave everything else to the people. It leaves it to the states or the people. Meaning, there are some things the states could do to limit the behavior of the people, and that the constitution is counting on them to do.

I see you are being more explicit and brave now, putting God’s laws and morality below the libertarian. See, to God, marriage and sexual relationships were something extraordinarily important. Violating his laws in these matters was a capital offense. The reason why government is involved in these matters is because our government is a Christian one, based on the Bible. And the Bible says that these things should be laws. The reason why we are having a debate today is because there are a lot of people who don’t believe that we should be a Christian nation anymore, yourself included. You have decided to substitute God’s morality with your own, or somebody else’s.

I can argue that homosexual acts *do* infringe upon my individual liberties, but that’s not the point of this. I’m not trying to justify God’s morality, I am merely saying that his morality is mine, and so I believe that should be the guiding star in moral discussions.

7. “None of our ancestors believed we had right to commit suicide or to commit adultery or homosexual acts.”

As you pointed out previously, our rights are derived from God, not from our ancestors, so in truth what they believed is irrelevant in this sense. If God granted us free will to stray from His path, as He surely did even if this is wrong, then God granted us the right to behave in sinful ways, including those you mentioned. The only libertarian question here is one regarding the state’s behavior: does the state have the right to violently regulate victimless behavior? I believe philosophically, and the Constitution supports this at least at the federal level, that the answer is “no.” Tying this back to the Christian message: God did not grant us divine authority to violently regulate other people’s sinful behavior under the New Covenant. Repercussions for sin are His and His alone to dole out.

“What they believed is irrelevant.” All of the work and thought they put into trying to form a nation that would have freedom and maintain it through the ages is being thrown away here. Here you stand, acting as if you know more than they knew, or they were somehow beneath you. What gives you the perspective they didn’t have? What makes you a superior theologian or philosopher?

God did grant us the ability to break his laws, true, and he also gave us a commandment to punish certain violations of those laws. Never did he excuse even the smallest violation of the law. All sins will be accounted for. If we do not embrace Christ, then we will be damned by our own sins.

To suppose that you somehow understand the Bible better than your ancestors… that is true pride and audacity. “Pride cometh before the fall.” What an apt description for our generation!

8. “You will let your neighbor’s house burn down. I will put it out.”

This is a purely absurd assertion that bears no reasonable similarity to reality.

It bears everything with reality. As the world reels in sin and error, I am not going to stand idly by and say government should not do things government should do, or government should do things it should not. I am going to use God’s morality as my own. I am going to spend the time and effort it takes to appreciate our ancestors rather than suppose that because I was born in a later century than them I know better.

I am going to forego addressing the multiple ad hominems listed in this post in the interest of limiting this to a civil discourse an intellectual exchange, but needless to say those fallacies do nothing to substantively further one’s position logically.

As we all know, everyone is certainly entitled to their perspectives, interpretations, opinions, and beliefs. I just feel that libertarianism has been inaccurately characterized in your post according to what you think, or maybe wish, it means rather than what it actually means – at least to me. This is not so much meant to “convert” you to my way of thinking, as you have made clear that this cannot be done and I can understand that. This reply is really meant to give the third party viewer a different, and more accurate as it relates to me at least, characterization of libertarianism for them to consider.

I haven’t seen any place where you’ve disagreed with my assertion of the central morality of Libertarianism: Let people do what they want. As long as it doesn’t directly affect me, it’s none of my business. “Live and let live” as they say. You’ve tried to contort Christianity to conform with Libertarianism, I am sure, but you have not rejected the definition I gave of it.

Why I am Not a Libertarian

May 1, 2015 by

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that has been with us for a while. It is deceptively similar to conservatism, or even liberalism.

My understanding is that it holds one thing as morally superior to all other things, that the only good is non-interference. That is, “Live and let live.” In other words, the principle of non-interference.

This is a philosophy that is foreign to Christians. Jesus taught us to help those who don’t deserve help. The Good Samaritan is an allegory where we are taught by the Master to show love and take on the responsibility of care of other for ourselves.

Jesus also spent his time warning everyone of the error of their ways. He didn’t hold back his warning from the Pharisees, Sadducees, the Romans, the Jews, or Gentiles. All of them he encourage to receive himself a the Savior of the World, and to trust in him. He encouraged all of them to keep the Law of Moses, but to keep it in your heart as well as in deed. The two great commandments he summarized as loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself.

Well, I love myself. I feed myself, I shelter myself, I clothe myself. And so as  a Christian, I believe the Law of God says I should love others, feed others, clothe and shelter them. “Live and let live” is not part of my religion or belief system. In fact, it is a doctrine and teaching we find Cain muttering to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” It is, simply put, a doctrine of the devil, contrary to God’s law.

This is why I am not a libertarian from a philosophical and religion basis. There is a more practical reason why I am not a libertarian. First, some history.

Our country was founded as religious colonies by a religious country. The country we separated from had a state religion, and the king of that country was its head under God himself. The laws were all religious in nature. The freedoms we cherished before we separated from our mother country were all granted by God himself, according to our collective belief. We were a Christian country, in reality, and as far as I know, we never stopped being a Christian country. And not just any plain old Christian country, but a particular flavor of Christianity that isn’t hard to identify.

Thus, when we wrote, as a country, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”, we weren’t allowing any debate. We said, “These things are true, and they are so obviously true, we will accept no challenges to them from any grounds.” And what were those truths? That God, the Creator of the earth and mankind, gave us rights. And those rights allowed us the freedom to live, the freedom to do what we thought best, the freedom to pursue happiness (earlier versions had “property”.) Thus, our freedoms to life, our freedoms to liberty, our freedom to property were enshrined as inviolable. Not because we believed “Live and let live”, but because we believed God said so. Taking God out of the equation of our history, taking him out of the foundation that is the cornerstone of our country, is killing the country. It is one and the same. You take away the Creator, you take away the argument that we have rights He gave us that no one can dispute, then we lose those rights. The atheistic libertarian argument is thus not only historically inaccurate, our Founding Fathers would have found it contemptible and even dangerous.

Our country thus not only is formed by these Christian ideals, but in fact, depends on them. Our very existence as a country that resembles that country our ancestors gave us depend on us holding on to this tradition and religion and conveying it to immigrants and descendants.

Finally, I will argue from practicality. I will ignore history, ignore philosophy and religion, and rely on arguments that rely only on the materialistic view of the universe as everything being composed of matter and not form. The argument is rather simple.

Show me, praytell, where libertarianism has been implemented?

And, after giving me the example, show me what effect it has had on the people it governed?

The truth is the following.

One, libertarianism may have been tried, but it does not exist today anywhere. The philosophy “live and let live” has never been successful. See, what inevitably happens when a “free” people, or rather, a people with no government, exist, is evil people with evil intentions take over. They work and wheedle their way into power, and where there is no power to seize, they create it. Go through the history books, and you will see this is the case every time. Take any society that once approached the libertarian ideal, and tell me if it can maintain it so today. And tell me why not. The answer is really simple: Human nature.

This is the crux of my argument: Freedom does not work. Liberty is not an end unto itself. The result of unlimited freedom is captivity. Liberty does not beget liberty. It begets tyranny and slavery. Sure, you may bask in the sunlight of freedom for a season, but it will never last. I’m not talking about hundreds of years, I’m talking about tens of years, or even less. As in, during your lifetime. Right now.

Our Founding Fathers knew this, and so they rejected freedom as libertarians interpret it wholesale. They did not and never did intend for our people to be free in the way libertarians advocate. No, they instead demanded that the churches and religions do their duty and ensure that virtue, that is, self-constraint, reign supreme. Should the people be incapable of governing themselves, they warned, we will soon have someone to govern us against our wills. That is the message of history. Either we submit ourselves to our natures, and end up repressed, oppressed, and subjugated, or we submit ourselves to the Laws of God and embrace the freedom that only Christ can give when we do so.

Our constitution does not enshrine every liberty. None of our ancestors believed we had right to commit suicide or to commit adultery or homosexual acts. We know this because they wrote their laws. They wrote our laws to protect good and moral action, and forbid bad and immoral action. They knew that people needed government, they needed something to dictate what is right and wrong to those who refused to govern themselves, and they needed its fearful power to hurt those who would govern us as they govern themselves. The constitution was written in such a way that government could have more power, not less. It replaced the Articles of Confederation which were much more like what a libertarian advocates than what our Founding Fathers settled upon. The beauty of the constitution is that it limits government, yes, but the idea of limited government was not new. The beauty is how it limits government, how it ensures that it will fight itself rather than the people when the people’s God-given rights are at stake.

Yes, our country is sick. We are sick because we have all gone astray and worship false gods and embrace moralities that cannot give us happiness or peace. Among these are the false gods of the atheists and the corrupt morality of the libertarian. The way to restore health is not to kill the dying creature, but to bring back its life and vitality: a belief in a living God who loves his people and commands them to love him and each other, for their own good and not out of selfishness or vanity. We know we were once alive and vibrant, and now we are not, and so we should be returning to the principles that made us free, not inventing new ones.

“Oh, you are trying to impose your morality on us!” they shriek. What they don’t realize is that this is not the case. Instead, look deep inside yourself, and ask if your efforts to enshrine “live and let live” as the ultimate morality is not imposing your morality on me. See, I do not believe for one second that government force can coerce one to believe in God and worship him the way He intends. So I do not believe for one second that government should try. But you do believe that you can force people to “live and let live” if you were to get control of the government. Instead, you should be sending missionaries door-to-door to explain one-on-one why your moral system is superior to mine. It bothers you that your morality cannot inspire 18 and 19 year old kids to give up 2 years of their life in sharing it with others. Perhaps you should understand that is why your morality is dead and fruitless.

I appreciate what libertarians have done in helping to convince people in freedom in economic matters. But I am wholeheartedly in disagreement about what they are trying to do in moral matters. That is why we don’t get along. We never will. Our beliefs are fundamentally opposed to each other. You will let your neighbor’s house burn down. I will put it out. Even if they don’t know their house is on fire.

On Being a Mormon, in my own words

April 26, 2015 by

Having established why I am Christian, it is only appropriate to establish why I am mormon, and what that means to me, and what I wished it meant to you.

The unfortunate reality of Christianity is that we are divided. We have arranged ourselves into sects and orders, divided by creeds and oaths. The sad state of Christianity is that rather than focus on our love of God and love of neighbor, we instead seem to focus on what we are or are not. That’s not what Christ taught us, and yet it is where we are at.

The mormons are no different. We have a long way to go towards perfection. We freely admit this! I haven’t met a mormon yet who is willing to stand in front of a group of people and say they are perfect disciples of Christ. I haven’t met a ward or stake or any group of mormons who claim they have successfully lived Christ’s commandments and established Zion in their corner of the woods. I don’t suspect I ever will, at least not until we are purified by Christ at his coming.

Nevertheless, let me draw out what makes a mormon and a non-mormon. While the requirement to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is baptism by one who has authority, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost by one who has authority, that is not really what makes us mormon. That is not the secret ingredient, because I know lots of people I consider mormon who are not baptized. I also know lots of people who are baptized but I wouldn’t call mormon.

The secret ingredient, in my mind, is a single willingness to serve God in every way. This requires absolute humility and allegiance not to any leader or council of leaders, but to God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. It is also a sincere and unconditional love for everyone around them. These are, after all, the entirerty of the Law and the Prophets.

A mormon feels their religion. When the prophet speaks, they feel the Holy Ghost carry those words into their hearts. When someone, no matter how old or young, speaks truth, they feel the Holy Ghost carry it with just as much force.

A mormon is hungry for the words of Christ. They read the scriptures daily not because it is a duty, but because they have an insatiable desire to relive those feelings they felt when they last read them. The stories in the Bible and Book of Mormon are not about a far-away people in a far-away land and a far-away time, but about them and their own interactions with Christ.

A mormon is hungry to serve. They feel good when they help others. One of my friends said that he went to his dad’s place for his birthday. His dad tried to have him sit down and enjoy a quiet afternoon, but he felt restless and went to work on his dad’s shrubs and lawn. His dad tried to stop him and said he needed to rest and enjoy his birthday. And he said to his dad, “Don’t you understand yet? I am happiest when I am helping you. There is no greater gift that you can give me than letting me help you and feel the joy of service with you.”

A mormon goes to all their meetings. They should grumble for exactly half of them, but for the rest of them, they come away filled with the Spirit. Our meetings are silly to the world. We open with a prayer, sing a hymn, testify of basic doctrines, and then re-read scriptures and books we’ve already read a thousand times. Then we make some plans about what we will do, and then pray again. Yet they are powerful to us.

A mormon is shy about sharing their religion. That’s because it’s very precious to them, and they hate that feeling that they may destroy their friendships or family relationships when they try to share them. Nevertheless, they do share it, oftentimes in an awkward way.

A mormon spends a lot of time in the temple. We are drawn there by the Spirit. We don’t really understand why we go there or what significance the thing we do there have to God, but we know it’s important because it feels important.

A mormon searches out their ancestors. Why? Because we care about them and we feel a connection to them. It doesn’t matter where they came from or who they were. They cared enough to give birth to our ancestors, and probably did a decent job keeping them fed and clothed. There’s no more sacred title to mormons than mother or father, and we expect those who didn’t live a good life will be given the opportunity to change.

A mormon spends entirely too much time talking to their friends. They are also unusually kind to people who probably don’t deserve it, and oftentimes trust people more than they should. This may just be the psychological phenomena of projection, or it may be their sincere hopes that others see people the way they do.

These are the things that make someone mormon. They are the things I look for in other mormons. When I see them, I smile a lot inside because I know someone else “gets it”.

Everything else is really ancillary. We have lots of doctrines. Well, really, not that many. When we talk about them, we feel good inside. But honestly, we really don’t care if you accept them all or not. I know lots of mormons who don’t accept all our doctrines, and that’s ok. Maybe I don’t understand the doctrines the right way, and maybe they have a better understanding than I do. Or maybe God just hasn’t testified to them of that doctrine yet. Either way, it’s really none of my business.

Also notice that I don’t count mormons by their obedience to one commandment or another. People sometimes get confused because we spend a lot of time talking about all the commandments we know God expects us to keep. And then they know that we can’t keep all of them, and wonder why we even try. It’s complicated, but our obedience to commandments should be driven purely out of our love for God and fellow man. When we mess up, we repent and try again. But we don’t, or rather, we shouldn’t, expect our obedience to any commandment to punch a golden ticket to heaven. After all, there will be a lot of people who have kept a lot of commandments but have forgotten the two most important ones: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Really, if you’re not keeping those two, no amount of piety will save you.

Now that I’ve said my piece, it’s important I tell you who I consider as non-mormon. As I’ve grown older and more experienced in matters of the spirit, I have come to understand that there really aren’t any non-mormons. We each have some of mormon-ness in us. It’s a futile exercise to try and predict which ones of us are wheat and which are tares anyway. I’m much happier thinking that maybe we’re all tares together. Or maybe we’re all wheat, and there are no tares, but we all have to experience what being a tare feels like. I don’t like thinking that any one of us will choose to refuse the wonderful gifts that God has prepared for us. I don’t think God sent us here to fail. He wants us to succeed. He is on our side, and since he is all-powerful, that means something big.

See, we intend to baptize the whole earth. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you did or didn’t do, we will not rest until the entire world has all the saving gospel ordinances that all of us have received. We will not be happy until we can all stand before God and say, “We are all accounted for, every one of us. All of us are baptized, all of us are ready to enter into celestial glory with Christ.” That’s my sincere prayer.


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