05 June 2013

detriment

I sometimes wonder what our national discourse would appear if we assumed more of the best of our fellow citizens.  By this I mean to say that our debates over government and policy might look different if we didn't think of each other as maliciously working to undermine whatever version of freedom that we ourselves hold dear.  Perhaps if we thought of each other as trying to do good works of liberty, we might reconsider our own approach and (despite all of the political promise and rhetoric that comes every two-to-four years) potentially change the conversation.  Our nation still has a strong foundation of liberty, even though many are willing to support policies and programs which seek to undermine the ideals of our Republic.

If this is the case, then our talk needs to define consequences of our decisions.  Of course, all of this will be riddled with barriers of emotion that keep some folk from reason.  But the work needs to be done nonetheless, in the optimistic assertion that the truth does not need a majority to prevail.  Hence, the following comes as a thought-process emerging from this context.

We as a nation have listened to voices that appeal to our sense of moral goodness and uprightness, to the point where we fail to recognize the consequences of our modern politics.  Sometimes this is a failure of history - the inability to learn from the mistakes our nation has made in the past, for we generally have an ignorance of our own country's past.  Sometimes this is a failure of philosophy - the inability to use reason and logic as the proper balance to our emotion and feeling.  This is even more disturbing when it happens to people of Christian faith, who are never to allow their devotion to God to succumb to the methodology of worldly governments.

Nevertheless, because we are a nation that is filled with good-natured people who desire neither the rulership over others nor the daily interaction with government or politics, there have been many issues that - despite the fact that they are at odds with much of the citizenry - simply have not been opposed by the People.  For others, the belief that we have an opportunity to enact a government which brings about a greater measure of freedom - or perhaps the coming of God's kingdom - brings many to a point where the intent of our actions is greater than their outcome or political manipulation.

It is quite possible that someday in the not-too-distant-future we will look back on our story to discover some painful truths:

To our detriment we accepted the notion of global warming, for we were convinced of our responsibility to care for and ability to save our planet.  In our eagerness we failed to see that more people around the globe would suffer because of political mandates which effectively gained riches for those who wrote the policy, but which left the poor to suffer in underdeveloped regions.

To our detriment we embraced a national healthcare to be run by the government, for we considered such action to be our obedience to the command that we were to care for the poor and the sick.  We ignored the overwhelming cost that would crush our economy under the weight of such reckless spending.  We did not listen to the voices that said this was a move for political power, even when a corrupted federal IRS was handed the responsibility of oversight.

To our detriment we allowed our Second Amendment right to be eroded, for we were eager to accept the idea that we could effectively stop violence in our nation.  In our enthusiasm to be the generation which established peace on earth we allowed the politically progressive to control the discussion and perpetuate the notion that guns are the root cause of our violence.  We placed more value in the news media's indictment of firearms than in the biblical assertion of a fallen human nature - and the statistics of violence that support the notion that humanity alone decides when to commit murder.

To our detriment we allowed our federal government latitude to shroud itself with the cloak of darkness.  In the name of peace we did not press the visibly opaque politics that were overrunning our nation's highest offices of public service.  Our detriment was even further advanced when many of us were willing to forget about the secrecy and lies which allowed for our ambassador and SEALs to be abandoned to their deaths.

To our detriment we accepted the lie that our President was, in measures deep-and-wide, ignorant of anything that is connected to scandal, although he is otherwise fully involved in all aspects of governing this country.  As a snowball effect, too many of us willingly believed that a sitting president would never be responsible for the internal corruption of our nation.  The overwhelming majority of those who buy into this are the same people who were willing to accept that a president would indeed be responsible for our nation's demise and corruption - so long as his last name was Bush.

To our detriment, we became willing to believe that which was convenient.

To our detriment, we forgot what it meant to offer personal sacrifice for the building of a nation.

To our detriment, we lost touch with what it meant to carry the responsibilities of freedom.

To our detriment, we were unable to recognize our own demise before it was too late to turn around.

Or, we could one day say that we were willing to stand - like our forefathers - in defiance of tyranny, because of our Christian faith and heritage ... not in spite of it.

13 May 2013

battlefield

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on a great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they have the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

The words themselves are sobering, more so when one takes pause to consider their context.  Lincoln presided over a deeply divided nation, whose future was uncertain.  That moment on which he was called to speak over one of the bloodiest battlefields of the war he reflected on the ideals which gave birth to this great nation.  Even though he lived through one of this country's darkest hours, he stood firm in its great principles.  His was not a pie-in-the-sky, idealized, glorified patriotism, but rather a deep and sober faith in God and country.  He was not ashamed of his nation - even in the throes of a civil war - but continued to see its greatness, and used his position as president to strengthen the cause of liberty.

When we reflect on Lincoln's words, it is equally sobering to feel the resonance of his words today that we must confess that we are presently engaged in another civil war which has much of our country deeply divided once more.  Just as in Lincoln's day, the presidential administration has taken sides in this conflict - although this time our government is not interested in edifying our nation's foundation, but rather in rewriting it.

We see this when we consider all that has been coming to light in these last few weeks.  Those who claimed that this administration could not be trusted were called hateful, racist, and conspiracist.  Yet, sometimes the paranoid are actually being followed.  Even when the truth crashed down their poorly constructed cover-ups, this administration - aided by a willing mainstream liberal media - presses the lies.  What happened in Benghazi was reprehensible, and the blood of American citizens and soldiers is on the hands of our own leadership.  This same administration is seeking to eliminate the Second Amendment, which was written to guarantee this nation of liberty.  While progressives in our government seek to gain the power to make drone attacks on innocent American citizens legal, the IRS has been moving on their given targets of conservative and patriotic groups.  And now it appears that the White House has been tapping the phones of news organizations for six months - a breach of free speech and press that is found in the First Amendment.  (These are mentioned simply as a short list of those activities which cannot be reduced to a difference of American ideology; these show a disturbing trend of ant-American behavior being perpetuated by the American government.)

This brings up an important point for all Americans to remember, and to reclaim: America is not the United States government.  Lincoln asserted this in his famous last-line: ours is a government of the People, by the People, for the People.  Somewhere along the way government became about power and money rather than the protection of the Republic.  This federal behemoth is now being turned against the People rather than being a reflection of the will of the People.  Even though elections have consequences, this country is being ruled by a small minority of those who have had the audacity to lie, cheat and steal the American experience from our culture.  We face a more tyrannical force than has ever threatened us from within our own government before, and the assaults on our freedom continues to grow.

We must reassert what our Founders established, and what men and women throughout our history have confirmed with their lives - that the sovereign in the United States is We the People.  It will not do for us to fear our own government, or those who will seek our destruction, in public and private.  And this is what the IRS situation has shown us, that there are many who are willing to attack their fellow countrymen because of an ideology that seeks to undermine our nation's greatness.  Although it is still able to put on a good front, this progressive-liberal agenda is in fact crumbling from within, and it will not be able to stand for much longer.

Thomas Jefferson once said: "It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself."  So true.

03 May 2013

defenseless

As our culture continues the hard work of processing recent events of violence, those progressive ideologues who are politically motivated push forward their long-standing agenda on restricting gun ownership in our country.  Preying on the fact that many are shaken, and even fearful, these voices look to seize an opportunity to rewrite one of the most basic principles of our founding - the Right to Bear Arms that "shall not be infringed."  As has become customary in the leftist-progressive playbook, there is no shame in making accusations, allegations, parades of victims, further victimization, or threats, even in the immediate days and hours when civilized people are grieving - for themselves or for their neighbors.

I am not the first to point out - though it bears much repeated emphasis, let we forget - that those who refuse to call hijackers, bombers, and any who would violently attack unarmed innocents as terrorists, have no difficulty whatsoever with demonizing and openly wishing for harm (or even death) upon those who peacefully disagree with their progressive agenda.  That is to say, terrorist seems to be a term that the political left refuses to use, except in the paraphrastic descriptions of those on the political right.  Even though the majority of Americans are self-described conservatives, those in the mainstream media and in political office think themselves as morally and mentally superior, and are thus doing us all a favor by keeping us from hurting ourselves.

But, let us consider where these acts of violence have been committed.  There was a bombing at the Boston Marathon.  First, let us consider that this was at an open athletic event - these men and women are not paid for this, and there are no politics associated with the affair itself.  Most people were wearing light-weight clothing, and there is not a lot of self-defense readily available to such a crowd (as opposed to someone trying to hold up a skeet-shooting event).  Second, this was in Boston - the one in Massachusetts, a blue state with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.  It should also be no surprise that the alleged perpetrator of the Boston bombing had already made plans to strike Manhattan (now with absurd gun laws) as his next target.

Second, let us consider that we are still trying to comprehend a tragedy such as what happened in Newtown.  One notices that the murderer went to an elementary school.  Notice that he did not attack a police station or military base - this would have been stupid because they have guns there.  Instead, he chose to prey on the innocent lives of children.  Worse still, he chose the smallest and weakest children in the entire school.  Only after other guns were on site did he then stop his killing and take his own life.  Connecticut - again a solid blue state with very strict gun laws - responded to this tragedy by instituting even stricter gun laws.  What didn't prevent the tragedy in the first place was reinforced to keep another tragedy from occurring.

Third, while not listed as a tragedy - or even covered by mainstream news media - is the daily violence that occurs in cities with some of the strictest gun laws in our nation.  Chicago might as well be listed as a war zone - you have better odds of surviving a night in Kabul, Afghanistan.  We could also find similar results in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, or even Philadelphia.  And, once again we would discover that the common denominators are strict gun laws and liberal mentality.

What is apparent is that there is a disproportionate amount of violence - domestic or terrorism - in cities that have rendered the citizenry defenseless.  Places where gun ownership is allowed and respected have less violence as a whole.  Although they convince themselves that they are doing a brave (and even honorable) thing by their militant actions, those who enact terror on others are clearly cowards who lack the backbone to fight head-on for their beliefs.  They prey on the innocent and defenseless, and those who use these opportunities to further an agenda of infringement on the Right of the People to defend themselves are no better.

Let us be clear that the bombs would have exploded in Boston even if every citizen had a gun.  A firearm cannot stop an explosive device as was used there.  In this we must also consider the failure of our government to adequately protect the People by use of intelligence gathering.  This administration has repeatedly failed to protect the American People - both official and non - from terrorist threat.  Along with Representative Cotton, I no longer trust this administration to be able to carry out their charge.

The Founders did not see this as a legitimate possibility, either.  Which is why we have the Second Amendment.  And why it should remain steadfast.

29 April 2013

bless

In what must be one of the most despicable statements uttered by a sitting President of the United States, while addressing a group of Planned Parenthood, followed his divisive comments by invoking God to bless the group in their efforts, along with America as a whole.  The highest ranking representative in the United States federal government, who is the first in line to protect the Constitution - the document which, along with the Declaration of Independence, seeks to build a society based upon the divine rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - sought a blessing on a group dedicated to the violent termination of life by ripping children from the wombs of their mothers, and has called upon God for the source of such blessing.

These words were thrown out as a concluding statement, and probably weren't meant to encompass the death-factories which Planned Parenthood has supported for many years.  Those who cry foul on the conservative response to his, "God bless you.  God bless America.  Thank You," could easily defend this as a friendly and well-wishing departure.  The president most likely didn't consider his remarks.  And therein lies a great problem.  We have a situation where the words god, bless, and you are simply devoid of their meaning.  Does the president know what it means for something to be blessed?  Which version of god does he appeal to (since his party had to remove-it-before-adding-it to their platform at the 2012 DNC)?  How does the president envisage this god granting his divine blessing?  And, what does the president mean by referring to you?

Perhaps we can still gain understanding in a world where words have lost their meaning . . .

It ought to be quite clear that the president is directing his warm regards to those who are in agreement with his ideological position.  Thus, his comments are best understood as given to those who are part of the organization which hosted him, along with those who are supportive of Planned Parenthood but who are not physically present.  How can we know this?  Because the remarks which he gave before - the content of his speech - were filled with attacks, divisive-language, straw-man, caricatured blasts against those who are pro-life.  He joined in the oft-repeated refrain of pro-life advocates wanting to return to the 1950's - which is ad hominem, that is, an attack against the person rather than an engagement with the argument.  He referred to pro-life legislation (which is being passed by States, who still legislate based upon the will of the People) as "absurd."  That he would extend a heartfelt salutation to those who stand against Planned Parenthood, after such childish and un-presidential comments, is unbelievable.

The same investigation is warranted for the president's understanding of blessing.  If Planned Parenthood is to receive such a gift, we might wonder what it entails.  In a biblical sense, to be blessed is to be happy, fortunate, congratulated, and prosperous; scripture understands blessing to be the fulfillment of a worldview of joy.  We live in a world where joy, in its fullest understanding, is not sought after very often.  Instead, ours is a culture of instant gratification, which is what most modern abortions are based upon in the first place.  The president rose to his power on the promises of blessing that weren't much deeper - hopes for new kitchens, cellphones, 'free' healthcare, etc.  So, it becomes clear that the president is not using the concept of blessing in a sense that has any specific depth of character.  This would be an out-of-place statement by someone whose track record reads precisely the opposite.  He is asking for the immediate gratification of the cause of Planned Parenthood which, in the context of his presidency, this speech in particular, and the history of the abortion movement, would be the annihilation of any who would dare hold to a pro-life position in our nation.  That is his blessing.

And then we must pause for a moment to ask which divinity is being invoked in these parting remarks. I am not interested to conduct a guessing-game of this president's personal faith.  He espouses to be a Christian, and some claim that he is devoted to other faiths.  If we are to accept his profession in Christianity, (even if we widen the boundaries of biblical faith to include the hate-filled, vile, and racist theology of the Chicago church in which this president actively participated for more than twenty years) then such a blessing stretches scripture's understanding of God.  Even in the often-harsh world of the Bible, where issues of genocide and infanticide are difficult realities, the repeated call of God and summons to his people is that the choose life, seek life, embrace a more abundant life, and share God's life with others.  God's plan for the world is that it would be redeemed and restored from its current state, and be transformed.  There is no image of a biblical God who would bless any nation or people that carelessly destroy the gift of life that he gives for the sake of our self-gratification and convenience.  I cannot speak to which god our president has in mind with his words, but I know that it is not the god who is revealed in the Bible.

Furthermore, there seem to be only two places where one can speak about God: as a general spiritualized emotional warmth that does nothing but produce happy thoughts in the individual, and as a general greeting that supposedly has no meaning, such as 'God bless you.'  Still, there are those who think that our present discussion is much-ado-about-nothing, since this is a parting greeting that probably wasn't meant to convey anything in the first place.  But, then, why say it?  If words are going to be used, then we ought to expect that words have meaning.  After all, the mean-spirited divisiveness of his previous remarks were intended to communicate a specific message.  Why not all of his words?

Hence,

"A slightly-spiritualized sense which brings an instant gratification of desire be upon you who are seeking the death of millions of unborn."

That is what the sitting president of the United States said, thereby further alienating more than half of the country, while again placing the federal government at odds with the general citizenry of the nation and States who have the rights to establish their own legislation.  It is no secret that the president seeks not the blessing of any who would dare disagree with him whatsoever.  This does not have to be the case in politics, but too often it is.  And the one who was touted as the great unifier has shown even more of his progressive agenda of divide-and-conquer by demonizing any opposition.

The American People have indeed been blessed, by the divine hand of Almighty God, who continues watch over his own and works to bring about the life, liberty and happiness to which all his creation pursues as divine Right.  In contrast to what is being done to our nation in these days, let us consider President Washington's prayer at his inauguration:

"Almighty God: We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.  And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.  Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

16 April 2013

resolve

Yesterday in Boston, an act of terror was committed against a crowd of men, women and children.  As with all terrorism, this was a despicable act designed to inflict pain, chaos and fear upon those to whom is is directed.  It was also cowardice at work, for those who hide behind such covert activity lack both the integrity and resolve to face their enemies head-on.  They must hide in their secrecy and destruction.

Those who commit acts of terrorism typically do so for some sort of religious commitment - a cause which rises out of a spiritual devotion and theological system.  Publicly, of course, this type of identification is not discussed, especially if we are playing the game of so-called-political-correctness which is particularly shy of anything Muslim.  Instead of identifying a system which continues to give rise to this type of terrorist activity, we are to believe that these are well-meaning folks who may have been misguided (not by their own fault) into being completely committed - to the point of death - to nothing in particular.  Just ignore the final shouts of Allah ... they didn't mean that.

Nevertheless, those terrorists who do claim to be committed to a cause or a religion are also the ones who hide in the shadows of covert activity.  I wonder why doing God's work must be done in such secrecy.  If you have been commanded by the one true king of all the earth to cleanse his creation for his service, then why must we hide in the shadows of darkness and death?  I am not talking about covert military action here, but of the terrorism which brings war upon those who are innocent and unarmed, all in the name of a religion that touts its own peacefulness (even among the militant wing).  These cowards hide and are aided in their secrecy by our own leftist and statist media, who took an entire hour before publicly blaming those on the American Right for what happened in Boston.  Evidently, there will always be that one punching bag for them to smack around when convenient.

Beyond terrorism, let us talk about this issue of resolve.  The First Amendment defines the right of freedom of speech.  At present we are on either side of this freedom: there are certain stories and perspectives which are completely ignored or vilified by the progressive-left (in media and government) to the point of legalized censorship, and there are certain stories and actions which are done behind the cloak of secrecy and in the name of the common good.  Both are supported by the established media in our country, and both seek to rid the First Amendment of its power, and the Constitution of its effectiveness.

There are so many things that the Obama administration does behind closed doors, or while distracting the American citizenry with other issues.  Repeated lies (even after the evidence is overwhelmingly and publicly contrary, as in Benghazi) seek to darken the veil all-the-more so that the progressive agenda can be implemented without the full knowledge of the People.  This is how it must be, of course, because much of what this administration is doing seeks to undermine the Constitution and reshape the entire American experience.  We are being weakened from within our own government, and the assault on our liberty can only be described as a domestic threat which must hide in the shadows.  The oaths of office are being trampled upon by so many who have achieved their power, and one wonders just how much longer the system can stand.

I wonder, What is the real difference between those who cause the tragedy in Boston and those who are causing the tragedy arising from our nation's capital?

In the midst of all of this corruption there is the American resolve.  Although this has become quiet in the past few years, it is being awakened with great passion and commitment.  The state of our union is questionable, but the resolve of the American people assured.  My concern is that not enough of the People will awaken in time to halt the destruction of our great Republic.  Some damage has been done, a considerable amount of damage will now be inevitable.  This is the accomplishment of those who hid in the shadows, waited for their moment, and seized the opportunity while others were freely living their lives.  That is how it comes, typically by those who did not rightly estimate the strength of the American spirit, even after it has been knocked hard to the floor.

09 April 2013

home-rule

By now most informed Americans have had some sort of encounter with the hubbub surrounding MSNBC host (we cannot rightly use the word journalist without inflicting damage on the concept) Melissa Harris-Perry's comments regarding the autonomy of the family in the raising of children.

Her comments: "We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we've always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility.  We haven't had a very collective notion of these are our children.  So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.  Once it's everybody's responsibility, and not just the household's, then we start making better investments."

The first observation which ought to be made regarding this comment is that it appears in a produced spot for MSNBC.  That is to say, these are not comments which Ms Harris-Perry was offering during a less-planned, ad-lib of a panel discussion or live opinion.  This reflects, quite deeply, the perspective of those on the left, especially those responsible for producing this piece.  Although the amount of public spotlighting that is given to such thinking tends to come and go, we have seen this type of thinking developing for many years.  We could easily point to the whole It Takes a Village lunacy, but even then the American culture had not been corrupted enough for it to be seriously considered.  Today, however, there is much more of an opportunity for this leftism to gain greater control over children and family.

Secondly, it must be pointed out that everything that Ms Harris-Perry says is accepted by the statists, with one major caveat - namely, it is the responsibility of the community to raise children only when the community reflects those ideals and perspective endorsed by the leftist agenda.  This assertion of collectively raising children by removing the self-governing right of the family only works in one direction, for its roots come from a people who verbally tout tolerance while simultaneously doing everything to distort, condemn and destroy all things conservative or Christian.

What is more, the goal of this perspective is control, but notice how it is placed within the context of money as well.  Ms Harris-Perry begins her produced spot with the fact that we are not investing enough in public education.  This, of course, is because America does not care enough - guilt for neither supporting nor praising the miserable failures of leftist policies.  The Department of Education began operating in 1980, following its establishment through the Carter administration, which should tell us all we need to know about its chances for success.  Since then, the millions and millions of dollars that have been funneled through it - removing control over education from the States in the process - has been concurrent with the massive failure of our educational system.  And the assertion of Ms Harris-Perry is simply, We aren't investing enough for it to be successful.

When you are caught in a lie, you are left with two choices: admit guilt or press the lie and hope that you can work your way through.  It seems that this is the same for liberal policy, and here is an example of the latter strategy at work, even when the truth is painfully obvious.

Finally, I find it quite ironic that the progressive-left is here looking for a community to surround children so that they may thrive in a structured, supportive, learning environment.  The irony comes from the fact that the traditional American home, built upon a culture of Judeo-Christian values, provided such a structure (under which our nation thrived), but was attacked and rejected by the very people who now advocate its replacement.

We might ask why this is the case, but the answer is quite simple.  There are two fundamental reasons for the rejection of one community-model for another: the first is morality; the second is control.  The one piece of American culture that has been attacked by progressives more than any other is the issue of a singular ethic which would govern our society.  Our nation has been forced into a collective ignorance of the hows and whys of our establishment, and just what our Founders had in mind - especially their faith and character.  Getting through this is the first step in achieving the control that the progressives so desperately crave.

There can be none of this type of thinking, and the American patriots (who are again being wakened in our nation) will guard their families more fiercely than any other thing.  Over the past number of years the American people have become too silent in matters of faith and freedom, and now we must face the consequences of our inaction.  The progressive left is currently seeking to eliminate the Second Amendment, and this sinister look to the American family cannot go unnoticed.  A quick glance around the American landscape will show that the right to bear arms will be defended by the People ... One can only imagine what sort of uproar will occur when the rights of the family are dismantled as well.  Yes, some will quietly concede and recess into the shadows, leaving their children as wards of the state and reducing parents all-the-more to fertility animals (once all of the undesirable qualities of genetics have been dealt with).

But those who are committed to Christian values might have other things to say about all of this, and will stand on the line that governments are not allowed to cross.  These lines were drawn by the Creator, reasserted in our Constitution, and reinforced by the families which stand on the other side.

14 March 2013

versions

There are no versions of the truth.  We sometimes get it in our minds that, since there can be more than one solution to a problem, that there are multiple options available for what is true.  It might be correct to say that there are different perspectives of the truth - that is, a viewpoint on how the facts might impact the larger world - but there is only one truth.

This is important to understand, for our culture is inundated with voices that express right and wrong, good and bad, true and false.  Competing 'facts' are pushed upon us at alarming rates, so much so that most Americans simply find it too overwhelming to understand.  To this, of course, we are told to trust the particular facts which come from a given group of people (the administration, the pundits, the news channels, the political parties, etc).  And, whenever the information we receive is contradictory, then it is a race to discredit the opposition.  Unfortunately, this administration has shown that their own communication is so often self-contradictory, which leads us to this notion of truth-versions.

A simple example of this is the cancellation of White House tours in the wake of budget sequestration.  The President made a public claim that the White House had no say in the matter, was not consulted, and would not have wanted to make the decision.  At the same time, however, the press secretary said quite frankly that the administration did in fact make the decision to close the tours.  Rather than talk about the financial cost, let us focus on the blatant lying that is happening right in front of us.  The philosophical law of non-contradiction should tell us that both of these statements cannot be true.  But that is not how this is being defended.  The cover on this (after distraction to cancelled grade school tours) is to appeal to versions of the truth - that both can be correct in their own way.

This is impossible, and happens on more than just this one issue.  We can think of all of the 'versions' that have been given about the Benghazi scandal, all without a clear presentation of the truth.  The out-of-control notion of political correctness has also been a significant factor in understanding truth.  We might have perspectives on events and information, but there are no versions of the truth itself.

I often wonder if well-meaning Christians even fall into this sometimes, especially with the acceptance of the Four Gospels.  If it is oversimplified, we could easily think that Scripture provides us with four versions of the truth of the gospel.  But that is not what we have at all.  The four evangelists have presented different perspectives on the one singular truth of the gospel narrative.  From these four vantage points - and no two histories will share identical points of view - we are able to enter into a fuller story than if there was only one written account.  That is how viewpoints are supposed to work, as supports for the truth rather than replacements for it.

There are no versions of truth, and the truth does not need the government's help in being established.  It only needs the government's help to remain hidden.  Wherever there is this notion of truth-versions we can be assured that the legitimate facts are being covered, sometimes well and other times poorly.  Nevertheless, our instincts would probably serve us well, for in those times when contradiction arises we already know that something is wrong, especially when we must hear versions from those who aspire to political power.

11 March 2013

hero

During the American Revolution Henry Knox said, "We want great men who, when fortune frowns, will not be discouraged."  Anyone who has ever taken a close look at the circumstances surrounding the events of that war for independence will rightly understand why Mr. Knox expressed this particular desire.  Those who endured the hardships which would gain liberty for the American states demonstrated an incredible amount of grit and determination.  Sadly, we must confess that, if we as a nation had to suffer through the same conditions in order to preserve our freedom, we as a people might very well be lost.

I say this because of the continuing intentional weakening of the American spirit by the progressive ideology which bombards our society.  A boy has been suspended from school because he ate a Pop-Tart in such a way that it appeared to be in the same shape as a handgun.  What is worse, the school has set up counsellors for anyone in the building who may have been traumatized by the horrific events surrounding the breakfast pastry.  This is, at the same time, ridiculous and serious.  It is ridiculous for obvious reasons: the amount of stupidity which is being heaped upon the young men and women of our country by those who have political control of the educational system is staggering.

But it is serious as well.  (No, the issue of a Pop-Tart is not serious in this matter - I am referring here to the issue of the power-hungry making blind those that can be so easily led around.)  Our children are being taught to fear.  This is no recent development.  I can remember my time in public grade school being taught to fear environmental shifts - like acid rain, or the loss of fossil fuels.  In recent years, especially in the last few months, the move has been made to surround our children with a culture of fear regarding guns (or any other weapons).  When a boy cannot understand why he was 'dispended' from school after playing a make-believe game of Save the World, and when we have to pause to consider the emotional effects of breakfast food, then we have a serious problem.

It wasn't too long ago, maybe one or two generations at the most, that young boys would bring their rifles with them to school (and check them in with the office beforehand and afterward).  The need for this was basically twofold: in the long walks, often through wooded areas there was an opportunity to shoot at game for the family's food, and also there was an increased security which was provided by armed boys.  This was the way of life.  We do not need to consider reverting to that type of society, but the point is made that we must create a culture where reason and responsibility have merit.  This is not the goal of progressive-controlled education.

Where will the young men be when it is time to storm the beaches of Normandy once again?  Will they be ready to stand firm and fight for the cause of liberty?  Or, will they be too preoccupied with their counseling because they once saw something that looked like a gun - perhaps it was a suspicious-looking Krispy Kreme?  Maybe the next attack on the United States will not use any firepower whatsoever, choosing instead to come charging across our borders with pictures of oddly-shaped Pop-Tarts on the tops of their cars.  Yes, simultaneously ridiculous and serious indeed.

Guns are not the only area of our society where we are stripping down the very nature of who we are created to be.  Boys are being taught how to never grow up and accept the responsibilities of faith and freedom.  They are pandered to as perpetual youth, never being required to grow up into manhood, and always chasing after their most immediate gratification.  It is taught in much of our educational system that ethics and morality don't really exist, except for where government and society say.  Void of an understanding of God or any religion that would orient their lives to him, it will be quite difficult to find men who are willing to defend or edify our nation.

We are not too far gone in this, however.  Of first importance is to recognize how serious the problem has become, and then take up the work of addressing it head on.  The most vital work that we can do as a nation - especially a nation of God-honoring patriots - is to strengthen our homes.  We must raise up men (and women) who are willing to engage the struggle that lies before them, to stand firm in principle and character and never cower in the face of danger.  We must prepare our young men to be willing to storm the beaches of Normandy for the sake of those they've left at home.  And we must ready our children to stand for the cause of liberty, even it requires that we do so from within.

These ridiculous wars over pastry, large drinks, and the like will chip away at our freedom if we let it.  But the answer is not to try and run after every little skirmish that comes along.  The solution is to renew and restore the core conservative principles which have made this country the greatest Republic the world has ever seen.  And then we will see the cause of liberty advance for all.

07 March 2013

fifth

What Rand Paul accomplished with his near-thirteen-hour filibuster is no small matter.  Lines are being drawn in very public ways that call out this administration for its repeated unconstitutional activity.  One point that has been made in the wake of this event is that it is a symbolic act that goes beyond words, since it has become clear that words can be quickly swept under the rug.  When such lines are made with big, bold strokes, it becomes quite clear where people stand.  The old guard of the GOP are emphasizing their own irrelevance and impotence in conducting the business of this nation.  All because one man refused to back down on an issue which has every sensible American greatly concerned about their own federal government.

It is a simple question, on a simple issue, requiring a simple response.  Does the President (and his AG) understand warrantless attacks on non-combative United States citizens who are on United States soil unconstitutional?  Without political roundabouts or double-speak ... without legalize or political-correctness ... without leaving trap doors in your response ... Can we get a simple 'yes' or 'no' on this one, please?  The childish silence coming from the White House again highlights the contempt that this administration has for anyone who would dare question the President.  Further, it demonstrates a disrespect for the United States Senate, which is established as a governing body with equal authority as the Presidency.  Even further still, the President's refusal to issue a straightforward response shows a contempt for the American people and their established Constitution.

There are many issues which are connected to the matter of drone strikes on innocent Americans.  Those of us who watched the filibuster found a number of angles which were presented as Constitutional ramifications surrounding this executive issue.  Let us consider for a moment, the protection against such laws that is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

There is no interpretation of the President's motives of having the option to authorize an attack on non-combative United States citizens on United States soil without a warrant that can lead us to the conclusion that such power is not contrary to this Fifth Amendment.  That any one person in our system of government can be judge, jury and executioner is well beyond the scope of our Constitutional Republic.  Americans are guaranteed the right to due process, which is intended to topple any tyrannical tendencies of a sitting United States President and give rights of liberty to the People.  (So far, this childish President has constructed a childish list of enemies that are simply those who do not agree with his point of view ... all in the name of bipartisanship and diversity, of course.)

The President has said that he does not plan on using this power.  If that is the case, then why guarantee its option?  If our President has no expectation of issuing an attack on innocent American citizens, then why is there such a battle to keep from publicly confirming that fact?  Senator Paul's principled stand was meant to cast light upon this dark situation, and it has created quite the stir in doing so.  The principles which are emerging from the White House are just as clear - they want to secure the right to authorize attacks on United States citizens at their own discretion.  Our great Republic is being forcibly transformed into a terrorist state itself, with a President endowed with dictatorial powers that usurp the government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Senator Paul very poignantly asked: "Is this country a battlefield?"  Although we are currently involved in a silent (but growing louder) civil war for the heart an soul of our nation, this country is not a battlefield.  This country is our homeland, and we are the very citizens that secure its survival and prosperity.  We are the ones who work so that the federal government can have nation to govern.  We are the People who provide our Representative, Senators and Presidents the privilege of serving the greatest Republic which has ever crossed the horizon of this world.  We are not subjects who owe our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the whims of a President (who has shown a complete lack of tolerance for any who would disagree with him).  We owe our lives and our freedom to that which we have been endowed with by our Creator.  The Constitution serves his desire of life and liberty, and the American Patriot will not bow our nation to any other authority.

06 March 2013

despotism

As I write this a filibuster is taking place on the floor of the United States Senate.  We have entered into the third hour of Senator Rand Paul's intentional stalling of a confirmation vote.  The reason for this is that he is calling out the current administration on the issue of drone strikes.  The Attorney General of the United States has recently made it known that the President has the authority to conduct attacks on United States citizens on United States soil who are non-combatant WITHOUT DUE PROCESS!!!

That such authorization is unconstitutional is beyond obvious, which makes this an unprecedented grab for power by a sitting United States President.  But where is the outcry that the rights of the American people are being infringed?  Where is the media reporting the facts of this issue so that the citizens can rightly understand what is happening in our nation's leadership?  And, most disturbingly, where are those sworn protectors of the United States Constitution (from all enemies, foreign and domestic) standing up to this bully regime that has decided it will use the bloated power of the federal government to do whatever it wishes?

Well, I see one who is willing to make enough noise that he cannot so easily be swept away.  (The Republicans ought to be learning how to stand against this out-of-control administration.  Sadly, they are probably trying to figure out how best to distance themselves from this radical Senator Paul.  This, as I have pointed out before, is part of the death of the GOP.)  There must be an outcry when the very document upon which our society is built is so easily pushed to the side for the benefit of a few who wield federal authority.

The actions taken by this administration are of the very sort that the Founders were seeking to abolish.  The great experiment of the Republic of the United States was that authoritarian power would be withdrawn in favor of checks and balances in which the voice of the people would be heard.  Those who serve in the federal government are representatives of the citizens of the United States, not their overlords.  Although we have seen the rise of a self-appointed elite ruling class in America, the real power rests within the will of the American people, and it is protected by the United States Constitution.

The President is seeking, through this issue of drone attacks, the ability to define and execute actions upon American citizens without the rule of law or any judicial system of legal checks and balances to ensure that such power is guarded.  If any one person holds the power to define terrorism and execute military action against it without judicial or legislative review, then we are closing the door to the freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We have already experienced the politicalization of healthcare, soon we will see the politicalization of religion and free speech.  Already our ability to say things is under great scrutiny, and more and more is being labelled as hate speech if it disagrees with a particular point of view.  It will not be long until such hate speech is applied to religious groups on the basis of their belief, and the equation of religious belief and fundamental militant will soon follow.

Anyone who dares to publicly disagree with this President has already been labelled as a racist, the ground is being laid for more removal of those who would dare question the office.  All of the sudden this looks very much like a tyrannical system of rule, over and above the Republic which was established as the United States.  Ironically, such a move to attain absolute power comes from the office whose oath is to protect and defend the Constitution - the very document which is being undermined by the actions taken in this issue.  The Constitution is meant to restrain the government from the People, and now it is being pushed to the side for the sake of imposing will upon the People.

So, we have a Constitutional issue before us.  We know why it was written, and in what context it was implemented.  It will take good men and women to reassert its power and significance, for it is being discarded for the sake of a progressive agenda by a leftist and elitist few.  But we have no monarchy or throne in this country.  The power rests with the American People, who must now wake themselves up to the threat around them and the work before them.