Sunday, April 13, 2014

R3VOLT


It was Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential campaign that introduced me to the above image.  I thought little more of it then than a peacenik teenager's attempt at being clever. Turn four letters around in the word "revolution," and it seems to spell "love."  Sort of neat, sort of... hippie-ish.

The campaign came and went.  As did another.  I had grown a great deal more attached to the idea of a revolution based in love... we in the Paul camp wanted to end the wars.  Not so much pacifistic as realistic.  The idea of a "revolution of love" was catching on, and I was glad.  We weren't promoting a selfish kind of love, nor did we promote the vision of a neo-liberal, sensuous utopia for America.  Far from it.  For myself, and I believe for everyone else who promotes the "R3VOLUTION," whether they realize it or not, this is a Christian love - a Christian love which opposes itself to an empire of hate. 

I cannot speak for anyone else, so I will explain what I mean from my own heart.

I am just a man, and all men are created equal.  I respect my fellowman.  By respect, I mean I understand that though we may disagree, and unless he harms me or another, what another man does or believes is a matter between himself and God.

I know others sin, and I know I sin.  All deserve Hellfire equally, it is God who saves.  Where is aristocracy or hatred for my neighbor justified in light of this truth?  Where is pride or unforgiveness?  It is illogical and unreasonable to have anything but compassion, even for our enemies, as Christians. 

When hatred and spite become national policies, going beyond the administration of justice and into the realm of injustice, we have tyranny and despotism.  When political policies become policing of morality and immorality (the distinction between which government is notoriously ignorant), we will have lost the respect and love we have for our fellow man.  Government is force, and it is administrated by sinful creatures.  That is all it inherently is.  It is only by the grace of God that governments are able to function at all, and a righteous man is a rare and precious find in civil administration.  So, when government becomes destructive of the ends of its establishment - that being the protection of its citizens rights to life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness - our only recourse is to "throw off such government, and to provide new guards for our future security," as our American Declaration of Independence clearly states.

More important to note than this, however, is that our response to tyranny and despotism, in whatever form, must not be based or consumed in hate or spite.  The political history of Europe is replete with examples of ideological revolutions turning into senseless bloodbaths, the French Revolution not least among them.

When we think of our own Revolution in America, we immediately think of the War for Independence.  But, what did the Founders of our country think the "American Revolution" meant?

John Adams said, "The American Revolution was not a common event. Its effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the globe. And when and where are they to cease?But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution. 

"... Revolutions are no trifles; that they ought never to be undertaken rashly; nor without deliberate consideration and sober reflection; nor without a solid, immutable, eternal foundation of justice and humanity; nor without a people possessed of intelligence, fortitude, and integrity sufficient to carry them with steadiness, patience, and perseverance, through all the vicissitudes of fortune, the fiery trials and melancholy disasters they may have to encounter."


If we are to succeed as a people in the overthrow of statism, the religion of faith in an all-powerful state, we are to have a revolution.  Let us hope and pray that such a revolution never becomes a war; it needn't become one.  A revolution is a change of direction, a re-settling, a re-founding, a return to our core values.  And we desperately need that in America.

Such a revolution will fail if it is not based in love.  God is love, and God directs us to love.

Revolution against hate is an act of love and obedience to God.  It is a lie which many propagate that revolution is wrong, that revolution breeds contempt for law.  Rather, the truth is that laws which breed contempt against the liberty of the people are actually in rebellion, not the other way around.  If a law is justly based, it is a sinful revolution that comes against it.  But it is a natural and righteous thing for unjust laws to be held in contempt.

God made it simple for us when He said us in Romans 13, concerning civil government, "... [H]e that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. ...Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

If we are to have a successful revolution in this country, or anywhere, it must have at its core the Godly principle of love.  At the core of all we do, we must love God and our neighbor; respect both He and them, for only then will our civil law parallel His moral law.  Constructive love must be at the center of our response to the destructive weapons of spite found in statism and war.  Love is the only answer to hate, and we must R3VOLT.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Straining at Putin, Swallowing Obama

What is this love of war?

Why are Republicans, in lockstep with the administration, urging our intervention to stop the democratic processes of Crimea simply because we disagree with them?  Some say Crimea was bullied into secession and annexation, as though Operation Iraqi Freedom was a grassroots movement of the people of Iraq.  Ukraine is in the midst of civil war, and Russia has the legal right, if not an obligation, to protect the security and stability of its borders and coastal waters.  And Crimea has the right and obligation to self-determine its course in surviving the turmoil.

The Obama administration decries the unconstitutionality of Russia's handling of the situation with Ukraine, as though the Euromaidan protests forcing the ouster of the president of Ukraine were legally conducted.

Yet American chickenhawks, none of whom are at all aware of the politics, historical or contemporary, nor aware of the legalities of the thing, are demanding we intervene.  To intervene at this point would be beyond naive, it would be monstrous and idiotic.  But, such is our culture.

Why are we so concerned with tyrants "over there" harming the rights of those "over there" when there is an entire city of tyrants sitting on our East Coast menacing our people?  These brave chickenhawks, with their chests puffed and their sabres drawn, demand war with Russia... the country which harbors the man who confirmed that our government spies on us illegally.  While we threaten war with countries who can hardly touch us, we hold tea parties for the terrorists in D.C.  If they mean to be consistent, let them advocate a military coup in our own country!  We strain at gnats and swallow camels.

Or rather... we strain at Putin and swallow Obama.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

God and His Order: Part 2

The question begging to be answered is, simply, what legitimate role should civil government take?

As Christians, we may well look at the Bible as a foundation in every area of life, if not expressly, then in principle.  Speaking on civil government, Paul wrote,

"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." ~Romans 13:8-10

Romans 13 has been used by tyrants to legitimize their reigns of terror, but the specific things listed under the fulfillment of the law are all things that one person does to another.  If Romans 13 is to be used in an understanding of civil law, it may only be understood in a libertarian, free-market frame of mind.  There is no directive in the entire chapter for government to enforce anything other than evils perpetrated by one person against another.  If civil government were to legitimately enforce religious obligations, surely Paul would have placed, "Thou shalt not have any other gods before me," in the list, but he didn't. 

Government enforcement of morality is not the issue. Henry Hazlitt described the places of civil law and morality as two spheres - the smaller sphere of law within the larger sphere of morality.  Law can't fully encompass all of morality, only those things where people harm others; not only is it impractical to envelop all of moral law into civil law, it is unscriptural.  Government is not our god, God is our God.  To say civil government may "legislate morality" is to set the institution up as a god on earth.  There is no person or institution between us and the Father but His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Legislating morality is not a Christian position.  Proponents thereof are products of the statist model which require every problem to be solved by the state.  The proper place of government is to legislate against those evils committed by one person against another, so as to provide an equitable environment of justice. 

Legislate equity, not morality.

Friday, November 22, 2013

God and His Order: Part 1

The question of origins is the most impressive and necessary question in all of human curiosity.  We've come a long way since Adam first hid from God, and we've lost a great deal of good sense from that time on.  With that good sense went the undeniable truth that God created the world and all that is in it, and that He created reason and logic by which we may ascertain His order of things.  He gave us the Bible, by which we can know Him - at least to the degree necessary for earth-bound worship of Him, as His whole being is, ultimately, unsearchable - and it is in the Bible where our origins are made clear. 

There is no other book or process by which we can confirm the truth of God, but if His Word is true, we should be able to reasonably confirm His truth by objectively observing the nature He created.  All of science should arrive at the conclusion that His Word is true.  Whether there is some fictitious element of science falsely so-called which seems to contradict Scripture is a matter of erroneous methodology and prejudice against the Bible.  If, however, objective science can confirm the truth of God as found in the Bible, mankind has come that much closer to knowing his God.  Though the advance is infinitesimally small compared to the immensity of God's creation, it is an advance worth making if it helps us to know Him better.

The advancement of science is not a cause in and of itself, but a study of God's order.  There is no creation to study outside of His creation, so anything science pursues in the physical world is an examination of His fingerprint.  It is therefore obvious that what we observe in nature cannot contradict His Word.  Scripture's ultimate goal is not to advance science, as though science were a study of things separate from their Creator, but to bring us closer to Him.  Science is supplementary to the Bible, not the other way around.  Science may confirm, and never deny the Bible.  Similarly, the Bible may confirm science, but it may also deny it when erroneous conclusions are drawn.

It has been said that we cannot know anything of human rights and freedom outside of the Bible, as our rights and freedoms come from God.  I would sooner say we can know nothing of the atomic weight of carbon outside of the Bible for the same reason.  God created human liberty like He created nitrogen - both are essential and necessary aspects of nature, both are discernibly present in and out of Scripture.  There is no mention of nitrogen by name in Scripture, but of God's creation thereof, we cannot doubt. Its observable presence only confirms the account of origins found in the Bible.  We can study its role in His order, and every aspect of it.  We can understand the irreducible necessity of it, and thereby further know of God's wondrous design.  Of its origin, we cannot know but by the Bible.  The universe is a mystery without purpose, neither in existence nor in discovery, if we have not the Bible describing its Architect.

So, too, is the elemental nature of freedom.  Human freedom is an element as physical as bedrock, and no less solid intellectually.  It is an intellectual necessity, a logical deduction, reasonably discernible and Scripturally sound.  In a phrase, liberty is the freedom of a man from the yoke of another man.  In his natural state, there is no physical and no spiritual precedent for one man to rule over another.  There is no inherent quality in man that justifies his authority over another. 

Certainly, since God rules the destinies of men and nations, He may choose men to be rulers and masters as part of His plan of our history and future, but that is nothing more than His particular manipulation of that which He created.  There is no divine right of kings, as though a king is born a king; rather, a man may be born a man and made into a king.  There are some men who would make very good kings but are not kings; others may be kings and terrible at the job.  History is full of examples of rulers, good and bad.  Does God accidentally pick the wrong people to be kings?  No, but each contributes to His overall plan in some way or another.  The same is true of every person, be they the ruling authority or a criminal. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

That Which Glorifies Him

When an artist paints a pastoral scene on canvas, perhaps of a prairie with rolling hills and a solitary tree, and we all admire the painting and the painter, what are we really admiring?

The tree, grasses, hills, small flowers, and the sky above are all depictions - renderings of things that are real, not abstract concepts.  They are only depicted because they are real, or at least put us in mind of those things, and they are only appreciated because such things are beautiful to us.

But the artist has not invented anything original.  The things depicted existed before the artist painted them, the paints rendered from the resins and oils already found in the earth, every last fiber of canvas and every last bristle in the brush was previously found in some form in the nature represented in the painting now produced.  There is beauty in this fact alone, but even more beautiful is the mind that can conceive beauty.  The mind's eye that was made capable of the concept of beauty and creative enough to promote it through art was made by the same Hands that made the things which the artist represents in his painting.

It is all a massive cycle of unimaginable intricacy that can only ultimately bring glory to God.

Why would anyone glorify the things that were made instead the Creator?  There is beauty that should be admired, but how can the glory be given to the creation? 

Every poet and author; every orator and singer; every sculptor and photographer; all of them and their media are only what God made them to be.   Every great mind, theologian or statesman, is not an inventor of the reason or logic or doctrine he promotes unless it is flawed, because if they indeed promote the Truth, that Truth has been in existence for untold ages before they were ever even born.

There can be no legitimate praise but to God.  No real glory but His.  No name to be taken, no word to be believed, and no beauty to be admired but that which He created.

Love that which glorifies Him. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Marque vs. Morality

Is it immoral to break the law?

Yes?

Why?

What about a law, Christian reader, that would cause you to violate your beliefs?  A law that required you to do something or consent to something that offends your sacred beliefs about God and His Word?

Oh, to break this law would not be immoral?

How can that be, if you answered yes to the immorality of breaking the law?

The problem is that laws are not any standard of morality.  They neither enforce nor subvert morality.  We ought to rid ourselves of terms such as "legislating morality," because morality is not at issue, it is the pretended authority of some trying to legitimize their use of force - civil law is merely the social medium through which some people seek to impose their will on you.   The morality of an issue is never settled through directives.  Even in systems where there is no such thing as democracy, republicanism, repeal, appeal... you are not solving an issue with legal force.  As I have shown, an immoral law may be passed.  The legitimacy of an argument is no more proven by enforcement than a criminal may rightfully rob you because he overpowered you.  They may be right, they may be wrong, but the legislation is merely a letter of marque.

Murder is immoral. Murder is against the law.  Two correct sentences?  In this country, murder is both legal and illegal, because while stabbing a man to death will send you to prison, a woman may kill her unborn child.  How is the law a standard, then?  Marriage has been made into a legal issue, branching off into everything from property rights to taxation.  Is homosexuality immoral? Yes, but it is not illegal.  I can think of many things that are wrong that aren't and shouldn't be illegal.  Disobedience to parents, blasphemy, lying, berating someone, profanity... in most instances, those things are unregulated.

The legitimate purpose of legislation is to ensure the full liberty of every individual to live freely, it is not to promote morality or immorality in society.  Morality in society is an issue for the public to decide - and as Christians, we need to show up and speak up, not bully our neighbors with badges and guns.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Deathmas?

I needed some foodstuffs at the store.  I wasn't there to browse; I knew exactly what I wanted.

As I walked the aisles, I became aware of effigies of snaggle-toothed witches and goofy-looking ghosts dangling above, and faces were carved into pumpkins below. The pumpkins smile.  Should I smile back?  It isn't a warm sort of smile.  Nothing inviting in the intended expression.  Only... anger.  The expression of hatred or distaste... disgust was the expression on these faces.  Why?  What is the idea? 

You often hear that oh, so cliched phrase, "the true meaning of Christmas."

What is the true meaning of Halloween?

We remember our veterans on Veterans' Day.  We remember our history on Independence Day.  We remember our heritage and present ourselves in thanks to God on Thanksgiving Day.

What is this Halloween all about? 

What do we commemorate?  What are we celebrating?  Whose idea was this in the first place?  What is the significance of the decorations?  Witches, ghosts, murder, fear... these themes are promoted to what end?

If I seem to be a Halloween "Grinch," it is only because I fail to see anything beautiful about this unholy observance.  We have such a beautiful world, but it is tarnished with death by sin.  Sin has marred this world and brought all manner of evil and suffering into it, specifically death.  Why would we want to celebrate that?  If we are to observe these things, let it be shamefacedly.   Let it be a somber time of resolution, maybe, but certainly not a festival. 

Celebrate the things that are lovely, not the things that are ugly.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
  Philippians 4:8

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Spirit of Independence

No two people will agree on every point; much less can a community of hundreds, as in a city, or millions, as in an American state, agree to very much of anything at all, to speak nothing of a country of over three hundred million.  Still, there is no doubt that there are certain things that are undeniable by reasonable minds.  Humankind manages to find unity, just occasionally, in matters of faith or ideals, especially against a common threat - usually a physical one.   I need not list the many occasions in our own, American history, such as the Pilgrim's first arrival to escape religious usurpation; the formation of united, independent states and their secession from the British crown; the ultimately doomed, yet no less viable Confederacy of the 1860s; the civil rights movement, etc.   These few examples are only some of the major, political movements still affecting us today - there are scores of lesser movements throughout the ages of people banding together in numbers of tens or thousands who pursued their happiness by "voting with their feet," so to speak, and accomplished that great principle of human action: to benefit themselves or their posterity.

I do not intend to dwell, as I am wont to do, on the reasons for our present state; you know, if you have been following for years or only the last couple of publications, that this blog is replete with apologetics on matters of faith and politics.  I feel neither the desire nor necessity to revisit the heinous, petty, obvious or else subtle offenses committed against those of the Christian and conservative-libertarian way of life.  You know the offenses and slights that have been perpetrated against us, and by whom they are committed.   The question is now put to us, as it has been for some time, "What can we do?"

I have asked that question, and I have been asked that question.  The answer, at the same time obvious and obscure, has never been acted on to any effective degree.  To be honest, I'm not sure there is a single answer that can be given to every person who wonders as to the course of action.  Of course, first and foremost, is our appeal to Heaven.  I have no need to inform anyone that our prayers have not been answered with a "golden ejection seat" boosting us above our problems, nor have they been answered with the earth opening to swallow up our adversaries.  Thanks be to God that He has assured us of inner peace now, in each heart and mind, if we continue in faith.  And that is no small or trifling thing!  We can brook any hardship by faith in Jesus Christ.  This life will one day be forgotten, and His people will live in glory forever.  I do not take away from this fact any more than providing sustenance for our bodies in the form of a meal or happiness by way of passing time with a friend takes away from the eternity that awaits us.  The fact is we live in a physical world that is being dominated, in one way or another, by evil and designing men - and we, knowing the truth and loving rather the things of God, would be derelict and hypocritical to ignore our purpose as the light of the world and the salt of the earth.   We cannot shirk this duty.

So, what to do?  I submit that we are to secede.  To declare independence.  Perhaps not geographically, but spiritually.  The spirit of servitude to an evil system pervades our lives in ways you don't notice.   We work for it, pay it worship, feed it, clothe it, and then, when it fulfills its purpose by our means, we scold it.   We are hypocrites.  What am I talking about?  Think about it.  What do you want it to be, yet what is it instead? 

We want a system that guards our borders, yet illegal immigration is an issue steeped in racial barriers, unnecessarily so, but to the point that no one is allowed to touch it without kid gloves.  The crime and social issues put our society on edge and damage our economy, yet the problem persists without real solutions.

We want a system that protects our national sovereignty, yet the foreign policy of this country destabilizes the world and causes more harm to our interests and security than it causes good.  We pay for endless wars and nation-building and are considered "unpatriotic" for opposing these policies.  We "support our troops" by voting to send more of them to die and be maimed, a rationale only a macabre alter-ego of Lewis Carroll could imagine.

We want a system that secures our rights as guaranteed by the Constitution, yet scarcely one of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights remains as yet uninfringed.  We make concessions and compromises that leave us bereft of not only the spirit of liberty but also the very stuff and pith of what we hold dear as a free society.

We want a system that respects our institutions, yet marriage, the family, our churches, education, entertainment, and our other cultural traditions are perforated with secularism, political correctness (falsely so-called), and offenses to our civil and religious ideals.

One issue, that I believe may be considered a stand-alone issue, is abortion.  The killing of a person before it is born.  This act is performed by institutions directly and indirectly funded by tax-payer money.  Tax-payer funds are a form of income that is somewhere between theft and extortion.  When used to fund public uses and common good, it is a bearable thing; but when our money is taken from us by force to pay for evil, insidious deeds, that is something no one should overlook or shrug off.

The list may go on ad infititum, ad nauseum, but I will come to my point.  We need to declare independence from this system.  We need to separate ourselves from the system that destroys what we are and what we believe.  I do not necessarily mean physical separation, but spiritual separation.  Get your head out of the noose.  Unlock your mind and escape the paradigm that makes you rationalize evil and enjoy apathy.  You know the difference between right and wrong.  You don't need to let other people and the mainstream or even alternative media make your decisions and opinions for you.  Think for yourself.  Read the Word of God and know righteousness.  Discover what it is to be human.  Humble yourself before God, and never bow to an earthly king again. 

Once we begin to loose our fetters individually, we can organize ourselves communally.  Churches, groups, movements... it doesn't matter where it starts or how it ends.  Just do it; that is all that can be expected.  And it should be expected.  We aren't cows to be herded or steers to be slaughtered.  We are made in the image of God - behave accordingly.  

"Duty is ours; results are God's"  ~John Quincy Adams

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Elusive Perfection

If I could choose any person throughout history to replace the current President of the United States, it would be Baby Bear.

(Please pick your head up off of your desk or laptop keyboard so you can read the rest of my post.)

(Thank you.)

Goldilocks was on a walk through the forest for reasons known only to herself (I really don't think she even knew, you know how women are), but it soon became an impromptu quest for perfection.  I think I can relate; sometimes I unintentionally look for something that's "just right," even if I couldn't describe that perfect thing, myself.  

I recently pondered just what it is that makes something perfect.  I imagined the varying degrees of satisfaction of things - products, produce, services, relationships, and even weather.  In following the twisty, windy path that my mind often takes, I was invariably led down the ideological rabbit hole into the upside-down world of politics. 

Speaking on government, Thomas Jefferson wrote in his greatest political work, The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, or, as it is more colloquially known, the Declaration of Independence, "... All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

So, historically speaking, it is a well-established fact that people will accept less than ideal conditions.  As a student (albeit a poor one) of praxeology, this set me to wondering: just how much do people tolerate of something, and why?   It didn't take long for the word "priorities" to come to my head.  This isn't a new subject to this dusty, creaking blog, and it seems someone keeps dropping quarters in the jukebox to play the same, ol' tune.  But I really began to wonder about it this time.  Why must some things be just so, and others not so much?

Police have been summoned to fast food restaurants to respond to relatively slow service.  Long lines of people with too much time and money have camped, tents and all, for days outside the doors of an electronics supplier to be among the first to hold a soon-to-be-outdated, overpriced mobile device.  Thousands of dollars will be spent on tickets to see every football game of the season, and pilgrimages to the stadium will be made religiously, rain or shine.  No real reimbursement is ever or will ever be made to the millions of deluded people who fill the coffers of the various false religions, chief among which is the Catholic cult - no real fulfillment is ever found there, least of all salvation.

And yet the people go on, more or less, content or discontent, here or there, doing what they do.  The first rule of praxeology is, "People act."   I am no exception.  So, how should I and everyone act to be perfectly satisfied?

"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. ~Psalm 138:8

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." ~Isaiah 26:3




The lesser things in life - the little things - they don't need to be perfect.  If you are focusing on perfecting the little, earthly conveniences and trivial objects of this life, you will never succeed or be satisfied.  However, if you put things in their proper place, perspective and priority, under God, everything will be just right with you. 

God never promised His people perfection in this life.  Far from it, He promised pretty dismal stuff; but He did promise it to be well with us.  Perfection is elusive, if not impossible, whenever men are involved.   And the fact that life is promised to be a struggle does not exempt us from working toward a more satisfactory goal.  But seeing the world with a godly perspective will bring the peace needed to satisfy our desire for perfection.

We prefer things.  That's fine.  I want things to be a certain way, and it makes me strive and work; but if that work is anything other than an attempt to fulfill a godly desire, that desire will never be fulfilled, and I will continue down a dark, broad path, and I will never achieve the satisfaction I pursue.


BABY BEAR - 2016
He's Just Right for America

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day 2013

I do not want to come between this day and your enjoyment of it; I do not want to shame you; I do not want to depress you.  I only want my country back.  Don't you?

Do you know what it's supposed to look like?  Do you know what it's supposed to be?  The principles are still valid, they don't change.  Only our attitude changes toward the timeless principles.  What is our attitude?

As I said, I do not mean to sully the celebration of our independence; still, what are we celebrating?  What was

If you are "patriotic" enough to recognize the day, be American enough to honor the ideas that started to change the world in a million ways two hundred thirty-seven years ago today... maybe we'll do something people will be celebrating centuries from now.

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