I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine who fancies himself a thoughtful conservative. We were on a boating trip and I was doing my best to avoid politics on a beautiful, sunny day. He was doggedly persistent and I’m not known for a lack of opinion. Now, this particular friend has a tendency to over-analyze a given topic and work himself in circles so I was prepared to try and steer him back. As the discussion got underway, I found that I was indeed prepared to champion America’s first principles. I just didn’t think I would have to defend them from a self-proclaimed conservative at a tiki bar today.
For starters he was starstruck by the perfect hair of the duo of Romney and Ryan. This is fairly typical of most casual conservatives who get into election mode and leave their scruples at the door. I burst his bubble by reminding him of the tandem’s history with Romneycare, TARP, Auto Bailouts, and Medicare Part D. Hardly conservative positions and hardly an indication that these men were the saviors he felt they were. Of course any criticism of the GOP ticket instantly draws the accusation that I want Obama to win. Hardly. I told him I would certainly vote for the Mormon over the Black Liberation Theologian.
Then he slid a little more to the left and began to talk about the health care legislation that the GOP should pass after repealing Obamacare. He had accepted the liberal premise that there was a health care crisis that must be dealt with at a federal level. I told him when you put out a fire, you don’t replace it with anything else. Just repeal it. This sent him into a tirade about all the poor, unfortunate people of this world that needed our help. Uh oh. He’s really going down the rabbit hole.
He stated that we had a moral obligation to help those less fortunate. As a practicing Christian, I wholeheartedly agreed. Just not via the Federal government. I asked if it was OK that he was holding gun to my head and forcing me to be “charitable.” This caused him great concern and he walked away only to return one drink later with his retort. It was no longer an obligation in his mind, but an “opportunity,” as if that was any more sensible. Things were really starting to slide.
I asked him what authority within the United States Constitution gave Congress the ability to pass such legislation? “General Welfare Clause” he responded. Ugh. Logic right out of a liberal playbook being played by a “conservative.” I tried in vain to explain the enumerated powers of Congress and the role of the General Welfare Clause as a modifier rather than a stand alone power. He responded that he didn’t know what the enumerated powers were. (Facepalm) Maybe I could use another drink myself.
I politely explained the limited powers of the Federal government and how the remainder was left for the states. He was fine with that as long as the Federal government could force the states to “uniformly” implement their own policies. What?!?! “If the Federal government can force the states to all be the same, you lose the ability to vote with your feet” I replied. “That’s not practical” he shrieked. “People can’t just pick up and move!” Of course they can and do. For jobs, relationships, lower taxes, etc… That freedom to escape poor policies and find greener pastures is a hallmark of American Federalism.
Ultimately our wives separated us and we went on with enjoying our day although the conversation continued to bother me. It is clear at this point that the left is winning. They have pounded their message so effectively over the last century that Marxism is now engrained in many facets of society. The uninformed and even the well-intentioned have been indoctrinated. The argument begins at the far left with the liberals and ends up compromised on the not-quite-so-far-left with the neo-conservatives.
We have a lot of work to do just to even begin to reverse this trend. Those who should be our allies are too wrapped up in politics and policies to realize they’ve been compromised. We need a revival of America’s first principles to cleanse its very soul. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get back to basics.
Is America a Christian nation? It’s a somewhat controversial question we often hear in American society and politics. During his election, Barack Obama was criticized for a pre-presidential speech in which he said America was not just a Christian nation, but also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, etc., etc. Ok, I get it. Multiculturalism is what all the cool kids are doing these days. I won’t expound upon my opinion on that particular point. But many still wonder what the correct answer to this question is.
To conservatives, an important part of this debate should be whether or not the founding fathers intended us to be a Christian nation. Some contend that our founders were all devout Christians and describe their intended form of government as a borderline theocracy. Others harp on the popularity of deism in the late eighteenth century, claiming that it was the majority theological opinion among the founders. Both of these positions cite some credible evidence, but willingly ignore some as well. So were the founders Christians? And did they intend the United States to be a Christian nation?
We certainly know that some of the founders were Christians; Roger Sherman, the only signer of the four major documents of America’s founding (the Articles of Association of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution), was an active lay worker in his church and was spoken highly of by his pastor, Jonathan Edwards, Jr., son of the famed theologian. Gouverneur Morris, whose leadership of the Committee on Style gave him an important role in the wording of the Constitution, was an Episcopal who believed in a God who took an active role in the affairs of men. John Jay, a contributor to the Federalist Papers and the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, served as president of the American Bible Society after retiring from government and politics. These three are just a sampling of the Christians involved in every aspect of the founding of our nation.
However, we also know that some of the founders did not quite hold to the orthodox definition of Christianity. Benjamin Franklin’s deism is well documented; the aged statesman put his faith in human reason rather than Christ, believing he could achieve moral perfection on his own. Thomas Jefferson described himself as a Christian only in the sense that he adhered to the moral teachings of Christ. He rejected anything supernatural, including the deity of Jesus, and even called the Book of Revelation “the ravings of a Maniac.” And John Adams rejected the faith of his youth, turning instead to the Unitarian church.
So we certainly cannot say that the founders, as a whole, were devout Christians, but many of them certainly were. So did they envision a biblical foundation for the new nation? Many founders acknowledged the advantage that Christian morality brought to society. Adams cited the advantages of Christianity in that it “brings the great principle of the law of nature and nations . . . to the knowledge, belief and veneration of the whole people. Children, servants, women and men are all professors in the science of public morality. . . . The duties and rights of the man and the citizen are thus taught from early infancy.” Jefferson, who was devoted to the ethical teachings of classical philosophers, realized that republican government needed a stronger moral structure, which he realized could only be found in Christianity.
A generation after the founding era, Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the role that Christianity played in American society and government: “in France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other: but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.” “Religion,” he said, “must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions.”
So why, if Christian morality was so essential to republican government, was religion not enforced? Because, as James Madison said, “Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Government.” So while the founders clearly intended the United States to be a nation of religious morality, the basis of which was certainly the Christian Bible, they knew that the people could not be forced into being Christian, but rather must choose it for themselves.
One of the core fallacies of collectivism is the idea that individuals should relinquish some of their personal liberties and decisions to a central authority deemed to be much “smarter” or better educated. The absurdity of this belief is exemplified in the economic choices being made by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose actions are reckless and benefit only special interests rather than the American people. When the curtain is pulled back and the confusing terminology is pared down, you can see the ineptitude and corruption of these elites for yourself.
To recap, “quantitative easing” is simply printing money and, yes, that is every bit as bad as it sounds. Let’s say you have a rare baseball card and only 5 of them exist in the world. Your card would have great value due to its scarcity. One day, a large crate full of the same baseball cards is found in a warehouse. What happens to the value of your baseball card? That’s right, it is greatly reduced. The same logic applies to the supply of money. Printing more money reduces the value of the money already in circulation and you have less buying power.
While Wall Street has been much maligned as a “risky” place to invest for your retirement, Bernanke’s actions will devastate even the most cautious of investors. If you know someone who has saved their entire life for retirement, and has it in the bank as savings for “safety”, the value of their nest egg can be wiped out by the printing press. To add to their pain, inflation will kick in as the Fed looks to pull back in the money they printed in the first place.
Ultimately, the Fed will continue to create many of the problems that it was instituted to combat. It has been an utter failure since its birth in 1913 which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. A bureaucrat heading a cabal of banks is ill-equipped to make boots-on-the-ground economic decisions for you the individual and doesn’t have your well-being at heart.
“If the debt which the banking companies owe be a blessing to anybody, it is to themselves alone, who are realizing a solid interest of eight or ten per cent on it….the truth is, that capital may be produced by industry, and accumulated by economy; but jugglers only will propose to create it by legerdemain tricks with paper.” – Thomas Jefferson
First, how did George Washington, our country’s first Commander in Chief, view how a man should conduct himself in the military?
“The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country” – George Washington, General Order, 9 July 1776
Here Washington wants everyman to act in a manner becoming a Christian soldier. We all know Christianity teaches against partaking in homosexual acts, so no “equality” (equality in this context is a misnomer of today, since the 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War, mandates equal protection and not “equal rights” as is incorrectly cited by most modern leftists) for the gays from old George.
The modern military is against such behavior, because of instances like the following that have occurred (on Washington’s watch) when gays are in close quarters with other men:
“At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778) Lieutt. Frederick Gotthold Enslin of Colo. Malcom’s Regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false Accounts, found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War and do sentence him to be dismiss’d the service with Infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return; The Drummers and Fifers to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose.” – George Washington, March 14, 1778, General Orders
Here’s a full Lieutenant who tried to cornhole another soldier, and he’s booted out of the military. But look at how Washington chose to boot him. The homosexual Lt. had to leave camp while the entire military band played, to signify his disgrace and to serve as a warning to others. Typically, the whole camp would watch the disgraced being drummed out.
Some of you reading this are thinking, “Washington was too religious. Surely, Jefferson didn’t feel this way.” And you’d be wrong. Jefferson proposed a law requiring:
“Whosoever shall be guilty of Rape, Polygamy, or Sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration…” – Thomas Jefferson, A Bill for Proportioning Crimes and Punishments 1778 Papers 2:492–504
Granted, at the time, the common punishment for gay buttseks was death. So, Jefferson can be seen as a radical for requiring castration in death’s stead, although he obviously didn’t condone homosexuality.
One wonders how many would engage in homosexuality if they had to suffer consequences beyond their current consequence of considerably shorter lifespans than their heterosexual counterparts.
As I’ve said before, the military should change its policy from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to “Don’t Tell, We Didn’t Ask”.
Inspired by a quote from Thomas Jefferson, this is reminder of what’s at stake on Election Day 2010.