Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ronald Reagan and the Strategic Defense Initiative

On this day in 1984, Ronald Reagan wrote the Foreword for a Report on the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Contrary to some detractors who slanderously characterized Reagan as an ignorant actor, Reagan was capable of understanding these issues, as his hand-written radio broadcasts reveal.

Reagan understood the danger of nuclear weapons and the insanity of "Mutually Assured Destruction." Clearly, Missile Defense is the more Christian policy.

But today, the danger is less from ballistic missiles and more from "briefcase bombs" or "dirty bombs." The detonation of just one of these bombs in any western nation will result in martial law and the end of the Constitution.

The United States federal government owes an apology to the world for developing nuclear weapons and being the only government to deploy them against innocent non-combatant civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The United States must lead the world to nuclear disarmament by announcing unilateral nuclear disarmament as an act of moral leadership. Repentance must be the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy, as we suggested a month ago.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Infant discovered in barn, child protective services launch probe and put child in foster care

Infant discovered in barn, child protective services launch probe and put child in foster care 12/25/11

Infant discovered in barn, El Paso County child protective services launch probe and put child in foster care

Nazareth carpenter being held on charges involving underage mother and child abuse

December 25, 2011, Eastern El Paso County, Colorado ‹ Authorities were today alerted by an anonymous call from a concerned citizen who noticed a family living in a barn. Upon arrival, Department of Human Services Child Protective Service (EPC DHS) personnel, accompanied by sheriffs deputies, took into protective custody an infant child, who had been wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feeding trough by his 14-year old mother, Maria of Nazareth, Texas.

    During the confrontation, a man identified as Joseph, also of Nazareth, Texas, attempted to stop the social workers. Joseph, aided by several local shepherds and some unidentified foreigners, tried to forestall efforts to take the child, but were restrained by deputies.

     Also being held for questioning are three foreigners who allege to be wise men from an eastern country. ICE (La Migra) and Homeland Security officials are seeking information about these wise guys who may be in the country illegally. A source with ICE states that they had no passports, but were in possession of gold and other possibly illegal substances, and claimed to be following a star in the west. They resisted arrest saying that they had been warned by God to avoid officials and to return quickly to their own country. The chemical substances in their possession will be tested and the "star in the west" is apparently a light on Pikes Peak.

     The owner of the barn is also being held for questioning and faces charges for violating health and safety regulations by allowing people to stay in the stable. Civil authorities are also investigating possible zoning violations involved in maintaining livestock in a commercially-zoned district.

     The location of the infant will not be released, and the prospect for a quick resolution to this case is doubtful. Asked about when the child would be returned to his mother, a Child Protective Service spokesperson said, "The father is middle-aged and the mother definitely underage. We are checking with officials in Nazareth, Texas, to determine what their legal relationship is."

     Joseph has admitted taking Maria from her home in Nazareth because of a problem about a "green card."   

     However, because she was obviously pregnant when they left, investigators are looking into other reasons for their departure. Joseph is being held without bond on charges of molestation, kidnapping, child endangerment, and statutory rape.

     Maria was taken to Memorial Hospital where she is being examined by doctors. Charges may also be filed against her for endangerment. She will also undergo psychiatric evaluation because of her claim that she is a virgin and that the child is the Son of God.

The director of the psychiatric wing said,

     "I don't profess to have the right to tell people what to believe, but when their beliefs adversely affect the safety and well-being of others ‹ in this case her child ‹ we must consider her a danger to others. The unidentified drugs at the scene didn't help her case, but I'm confidant that with the proper therapy regimen we can get her back on her feet."

A spokesperson for EPC DHS said,

     "Who knows what was going through their heads? But regardless, their treatment of the child was inexcusable, and the involvement of these others frightening. There is much we don't know about this case, but for the sake of the child and the public, you can be assured that we will pursue this matter to the end."


Atrributed to Equal Justice Foundation. ejfi.org

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Gospel According to Charles Schultz

On February 1, 1993, The Washington Post got into a heap of PR trouble after reporter Michael Weisskopf wrote in a news story that followers of the Christian Right are "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command."

But the secular left has long believed that. Washington D.C. believes they have the right to command us. The secular mainstream media gatekeepers believe they have the right to inform us of everything we need to know.

A notable example goes back to 1965: the television special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

CBS Executives almost scuttled the show because they felt it was "too religious."

The story is told by talk radio kingpin Lee Habeeb in the National Review Online.

As a "culture warrior," I feel a sense of triumph every time Linus is heard over the mainstream media airwaves reading from the Gospel of Luke.

But the war goes beyond the Bible. Secular elites believe they have the right to tell us when to laugh. And they believe Christians are too shallow to appreciate Vince Guaraldi. In the 1960's, the media believed the serfs could only appreciate 3-chord rock'n'roll.

Here's an interview with Habeeb from the World Magazine podcast, "The World and Everything In It":

Listen

Newt and Infidelity

Since there is no essential ethical or moral difference between the oath one takes in marriage, and the oath of office, it is proper to ask questions about the political qualifications of one who has repeatedly violated his oath to be faithful to one woman, "in sickness and in health," "till death do us part."

Nobody contests the accusation that Newt Gingrich was not faithful to his first two wives. Constitutionalists like Ron Paul will charge that Newt has consistently promoted government programs which are not authorized by the Constitution, thus repeatedly violating the oath of office he has taken many times.

Now Newt wants to take an oath that will make him the most powerful human being on the planet, and subject him to those powerfully corrupting influences.

Does anyone seriously believe that Newt "Mr. Globalism" Gingrich can remain faithful to a sickly 224-year old hag called the Constitution when the opportunity to run off with a rich young New World Order presents itself?

Friday, December 09, 2011

Evangelism and Foreign Policy

On this day, December 9, in 1822, President James Monroe sent the following message
To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 22d of February last, "requesting the President of the United States to cause to be collected and communicated to the Senate at the commencement of the next session of Congress the best information which he may be able to obtain relative to certain Christian Indians and the lands intended for their benefit on the Muskingum, in the State of Ohio, granted under an act of Congress of June 1, 1796, to the Society of the United Brethren for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen, showing as correctly as possible the advance or decline of said Indians in numbers, morals, and intellectual endowments; whether the lands have inured to their sole benefit, and, if not, to whom, in whole or in part, have such benefits accrued," I transmit a report from the Secretary of War with the accompanying documents.
JAMES MONROE.
One can learn more about this act at the Library of Congress:

An ordinance of Congress of Sept. 3, 1788, set apart three tracts of 4,000 acres each at Shoenbrun, Gnadenhutten, and Salem, on Muskingum river, for the Society of United Brethren, to be used in propagating the gospel among the heathen. By act of Congress approved June 1, 1796, provision was made for surveying and patenting these tracts to the society in question, in trust for the benefit of the Christian Indians.
Justice Rehnquist, dissenting in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 103-104 (1985), wrote:
As the United States moved from the 18th into the 19th century, Congress appropriated time and again public moneys in support of sectarian Indian education carried on by religious organizations. Typical of these was Jefferson's treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, which provided annual cash support for the Tribe's Roman Catholic priest and church. It was not until 1897, when aid to sectarian education [472 U.S. 38, 104] for Indians had reached $500,000 annually, that Congress decided thereafter to cease appropriating money for education in sectarian schools. See Act of June 7, 1897, 30 Stat. 62, 79; cf. Quick Bear v. Leupp, 210 U.S. 50, 77-79 (1908); J. O'Neill, Religion and Education Under the Constitution 118-119 (1949). See generally R. Cord, Separation of Church and State 61-82 (1982). This history shows the fallacy of the notion found in Everson that "no tax in any amount" may be levied for religious activities in any form. 330 U.S., at 15-16.
I oppose all "faith-based initiatives." Congress should not tax people to send missionaries.

However, I support the Christian worldview evident here.

The Indians were often terrorists. Instead of bombing them "back to the stone age," the U.S. Federal Government felt their terrorist activities should be replaced by Christian civilization.

The current anti-Christian regime in Washington D.C. has dedicated $3 trillion to replace a secular/pagan regime in Iraq (which allowed freedom for Christians to propagate the Gospel) with an Islamic theocracy under Sharia Law (where Christian churches are burned with impunity).

A true leader in a Christian nation would inspire voluntary contributions to missionary efforts to civilize the Muslim world, teaching Christianity and capitalism and forging bonds of commerce. Not only does our government prohibit commerce with nations which need to be evangelized, like Cuba, it goes well beyond this isolationism to engage in un-Christian acts of war.

Iraq should have been a mission field, not a battle ground.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

From Feasting to Fasting

Thanksgiving is over, so let's change the subject somewhat.

I was hoping to complete a post on Foreign Policy this Thanksgiving weekend, but that hasn't happened. Here is an outline of the idea.

Thanksgiving is a religious holiday, a clear violation of "the Separation of Church and State." It has a long pedigree in American history. See some examples here.

But in addition to upbeat days of Thanksgiving, there were also official government-proclaimed days of fasting, humilation, and prayer. Here are some:John Adams issued a proclamation for a day of prayer, encouraging the nation in Trinitarian repentance:
  • call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence,
  • implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions,
  • and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions in time to come;
If we can list our nation's blessings, can we also list our nation's sins? Do we understand the concept of repentance?

Conservatives will be quick to list off sins we should repent of: abortion, homosexuality, divorce, Godless education, etc. I agree.

But what about our foreign policy?

I'm inspired to ask that question by the recent debate over foreign policy, and the way the mainstream media fawns over Romney and Gingrich while dismissing Ron Paul. The CBS Sunday show "Face the Nation" last week showed the contrast between The Knowledgeable Gentleman vs. the Venomous Viper. The Viper described Ron Paul's foreign policy against the potentially nuked-up Iran as "being nice to Iran."

That got me thinking.

Doesn't Jesus Christ command nations to "be nice" to their enemies?

If I believed the federal government had constitutional authority to set religious days of fasting and prayer, I think it should proclaim one for our foreign policy sins against Iran:
  • Overthrowing their popularly-elected government in 1953, in violation of Romans 13.
  • Putting in place a dictator who was worse than the one complained about in the Declaration of Independence.
  • Arming another dictator to wage war against Iran after Iran overthrew the U.S. puppet dictator.
  • Arming Saddam with weapons of mass destruction to use against Iran

This list of sins could be repeated for U.S. sins against many other nations on earth.

God's commandments cover not just acts of violence against others, but also the failure to discharge the requirements of love. "Thou shalt not steal" also means building up the estate of others. "Thou shalt not kill" also contains a duty to create greater health and longevity for others.

America, the once-Christian nation, has gone from being a "City upon a Hill" to being an imperialist warmonger. We no longer export the Gospel, we are the world's largest arms dealer.

This deserves a national day of "humiliation and prayer" and repentance leading to a reforming of our anti-Christian foreign policy.

This is absolutely vital to our "national security." Only by repenting of militarism and imperialism can the United States ever hope to have "a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Committees of Correspondence

On this day in 1772, Samuel Adams began a work that would earn him the title, "The Father of the American Revolution."

On November 20, 1772, Adams sent his first letter to the American colonists through a network of communication called "The Committees of Correspondence." You can read his letter here.

Unless you went to a government-run school.

America is largely illiterate compared to America in Samuel Adams' day.

Even those who know their phonics can't follow complex political arguments, like those that Adams used to inspire Americans to declare their independence from a tyrannical government.

But even those who can follow complex arguments are uncomfortable in the Christian milieu of the American Revolution. Adams' letter spoke of three issues:

I. Natural Rights of the Colonists as Men.
II. The Rights of the Colonists as Christians.
III. The Rights of the Colonists as Subjects.

Sam Adams did not see himself creating a new secular government, but operating within the centuries-old framework of Christianity.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1930 Article in Yale Law Journal Proves America is a Christian Nation

In 1930 the prestigious Yale Law Journal published a pioneering article by B.H. Hartogensis entitled, "Denial of Equal Rights to Religious Minorities and Non-Believers in The United States."

The article complains about all the ways federal, state, and local governments acknowledge Christianity, and demands that we become a secular [atheistic] nation.

By advocating such change back in 1930, the Yale Law Journal admits what the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1892: That the United States is a Christian nation.

Perhaps the title of this post should be, "1930 Article in Yale Law Journal Proves America Was a Christian Nation." It certainly isn't any more. We've been deceived by the myth of "Separation of Church and State,"
which really means the separation of God and Government,
which is the claim that Government need not be "under God,"
which is the claim that Government can rightfully rebel against God,
which is really the claim that the Government is God.

While illustrative, this article is not a "smoking gun." By the time the Law School at the University of Colorado published an article entitled, "The Legal Enforcement of Morality" by Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner in 1967, the revolution was already well completed. Some suggest that the revolution began in 1923, with the founding of the American Law Institute, which began purging criminal codes of any Christian influence. Others would go back to 1870, when Christopher Columbus Langdell was appointed by Harvard Law School to replace "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" with a more "scientific" (Darwinian) approach to legal education. Others would even go back to the Constitution itself.

But if we can change from being a Christian nation into an atheistic nation, we can change back. Or forward, to Christian anarcho-capitalism. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it can collapse about that fast.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holy War

The verses in the Old Testament which are used by supporters of "capital punishment" today are verses which required the shedding of blood to make atonement. Smaller sins required the shedding of the blood of smaller animals, but so-called "capital crimes" required the shedding of the blood of the murderer himself.

The concept of "holy war" in the Old Testament is capital punishment on a national scale. God promised Abraham the land of Canaan, but waited until all the nations of the land were completely devoted to genocide, child sacrifice, or ritual homosexuality.
Genesis 15:16
But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Leviticus 18:24-28
Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
No Christian today should use Old Testament verses on warfare to support U.S. intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Horn of Africa. No shedding of animal or human blood brings atonement or has any efficacy after the Cross.

"Holy wars" in the medieval age (the "Crusades") were defensive (e.g., defending Jerusalem from Muslim invasion) and limited to professional armies bound by medieval Christian codes of warfare which barred involving innocent non-combatant civilians.

Rushdoony makes the important point that today we live in an age of holy wars.
Much is said about "holy wars" in past history, and most of it is nonsense. The true holy wars in the fullest sense of the word are after Darwin and Marx. World Wars I and II were holy crusades "to make the world safe for democracy," and to "end war and ensure peace," and so on. The terminology of communist warfare is the most intense example of holy warfare in all history.
Since accepting the necessity of struggle for survival, our humanism of today has in it the grounds for the holy war of our evolutionary faith.
The age of the state, already firmly geared to warfare as an instrument of politics, thus turned warfare, with Darwin and Marx, into the holy crusade of humanism on its march to utopia.
The Warfare State

As James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, documented in his book, Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, the rise of Marxism and Communism in the 19th century were explicitly religious, a perverse mirror image of Christianity. In 20th-century Protestant nations, however, the Religion of Secular Humanism has postured as completely non-religious and "scientific." Nevertheless, since all men are created in the Image of God, all men are at root religious, and secularism is a passionate faith which now dominates once-Protestant nations.
The fact of warfare gained prestige when Darwin set forth his theory of evolution. The struggle for survival was widely assumed to mean warfare in one form or another, economic and class warfare, warfare for resources, warfare in every area. When Darwin published his Origin of Species on November 24, 1859, a waiting world was delighted with his thesis and the entire edition sold out on the day of publication. Two of the happiest of the earliest readers were Marx and Engels, who rightly saw in Darwin the confirmation of their beliefs: they correctly held that Darwin's success would ensure the triumph of socialism. The reason is an obvious one. If evolution rather than creation by God is true, then two things follow: first, life is a struggle for survival, and, second, if God is eliminated, nothing morally binding remains to ensure private property, Christian marriage, and religious authority in any realm. Life is then an amoral struggle for survival, and in that amoral struggle mass man has the best chances for victory, supposedly.
Darwin promised the end of Biblical morality.

Secular holy wars have thus rejected the moral limits of Christian "just war" theory. Whereas hundreds, even thousands, of people were killed in medieval crusades, modern secular holy war has annihilated tens of millions of human beings.

War is the secular sacrament that brings salvation. Its architects passionately believe they are bringing in utopia by their political and military liturgies. "We the Sheeple" believe our leaders will bring us security. We believe it religously. We take their word by faith.

This is why I have spoken of "the Cult of National Security."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do "Capitalists" Believe in Capitalism?

I have defined "capitalism" as

the social system based on the rejection of the initiation of force or violence against others

Many in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement have harsh criticisms of the Wall Street crowd -- Paulson, Rubin, Geithner, and others moving in the Revolving Door between Wall Street and Washington D.C.

Do these "capitalists" believe in capitalism? Gary North answers:
Hardly. Adam Smith described them well in 1776: ready to collude together against the public interest whenever they can get the state to provide them with a monopoly through state coercion.

Consumers pay them for only one thing: their ability to deliver the goods at a low prices. Capitalists stand ready at any time to get the state to skew the conditions in their favor. Smith did not have one good word to say for businessmen as a class. He distrusted their motives completely. But [Ayn] Rand treated them as if they were heroes under siege by the state. Better to see them as ideological trimmers laying siege on their competitors and consumers alike by means of the state’s collusion with them.
Ayn Rand Did Not Understand Capitalism * Godfather Politics

Review: The 2008 Bailout

Friday, November 11, 2011

Would Jesus Celebrate Veterans Day?

I myself have often succumbed to temptation, and have taken the easy way rather than courageously take the hard, narrow road of faithful obedience to God.

The military recruiters of Washington D.C. tell us that joining the armed services is a "patriotic" and noble way to "serve your country." They tell us it's a shrewed career move, a path to pay for college, a great adventure, or a way to "be all you can be."

All we have to do is kill some unknown brown people on the other side of the world.

Sometimes they threaten us with prison.

That makes it even easier to give in to temptation.

I can sympathize with Veterans, but I cannot honor them.

A truly honorable American questions the Federal Government.

A truly knowledgeable American knows that no war engaged by Washington D.C. has been a "just war."

On this Veterans Day, let's ask the question, "Would Jesus Celebrate Veterans Day?"

"America," my country, is an ideal:The Federal Government of the United States is at war with "America."

I love "America."

I hate "the United States."

Please use the comment box below to tell me why it is honorable to serve this atheistic regime.

Please tell me why I should honor those who chose to kill other human beings created in the Image of God, to destroy the homes they built, and leave their families in poverty and misery.

Please tell me which of the wars ever fought by the U.S. Federal Government has been a "just war."

We can debate this passionately, but we can also discuss it factually, rationally, Biblically, and prayerfully.

"Would Jesus Celebrate Veterans Day?"

Please leave a comment or join me at tomorrow's Ozarks Virtual Town Hall.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Can an Anarchist be Bribed?

Imagine that you receive an anonymous tip that a government entity is about to raid your home or business. Let's stipulate that the raid is manifestly, patently, indisputably unconstitutional, and that your rights will be vindicated in a few years after lengthy and costly litigation, and the government official who authorized this raid will be ignominiously drummed out of office in a great scandal which irreparably damages the reputation of his office, adversely affecting his successor's ability to discharge his duties.

Should you bribe this government official in an attempt to persuade him to call off the raid on your home or business?

Gary North defends Theonomic Bribery.

Does that justify the likes of Jack Abramoff?


Lesley Stahl of CBS News gets 'Jacked' on '60 Minutes'

An anarchist does not believe in using government force to redistribute wealth. This is a major benefit anticipated in exchange for a bribe.

Sometimes a person might bribe a Congressman to prevent the use of force directed against an otherwise peaceful and voluntary act of consenting capitalism. No need to bribe an anarchist to achieve this result, since the anarchist is already committed to that goal. A bribe would be wasted, since it would effect no policy change.

Everybody knows that lobbyists don't bother knocking on Ron Paul's door. He will always say "NO" to the unconstitutional use of government force to secure private advantage.

What if some really stupid criminal person offered Ron Paul a bribe to get the Federal Reserve audited?

If elected, I would accept bribes for this purpose, theologically speaking (Proverbs 13:22, Proverbs 28:8).

Legally speaking, I'd have to think about this. Does it violate anti-bribery laws to accept a gift if it can be proven that it had no effect on policy?

The Supreme Court further clarified the law by setting standards for federal bribery statutes in United States v. Sun Diamond Growers, 526 U.S. 398, 119 S.Ct. 1402, 143 L.Ed.2d 576 (1999). The Court concluded that a person did not violate the law merely by giving a gift to a public official. Prosecutors must show that there was a connection between a specific official act in the past or future and the gift.
Bribery - Definition, Court Cases, Articles, History - LawBrain

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Should We Celebrate "Reformation Day?"

I asked that question back in 1999:

Should We Celebrate "Reformation Day?"

I still don't have the answer.

Here is the text of that post, with the links updated:

*****

Should We Celebrate "Reformation Day?"

I say NO.

I'm grateful that there is an Internet mailing list like this one.
Imagine a carrier-pigeon mailing list a couple of months before
Y1k. The question asked: "Should We Celebrate Constantine Day?"
There were certainly some advantages to Constantine's removal
of Christianity from the list of illegal religions. But it was a
mixed bag. As much good as Constantine may have done, it's
a good thing we got out of the "Holy Roman Empire" biz.
"Reformation Day" is a celebration of Martin Luther.
I'm glad I'm not a Catholic, but I'm also glad I'm not a Lutheran.
Luther is like Constantine. God used him to make progress,
but we're not finished yet.

I received the following email from a Christian organization.
It's an "educational" piece. It appears to be filled with historical facts
of which most Christians are probably not aware.

I'm all for educating Christians, of course. But I'm not sure
this piece is telling us anything important. Let's read it and
then ask some questions.

----------==========**********O**********==========---------

Subj: 31 October
Date: 10/30/99 8:27:03 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: http://www.blogger.com/group/vft/post?postID=tDloJXdTh2jFu1TGeOUFZvlTS1Nf4XloGRrIXKwhG_nmAdoo0rBedUg00LqHRltjmH7MkTbDVzZE_y8X6g (Servant_l)
To: http://www.blogger.com/group/vft/post?postID=Kkg65MJrgkQeOPL2qRC8l0myrpk5EzZ6jWD0UoOCzfLObXlB3HMcqxBSj_b0wXH_dQ8Q6FyNIlk

Hi Servant_L and CHRISED-L folks!

Last year Christian History Magazine sent out the first part of the
following in their newsletter. Further down, separated by dashed lines
and the byline of the new editor, is the rest of the story.

I just thought to send this to you because it truly marks what the
date of 31 October is really all about. While it is true, as noted below,
that we have better issues to distinguish ourselves on, let us continue
to fight prayerfully against the forces of darkness that attempt to exert
tremendous influences on this day as no other.

This story will not be repeated in the monthly SERVANT_L newsletter.

God bless



-----------------------------------------------------
The Importance of October 31
From Ted Olsen, Assistant editor

October 31. Forget about Jack-o-Lanterns and Trick-or-Treating -- history
took a major turn on this date nearly 500 years ago. Though officially,
most Protestant denominations will celebrate it on Sunday, October 31
is Reformation Day -- the day in Martin Luther walked up to the Castle
Church in Wittenberg, took out a hammer, and nailed his 95 Theses to
the door.

Well, probably, anyway. Luther himself never actually reported engaging
in such an act of protest. The whole nailing story actually comes from
his younger colleague, Philipp Melanchthon--who wasn't anywhere near
Wittenberg in 1517 and who didn't record the event until years after
Luther's death.

According to many historians, Luther probably mailed, not nailed, his
Theses to his fellow Catholics.

But even if his Theses didn't leave a hole in the Wittenberg door,
they certainly left a giant mark on Christianity. It began on when
Luther publicly objected to the way preacher Johann Tetzel was selling
indulgences. These were documents prepared by the church and bought by
individuals either for themselves or on behalf of the dead that would
release them from punishment due to their sins. As Tetzel preached,
"Once the coin into the coffer clings, a soul from purgatory heavenward
springs!"

Luther questioned the church's trafficking in indulgences (though he
did not oppose indulgences rightly practiced) and called for a public
debate of the 95 theses he had written. Instead, his 95 Theses spread
across Germany as a call to reform, and the issue quickly became not
indulgences but the authority of the church.

Pope Leo X soon moved to "quench a monk, ... Martin Luther by name,
and thus smother the fire before it should become a conflagration."

By the time an imperial edict was issued, calling Luther "a convicted
heretic," he had escaped, and would spend the rest of his life as an
outlaw. He elicited so much hostility that it was rumored--and taken
seriously for a time by some respected intellectuals of the day--that
he was the product of a bathhouse liaison between his mother and the
Devil. The church called him a "demon in the appearance of a man."

Still, he was a sensation. In 1520 and 1521, Luther was the rage.
Posters with his picture (single-sheet woodcuts) sold out as soon
as they went on sale, and many were pinned up in public places.

He's a fascinating character, not just for the importance he serves
in Christian history, but in the often strange details about his life.
He was infamous for his vulgar language. Evidence suggests he may have
made his astounding discovery of justification by faith while he was on
the toilet. At his first Mass as priest, he almost dropped the bread and
cup, and was so terrified that he tried to run from the altar. He claimed
that he hadn't even seen a Bible until he was 20 years old. And though he
has contributed several key documents to the church totalling more than
60,000 pages (including an important German translation of the Bible,
the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"; his Larger and Smaller
Catechism), he hoped that "all my books would disappear and the Holy
Scriptures alone be read."

That hasn't happened. In fact, it has been said that in most libraries,
books by and about Martin Luther occupy more shelves than those concerned
with any other figure except Jesus of Nazareth.

But for all that importance, many Christians today don't use the day to
discuss justification by faith alone. Or whether they're trying to buy
their way into heaven. Or countless other areas that Martin Luther's life
still bears relevance. Instead, it's all about the evils of Halloween.
It seems to me that there are better issues for us to distinguish
ourselves on and say, as Luther, "Here I stand, I can do no other."

By the way, both of our issues on Martin Luther, Issues 34 (early years)
and 39 (later years), can be ordered online at
http://st3.yahoo.com/cti/chrishispasi1.html or by calling 1-800-806-7798.

=======================================================

Return to Augsburg
from Elesha Coffman, assistant editor of Christian History

It's not often that in remembering the anniversary of a historic event
we can also highlight corresponding "history in the making." But the
ceremony in Augsburg on October 31 will go a long way toward bringing
one story full circle.

This Sunday, representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the
Vatican will sign a Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,
thus stating agreement on an issue that has divided Protestants and
Catholics since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg
door on October 31, 1517. The declaration reads, in part, "Together we
confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because
of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy
Spirit who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good
works." Dialogue leading to this agreement began after the Second Vatican
Council in 1967, and much of the scholarly work behind it was carried
out in the United States, but no better place than Augsburg could have
been chosen for the signing itself.

In 1518, Cardinal Cajetan met Luther in Augsburg with the goal of
forcing the upstart monk to recant his controversial theses. Luther,
of course, refused, and he immediately fled the city. In 1530, Luther
still couldn't show his face in Augsburg, so it was his friend Philipp
Melancthon who appeared on his behalf to submit the conciliatory
Augsburg Confession to Emperor Charles V. Melancthon's attempt at making
peace was, however, unsuccessful, and religious conflict continued to
escalate.

Augsburg was again the site of an attempted compromise in 1548, when the
Interim of Augsburg was proffered as a temporary settlement between
Protestants and Catholics, awaiting a final settlement at the Council
of Trent. But various issues kept the Council of Trent from settling
much of anything that met the Protestants' approval, and it was not
until the 1555 Peace of Augsburg that a long-term solution was accepted.
This settlement recognized the existence of both Catholicism and
Lutheranism and stipulated that people should follow the religion of
their local ruler. This was more a victory for territorialism than for
tolerance (though people could sell their property and move, shifting
their allegiance).

In addition to the ghosts of past conflicts, however, Augsburg features
a visual reminder that peace is possible. On the plot of land where a
Roman temple once stood, the churches of St. Ulrich and St. Afra sit
side-by-side. Built between 1476 and 1500, the structures were once part
of the same ecclesiastical compound. However, after the Peace of Augsburg,
Lutherans took over what had been the monastery assembly hall and
established St. Ulrich's as a Protestant church. A shared crypt houses
the remains of the two namesake saints.

At the end of the 1530s, Luther said, "I am worried that we will never
gain come so close together as we did at Augsburg." His fear was justified
for several centuries, but this weekend, his descendents and those of his
former foes will once again be as close as Ulrich and Afra have always been.
---

----------==========**********O**********==========---------

KC:
So as I understand this letter, the big issue to be discussed on
"Reformation Day" is "Justification by Faith Alone." The meeting
in Augsburg will undoubtedly have some hard-core Reformed
pundits shouting about "compromise" and retreat from the
"purity" of the Reformed Doctrine of Justification by faith alone.

http://vftonline.org/VFTINC/anabaptists/Ref_Day.htm

It seems to me that Luther's ideas were important because
they liberated Christians from liturgical slavery; Luther prompted
revolution against Humanistic ecclesiocracy and man-made
traditions. I suppose this is a good reason to celebrate
"Reformation Day."

But for the most part, the letters above seem to me to be hopelessly
irrelevant.

Just a few years after Luther nailed/mailed his theses,
20-30,000 peasants were killed with Luther's tacit approval,
in uprisings which Luther had no small part in fomenting.
Not only was the issue in those uprisings (usury) never
resolved, but Luther (and Calvin), by retreating from a
full Theonomic position, entrenched the economics of
usury, and it is today the central organizing feature of
modern economics and foreign policy, supplanting
constitutional liberties in America and resulting in
the enslavement of millions more peasants in "Third World"
nations.

Should we celebrate "Reformation Day?"

http://vftonline.org/VFTINC/anabaptists/13-0index.htm

http://vftonline.org/VFTINC/frn/unabomb3.htm

I am a Theonomist. My passion is to see God's Law
obeyed throughout the world.

What has been the effect of the doctrine of "Justification by
faith alone?" Incomparable evil. Half a billion people deliberately
murdered in this century alone (not counting murders unauthorized
by the State), and the big discussion is the doctrine of
"imputation." I hasten to note at this point that I just reviewed
the chapters in the Westminster Confession of Faith on
soteriology (chas. 11-18), and find nothing I really disagree
with. In fact, I still find it to be a remarkably accurate statement
of Biblical doctrines, at least in this limited area of life. But as
a slogan, "Justification by Faith" has proven to be a washout.

The Catechism says man's chief purpose in life is to glorify
God. Our first question should be, "How can I glorify God?"
The "Justification by Faith" slogan has focused men's
attention on the question, "What must I do to be saved?"
**Indirectly,** of course, God is glorified by saving sinners.
But the focus of this question is man-centered: "What
do I have to do to avoid eternal punishment?" "What do I
have to do to make the after-life easier for myself?"
"What can I do for ME?"

Millions of people believe in "Justification by Faith Alone"
and fail the tests of the Justified Man in James 1-2.

The "Vine & Fig Tree" vision of the Prophet Micah does not
focus on "Justification by Faith." Its themes are

1. The Presence of God with us in His Kingdom
2. The World-wide Triumph of His Kingdom
3. The Thirst for Righteousness (Theonomy)
4. The Blessings of Peace
5. Family Values
6. Property
7. Community.

http://vftonline.org/Patriarchy/definitions/micah.htm

Why have these Biblical Themes been neglected in favor of
"Justification by Faith?" Why are thousands of verses in
the Bible ignored and huge tomes written on just a few
verses in Romans and Galatians?

http://covenanter.org/Justification/justificationhome.htm

Why has such a vast amount of theological ink been
devoted to "personal peace and affluence" in the after-life,
while ignoring "True Religion" as James defined it (James 1:27).

Theology by slogan is a strategy of death. It creates
superficiality rather than disciplined learning and wisdom.
But if I had to come up with a slogan to replace "Justification
by Faith," it would be "Justification by Allegiance." Just
as modern retrospective psychoanalysis of Luther has
"discovered" the origin of "Justification by Faith" in
Luther's internal, subjective angst, so "Justification by
Allegiance" comes out of my own wrestling with the
California State Bar in an attempt to become a licensed
attorney. The concept of allegiance is a fundamental
category of federalist or covenantal thought. It expresses
loyalty, willingness to obey orders, and a participation
in the blessings of the commonweal.

http://vftonline.org/TestOath/WhatIs.htm

None of this is present in any sufficient degree in
"Justification by Faith." (Although it is certainly implicit
in the term "Faith" -- see WCF, 14:2, "Saving Faith" --
"By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is
revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself
speaking therein; and acteth differently upon that which
each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience
to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and
embracing the promises of God for this life,
and that which is to come.")

Finally, IMHO, the key to the fulfillment of Micah's
"Vine & Fig Tree" prophecy is the elimination of
the institutions of church and state. "Reformation Day"
gave us little if anything in this direction. As Milton
wrote, "New presbyter is but old priest, writ large."

http://vftonline.org/Patriarchy/attend.htm

Again, I emphasize my near-enthusiastic agreement with
everything in the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapters
11-18. But the time has come for a paradigm shift.


Kevin C.
http://VFTonline.org/VF95Theses/paradigm.htm
---------------------------------------------

And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree.
Micah 4:1-7


[end 1999 post]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10 Years of Secular Sharia Law

Ten years ago today, Congress passed the PATRIOT ACT -- without taking the time to read or debate it.

None of the powers created by the Patriot Act would have prevented the events of 9/11, because everything that the government needed to know to prevent 9/11 was known. No new intelligence powers were needed. These new Patriot Act powers are used against people like you -- who have no rational connection to terrorism.

Not a single person who signed the Declaration of Independence would have voted for the Patriot Act. Go to Downsize DC to learn the following about the Patriot Act, and send a letter to your "elected representatives" to repeal it because:

First, The Patriot Act attacks the First Amendment:
  • Americans can be investigated for what they read and write, and what websites they've visited
  • The Feds can "gag" my bank, my librarian, and my Internet Service Provider, preventing them from telling me if I'm under investigation
Second, it undermines the Fourth Amendment:
  • The Feds do not even have to show "reasonable suspicion," let alone "probable cause," to gain access to my records
  • Because I can be investigated without my knowledge, I have no means to challenge illegitimate searches
Third, there is little reason to believe terror acts have been prevented by the Patriot Act:
  • If the law was used to foil terrorist plots, the Administration would boast about such instances
  • Instead, foiled terrorist plots are frequently sting operations using undercover operatives and informants
Fourth, there is reason to doubt whether protecting the people from terrorism was ever the Patriot Act's real purpose:
  • Expanded wiretap and search authority are used in ordinary domestic criminal investigations, not just in terror cases
  • The Executive branch has a "secret" interpretation of the Patriot Act that is inconsistent with a plain reading of it
  • Meanwhile, the FBI continues to collect data collection through National Security Letters -- some 40-50 thousand are issued per year: http://tinyurl.com/3varjc9
How is it permissible for the Executive to have "secret" interpretations of the law? What is the Executive doing with the information it secretly collects about us, without our knowledge?

Shouldn't citizens of a Republic be ASHAMED of this behavior by their "government?"

The Patriot Act promotes secrecy and prevents accountability in our federal government. It has fostered a Big Brother culture throughout Washington DC that led to similarly egregious legislation like REAL ID and the FISA Amendments Act.

The government consistently trumpets the claim that the Patriot Act is needed to protect our freedoms and our way of life. Actually, laws like the Patriot Act are destroying America.

Consider this alternative history:

One year before 9/11, in the Fall of 2000, "Ayatollah Dagwood," an American-born convert to Islamic Jihadism, was running for President against George W. Bush and Al Gore. His platform called for the abolition of the Constitution, the three branches of government, the FBI, the CIA, and everything else in Washington D.C., and the initiation of the rule of Sharia Law to be carried out by "the Ayatollah" and his supporters.

Of course, that must have been a virtual army of jihadists, to be able to successfully attack the greatest nation on earth on 9/11. Right?

As it turns out, the Ayatollah Dagwood lost the election. The only real support "the Ayatollah" had was from the dozens of 9/11 hijackers and everyone who played a part in the conspiracy that unfolded a year later, on 9/11/2001, which was the act of his supporters in retaliation for this defeat of their candidate.

But suppose he had won the election.

Suppose he abolished the United States. (I have proposed precisely this.) Suppose he abolished:

Department of Education - savings: $72 billion
Department of Energy - savings: $30.8 billion
Department of Agriculture - savings: $131 billion
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - savings: $901 billion
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - savings: $43 billion
Department of Transportation (DOT) - savings: $79.8 Billion
Department of Commerce - savings: $9.2 billion
Department of Labor (DOL) - savings: $116 billion
Department of the Interior (DOI) - savings: $13 billion
Department of Veterans Affairs - savings: $123.7 billion
Department of Justice (DOJ) - Attorney General - savings: $31.3 billion
Department of State (DOS) - savings: $53.8 billion
Department of Defense - savings: $719 billion
Department of the Treasury - savings: $93.94 billion

All the office buildings for these bureaucracies were sold to Apple, Exxon, IBM, Ben & Jerry's, or other corporations. All the federal bureaucrats got jobs with these or other businesses, doing something consumers were willing to pay for voluntarily. All the weapons of mass destruction built and owned by the federal government and ready for deployment on innocent, non-combatant civilians or ready for sale to "allies" like Saudi Arabia were dismantled.

You no longer pay income taxes. Corporate taxes are no longer added to your bill at the checkstand. Your disposable income doubles. Education businesses are promising you kids who are smarter and better-behaved if you enroll them in their schools (which, unlike federally-controlled schools, teach children that the Declaration of Independence is really true). Government roads and government-subsidized petroleum-burning automobiles are being replaced by magnetic hovercraft. Welfare bureaucrats get jobs with churches and non-profits who find jobs for the poor (because federal pro-union labor laws have been abolished) and put an end to perpetual government-subsidized intergenerational poverty.

Now suppose the Ayatollah Dagwood and his jihadist thugs have declared themselves to be the rulers of America, and have decided to impose Sharia Law on America. An America free of the federal government.

Who would carry out the Ayatollah's orders? Who would operate the webcams in every American's bedroom to see if adultery or some other offense against Sharia Law were being committed?

If the federal government were abolished, Sharia Law would be no threat. If the federal government did not have hundreds of military bases around the world, and had not killed a million muslims, terrorist recruiters would not find recruits to threaten retaliation against Americans.

But if the federal government still existed, and still had the power to tax you or print up money to steal purchasing power from your savings, then the federal government could purchase loyalty and promise cushy jobs to those who "just want to feed my family." The federal government could hire these people to open your luggage at airports, read your email, snoop in your medical records, spy on your financial transactions, read the titles of books you check out at the library, and lock the door of your prison cell if you violate Sharia Law and insist on your unalienable rights in the Constitution.

It is U.S government laws like the Patriot Act that are destroying our freedoms and the American way of life. Islamic terrorists are no threat to America. The real enemy of America is the United States.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mitt Romney: A Competent Muslim?

In a previous post ("Mitt Romney is a Member of a Dangerous Cult") we looked at the controversy over a Dallas pastor who said Mitt Romney was a member of a "cult."

Many respectable Christians (e.g. Chuck Colson) are distancing themselves from the Dallas pastor by quoting Martin Luther, who said he would rather be ruled by a competent Turk—that is, a Muslim—than an incompetent Christian.

First, whatever competence Luther exhibited as a theologian and expositor of the doctrine of "Justification by Faith," his competence as a political advisor is less assured. In fact, Luther had dangerous antinomian tendencies, as August Lang, R. J. Rushdoony, and Benjamin Nelson have pointed out. His bad political and economic advice led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people in his lifetime. The roots of our own secular government and usurious economic problems trace back in part to Luther.

Second, the idea of a "competent ruler" is less than Biblical. Jesus said the kings of the gentiles love to be rulers (Gk.: archists), but Christians are not to initiate force or threaten violence to impose their will on others. In this sense, a "Christian ruler" is a contradiction in terms.

Even the idea of a competent judge to resolve disputes cannot find rest in the idea of the "competent turk." Paul told the Christians in Corinth that the most "incompetent" Christian was a better judge of Christian disputes than anyone from the secular government (1 Corinthians 6:1-6).

Finally, why this false alternative? Why am I required to vote for either an incompetent Christian or a "competent" Muslim, Fascist, Mormon, Socialist, Liberal, Communist, or practitioner of any other false religion? Why do I have to vote at all? Please don't give me arcane analysis of your strategic reasons for voting for McCain, Giuliani, or Romney or any other "competent" non-Christian rather than for Ron Paul or some other outside-the-beltway Christian. You are not Biblically required to vote for the "lesser of two evils" as a way of keeping the allegedly "greater" of two evils from winning.

No, you're not.

If Mitt Romney believes that he (and his celestial wives?) gets to be the god of his own little world after he dies, I'll not vote for him. He may want his Mormon rewards in this life and at my expense. Or he may just be silly to believe all that. Call it a "religious test" if you want (it isn't), but I would never vote for someone who obviously lacks good judgment and believes such kooky things. Mormonism is kooky, which is why I automatically assume that no Mormon I know -- nice folks all -- knowingly believes in Mormonism. I initially assume that even Mitt Romney -- who undoubtedly spent a lot of time earning $250 million managing private equity investments -- didn't have the time to learn all about Mormon doctrines. I doubt that we'll ever hear him publicly say, "Oh, no, I know all about Mormon doctrine, I believe it, and I look forward to being the god of my own galaxy after I die." He'll always say his religious "faith" is not relevant to politics. Keep them "separate."

And/or he'll say we're a nation "under God" ("god?" "gods?") and "faith" -- of any kind -- should be welcomed in the public square (see his "defense" video here).

America's Founding Fathers urged Americans to vote for Christians, not for members of False Religions.



Are Mormons Christians? -- from Bulletproof with Brett Kunkle

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Treaty with Tripoli

It seems like every day I receive a letter from someone telling me that the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion, and citing a Treaty with Tripoli in 1796. Here is part of a letter I just mailed:

Look at the Treaty and its revision a few years later:

http://vftonline.org/EndTheWall/tripoli-treaties.htm

The 1805 Treaty is more DETAILED and EXPANDED
over the 1796 Treaty. Virtually everything in
the 1796 Treaty is retained in the 1805 Treaty

***************** EXCEPT *****************

the line about the U.S "not in any sense founded
on the Christian Religion"

******** THAT PHRASE WAS REMOVED *********

This ** PROVES ** that the United States

******************* IS ********************

Founded on the Christian Religion.

Congress looked at that phrase, "not in any sense
founded on the Christian Religion" and said,
"Wait a minute. Who put that in there? That's
not correct." And they REMOVED IT. The United
States **IS** founded on the Christian Religion.

And the answer to the question, "Who put that
in there?" is "Joel Barlow, an apostate chaplain
who went into the toilet with Thomas Paine."

http://KevinCraig.us/deism.htm#Paine

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that
America is founded on the Christian religion.

http://KevinCraig.us/EndTheWall/HolyTrinity.htm

On May 12, 1779, in a speech to the Delaware Indian
Chiefs, George Washington advised them:
You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life,
and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will
make you a greater and happier people than you are.
Congress will do every thing they can to assist you
in this wise intention.
The Writings of George Washington, JC Fitzpatrick, ed., Wash. DC:
US Gov't Printing Office, 1932, Vol 15, p.55.
Good Advice

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mitt Romney is a Member of a Dangerous Cult

One thing I like about the Libertarian Party is its opposition to politicians who are members of a dangerous cult.

The word "cult" is a hot-button item. A supporter of Rick Perry recently caused a stir by using the word to describe Mitt Romney's religion.

Evangelical Christians have long used the word to describe Christian-looking groups who deviate significantly from the theology of the historic Christian creeds. The ministry founded by D. James Kennedy says Mormons believe God to be a “man of flesh and bone who lives on a planet called Kolob and sexually procreates spirit children with his harem of wives.” (To which one Mormon left a comment, “Wow I have been a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for over 20 years and have NEVER been taught what you wrote in your article.” Probably a majority of mainstream Christian church-goers could not intelligently articulate the tenets of their own religion.) Mormonism and Christianity seem to be very different religions, though the personal names might be similar. Christian theologians have long used the word "cult" to describe the divergent groups, while non-Christians use less pejorative terms, even if they agree on the wide divergence of beliefs.

On the other hand, the word "cult" is also used to describe mind-control programming and loss of personal identity under the sway of an authoritarian personality who can command cult members to pool their personal property under communism or engage in mass suicide. An example that comes to mind is the "Heaven's Gate" cult in Southern California.

Mitt Romney is a member of a "cult" in both senses of the word. While missing the boat on Christian theology can result in eternal consequences after death, being a brainwashed member of a mind control cult is more dangerous in this life.

The basic political philosophy of the Libertarian Party is stated in its Statement of Principles:

We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

Gene Healy at the Cato Institute speaks of The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power.

Another word for being brainwashed by this cult is "patriotism."

The Republican Party is a Cult.

Belief in the promises of cult leaders with regard to "Social Security" results in loss of personal property.

Belief in the promises of cult leaders with regard to "National Security" leads cult members to commit suicidal or genocidal acts.

The "cult of the omnipotent state" does not only engage in brainwashing through its schools, but it uses violent physical force against those who resist its brainwashing, including armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, and genocide using lethal weapons of mass destruction.

Evangelical Christians are supposed to believe that Christ is our Savior. Mitt Romney and Republicans like him (Democrats too!) believe the messianic State brings salvation.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Dominionism and Theocracy

I listen to Janet Parshall's show "In the Market" nearly every day. I seldom agree with everything I hear, but I appreciate intelligent Christian conversation.

Hour 2 of the October 5, 2011 show with Dr. Alex McFarland was disappointing. I think it muddied the waters rather than bringing clarity.

Listen.

McFarland opposes atheistic or immoral law, but claims that "Christian Reconstruction" goes too far, farther than America's Founding Fathers wanted us to go.

The problem with this claim is that every single state in the union was a Christian Theocracy by ACLU standards, and even by McFarland's vague definition of "theocracy." Adultery and homosexuality were illegal in every state. These laws were taken from the books of Moses. Early American law codes even had the Biblical references to Leviticus in the margins of the statute books.

America was a Christian Theocracy. Maybe not perfectly, but intentionally.

McFarland quoted Harry Truman in defense of a vaguely "moral" government, but not one that comes from Leviticus. According to McFarland, Truman said:
If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.
Great quote!

Unfortunately for Dr. McFarland, the paragraph that immediately preceded this quote from President Truman was this:
The fundamental basis of this Nation's law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days.
Was Truman a Christian Reconstructionist?

More on:

Theocracy

Theonomy

The Constitution is NOT a "Secular Document"

Capital Punishment -- A Theonomic Reconstruction

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Harry Truman's Christian Nation

On this day in 1951, President Harry Truman violated the modern myth of "the separation of church and state."

241 - Address to the Washington Pilgrimage of American Churchmen.
September 28, 1951

Mr. Chairman, Dr. Pruden, my friends:

I am happy to have the privilege of speaking to this meeting of the Washington Pilgrimage of American Churchmen. You have come to the Nation's Capital to visit its monuments and to look at the basic documents on which our Government was founded. Many people come to Washington to do these things, but you have come here for a special purpose. You have come here to emphasize the fact that this Nation was founded on religious principles.

You will see, as you make your rounds, that this Nation was established by men who believed in God. You will see that our Founding Fathers believed that God created this Nation. And I believe it, too. They believed that God was our strength in time of peril and the source of all our blessings.

You will see the evidence of this deep religious faith on every hand.

If we go back to the Declaration of Independence, we notice that it was drawn up by men who believed that God the Creator had made all men equal and had given them certain rights which no man could take away from them. In beginning their great enterprise, the signers of the Declaration of Independence entrusted themselves to the protection of divine providence.

To our forefathers it seemed something of a miracle that this Nation was able to go through the agonies of the American Revolution and emerge triumphant. They saw, in our successful struggle for independence, the working of God's hand. In his first inaugural address, George Washington said, "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States."

Another fact which you will notice in the course of your pilgrimage is that the makers of our Constitution believed in religious toleration. Theirs was the highest type of religion, forbidding the use of coercion or force in matters of mind and spirit. Religious freedom was a part of their religious faith. And they received that from Roger Williams, a Baptist, from William Penn, a Quaker, and from Lord Baltimore, a Catholic. That's the reason for our constitutional approach to religious freedom.

It is said that when Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention he was asked, "What have you given us?" He answered, "A republic, if you can keep it." Millions of Americans since then have believed that the keeping of our Republic depends upon keeping the deep religious convictions on which it was founded. From the worship and teachings of the synagogues and churches of our land, have come a moral integrity, a concern for justice and human welfare, a sense of human equality, a love of human freedom, and a practice of brotherhood which are necessary to the life of our national institutions.

It is fitting and proper that at this time of international peril and uncertainty we should look back to those beginnings and rededicate ourselves to those ideals.

It is not enough, however, simply to look back. It is not enough to congratulate our selves upon the religious spirit of our forebears. We must ask ourselves if we truly believe the things which they believed. We must examine our conduct to see whether we are carrying out in our daily lives the ideals we profess.

This is not easy. Our religious heritage imposes great obligations upon us. It does not permit us to be self-satisfied and complacent. Indeed, if we accept the faith which has been handed down to us, our task as a Nation is much more difficult. We cannot be satisfied with things as they are. We must always be striving to live up to our beliefs and to make things better in accordance with the divine commandments.

The people of Israel, you will remember, did not, because of their covenant with God, have an easier time than other nations. Their standards were higher than those of other nations and the judgment upon them and their shortcomings was more terrible. A religious heritage, such as ours, is not a comfortable thing to live with. It does not mean that we are more virtuous than other people. Instead, it means that we have less excuse for doing the wrong thing--because we are taught right from wrong.

Our religious heritage, in my opinion, imposes great responsibilities upon us as we face the problems of today.

It means first of all that we must constantly strive for social justice in the life of this Republic. It means that we must fight against special privilege, against injustice to those of low income, and against the denial of opportunity, against discrimination based upon race, creed, or national origin.

Our religious heritage also means that we must struggle to maintain our civil liberties. No nation which hopes to live by the law of God can afford to suppress dissent and criticism. You may remember that Israel persecuted the prophets. The prophets had unpleasant things to say about what was going on in ancient Israel. They criticized social injustices and the wasteful luxury of the privileged few. They criticized the way in which the ancient Hebrews had turned away from true religious principles. They said that Israel would be punished for its misdeeds. The prophets were not popular, and the kings and the priests of Israel tried to deny them freedom of speech. But the prophets were right, and Israel was punished as the prophets had said it would be.

We must always keep the way open for self-criticism. We must not stop up the mouths of those who are saying unpopular things. We must preserve the Bill of Rights--which, in my opinion, is the most important part of the Constitution--so that the voice of protest and dissent may always be heard. We must not try to destroy people by fear and slander, because if we do, we shall weaken the moral fiber of our own country.

Another great lesson which our religious heritage has for us today is that we must not be led astray by self-righteousness. We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, or even in living blameless personal lives--but in what we do for others.

I am going to repeat that, because I think it is of vital importance to this meeting. We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, not even in living blameless personal lives--but in what we do for others.

It is all too easy for churchgoing people to be satisfied with a superficial standard of morals. It is all too easy to sit in judgment on the shortcomings of others. It is all too easy to feel morally superior because we go to church and profess to follow the faith of our fathers.

We must remember that in his ministry on earth, Jesus delivered His strongest condemnation against those who were superficially and publicly good. The scribes and the Pharisees He attacked were the respectable people of his day. They were the leaders of the community who set the standards for others. To them He said "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Ah, would that we could live by that !

Self-interest can blind us today, just as it blinded the scribes and Pharisees of biblical times. We must always be on our guard against this danger.

If we are to respond to our religious heritage, we must be guided by the principle of charity--charity in the biblical sense of love for one's fellow man. This is the greatest virtue, without which other virtues are of little worth.

We must work for morality in public life and in private life. You can't make an honest man by law. He has to be raised by the rules of the 20th chapter of Exodus, and the Sermon on the Mount, if he has the right moral fiber to become an ethical public or private citizen.

We must have high standards of personal conduct. But even if we do all these things, it is still not enough. The final question that will be asked of us, as individuals and as a society, is "What have we done for our fellow man ?" What have we done to ease his burdens, to give him greater opportunity, to help him in time of trouble, and to make the world a better place for him to live in? For unless we can answer those questions, we will not have carried out in our lives the religious heritage which has come to us from our forebears.

Today, our problem is not just to preserve our religious heritage in our own lives and our own country. Our problem is a greater one. It is to preserve a world civilization in which man's belief in God can survive. Only in such a world can our own Nation follow its basic traditions, and realize the promise of a better life for all our citizens.

Today, the whole human enterprise is in danger--and serious danger. On the one hand, we have to resist the expansion of a power that is hostile to all we believe in. It is a power that denies the rule of law, the value of the individual, and belief in God. It is a power which has become militant and aggressive, using the weapons of deceit and subversion as well as military might.

On the other hand, we must do all we can to prevent the outbreak of another world war. Such a war, using modern instruments of destruction, would be more terrible than anything the world has ever experienced. It would make a battleground of the crowded and complex cities of the modern world. It might well shatter the whole economic and social system, and plunge mankind back into barbarism.

This is the great problem we must meet. We cannot yield to Soviet communism, without betraying the ideals we live for. We cannot have another world war without jeopardizing our civilization.

In this perilous strait, our greatest source of strength, our greatest hope of victory, lies in the God we acknowledge as the ruler of us all. We turn to faith in Him to give us the strength and the wisdom to carry out His will. We ask Him to lead us out of the dangers of this present time into the paths of peace.

In this crisis of human affairs, all men who profess to believe in God should unite in asking His help and His guidance. We should lay aside our differences and come together now--for never have our differences seemed so petty and so insignificant as they do in the face of the peril we confront today.

It is not just this church or that church which is in danger. It is not just this creed or that creed that is threatened. All churches, all creeds, are menaced. The very future of the Word of God--the teaching that has come down to us from the days of the prophets and the life of Jesus--is at stake.

For some time I have been trying to bring a number of the great religious leaders of the world together in a common affirmation of faith. And that common affirmation, as I said awhile ago, is in the 20th chapter of Exodus, and in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of the Gospel according to St. Matthew-the Sermon on the Mount. And I have been trying to make a common supplication to the one God that all creeds and all religions profess. I have asked them to join in one common act that will affirm these religious and moral principles on which we all agree.

Such an affirmation would testify to the strength of our common faith and our confidence in its ultimate victory over the forces of Satan that oppose it.

I am sorry to say that it has not yet been possible to bring the religious faiths together for this purpose of bearing witness in one united affirmation that God is the way of truth and peace. Even the Christian churches have not yet found themselves able to join together in a common statement of their faith that Christ is their Master and Redeemer and the source of their strength against the hosts of irreligion and danger in the world, and that will be the cause of world catastrophe. They haven't been able to agree on as simple a statement as that. I have been working at it for years.

Despite the barriers that divide the different churches, there is a common bond of brotherhood that underlies them all. We must continue our effort to find those common ties, and to bring the churches together in greater unity in a crusade for peace. In this way, we shall come closer to the one God who is the Father of us all. In this way, we shall find greater power to meet the troubles of our time.

The way to such unity is long and hard. But we must continue to strive for it. And we must ask God's help. If we really have faith, God will give us what we are not able to attain by our own efforts.

May God grant that we may speak together, as brothers, of His power and His mercy, and bear witness of Him against those who deny Him.

And may God unite the churches and the free world, to bring us peace in our time.


Note: The President spoke at 8 p.m. at the National City Christian Church in Washington. In his opening words he referred to Dr. J. Warren Hastings, pastor of the National City Christian Church and chairman of the meeting, and Dr. Edward H. Pruden, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Washington, which the President attended.

The pilgrimage was held in Washington, September 28-30, 1951.


CitationHarry S. Truman: "Address to the Washington Pilgrimage of American Churchmen.," September 28, 1951. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=13934.



Read more at the American Presidency Project: Harry S. Truman: Address to the Washington Pilgrimage of American Churchmen.


Truman's worldview -- the worldview of "the greatest generation" -- is dead. This is because it was static. It can be helpful to try to unite various theistic religions against atheism and communism, but everyone grows toward "epistemological self-consciousness." Nobody stays the same. We are either growing in consistency with the truth, or we are becoming more consistently rebellious against God. Truman wanted us forever to remain vaguely theistic, with Christianity "first among equals." It didn't work. It can never work. We cannot use force and coercion to compel others to become more Christian, yet our own goal must always be to become more narrowly focused on the truth, and intolerant of error.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Crack-Up Boom of a Christian Conservative

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
— Lord Acton

I have over 10,000 books in my personal library. I haven't read them all. Some I haven't even opened.

I recently discovered one such book. When I opened this 1974 book, I discovered it was autographed by the author. I think I bought it at a John Birch Society bookstore.

I was too young and politically immature to know much about the author. I had heard of the author when I was in high school because I lived close to his political district, but never learned much about him. Perhaps because he was Catholic, and I was a pretty narrow-minded Protestant.

As I skimmed through the book a few days ago, I realized I had a lot more in common with this author than I ever suspected. If I knew he was a conservative, I had no idea he believed Christianity must be applied politically. Were he alive today, he would be lambasted as a "Dominionist," a "Theocrat," and likened to those "Christian Reconstructionists." Just like me.

The subtitle of the book is "The Anatomy of an Amoral Decade, 1964-1974." It is a collection of the author's newsletter articles. The articles could easily have been pulled from Christian Reconstructionist newsletters like Gary North's Remnant Review. They are conservative and many are explicitly Christian, in a way most Christian-in-name-only "conservatives" are afraid to be. Here are some of the subject headings in the table of contents:

  • Enduring Values, Absolute Truths
  • Morality in an Amoral Age
  • The Right to Life
  • Education and Child Control
  • Judicial Tyranny
  • The Nature of our Enemy
  • The Sellout to Red China
  • Trading With the Enemy
  • The Enemy Within
  • National Defense
  • Big Government vs. the Free Market
  • Decline of the Dollar
  • The Welfare Burden
  • Gun Control and Crime
  • Government Control of Medicine
  • Watergate
  • The Energy Crisis

The Foreword to the book was written by L. Brent Bozell, who married William F. Buckley's sister and was influential in National Review circles. His son, L. Brent Bozell III, is founder and president of Media Research Center. Bozell is listed under his Foreword as the President of the "Society for the Christian Commonwealth," and senior editor of Triumph Magazine. The "triumphalist" R.J. Rushdoony contributed to this magazine.

Bozell's Foreword paints a glowing picture of a political saint. I should be so lucky as to have some distinguished figure write such hagiography for me. Looking ahead from 1974, it is inspiring. I would like to be such a person. Looking back on history, it is frightening. I don't want to be this person. But maybe that's where political aspiration inevitably leads.

Here is Bozell's Foreword:

The Christian regeneration of the American public order in an apostate, secular humanist age: there can hardly be a more difficult task for any man or group to undertake in the United States today. It demands in very large measure all the theological virtues -- faith, in the source of the grace which alone can make such a regeneration possible; hope, that it is not and never will be too late to save even a nation whose moral disintegration has so far advanced that millionfold baby murder is a constitutional right; love, to inspire the sacrificial efforts necessary to sustain any such mission in contemporary America. The man who embraces this apparently quixotic cause is, by virtue of his extraordinary commitment, unique.

Rarely is this commitment found in America today. More rarely still is it found in the political arena, whose usual effect on a man is more likely to corrupt than to inspire.

Yet this is precisely the commitment to which John Schmitz's eight years of elective political office -- first in the California State Senate, then in the United States Congress -- finally brought him. Always a strong, unapologetic Catholic, Schmitz realized more and more clearly the longer he worked in politics that nothing could help our country short of a fundamental re-ordering of American life and thought in a Christian direction. No mere tinkering with political machinery or "electing better men to office" could halt, let alone reverse, the dominant tides of the age: secularization, dehumanization, the disintegration of the family, the abandonment of objective moral standards, the institutionalization of sexual perversion, crime and corruption.

As he so well said in TRIUMPH magazine last year: "It is time we realized that the sickness in America today has penetrated far deeper than politics, and requires much more than politics to cure it.

As a candidate for President of the United States in 1972 -- the year of Watergate and "you don't want McGovern, do you" -- Schmitz, though very little known outside California when the campaign began, garnered more than a million votes. This was a truly extraordinary accomplishment for a man whose campaign began with no money and less than a week's advance notice, a man whose name was not even printed on the ballot in nearly one-third of the states, and who had no explicit support from any leading political figure.

This book tells the story, through a "political autobiography" and a selection of the best of Schmitz's political writings of the past decade, of how John Schmitz made his way from a conventional kind of conservative politics in California, through a Presidential candidacy, to a conviction that the United States must seek actively and purposefully to become a Christian commonwealth if it is to survive. I salute this man for his understanding of the duty to which God is calling America's Christians in this difficult and often discouraging period of history, and his open and unequivocal assumption of the essentially apostolic mission of making America Christian.

Where Schmitz will go from here is known only to the Lord of men and of history. But how he came to be where he is today -- how he came to see where America truly stands at this moment, what he said about it and proposes should be done about it -- this book sets forth. Schmitz finished his years in public office a better man than when he entered it -- the opposite of what usually happens. He is apparently proving that the Christian is not ruled by history or by fate, but with God's guidance and grace may challenge and even defy both -- and in the end emerge victorious in that domain whose true and eternal rule is Christ the King.

L. BRENT BOZELL
President
Society for the Christian Commonwealth
Senior Editor - Triumph Magazine

In case you don't know, this man's life crashed and burned in sexual scandal. The details are bizarre. His children were also infected by this corruption.

Why is it that those who seek political power so often seek some kind of sexual power as well?

Why is it L. Brent Bozell and other discerning political leaders never see the scandals coming? Could anyone have predicted Schmitz's future unraveling?

Every time I think about jumping my political campaigning up a notch, in the vain imagination that I could actually win an election, I'm warned by something like this of the corrupting influence of "the government." I want a Christian society, but not a "Christian commonwealth."