Thursday, August 11, 2011

Freedom's Holy Light

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias this weekend and he made reference to the fact that freedom is a moral concept. It is entirely a matter of morality. Not only is it a moral concept, it is governed and sustained by morality. Our Founding Fathers saw freedom as a natural extension of their Christian faith. It is the natural setting for the living out of the Christian life but not necessarily fit for any other kind.

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive of the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren, traditionary faith which seems to vegetate rather than to live in the soul.” (Democracy in America by A. de Tocqueville p306)

In the ancient war between good and evil the advent of freedom on the face of the earth was one of the greatest victories for the cause of good in the whole of man’s history. Before the United States became a nation, the world did not know what civil freedoms looked like. Mankind lived from tyranny to tyranny down through the ages with only brief periods of relief.

The “proposition” that men and women could govern themselves without a sovereign to “manage” them, was born here. We “discovered it” and employed it. In the running of this experiment an additional discovery was made. When men and women are given the chance to pursue a dream of their own conception, they make of themselves much more than they would otherwise have accomplished. And in the pursuit of their dreams they often take others with them to a better life. That is the basis of American freedom, the genesis of the American Dream.

Unfortunately we now have a large group of men and women in government who are more committed to the “management” (tyranny) of men and women than they are to the proposition of American freedom, the cradle of greatness. In the name of helping people they are creating a society that enslaves us and traps us in a “no advancement” situation that will ultimately lead us to the riots we are now seeing in Europe. Out of sheer frustration the population there is striking out at those in a better station of life than they hold. When there is no chance for an individual to step out and channel their energies into realizing a dream, despair is the result. Resentment rises up with its violent cousin vengeance and you have the recipe for a riot.

Those who have a vested interest in tyranny by all means want to stop the revival of morality, especially Christian morality in our culture. I say Christian morality because it is Christian morality that inspired and guided American freedom to greatness. Greatness that is, until we began to abandon this morality in the nineteen sixties. It is Christian principles and truths that truly make men free, a freedom that comes with the burden to do what is right. No honest government has anything to fear from this kind of freedom or morality.

It is the illegitimate kind of government, the one with management of men as its goal, that has something to lose from this kind of morality.

“Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is much more necessary in the republic which they set forth in glowing colors than in the monarchy which they attack; it is more needed in democratic republics than in any others. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people who are their own masters if they are not submissive to the Deity?” (Ibid p307)

De Tocqueville lays it out pretty clear here. Faith in a moral God who governs in the affairs of men is the only guard to real freedom. But…if it is freedom from morality that we are seeking, the chains of despotism await us. It is important to state here that the opposite could also be said, that monarchs will have something to fear from a people who hold Christian morality in high regard. (King George III is the example here.)

Robert Winthorp, once the speaker of the House of Representatives said of this subject:

"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or a power without them. Either by the Word of God or the strong arm of man, either by the Bible or the bayonet."

There is a choice before us Americans (and I call you Americans with the greatest of affection and hope of continued greatness), seek what is Good and pursue it or wait submissively for chains to completely master us. Freedom under the guidance of Christian truth is liberty indeed. It leads to the greatness that is the blessing of God.

One more quote from de Tocqueville in which he refers to religion which in this case is most certainly Christianity:

"Liberty regards religion as its companion in all its battles and its triumphs, as the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of its claim. It considers religion as the safeguard of morality, and morality as the best security of law and the surest pledge of the duration of freedom.”
(Democracy in America- de Tocqueville p 44)

There is no hope of freedom where there is no moral clarity. The clarity to see what is harmful versus what is wholesome to individuals and society. When every citizen has the ability to discern this and act correctly, liberty is assured.

In Ravi Zacharias’ radio message he mentioned the following stanza of My Country Tis of Thee. It sheds light on how we used to understand where freedom came from and how is it sustained.

Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

There is no earthly reason why we should not entrench freedom in our culture, through Christian moral revival, for us, for our children and grandchildren…for the world. Morality and goodness are not dirty words. They are an assurance of freedom.

Americans, imagine a stranger planning your daughter’s future. Imagine receiving in the mail a letter from a foreign or government official directing your son where to live and where to show up for work on a designated date. We have lived in freedom’s holy light so long we can’t even imagine what the darkness is like.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

War Is Not Pro-Life

I thought I had shared this before. If I have, my apologies. It's worth another look. Thought about it while reading over at The Clue Batting Cage.

It is a letter to the editor I wrote back in 2005 that actually got published in our hometown paper about the time the Left was ramping up their anti-war rhetoric. Hope you enjoy.

I was driving to work last week and saw a bumper sticker that I have to take issue with. When I first read it I thought it a clever argument against the War on Terror and conservatives in general. It read “War is not Pro-life.” It seemed like a reasoned argument at first glance. “Wow,” I thought, “how do you respond to that?” After some thought, I realized that it had to be responded to.

The person driving that car probably won’t get this, but I think someone has to remind us that nearly every war, that the United States has been in, has been pro-life. Think about it. The Civil War secured the lives of Black Americans to live in freedom. The First World War secured the lives of millions of Europeans to live in freedom. Ask the Jewish survivors of WWII if that war was pro-life. Ask the Polish, who lived with the Nazi boot on their neck for some four years. The occupied of France would surely agree that WWII was pro-life. The people of southwest Russia, the Czech’s and the Dutch would also agree with me. What about the Korean War? Ask the people of South Korea which side of the 38th Parallel they would rather live on. How about Vietnam? Unfortunately, we lost heart in that war and managed it poorly, so we can’t ask anyone in Vietnam whether or not they were fighting for Life. We made a similar mistake in Desert Storm leaving thousands of Kurds and the Shiites to incur the wrath of Saddam for daring to help us. Just the same, I think I know how the Kuwaiti’s would answer the question. What about the war on terror? Now the Afghanis are free to answer, “Was the war to liberate your country pro-life?” Don’t take my word for it, ask them. Iraq has now been liberated. I wonder who they would say is the most pro-life, Saddam or the U.S.

If we can’t agree that Evil in our time, as in every other, has to be overcome by Good in order to enjoy Life as only free people can, then we are in a crisis of existence. When Evil goes to war Good must engage it on every front or risk extinction. We didn’t ask for this war or want it, but we have to win it.

So after some deliberation I realized that the bumper sticker was a petty slight to conservatives, and more importantly to the men and women fighting to keep us safe and win the freedom of oppressed masses. Americans have developed a time honored and sacred tradition of fighting, bleeding and dying for the freedom of others. It chills my blood to know that some in our country think so little of their sacrifice that they would insult it to try to make a political point.

“That’s all I have to say about that.”

Small Arms Treaty

This is just an addendum to the previous post: Everything's Under Control, Rest Easy Friends

One of the individuals in the Kitchen Table Talk meeting mentioned this treaty and I knew nothing about it. Here is a link to read for yourself about the treaty. BTW I am against any international treaty that encroaches on American freedom. This one appears to be a big over reach.

Friday, August 5, 2011

U.S. Debt

If there was any question about us filling out the new debt ceiling, we are off to the races to hit the new ceiling in record time.

Friends, this is going to end very badly for us if it is not stopped.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Everything's Under Control, Rest Easy Friends

After all the furor in the last week about raising the debt ceiling, lets get some numbers straight before I tell you about my visit to the Mc Kaskill Kitchen Table Talk meeting in my home town.
14 trillion in debt now
2.4 trillion added by new debt ceiling
10 trillion added to debt over next 10 years due to base line budgeting
26.4 trillion total debt in 10 years
-2.1 trillion negotiated cuts over next 10 years
24.3 trillion is the projected total debt in 10 years according to this new debt ceiling deal.
Senator Mc Kaskill must be a very busy person. I thought at first she would be there so I was disappointed to find out it was just a staffer there to run the meeting.
There were about 12 people in attendance. I was the youngest person there (I'm 47) by at least 20 years for the first half of the meeting. Then a man that looked younger than I arrived late.
The staff person went around the room to ask if anyone had concerns. I was encouraged when the first person began complaining about the debt ceiling deal. But I'm afraid my jaw dropped when the complaint was fully stated. She was angry that the republicans got everything they wanted and Obama was just letting everyone have whatever they wanted and he just went along. "He has to stand for something at some point," she said disgusted. She knew that Senator Mc Kaskill and the president were close allies so could she please hold the president to account? The staffer said he would make her aware of this concern.
The next person wanted to know why the people who are making more money than they need are allowed to get social security. Why couldn't the cap be put in place to keep the rich from drawing social security when the don't need it?
Then the third person (who I think was the spouse of the second person) made a good point I thought about social security. He wanted to know "Why the $@&% do they call social security an entitlement? I've paid into it all my life. That's my money I paid in." The small group liked this. I thought he pretty well answered his wife's question myself.
The next guy was a hoot. He was a story teller I could tell. He started by complaining about all these adds against Claire Mc Kaskill and no one has answered them. With dramatic flare he asked, "You know where all the money for these adds is coming from don't you? Texas! There are groups out of Texas funding this add campaign." Then dramatically, like a lawyer pressing the jury to convict, he announced, "And Carl Rove is the one organizing them." He looked around the room to see the looks of horror on the faces of those present. He then went into a lecture on how the rich need to pay more taxes because they can afford it. The president should raise taxes on these people to help pay the deficit. I began to feel a little overwhelmed at the magnitude of the challenge to help people like this understand how big a problem we are facing. ( ) The story teller then swerved into the fact that the first trillion dollar deficit, "was run by none other than..." pausing for dramatic effect... "Ronald Reagan!" he exclaimed dramatically. To the staffer's credit he interrupted the mini-lecture to move the meeting along.
Summarizing the rest...One was concerned about veteran's benefits. Another voiced concern over the small arms treaty Hillary Clinton was involved with (which I still know nothing of and neither did the staffer.) The person that came after me wanted to know how the debt ceiling deal would affect the state of Missouri. (The staffer said this was not understood until the cuts were determined.)
For my turn I presented the above numbers and ask the staffer if Senator Mc Kaskill was involved with or knew of any plan to get our debt problem under control. He said in essence, other that the cuts that were agreed upon in the debt ceiling deal he knew of no other plan for cuts.
I explained to the best of of my ability that the debt problem will make all the other concerns everyone in the room had, pale in comparison. The destruction of the dollar would make pension and social security checks worthless. We DO NOT HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM! WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM. (I directed this statement toward the story teller. To his credit he nodded in agreement. ) Raising taxes would only discourage the very thing we need, economic growth. The staffer assured me he would make Senator Mc Kaskill aware of my concern.
There you have it. Don't get your knickers in a knot. It's all under control friends. No worries.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Balanced Buget Amendment

I listened to the Mark Reardon Show on KMOX this afternoon and of course the discussion was about the debt ceiling debate. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D) was one of the guests. He made a statement that I will roughly quote in response to whether a balanced budget amendment should be included in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. He in essence said, "A balanced budget amendment just isn't practical."

Here we see why we are at the verge of financial oblivion. A balanced budget just isn't practical. Even if he meant not practical to include in the debt limit legislation HE'S DEAD WRONG. It's exactly what we need to avert catastrophe (if that is still possible.)

There is coming a reckoning. Folly's consequences always find there way home.