The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Archive for the category “Future”

The American Presidents BEFORE George Washington

Presidents Before The Constitution

The American Revolution was a counter-revolution against the encroachment of the British Parliament. The independence movement released the thirteen colonies from foreign control. It is important to remember the American Revolution was a battle between Britain and the thirteen individually sovereign states, each with their own state governments. During the War, the state legislatures granted enumerated portions of their own limited sovereignty to an entity called the Continental Congress.

A congressman was elected by the other delegates to serve as this body’s President-his role was largely as an impartial moderator. Later in the war, the States transferred more responsibilities to the central government in the Articles of Confederation (1781). This stood as the nation’s first established constitution until the Constitutional Convention ratified the current U.S. Constitution in 1788.

Fourteen Presidents Before George Washington

George Washington was the first President to be elected under the 1788 Constitution Model. While many know of George Washington, the Presidents under the Continental Congress are largely unknown to modern Americans. They were men of great moral vigor, who stood strong for liberty, and held at the center of their ambition the glory of God.

Below is a list of the pre-constitution Presidents, along with inspiring quotes from these men who did not shy away from leadership when times were trying.

First Continental Congress

Peyton Randolph, Virginia (Sept 1774 – Oct 1774)

Often called the “father of our country,” the courageous Peyton Randolph led the charge against the Stamp Act as one of the most revolutionary Patriots. He also intitated the practice of prayer before conducting of government business.

In a letter to British General Thomas Cage, Randolph protests his occupation of Boston,

“Your Excellency cannot be a stranger to the sentiments of America with respect to the Acts of Parliament, under the execution of which those unhappy people are oppressed, the approbation universally expressed of their conduct, and the determined resolution of the Colonies, for the preservation of their common rights to unite in their opposition to those Acts. In consequence of these sentiments, they have appointed us the guardians of their rights and liberties…” [1]

Henry Middleton, South Carolina (October 1774)

Only serving four days, Middleton resigned in opposition to independence to Great Britian. He was succeeded in Congress by his son, Arthur Middleton (1742–1787), who was more radical than his father and became a signer of the Declaration of Independence.[2] Middleton’s first official act, was to execute a letter as President supporting the efforts of oppressed colonists. In the letter Middleton wrote,

“So rapidly violent and unjust has been the late conduct of the British Administration against the colonies, that either a base and slavish submission, under the loss of their ancient, just, and constitutional liberty, must quickly take place, or an adequate opposition be formed.” [3]

Second Continental Congress

John Hancock, Massachusetts (May 1775 – October 1777)

Hancock was President of the Congress when the Declaration of Independence was prepared. He was the first to sign what most men understood to be a note of their own death. The Declaration was received as treasonous by the British, making the signers traitors to the crown.

“In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent Measure should be taken to ward off the impending Judgements….All confidence must be withheld from the Means we use; and reposed only on that GOD who rules in the Armies of Heaven, and without whose Blessing the best human Counsels are but Foolishness–and all created Power Vanity…” [4]

Henry Laurens, South Carolina (November  1777 – December 1778) Read more…

Cop Killer Chris Dorner: Blacks, Rap Music, and Violence

Cop Killer Chris Dorner: Blacks, Rap Music, and Violence

Christopher Dorner, a government-trained killer who went AWOL, has been in the news quite a bit the last few days. The manhunt for the former police officer ended on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 when the cabin he was hiding in was mistakenly caught fire by San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputies. The fire led to the death of the 33-year old man who was accused of murdering four people, including a police officer.

Dorner the Minority

Christopher Dorner Steve Macias Kuyperian

Dorner grew up in Southern California and attended a Christian School, his childhood spent in well-to-do white communities. Dorner later wrote a manifesto in which he said that he felt as though he was the only African-American in his Christian school, and that he was often in trouble for fighting over the racial tension that existed between him and the other students. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, California, a city with census data suggesting that less than three percent of the region’s population is African-American. He went on to study at the not-so-diverse Southern Utah University.

Dorner the Soldier

Dorner Christopher Soldier Navy

Chris Dorner went on to serve for over ten years in the Naval Reserve. He was first commissioned domestically and then spent several years in the Middle East. He worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant and left the Navy Reserve decorated and with an honorable discharge.

Dorner the Cop

Chris Dorner LAPD

Dorner worked for the Los Angeles Police Department from 2005 to 2008, until he was fired for allegedly falsifying a report that claimed that another officer had used excessive violence. The case became the focus of Dorner’s “manifesto,” in which he catalogued and documented alleged uses of excessive force by the police.

What Chris Dorner Represents

Dorner represents much of what is wrong with our American culture and its constant state of schizophrenia. Men (and soon, women) in our nation’s military are trained to believe they are fighting for freedom and equality, while those in military service often come to see that they grew up in a country where freedom and equality are not realities for so many. Policemen and women are trained to protect and serve the cause of justice, yet when they “hit the beat” they may find that justice is meted out at the whim of those who hold power and is not based on the rule of law. Men risk their lives and livelihoods for what they believe to be noble causes only to find that their efforts have been used to further the ends of the malicious programs of an increasingly totalitarian state.

Dorner is significant because his life resembles the journey of a character from The Matrix: the more he wakes up to his own reality, the more unbearable it becomes. Dorner was trained to serve his country, yet he was sent on an imperialistic errand to Bahrain. He joined the Los Angeles Police Department to protect against the sort of injustices that he believed he had experienced, only to become disillusioned by what he perceived as excessive violence and corruption.

This is not to excuse Chris Dorner from whatever crimes he had committed, but rather to note that as long as America progresses deeper toward an Orwellian state, we should expect more confused Dorners who react in violent ways to the instability of their world. It should be understood that the welfare state, the warfare state, and the police state all operate in tandem. Murray Rothbard recognized that these were the wedges that tyrannical governments use to pit segments of the population against one another. He said,

The liberals, in short, push the “welfare” part of our omnipresent welfare-warfare state, while the conservatives stress the warfare side of the pie.

LBJ’s Great Society and Black Culture

We live in a country that believes that racism ended with a war and government intervention, yet year after year new events prove that racism is still very much alive. Growing up the son of a bi-racial couple, I have experienced the glare of those who look down upon white women who have Mexican husbands. Despite Hollywood’s attempt to teach us that we live in a color-blind culture, racism still exists. And this racism is perpetuated by a government thirst for power that feeds off class warfare. President Lyndon B. Johnson helped to foster prolonged class warfare with his “Great Society” programs which made dependents of many minorities. Ann Coulter explains,

Everyone knew – even FDR’s secretary of labor, Frances Perkins, knew – that granting widows’ benefits to unmarried women with illegitimate children would have disastrous consequences…

But under LBJ, that’s exactly the system liberals implemented. The “suitable home” requirements—such as having a husband–were jettisoned as irrational and racist by liberal know-it-alls in the Federal Bureau of Public Assistance. By 1960, only 8 percent of welfare benefits intended for widows or wives with disabled husbands were being collected by such. More than 60 percent of Aid to Families with Dependent Children payments went to “absent father” homes. As a result, illegitimacy, particularly among blacks, went through the roof. That was the year the black marriage rate began its precipitous decline, gradually at first, with the marriage rate for black women falling below 70 percent for the first time only in 1970…By 2010, only 30.1 percent of blacks above the age of 15 were married, compared to 52.7 percent of whites…To hide their own role in the suppression of a black middle class, liberals promoted the myth that slavery alone had produced dystopian black lives, This is the quasi-theological underpinning of the modern welfare state. [1]

Erol Ricketts, a demographer and sociologist with the Rockefeller Foundation, found that between 1890 and 1950, blacks had higher marriage rates than whites, according to the U.S. Census. [2]

African-American professor Walter Williams concurs,

The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism could not have done, namely break up the black family

It is no coincidence that the protest against these sort of minority-oppressing policies was led by civil rights movement, in which pastors and black leaders fought for the preservation of the nuclear family. The government elites understood that destroying the Christian family was the key to crippling the will of a Christian people. Without strong men to lead families, the government could step in and take the place of father and provider. Prominent civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. also opposed the war in Vietnam, appropriately recognizing that war and oppression are antithetical to liberty. King famously said,

For those who ask the question, “Aren’t you a civil rights leader?” and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: “To save the soul of America.” We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

“O, yes, I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath –

America will be!”

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land. [3]

Dorner belongs to a generation that was taught that MLK’s dream became a reality, a generation of young people who trusted their government to do the right thing. So many hoped and believed that America had become a place of liberty for all. I wonder if Chris Dorner is just one of many who have become disillusioned and confused by the mixed messages they get from every side.

Black Culture and Rap Music: A Response to Government Oppression

Disclaimer: The songs being discussed here contain foul language, adult themes, and offensive content. I strongly discourage our readers from listening to them. The point of this piece is to merely interact with work that is already a part of popular culture.

Yeah, I’m a gangsta, but still I got flavor
Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?
A sucker in a uniform waitin’ to get shot
by me, or another nigga [4]

These are a few lines from the famous protest song, “F*** Tha Police,” from the Los Angeles-based group N.W.A., who expressed many of the same concerns about the Los Angeles Police Department that Dorner noted in his manifesto, only twenty years earlier. The lyrics are shocking, not just because of their reckless vulgarity, but because their near prophetic nature in relation to Dorner’s actions. Some would argue that this sort of rap music encourages men like Dorner to lose respect for authorities, that this kind of music encouraged his violent behavior. But we are discussing a man who was a decorated officer in our Armed Forces and who trained with the LAPD. He claimed to be concerned about the corruption of an organization to which he had submitted for many years.

Boyz In The Hood

Black Cop Boyz in the Hood

In the early 1990s John Singleton attempted to address the social unrest that existed in the Los Angeles area in his movie Boyz ‘N The Hood,in which he included an interaction with a black Los Angeles Police Officer.

The scene is truly penetrating as the wholesome Tre Styles is pulled over by an overeager black police officer, who immediately places his large handgun at the black teenager’s neck. The cop is portrayed to be self-hating of his own black culture and claims that he took this job because he hated “little n*****s.” We see the kid trembling and a tear runs down his face as the officer says, “I could blow your head off with this Smith & Wesson and you couldn’t do s**t!” Finally, the officer receives another call on his radio and allows the boy to leave.

Two decades later this is the same sort of violence that arises once again in Dorner’s beat, urging him to file a report. But much like the LAPD of the Boyz in the Hood, nothing is done to rectify the situation.

Modern Rap and Anti-Police, Anti-State Sentiments

Movies and music are a way cultures express values and concerns. The anti-war movement was expressed by the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” and in the same way, black culture expresses its opposition to police brutality, to institutionalized racism, and to government oppression in the N.W.A and the Boyz in the Hood.

Opposition to government police officers is still a theme found in today’s modern rap music. Tauheed Epps, also know as 2 Chainz, is a Grammy-nominated rapper whose music has penetrated the hip hop scene. I’ve encountered his song several times while tuning through the radio here in Sacramento. Last month, there was an article on Huffington Post that showed a clip from the song’s music video that included what was implied to be an anti-police scene. This piqued my interest and I took a look at the song’s actual lyrics.

Download I’m Different [Explicit]

The lyrics for the track I’m Different aren’t really all that different, as they contain the same general themes we seen in today’s rap music: fame, sex, money. Looking for the cop scene, I watched the video that Huffington Post had put up. This Christian quickly recognized some incongruities in the video.

A Commercial Paradox

It is appropriate for us to be critical of this song; as it is presented it has little value to contribute, even as mindless entertainment. One could quickly, and rightly so, identify the commercial aspects of this song and how it so heavily relies on expressions of wealth in expensive cars and material abundance. Listening to rap music, I’ve often identified this as a strange paradox. Some rap music points to deeper cultural issues of inequality and poverty, yet a large portion simply portrays commercialized nonsense.

Too often the rapper expresses his values by borrowing the worth of an object that others wish they also had. In many ways, this reduces much of this genre down to urban jingles for commercial products. The song then becomes a commercial in itself, one that people are willing to pay to listen to. This becomes even more perplexing when we consider that radio stations then use these rap music commercials to get listeners to hear more traditional commercials.

But beyond the nonsense, this song suggests more.

Huffington Post reports:Dorner Cop Knees 2 chainz

The visuals for I’m Different are compelling, if you’re into watching Ferrari drivers arrest cops and a very tall rapper with long hair strutting around in an all-leopard ensemble. I’m Different is a single from B.O.A.T.S., which stands for “Based on a Tru Story” (Chainz doesn’t like the letter “e”) and might explain why Deuce is riding around in a boat for much of the video.

There is this unfortunate scene, which seems gratuitous (though the gun-toting folks did find cocaine on the offending officer.)

Tables Turned

The music video represents a movement away from portraying the black youth as the victim. Now the young men pull over the police officer, point their gun at him, and arrest him as he kneels in front of them. The tables turn as the young men show the officer that they are no longer going to be abused. As the Huffington Post article mentioned, the young men find drugs on the officer pointing back to their view that the police are corrupt and hypocritical in their application of the law. As the most recent anti-police commentary, this is the culture of men like Chris Dorner: a culture of black men positively asserting that they will no longer be victims of the police state. In this sense, 2 Chainz is truly different, he represents a group of men who will not be complicit depending on the government to fix the problems that they understand the government to have created.

Freedom and Totalitarianism

Anthony Gregory, research editor at the Independent Institute, has said,

Just because you can watch half-nude women on afternoon television or gay men kissing on the streets of nearly any major city does not mean America is free, as complacent liberals might think, much less too free, as conservatives often suggest. Just because most dissidents are left alone doesn’t mean there is no police state, for that would be convenient indeed for the police statists: the idea that people ought not complain so long as they have the right to do so. [5]

Some may object to these anti-police views of modern rap music and complain of the need for law and order. R.J. Rushdoony has explained that the police force is to be a citizen force. “[T]he  police power is the citizen’s right of self-defense…” Yet we can quickly identify dozens of modern police functions that are state functions of control and theft, not in any way respecting the intent of police as a delegated form of self-defense. Rushdoony continues,”Present-day trends towards a national police force are thus aimed at disarming and capturing the citizenry for totalitarian purposes.” [6]

What we see in black culture is the expression, warranted or not, that their local police have gone beyond the role of self-defense to the point of violence and subjugation. The violent responses of some, like Chris Dorner, are not to be condoned, but in order to prevent further violence, the reasons behind such behavior need to be explored. Those who are supposed to serve and protect must also be restrained from violence by the rule of law and limited to their proper function and jurisdiction.

What we see in Dorner’s story is the real unintended adverse results of a politicized police. Our policies abroad and domestically have real consequences for our culture and for our future.

The Kuyperian Commentary. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a link is given.

Email Steve Macias 

References Below:

1. Ann Coulter, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama
2. Erol Ricketts, “The Origin of Black Female-Headed Families,” Focus Spring/Summer 1989, 32-37
3. Martin Luther King Jr., “A Time to Break Silence,” delivered at Riverside Church, New York City, on April 4, 1967.
4. N.W.A, “F*** tha Police”, Straight Outta Compton, 1988 Priority/Ruthless
5. Anthony Gregory, America’s Unique Fascism, September 6, 2011
6.  Rushdoony, R.J. (1978). The Politics of Guilt and Pity. Craig Press.

End of the Boy Scouts of America?

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Executive Board will vote next week on whether to remove the ban on openly homosexual youth and adult leaders from its national membership policy. It will leave the issue for each individual Scouting unit to decide for itself. A vote on the matter by BSA is planned during an executive meeting in Irving, Texas, the first week of February.

I recently approached a California Boy Scout leader to ask his opinion.

Steve Macias: Some have asked if this is a repeat of what happened in the Girl Scouts where, “there are no membership policies on sexual preference.”

BSA Leader: I honestly do not know.  I’m concerned that the fix may already be in.  This ‘reconsideration’ was kept secret from the membership and chartering partners and only became public when someone in the national office leaked the news to the press.  It was just seven months ago that the BSA National Executive Board confirmed the prohibition on openly homosexual youth and adult leaders. So the proposed change in policy has taken everyone by surprise.

Steve Macias:  Is an alternative viable?

BSA Leader: It has already been done.  When the Girl Scouts of America succumbed to the dark side several years [ago], a group split off to form American Heritage Girls (AHG) and they have been growing slowly throughout the country.  AHG is based on biblical principles and has a partnership with the Boy Scouts.  They were one of the first sources to confirm that the Boy Scouts were being seduced by the dark side.

Steve Macias: Do you think other Boy Scout leaders would follow?

BSA Leader: Although it would be a challenge, it is possible to build an alternative organization.  The Boy Scouts have already established the model, which is half the battle.  The hard part is to get the churches behind it.  Many churches see Scouts as competition and not a complement to their own youth programs.  If the churches support such a movement, it can succeed.  But if they turn their backs as they so often do, then a new organization will have difficulty gaining traction.

Steve Macias: Should we as Christians consider leaving this organization?

BSA Leader: Regardless of what happens next week, I am not leaving the Boy Scouts.  I will stay and stand firm on my principles which happen to be the principles the Scouting movement was founded upon.  I will not run away or abandon ship.  I will stay and fight as long as I am able.  I am tired of surrendering ground. Unfortunately, this move is being driven by financial concerns.  I pray the BSA does not sell out its values for money and political and social acceptance.

There are two ways that you can express your opinion.  You can call (972) 580-2330 or you can send an email to nationsupportcenter@scouting.org.  Please take the time to voice your opinion on this issue at your earliest opportunity.

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a link is given.

What’s the most important economic lesson Americans need to learn?

By Kuyperian Commentary Special Contributing Scholar, Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr.

There are any number of appropriate ways to answer this question. I have for years now affirmed that the most foundational economic truth is that God owns everything. We need to learn that, down to our toes. I have also affirmed that the first law of economics is that consuming more than we produce leads to poverty, consuming less than we produce leads to prosperity. Grasping these truths would go rather a long way in fixing what ails us, economically speaking.

Having barely survived another election season, however, and mourning the end of Twinkies, I’m tempted instead to start with this lesson- governments cannot create any wealth, though they can and usually do destroy wealth. On both sides of the aisle we had voters demanding and candidates promising more jobs, better health care, rising home values. Government, however, is a parasitic institution rather than a productive one. That is, the government doesn’t actually produce anything. Everything that it has it first must take from someone else. If it “invests” in infrastructure, it does so with money taken from others who would invest where there was market demand. Federal loans (or guarantees which amount to the same thing) to green companies happen because people investing their own money don’t think it a wise investment. Turns out people were right, the government wrong, again. The key point, however, is that they had to take money from you and me first.

Please remember this when the left complains of corporate greed supplanting human need. What these folks mean is, “I know better what to do with the wealth of stockholders than they know. I should have control over the wealth of others.”  Every dollar directed by the state is a dollar that once belonged to someone else, who would make market decisions, rather than political ones.

Which brings us to the other side of the coin. The state cannot create wealth, but they certainly can destroy it. The notion that businesses can just pass tax burdens on to consumers is patently false. Suppose for a moment that Michelle Obama successfully lobbies for a Twinkie Tax of $10 a Twinkie. How many Twinkies will Hostess be able to sell? Demand for a given product or service goes down when prices go up, even if prices go up because of an increased tax burden. Lowering demand is generally bad for business.

Governments also destroy wealth by inflating the money supply. This is a tax on savings. My $1 can buy a loaf of bread in an economy with x paper dollars. Double the number of paper dollars to 2x and dollars to donuts my dollar will now buy only half a loaf. The government, without taxing me, without breaking into the bank, has stolen half a loaf of bread from me. Inflation isn’t businesses being greedy, but governments being devious and destructive.

Finally governments can destroy wealth by regulating businesses. Requiring companies to provide health insurance to its employees, or pay them a wage above some arbitrary standard may seem like a good idea. Until we realize that wages are actually determined by supply and demand. If it costs me $10 an hour, because of government mandates, to hire someone for a job that I value at $9 an hour simply means no one gets hired to do the job. Multiply that principle across the board at a given business and it will go out of business.

God gave the state the power of the sword, to punish evildoers. That’s what they are to do. When they step outside their calling hardship comes, every time. Economies create wealth. Governments punish evildoers.

(Original piece can be found here. Also visit R.C. Sproul Jr. at his new website)

Why Kuyperians Won’t Secede

You say you want a secession; well you know, we all want to change the world. Hopefully, your reaction to the recent post-election secession petitions included at least a little laughter—after all, asking the white house for permission to secede is pretty funny. However, considered as acts of symbolical protest, the petitions are another significant indication of the deep dissatisfaction and division within our nation. And while the authors of some of those petitions may have conceived of them as nothing more than protests, there was and is a seriousness among some of the folks involved—a “wouldn’t it be nice if we could secede” kind of sentiment. The reality of state secession in the near future is probably very slim, especially considering the responses of some governors, but the principle may still warrant some consideration.

I call this little essay—or foray, or attempt, or what-you-will—“Why Kuyperians Won’t Secede” because Kuyperian thought seems to offer one of the more obvious challenges to the remarks I’m about to make. I want to claim that secession is at odds with the religious duty of a Christian. Immediately, the notion of sphere sovereignty could be invoked in order to argue that, in fact, secession is a question for the civil/political sphere while Christian duty is a question of the religious sphere; that our civil citizenship should be considered distinct from our (religious) Kingdom citizenship. This is only a problem on the surface, though. The important (Kuyperian) distinction between those two citizenships is precisely what makes the possibility of justifiable secession so unlikely.

Only when we begin to conflate our Kingdom citizenship with our civil citizenship can we seriously conceive of guarding the former (and the privileges thereof) with the intensity we ought to reserve for guarding the latter (and the privileges thereof). The discussion gets a little awkward, however, when we realize that our own nation was conceived out of something very closely resembling that conflation. A conviction that the state ought to safeguard life, liberty, etcetera is right and good, but our particular formulation of those goods as certain “inalienable rights” is a formulation that smacks of Deism—a belief system in which the political sphere takes on a truncated importance because God is not an immanent deity interested in defending or vindicating His Church. If the privileges safeguarded by our civil citizenship come to encompass not only life, liberty, etc. but the life of the soul, the liberty of the spirit, etc. then secession—trading a government that safeguards those privileges poorly for one that safeguards them well (we’re still assuming, for the sake of argument, that any civil govt. could safeguard them at all)—is not just an option, it’s an imperative. However, keeping the sphere-distinction in mind like good Kuyperians, we realize that civil citizenship only confers the kinds of privileges we are called to hold loosely.

Our civil citizenship is the gift that allows us to serve and bless the city. We don’t see St. Paul making use of his civil citizenship to hold property or to vote, but to get to Rome with the Gospel. And it’s no good nodding in agreement and then maintaining that secession is simply there as a “last resort,” because that does as much good for fostering good statesmanship as keeping a divorce attorney on retainer does for fostering marital cooperation. God is faithful; bless the city (excellent practical guidance for doing so can be found here) and the city will become (or return to being) a place worth living.

How Now Shall We Then Live?

Like many of you, I was following closely as the results came in last night. The “respected” pundits who predicted a landslide win for Romney are now being predicted upon as to the relevance of their predictions. Obama’s “vengeance voting” strategy won. And quite a revenge was had. Democrats won Senate majority. The disastrous first-term presidency of Obama gets another four years to duplicate itself.

There were also some great victories for conservatism and moral libertarians last night. Tea Party, Ted Cruz, won his Senate race. The hero, Roy Moore, re-gained his post as Alabama Chief Justice. Several other candidates backed by Ron Paul also won.

But overall, it was a bad night for Republicans.  That was easily exemplified by the cable news’ reactions. While MSNBC enjoyed her political drunkenness, Fox News was fighting itself.

The age of moderate, center, and ever-changing Republicanism is over. The GOP has thrown money at not only flawed candidates, but flawed ideas. Of course, if history teaches us anything it is that the GOP will not learn her lesson. And so the blame-game will commence. “We did nothing wrong. We simply lacked the the right strategy,” they will say.

The reaction will be two-fold to last night’s debacle: First, commentators will speculate that Todd Akin was partly responsible for the GOP’s defeat. They will then argue that the pro-life issue is a losing issue and a sure way to lose the independent and moderate vote. They will then become more focused on economic issues and leave the pro-life movement to die. We need to appeal to the middle. “Tea-Party candidates are insanely unpredictable, therefore they should leave and find a home elsewhere.”

The second reaction is a more hopeful one. After recovering from the defeat, there will be a vast number of Republican leaders who will realize that  political compromise did not energize the base. In fact, compromise and constant change are not good ideals. They leave voters confused and often disillusioned by the process. As a result, the Republicans will listen to the more Conservative voices and attempt to form a more coherent system echoing the great conservative voices of the past.

The second reaction is a bit too hopeful, and I acknowledge that such reaction will take time.

In the meanwhile, Francis Schaeffer’s piercing question stares us with vicious pertinence: How Now Shall We Then Live?

How should Moral Libertarians and Classic Conservatives react to last night’s results? The answer lies in localist dominion. We need to concentrate our attention on those issues that are nearest to us. Our cities need to re-gain their importance in our thinking.

Have you sought to bless your city lately? Proverbs 11 says that the upright needs to bless the city, and when he does so the city is exalted (see also Jeremiah 29). Localism is not merely a political philosophy, it is very much a part of the biblical dogma. We are to be concerned about our streets and counties before we are concerned about our nation and the rest of the world. The nationalist is not truly patriotic until he becomes a localist.

With this in mind, here are ten suggestions for becoming a better localist:

A) Pray for your city. Pray for the peace of your city. For justice to be known among her people. Pray for her shalom and its well-being as you drive through it daily.

B) Give to the city by being a part of its affairs. Participate in local activities when possible.

C) Read about the city. Instead of turning to CNN, turn to your local news or newspaper. Be informed about the matters of your city, for the sake of better praying for her.

D) Biblicize your city. Start Bible studies. Equip others to love the city by discipling her. After all, this is the call of the Great Commission.

E) Vote and Elect godly leaders of the city. Before considering national politics, do not forsake your responsibility before your fellow city-dwellers. Seek to be informed about local politics. Comment on local on-line news about those decisions made by politicians that are blatantly against biblical principles and priorities, and always offer alternatives. We need practical solutions, not more theorizing.

F) Unite with other churches. Despise the divisive sentiment that is so prevalent. Know the local pastor’s names and meet with them. Pray for them when possible. Build relationships with others from other traditions who also seek the good of the city.

G) Imprecate against those who do not seek the well-being of the city. The psalms provide a perfect platform for such prayers. There is no neutrality. You either seek the good of the city through the blessings of the Trinitarian God, or you despise it.

H) Minister to the City through giving. Contribute to local charities either through the Church tithe or through personal gifts.

I) Teach others about your city. When I visited the Pacific Northwest once I was surprised how little and misinformed people were about Florida, and in particular the Panhandle. Inform people about the good, the bad, and the ugly while emphasizing the good a lot more.

I) Love the city by loving the Church. Congregate. Worship. Adore the Only-True God by worshipping the One who is King of the City, Jesus Christ.

Every Four Years, It’s The End of The World Again

by Adam McIntosh

At this very moment, the fate of America hangs in the balance. Re-electing President Obama will result in the destruction of America as we know it. It will lead to the Islamic takeover of our western heritage. Mitt Romney, however, loves America and knows it is the hope of the earth. He alone can save us from Obama’s agenda of ushering in the apocalypse. Cast your vote for Romney this Tuesday and be amazed at the marvelous deeds he will accomplish. A vote for Romney is a vote for all that is holy and righteous in this land.”

Sounds like a pro-Romney argument you’ve heard recently, right? It’s my amateur attempt at writing an attack ad, but I think I captured the overall perspective of those who insist you must vote for Romney if you wish to be a decent American, and a decent Christian. It seems that we are always on the brink of impending doom if we don’t vote for the Republican nominee. Obama is the great enemy and Romney is our coming savior.

Our Democrat friends aren’t immune to this way of thinking, either. They buy into messianic scenarios just as easily. In 2008, it was proclaimed that Obama would establish peace in the world and usher in a much needed era of war-ending, civil-rights-protecting, transparent government. Today, we’re hearing that Romney will overturn Roe v. Wade, ban gay marriage and let sick people just die, along with hurricane victims. Obama is the champion we must vote for and Romney is the terrifying adversary.

This apocalyptic mindset is borderline idolatrous. Both parties repeat the same rhetoric and propaganda each cycle, regardless of who the candidates are. Every four years, it’s the end of the world again – except that it’s not. Jesus the Christ is ruler of the universe, not Romney or Obama. He is reigning from his throne working all things according to the counsel of his will and for our good (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:28). We shouldn’t worry about political scare tactics; the only thing we have to fear is God himself. The cosmos will not blow up if the “wrong guy” is elected. In fact, all leaders are given authority by God (John 19:11; Rom. 13:1). As hard as it is to believe, God planned for Barack Obama to be president. Same with George W. Bush and those before him. But this doesn’t mean that all leaders are justified in their actions. God often raises up tyrannical leaders as an act of judgment (1 Sam. 8:1-22). What it does mean is that God uses our voting strategies to bring about his will. Regardless of who is elected on Tuesday, the President of Presidents will still be seated on his heavenly throne.

In his providence, Christ has placed Americans in a nation where voting is an option (not a mandate) and where multiple candidates can be on the ballot. There is no law, biblical or constitutional, that says we must vote. Nor is there a law that says we must vote for one particular candidate. Next time someone tries to guilt-trip you into voting or voting for a particular candidate – with the implication that you are an irresponsible citizen if you don’t – simply smile and say, “Chill out! Jesus is in control.”

Yet, we certainly do have responsibilities when it comes to electing our leaders. We are instructed to pray for them (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and to obey them as long as it doesn’t necessitate disobeying God (Acts 5:27–29; Rom. 13:2-5). We should also use wisdom in our voting strategies. We are supposed to proclaim the lordship of Christ in all areas of life, including politics. This means that we can’t make apathetic or uninformed decisions. But it’s precisely because Jesus is Lord that we aren’t obligated to vote a particular way. We don’t know the future and he has not told us which candidate he plans to elect. As has been previously argued, there are valid points made for each voting strategy. The question to ask yourself is,“which result would best further the kingdom?” Christians won’t always agree on the answer to that. We won’t know God’s answer to that until Tuesday night.

Ron Paul Finishes Third In Iowa. What happened tonight and where do we go from here?

Ron Paul finished a third place in the Iowa Caucuses. Early in the evening, there was a general sense of optimism as Paul took the lead in the beginning of the count. With 96% of the votes in, it appears Rick Santorum might win by a slim margin over Mitt Romney. Michelle Bachmann–who came in first in the Iowa straw poll– finished in last place (technically ahead of Hunstman, who did not run a campaign in Iowa). Bachmann’s disastrous finish may signal the end of her run.  Rick Perry, who ended in fifth, will now return to Texas to see if there is a future for his campaign. Sunday’s debate may be a lot smaller.

Santorum’s victory will most likely propel him to the center stage in this Sunday’s debate in New Hampshire. Gingrich, who ended in fourth place, has begun his NH tour by condemning Paul’s foreign policy; a sign that Paul is still alive and well in this campaign.

Paul’s third place finish is not precisely what many expected, since Paul was counted to be among the top two. Despite a third place finish, Paul has the money and organization to continue strong in future states (Ron Paul’s speech). Beyond that, he may have won important delegates for the Republican convention.

Paul holds a second place in NH behind Romney who has taken a considerable lead. He will have to continue to harp his foreign policy message in the Live-Free-or-Die state of a strong national defense, no nation-building, no over-reaction to Iran, and a sober view of Middle East politics, and emphasize and contrast his economic policy from other candidates.

The GOP candidates share great similarity on a number of issues, but the two central issues at stake are the War and Economy. Ron Paul is actually fighting for the Taft/non-interventionist paleo-conservative tradition of war. And on the economy, Paul is arguing that only the Austrian school is a reliable theory to combat the deficit spending in Washington and the crony capitalism embraced by the bailout advocates within the GOP. Over the years, Paul has led the charge on auditing the Fed; a noble charge that has rallied a vast number of people. He has also proposed a bold plan to cut one trillion dollars in the first year.

Where do we go from here?

Paul’s third place finish is a remarkable achievement. In 2008, Paul finished a distant fourth, and now he is among the top three contenders. This is a strong finish (over 25,000 votes). Paul is still in the race and has the money to compete in NH and SC. Gingrich has already begun to attack Paul. Santorum–who will not compete in Virginia– will receive closer scrutiny, and Romney will be attacked repeatedly by Gingrich and others. The Keynesians are still feeling the wound caused by Paul’s Austrian’s spear.

Endorsement, Polls, and Vicious Attacks

My friend, Brian Nolder, influential pastor and thinker in Iowa has come out to fully endorse Dr. Ron Paul. His piece is a helpful demonstration of someone who has been thinking hard through these issues since last election and has given Ron Paul a chance. Many others have done so.

Paul is set to take a prominent standing in Iowa on the third of January and will most likely go to NH with significant strength. The latest PPP polling continues to show Paul at a small lead, but a lead nevertheless.

Meanwhile, Gingrich has come out viciously attacking Ron Paul’s newsletter even going so far as to say that he will not support Paul should he be the nominee. Newt’s de-contextualized comments assume Paul wrote all the newsletters. This will most likely backfire on Gingrich, since Paul supporters know the truth.

Gingrich has become quite a desperate politician in these last days, since a bad show in Iowa will most likely plunge him in NH. This is virtually–assuming Perry or Santorum do not break out of second-tier–a Ron Paul and Mitt Romney race. Romney, though plagued by flip-flops, will be the establishment’s choice. Paul needs a first or strong second finish in Iowa and overcome the newsletter charges in order to be competitive in NH, and versus the Romney machine.

ObamaCare and BushCare

Christopher Westley writing for Mises Daily observes:

Ironically, around the same time the jobs data were released, the MSM’s best and brightest also bemoaned the end of NASA’s space-shuttle program, which University of Colorado at Boulder scientist Roger Pielke Jr. estimates to cost more than $200 billion over its lifespan. Pielke noted that this translates to a cost of $1.5 billion per mission — 100 times greater than the $15-million-per-mission price tag promised by planners when the program was being sold to Congress in the 1970s. We can be assured that the projected costs justifying BushCare, ObamaCare, and undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were equally duplicitous.

 

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