The Kuyperian Commentary

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

Archive for the category “Ron Paul”

Further Reflections on Anarchy

Click for more in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Over the last four weeks, I’ve offered a series of critiques on anarcho-capitalism. I believe anarchy is an unworkable concept because it is self-refuting; in practice it cannot operate within its premises consistently. I’ve attempted to show that it assumes conformity to an unproven principle and that it cannot deliver its promise of better, more effective justice. In this last installment I’d like to make a few more observations.

1) Christian anarchists deny the nature of God’s courtroom.

In the opening chapters of the Bible, God sets up angels at the gate of the garden to prevent sinful man from eating from the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24). The use of force is specifically described: God drove man out of the garden and if man tried to enter he would be killed. Adam was to be the guard of the garden but he failed. The angels were sent to do what Adam didn’t. This is relevant to our topic because it shows that God gives judicial authority to humanity. Later on in Scripture, the elders at the gate of each city were the judges with authority to punish and execute (Deut. 22:13-21, 25:5-10).  This creates a parallel between earthly rulers and heavenly rulers. To deny it is to ignore how the Bible is written.

God makes humanity stewards of creation to rule and reign. Jesus is the Gardener, he makes us gardeners. Jesus is the Shepherd, he makes us shepherds. Jesus is the Judge, he makes us judges. As images of God, this is the foundational way we mirror his sovereignty. The institution of civil government is set up by God to reflect his courtroom, his government. Read more…

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Whither the Wicker?

Guest Post by Rob Hadding

I’ve been watching politics since I was about ten. My earliest political recollections are of the 1972 Republican and Democratic conventions. I was captivated by the theater of it all. The speeches were full of pathos, the nominating process was full of drama, and it seemed like everyone was full of enthusiasm for the possibilities that lay ahead if their man (or woman – Shirley Chisholm ran that year) won the day. It all seemed so important. I’ve watched coverage of almost every political convention since, if with significantly less awe.  Somewhere along the way since 1972, I began to see what every other informed observer of American politics sees. To say that I’ve grown cynical is to say a true thing.

My political cynicism found an easy friend in the hell-in-a-handbasket eschatology of Dispensationalism, and quicker than you could name the next candidate for antichrist, I was a full-blown pessimist. But over time, I found pessimism to be exhausting – there was never a payoff. When things just keep going from bad to worse to worser, the only thing there is to feel good about is the destruction of the universe, and, frankly, that kind of a downer.

Imagine my relief, then, when I was introduced to a more hopeful eschatology. It took me a long time to sort out, but once I finally did it was like I had been given permission to feel good about the creation that God called good in the first place. He isn’t just going to blow it to smithereens; he is going to put it all back together again, but this time more glorious than ever. In fact, new creation had already begun in the resurrection of Christ. Antichrist, meet Jesus Christ. You lose.

But in a sense, this just caused me further consternation. I had abandoned the theological titanic that is Dispensationalism, but my political cynicism had only grown. Speeches, conventions, elections, and bad leaders accumulated, and things only appear to grow worse. How can someone remain optimistic when the handbasket is moving so fast?

Well, last week something happened that sparked hope. Now, it’s only a spark, and the kind of hope it inspires is not in any sense ultimate, but it was like nothing I’ve seen in some time. On the floor of the United States Senate, the junior senator from Kentucky stood for thirteen without a pee break on principle. In accordance with Senate rules, and armed with the conviction to stand up and say, “Hell no,” Rand Paul hijacked the Senate for the day to make a point. The filibuster of John Brennan’s confirmation to the job of CIA Director was not to block Mr. Brennan’s appointment (he admitted at the outset that he did not have the votes to succeed in doing so), but to call attention to the use of drones against American citizens, both on and off American soil, without benefit of due process. Specifically, Mr. Paul was calling out President Barack Obama and his chief lawyer, Eric Holder, to give a clear answer on whether they understood it was within the president’s power to order a hit on an American without a trial to establish guilt. Up to this point a clear answer had not come, though the question was clearly asked.

This moment is probably not in itself a tide turner. Even though it seems that Mr. Paul did get a clear, yet terse, response from Mr. Holder the following day, and even though Mr. Paul raised awareness on the issue of drones – both of which were his stated objectives – this event does not in itself change the course of the nation, or usher in a new age of openness in government, or make the president any less likely to do everything he can to drive the America Bus into oncoming traffic.

But something very real happened on that day that gives me reason to think that the handbasket could take another direction. This is evident in the way the day unfolded. At the beginning, it looked like Rand Paul, a chip off the nutty ol’ Paul block, was going to make a long-winded speech. It would be well reasoned, of course, and would score some points with the Tea Party crowd, but would accomplish just north of nothing. But as the day progressed, a swell of tweets and status updates formed. A website emerged to clock his filibuster. Activity in the Senate Chamber increased. Other senators rose, requesting time to ask questions without asking Senator Paul to yield the floor as a show of support and to give him a moment to rest his voice. C-SPAN 2’s existence was justified. I went to bed that night before he had finished. I said to my wife as I turned out the bedroom light, “I hope he’s still going in the morning.” But by the time the day had ended, Mr. Paul had done something that hadn’t been done in a long time – he captured the imagination of the political right, and gave them something to be excited about.

In just thirteen hours – which is a long time to stand without peeing, but not so long if you’re talking about the history of the world – a freshman senator breathed life into his party and into those of us who had lost all confidence in the Republican Party after the nomination of Mitt Romney. In a single moment of political theater one began to think that all just might not be lost.

Let me be clear: I don’t think the answer to our ills is political (in the common sense of the term). I don’t think that Rand Paul is the great hope of the nation, or even of the Republican Party. I am not sure he would make a great president. But on the day of the filibuster, he lit a match in the political darkness, and it may be that that match touches a candlewick – or a fuse. One thing is certain: Rand Paul stock went up that day, and he may just be the leader conservatives have been looking for.

But what really strikes me about the whole thing is something more hopeful. That is, as fast as that things can change. Even though things look like they are hurtling toward certain disaster, in just a moment things can change. Who knows what the effects of this event will be? It could be the beginning of a massive re-framing of the conversation about the economy, morality, and so on. It might not be. But for me, it has persuaded me that good things can happen, and I am free to be optimistic even in the face of what appear to be overwhelmingly bad circumstances. It can all change quickly.

Rob Hadding is the Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Pace, Fl.

Why Drug Decriminalization is Central to Liberty

Stigmatize Liberty

This past week alone I’ve seen two attempts by mainstream conservative pundits to stigmatize liberty by portraying it as some obscure liberal ideal. It goes like this: somehow liberty is great, but the drug stuff takes it too far. They suppose that freedom is a value that must be reined in by the government, because if we go too far with that dangerous idea – like in the area of drugs – society could be negatively affected if the state stopped regulating certain drug commerce. That there would be no negative effect on society if the state regulated drug commerce, is presumed. Read more…

The Eagle’s Constitution – A Story of Liberty

Once upon a time, all the eagles had forgotten they were eagles. They used to live in high mountain eyries, but someone had convinced them they ought to be living on a farm. They still called themselves eagles, but they had little memory of what their make up was capable of; they had little imagination that their very constitution would allow them to fly. Instead they hunted and pecked. They were sometimes called back to books about the old mountain life, books written by their founding feathers, but mostly the eagles mentioned these ideas in passing, and with little reference to the actual books.

The eagles would get together to vote on important matters. When they would get together, they were often led by a couple of strange birds named Main and Grand. They were odd eagles. They didn’t look like eagles, but they did a really good job of doing what they said was a really good job. They were experts at hunting and pecking for corn.

One of the eagles was not like the others. He was not content to walk slowly around the farm, and to scratch at the dirt. He was alway suggesting they should try to move faster. We should run – he would say, looking to the skies. Read more…

Rand Paul Is Still My Senator

In early 2009, I was a fairly new fan of Congressman Ron Paul, having learned of him during the 2008 presidential election. You can imagine my excitement when I heard that his son, Rand Paul, was thinking of running for the U.S. Senate. When I found out he would be representing Kentucky – my home state – it was that much more invigorating. I knew immediately that I would do everything I could in my local community to raise support for Rand.

The first order of business was to bring Rand to my city for a live speaking event. If he decided to run I knew he would be going up against establishment candidates in both the primary and general elections Read more…

The Religious Motive Behind Rand Paul’s Filibuster

Paul Leaves the Floor, Refuses to Yield Values

As the thirteen-hour filibuster ended, Rand Paul left the floor to a roar of applause. He took the floor alone, but now the entire twittersphere and even the Republican leadership joined his crusade against the Obama administration’s drone policy. In one day’s time he has reached the name recognition of his father for standing for the same sort of issues. Again, like his father, he has forced the Republican establishment to join him as cobelligerants for the cause of liberty.

The past three decades of American politics have been blessed with two generations of men who are unafraid to be political game-changers. Ron and Rand are Leaders seemingly incapable of “relinquishing” their values. Rand’s thirteen-hour filibuster is a good tribute to his father’s legacy of refusing to “yield” to politics as usual.

One has to ask what creates such men?

The answer may be a surprise to many. Presbyterianism.

Read more…

Bush, War, Conservatives, and the Search for Consistency

One of the perplexing dilemmas we face as those who oppose the over-reach of the Federal Government is the inconsistency we see in such movements. While on the one hand, we opine viciously in opposition to all forms of welfarism, on the other hand, we support and encourage our military efforts ( a form of international welfarism).
In his essay for The American Conservative, Ivan Eland discusses this inconsistency and warns conservatives that they can’t have it both ways:

“Conservatives should be leery of jumping into wars not only because American powers may become overextended—especially in a time of fiscal crisis—but because war makes government expand rapidly at home, even in areas of national security.”[1]

It is also fair to say that the Conservative mood has changed drastically in these last few years. Just as Democrats are quick to oppose a policy under a Republican governance, so too are they quick to support that same policy under a Democratic presidency.[2] I would like to think Republicans have learned their lessons, but they are just as prone to falling into the cycle of political hypocrisy. On a positive note, I have heard growing opposition to Obama’s Drone Strikes’ Policy from Republicans. Much of this opposition stems from the non-hawkish Senator, Rand Paul.

In his 2007 book, A Tragic Legacy, Glenn Greenwald details many of the former Bush supporters who have now come to see the light on America’s endless wars. Among them is Rod Dreher, a former contributor to National Review. In 2001, Dreher declared, “Thank God we have a Republican in the White House.”[3] Dreher later describes his regret for supporting Bush’s policies:

I see that I was the fool…the consequences of his (Bush’s) failure will be far, far worse than anything Carter did.

These political transformations are the results of a long line of unintended consequences, or what Chalmers Johnson referred to as Blowback.

I am convinced that serious minded Republicans are willing to count the cost, and the cost has been high. The U.S accounts for more than 50% of the world’s military spending[4] and with all that might it has left the Middle East desolate and unstable. The eloquent “No Nation-Building ” answer given by then candidate George Bush should be our policy. It is costing us too much. And as Eland observes, once warfare starts, taxes and spending continue:

Conservatives should not fail to recognize that war is the most prominent cause of the massive welfare state that has been erected in the United State.

Hopefully, consistency will return to small-government conservatives. We cannot continue to stay on budget at home, while distributing our credit cards abroad.


[1] The American Conservative, January/February 2013

[3] Greenwald, Glenn, A Tragic Legacy: How Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, 34-35.

[4] Ibid. 3

Ron Paul on Education and Freedom

Ron Paul on Education and Freedom

Anyone who reads or writes for this blog may be interested in the upcoming publication of Ron Paul’s newest book, New School Manifesto. Ron Charles at the Washington Post Blog reports that it will be released on September 17, 2013, getting Paul’s post-congressional career off to a fruitful and visible start.

The WaPo article highlights the subjects within Paul’s book of 1) homeschooling and 2) “a history of American schooling and a critique of what went wrong.”

We here at the KC are not necessarily categorically insistent on homeschooling, but we are insistent on Christian education, which necessarily means education freely decided on by parents and not by governing entities.

This jogs my memory to some YouTube videos from a few years back, wherein you will hear Rand Paul say, “I think that kids belong to God and to our families, but they don’t belong to the State.” – (in video 1 below)

Near the end of the first video Rand also talks about keeping government out of religious institutions as a guard to the freedom to call things “sinful.” This, of couse, applies to schools as well as to churches.

Keep an eye on this man as 2016 floats off in the distance.

The Myth of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

by Adam McIntosh

In 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. It was hailed as a pro-life victory across the nation:

Today’s signing of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is truly an historic moment… This is an achievement for life, a great victory for women, for unborn children and for all Americans.”

“We are thrilled that this historic legislation has finally completed its journey through the legislative process… we are celebrating this milestone protecting the unborn.”

“…it’s a major victory for prolife Americans… This is the first time in 30 years that we’ve seen reflected in public policy the cultural shift that has been taking place, and that is back toward respecting life… We have come with our toes to the line of crossing over into barbarism and we’ve said we’re not going to go there.”

Politicians have used their support of the ban as pro-life street cred ever since. The bill’s author, former presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum, used the ban as proof that there was not a stronger pro-life leader in Congress than himself. (Ignoring, of course, the fact that he never once introduced or cosponsored legislation to outlaw abortion or repeal Roe v. Wade – unlike another member of Congress.)

But does the hype match reality? Would the ban outlaw partial-birth abortions from that point on? Technically, yes. In all actuality, not at all. Let me explain.

The partial-birth abortion procedure is commonly described as pulling the baby out of its mother’s womb backwards, up to its neck. While the baby’s head is still inside the birth canal, the doctor then crushes its skull with a medical utensil, instantly killing the child. Prohibiting this procedure would certainly be a noble goal even if we could not outlaw abortion entirely. But notice carefully how the ban defines the procedure and what it prohibits:

The term ‘partial-birth abortion’ means an abortion in which the person performing the abortion, deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.”

According to the official text, as long as the breech baby isn’t pulled out past its navel it can still be murdered by the physician. The baby can be outside its mother from the hips down – with wiggling legs and toes – and it is lawful to kill it. Similarly, in a head-first presentation, the skull can still be crushed or punctured as long as the entire head hasn’t exited the mother. If only part of the head has exited, the doctor is free to kill. I don’t know about you, but that still sounds like a partial-birth abortion to me. We are supposed to praise this legislation as a monumental victory; yet there is no reason to believe that it would save the life of one child. Rather than outlawing the procedure, it merely limited how far the baby can be pulled out.

By defining terms so narrowly, victory was perceived without any true accomplishment. If intentional, this is an example of political manipulation. If unintentional, it’s an example of poor lawmaking. No doubt, well-intentioned activists and legislators supported the ban, including Congressman Ron Paul (though not without a disclaimer). But the pro-life movement should carefully consider the legislation it rallies behind. We shouldn’t be so quick to accept every bill that has the appearance of pro-life principles. In our attempt to outlaw a gruesome abortion procedure, we actually legalized it. The fight against partial-birth abortion is far from over; sifting through political word games is just the first step.

Champion of the Unborn

by Adam McIntosh

I confess: I supported Congressman Ron Paul during the presidential primaries. I thought he was the only candidate anywhere near to a biblical view of government on the major issues. What are the major issues, you ask? Well, there’s that annoying idea about actually obeying your oath to follow the Constitution; economic and monetary policy; war and foreign policy; and civil liberties. These are broad categories that include numerous issues. Overlapping each of them is the issue of abortion. I highly respected Paul for his firm stance against abortion. He seemed to truly care about the unborn in a way other pro-life candidates didn’t. Not only did he spend a career delivering babies, he published two full books against abortion and introduced legislation each session of Congress that would have outlawed abortion nationwide. There is no politician in recent history that can match Paul’s zeal when it comes to protecting the unborn.

All pro-life candidates say they want to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade. They say they are for a constitutional amendment defining the unborn as persons under the law. These two positions alone will give any candidate an automatic stamp of approval from pro-lifers, even if all evidence points to the candidate being insincere. I think it’s time to raise our standards.

Paul certainly wants Roe v. Wade overturned and the unborn defined as legal persons, but both methods mentioned above are unrealistic. The majority of Supreme Court justices in the last forty years have been Republican-appointed. Five of the seven justices who passed Roe v. Wade were Republican-appointed. Have we seen any attempts to overturn Roe since then? Of course not. And don’t forget, a Republican-appointed justice was the deciding factor in passing Obamacare. Gambling the lives of innocent children to the Supreme Court has been a losing game from the start. Only delusional gamblers keep playing.

Likewise, a constitutional amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states before it becomes law. Do we really think there are thirty-eight states willing to do so? Declaring the personhood of the unborn would take years to pass (if ever) with millions of abortions continuing in the meantime. This strategy is simply a distraction from the true solution.

Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act would have removed jurisdiction from the Supreme Court and defined the unborn as persons with full protection under the law. You don’t need new justices or amendments – the Constitution gives Congress the power to remove jurisdiction from the Supreme Court. Republicans could have passed this bill when they controlled all three branches of government under George W. Bush. Did they? Nope. Paul never received more than five cosponsors, but that didn’t stop him from introducing his bill every congressional session. In his current and final year in Congress, Paul’s bill has zero cosponsors.

Unfortunately, conservative evangelicals were largely critical of Paul during his political career. He was mistaken by many as “not pro-life enough” all because he didn’t use the typical rhetoric. In reality, Paul was perhaps the most pro-life congressman of this generation. The pro-life movement will not see many victories until we reassess our strategies and start following Paul’s example. May his efforts not be in vain; and may the Lord Jesus Christ raise up leaders who will carry on his legacy.

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