The Kuyperian Commentary

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

Archive for the tag “constitution”

Why Americans Always Choose the Wrong President

By Luke Welch

Constitution

The United States Suggestitution

We seem not to know who we are, and we do not know who we are looking for. We have been surprised to find out whom we have already chosen. Most of us are under the impression that we can correctly identify political candidates and the promise they hold by an old idea we had about their parties.

I know many democrats who are supportive of their party, because they believe it will aid Americans. Despite their misgivings about abortion, they don’t think anyone will get out of poverty without assistance. If this were true that the choice were between assistance and exploitation, then it would be understandable that people would swallow the bitter democrat pill.

I also know many republicans who are supportive of their party, because they believe it will aid Americans. Despite their misgivings about the weak promise keeping of past candidates, they keep on voting (R), becuase they think America will never be free of hard times with all the enforced social assistance. If this were true that the choice were between a meddling government and freedom, then it would be understandable that people swallow the giant rotten elephant.

One of the most pressing problems when facing the future of America under the weight of her own political machine is the problem of the continuous stream of Statism. Read more…

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Can North Carolina Make Christianity Its Official Religion?

Rowan CountyThomas Kidd is a contributing scholar to The Kuyperian Commentary. His newest book is Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, published in 2011 with Basic Books.

North Carolina legislators recently made an ill-fated attempt to introduce Christianity as the state’s official religion. The move was precipitated by an ACLU lawsuit against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, a board notorious for allowing people to utter Jesus’s name in prayers at their meetings. The establishment proposal generated a predictably breathless response from the left. WaPo’s Alexandra Petri sarcastically wrote, “The North Carolina state legislature can totally establish a state religion. The Founders specifically said so in Article III, in the part where the letters “EXCEPT NORTH CAROLINA CAN DO WHAT IT WANTS” appear in bold flashing letters.” 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…

US: A Promise

“US: A promise”

A Poem of American Love For Vision and Revision

by V. O. Waver

Know I would never have you doubt our love; it will endure
For we, the people, spoke our words: of them we may be sure
That they were never writ in stone – now we are more mature
of this united state, my love, be ever so secure

Don’t tell of ancient meaning laid within our founding caper
Don’t say your freedom was elusive, fleeting as a vapor
Don’t say your liberty was strong, but now you see it taper
There’s been a revolution, love; it’s just a piece of paper

Once all you wanted was the freedom to procure a tea
For me to harbor your decisions in obscurity
But I’ve decided what you need is not my purity
And I’ll be watching you my dear to give security

For I will never let you go, as sands of time do run
And I’ll be firm with promises as rising of the sun
Here to enact some sequences next decade to be done
Your mind can know my faithfulness, while I’m out having fun

I may not have the means to fund, but there’s a strange solution
I bless your scooting over, dear, to make room for intrusion
I bless your silence, as I force your frequent absolution
I bless your will to love a man of weakest constitution

——-

Luke Welch is a conservative in politics. He has a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary and preaches regularly in a conservative Anglican church in Maryland. He blogs about Bible structure at SUBTEXT.

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 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…

You Know Who to Call

I’ve been a fool.

For a number of years now, I have gone around criticizing federal programs of Republicans, and federal programs of Democrats as if they were burning down our economy. I have sneered at what I thought was nonsensical, wanton, or even devious. But I have been confronted with a basic error in interpreting the events in our country. As I look back, I am afraid my own mouth has been used to promote falsehoods. “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” I have prompted others to think as I did. I am sorry. I must use that same mouth to show what I should have seen.

We are indeed facing great conflagrations all around us – economic disaster, domestic security, oppression of the poor – the list goes on. Up to this day, I have thought that both George Bush and Barack Obama have been “throwing oil on the fire.” But I failed to see their daring to do what others were too weak to do. What I resisted was their very brilliance, and will be for us our great salvation. They were not throwing oil on the fire. They were going to beat the fire! When a forest fire threatens your home and community, how must you do battle? With the next sentence, you shall hear my repentance:

“You gotta fight fire with fire.”

Don’t you see? A controlled burn to create a barrier – that is how you stop the flames from licking at your heels! When something really awful is coming for you – you have to do the awful thing too! You have to do it first! And a lot! That way you will be immune! That way you won’t feel it when it gets there.

Take TARP for example. Back in my blindness, I would have told you that you can’t fix debt by adding on debt. They weren’t trying to make the debt larger! They were trying to make big, scary debt, right here, really fast…THAT way we would be really tired of debt and emotionally exhausted by it before it got here. Controlled burning, see!? They weren’t trying to conflagrate us, they were just controlling us. And that’s way better. You know for our own good.

But you know how fires catch on like ideas, and it’s a good thing too, because the controlled burn has been a good solution. And this style of burning the people has caught on everywhere. Which means they’ll probably be able to control more and more. And we can let them save us and won’t have to worry or fret or think anymore. Cheer up, you may think it isn’t widespread, but there are tons of areas they can burn us in. It’s going to be a wildfire!

Take domestic terrorism. It could be here at any moment. Out of 330 million people who are potential criminals, a good handful of us has already worked on doing domestic terror on our very own land. Will the raging fire of domestic terror get here first? NO, the government is already here at the scene of the future crime, and they aren’t merely getting ready to act. They have already started! They are fast at work, patting us down, and recording what we own, downloading our computer data, and taking photos with flying robot assassins. These robots could even get their own piece of the action. Don’t worry. Domestic terrorists may have flesh and blood, but they probably also have feelings, so these robots have an advantage – no analytical emotion to get in the way of triggering “fighting fire with fire!” Domestic future bad guys, prepare to be terrorized by the experts. Prepare to be put out of business by our corner on the market.

Consider violence against women. We can certainly round up the cash to pay for more Planned violence against women.

Consider elections – one sure fire way to get rid of current bad candidates is to put more bad candidates on the roster before they can hurt us with the bad candidates we already have.

Their waging an immeasurable war against us? We’ll wage an immeasurable war against them, whoever they are!

Unconstitutional legislation threatening us? We can throw a little unconstitutional court ruling at it!

Would you rather be burned first, or burned worst?  Think it through.

Learn controlled safety at home.

This thing is just jumping from roof to roof now! Control the burn! Control the people! Control the fear! If we all work together as one, there will be nothing we cannot accomplish!

Look, you don’t have to wait for the government to help you. You can get involved. You can, in your own small way, wage war against the coming debt crisis! You can immunize yourself to the wave of debt by making big, painful debt as close as your own pocket. Your own kids can know debt today, and be free from pain in the future.

So, I am sorry that I have suggested voting for candidates of small and principled followings. I am sorry that I pretended that fiscal responsibility meant fiscal restraint. I am sorry that I called for friends to investigate candidates who said “sound economic principles” were wise. I recognize how alone and wrong I was, now that I see the brilliance that both of our upstanding parties have shared. Just how many candidates want sound economic principles, anyway? Three? Two? One? And what is the sound of one economic principle clapping anyway? Exactly. If a tree burns in the woods, and no one is there to control it… you had better believe it’s burning toward your house. And before it gets there – you know who to call.

Political Education and the Future of the Republican Party

Pink Floyd’s monumental contribution to the world is found in this statement: “We don’t need no education!” Despite the political and psychedelic observation, our country needs a lot more education of the right kind. One of my greatest desires over the years has been to educate–imperfectly–friends and family on the virtues of the American view. I am under no compulsion to defend the perfection of the U.S. Constitution. I happen to believe that Patrick Henry’s skepticism is now well justified. At the same time, I am committed to the fact that we must use the tools that we have to fight the present intellectual war.

At this stage in American history, Christians have an important duty to educate the public by inculcating a form of transcendent morality. Politicians will not take this to be their main tasks. By and large they are concerned about their constituents’ response to their decisions and votes. This adds an immense amount of burden to politicians. They need greater burdens, but not the temptation to act even more unwisely. Naturally, I find this to be at least one reason for the vast inconsistencies we find in most of their voting records. Term limits, anyone?

As Republicans re-group, they are beginning to re-fill their savings for 2014. After suffering a loss of two seats in the Senate and a handful in the House, they are wondering what to do to restore those seats.

Is Constitutional education part of this reformation process in their minds? It is certainly not.

Out of the many tools, I believe the labors of the Institute on the Constitution could add tremendously to the general knowledge.

Christians need to be more strategic in their giving. After the tithe, where will our gifts be best used? According to The American Conservative, “Republicans spent $776 million this cycle…while the Super PAC’s put in another $296.5 million.” This is well over a billion dollars, which went mostly to Karl Rove and the “brotherhood of campaign consultants.”

Democrats are ideological in nature. They are seeking and proposing strategies that will genuinely change the make-up of the country–for the worse, we might add. But on the other hand, ideological Republicans are ridiculed. The reason for this–as Steve Deace observes–is that Republicans are seeking to control the party and not the country. When politicians propose tough transformations to the play-book, they are viewed as radicals.

While the GOP seeks to restore the White House to the next Republican candidate in 2017, will she seek this by more compromises or will she seek it through genuine education? We can’t promise immigrants more gifts as a way to secure their votes in the next election. We can’t promise welfare recipients more gifts as way to secure their votes in the next election. The Democrats have already won that fight. But we can go through the arduous task of educating a society. As Joel McDurmon states: “One County at a time.”

What role will Christians have in these next four years? Will we continue to seek another moderate candidate? Are Republican talking heads correct when they assert that we need an even more moderate leaning Republican candidate to reach the independent groups? Or will we pursue to train and participate in local elections and conversations, and thus influence the grassroots? Will we tap into this gigantic Tea Party and Constitutional storm that is brewing?

One thing is certain: Our political investments need to be in education, not enriching political consultants.

Romney’s Loss: The Abortion Factor

by Adam McIntosh

Nothing puzzled me more than when conservatives kept insisting that Mitt Romney was a pro-life candidate for president. Many voters cast their ballot for Romney last week because of the abortion issue alone. Likewise, many Americans – including Christians – didn’t vote for Romney because of the abortion issue alone. Not because they are pro-choice, but because they don’t believe Romney is truly pro-life. It is an undeniable fact that Mitt Romney has been on both sides of the abortion debate throughout his career. Inconsistency is usually a good sign of not being trustworthy, but people can change their minds. For now, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

The official narrative we are given is that Romney converted to the pro-life position in 2004. Throughout the 2012 campaign, he has used the typical pro-life rhetoric to his advantage. His website even had a great section on protecting the unborn. So far, so good. One could easily conclude that his days of supporting legal abortion and funding Planned Parenthood are done and in the past. But what did he say in the months leading up to election night?

On September 9th Romney was asked on NBC’s Meet The Press if he would fight to overturn Roe v. Wade. He replied:

Well, I don’t actually make the decision the Supreme Court makes and so they’ll have to make their own decision … I’ll reverse the president’s decision on using U.S. funds to pay for abortion outside this country. I don’t think also the taxpayers here should have to pay for abortion in this country … I hope to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution. And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.”

Though not the best answer, it is consistent with a pro-life position. Let’s continue.

On September 23rd Romney told CBS:

My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother. But recognize this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court. The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It’s been settled for some time in the courts.”

On October 9th Romney said to the Des Moines Register:

There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

The very next day, October 10th, Romney said:

I’m a pro-life candidate. I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget. And also I’ve indicated I’ll reverse the Mexico City position of the president. I will reinstate the Mexico City policy.”

On October 16th Romney releases a TV ad pandering to pro-choice voters:

You know, those ads saying Mitt Romney would ban all abortions and contraception seemed a bit extreme… Turns out, Romney doesn’t oppose contraception at all. In fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life.”

That’s five total statements regarding abortion over the span of five weeks and only two of them are consistent with a pro-life position. That means his pro-abortion statements outweigh his anti-abortion statements. His two good statements aren’t even unique to the pro-life movement! Certainly, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund abortions and Roe v. Wade should be overturned. But these ideals could just as well be uttered by a pro-choice constitutionalist. So, how should we interpret all of this?

Romney’s stated views are not exclusively pro-life and he can’t offer us a constitutional argument. He defers all responsibility to the Supreme Court, ignoring that the Constitution gives Congress the power to strip jurisdiction from federal courts. A pro-life president could push Congress to pass personhood legislation, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade. But not Romney. There’s no abortion legislation on his agenda, remember? The Supreme Court will have to make their own decision, remember? Romney wants abortion to be legal, remember? He alluded to abortion being a valid form of contraception, remember? It makes one wonder what’s left for Romney to be “pro-life” about.

There may have been legitimate reasons to vote for Romney last week. Unfortunately, pro-life activism wasn’t one of them.

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