The Kuyperian Commentary

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

Archive for the tag “freedom”

The Irony of Independence Day

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By Andrew Isker

Today as an American, if you were to log into social media, turn on the television, or even step outside your front door, you would hear the refrain, “I am thankful for our freedom, because we live in America.” While it is good to celebrate the few freedoms we do have left, to do so without any idea of where we came from and where we are going is utterly foolish.

That we have more freedom than, say, the subjects of the Soviet Union or Mao’s China, is not up for debate. We are not forced to starve on collectivist farms, nor herded into a gulag if we complain about it. And for all I know, today America might be the most free country in the entire world. But Americans in 2013 are far less free than Americans in 1776. For that matter, Americans in 2013 are far less free than Americans in 2012. This country would be unrecognizable to 18th century Americans. And it wouldn’t be (just) because of airplanes, iPhones, and automobiles. It would be because we think a people who are spied on, who are compelled to pay onerous taxes, and who are so enslaved to lust they would murder one million babies per year are free. If one were to look at the list of grievances against King George III in the Declaration of Independence, almost all of them could be levied against our government, and in fact, far more damning grievances could be added if the document was written with the U.S. Federal Government, rather than the British Monarch, in mind: 

 “He has intruded upon the privacy of a free people, and has protected the criminals who tread upon our rights.”

 “He has furnished the heathen with arms, allowing him to slaughter our good Christian brethren.”

 “He has perverted the institutions of our society; he has called evil ‘good’ and good ‘evil.’”

 “He has played the whore with houses of commerce, and willfully aided their despicable machinations.”

 It should be noted, that while 1776 is a good historical marker to show how much our freedom has diminished, to set that time up as a standard for freedom is idolatrous. Our ultimate standard for what freedom and a free people looks like must be the Word of God, not the ideals of 18th Century secessionists (who, lest we forget, were largely guided by a biblical idea of freedom). And the only way for freedom to be restored in this country is repentance and faith in Jesus Christ to sweep across the country. And when that comes, celebration of Independence Day will no longer be ironic.

What if Church and State Aren’t Separated? A Comparison

I spent eight days in Ireland recently, and while I was there I was struck by the way the Irish people approach their government–along with similarities I’ve seen in my travels in other European countries. What follows is an overly simplistic description of that approach. I want to compare it to the approach we take in the States. The result will be not so much a judgment of which is better or worse, but rather what the ramifications of each are.At the Crossroads

The United States is a nation of people whose identity is defined by two things: 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…

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.

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.

Do minimum wage laws help either the poor or the overall economy?

R.C. Sproul Jr. is a special contributor to Kuyperian Commentary

No, on both counts. Our labor is a service. Its value is determined neither by law nor by wish but by the market. All of us, I suspect, would love to be paid $1,000 an hour.  Given that all of us would want this, why don’t we pass a law stating no one could be paid less than $1,000 an hour? Were we to do so, I suspect that some athletes, some rock stars and perhaps a few actors would still be employed. The rest of us, however, would be out of work. There is no employer out there willing to pay me that much. (If you disagree, by all means, let me know who they are.)

I would, of course, also have to let go my butcher, my baker and my candlestick maker. As much as I like them, and value their services, I would rather keep $1000 in my pocket than hire any of them for even an hour. This, is it not, is pretty easy to see? The question is, why do we think dropping the number down to $9 an hour would make any difference to the principle? The concepts do not change simply by plugging in different numbers. I’m grateful my employers value my labor more than $9 an hour. That is, they gladly give up more than $9 in exchange for an hour of my labor.

But what if they didn’t? Anyone whose services are not valued by any employer at a rate of $9 an hour will be out of work. Any job not deemed important enough to pay $9 an hour to have it done will not be done. This, of course, hurts those on the lowest economic rung the hardest. I might have to do a job myself, or leave it undone if I don’t want to trade $9 an hour to have it done. But the fellow who would love to make $8 an hour is out of work and out of luck, all because the federal government thinks it can suspend the laws of economics.

Do people really think in these terms, valuing certain jobs at certain rates? Yes, we, in a manner of speaking do. We all make decisions whether to buy this or that. And this or that can and often does include the labor of others. As I write I am on an airplane. When I got to the airport I could have paid a porter to take by bags at the curb. I didn’t, but schlepped them to the ticket counter myself. Why? Because I would rather carry my own bags and the few dollars in my pocket, than give someone else my bags and my dollars. I don’t know how much it costs to have a porter take your bags. I don’t know exactly how much I’d be willing to pay. I do know, however, that I am not willing to pay what it cost, or I would have hired one. I’ve never stopped to figure it out because I know it’s not even a close call.

Economics on the small scale matches economics on the large scale. That is, my decision not to hire the porter is the same kind of decision we all make, the same kind of decision countless employees will make when the federal government declares it a crime to trade labor for money at $8.99 an hour. Minimum wage laws hurt those they claim to help, and the rest of us too. The only thing they help is politicians who win votes from the economically illiterate with such dangerous demagoguery. This issue is so simple, so basic, I cannot help but conclude that those who propose and vote for such laws do so knowing they are hurting the poor.  They are not that stupid. They are, however, that heartless.

Originally posted here.

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