The Kuyperian Commentary

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

Archive for the tag “liberty”

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.

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…

Romeike v. Hitler

by Marc Hays, homeschooling father of six.

Romeike_family_outdoorsNext Tuesday, April 23, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be hearing arguments in the Romeike v. Holder case.  The Romeikes have fled Germany and found asylum in the U.S. in order to avoid persecution by German government officials.  Based on a 1938 Nazi German law, parents are denied the fundamental human right to educate their children according to the dictates of their religion.  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…

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…

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.

A Cup of Poison to the Lips of Liberalism

English Speaking Justice

Are you a liberal?  G. P. Grant thinks you’re insane if you’re not. In his 1974 book, English-Speaking Justice, he proposes,

“Liberalism in its generic form is surely something that all decent men accept as good—‘conservatives’ included.  In so far as the word ‘liberalism’ is used to describe the belief that political liberty is a central human good, it is difficult for me to consider as sane those who would deny that they are liberals.”

Is this merely semantic quibbling? Without any more being said, I suppose, yes, it would be nothing more than a violation of Paul’s admonition to Timothy to “not quarrel about words” (2 Tim 2:14), but what if in the end it isn’t?  To quarrel about words would be like quarrelling about anything else—fruitless. To be succinct with our words would be to be like God, who has revealed Himself using words that mean one thing, therefore not meaning something else.

In his 1955 work, The Defense of the Faith, Cornelius Van Til states, “the ‘what’ must precede the ‘that’; the connotation must precede the denotation; at least the latter cannot be discussed intelligently without at once considering the former.”  In other words, how can we know what we’re talking about unless the words representing the ideas we’re discussing mean one thing instead of another?  Van Til asks how we can discuss the existence of a god, if the god in question has no definite attributes.  The ‘what’ must precede the ‘that’.

In our current political landscape, ‘liberal’ has become synonymous with ‘Democrat’, while ‘conservative’ equals ‘Republican’.  G. P. Grant argues that perhaps the Republican relationship with conservatism is accurate, but the Democratic comparison should be with ‘progressivism’ instead of with ‘liberalism’.  For the Democrat, liberty is not the goal as much as progress is, and if progress is the goal, then it is one that can never be reached.  A traveler can never arrive at their destination, if the only reason to go on the trip is to be in a state of perpetual motion.

100 years ago, G. K. Chesterton summed-up progressivism in his work, “Heretics”.   He wrote,

“It is not merely true that the age which has settled least what is progress is this ‘progressive’ age. It is, moreover, true that the people who have settled least what is progress are the most ‘progressive’ people in it. The ordinary mass, the men who have never troubled about progress, might be trusted perhaps to progress.”

So when Barak Obama ran on the monoplankular platform of “Change” in 2008, the election’s outcome showed that Americans were indeed progressivists and not liberals at all.  “We don’t care where you take us, Mr. Obama, as long as you get us out of here.”  As his two terms have progressed, we’ve found President Obama to be quite the conservative as he maintains many of Bush’s policies that he pledged to “change”, and quite the opposite of a true liberal as he’s sought to repossess American liberties granted by America’s Fathers in her Constitution.  While admitting that the word ‘liberal’ has come to mean only ‘secular liberal’, Grant stresses that this does not change the fact that the underlying foundations of liberty and freedom remain constant.   Since liberty is still the opposite of tyranny, the word ’liberal’ is has become a misnomer– a glaring misnomer that we’re now stuck with.

In Part IV of English-Speaking Justice, Grant gets to his most salient point by describing Roe v. Wade as the “cup of poison to the lips of liberalism”.  He elegantly shows that between two members of the same species, the “right” of the one to exist should outweigh the “right” of the other to enjoy privacy and comfort.  However, the high court’s decision to refuse the term ‘person’ to one still in utero, reveals that modern liberalism is not about human rights at all.  Humans in the womb and humans outside of the womb are still both humans by scientific definition, but the modern liberal agenda set this empirically verifiable fact aside and replaced it with an abstraction of ‘personhood’ that allowed them to cater to a constituency that furthered their political agendas instead of one that didn’t.

Dr. Roberta Bayer, at Patrick Henry College, has summarized Grant’s analysis this way:

“Although the court claimed to be confining its decision to the categories given by the American Constitution, interpreted within a liberal world view, it still found a basis ‘for denying the most elementary right of traditional justice to members of our own species.”  Thus, the justices must have held certain philosophical assumptions about being (nature) that were genealogically connected to some other philosophical tradition, a tradition neither guided by the Constitution, nor by what might be known scientifically about the development of the fetus in utero.  In fact, the evidence of science would have made it more, rather than less, reasonable to hold that the fetus is a distinct individual with a given nature.”

Whereas American liberalism had been fighting for ‘justice’ and ‘equality’ for nearly 200 years, Roe stands in a stark contrast to those noble concepts.  All that had been gained for equal human rights might as well be trampled underfoot, for the salt has lost it’s savor. All of the arguments for equal rights between slaves and free men;  all of the arguments for equal rights between women and men;  all of the arguments for equal rights between blacks and whites are totally eclipsed by the court-sanctioned murder of the most vulnerable members of our species.  The 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, has to be the most inegalitarian U. S. document ever written, and it was the product of the liberal left–the ‘champions’ of equal rights.

Based on Grant’s definition of a ‘liberal’ as “someone who believes political liberty is a central human good”, the pro-life movement has out-liberalled the liberals by mammoth proportions.  How can a so-called liberal deny the weakest members of its species the right to exist and still lay any legitimate claim to be a defender of liberty and equality?  They can’t.  They have placed the poisoned cup to their lips and drunk deeply.  Liberalism is dead, and the death has been ruled a suicide.

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