The General Welfare | Righting Constitutional Misconceptions

From My “Concepts” Series

It was the author of the U.S. Constitution James Madison, who proclaimed:

  • “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

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In this latest example (originally posted Sept of 2012) of John Van Huzuim’s conflating terms and ideas, we see a prime  example of how liberals will argue. First, let us deal with how the framers of the Constitution understood “General Welfare,” and not what John says it means or how he thinks conservative Republicans understand it. Here is some input from two of the authors of the Constitution, professor Williams explains:

On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine men signed the U.S. Constitution. Each year since 2004, we have celebrated Constitution Day as a result of legislation fathered by Senator Robert Byrd that requires federal agencies, and every school that receives federal funds, including universities, to have some kind of program on the Constitution. I cannot think of a more deceitful piece of legislation or a more constitutionally odious person to father it – a person who is known as, and proudly wears the label, “King of Pork.” The only reason that Constitution Day is not greeted with contempt is because most Americans are totally ignorant about the framer’s vision in writing our constitution. Let’s examine that vision to see how much faith and allegiance today’s Americans give to the U.S. Constitution.

James Madison is the acknowledged father of the constitution. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia. James Madison wrote disapprovingly, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Today, at least two-thirds of a $2.5 trillion federal budget is spent on the “objects of benevolence.” That includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, aid to higher education, farm and business subsidies, welfare, ad nauseam.

A few years later, James Madison’s vision was expressed by Representative William Giles of Virginia, who condemned a relief measure for fire victims. Giles insisted that it was neither the purpose nor a right of Congress to “attend to what generosity and humanity require, but to what the Constitution and their duty require.”

In 1827, Davy Crockett was elected to the House of Representatives. During his term of office a $10,000 relief measure was proposed to assist the widow of a naval officer. Davy Crockett eloquently opposed the measure saying, “Mr. Speaker: I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a popular measure to help the mentally ill saying, “I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity.” To approve the measure “would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.” During President Grover Cleveland’s two terms in office, he vetoed many congressional appropriations, often saying there was no constitutional authority for such an appropriation. Vetoing a bill for relief charity, President Cleveland said, “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.”

Compared to today, yesteryear’s vision vastly differs in what congressional actions are constitutionally permissible. How might today’s congress, president and courts square their behavior with that of their predecessors? The most generous interpretation of their behavior I can give is their misunderstanding of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that reads, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” Misuse of the “general welfare” clause serves as warrant for Congress to do just about anything upon which it can secure a majority vote.

The framers addressed the misinterpretation of the “general welfare clause. James Madison said, in a letter to James Robertson, “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare’, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” James Madison also said, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison laid out what he saw as constitutional limits on federal power in Federalist Paper Number 45 where he explained, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.”

Thomas Jefferson explained in a letter to Albert Gallatin, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

What accounts for today’s acceptance of a massive departure from the framer’s clear vision of what federal activities were constitutionally permissible? It is tempting to blame politicians and yes we can blame them some but most of the blame lies with the American people who are either ignorant of the constitutional limits the framers imposed on the federal government or they have contempt for those limits….

…read more…

POLITISTICK notes the difference when they write: “Progressives and their communist cousins — even RINOs (Republicans in name only) will argue the ‘General Welfare’ clause is somehow being authorization for the federal government to spend on anything members of Congress dreams up.” Continuing Madison is again quoted from:

James Madison, in his brilliance, anticipated this argument, of course, and shot it down on several different occasions:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.”

In other words, if the words “general welfare” meant going outside of the enumerated powers, there would have been no reason to even write the enumerated powers in the first place!

Madison further imagined where Congress might stretch the General Welfare clause if it were misinterpreted to be open-ended:

If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads. 

In short, everything, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.

[….]

For all of the reasons above, with the Democrat Party all but merging with the Communist Party USA and the Republicans, led by big government RINO’s Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, only wanting slightly smaller and just barely less unconstitutional than the Democrats, I strongly support both the Convention of States and the Federalist Party. Both parties are arguing which can bastardize the U.S. Constitution the most. We know that the Democrats will always be the most aggressive in this venture but the Republicans are not far behind.

The Sage from South-Central

Larry Elder  on his radio program takes a call in regards to this exact same understanding of the General Welfare Clause.

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Ben Franklin Money Quote

  • I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. (Ben Franklin)

In another ARTICLE Professor Williams ends with this, and I think it is suitable for this discussion:

You might say, “If our Constitution provides no authority for programs near and dear to the hearts of so many Americans, the heck with the Constitution.” If that’s your perspective, you’re in good company. The Courts, Congress and the White House beat you to it. Long ago they said, “The heck with the Constitution.”

This is what John is saying, the heck with the constitution! Take note as well that not only does he miss-defines what conservative think, he also argues for police and fire personnel, and then from there jumps to welfare programs (the war on poverty, so-called). (Remember what I always point out with John? Non-sequiturs… he is full of them.) Now, Obama-Care is placed under this umbrella the writers of the clause rejected. I will end here with Professor Williams in regards to Obama-Care:

Here is the second part to POLITISTICK’s post on the matter… love me some Madison!

…Only certain, specifically identified powers, called “enumerated powers,” were delegated to the federal government from the states — powers that the Founding Fathers believed were best performed on a national basis, duties like “provide for the common defense,” to coin money, establish uniform immigration laws, “Post Offices,” treaties with foreign nations, to regulate (which does not mean restrict) interstate commerce, and a few others. These powers were clearly listed in Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution.

James Madison, considered the main author and father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist #45, regarding the Alleged Danger from the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered, the following two sentences that summarize this principle of state sovereignty and a limited federal government:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Madison further described the proper role for the soon-to-be federal government versus the unique roles of the individual states:

“The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

So (let’s forget the politicized decision by the tyrants in black robes who declared Obamacare constitutional — it is not) what does this mean? Would a full single-payer healthcare system like the one proposed in California (which would have more than doubled the entire state budget) be allowed by the U.S. Constitution?

You bet it would — on the state level — but NOT on the national level. If people in California want to more than double their already exorbitant taxes in order to pay for such a system, they are allowed to under the Tenth Amendment, which states, referring to Article I, Section 8:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nowhere in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution among the enumerated powers are the words, medicine, health care, doctor visits, surgery, healthcare insurance (yes, people got sick in the late 1700’s and there were doctors and medicine), or anything like this even remotely mentioned as a power being transferred by the states to the federal government…..

Concepts: “Is Reality Merely a Perception?” (UPDATED)

(As usual you can enlarge the article by clicking on it.) I enjoyed this weeks Concepts by John Van Huizum. While he showed the usual lack of deep study and merely expresses opinion as such, he is right about one thing… reality is perception. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1996), the 9th District Appeals Court wrote:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”

 I have a feeling that John would agree with the following statement:

“If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own reality…”

More on Johns Relativism (cultural relativism/subjectivism, relativism, pluralism) later.

In Christian apologetics, often times the person doing the perceiving is said to have a pair of colored glasses on:

The right eyeglasses can put the world into clearer focus, and the correct worldview can function in much the same way. When someone looks at the world from the perspective of the wrong worldview, the world won’t make much sense to him. Or what he thinks makes sense will, in fact, be wrong in important respects. Putting on the right conceptual scheme, that is, viewing the world through the correct worldview, can have important repercussions for the rest of the person’s understanding of events and ideas… Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 17-18, 9.

After this mentioning of “perceptions,” or, really one’s worldview, John starts down his normal rabbit trail of ideas stuck together, his straw-men “set-ups,” and the like. For instance, perceptions are often changed… usually when an unprepared youth of faith goes off to college and finds a university teaming with…

evolutionary psychology (for instance, atheist defender Sam Harris makes the Darwinian psychological statement that “…there’s nothing more natural than rape. Human beings rape, chimpanzees rape, orangutans rape, rape clearly is part of an evolutionary strategy to get your genes into the next generation if you’re a male.”);

ϟ science (often put forward in the classroom as “scientism“);

and militant skepticism.

…they will typically reject their childhood faith, and not set foot into a church till their thirties/forties. It is said that men stop going to church at 18 when their mom stops dragging them, and start back up when their wife drags em’ back (why men hate church).

People first became aware of the problem after hearing the results of a Barna Research Group study that said that between 67% and 94% of Christian students (depending on denomination), within 18 months of graduating high school, are no longer at church. This report was given in 2002 and showed that the largest protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, was losing an average of 88% of their students while in college. (Why Apologetics)

Typically though, later in life the person in question will start reading some scholarly Christian works, or family harkens them to their childhood faith, someone close dies, life hits em’ hard, something happens that draws them back into their faith. Even within someone’s faith there are levels of trust in believing. Professor Stokes points out that such doubt is natural to a person,

Often, however, the cause of our doubt isn’t what you might think. It isn’t necessarily the strength of the arguments that rattles us, but the way they resonate with the unbeliever in each of us (what the Bible calls the “old self”). We hear Tokyo Rose’s voice and she seems to make pretty good sense sometimes. Yet more often than not, if we look closely at the atheist’s arguments, we find that there is little substance. Seeing this can change the argument’s frequency and therefore break its spell. Believers often worry that their doubts signify the rapid approach of full-blown unbelief. But as pastor and author Tim Keller puts it,

Faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic.

All thoughtful believers—even those whose faith is mature—encounter doubt. Not a single person has had unadulterated faith. In any case, it certainly won’t do to ignore your doubts, and defusing them will only strengthen your faith. To be sure, doubts can be strong enough to become a trial in your life; but like all trials, they’re meant to refine faith, not stifle it.

Mitch Stokes, A Shot of Faith: To the Head (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012), xvii. (Emphasis added!)

So people are a bit more complicated than space could allow John to state, or that he cares to ponder. I will also agree with him that this conversation has been going on a very long time.* Cicero is a great example, he was born in 106 BC and died in 43 BC, and said the following in response to the skeptics of his day:

But if the structure of the world in all its parts is such that it could not have been better whether in point of utility or beauty, let us consider whether this is the result of chance, or whether on the contrary the parts of the world are in such a condition that they could not possibly have cohered together if they were not controlled by intelligence and by divine providence. If then the products of nature are better than those of art, and if art produces nothing without reason, nature too cannot be deemed to be without reason. When you see a statue or a painting, you recognize the exercise of art; when you observe from a distance the course of a ship, you do not hesitate to assume that its motion is guided by reason and by art; when you look at a sun-dial or a water-clock, you infer that it tells the time by art and not by chance; how then can it be consistent to suppose that the world, which includes both the works of art in question, the craftsmen who made them, and everything else besides, can be devoid of purpose and of reason? Suppose a traveller to carry into Scythia or Britain the orrery recently constructed by our friend Posidonius, which at each revolution reproduces the same motions of the sun, the moon and the five planets that take place in the heavens every twenty-four hours, would any single native doubt that this orrery was the work of a rational being? These thinkers however raise doubts about the world itself from which all things arise and have their being, and debate whether it is the product of chance or necessity of some sort, or of divine reason and intelligence;

Cicero, Nature of the Gods, Translated by H. Rackam, pp. 207-209

So yes, important topics and questions are new to every generation, but these queries have been asked for a very long time, and should continue to be. Believing that mankind will outgrow their “superstitious” faith is merely someone displaying their metaphysical naturalist presuppositions. Now on to another aspect of a statement by John. He said,

“Atheism has been aided by scientific discoveries and rigorous questioning.”

I think this is true if one looks at the situation wrongly. When people do not try on other pairs of glasses, become skeptical of their skepticism, do not use self-refuting propositions (similar to Vincent Bugliosi), or study to see which worldview offers a better explanation, they can become ideologues (religious or secular):

… a “coherent worldview must be able to satisfactorily answer four questions: that of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.” He says that while every major religion makes exclusive claims about truth, “the Christian faith is unique in its ability to answer all four of these questions.” These questions are the bedrock of any worldview… that holds any weight at least.

Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us From Evil (Nashville, TN: Word Publishers, 1997), 219–220; taken from the first chapter of my book.

For example, apologist Lee Strobel talks to a philosopher about the evidence that culminated in many atheists rejecting (or wanting to reject) science because of its implications FOR God, or origins [Side note… Einstein introduced the Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, when applied to the universe as a whole in 1915, it became known as the General Theory of Relativity]:

When Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity in 1915 and started applying it to the universe as a whole, he was shocked to discover it didn’t allow for a static universe. According to his equations, the universe should either be exploding or imploding. In order to make the universe static, he had to fudge his equations by putting in a facto that would hold the universe steady.

In the 1920’s, the Russian mathematician Alexander Friedman and the Belgium astronomer George Lemaitre were able to develop models based on Einstein’s theory. They predicted the universe was expanding. Of course, this meant that if you went backward in time, the universe would go back to a single origin before which it didn’t exist. Astronomer Fred Hoyle derisively called this the Big Bang — and the name stuck!

Starting in the 1920’s, scientists began to find empirical evidence that supported these purely mathematical models. For instance, in 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light coming to us from distant galaxies appears redder than it should be, and this is a universal feature of galaxies in all parts of the sky. Hubble explained this red shift as being due to the fact that the galaxies are moving away from us. He concluded that the universe is literally flying apart at enormous velocities. Hubble’s astronomical observations were the first empirical confirmation of the predictions by Friedman and Lemaitre.

Then in the 1940’s, George Gamow predicted that if the Big Bang really happened, then the background temperature of the universe should be just a few degrees above absolute zero. He said this would be a relic from a very early stage of the universe. Sure enough, in 1965, two scientists accidentally discovered the universe’s background radiation — and it was only about 3.7 degrees above absolute zero. There’s no explanation for this apart from the fact that it is a vestige of a very early and a very dense state of the universe, which was predicted by the Big Bang model.

The third main piece of the evidence for the Big Bang is the origin of light elements. Heavy elements, like carbon and iron, are synthesized in the interior of stars and then exploded through supernova into space. But the very, very light elements, like deuterium and helium, cannot have been synthesized in the interior of the stars, because you would need an even more powerful furnace to create them. These elements must have been forged in the furnace of the Big Bang itself at temperatures that were billions of degrees. There’s no other explanation.

So predictions about the Big Bang have been consistently verified by the scientific data. Moreover, they have been corroborated by the failure of every attempt to falsify them by alternative models. Unquestionably, the Big Bang model has impressive scientific credentials . . . . Up to this time, it was taken for granted that the universe as a whole was a static, eternally existing object . . . . At the time an agnostic, American astronomer Robert Jastrow was forced to concede that although details may differ, “the essential element in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy”…. Einstein admitted the idea of the expanding universe “irritates me” (presumably, said one prominent scientist, “because of its theological implications”).

Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Towards God (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 105-106, 112.

Here are just two (of the many examples I can provide) of an atheist and an agnostic commenting on the above evidence:

“The essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy…. The Hubble Law is one of the great discoveries in science; it is one of the main supports of the scientific story of Genesis.” ~ Robert Jastrow: American astronomer and physicist. Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, he is the director of the Mount Wilson Institute and Hale Solar Laboratory. He is also the author of Red Giants and White Dwarfs (1967) and God and the Astronomers (2nd ed., 2000).

“Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.” ~ Robert Wilson: is an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB)…. While working on a new type of antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, they found a source of noise in the atmosphere that they could not explain. After removing all potential sources of noise, including pigeon droppings on the antenna, the noise was finally identified as CMB, which served as important corroboration of the Big Bang theory.

Dr. George Smoot, Particle Physicist, Nobel Prize winner, and team leader from the Lawrence-Berkeley Laboratory, regarding the 1992 observations from COBE (the NASA satellite Cosmic Background Explorer): “It’s like looking at God.”(8)

A somewhat more “sober” assessment of the findings was given by Frederick Burnham, a science-historian. He said, “These findings, now available, make the idea that God created the universe a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years.”(9)

Dr. Stephen Hawking (Theoretical Physicist) described the big bang ripples observations as “the scientific discovery of the century, if not all time.”(10)

Dr. George Greenstein (Professor of Astronomy at Amherst.): “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or, rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”(11)

Sir Arthur Eddington (British Astrophysicist): “The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory.”(12)

Dr. Arno Penzias (Nobel Prize winner in physics, co-discoverer of the microwave background radiation from the Big Bang): “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.”(13)

Sir Roger Penrose (Physicist, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, and joint developer of the Hawking-Penrose Theorems): “I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance.” (14)

Dr. Robert Jastrow (Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”(15)

Dr. Frank Tipler (Professor of Math and Physics at Tulane University): “When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”(16). Tipler since has actually converted to Christianity, resulting in his latest book, The Physics Of Christianity.

Dr. Alexander Polyakov (String Theorist, Princeton): “We know that nature is described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it.”(17)

Dr. Edward Milne (British Astrophysicist, former Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, Oxford): “As to the cause of the Universe, in context of expansion, that is left for the reader to insert, but our picture is incomplete without Him [God].”(18)

Dr. Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981 Nobel Prize in physics): “It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious…. I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life.”(19)

Dr. Wernher von Braun (German-American Pioneer Rocket Scientist) “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”(20)

Dr. Frank Tipler (Professor of Math and Physics at Tulane University): “From the perspective of the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an experimentally testable science.”(21)


Footnotes for this quote


8) Thomas H. Maugh, II (April 24, 1992). “Relics of Big Bang, Seen for First Time”. Los Angeles Times: pp. Al, A30.

9) The Los Angeles Times, Saturday 2nd May 1992.

10) Smoot, George, Wrinkles in Time, 2007 edition , cover.

11) Greenstein, G. 1988. The Symbiotic Universe. New York: William Morrow, p.27.

12) Heeren, F. 1995. Show Me God. Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 233.

13) Margenau, H and R.A. Varghese, ed. 1992. Cosmos, Bios, and Theos. La Salle, IL, Open Court, p. 83.

14) Penrose, R. 1992. A Brief History of Time (movie). Burbank, CA, Paramount Pictures, Inc.

15) Jastrow, R. 1978. God and the Astronomers. New York, W.W. Norton, p. 116.

16) Tipler, F.J. 1994. The Physics Of Immortality. New York, Doubleday, Preface.

17) Gannes, S. October 13, 1986. Fortune. p. 57

18) Heeren, F. 1995. Show Me God. Wheeling, IL, Searchlight Publications, p. 166-167.

19) Margenau, H. and R. A. Varghese, eds. Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens (Open Court Pub. Co., La Salle, IL, 1992).

20) McIver, T. 1986. Ancient Tales and Space-Age Myths of Creationist Evangelism. The Skeptical Inquirer 10:258-276.

21) McIver, T. 1986. Ancient Tales and Space-Age Myths of Creationist Evangelism. The Skeptical Inquirer 10:258-276.

So, far from atheism being supported by science, the theistic worldview has been exemplified above all other models of interpretation (perceptions) of reality. Mind you this isn’t “proof” how the naturalist wrongly interprets the empirical method (scientific positivism), but it is a probability that exceeds others. (I suggest taking time, about an hour, and listen to this presentation by William Lane Craig on the evidences for theism over other worldviews.) Here John makes one of his signature jumps from one topic to a completely different one. I sometimes feel — shot in the dark again — he does this with the idea that he is saying something “scientific” and that everyone should credit his knowledge in on this particular topic (which is not the case), and then he brings that “trust” into a completely different topic.

Odd, to say the least. At any rate, freedom is something atheism does not account for, determinism is (enjoy the John Cleese video to the right). But that is a subject left for another day.

At this pivot point regarding freedom in one sentence to abortion in the following deserves some attention. Mr. Van Huizum seems to think that those who stand against abortion are doing so because God says. There are many atheists who are pro-life. How do they make their argument then? Science! Oooooh DRAT! Foiled by his own premise. If John had a grave to roll over in, he would. Here, for example, is model Kathy Ireland using the scientific laws to make her point:

Kathy Ireland, many years ago, was on Bill Mahers Politically Incorrectand the discussion that ensued shows the frailty of the liberal/relativistic position:

Bill Maher: Kathy, why do you oppose a women’s right to choose

Kathy Ireland: Bill, when my husband was going to medical school I underwent a transformation. Because I used to be in favor of abortion. But I noticed when I was reading through some of his medical teaching books, that according to a law in science known as the law of biogenesis, every living thing reproduces after it own kind. That means dog produce dogs, cats produce cats, humans produce humans. If we want to know what something is we simply ask what are its parents. If we know what the parents are, we know what the thing in question is. And I reasoned from that because human parents can only produce human offspring, unborn human fetuses could be nothing but human beings, because the law of biogenesis rules out every other alternative. And I concluded therefore that because human fetuses were part of our family, we should not harm them without justification.

Bill Maher: Well Kathy, that’s just your opinion!

In October 2002, Kathy Ireland made a compelling argument against abortion on the Fox News Channel’s Hannity and Colmes political debate show. Alan Colmes described Ireland’s opinions as religious, but Ireland said that her views on abortion do not stem from faith. She asserted that even atheists could realize that abortion is wrong. Kathy told Alan that her belief is founded in science and technology, which she says, “has come a long way since Roe vs. Wade.”

Ireland also defended her values as being pro-women, stating, “We need to support these women who are in crisis pregnancy situations.” She claimed that because scientific evidence proves that abortion is murder, “I have no choice but to defend the most vulnerable among us.”

Here is one the best presentations detailing some of the above by Scott Klusendorf, a guy who’s specialty is the pro-life position in contradistinction to the pro-choice one. [Actually, since one position is “pro-life,” the other one is rightfully the “pro-death” position.] (Audio presentation to the right, 30-minutes.) So John Van Huizum’s statement that the pro-life position is merely based on “God says so” seems to be — either out of ignorance or bias — a straw-man argument of what the other side truly believes. Again, John seems to cheapen these important issues, not giving the other side its proper due.

Right when you think Mr. Huizum is staying on one topic, he switches again in his last paragraph by quoting a verse about taxes, as if this verse has something to do with a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. I dissect this position quite a bit in my paper found here, but this quote from a seminary level text that touches on the idea (separating the religious realm from the secular) John expresses:

Such “exclude religion” arguments are wrong because marriage is not a religion! When voters define marriage, they are not establishing a religion. In the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the word “religion” refers to the church that people attend and support. “Religion” means being a Baptist or Catholic or Presbyterian or Jew. It does not mean being married. These arguments try to make the word “religion” in the Constitution mean something different from what it has always meant.

These arguments also make the logical mistake of failing to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law. There were religious reasons behind many of our laws, but these laws do not “establish” a religion. All major religions have teachings against stealing, but laws against stealing do not “establish a religion.” All religions have laws against murder, but laws against murder do not “establish a religion.” The campaign to abolish slavery in the United States and England was led by many Christians, based on their religious convictions, but laws abolishing slavery do not “establish a religion.” The campaign to end racial discrimination and segregation was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, who preached against racial injustice from the Bible. But laws against discrimination and segregation do not “establish a religion.”

If these “exclude religion” arguments succeed in court, they could soon be applied against evangelicals and Catholics who make “religious” arguments against abortion. Majority votes to protect unborn children could then be invalidated by saying these voters are “establishing a religion.” And, by such reasoning, all the votes of religious citizens for almost any issue could be found invalid by court decree! This would be the direct opposite of the kind of country the Founding Fathers established, and the direct opposite of what they meant by “free exercise” of religion in the First Amendment.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 31.

So you see that — again — John’s understating of theology, culture, philosophy and science is one that is the culmination (I suspect) of a life lived rejecting the other side of the issue as mere opinion… or worse yet, as delusional, without really taking into consideration the best of the opposing views scholarly arguments. All this evidence being shown I suspect that john rejects faith, God, conservative ideals for psychological reasons more than evidential. I will begin to end this critique with a presentation by Dr. Paul C. Vitz, Professor of Psychology at New York University (emeritus?).

Now, I promised to end with more on a quote I used from the 9th District Court that I thought John would agree with. Let’s compare a portion from both statements:

1) “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life…”

2) “…the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own reality…”

Whether you’re an Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Muslim, agnostic, [Democrat, Republican, Libertarian], it doesn’t matter. Your reality is just that… your reality, or opinion, or personal dogma. I want to now complete one of the quotes that I left somewhat edited, not only that, but I want to ask you if you still agree with it after you find out who wrote it.

Ready?

“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”

Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.

______________________________________________________

*As the link points out, intelligent design is not a recent invention of creationists and their response to “lost” court case. Here is more:

Is intelligent design based on the Bible?

No. The idea that human beings can observe signs of intelligent design in nature reaches back to the foundations of both science and civilization. In the Greco-Roman tradition, Plato and Cicero both espoused early versions of intelligent design. In the history of science, most scientists until the latter part of the nineteenth century accepted some form of intelligent design, including Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution by natural selection. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, meanwhile, the idea that design can be discerned in nature can be found not only in the Bible but among Jewish philosophers such as Philo and in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. The scientific community largely rejected design in the early twentieth century after neo-Darwinism claimed to be able to explain the emergence of biological complexity through the unintelligent process of natural selection acting on random mutations. In recent decades, however, new research and discoveries in such fields as physics, cosmology, biochemistry, genetics, and paleontology have caused a growing number of scientists and science theorists to question neo-Darwinism and propose intelligent design as the best explanation for the existence of specified complexity throughout the natural world.

Concepts: Proposition 8 [NOH8] ~ Non-Sequiturs (EDITED)

(Originally posted 4-6-2013) Just a quick note on when John says (see below) that he doubts “the origin of homosexuality will be discussed,” he does not discuss it either (if there is even an “origin” to be discussed). And while I admit to not following John’s every contribution to mankind, I doubt John has ever talked about it either, or, if he has, he proffered internally contradictory points. Okay, diving right in… some points I will be working on throughout the post found in the article:

1) Classification by the leading psychiatric group in America (jump);

2) Native American “gays” (jump);

3) Socrates (jump);

4) Some final thoughts on the immutability of marriage and our culture (jump).

Okay, while trying to be understanding to John Van Huizum’s allotted space given to write within, he shows a lack of depth in his looking into the matter with anything other than his “prejudicial” view. While he tried to be non-prejudicial, he just cannot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we are all prejudicial in our views.

That is why knowing about  worldviews is soo emphasized in Christian apologetics. A clear understanding of the prejudice in origins, for instance, can open up many avenues to learn about reality and you place in the universe. So while John may say he is trying to be more neutral, I doubt he has done the serious work to examine his own life outside of his prejudicial outlook.

Proverbs 21:2

“You may believe you are doing right [ Every person’s path seems right/straight in their own eyes], but the Lord judges your reasons [weighs your heart].”

But I ingress. Moving on.

POINT #1

Mental Disorder

This is taken from a large response to the Reverend Mel White, a gay man who tries to justify the practice of homosexuality via Christianity. (This distinction is important, the “person” is made in the image of God, as fallen as they are [we were/are], they deserve the same respect and love shown us from our Savior.) He uses the same tact that it is — homosexuality — is not considered a “malady” as well. Here is my response:


Jeffrey Satinover in his book, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth,[20] deals with this current position and how the APA got there:

A Change of Status

The APA vote to normalize homosexuality was driven by pol­itics, not science. Even sympathizers acknowledged this. Ronald Bayer was then a Fellow at the Hastings Institute in New York. He reported how in 1970 the leadership of a homosexual faction within the APA planned a “systematic effort to disrupt the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association” [R. Bayer, Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagno­sis (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 102.]They de­fended this method of “influence” on the grounds that the APA represented “psychiatry as a social institution” rather than a sci­entific body or professional guild.

At the 1970 meetings, Irving Bieber, an eminent psychoana­lyst and psychiatrist, was presenting a paper on “homosexuality and transsexualism.” He was abruptly challenged:

[Bieber’s] efforts to explain his position … were met with derisive laughter. . . . [One] protester to call him a . “I’ve read your book, Dr. Bieber, and if that book talked about black people the way it talks about homosexuals, you’d be drawn and quartered and you’d deserve it.” [102-103]

The tactics worked. Acceding to pressure, the organizers of the following APA conference in 1971 agreed to sponsor a special panel—not on homosexuality, but by homosexuals. If the panel was not approved, the program chairman had been warned, “They’re [the homosexual activists] not going to break up just one section” [104].

But the panel was not enough. Bayer continues:

Despite the agreement to allow homosexuals to conduct their own panel discussion at the 1971 convention, gay activists in Wash­ington felt that they had to provide yet another jolt to the psychi­atric profession. . . . Too smooth a transition . . . would have deprived the movement of its most important weapon—the threat of disorder…. [They] turned to a Gay Liberation Front collective in Washington to plan the May 1971 demonstration. Together with the collective [they] developed a detailed strategy for disruption, paying attention to the most intricate logistical details.[104-105]

On May 3, 1971, the protesting psychiatrists broke into a meet­ing of distinguished members of the profession. They grabbed the microphone and turned it over to an outside activist, who declared:

Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you. . . . We’re rejecting you all as our owners.[105-106]

No one raised an objection. The activists then secured an appearance before the APA’s Committee on Nomenclature. Its chairman allowed that perhaps homosexual behavior was not a sign of psychiatric disorder, and that the Diagnostic and Statis­tical Manual (DSM) should probably therefore reflect this new understanding.

When the committee met formally to consider the issue in 1973 the outcome had already been arranged behind closed doors. No new data was introduced, and objectors were given only fifteen minutes to present a rebuttal that summarized seventy years of psychiatric and psychoanalytic opinion. When the committee voted as planned, a few voices formally appealed to the mem­bership at large, which can overrule committee decisions even on “scientific” matters.

The activists responded swiftly and effectively. They drafted a letter and sent it to the over thirty thousand members of the APA, urging them “to vote to retain the nomenclature change” [145]. How could the activists afford such a mailing? They purchased the APA membership mailing list after the National Gay Task Force (NGTF) sent out a fund-raising appeal to their membership.

Bayer comments:

Though the NGTF played a central role in this effort, a decision was made not to indicate on the letter that it was written, at least in part, by the Gay Task Force, nor to reveal that its distribution was funded by contributions the Task Force had raised. Indeed, the letter gave every indication of having been conceived and mailed by those [psychiatrists] who [originally] signed it. . . . Though each signer publicly denied any role in the dissimulation, at least one signer had warned privately that to acknowledge the organizational role of the gay community would have been the “kiss of death.”

There is no question however about the extent to which the offi­cers of the APA were aware of both the letter’s origins and the mechanics of its distribution. They, as well as the National Gay Task Force, understood the letter as performing a vital role in the effort to turn back the challenge.[146]

Because a majority of the APA members who responded voted to support the change in the classification of homosexuality, the decision of the Board of Trustees was allowed to stand. But in fact only one-third of the membership did respond. (Four years later the journal Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality reported on a survey it conducted. The survey showed that 69 percent of psy­chiatrists disagreed with the vote and still considered homosex­uality a disorder.) Bayer remarks:

The result was not a conclusion based upon an approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of the times. [3-4]

Two years later the American Psychological Association—the professional psychology guild that is three times larger than the APA—voted to follow suit.

How much the 1973 APA decision was motivated by politics is only becoming clear even now While attending a conference in England in 1994, I met a man who told me an account that he had told no one else. He had been in the gay life for years but had left the lifestyle. He recounted how after the 1973 APA deci­sion he and his lover, along with a certain very highly placed officer of the APA Board of Trustees and his lover, all sat around the officer’s apartment celebrating their victory. For among the gay activists placed high in the APA who maneuvered to ensure a victory was this man—suborning from the top what was pre­sented to both the membership and the public as a disinter­ested search for truth.

So this graphic by the Reverend White means nothing. Most women I know who are lesbians who have intimated family members of mine their past have all said they were abused by a man in the family. Likewise, the two homosexual men I know well enough to ask, both had a sexual encounter with an older man when they were 14 years old and younger. Lesbian author Tammy Bruce intimates this story in her book:

… and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left’s moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. Here come[s] the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation* of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.[21]

* By the age of 18 or 19 years, three quarters of American youth, regardless of their sexual orientation, have had sexual relations with another person. Gay males are more likely than heterosexual males to become sexually active at a younger age (12.7 vs. 15.7 years) and to have had multiple sexual partners. The ages at the time of the first sexual experience with another person are closer for lesbians and heterosexual females (15.4 vs. 16.2 years).

(New England Journal of Medicine)

Do you think… I am asking you… do you think this is psychological in nature? I mean, raping of boys and these boys growing into men confused, hurt, traumatized (often by a close family confidant) and expressing this confusion in unhealthy lifestyle choices? These men and women are hurting and need counseling, compassion, care, and understanding. But the best way to get this to them is not to normalize the actions done to them and they do to themselves. One author mentions the timing this “reclassification came about:

…it may be just a coincidence that just about at the height of the “sexual revolution” (or devolution) the “evidence from science” changed. Keep in mind that psychiatry and psychology are soft sciences and that secular counseling and education is largely based on the societal trends de jour.[22]

Which brings me to a point I left off with in premise four. Homosexuals make up one to three percent of the population, yet, almost 70% of serial killers are homosexuals… this non-diagnosis in lieu of political correctness and the sexual revolution seems a bit quick and non-scientific, considering the abuse that leads to this lifestyle and crime stemming from this lifestyle.

[20] (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 32-35.

[21] Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville: Prima, 2003), 90,99.

[22] Rev. Dr. Mel White on Christian Homosexuality, part 3 of 21 Mariano Grinbank,


I have shared in the past the story of Walt Haeyer, a man who through an operation “became a woman,” lived as such for 8-years, while getting a counseling degree dealt with his tragic childhood (as well as becoming a Christian), now lives as a man and is married with kids. Another touching story is by this young man that touched Ravi Zacharias during a Q&A portion of one of his talks:

Now, to be clear, my point is NOT TO POINT fingers at my gay friends and tell them to change. I cannot do that, nor, outside of loving advice, have the authority to do so. That is between them and their God. My point is that the “malady” may not be as immutable as some would have us think. Which then, in my minds eye, translates into harming more the gay man or woman if this reaction to trauma is accepted as completely normalized (given a rubber stamp of approval) by society. I deal with the loving ways to come at this in my official “Cumulative Case” on the topic. But the “bible” of psychiatry is defining new “illnesses” with each publication, and for homosexuality to be stricken from any analysis is harmful when the internet, grief, even thinking about anxiety are all being classified as an illness… but these often times traumatic experiences many face as children and the twisting of their sexual expression since this experience is not a malady. Something is up… and its called politics. I will let Tammy Bruce (a gay woman) take us out:

…these problems don’t remain personal and private. The drive, especially since this issue is associated with the word “gay rights,” is to make sure your worldview reflects theirs. To counter this effort, we must demand that the medical and psychiatric community take off their PC blinders and treat these people responsibly.  If we don’t, the next thing you know, your child will be taking a “tolerance” class explaining how “transexuality” is just another “lifestyle choice”…. After all, it is the only way malignant narcissists will ever feel normal, healthy, and acceptable: by remaking society – children – in their image.

(Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values [Roseville: Prima, 2003], 92, 206.)

POINT #2

Some acquaintances I have followed for a couple of years [their work], and have a meal or two with, make a great point about the Native-American dealing with homosexuality that is quite different than many in today’s culture care to admit into the dialogue, and that is: gender differences. The fine gentlemen at Gay Patriot, the afore mentioned acquaintances, mentioned his own research into the Native-American (NA) “two-spirits” designation, and I found this very enlightening:

In my grad school paper for my Native American class, I researched the legends of the berdache, or two-spirit.  Many cite the berdacge tradition as an example of cultures which accept and embrace homosexuality and same-sex relationships.  And while many American Indian tribes recognized same-sex marriages, they all required one partner in such a union to live in the guise of the other sex.  Thus, if one man married another man, one would wear men’s clothes and go hunting with the “braves” while the other would have to wear women’s clothes and live as a “squaw.”  The one who lived as a woman could not go hunting with his same-sex peers nor could he participate in activities, rituals etc reserved for his biological sex.


California, Massachusetts, and other liberal states are not only pushing for same-sex marriage as a societal equal to hetero marriage, but in the process doing away with gender distinctions. This is a travesty, and in agreement with me are many gay men and women.

I have a larger point though, that will tie into Socrates a bit, and it is this: just because NA’s had gay persons in their society does not answer the very real possibility of abuse of young persons in that society that may be the bedrock of this behavior. In other words, we know today that many people who consider themselves gay had “coming out” experiences when they were young. In fact, one person I know posted in a gay group this question based on one of my posts (see the discussion that ensued here) and ended up proving my point. This will lead into and combine with…

POINT #3

Very bluntly and plainly, Socrates was not “gay,” per se. He was a pedophile, most pedophiles in Grecian days slept with young boys, a homosexual act. Pedophilia became common practice for the well-ta-do, and it took the Judeo-Christian worldview to shake this “habit” from the world in outlawing such actions. “Many men in Ancient Greece had relations with young teens,” however, “being outright gay and having an equal relationship with a same-sex partner was not something that was socially approved of at all.” Plato speaks to the “mean state” that creates the best “by far the safest and most moderate” a society should promote to enhance its quality of life. One should take note that even Plato’s detractor in the end agrees:

Now, what lives are they, and how many in which, having searched out and beheld the objects of will and desire and their opposites, and making of them a law, choosing, I say, the dear and the pleasant and the best and noblest, a man may live in the happiest way possible

[….]

Speaking generally, our glory is to follow the better and improve the inferior, which is susceptible of improvement, as far as this is possible. And of all human possessions, the soul is by nature most inclined to avoid the evil, and track out and find the chief good; which when a man has found, he should take up his abode with it during the remainder of his life…. every one will perceive, comes the honour of the body in natural order. Having determined this, we have next to consider that there is a natural honour of the body, and that of honours some are true and some are counterfeit…. but the mean states of all these habits are by far the safest and most moderate;

[….]

…but they will not wholly extirpate [root out]the unnatural loves which have been the destruction of states; and against this evil what remedy can be devised?…

[….]

Either men may learn to abstain wholly from any loves, natural or unnatural, except of their wedded wives; or, at least, they may give up unnatural loves; or, if detected, they shall be punished with loss of citizenship, as aliens from the state in their morals. ‘I entirely agree with you,’ said Megillus,…

This is excerpted from The Dialogues of Plato, in 5 vols (Jowett ed.) [387 BC]

Another piece to the puzzle comes from an excellent apologetic about this very subject. In it we find this:

Aeschines (390-314? BC), in his work Against Timarchus, acknowledged that there were laws on the books that prohibited sexual harassment or assault of young boys.5

1. He further records that Greek law prohibited male prostitutes from holding office in civic affairs, or participating in religious observances.

2. He recognized that laws that regulate moral conduct are the best means of establishing and maintaining an orderly society.

3. This work indicates that there were laws prohibiting these things, and that the punishment was fine or death, depending on the severity of the offense.

So, even in Greece, you had a behavior that was rejected as unnatural, and never accepted in a moral category as “the norm.”  So nothing John cites or references would support Prop 8 or the peoples will in California to keep marriage what it has been, a relation between a man and woman (specifically, one man and one woman).

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Per John’s usual modus operandi, he has connected ideas that have no relation or equal to the current issue, and are by themselves arguments against his position. But I wanted to end with a recent response to a friend that deals with this “mean” that Plato references, the “good” that any society should strive towards. And while I am a Christian and think that theism gives the most powerful “mean” to the “best and noblest, a man may live in the happiest way possible,” one should keep in mind that one can do the same even as an atheist. Here is my response:

(Nature Uncaring) True. Dawkins for instance says rape being morally wrong in our current culture is as inconsequential as us evolving 5 rather than 4 fingers. So morally speaking nature is cruel, without — that is — a matrix placed on it that is above nature. Something only the theistic worldview can offer. That being said, we can access the “book of nature,” if you will, to codify things that exist, like: the “law of gravity,” the “law of conservation,” the “law of thermodynamics,” the “law of motion.” These have always existed, but at some point were “discovered,” or codified. Similarly the “laws of thought” (logic) have always existed, but Aristotle codified many of them.

Nature (if that is all you believe in) has created a “way,” an “institution” that mankind has always accessed, and was codified in the cultural sense throughout mankind’s history. So much like Calvin Coolidge saying the “men do not make laws – they do but discover them,” making laws an “ought” should be grounded in something larger than man (like the judges did in the Nuremberg Trials). But you can also merely describe, which I did in a series of questions from you many years ago (from one of my earliest posts: Marriage: Is It Hetero?):

However, there is a “created order,” or, even a natural order (if you do not believe in God). My argument for heterosexual (between a man and a woman) unions is usable both by the atheist (non believer in God) and the theist (a believer in God – in the Judeo-Christian sense). Here is the crux of the matter in regards to “nature’s order:”

✤ “…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…..

✤ “….Think of a being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, movement and digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by the complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anyone acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect to movement and digestion, the organism is a united pair, or an organic unity?”

So you see, the two heterosexual organisms that join in a sexual union cease being two separate organisms for a short time and become one organism capable of reproduction. This is what the state and the church are sealing in a marriage, this intrinsic union. The homosexual couple can never achieve this union, so “natures order” has endowed the heterosexual union with an intrinsic quality that other relationships do not have or could never attain. Both the atheist and theist can argue from this point, because either we were created this way or we evolved this way. Either way, nature has imposed on the sexual union being discussed.

I will make the point as well, that as society moves away from the matrix our Founding documents are overlay’ed with, the human (the gay man/women specifically) will have his humanity threatened. You see, in the Judeo-Christian matrix, the homosexual has intrinsic worth. (The authors of the book “Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air” make this point in deeper philosophical argument than I.) And as people move further away from nature’s order, a form of “worth” anarchy will break out. Two people that saw this first hand comment well on the matter. The first is the author of “The Gulag Archipelago,” by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. He says this in his Templeton Address:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.

The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them….

Men have forgotten God.

Tammy Bruce, a lesbian, notes our current culture:

Even if one does not necessarily accept the institutional structure of “organized religion,” the “Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it. They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative,” which is why the legal positivists of the Left are so threatened by the Natural Law aspect of the Judeo-Christian ethic.”

[….]

The moral vacuum did rear its ugly head during the 1960s with the blurring of the lines of right and wrong (remember “situational ethics”?), the sexual revolution, and the consequent emergence of the feminist and gay civil-rights movements. It’s not the original ideas of these movements, mind you, that caused and have perpetuated the problems we’re discussing. It was and remains the few in power who project their destructive sense of themselves onto the innocent landscape, all the while influencing and conditioning others. Today, not only is the blight not being faced, but in our Looking-Glass world, AIDS is romanticized and sought after…

Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville: Prima, 2003), 35, 97.

CHANGE OF DIRECTION AND QUESTION:

SO, LET US MOVE to what “matrix” you see as being the most beneficial to human worth [especially to the gay man/woman] out of the only available to mankind. The seven world views. But out of the biggies (pantheism, theism, and atheism), which do you see the one lifting mankind up to the pinnacle of an ontological worth not found in nature?

And this is key, which direction will afford the American experiment the maximum liberty COUPLED WITH what Nature and Nature’s Laws/Author has wrought for the happiest “mean” we can attain? This is the battle and question before mankind right now… however, as Gay Patriot pointed out in the post entitled, silencing and slurring those with politically incorrect views, much of the voting population are “low-info” (non-thinking) people who have lost the art to do anything other than “resort to name-calling and ostracism of individuals who oppose their cause.”

A liberal professor takes umbrage with this new wave of non-thinking, and even says it harms the intellectual “mean,” if you will, of the liberal person this thinking infects. And as you can see in two discussions I was in recently (here, and here — same person) any semblance of maturity in dialogue and learning and admitting, maybe, just maybe, the positions taken are in fact not a tenable position. but in our society where people elevate opinion as truth, and pride in Narcissism  is the prevailing guide… you will never get much beyond being called sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted (S.I.X.H.I.R.B.). Or as Doug Mainwaring says in his article that Gay Patriot linked to, “anti-science, homophobic, misogynist, racist, xenophobic, Neanderthal.”

Political correctness seeks to silence all opposition to the advancement of progressive ideology. Those who manipulate the power of political correctness appear on the surface to be the good-hearted, the vulnerable, and the victimized. Whether as individuals, as organizations, or as cultural groups, they present a picture of innocence and goodness, of unparalleled magnanimity and empathy. Yet like Anthony, their appearance is deceiving. They demand total fealty. And if you don’t think the “happy thoughts” they want you to, their outward appearance gives way to vindictiveness and the same swift, disproportionate punishments that little Anthony meted out.

They want to be constantly affirmed, never challenged, never questioned, never judged. If they sense you don’t agree with them, you are immediately judged to be a “bad person, with bad thoughts.” They intimidate you into silence, until outwardly you only express happy thoughts, i.e., expressions of vigorous agreement with and the moral goodness of their will. For individuals and organizations who do not bend to their will, like Anthony, they wish their detractors out to the cornfield. Their version of the cornfield is the constant threat of social isolation, of being unloved and disrespected.

Pick any issue currently being advanced by progressives — same-sex marriage, state-mandated free contraception, abortion, man-made global warming and strict gun control, to name a few. Publicly question or resist any of these and be prepared to be judged as an anti-science, homophobic, misogynist, racist, xenophobic, Neanderthal.

(Read more at American Thinker)

Until people begin to inform themselves on how to think, we will never have good legislation in most states. States that have the “perfect storm” of rational thinking and dialogue (like New Hampshire) come up with the greatest liberty and “good” for their citizens in this experiment we call the States… however, John is far from this experiment’s stated goals by the authors of supporting the New Government and the Constitution:

“…we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~ John Adams

Indeed

Concepts: Life and Death Matters (Misdefining God’s Attributes)

Firstly, as I am want to point out, John Van Huizum often gets ideas, precepts, and others understanding of a subject woefully wrong. Take for instance this small portion of a recent article by him entitled “A Question of Life and Death” (click to enlarge). 

“These words” in John’s limited understanding ~ wrongly attributing to God ~ that no “clergy” themselves attribute to God are the crux of the issue. And I do not post the many excerpts to follow to prove John wrong. I post them in the hopes that John reads what most clergy themselves study. Enjoy this seminary level reaction to attributing to God one’s own ignorance of a topic:

God’s Love and Justice—A Point of Tension?

We have looked at many characteristics of God, without exhausting them by any means. But what of the interrelationships among them? Presumably, God is a unified, integrated being whose personality is a harmonious whole. There should be, then, no tension among any of these attributes. But is this really so?

The one point of potential tension usually singled out is the relation­ship between God’s love and his justice. On one hand, God’s justice seems so severe, requiring the death of those who sin. This is a fierce, harsh God. On the other hand, God is merciful, gracious, forgiving, long-suffering. Are not these two sets of traits in conflict with one an­other? Is there, then, internal tension in God’s nature?[10]

If we begin with the assumptions that God is an integrated being and the divine attributes are harmonious, we will define the attributes in the light of one another. Thus, justice is loving justice and love is just love. The idea that they conflict may have resulted from defining these at­tributes in isolation from one another. While the conception of love apart from justice, for example, may be derived from outside sources, it is not a biblical teaching.

What we are saying is that love is not fully understood unless seen as including justice. If love does not include justice, it is mere senti­mentality. The approach that would define love as merely granting what someone else desires is not biblical. It runs into two difficulties: (1) Giving someone what would make him or her comfortable for the moment may be nothing more than indulging that person’s whim—such action may not necessarily be right. (2) This is usually an emo­tional reaction to an individual or situation that is immediately at hand. But love is much wider in scope—it necessarily entails justice, a sense of right and wrong, and all humankind. As Joseph Fletcher has correctly shown, justice is simply love distributed.[11] It is love to all one’s neighbors, those immediately at hand and those removed in space and time. Justice means that love must always be shown, whether or not a situation of immediate need presents itself in pressing and vivid fashion. Love in the biblical sense, then, is not merely to in­dulge someone near at hand. Rather, it inherently involves justice as well. This means there will be a concern for the ultimate welfare of all humanity, a passion to do what is right, and enforcement of appropri­ate consequences for wrong action.

Actually, love and justice have worked together in God’s dealing with the human race. God’s justice requires that there be payment of the penalty for sin. God’s love, however, desires humans to be restored to fellowship with him. The offer of Jesus Christ as the atonement for sin means that both the justice and the love of God have been maintained.

And there really is no tension between the two. There is tension only if one’s view of love requires that God forgive sin without any payment being made. But that is to think of God as different from what he really is. Moreover, the offer of Christ as atonement shows a greater love on God’s part than would simply indulgently releasing people from the consequences of sin. To fulfill his just administration of the law, God’s love was so great that he gave his Son for us. Love and justice are not two separate attributes competing with one another. God is both righ­teous and loving, and has himself given what he demands.[12]

[10] Nels Ferre, The Christian Understanding of God (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951), pp. 227-28.

[11] Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics: The New Morality (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966), pp. 86-102.

[12] William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971 re­print), vol. 1, pp. 377-78.

Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books/Academic, 1998), 323-325.

II. GOD THE REDEEMER OF SINNERS

While reiterating the teaching of nature as to the existence and character of the personal Creator and Lord of all, the Scriptures lay their stress upon the grace or the undeserved love of God, as exhibited in his dealings with his sinful and wrath-deserving creatures. So little, however, is the consummate divine attribute of love advanced, in the scriptural revelation, at the expense of the other moral attributes of God, that it is thrown into prominence only upon a background of the strongest assertion and fullest manifestation of its companion attributes, especially of the divine righteousness and holiness, and is exhibited as acting only along with and in entire harmony with them. God is not represented in the Scriptures as forgiving sin because he really cares very little about sin; nor yet because he is so exclusively or predominatingly the God of love, that all other attributes shrink into desuetude in the presence of his illimitable benevolence. He is rather represented as moved to deliver sinful man from his guilt and pollution because he pities the creatures of his hand, immeshed in sin, with an intensity which is born of the vehemence of his holy abhorrence of sin and his righteous determination to visit it with intolerable retribution; and by a mode which brings as complete satisfaction to his infinite justice and holiness as to his unbounded love itself. The biblical presentation of the God of grace includes thus the richest development of all his moral attributes, and the God of the Bible is consequently set forth, in the completeness of that idea, as above everything else the ethical God. And that is as much as to say that there is ascribed to him a moral sense so sensitive and true that it estimates with unfailing accuracy the exact moral character of every person or deed presented for its contemplation, and responds to it with the precisely appropriate degree of satisfaction or reprobation. The infinitude of his love is exhibited to us precisely in that while we were yet sinners he loved us, though with all the force of his infinite nature he reacted against our sin with illimitable abhorrence and indignation. The mystery of grace resides just in the impulse of a sin-hating God to show mercy to such guilty wretches; and the supreme revelation of God as the God of holy love is made in the disclosure of the mode of his procedure in redemption, by which alone he might remain just while justifying the ungodly. For in this procedure there was involved the mighty paradox of the infinitely just Judge himself becoming the sinner’s substitute before his own law and the infinitely blessed God receiving in his own person the penalty of sin.

B.B. Warfield, Selected Short Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1970), 71-72.

(5) The ‘water and the blood’ of Christ, who thereby Himself overcame the world, is our power of victory (1 John 5 :4-6) . This depends on a right doctrine of the cross. Christianity in integrity means the orthodox Christology of Nicea and Chalcedon and the vicarious satisfaction of divine justice at Calvary, i.e. propitiation of the divine wrath as well as expiation of the evil of sin. Nothing can set the conscience free from the accusation of conscience and consequent weakness at the emotional and ethical center unless the sinner, having been made aware of the debt of sin he owes to God, is also made aware the debt has been paid in full by the vicarious sacrifice of the God-man at Calvary. There is no Christian moral victory without conviction that ‘Jesus paid it all.’ (See previous comments on revelation at Calvary and discussion of reconciliation and propitiation.) Francis Pieper commenting on ‘Christianity as the Absolute Religion’ says, `[T]he Christian religion is absolutely perfect because it is not a moral code instructing men how to earn the forgiveness of sin themselves, but rather it is faith in that forgiveness which was gained through Christ’s vicarious fulfillment of the Law and his substitutionary suffering of our punishment.’[10] Luther spoke often of this. As Calvin also remarked, our assurance that ‘God remains kindly disposed and favorable to our works is not grounded in some nebulous belief in the loving character of God, but specifically the love of God manifested at Calvary.’

`God’s unconditional love’ may be an unfortunate expression. I think it is. Calvary proves God’s love is great, but not unconditional at all. ‘[Y]ou hate all evildoers’ (Ps. 5:5); ‘The LORD is in his holy temple… his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence’ (Ps. 11:4, 5). ‘There are six things that the LORD hates…’ (Prov. 6:16-19— including a false witness and ‘one who sows discord among brothers’). God does not love the reprobate, as such, at all and He loves no one unconditionally. Even the elect He loves conditional upon His grace, which for reasons known only to H Him has not been equally extended to everyone on earth, granted the gospel is addressed to all without distinction. Let the unconvinced read the passages in Scripture about the eternal state of the lost and God’s jealous anger over unrestrained and unpunished murderers, idolaters, fornicators, etc. See notes herein on ‘sin to high heaven’ in hamartiology.

10. Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics i (St Louis: Concordia Publ., 1950s), pp. 33-40.

Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2005), 590-591. I highly suggest the section on “Universalism” on pp. 1088-1091.

GOD’S JEALOUSY AND PERFECTION

Two more of God’s moral attributes are jealousy and perfection. Admittedly, jealousy is a surprising attribute, yet it is one of only a few that the Bible declares is God’s “name,” a distinctive title of one of God’s essential characteristics. In fact, this raises the unique problem (discussed below) as to why what is a sin for creatures is a moral attribute of God.

THE DEFINITION OF GOD’S JEALOUSY

The root meanings of the basic Old Testament word for “jealous” (kan-naw) are “to be desirous of,” “to be zealous about,” “to be excited to anger over,” and “to execute judgment because of.”

The Bible speaks of man’s jealousy (“zealous envy,” “angry fury”) in many places. It talks of being jealous of one’s brother (Gen. 37:11); of having jealousy over a wife (Num. 5:14); of jealousy leading to rage (Prov. 6:34); of jealousy being as cruel as death (Song 8:6 Nagy); of jealousy and selfish ambition ( James 3:16); and of Paul’s jealous zeal for the church (2 Cor. 11:2—see below, under “An Objection to God’s Jealousy”).

As will be shown (in the texts cited below), jealousy is used of God in terms of His holy zeal and His angry wrath. God has holy zeal to protect His supremacy, and God has angry wrath on idolatry and other sins.

THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR GOD’S JEALOUSY

God’s jealousy can be understood by looking at its nature, its subject, and its object.

The Nature of God’s Jealousy

God’s jealousy carries the connotation of anger, fury, and wrath. Anger (Deut. 29:20): “The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.” Fury (Zech. 8:2): “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.’ ” Wrath (Isa. 42:13): “The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his ene­mies.”

The Subject of God’s Jealousy

God’s jealousy is vented on images, idols, other gods, and other sins. Images (Ps. 78:58): “They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.” Idols (1 Cor. 10:19-22): “Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. . . . Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?” Other gods (Deut. 32:16): “They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols.” Other sins (1 Kings 14:22): “Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than their fathers had done.”

The Object of God’s Jealousy

The object of God’s jealousy is first and foremost His own nature, then His name, His people (Israel), His land (the Holy Land), and His city ( Jerusalem). His own nature (Ex. 34:14): “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” His name (Ezek. 39:25): “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name.” His people (Zech. 8:2): “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.’ ” His land ( Joel 2:18): “Then the LORD will be jeal­ous for his land and take pity on his people.” His city (Zech. 1:14): “Pro­claim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.’ “

THE THEOLOGICAL BASIS FOR GOD’S JEALOUSY

A combination of other attributes forms the basis for God’s jealousy. Foremost among these is God’s holiness; God is particularly jealous about preserving His own uniqueness. Of course, all of God’s attributes are unique and comprise the one infinite, absolutely perfect, and supreme God. The theological argument for God’s jealousy can be formulated as follows:

(1)     God is unique and supreme (see His metaphysical attributes—chap-ters 2-12).

(2)     God is holy, loving, and morally perfect (see His moral attributes—chapters 13-17).

(3)     Hence, God is uniquely and supremely holy, loving, and morally perfect.

(4)     Whatever is supremely holy, loving, and perfect is to be preserved with the utmost zeal.

(5)     God’s jealousy is His zeal to preserve His own holy supremacy.

(6)     Therefore, He is eminently justified in His jealousy. Indeed, it is essential to His very nature: His name is Jealous (Ex. 34:14).

THE HISTORICAL BASIS FOR GOD’S JEALOUSY

The Early Church Fathers on God’s Jealousy

Although not one of the more noted attributes of God, His jealousy did not go unnoticed by the early church Fathers. There are considerable ref­erences to God’s jealousy.

Justin Martyr

They sacrificed to demons whom they knew not; new gods that came newly up, whom their fathers knew not. Thou hast forsaken God that begat thee, and forgotten God that brought thee up. And the Lord saw, and was jealous, and was provoked to anger by reason of the rage of His sons and daughters. . . . They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God, they have provoked Me to anger with their idols; and I will move them to jealousy with that which is not a nation, I will provoke them to anger with a foolish people. For a fire is kindled from Mine anger, and it shall burn to Hades. (DJ, 119 in Roberts and Donaldson, ANF, I)

Irenaeus

It is therefore one and the same God the Father who has prepared good things with Himself for those who desire His fellowship, and who remain in subjection to Him; and who has the eternal fire for the ring­leader of the apostasy, the devil, and those who revolted with him, into which [fire] the Lord has declared those men shall be sent who have been set apart by themselves on His left hand. And this is what has been spoken by the prophet, “I am a jealous God, making peace, and creating evil things”; thus making peace and friendship with those who repent and turn to Him, and bringing [them to] unity, but preparing for the impenitent, those who shun the light, eternal fire and outer darkness, which are evils indeed to those persons who fall into them. (AH, 4.40.1 in ibid., I)

Tertullian

Even His severity then is good, because [it is] just: when the judge is good, that is just. Other qualities likewise are good, by means of which the good work of a good severity runs out its course, whether wrath, or jealousy, or sternness. For all these are as indispensable to severity as severity is to justice. The shamelessness of an age, which ought to have been reverent, had to be avenged. Accordingly, qualities which pertain to the judge, when they are actually free from blame, as the judge him­self is, will never be able to be charged upon him as a fault. (FBAM, 2.216 in ibid., III)

Cyprian

There is no ground, therefore, dearest brother, for thinking that we should give way to heretics so far as to contemplate the betrayal to them of that baptism, which is only granted to the one and only Church. It is a good soldier’s duty to defend the camp of his general against rebels and enemies. It is the duty of an illustrious leader to keep the standards entrusted to him. It is written, “The Lord thy God is a jealous God” (EC, 72.10 in ibid., 5.787, V).

The Medieval Fathers on God’s Jealousy

Augustine

For Him doth “the friend of the bridegroom” sigh, having now the first-fruits of the Spirit laid up with Him, yet still groaning within him­self, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of his body; to Him he sighs, for he is a member of the Bride; for Him is he jealous, for he is the friend of the Bridegroom; for Him is he jealous, not for himself; because in the voice of Thy “waterspouts,” not in his own voice, doth he call on that other deep, for whom being jealous he feareth, lest that, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in our Bridegroom, Thine only Son. (C, 13.13 in Schaff, NPAT, 1.1)

Ineffable is therefore that patience, as is His jealousy, as His wrath, and whatever there is like to these. For if we conceive of these as they be in us, in Him are there none. We, namely, cancel none of these without been set apart by themselves on His left hand. And this is what has been spoken by the prophet, “I am a jealous God, making peace, and creating evil things”; thus making peace and friendship with those who repent and turn to Him, and bringing [them to] unity, but preparing for the impenitent, those who shun the light, eternal fire and outer darkness, which are evils indeed to those persons who fall into them. (AH, 4.40.1 in ibid., I)

Tertullian

Even His severity then is good, because [it is] just: when the judge is good, that is just. Other qualities likewise are good, by means of which the good work of a good severity runs out its course, whether wrath, or jealousy, or sternness. For all these are as indispensable to severity as severity is to justice. The shamelessness of an age, which ought to have been reverent, had to be avenged. Accordingly, qualities which pertain to the judge, when they are actually free from blame, as the judge him­self is, will never be able to be charged upon him as a fault. (FBAM, 2.216 in ibid., III)

Cyprian

There is no ground, therefore, dearest brother, for thinking that we should give way to heretics so far as to contemplate the betrayal to them of that baptism, which is only granted to the one and only Church. It is a good soldier’s duty to defend the camp of his general against rebels and enemies. It is the duty of an illustrious leader to keep the standards entrusted to him. It is written, “The Lord thy God is a jealous God” (EC, 72.10 in ibid., 5.787, V).

The Medieval Fathers on God’s Jealousy

Augustine

For Him doth “the friend of the bridegroom” sigh, having now the first-fruits of the Spirit laid up with Him, yet still groaning within him­self, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of his body; to Him he sighs, for he is a member of the Bride; for Him is he jealous, for he is the friend of the Bridegroom; for Him is he jealous, not for himself; because in the voice of Thy “waterspouts,” not in his own voice, doth he call on that other deep, for whom being jealous he feareth, lest that, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in our Bridegroom, Thine only Son. (C, 13.13 in Schaff, NPNF, 1.1)

Ineffable is therefore that patience, as is His jealousy, as His wrath, and whatever there is like to these. For if we conceive of these as they be in us, in Him are there none. We, namely, cancel none of these without molestation: but be it far from us to surmise that the impassible nature of God is liable to any molestation. But like as He is jealous without any dark­ening of spirit, wroth without any perturbation, pitiful without any pain, repenteth Him without any wrongness in Him to be set right; so is He patient without aught of passion. (OP, 1 in ibid., 1.III)

Because “the Lord our God is a jealous God,” let us refuse, whenever we see anything of His with an alien, to allow him to consider it his own. For of a truth the jealous God Himself rebukes the woman who commits fornication against Him, as the type of an erring people, and says that she gave to her lovers what belonged to Him, and again received from them what was not theirs but His. In the hands of the adulterous woman and the adulterous lovers, God in His wrath, as a jealous God, recognizes His gifts; and do we say that baptism, consecrated in the words of the gospel, belongs to heretics? (BAD, 3.19.25 in ibid., 1.IV)

The Reformation Leaders on God’s Jealousy

Martin Luther

“For Him Who once drowned the whole world in the Flood and sank Sodom with fire, it is a simple thing to slay or to defeat so many thousands of peasants. He is an almighty and terrible God” (WL, 4.226).

God says: “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” Now, God is jeal­ous in two manners of ways; first, God is angry as one that is jealous of them that fall from him, and become false and treacherous, that prefer the creature before the Creator; that build upon the favors of the great; that depend upon their friends, upon their own power—riches, art, wis­dom, etc.; that forsake the righteousness of faith, and contemn it, and will be justified and saved by and through their own good works. God is also vehemently angry with those that boast and brag of their power and strength; as we see in Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who boasted of his great power, and thought utterly to destroy Jerusalem. . . .

Secondly, God is jealous for them that love him and highly esteem his word; such God loves again, defends and keeps as the apple of his eve, and resists their adversaries, beating them back that they are not able to perform what they intended. Therefore, this word jealous com­prehends both hatred and love, revenge and protection; for which cause it requires both fear and faith; fear, that we provoke not God to anger, or work his displeasure; faith, that in trouble we believe he will help, nourish, and defend us in this life, and will pardon and forgive us our sins, and for Christ’s sake preserve us to life everlasting. (TT, 135-36)

John Calvin

But though in every passage where the favour or anger of God is mentioned, the former comprehends eternity of life and the latter eternal destruction, the Law, at the same time, enumerates a long cata­logue of present blessings and curses (Lev. xxvi. 4; Deut. xxviii. 1). The threatenings attest the spotless purity of God, which cannot bear iniq­uity, while the promises attest at once his infinite love of righteousness (which he cannot leave unrewarded), and his wondrous kindness. Being bound to do him homage with all that we have, he is perfectly entitled to demand everything which he requires of us as a debt; and as a debt, the payment is unworthy of reward. He therefore foregoes his right, when he holds forth reward for services which are not offered sponta­neously, as if they were not due. (ICR, 1.8.4)

Jacob Arminius

Hatred is an affection of separation in God; whose primary object is injustice or unrighteousness; and the secondary, the misery of the crea­ture: The former is from “the love of complacency”; the latter, from “the love of friendship.” But since God properly loves himself and the good of justice, and by the same impulse holds iniquity in detestation; and since he secondarily loves the creature and his blessedness, and in that impulse hates the misery of the creature, that is, He wills it to be taken away from the creature; hence it comes to pass, that He hates the creature who perseveres in unrighteousness, and He loves his misery. (WJA, II.44)

The Post-Reformation Theologians on God’s Jealousy

Jonathan Edwards

Those who come to Christ need not be afraid of God’s wrath for their sins; for God’s honor will not suffer by their escaping punishment and being made happy. The wounded soul is sensible that he has affronted the majesty of God, and looks upon God as a vindicator of his honor; as a jealous God that will not be mocked, an infinitely great God that will not bear to be affronted, that will not suffer his authority and majesty to be trampled on, that will not bear that his kindness should be abused. (WJE, 376)

For we see that when men come to be under convictions, and to be made sensible that God is not as they have heretofore imagined, but that he is such a jealous, sin-hating God, and whose wrath against sin is so dreadful, they are much more apt to have sensible exercises of enmity against him than before. (ibid., 1021)

William G. T Shedd

There is a kind of wrath in the human soul that resembles the wrath of God, and constitutes its true analogue. It is the wrath of the human conscience, which is wholly different from that of the human heart. That kind of anger is commanded in the injunction “Be ye angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26). Were this species of moral displacency more often considered, and the Divine anger illustrated by it, there would be less of the common and unthinking opposition to the doctrine of the Divine wrath. (DT, 176)

Stephen Charnock

God is a jealous God, very sensible of any disgrace, and will be as much incensed against an inward idolatry as an outward: that command which forbade corporeal images, would not indulge carnal imagina­tions; since the nature of God is as much wronged by unworthy images, erected in the fancy, as by statues carved out of stone or metals. (EAG, 1.198)

J. I. Packer

God’s jealousy is not a compound of frustration, envy and spite, as human jealousy so often is, but appears instead as a [literally] praisewor­thy zeal to preserve something supremely precious.

Zeal to protect a love relationship or to avenge it when broken [is a good sort of jealousy]. This jealousy also operates in the sphere of sex; there, however, it appears not as the blind reaction of wounded pride but as the fruit of marital affection. As Professor Taylor has written, mar­ried persons “who felt no jealousy at the intrusion of a lover or an adul­terer into their home would surely be lacking in moral perception; for the exclusiveness of marriage is the essence of marriage” [The Epistle of James, 106]. This sort of jealousy is a positive virtue, for it shows a grasp of the true meaning of the husband-wife relationship, together with a proper zeal to keep it intact. . . . God’s jealousy is of this kind; that is, as an aspect of his covenant love for his people. The Old Testament regards God’s covenant as his marriage with Israel, carrying with it a demand for unqualified love and loyalty.

From these passages we see plainly what God meant by telling Moses that his name was “Jealous.” He meant that he demands from those whom he has loved and redeemed utter and absolute loyalty, and he will vindicate his claim by stern action against them if they betray his love by unfaithfulness. (KG, 170-71)

AN OBJECTION TO GOD’S JEALOUSY

Objection One—Based on an Alleged Inconsistency

This objection points to an apparent inconsistency: Why is jealousy right for God but wrong for us? All other moral attributes of God we are asked to emulate: God is love, and we should be loving (1 John 4:19); God is holy, and we should be holy (Lev. 11:45). Why, then, if God is jealous, should we not also be jealous?

Response to Objection One

The answer to this objection is simple: There is no inconsistency; jeal­ousy can be right sometimes and wrong at other times. Wrong jealousy for us is about being jealous for what does not belong to us. God cannot ever be jealous of what does not belong to Him, since He owns everything. Psalm 24:1 declares: “The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Deuteronomy 32:21 adds, “They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

Everything belongs to God, even the things He has entrusted to the care of others; hence, it is not right for us to be jealous about what is not ours. Jealousy, as such, is not evil; what is evil is being jealous about what is not ours. Therefore, there is no inconsistency in it being right for God to be jealous for our affection (which belongs to Him) and it being wrong for us.

Note, however, that not all jealousy is wrong for human beings—godly jealousy is right. For example, Paul’s jealousy for the church was commend­able. He wrote, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Cor. 11:2). Likewise, there is nothing wrong with a husband having appropriate jealousy over his wife (or vice versa), since she belongs to him (cf. Num. 5:14) and he to her.

Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology: Introduction: Bible, vol. I (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2002), 338-345.

Concepts: `The Old But Better GOP` (Glass Ceilings)

Besides John van Huizum undermining his entire case to show that any of the supposed (granting him the idea that his positions are true) disparities he lists have any value in being “unfair,” or “wrongs” — see the last post on John’s thoughts — let us cherry pick just one example from his many above “bumper sticker” platitudes and dissect is a bit. (You may mouse over the pic to see the section.) In picking one seemingly true position and shedding some factual challenge to it should call into question John’s understanding of the rest.

“Assure equal pay for equal work, regardless of sex.”

Okay, I have written on this topic quite extensively, and this is just a portion from this larger writing:


(Alex Castellanos ended up writing a response to his above “tiff” with Maddow) This is partly an import from a previous post dealing with this topic via my old blog, and partly an update. In my original post entitle, Glass Ceilings, Veteran benefits, and Other Liberal Mantras, I chronicled the following:

The Glass Ceiling

President Clinton said that women make .73 cents on every man’s dollar. He used this as a campaign issue to try and smear Republicans. Kerry said that women make .76 cents on every man’s dollar, and likewise used this stat as a political smear. The question then is this, are these two persons correct?

YES! If you compare all men to all women, then yes, there is a disparage. This stat doesn’t take into account a few things. It doesn’t consider the fact that women tend to choose the humanities when entering college and men seem to choose the hard sciences. So by choice women tend to choose professions that pay less. Not only that, when you compare Oranges to Oranges, you get something much different than expected, or that we would expect from the liberal side of things. If a woman and a man have had the same level of education and have been on the same job for an equal amount of time, the woman makes $1,005 while a man makes $1,000, a difference of $5 dollars every thousand dollars a man earns.


So, the bottom line is that this platitude that John listed is a stat misused by the Left to portray [incorrectly] some disparaged class of people to rally around for political gain, not for gain of presenting truth. Sad.

Concepts: “The Loss of Secular Society” (Distortions from the Left)

I am amused to see a guy — John Van Huizum — mention his two-decades of writing articles, and then, follow this resume reference with this:

I think that when you put God on a U.S. issued coin or banknote, you obviously ignore what should be a separation of church and state, as many of our founders intended.

Please, besides writing crap for two decades backed by nothing more than opinion, tell me what the Founders thought of “separation of church and state” John. Tell me what books you have read to come to such a conclusion, please. And I imagine you would have read a few from each viewpoint to come to such a FIRM conclusion, like: “you OBVIOUSLY ignore what should be a separation of church and state, as many of our founders intended” (emphasis added). In a paper I did on this topic, I note that the same persons that wrote and ratified the 1st Amendment, did something that according to John they shouldn’t have done if how he views the topic is true. For instance, as soon as they finished with Constitutional issues (its creation and passage), they immediately went to their prospective states and wrote their state constitution. Here are some excerpts from them:

State Constitutions

On the day the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they underwent an immediate transformation.  The day before, each of them had been a British citizen, living in a British colony, with thirteen crown-appointed British state governments.  However, when they signed that document and separated from Great Britain, they lost all of their State governments.

Consequently, they returned home from Philadelphia to their own States and began to create new State constitutions.  Samuel Adams and John Adams helped write the Massachusetts constitution; Benjamin Rush and James Wilson helped write Pennsylvania’s constitution; George Read and Thomas McKean helped write Delaware’s constitution; the same is true in other States as well.  The Supreme Court in Church of Holy Trinity v. United States (1892) pointed to these State constitutions as precedents to demonstrate the Founders’ intent. 

Notice, for example, what Thomas McKean and George Read placed in the Delaware constitution:

“Every person, who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust… shall… make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: ‘I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forever more, and I acknowledge the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.’”

Take note of some other State constitutions.  The Pennsylvania constitution authored by Benjamin Rush and James Wilson declared:

“And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: ‘I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the rewarded of the good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.’”

The Massachusetts constitution, authored by Samuel Adams – the Father of the American Revolution – and John Adams, stated:

 “All persons elected must make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. ‘I do declare that I believe the Christian religion and have firm persuasions of its truth.’”

North Carolina’s constitution required that:

“No person, who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the [Christian] religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit in the civil department, within this State.”

You had to apply God’s principles to public service, otherwise you were not allowed to be a part of the civil government.  In 1892, the Supreme Court (Church of Holy Trinity v. United States) pointed out that of the forty-four States that were then in the Union, each had some type of God-centered declaration in its constitution.  Not just any God, or a general God, say a “higher power,” but thee Christian God as understood in the Judeo-Christian principles and Scriptures.  This same Supreme Court was driven to explain the following:

“This is a religious people.  This is historically true.  From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation….  These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people….  These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”

…read more…

In other words, for two decades John has been writing hearsay and not doing the hard work a knowing what the “F” he is talking about. Unfortunately, due to time, I am not able to critique other issues in this short article I found wanting. That being said, I am sure the reader gets the point from this single critique (as well as my previous) that John is your typical secular liberal. I think I agree with Milton Berle’s assessment of John (*wink*), “with him, ignorance is a religion.”

Concepts: “An Assessment of Political Views” Is It Accurate?

The portion that caught my eye and that I wish to explain further is this:

The progressive view, mostly in the Democratic Party, is that democracy depends on citizens caring about each other and taking responsibility both for themselves and for others. This yields a view of government with a moral mission: to protect and empower all citizens equally.

The progressive party neither started out with equity in mind, nor do they practice it today. That is neither here-nor-there and I have already dealt with this issue. What I wish to point out that John has practiced in the past is a tactic at home with the Democratic party. That is, they love to malign conservatives and Republicans. You are seeing this right now with the race card being brought out for almost every statement made by Republicans during this election year. Just saying “Chicago” or mentioning Obama plays golf are considered racist. Or a great example (one of the many I could reference) is that of the past DNC Chair, Howard Dean:

★ “Our moral values, in contradistinction to the Republicans, is, we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night” ~ Howard Dean

This is what john is hinting at when he says of Democrats, “citizens caring about each other and taking responsibility both for themselves and for others.” And then he states that “conservatives hold the opposite view: that democracy exists to provide citizens with the maximum liberty to pursue their self-interest with little or no commitment to the interest of others.”

This is the modus operandi of the left:

★ “As a result, many seniors in America will be forced into poverty, and worse. Some seniors will end up dying because they are forced to put off getting that pain checked out due to huge out-of-pocket costs that will skyrocket for them” ~ Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Current DNC Chair)

How Does the Left View the Right? from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

Catching Up With Three `Concepts` After Vacationing

Since I have been vacationing and catching up with work since getting back, I will deal only with one point from each article by John Van Huizum. (Click to increase size):

 The left has placed on American the most regulations decreasing our freedom. It is simple, as government gets large, it regulates more. So as California gets more liberal, it will regulate many more aspects of our lives. For instance, I do not think john is tracking with the purpose (ultimately) for smart meters. Here in our state (John and mine) the “green economy” is tacking root, and the smart meters in the eye’s of the cultural left that accept the “fact” of anthropogenic global warming want to reduce energy usage. One way is to control temperatures at thermostats, one blogger discusses this proposal:

There was also a proposal in California to require utilities to use smart meters to control the thermostat in people’s homes, which would facilitate controlling air conditioning and heating loads, especially when there was a need to shave load during periods of peak usage.  Thus far, this bad idea hasn’t been adopted. If the utility can control the thermostat in people’s homes, it’s conceivable government could mandate the high and low temperatures in people’s homes.

The left love to manifacture crisis’ and then exploit them for all the legislative power they can ring out of it:sexual harassment; nuclear power; anorexia; second-hand smoke; heterosexual AIDS; swine flu; silicone breast implants; homelessness in America; hunger in America; peanuts; man-made global warming, etc. etc. One author points out that many of the myths from the left are not only legislatively disastrous, but the death of millions of black are on the hands of the left:

Ecological myths have equal staying power.  Despite evidence to the contrary, stories of global warming, deadly dioxin, dying forests, demonic DDT, rejuvenation by recycling, and the evils of electric fields continue to gain adherents.  Green mythology holds that white technology is destroying the planet.  Only with the elimination of Western evils like the internal combustion engine and chemicals can we recover the health and happiness that flow from living as one with nature.

Because the Left banned DDT, millions have died:

Dennis Prager as well talks about how the left intrudes on our freedom:

So far from the power company intruding into our lives because of greed, they are merely adopting the Left’s view of global warming and government intrusion into which light-bulbs we can use, or at what temperature we should set our air-conditioner (and if too cool, we have to pay more to buy carbon offsets).

John seems to misunderstand what Social Security is suppose to be. Putting your money away and getting it back. Today it is putting your money in, the large government using it in ways it shouldn’t, and then relying on future generations to support you with their money. John’s last sentence is his tell, and the cultural Lefts Achilles heel. I have already pointed this gulf in our conflict of visions out, but I will post it again:

Progressivism is an ideology based on the idea that historical and social progress are inevitable. The idea of progress assumes movement toward some ideal or end that usually includes the perfectibility of human, nature and human society. Progressives con­ceive of this end in various ways: history may culminate in an era of absolute freedom, social and economic equality, or some form of utopia.

Here is more on this idea in quotes from Thomas Sowell:

My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause [the French Revolution], but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated.

Thomas Jefferson, Letter of January 3, 1793, The Portable Thomas Jefferson, ed. Merrill D. Peterson (New York: Penguin Books, 1975), p. 465; from, Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (New York, NY: basic Books, 2007), 29.

=============================

According to Adam Smith, it is when the businessman “intends only his own gain” that he contributes— via the process of competition— to promote the social good “more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” Smith added: “I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.”

Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (New York, NY: basic Books, 2007), 57.

 =============================

Christianity is closely tied to the success of capitalism,[1] as it is the only possible ethic behind such an enterprise.  How can such a thing be said?  The famed economist/sociologist/historian of our day, Thomas Sowell, speaks to this in his book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. He whittles down the many economic views into just two categories, the constrained view and the unconstrained view.

The constrained vision is a tragic vision of the human condition. The unconstrained vision is a moral vision of human intentions, which are viewed as ultimately decisive. The unconstrained vision promotes pursuit of the highest ideals and the best solutions. By contrast, the constrained vision sees the best as the enemy of the good— a vain attempt to reach the unattainable being seen as not only futile but often counterproductive, while the same efforts could have produced a more viable and beneficial trade-off. Adam Smith applied this reasoning not only to economics but also to morality and politics: The prudent reformer, according to Smith, will respect “the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people,” and when he cannot establish what is right, “he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong.” His goal is not to create the ideal but to “establish the best that the people can bear.”[2]

Dr. Sowell goes on to point out that while not “all social thinkers fit this schematic dichotomy…. the conflict of visions is no less real because everyone has not chosen sides or irrevocably committed themselves.” Continuing he points out:

Despite necessary caveats, it remains an important and remarkable phenomenon that how human nature is conceived at the outset is highly correlated with the whole conception of knowledge, morality, power, time, rationality, war, freedom, and law which defines a social vision…. The dichotomy between constrained and unconstrained visions is based on whether or not inherent limitations of man are among the key elements included in the vision.[3]

The contribution of the nature of man by the Judeo-Christian ethic is key in this respect. One can almost say, then, that the Christian worldview demands a particular position to be taken in the socio-economic realm.* You can almost liken the constrained view of man in economics and conservatism as the Calvinist position.  Pulitzer prize winning political commentator, Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), makes the above point well:

At the core of every moral code there is a picture of human nature, a map of the universe, and a version of history. To human nature (of the sort conceived), in a universe (of the kind imagined), after a history (so understood), the rules of the code apply.[4]

A free market, then, is typically viewed through the lenses of the Christian worldview with its concrete view of the reality of man balanced with love for your neighbor;

Sean Giordano (AKA. Papa Giorgio), Worldviews: A Click Away from Binary Collisions (Religio-Political Apologetics), found in the introductive chapter, “Technology Junkies

 

John is just wrong on this!

…the super rich ALSO can contribute to the economy, but the greater number of the others contribute a lot more.

Sometimes you just bang your head on the desk because of the ignorance some people have. The Wall Street Journal clears up the confusion, especially since the media latched onto Mitt Romney paying only 15% in taxes:

Mitt Romney’s disclosure this week that his effective federal tax rate is “probably closer to the 15% rate than anything” has created the predictable political uproar. The White House and its media allies figure they’ve now got their stereotype of the Monopoly man, albeit without his cane and top hat, who they can crush in their planned class-warfare campaign.

We’re not sure if facts will matter in this cacophony, but someone should at least try to introduce a little reality into the debate, especially since Mr. Romney seems so unprepared to make the case.

Start with the fact that, like Warren Buffett, Mr. Romney said he makes most of his money from investments, not wages or salary. Thus his income is really taxed twice: once at the corporate tax rate of 35%, then again at a 15% tax rate when it is passed through to him as dividends or via capital gains from the sale of stock.

All income from businesses is eventually passed through to the owners, so to ignore business taxes creates a statistical illusion that makes it appear that the rich pay less than they really do. By this logic, if the corporate tax rate were raised to, say, 60% from today’s 35% and the dividend and capital gains tax were cut to zero, it would appear that business owners were getting away with paying no federal tax at all.

This all-too-conveniently confuses the incidence of a tax with the burden of a tax. The marginal tax rate on every additional dollar of capital gains and dividend income from corporate profits can reach as high as 44.75% at the federal level (assuming a company pays the 35% top corporate rate), not 15%.

The Congressional Budget Office recently examined the distribution of federal taxes on various income groups. The report was ballyhooed by liberals as proof of rising income inequality, but that argument is for another day. What everyone has ignored is what CBO found about the relative taxes paid by different groups. And, lo, the rich pay more, which is probably why the press didn’t report it.

The nearby table from the CBO report shows that in 2007 the average income tax rate paid by the 1% was 18.8%, compared to 4.2% for Americans in a broadly defined middle class from the 21st to 80th income percentiles. The poorest 20% on average paid a net negative income-tax rate of 5.6% because of the checks they receive for tax credits that are “refundable.” These are essentially transfer payments redistributing income from the rich and middle class to the poor.

As for all federal taxes, CBO found that in 2007 the top 1% paid an average rate of a little under 30%, compared to 15.1% for middle-income earners. In calculating this overall tax burden, CBO takes account of payroll taxes, which moves the rate of the lowest 20% of earners into positive territory at 4.7%. CBO also apportions to individuals who are shareholders the tax that corporations pay on corporate profits.

…read more…

Let us apply some economic reasoning to why California’s tax revenue has dropped 22% as of late:

Via Big Government:

State Controller John Chaing continues to uphold the California Great Seal Motto of “Eureka”, i.e., ‘I have found it’. But what Chaing is finding as Controller is that California’s economy as measured by tax revenues is still tanking. Compared to last year, State tax collections for February shriveled by $1.2 billion or 22%. The deterioration is more than double the shocking $535 million reported decline for last month. The cumulative fiscal year decline is $6.1 billion or down 11% versus this period in 2011.

While California Governor Brown promises strong economic growth is just around the corner, Chaing proves that the best way for Sacramento politicians to hurt the economy and thereby generate lower tax revenue, is to have the highest tax rates in the nation.

California politicians seem delusional in their continued delusion that high taxes have not savaged the State’s economy. Each month’s disappointment is written off as due to some one-time event.

The State Controller’s office did acknowledge that higher than normal tax refunds for February might have reduced the collection of some personal income taxes. Given that 2012 has an extra day in February for leap year, there might have been one day more of tax refunds sent out. But the Controller’s report shows personal income tax collections fell by $325 million, or 16% versus last year. Furthermore, leap year would have added another day for retail sales and use tax collection, but those revenues also fell during February-by an even larger $813 million, 25% decline from 2011.

The more likely reason tax collections continue falling is that businesses and successful people are leaving California for the better tax rates available in more pro-business states.

Derisively referred to as “Taxifornia” by the independent Pacific Research Institute, California wins the booby prize for the highest personal income taxes in the nation and higher sales tax rates than all but four other states. Though Californians benefit from Proposition 13 restrictions on how much their property tax can increase in one year, the state still has the worst state tax burden in the U.S.

Spectrum Locations Consultants recorded 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, 26% more than in 2010 and five times as many as in 2009. According SLC President, Joe Vranich: the “top ten reasons companies are leaving California: 1) Poor rankings in surveys 2) More adversarial toward business 3) Uncontrollable public spending 4) Unfriendly business climate 5) Provable savings elsewhere 6) Most expensive business locations 7) Unfriendly legal environment for business 8) Worst regulatory burden 9) Severe tax treatment 10) Unprecedented energy costs.

…read more…

`Socialism or Capitalism?` ~ Concepts (7-14-2012)

(As usual, you can click the article to enlarge) I do not have the time to delve into John’s latest like I would want, but simply, I wish to respond to three ideas in the article. For instance, John said:

  • Should the government never get involved in private enterprise or should it create a fair playing field for all participants? Most of the time, the latter is already the case.

Firstly, “never,” is setting up a false dichotomy, a straw-man. He is using an extreme to set up his case. secondly, this is the divide between progressives and conservatives that Dennis Prager zeroes in on so well — Prosperity or Egalitarianism:

Two Models: Prosperity or Egalitarianism from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

Johns second statement is this one, and I will again zero in on some California examples (where John lives) so the reader can understand what government involvement means. John says

  • When I buy a product from a hardware store, I am satisfied, the owner is satisfied, the government gets its share and the employees get to keep their jobs. There are many win-wins. Why do some people perceive the government as a friend, others as an enemy?

Here is the answer with a great example from a few years back, right down the road a bit from both John and I… it comes from an article I have saved from the June 26, 2002 Daily News, Editorial Section, entitled “Killing Jobs”:

Billingsley’s Restaurant at the Van Nuys Golf Course may soon fall victim to the economic illiteracy of the Los Angeles City Council [almost all liberals by the by].

Five years ago, the council pandered to organized labor by passing a measure requiring all businesses that contract with the city to pay their employees a “living wage,” an hourly salary tied to the Consumer Price Index that tends to run about three dollars more than the California minimum wage.

The measure, intended to bolster economic status of the city’s working families, was a classic example of arrogant politicians thinking they could magically legislate wealth into existence.

But grandiose schemes have consequences. Extra money for salaries has to come from somewhere. Usually from customers, workers or taxpayers who end up paying the bill.

Billingsley’s is a case in point of what’s wrong with this scheme [which Santa Monica has made policy].

Because the restaurant’s lease on the city-owned golf course is up for renewal, it will soon have to start paying the living wage, which owner Drew Billingsley says will cost him $100,00 a year [keep in mind this is not only in wages, but the time and money spent on the mountains of new paperwork to make sure he is following this new regulation]. In an effort to meet that expense, he has laid off as many employees as possible, but its not enough.

Thus Billingsley now has two choices: Either he can raise prices and alienate his loyale clientele (which consists largely of retirees on fixed incomes), or he can close up shop altogether.

Either way, the community will suffer. That’s what happens when feel-good posturing, not sound policy, governs lawmaking.

City Hall has done its best to chase away well-paying jobs, and public schools have done their worst at educating people so they aren’t qualified for well-paying jobs. Artificial living wages won’t solve real people’s problems.

Loss of jobs and customer dissatisfaction are the result of government interference. Here are more examples noted by Dennis Prager:

More Businesses Leave California from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

And any person should acknowledge why someone should “fear” government more than business. In fact, I made this point on my FB outgrowth of this blog in talking to my liberal friend:

…you see, when the government chooses winners-and-losers instead of getting contracts with private companies (like Ford, GM, etc.), they are invested to [i.e., forced to] only choose a government run business and stock their fish (so-to-speak) with GM fleets… leaving the non-government company to flounder.

This next audio (below/left) deals with the differences of the Koch brothers, in comparison to the Left’s version of them, Soros. There are many areas that one can discuss about the two… but let us focus in on the main/foundational difference. One wants a large government that is able to legislate more than just what kind of light-bulbs one can use in the privacy of their own home. Soros wants large government able to control a large portion of the economy (see link to chart below), and he has been very vocal on this goal. The other party always mentioned are the Koch brothers. These rich conservatives want a weak government. A government that cannot effect our daily lives nearly as much (personal, business, etc) as the Soros enterprise wants. And really, if you think about it, what business can really “harm” you, when people come to my door with pistols on their hip… are they a) more likely to be from GM, or, b) from the IRS?

The possibility of them being from the IRS is even more possible with the passing of Obama-Care [i.e., larger government]. So the “fear” (audio in next comment) I think the Left has of “Big-Business” is unfounded, and the problem comes when big-business gets in bed with big-government. Here I am thinking of (like with the penalties that were found to be Constitutional in the recent SCOTUS decision) a government that can penalize you if you do not buy a Chevy Volt, or some other green car in order to save the planet. When this happens, guys coming to my door because of unpaid (hypothetical… but historical examples abound of the tax history of our nation) “fines” are likely to be IRS agents because of a personal choice made in the “free-market.”

Appendix: If the above example didn’t inspire any liberal fear (forced to go green or be penalized), maybe this one will

…First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want. It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own. Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines. Which agency would do the best job? Hmmmm … I know! How about TSA? With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun? Hey, no worries. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates. The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all. Isn’t choice great? Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own. Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway. Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t. Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership….

…read more…

This is why people fear government, to answer John’s question. Thirdly, John tackles charity versus government mandated “charity.”

  • Why should charity be a virtue for a person, but a sin or fault for a government? Why is it a virtue for every church, but “socialism” for a government? You might say in one situation it is voluntary; in the other, it is mandated by law. You would be right, but ask people if they can do without their mandated Social Security or without their mandated Medicare. My guess is that most would be in deep poverty.

Here are some analogies to make the point and then some comparison of the effectiveness of such ideas.

A great analogy that explains the dilemma of our “redistribution program” here in America (welfare, food stamps, or Medicaid, etc.) is one of a triplex.  I must thank Neal Boortz for this analogy (his book, The Terrible Truth About Liberals), by the by.

Our government, as our Constitution says, derives its powers “from the consent of the governed.” The idea here is that we cannot and should not ask the government to do anything for us that we cannot legally or morally do for ourselves.  Sounds logical, doesn’t it?  With that premise in mind, lets build the following scenario.

You live in a triplex.  You are in apartment No. 1, Johnson is in apartment No. 2, and Wilson lives in No. 3.  You discover that Wilson is ill and cannot work.  He never bothered to buy a health insurance policy because he just didn’t believe he would need it for quite some time.  Wilson, it seems, is not good at making rational decisions.  He has no savings because it was more important to use that money for bondo on his Camaro and a good Panama City Beach vacation every summer.

You believe that Wilson is about to starve to death.  His electricity is going to be cut off, and he can’t afford to buy his blood pressure medication.  You decide to help, charitable soul that you are.  You scrounge through your bank account and find $200 to help your neighbor out.

Good for you.  What a guy!

A month later Wilson is still in trouble.  Your $200 wasn’t enough.  It turns out that he spent $20 for a case of beer and at least another $100 or so at the horse races.  Things may not be all that desperate, though.  One of the thirty-five Lotto tickets he bought with that carton of cigarettes might pan out.

You decide to visit Johnson in apartment No. 2 to see if he can chip in.  Johnson tells you that, while he certainly understands the seriousness of Wilson’s situation, he needs his money to send his daughter to college in the fall and to pay some of his own medical bills.  Besides, he’s trying to save up some cash for a down payment on a house so he can get out of this weird apartment building.

You make the determination that it is far more important for Wilson to have some of Johnson’s money than it is for Johnson to keep it and spend it on his own daughter’s education and a new home.  So, here’s the question:

“Do you have the right to pull out a gun and point it right at the middle of Johnson’s forehead?  Can you use that gun to compel Johnson to hand over a few hundred dollars for Wilson’s care, and then tell Johnson that you’ll be back for more next month?”

Obviously, when put like this, you won’t run into too many people who will tell you that they have the right to take Johnson’s money by force and give it to Wilson.  They might say that they would try to talk Johnson into being a bit more charitable, but they don’t think that they have the right to just rob him at gunpoint.  But this is the next question:

Well, if our government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, how can you ask your government to do something for you that, if you did it for yourself, would be a crime?  Why would it not be OK for you to take that money from Johnson by force and give it to Wilson, but it would be perfectly OK with you if the government went ahead and did it?”

Last time I checked, IRS agents were armed.

Another way to put this is an example from J. Budziszewski’s book, The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man:

a. On a dark street, a man draws a knife and demands my money for drugs.

b. Instead of demanding my money for drugs, he demands it for the Church.

c. Instead of being alone, he is with a bishop of the Church who act as bagman.

d. Instead of drawing a knife, he produces a policeman who says I must do as he says.

e. Instead of meeting me on the street, he mails me his demand as an official agent of the government.

If the first is theft, it is difficult to see why the other four are not also theft.

Here is the idea as put forward by University Republicans (audio is not ideal):

From video description:

Many students believe that it is moral to confiscate money from hard-working Americans and entrepreneurs and give it to those who didn’t earn it, yet don’t support the same philosophy when it is applied to their GPA scores. Check out our website http://www.ExposingLeftists.com and follow us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExposingLeftists

Another aspect of this is exemplified in how well private business/charities/churches can do what government cannot. In regards to Social Security, the CATO Institute explains a bit about the Chilean model that would work well here in the Stetes:

…Chile allowed every worker to choose whether to stay in the state-run, pay-as-you-go social security system or to put the whole payroll tax into an individual retirement account. For the first time in history we have allowed the common worker to benefit from one of the most powerful forces on earth: compound interest.

Some 93% of Chilean workers chose the new system. They trust the private sector and prefer market risk to political risk. If you invest money in the market, it could go up or down. Over a 40-year period, though, a diversified portfolio will have very low risk and provide a positive rate of real return. But when the government runs the pension system, it can slash benefits at any time.

The Chilean system is run completely by private companies. We now have 15 mutual funds competing for workers’ savings.

We guaranteed benefits for the elderly — we told those people who had already retired that they had nothing to fear from this reform. We also told people entering the labor force for the first time that they had to go to the new system.

Today, all workers in Chile are capitalists, because their money is invested in the stock market. And they also understand that if government tomorrow were to create the conditions for inflation, they would be damaged because some of the money is also invested in bonds — around 60%. So the whole working population of Chile has a vested interest in sound economic policies and a pro-market, pro-private-enterprise environment.

There have been enormous external benefits: the savings rate of Chile was 10% of gross national product traditionally. It has gone up to 27% of GNP. The payroll tax in Chile is zero. Of course we have an estate tax and an income tax, but not a payroll tax. With full employment and a 27% savings rate, the rate of growth of the Chilean economy has doubled….

The bottom line: Government spends about 70% of tax dollars to get 30% of tax dollars to the needy. The private sector does the opposite, spending about 30% or less to get 70% of aid to the needy.

Again, the savings rate in Chile went up from 10% to 27% of GNP. There’s no payroll tax, and with full employment and that great savings rate, the economy has blossomed. Here is the second portion I think is important, that is, private interests redistribute a higher percentage per dollar. I will end with this great question/answer post:

Question:

About ten years ago you wrote: “When help is given privately, approximately 80% of each charitable dollar gets to a worthy recipient. Only 20% of each tax welfare dollar reaches the poor.”

This is a very powerful argument for why government should leave issues of the poor and disabled to non-profits and people who care. In fact, those numbers make it sound almost cruel to support government welfare programs. What’s your source for this estimate?

Answer:

I am currently using a slightly more conservative figure, though it still makes the same point. I would now, if asked, say: “When help is given privately, 70% or more of each charitable dollar gets to a worthy recipient. But only about 30% of each tax welfare dollar reaches the needy.”

Here is a citable source for that. The Costs of Public Income Redistribution and Private Charity [pdf], by economist James Rolph Edwards, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, Number 2 (Summer 2007).

On pages one and two, Edwards cites two studies, over a seven-year period, backing up that figure. He writes:

“[Government] income redistribution agencies are estimated to absorb about two-thirds of each dollar budgeted to them in overhead costs, and in some cases as much as three-quarters of each dollar. Using government data, Robert L. Woodson (1989, p. 63) calculated that, on average, 70 cents of each dollar budgeted for government assistance goes not to the poor, but to the members of the welfare bureaucracy and others serving the poor. Michael Tanner (1996, p. 136 n. 18) cites regional studies supporting this 70/30 split.

“In contrast, administrative and other operating costs in private charities absorb, on average, only one-third or less of each dollar donated, leaving the other two-thirds (or more) to be delivered to recipients. Charity Navigator, the newest of several private sector organizations that rate charities by various criteria and supply that information to the public on their web sites, found that, as of 2004, 70 percent of charities they rated spent at least 75 percent of their budgets on the programs and services they exist to provide, and 90 percent spent at least 65 percent. The median administrative expense among all charities in their sample was only 10.3 percent.”

Later on he adds: “In fact, the average cost of private charity generally is almost certainly lower than the one-quarter to one-third estimated by Charity Navigator and other private sector charity rating services…” and tells why.

The bottom line: Government spends about 70% of tax dollars to get 30% of tax dollars to the needy. The private sector does the opposite, spending about 30% or less to get 70% of aid to the needy.

There is much more of interest in that article, including this important observation:

“[R]aising only half as much money through voluntary donations, the private agencies (and families) could deliver the same amount as the government, saving, in the process, all the costs the government imposes on the public through the compulsory taxation. Given that aiding the poor must have large support among the public for coercive government redistribution to be policy, couldn’t the supporters raise, through voluntary donations from among themselves, half the amount that would have to be raised through taxation, and avoid coercing the rest of the nonpoor public?”

That’s the promise the libertarian vision offers: more effective aid for the poor and needy than ever before, delivered voluntarily by the private sector at a far smaller cost than today’s welfare state.

I laugh sometimes at myself… because I started out the post with, “I do not have the time to delve into John’s latest like I would want.” I ended up giving a pretty thorough refutation as if I had time.

Concepts: “Regulation” ~ 3rd Parties and Worldviews Primer

In this newest [convoluted] edition of “Concepts” from the Country Journal (which I was very happy to see included the entire Declaration for the 4th) Jon van Huizum tries to make connections from the Bible to modern politics that are not there… from Genesis to Republican/Democrat regulating power. This sweeping span from the beginning of mankind’s history to the modern American political scene shows a couple of things, and I wish to point out I am not a psychologist so one can take what I say with the same grain of salt they may take Mr. Huizum’s articles with. First, it shows an unhealthy obsession with trying to create straw-man positions of theology, connecting them with one party or position, and then tearing down this false premise, or straw-man, so called. One either does this to ingratiate himself with a certain segment of readers, trying to sound knowledgeable, but really making sweeping non-sequitur statements. Secondly, and more importantly I think, John is displaying at the heart of his being a rejection of all things religious (really a conservative standing on Judeo-Christian foundations) in order to create a worldview that comports to what John van Huizum wants. A great example comes from Charles Darwin himself, and why he rejected Christianity and chose his naturalistic view of life. Key: Darwin didn’t reject Christianity for or on scientific reasons, he rejected it because of theological issues. As Darwin himself noted:

“This is always painful to me. I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically, but I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars or that a cat should play with mice….”

~ Charles Darwin, Letter to Asa Gray (22 May 1860)

Darwin rejected Christianity based on the problem of evil, this is the same basis that modern “scientists” reject faith as well. Which is a philosophical/theological issue, not scientific. (Here I highly recommend the book, Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil, by Cornelius G. Hunter.) I have noticed, in similar fashion, that when John talks about certain issues — like the Bible or faith, it is rejected for false reasoning (straw-men and non-sequiturs); or, it is derided for issues John believes to be other than theological, but in fact are. This is the issue in the first 2/3rds of the article by John. He mentions scientific ages of the universe apparently right after mentioning a religious text and book (Genesis), and then asks a theological question: “Apparently God trusted…” This position does not take the growing revelation through history of God nor the inclusion of man’s nature according to the same text (which we learned a bit about how progressives views last week), which, if asking a theological question needs to be theologically considered. The Founders did. For instance, in a wonderful review of a powerful book on the greatness of Christianity by Dinesh D’Souza, reviewer Ken Hagerty mentions the following:

The Theological Understanding of the American Founders

At a time when America’s founding principles are under attack as never before, Dinesh D’Souza explains that Jesus’ separation of what is owed to Caesar from that owed to God is the embryo of the idea of limited government. “This idea derives from the Christian notion that the ruler’s realm is circumscribed and there are limits beyond which he simply must not go. But “If the domain of government is to be limited in this manner, so is the domain of the church. As Christ put it, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’…In the new framework of Christian universalism, the same God rules over the whole universe, but each country retains its own laws and its own culture.”

He uncovers the theological and philosophical roots of the fundamental debate over the nature of man that continues to divide American politics and the modern world. The Enlightenment’s assertion that human nature is inherently good, and whatever flaws an individual may carry can be educated-away by government, comes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1754), who got it in turn from Plato (428-347 BC). “For Plato, the problem of evil was a problem of knowledge. People do wrong because they do not know what is right. If they knew what was right, obviously, they would do it.”

But D’Souza explains that the American founders turned instead to the Apostle Paul for their understanding of human nature. In Romans 7:19 Paul famously says “For the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.” D’Souza says “Here Paul in a single phrase repudiates an entire tradition of classical philosophy founded in Plato… Why? Because the human will is corrupt. The problem of evil is not a problem of knowledge, but a problem of will.”

This Christian understanding of human nature as both mixed and immutable led the American founders to blend the commercial and cultural institutions of free enterprise into their system of government. They did so for two reasons: first, because capitalism is the economic system that arises naturally where there is freedom; and second, because capitalism is the economic system that satisfies the Christian demand for an institution that channels selfish human desire toward the betterment of society.

D’Souza then offers a wonderful comparison that perfectly captures the beneficial role of the free enterprise system: “Some critics accuse capitalism of being a selfish system, but the selfishness is not in capitalism—it is in human nature… One may say that capitalism civilizes greed in much the same way that marriage civilizes lust. Both institutions seek to domesticate wayward or fallen human impulses in socially beneficial ways.”

This is all to point out that John van Huizum deals with these topics very flippantly. This flippancy, however, is how many prefer to approach these important subjects. So the first two paragraph’s could easily be a separate topic, due mainly to its non-connectivity to the last paragraph. The third paragraph really is a hodgepodge of topics and history with leading questions, which the first two partly answer: “Unless and until we can regulate and keep control of ourselves while living in this power-crazy world, we may not advance toward a civil society.” To which Walter Lippmann says, “At the core of every moral code there is a picture of human nature, a map of the universe, and a version of history. To human nature (of the sort conceived), in a universe (of the kind imagined), after a history (so understood), the rules of the code apply.” In other words, conservative political philosophy accepts the view that government will never be able to — due to man’s nature — regulate and keep control of man. [And this is the rub… unbeknownst to John, paragraph 1 of his article and of the Bible does in fact answer his paragraph three.]

The rest is really not worth dealing with outside of the nugget to build off of for the history buff that John mentions, which is this: “Occasionally a new party is formed, but loses power fairly quickly.” Here is a good little response to some of the thinking in Johns packed sentence:

2. NO, THE REPUBLICANS NEVER CONSTITUTED A THIRD PARTY

Whenever I take the time on the radio to discuss the obvious and inevitable futility of minor party campaigns, some smug caller will try to play “gotcha” by reminding me that my own beloved GOP began its political life as a minor party, and managed to elect an underdog nominee named Lincoln in the fateful election pf 1860. It makes for a good story, and I know it allows misled minions to feel better to believe that it’s true, but the Republicans never operated as a third party. By the time of the first Republican County Convention (in Ripon, Wisconsin, on March 20, 1854) the Whig Party had already collapsed and shattered, hopelessly divided between its Northern anti-slavery branch and the Southern “Cotton Whigs.” Refugees (including numerous Congresmen, Senators and others) from the Whig debacle determined to fill the vacuum and, joined by a few anti-slavery Democrats and former Free Soilers, they launched their new national organization.

The first time candidates ever appeared on ballots with the designation of the new Republican Party came with the Congressional elections of 1854 and the fresh organization won stunning success from the very beginning. That very first year the Republicans won the largest share of the House of Representatives (108 seats, compared to 83 for the Democrats, along with fifteen Senate seats (including the majority of those contested in that election). In other words, the Republicans began their existence not as a third party, or even a second party, but as the instantly dominant party on the ballot. The future “Grand Old Party” showed itself a Grand Young Party not only with its Congressional candidates, but with its first-ever Presidential nominee – John C. Fremont – in 1856. Rather than making the traditional, pointless and masturbatory third party gesture and winning 2% or 10%, Fremont made a real race of it against the Democrat James Buchanan: losing the popular vote 45% to 33%, and the electoral vote, 174 to 118. The real third party candidate was former President Fillmore, whose anti-immigrant Know Nothing campaign drew a few remnants of the Whigs and took just enough votes away from Fremont in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to give Buchanan narrow victories and the electoral majority. By the time they nominated Lincoln four years later, Republicans commanded clear majorities in nearly all the northern states and fully expected to sweep more than enough of those states (especially in light of Democratic divisions) to put him in the White House.

In the pre-Civil War election of 1860, the Republicans hardly represented an upstart third party effort: they won a clear majority of 59% of the electoral vote and a comfortable plurality (40%) of the popular vote. The real “third party” in this election involved the Southern Democrats who abandoned their national nominee, Stephen A. Douglas, and campaigned for Vice President (and future Confederate general) John C. Breckinridge, winning 18% of the popular vote and 72 electoral votes. Meanwhile, former Cotton Whigs and pro-union Democrats from border states launched a fourth party campaign, winning 13% of the popular vote and 39 electoral votes for their man.

In other words, the one election in which the traditional two-party system broke down, and the Untied States most resembled a European multi-party system (with four different parties drawing substantial support and electoral votes) happened to be the one election that provoked the bloodiest war in US history.

In short, the election of 1860 hardly offers proof of the positive value of third (and fourth) parties, but rather illustrates their dangers. The four-way competition in the Presidential race contributed to the splitting of the union and the explosion of the national party consensus that had previously kept a divided assemblage of very different states from flying apart.

(A Michael Medved article, as well as part of a chapter from his book, see page 195)

Concepts: “Have We Progressed?” (Failing Since 1792)

This most recent installment of Concepts is a great example of how history can often times be distorted. And while this critique will be a bit more in-depth in its unpacking of the issues above, it will still only be a partial (if that) excoriation of some of the above. But it is a great way to see how Progressivism infected the American political landscape, and not for the better. For lack of time, let us dive right in.

What has Progressivism brought us from its founding on women’s issues? Is it good or bad? One assumes, for instance, that the popular feminist personalities and organizations of our day truly are for protecting women from unfair treatment, right? The question is, is this “protection” apolitical or deeply rooted in a worldview set to harm a large portion of femininity? We will see in the posting below. How did the American Progressive movement influence the eugenics movement here and abroad (Nazi Germany)? Does it matter that Hitler, while in jail, read the many eugenicist experiments and forced sterilizations here in the states? Looking at this subject will demand a look into the past and racist beliefs of a Progressive heroin. These two inconvenient components of the Progressive party (radical gender politics and racist/eugenics) intertwined into their history since the early 1900’s should get one to reject this movement and maybe, in the least, consider an alternative viewpoint on the many issues above. Like, as an example, how subsidizing farmers and making a minimum wage, not just for women, but for everyone hurts the poor and the farmers.

Before looking into the claims that Progressives were a big help to women, we should first understand that Progressivism believes in a radical form of humanism.

Humanism is a philosophy, worldview, and religion that places humanity and the material at the center of philosophical inquiry. It rejects God and theistic religions, instead seeing man as the measure of all things. (Conservepedia)

In the early palpitations of the Progressive movement, they referred to themselves as “Liberal Fascists” [No Joke!], here is Jonah Goldberg’s interesting history of the term:

The introduction of a novel term like “liberal fascism” obviously requires an explanation. Many critics will undoubtedly regard it as a crass oxymoron. Actually, however, I am not the first to use the term. That honor falls to H. G. Wells, one of the greatest influences on the progressive mind in the twentieth century (and, it turns out, the in­spiration for Huxley’s Brave New World). Nor did Wells coin the phrase as an indictment, but as a badge of honor. Progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis,” he told the Young Liberals at Oxford in a speech in July 1932. Wells was a leading voice in what I have called the fascist movement, when many Western elites were eager to replace Church and Crown with slide rules and industrial armies.[1]

One of authors that influenced heavily both Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt was Herbert Croly, who was himself obsessed with Auguste Comte who “argued that humanity progressed in three stages and that in the final stage mankind would throw off Christianity and replace it with a new “religion of humanity,” which married religious fervor to science…”.[2] They were the Social Darwinists of their day, and today they continue on in the positivists views of ethics, science, and radical environmentalist fervor that seem religious in their dogmatism and “crucifying” of fellow academics and political opponents. A large portion of the Democratic Party are ideologically Progressive in this regard.

Jonah Goldberg mentions in his chapter entitled,Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of Liberal Fascism,” the major players and authors who influenced Roosevelt and Wilson [Progressives], noting that “Nietzsche was in the air,” and that Teddy Roosevelt was an avid reader of the German thinkers. (As a side note, it was during this intellectual time in Germany that Historical Biblical Criticism was born, late in the 18th century and early 19th century.) Which leads us back to Croly who asked “who would be the prophets and pilots of the Good Society?,” noting that “for a generation progressive liberals believed that a better future would derive from the beneficent activities of expert social engineers who would bring to the service of social ideals all the technical resources which research could discover and ingenuity could devise.”[3] Five years earlier, Croly noted in the New Republic (the magazine he founded and that defended fascism and communism throughout the 1920’s) that the practitioners of the scientific method need to “plan and effect a redeeming transformation” of society whereby men would look for “deliverance from choice between unredeemed capitalism and revolutionary salvation.” Of course “revolutionary salvation” in social engineering is the go-to Liberal/Democratic position.[4]

For instance, in feminism we see this radicalism embedded in a movement said to be concerned about rights of women:

The January 1988 National NOW Times, the newsletter for the organization, said: “The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.”[5]  This is extreme to say the least, and it is this type of radical thinking that has made many women see the emperor with no clothes on, and she is not pretty.  This radically political movement likewise looks forward not only to the overthrow of the nuclear family but of capitalism as well.  Well-known feminist author and co-founder/editor of Ms. magazine, Gloria Steinem, said the following about feminisms end game: “Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole #@*! patriarch!”[6]

How can a civil rights movement be interested in capitalism?  As if chauvinism and patriarchal over expressiveness suddenly vanish with Marxist forms of government.  As if Stalin wasn’t a womanizer.[7] Obviously then, it isn’t the system of markets that create patriarchal attitudes.[8] It is, however, free markets and government that afforded women the opportunity to create equal rights under the law.  Here of course what these ladies are talking about are not equal rights under the law but using “special rights” to propose a whole new system of government, which drove Tammy Bruce, former president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW as well as being a former member of NOW’s national board of directors, to say: “What Gloria Steinem, Molly Yard, Patricia Ireland and all the rest have presented to you over the last 15 years (at least) has not been feminist theory.”[9] Ms. Bruce goes on to show that Betty Friedan and Patricia Ireland, ex-presidents of NOW, (and others) are involved with socialist or communist political parties or organizations.[10]

So according to this view of [progressive] feminism by its recent founders one should be both a Marxist economically and a lesbian sexually in order to be a true feminist or believer in women’s rights. Women’s issues shouldn’t be political — we tell ourselves this at least. It is worth stating here that the women at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum would disagree that feminism as popularly known today would be for all women’s rights due to the fact that they are routinely derided for their political and religious views. With this in mind we should define progressivism so we can better digest what lies herein, delineating where progressives and Democrats go astray from conservative thinking in their respective conflicting visions.

Progressivism is an ideology based on the idea that historical and social progress are inevitable. The idea of progress assumes movement toward some ideal or end that usually includes the perfectibility of human, nature and human society. Progressives con­ceive of this end in various ways: history may culminate in an era of absolute freedom, social and economic equality, or some form of utopia. Given the predilection to progress, the past is viewed as an inferior state of ex­istence with various afflictions that wither away over time. While some progressives con­sider progress inevitable, others believe that political, economic, and social reforms are necessary to achieve it…. Progressivism is intimately tied to mod­ern liberalism and the politics of the welfare state, which holds that the transformation of society can only be achieved by a central­ized government that has sufficient power to remake society. In this vein, progressives take up causes that conservatives consider misguided. Examples of progressive reforms would include the Great Society’s war on poverty, the abolition of private gun owner­ship, and the Eighteenth Amendment. Con­servatives criticize progressive reforms be­cause they believe these reforms do not ac­count for unintended consequences, are based on a misunderstanding of the human condition, and fail to accept a degree of evil in the world. Consequently, conservatives often conclude that progressive reforms end up doing more harm than good. For example, abortion, which has been a central reform in the progressive cause of liberating women from traditional sex roles, has helped achieve liberation at the cost of infanticide and the depreciation of human life. Thus, in many ways progressiveness is an inclination diametri­cally opposed to that of conservatism.[11]

These “others” mentioned above are who we are talking about and who started the Progressive party in the early 1900’s. Which was the distinct separation of one political party from a free-market to one guided by the government via “enlightened” individuals. (I am thinking here of the messianic adherence and adulation given to Obama as a representative of the Progressive Democrats.) Here is a larger excerpt from my chapter on feminism from my book that deals directly with the radicalism in this Progressive vision and its foundations.

One author makes the point that gender feminists try and “force us all to conform to their agenda based on the unnatural ideology that there is no difference between men and women…. As feminist author Robin Morgan told a Phil Donahue audience, ‘We are becoming the men we once wanted to marry’.”[12]  This may explain the continued growth of the religiously conservative Concerned Women for America (CWA), and the continued decline of the National Organization of Women (NOW).

Keep in mind that “secular” feminism can be religious as well, Louis Frankel in an article that appeared in the humanist magazine Free Inquiry, suggests that women worship goddess – a female god.  “Goddess religion celebrates the body,” Miss Frankel says, “including its sexual and reproductive functions.  Rituals celebrate menstruation, birth, and the joy of sexuality.”  Miss Frankel contends that “the values of Goddess religion are largely humanistic.”[13] The move to goddess religion, however, is merely a halfway house to full Humanist theology – atheism.  Says Frankel, “If we ‘need the Goddess’ to break the shackles of the patriarchal God, then once we are, we can thank her for her assistance and forge our own path toward freedom and independence.”[14] Freedom and independence mean freedom from belief in God or Goddesses, i.e., atheism.[15]

Now that we have discussed the religious aspects of the Gnostic writings within the context of a Women Studies class,[16] we must come to grips with the setting in which feminism currently views its role in political and social life.  As we will come to find, it is this political force that drives this re-interpreting of history and theology.  Understanding that modern feminism is not necessarily monolithic is very important; however, at the university level it has become, or is becoming, institutionalized.  So institutionalized, that many have asserted that it is simply impossible to oppose gender feminism and to be hired to teach Women’s Studies.[17] For instance, the Committee on the Status of Women at the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) maintains that criticism of feminism or Women’s Studies is impermissible because it has a “disparate impact on woman faculty and chills the intellectual climate for academic women.[18] According to Bell Hooks, a feminist writer and teacher, “feminist education has become institutionalized in universities via Women’s Studies programs.”[19] The question is what has become institutionalized?

  • Defining Terms

To better understand what modern, or gender feminism means, we must understand what liberal feminism represents.

The gender feminist believes that women constitute an oppressed class within an oppressive system: what ails women cannot be cured by merely achieving equal opportunity.  As a class women are seen to be politically at odds with the patriarchy that oppresses them.    Consequently, the gender feminist will never accept the testimonies of ordinary women, since the gender feminist believes that ordinary women have unconsciously bought into a system that oppresses them.  Thus, without marshaling an argument… the gender feminist simply presupposes her worldview and reinterprets all contrary facts as examples of false consciousness.[20]

This worldview permeates all that the modern feminist comes into contact with, including such things as history and religion.  The gender feminist, then, has a radical perspective.  As Professor Sommers continues her thought, “She [the gender feminist] views social realit[ies] in terms of patriarchal ‘sex/gender system’ that, in the words of Sandra Harding, ‘organizes social life throughout most of recorded history and in every culture today’.”[21] Of course the history of this movement has been this radical for quite some time, as one liberal professor[22]  explains in his book The Dark Side of the Left:

Among the most important legacies of the 1960s and the New Left is the contemporary feminist movement.(a) Of course, feminism, even its more radical variants, long predates the 1960s. In the decades before the Civil War, radical abolitionists such as Stephen Foster and Abigail Kelley assailed the patriarchal family structure and the “slavery of sex,”(b) while nineteenth-century utopian communities strove to construct alternatives to the conventional bourgeois family, in some cases forbidding marriage in favor of “free love,” in others separating children from their Parents so the young could be raised by the collective rather than the “isolated household.”(c) The term “feminism” itself came into widespread Usage in the United States during the early 1960s, at the height of Progressive ferment.(d) Those who identified themselves as “feminists” in the 1910s sharply distinguished the new “feminism” from the old “suffrag­ism.” For these new self-described feminists, the vote was seen not as an end in itself but as a means to achieve what one activist described as a “complete social revolution” in gender relationships.(e) Their aim was not only the political inclusion of women but a radical restructuring of pri­vate relationships between the sexes. For these early-twentieth-century feminists, the personal was political.(f)

Feminism, then, was not born moderate and then radicalized by the 1960s. From its inception, the term “feminism,” in the minds of both its proponents and its opponents, has been linked with radicalism and even socialism.(g) “Feminism,” as Nancy Cott explains, “was born ideologically on the left of the political spectrum, first espoused by women who were familiar with advocacy of socialism and who, advantaged by bourgeois backgrounds, nonetheless identified more with labor than with capi­tal.”(h) Max Eastman and Floyd Dell, both self-proclaimed feminists and socialists, frequently used the pages of the Masses to plead the case for the emancipation of women, and Randolph Bourne saw Greenwich Village feminism as a leading edge in the radical assault on deadening bourgeois conventions.(i)[23]

The liberal feminist, on the other hand, merely seeks legal equality for women and equality of opportunity in education and in the work place.  It is this type of woman who wants what any classical liberal wants for anyone who suffers bias: fair treatment under the law.  Unfortunately this is not what has been institutionalized in most of the Women’s Studies programs at the university level.

As I wrote in my larger post about the history of Planned Parenthood and a Progressive icon, Margaret Sanger, this history that is often forgotten by people like John Van Huizum, continently mentioning only the positives, not mentioning motives and never mentioning the negatives (the least of which is the inheritance tax):

Today, liberals remember the progressives as do-gooders who cleaned up the food supply and agitated for a more generous social welfare state and better working conditions. Fine, the progressives did that. But so did the Nazis and the Italian Fascists. And they did it for the same reasons and in loyalty to roughly the same principles. Historically, fascism is the product of democracy gone mad. In America we’ve chosen not to discuss the madness our Republic endured at Wilson’s hands—even though we live with the consequences of it to this day. Like a family that pretends the father never drank too much and the mother never had a nervous breakdown, we’ve moved on as if it were all a bad dream we don’t really remember, even as we carry around the baggage of that dysfunction to this day. The motivation for this selective amnesia is equal parts shame, laziness, and ideology.[24]

Here is some of the Eugenic history I compiled in my post on Margaret Sanger, one of the enlightened leaders Croly mentions leading Progressive ideals:

Above Picture Not Real ~ FYI
Many of the current and past presidents of the organization have mentioned that they are following in the footsteps of their founder, following the aims and goals of Margaret Sanger, their liberal heroin and founder. To make this point (and others), I will rely on two well written books, the first is Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg. I think – however – before I mention the next book, I should allow the reader a chance to have that seemingly self-refuting term (“liberal fascism”) explained and defined. Jonah Goldberg documents that the term was the invention of H.G. Wells:

The introduction of a novel term like “liberal fascism” obviously requires an explanation. Many critics will undoubtedly regard it as a crass oxymoron. Actually, however, I am not the first to use the term. That honor falls to H. G. Wells, one of the greatest influences on the progressive mind in the twentieth century (and, it turns out, the in­spiration for Huxley’s Brave New World). Nor did Wells coin the phrase as an indictment, but as a badge of honor. Progressives must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis,” he told the Young Liberals at Oxford in a speech in July 1932. Wells was a leading voice in what I have called the fascist mo­ment, when many Western elites were eager to replace Church and Crown with slide rules and industrial armies.

(Liberal Fascism, p. 21; more on this can be found in a post entitled, “Mussolini Defines Fascism: Does the Left = Communism? And The Right = Fascism?“)

It will be noted more in-depth later, but I must now point out that Margaret Sanger was the mistress to H.G. Wells. There was no conflict of ideals betwixt these two “enlightened Nazis.” The other book is just an expose of Planned Parenthood (unlike Jonah Goldberg’s book which deals with a panoply of topics), it is entitled Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood, by George Grant. This book is the best I have found yet on this topic. Each chapter ends with a Biblical critique as well, so if you are non-religious person this book is set up so you can skip entirely any theology if wished. If one cannot consider any “religion” on a topic however, one must ask if they are “theophobic” (a term I like to think I coined in my post entitled, “Defending the Faith Over a Syrah“). These two books (Jonah’s chapter entitled, “Liberal Racism: The Eugenbic Ghost in the Fascist Machine,” and George Grants book) will give any amateur historian or studier of movements enough fodder to turn the tables on those who profess equality at all costs.

A third book that is worth a mention is by Edwin Black, entitled, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. A thick history of how the eugenic movement that spurned the Third Reich in their “master race” found its scientific basis in the American Left. The theological roots for it are not the topic here, but they are rooted in the occultism found in Madam Blavatsky’s book The Secret Doctrine.

The racialist ideas that were developing independently in India and Europe fused in esoterica. In The Secret Doctrine [1888], Helena Petrovna Blavatsky saw the “Aryans” as the fifth of her seven “Root Race.” This is where the term used by the Nazi’s came from.

(For more on the roots of Nazism, read my post entitled: “Hitler’s Homosexuality, Pedastry, and Occultism.”)

The question remains however, do recent Planned Parenthood (PP from here on out) leaders want what Sanger wanted? Some history and input on this is in order:

Margaret Sanger, whose American Birth Control League became Planned Parenthood, was the founding mother of the birth control movement. She is today considered a liberal saint, a founder of mod­ern feminism, and one of the leading lights of the progressive pan­theon. Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood proclaims, “I stand by Margaret Sanger’s side,” leading “the organization that carries on Sanger’s legacy.” Planned Parenthood’s first black president, Faye Wattleton—Ms. magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1989—said that she was “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps of Margaret Sanger.” Planned Parenthood gives out annual Maggie Awards to individuals and organizations who advance Sanger’s cause. Recipients are a Who’s Who of liberal icons, from the novelist John Irving to the producers of NBC’s West Wing. What Sanger’s liberal admirers are eager to downplay is that she was a thoroughgoing racist who subscribed completely to the views of E. A. Ross and other “raceologists.” Indeed, she made many of them seem tame.

(Liberal Fascism, pp. 270-271)

George Grant opines in on this as well:

Planned Parenthood is a paradigmatical illustration of this prin­ciple. Margaret Sanger’s character and vision are perfectly mirrored in the organization that she wrought. She intended it that way. And the leaders that have come after her have not attempted to have it another way. Dr. Alan Guttmacher, the man who immediately succeeded her as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, once said, “We are merely walking down the path that Mrs. Sanger carved out for us.” Faye Wattleton, president of the organization during the decade of the eighties, has claimed that she is “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps” of Margaret Sanger. And the president of the New York affiliate is Alexander Sanger, her grandson.

(Grand Illusions, 81-82)

Now that we know these PP leaders are “walking in Margaret’s footsteps,” let us see where these imprints lead us in history. Edwin Black makes it known that Maragret Sanger was no “saint.”

…Sanger was an ardent, self-confessed eugenicist, and she would turn her… birth control organizations into a tool for eugenics, which advocated for mass sterilization of so-called defectives, mass incarceration of the unfit and draconian immigration restrictions. Like other staunch eugenicists, Sanger vigorously opposed charitable efforts to uplift the downtrodden and deprived, and argued extensively that it was better that the cold and hungry be left without help, so that the eugenically supe­rior strains could multiply without competition from “the unfit.” She repeatedly referred to the lower classes and the unfit as “human waste” not worthy of assistance, and proudly quoted the extreme eugenic view that human “weeds” should be “exterminated.” Moreover, for both political and genuine ideological reasons, Sanger associated closely with some of America’s most fanatical eugenic racists. Both through her publication, Birth Control Review, and her public oratory, Sanger helped legitimize and widen the appeal of eugenic pseudoscience.

(War Against the Weak, p. 127)

To follow through with this idea that charitable organizations were detrimental to her cause, George Grant (Grand Illusions, p. 40) quotes from Sanger’s book, The Pivot of Civilization:

In one passage, she followed the Malthusian party-line advocating the abandonment of all forms of charity and compassion. She wrote:

Even if we accept organized charity at its own valuation, and grant it does the best it can, it is exposed to a more profound crit­icism. It reveals a fundamental and irremediable defect. Its very success, its very efficiency, its very necessity to the social order are the most unanswerable indictment. Organized charity is the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding, and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the failure of philan­thropy, but rather at its success. These dangers are inherent in the very idea of humanitarianism and altruism, dangers which have today produced their full harvest of human waste.”

Again, she wrote:

The most serious charge that can be brought against modern benev­olence is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delin­quents, and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression. Philanthropy is a gesture characteristic of modernf business lavishing upon the unfit the profits extorted from the community at large. Looked at impartially, this compensatory generosity is in its final effect probably more dangerous, more dys­genic, more blighting than the initial practice of profiteering.”

You may be asking how someone could think in terms like the above? Well, the simple answer is, radicalism. Political, and moral:

In the first issue of The Woman Rebel, Margaret Sanger admitted that “Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Chris­tianity no less than Capitalism.”

(Grand Illusions, p. 83)

This is similar to Hitler saying the following:

“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality… we will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence – imperious, relentless and cruel.”

(Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God? [1994] p. 23).

George Grant runs down a quick list of whom Margaret “hung” with:

Her bed became a veritable meeting place for the Fabian (socialist) upper crust: H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Arnold Bennett, Arbthnot Lane, and Norman Haire. And of course, it was then that she began her unusual and temptuouse affaire with Havelock Ellis…. virtually all of her Socialist friends, lovers, and comrades were committed Eugenicists as well—from the followers of Lenin in Revolutionary Socialism, like H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and Julius Hammer,” to the followers of Hitler in National Socialism, like Ernest Rudin, Leon Whitney, and Harry Laughlin.” But it wasn’t simply sentiment or politics that drew Margaret into the Eugenic fold. She was thoroughly convinced that the “inferior races” were in fact “human weeds” and a “menace to civilization.”

(Grand Illusions, pp. 76 & 115)

Isn’t Sanger a hero of the Left though? How could she truly believe the above… isn’t there some kind of mistake? I wish there was. Here we start to go deeper into her relationships (personal and business) and views on race relations. Dinesh D’Souza points out in his wonderful book, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society, that Sanger coined the term, “More children from the fit, less from the unfit,” used by the Third Reich.

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, coined the slogan “More children from the fit, less from the unfit.” In language that many of her contemporary admirers would probably like to forget, she described blacks and Eastern European immigrants as “a menace to civi­lization” and “human weeds.” Concerned that American blacks might protest Planned Parenthood’s special “Negro Project” aimed at promot­ing sterilization, Sanger wrote to an associate, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

(The End of Racism, p. 118)

The Negro Project?! Maybe this is why you will find groups of Black Americans banding together on sites like BlackGenocide.org/L.E.A.R.N.

Not only did she “widen the appeal” of eugenic thinking, she was in the mix of the whole movement, and even gave page space to Nazi monsters in her news letter. For instance, in the following excerpts, we see some very disturbing relationships. In her autobiography, for instance, she said that “[o]ur living-room, be­came a gathering place where liberals, anarchists, Socialists and I.W.W.’s [Industrial Workers of the World, a socialist organization] could meet.” Jonah Goldberg continues:

A member of the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party, she participated in all the usual protests and demonstrations…. A disciple of the anarchist Emma Goldman—another eugeni­cist—Sanger became the nation’s first “birth control martyr” when she was arrested for handing out condoms in 1917. In order to escape a subsequent arrest for violating obscenity laws, she went to England, where she fell under the thrall of Havelock Ellis, a sex the­orist and ardent advocate of forced sterilization. She also had an af­fair with H. G. Wells, the self-avowed champion of “liberal fascism.”….

Her marriage fell apart early, and one of her children—whom she ad­mitted to neglecting—died of pneumonia at age four. Indeed, she al­ways acknowledged that she wasn’t right for family life, admitting she was not a “fit person for love or home or children or anything which needs attention or consideration.”

(Liberal Fascism, p. 271)

I must let Jonah continue (pp. 272-273) with his referencing the history and aims of the organization, it is jaw dropping:

She sought to ban fit. “More children from the fit, less from the unfit—that is the chief issue of birth control,” she frankly wrote in her 1922 book The Pivot of Civilization. (The book featured an introduction by Wells, in which he proclaimed, “We want fewer and better children … and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are deter­mined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citi­zens that you inflict on us.” Two civilizations were at war: that of progress and that which sought a world “swamped by an indiscrim­inate torrent of progeny.”)

A fair-minded person cannot read Sanger’s books, articles, and pamphlets today without finding similarities not only to Nazi eugen­ics but to the dark dystopias of the feminist imagination found in such allegories as Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.” As editor of the Birth Control Review, Sanger regularly published the sort of hard racism we normally associate with Goebbels or Himmler. Indeed, after she resigned as editor, the Birth Control Review ran ar­ticles by people who worked for Goebbels and Himmler. For exam­ple, when the Nazi eugenics program was first getting wide attention, the Birth Control Review was quick to cast the Nazis in a positive light, giving over its pages for an article titled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” by Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s director of sterilization and a founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene. In 1926 Sanger proudly gave a speech to a KKK rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey.

One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.”When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.

Sanger’s genius was to advance Ross’s campaign for social con­trol by hitching the racist-eugenic campaign to sexual pleasure and female liberation. In her “Code to Stop Overproduction of Children,” published in 1934,. she decreed that “no woman shall have a legal right to bear a child without a permit … no permit shall be valid for more than one child. But Sanger couched this fascistic agenda in the argument that “liberated” women wouldn’t mind such measures because they don’t really want large families in the first place. In a trope that would be echoed by later feminists such as Betty Friedan, she argued that motherhood itself was a socially imposed constraint on the liberty of women. It was a form of what Marxists called false consciousness to want a large family.

Sanger believed—prophetically enough—that if women con­ceived of sex as first and foremost a pleasurable experience rather than a procreative act, they would embrace birth control as a neces­sary tool for their own personal gratification. She brilliantly used the language of liberation to convince women they weren’t going along with a collectivist scheme but were in fact “speaking truth to power,” as it were.” This was the identical trick the Nazis pulled off. They took a radical Nietzschean doctrine of individual will and made it into a trendy dogma of middle-class conformity. This trick remains the core of much faddish “individualism” among rebellious con­formists on the American cultural left today. Nonetheless, Sanger’s analysis was surely correct, and led directly to the widespread femi­nist association of sex with political rebellion. Sanger in effect “bought off” women (and grateful men) by offering tolerance for promiscuity in return for compliance with her eugenic schemes.

In 1939 Sanger created the previously mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The proj­ect’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disas­trously, with the result that the increase among Negroes … is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s in­tent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

The question is this, how can a graduate student make it through a 4-year university and not know about this history. They can denounce, after this four-year indoctrination, how the settlers mistreated the Native-American’s, but will lift up a racist Nazi as a hero? The logic with this thinking baffles the mind. Even the history of the Democrats and their continual choice to be on the wrong side of history is seemingly forgot.

Going back to the defining parts of this essay, one of the major differences is how conservatives and progressives view “the perfectibility of human, nature and human society.” The left comes from a Rousseau’lian background where they believe the first man who, “having fenced in a piece of land, said ‘This is mine,’ and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society” (Adpated from my paper — opening debate — with an SFU student, Locke vs. Rousseau).

Christianity is closely tied to the success of capitalism,[25] as it is the only possible ethic behind such an enterprise.  How can such a thing be said?  The famed economist/sociologist/historian of our day, Thomas Sowell, speaks to this in his book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. He whittles down the many economic views into just two categories, the constrained view and the unconstrained view.

The constrained vision is a tragic vision of the human condition. The unconstrained vision is a moral vision of human intentions, which are viewed as ultimately decisive. The unconstrained vision promotes pursuit of the highest ideals and the best solutions. By contrast, the constrained vision sees the best as the enemy of the good— a vain attempt to reach the unattainable being seen as not only futile but often counterproductive, while the same efforts could have produced a more viable and beneficial trade-off. Adam Smith applied this reasoning not only to economics but also to morality and politics: The prudent reformer, according to Smith, will respect “the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people,” and when he cannot establish what is right, “he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong.” His goal is not to create the ideal but to “establish the best that the people can bear.”[26]

Dr. Sowell goes on to point out that while not “all social thinkers fit this schematic dichotomy…. the conflict of visions is no less real because everyone has not chosen sides or irrevocably committed themselves.” Continuing he points out:

Despite necessary caveats, it remains an important and remarkable phenomenon that how human nature is conceived at the outset is highly correlated with the whole conception of knowledge, morality, power, time, rationality, war, freedom, and law which defines a social vision…. The dichotomy between constrained and unconstrained visions is based on whether or not inherent limitations of man are among the key elements included in the vision.[27]

The contribution of the nature of man by the Judeo-Christian ethic is key in this respect. One can almost say, then, that the Christian worldview demands a particular position to be taken in the socio-economic realm.* You can almost liken the constrained view of man in economics and conservatism as the Calvinist position.  Pulitzer prize winning political commentator, Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), makes the above point well:

At the core of every moral code there is a picture of human nature, a map of the universe, and a version of history. To human nature (of the sort conceived), in a universe (of the kind imagined), after a history (so understood), the rules of the code apply.[28]

A free market, then, is typically viewed through the lenses of the Christian worldview with its concrete view of the reality of man balanced with love for your neighbor. Keeping the chasm between the two views and the beliefs of Progressivism in their utopian views there is this nasty idea of man being able to own something. The tenth commandment makes this more explicit when it prohibits not just stealing but also desiring to steal what belongs to my neighbor:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exod. 20:17).

The reason I should not “covet” my neighbor’s house or anything else is that these things belong to my neighbor, not to me and not to the community or the nation. This assumption of private ownership of property, found in this fundamental moral code of the Bible, puts the Bible in direct opposition to the communist system advocated by Karl Marx. Marx said:

The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.

One reason why communism is so incredibly dehumanizing is that when private property is abolished, government controls all economic activity. And when government controls all economic activity, it controls what you can buy, where you will live, and what job you will have (and therefore what job you are allowed to train for, and where you go to school), and how much you will earn. It essentially controls all of life, and human liberty is destroyed. Communism enslaves people and destroys human freedom of choice.[29]

There is much more to be said about this in a paper I wrote for one of my seminary classes:

Reforming America


[1] Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2007), 21.
[2] Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2007), 97.
[3] Ibid., 100.
[4] Ibid.
[5] William D. Gairdner, The War Against the Family: A Parent Speaks Out on the Political, Economic, and Social Policies That Threaten Us All (Toronto, Canada: BPS Books, 2007), 295.
[6] Ibid., 300.
[7] “Stalin was attracted to strong women, but ultimately preferred submissive housekeepers or teenagers.  He undoubtedly enjoyed adolescent and teenage girls, a taste that later was to get him into serious trouble with the police.” Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2007), 235.
[8] I am not here saying that the patriarchy is intrinsically bad either.
[9] Tammy Bruce, The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2001), 123.
[10] Ibid (footnote 103), 123-124:

Do not be mistaken: what Gloria Steinem, Molly Yard, Patri­cia Ireland and all the rest have presented to you over the last 15 years (at least) has not been feminist theory.  Betty Friedan, a former Communist Party member, was only the precursor of the hijacking of feminism to serve other political interests. Some consider Gloria Steinem, the founder of Ms. magazine and probably the second most influential feminist leader, after Friedan, of the last 30 years, to be the one who began blurring the lines between gender and race issues. This might be sur­prising to those who are unaware of Steinem’s involve­ment in socialist politics. In fact, she serves as an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, which boasts of being the largest socialist organization in the United States and is the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. Good for her, but we should know this as we explore what factors influence those who are considered feminist leaders.  Steinem’s influence, combined with the socialist sym­pathies of NOW’s immediate past-president, Patricia Ire­land, explain the co-opting of NOW by leftist ideologues. A 1996 article in Ms. quoted Ireland as saying that NOW “must offer a clear understanding of what it means to be a feminist organization concerned with ending discrimina­tion based on race, class, and other issues of oppression [emphasis mine] that come from a patriarchal structure.” Steinem then commented, “To be feminist, we have to take on the entire caste system.” Ireland details her support of the Communist Party in her autobiography, What Women Want. She admits that her socialist sympathies and participation in pro-Commu­nist rallies in Miami (of all places!) were due in part to the fact that her friend and future lover, Pat Silverthorn, was an activist in the Socialist Worker’s Party. There were problems, Ireland explains, with Silverthorn and her friends being Communists in Miami. “Later, after we’d become close,” Ireland writes, “[Pat Silverthorn] would confide that she, too, had wondered how much more dan­gerous she’d made her life by openly professing commu­nist convictions in that volatile, violent, commie-hating city… Working closely with Pat opened my eyes about the reality of living as a political leftist in this country.”

[11] Bruce Frohnen, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey Nelson, eds., American Conservative: An Encyclopedia (Wilmington, DW: ISIS Books, 2006), 679, cf. Progressivism.
[12] Phyllis Schlafly, Feminist Fantasies (Dallas, TX: Spence Publishing, 2003), 133.
[13] “Feminist Spirituality as a Path to Humanism,” Fall 1990, 31.
[14] Ibid., 35
[15] David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991), 437.
[16] I would have to say what we find taught on our campuses is what is sometimes referred to as second wave feminism.  The APA Dictionary makes clear the differences between first and second wave feminism.  We will soon see when second wave feminism started.

feminism n. — any of a number of perspectives that take as their subject matter the problems and perspectives of women, or the nature of biological and social phenomena related to GENDER. Feminism has evolved from a largely political movement in the 19th century, focused (in the United States) on women’s suffrage and political and economic opportunities, into broader and more comprehensive academic, philosophical, and social movements. Although some feminist perspectives continue to focus on issues of fairness and equal rights, other approaches emphasize what are taken to be inherent and systematic gender inequities in Western society (see PATRIARCHY). In psychology, feminism has focused attention on the nature and origin of gender differences in psychological processes.

APA Dictionary of Psychology (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007), cf. Feminism, 372-373.

[17] As David Horowitz points out:

On what basis should political activists in women’s studies departments be granted tenure and lifetime jobs? Professors of women’s studies at the University of Kansas are not elected. They are appointed, and in fact they are self-appointed, since new hires in the Department of Women’s Studies will be determined by the votes of the tenured members of the department. This means that not only is there no intellectual diversity in women’s stud­ies programs now, but as long as ideological departments con­tinue to exist there never will be. The tenured members of these departments know the ideology they want in a hire, and will always hire someone who believes politically as they do. An anal­ogy would be if the Republican majority in the Kansas Legisla­ture had lifetime jobs and were entrusted with electing their Republican successors. This is a prescription for authoritarian rule, not the kind of principle that should govern the educational institutions of a democracy.

Indoctrinate U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom (New York, NY: Encounter Books, 2007), 66; see also, Evan Coyne Maloney, Indoctrinate U: Our Education, Their Politics (DVD, On The Fence Films, 2007); also:

Women’s studies programs are notori­ous for misusing statistics and repeating misleading information on top­ics ranging from rape and domestic violence to the prevalence of eating disorders and the size of the wage gap. The rejection of academic rigor suggests that women’s studies pro­grams have another purpose. It’s not simply a field of study for college students—an alternative to English literature, history, or politics. Women’s studies is a recruitment device for a political movement. As Shelia Ruth details in her women’s studies 101 textbook, “Today, as in the past, if we lose our rootedness in the women’s movement, in concrete social action, we will lose not only our passion but our heart, our mean­ing, and our whole point.”

Carrie L. Lukas, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2006), 177.

[18] Academe, July-August [1989], p. 38
[19] Nancy Naples, Teaching Feminist Activism: Strategies from the Field (New York, NY: Routledge Publishing, 2002), 112; Bell Hooks, Feminist Theory (London: Pluto Press, 2000), 111.
[20] Christina Hoff Sommers, “Do These Feminists Like Women? A Reply to Friedman’s Response,” Francis J. Beckwith, ed., Do the Right Thing: A Philosophical Dialogue on the Moral and Social Issues of Our Time (Boston, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 1996), 587.
[21] Ibid.
[22] In his second paragraph, Ellis quickly points out that he is a lifelong Democrat, a card-carrying member of the ACLU, an environmentalist, a supporter of women’s rights and a federalist.
[23] Richard J. Ellis, The Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism in America (Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas, 1998), 193-194:

(a) See Stephen Macedo, ed., Reassessing the Sixties: Debating the Political and Cultural Legacy (New York: Norton, 1997), especially the chapters by Harvey C. Mansfield, Jeremy Rabkin, and Martha Nussbaum.
(b) See Blanche Glassman Hersh, The Slavery of Sex: Feminist-Abolitionists in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978).
(c) Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), especially 86-91. Carl J. Guarneri, The Utopian Alternative: Fourierism in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), especially 197-211, 35363; “isolated household” quotation on 19q. John Humphrey Noyes, History of American Socialisms (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1870 John L. Thomas, “Antislavery and Utopia,” in Martin Duberman, ed., The Antislavery Vanguard: New Essays on the Abolitionists (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1965), 257. Robert F. Fogarty, All Things New: American Communes and Utopian Movements, 1860-1914 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 106, 199, 215; also see 66-72 for a description of the Women’s Commonwealth, or the Sanctified Sisters of Belton, which Fogarty characterizes as “the first feminist collective in the United States” (66).
(d) Nancy Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987), 3, 13-15.
(e) Ibid., 15.
(f) Christopher Lasch, The New Radicalism in America, 1889-1863: The Intellectual as a Social Type (New York: Vintage, 1965), 90.
(g) Cott, Grounding of Modern Feminism, 15, 35. Ludwig Von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (1922; reprint ed., Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1981), 74-92. Lasch, New Radicalism in America, 91.
(h) Cott, Grounding of Modern Feminism, 35.
(i) June Sochen, ed., The New Feminism in Twentieth-Century America (Lexington, Mass.: Heath, 1971), viii–ix, 33-36, 45-46. Lasch, New Radicalism in America, 91.

[24] Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2007),, 81.
[Refrence Notation] The following footnotes/section is from Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions
[25]
See for instance: R.H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2000 [originally 1926]); Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003 [originally 1904]); Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (New York, NY: Random House, 2005); Thomas E. Woods, Jr., How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2005).
[26]
Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (New York, NY: basic Books, 2007), 27.
[27]
Ibid., 33, 34.
[28]
Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (New York, NY: Freee Press, 1965), 80.
[29] Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 261-263.

Concepts: “Playing Softball or Hardball” ~ Political Grit

(Click article to enlarge) This installation of Concepts is pretty ambiguous and I agree with most parts of it. The connection of sports with politics is a bit for me, but to each their own. I really only take issue with John Van Huizum’s view of history. And really it isn’t just John’s lack of applying our past to our current situation, but many American’s lack this knowledge of our political past. So this isn’t an issue I bring up merely to debate with John about, but to edify all me readers knowledge about.

The first is that money has always played a part in our political structure, always. Almost all of its people that have run for president have been very well-to-do, i.e., the one-percent. This disparity in Congress of millionaires and the creation of Super-Pacs has recently become more lopsided due to campaign finance laws which had caused nearly half of Congress’ members to be millionaires, including about two thirds of Senators. Ironically, the much heralded campaign finance reform that was supposed to level the playing field in a populist direction has only served to increase the likelihood of more millionaire candidates, even though millionaires constitute about 1 percent of the American population. But these are discussions for another day. I wanted to focus in on this idea that our political landscape is “less and less friendly,” as if we have reached some apex of name calling and “meanness” in politics and partisanship. This just isn’t the case, as the video included herein points out.

Jefferson called Adams “a blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who is a hideous hermaphroditic character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

The Federalists attacked the fifty-seven-year-old Jefferson as a godless Jacobin who would unleash the forces of bloody terror upon the land. With Jefferson as President, so warned Adams (actually the Connecticut Courant), “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.” Reportedly New Englanders hid their Bibles for fear that the infidel Jefferson would declare them illegal if elected. In 1828, supporters of John Quincy Adams called Andrew Jackson a murderer and a cannibal.

Cronkite, A Liberals-Liberal

“I know liberalism isn’t dead in this country. It simply has, temporarily we hope, lost its voice….We know that unilateral action in Grenada and Tripoli was wrong. We know that ‘Star Wars’ means uncontrollable escalation of the arms race. We know that the real threat to democracy is the half of the nation in poverty. We know that no one should tell a woman she has to bear an unwanted child….Gawd Almighty, we’ve got to shout these truths in which we believe from the housetops. Like that scene in the movie ‘Network,’ we’ve got to throw open our windows and shout these truths to the streets and the heavens. And I bet we’ll find more windows are thrown open to join the chorus than we’d ever dreamed possible.” (link in pic)

One small point to add, as I am apt to do in my rants. John Huizum mentions implicitly Walter Cronkite as some pinnacle of fairness. My deep study of the Vietnam ground war in the larger Cold War (some would say WWIII) and Walter Cronkite’s liberal slant (and all the networks of the time leaning that way) is an example of the monopoly one viewpoint had on the news people took in as a whole. Cronkite, while very liberal, did however control it much better than many CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and FOX hosts today do — not to mention he was an all-around good guy who had many friends on both sides of the isle. That being said, this “non-control” isn’t a bad thing. To be clear, Cronkite was more left leaning than many have previously allocated to him… but choice in what bias one prefers was not present during those days like it is in ours. This freedom of choice is what many liberals do not like. Unfortunately for John, Mr. Cronkite was a very leftist person, and his leftism crept out into his reporting during the Vietnam War, and he ended up NOT being “the most trusted man in America.” Granted, Cronkite was not as publicly left as, say, Rachel Maddow [who stated she is to the left of Mao], but Douglas Brinkley’s new book makes his leftism very clear.

Key to this debate is that Democrats hate competition, but once-in-a-while a liberal comes out on the side of fairness and competition of ideas, one such person is Camille Paglia. She is certainly no conservative, she had a lot to say to fellow progressives and Democrats in regards to the “Fairness Doctrine” and makes some fine points:

Speaking of talk radio (which I listen to constantly), I remain incredulous that any Democrat who professes liberal values would give a moment’s thought to supporting a return of the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle conservative shows. (My latest manifesto on this subject appeared in my last column.) The failure of liberals to master the vibrant medium of talk radio remains puzzling. To reach the radio audience (whether the topic is sports, politics or car repair), a host must have populist instincts and use the robust common voice. Too many Democrats have become arrogant elitists, speaking down in snide, condescending tones toward tradition-minded middle Americans whom they stereotype as rubes and buffoons. But the bottom line is that government surveillance of the ideological content of talk radio is a shocking first step toward totalitarianism. One of the nuggets I’ve gleaned from several radio sources is that Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has been in the aggressive forefront of the campaign to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, is married to Tom Athans, who works extensively with left-wing radio organizations and was once the executive vice-president of Air America, the liberal radio syndicate that, despite massive publicity from major media, has failed miserably to win a national audience. Stabenow’s outrageous conflict of interest has of course been largely ignored by the prestige press, which should have been demanding that she recuse herself from all political involvement with this issue. (Capitalist Fanboys)

We should all be for fairness and friendliness in interactions with each-other, of course, who wouldn’t be for this. But Cronkite’s Republican friends were thick skinned, which is why Nixon (a thin skinned Republican) hated him. We all have to all play hard ball, and part of doing so in our Republic is by incorporating and knowing our history and to limit the “limits” we want to place on each others freedoms.