Progressivism vs. Declaration (4th of July Primer)

(School is in!) Mark Levin shares his study of the U.S. Constitution and it’s Founding. The American Founding. Levin discusses the miracle of the death of the two men key to the Declaration’s appearance (Jefferson and Adams) on the Fourth of July. He then treads into progressive waters and the current dislike of our American Founding as compared to history. He reads from Woodrow Wilson (our first Ph.D. President) and his disdain for the Founding document and Principles. Then a reading from — really a counter point — Calvin Coolidge to cement the idea that these are eternal principles. Levin wonders aloud how Leftists can even celebrate the 4th in good conscience.

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers. — Calvin Coolidge (POWERLINE)

BTW, if one does not know the history of the fourth in regard to Jefferson and Adams, or the eternal principles BEHIND the Declaration, here are some decent videos:

Were the Founders Religious? (Joshua Charles)

Very happy for my “cyber friend” to be in the Prager-U mix!

What did the Founding Fathers believe about religion? Were they Christians, or just deists? Did they believe in secularism, or did they want Americans to be religious? Joshua Charles, New York Times bestselling author and researcher at the Museum of the Bible, explains.

Donald Trump’s Exceptional Failure

(See also my previous post on this)

…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government… 

(Declaration of Independence)

An “authentic, fully American history and tradition” is lacking in Trump’s thinking. To wit, reading this article by Daniel Krauthammer titled, Without Exceptionalism, both lifted me up as-well-as saddened me. The article made my spirit sour because of the reinvigorated understanding of “what it means to be an American” by a young man while-at-the-same-time my heart sunk because of the state of the American people in nominating a complete scoundrel in all regards to the Grand Ol’ Party. What a roller-coaster ride that was! I will take Charles Krauthammer’s word for it that Daniel “has the sharpest, most brilliant mind, sharper than mine.” Without further adieu,  here is Michael Medved reading over and commenting on Daniel’s article:

The key point I see in Daniel’s piece is that Trump views markets, wealth, and ultimately America as a zero-sum game:

  • Trump’s world is a zero-sum game, and Trump’s America will start winning again only when everyone else starts losing. This simplistic thinking defies logic and basic economics. But it does appeal to a certain sense of American nationalism: that “we” as a collective need to rally around a strong leader who will make us once again richer and more powerful than everyone else. Why? Because we’re us and they’re them. This kind of nationalism, however, is completely unexceptional. The leaders of literally any other country on earth could—and often do—say the same thing to their people and appeal to the same nationalistic sentiments. There is nothing uniquely American about what Trump espouses. There is no American ideal or philosophy providing a moral reason for this national mission to “win.”The-Crimson-Permanent-Assurance

He shows an almost Keynsein propensity that manifests itself in trying to fit the American Soul into an Excel spreadsheet — viewing “what” we are… kinesthetically… at his deepest understanding [if that even applies to “The Donald”] depicting the United States as the “Crimson Permanent Assurance,” a (mostly) standalone short in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life about “a crew of aged accountants who throw off the yokes of their oppressors, take up the mantle of corporate piracy and set sail on the high seas of international finance.”

What a joke!

What an ass.

Every day I am more-and-more convinced in my decision to leave the Presidential choice BLANK come November. For the first time, since I started voting, I will not vote for the President of These United States. Bill Kristol is right when he says that we have 5-months ahead of us of watching GOP pundits (like Sean Hannity and others) “defending, apologizing for, and excusing” Donald Trump’s obvious zero-sum intelligence.

Good luck with that.

Idiocracy

Gay Patriot (CFA) writes in response to a question by yours-truly that he recognizes that “primary campaigns get nasty,” he adds that he also gets

that our last two elections were decided by Low Information Voters, and that these voters are not moved by, for example, a Scott Walker type who is a brilliant policy reformer but dishwater dull.  My concern is that if a candidate runs a campaign based on childish name-calling, outright lies, violent threats, and conspiracy theories and is rewarded with the presidency; not only will he govern likewise, but his strategy will become the template for all future campaigns. To me, it feels like the onset of Idiocracy.

If that is really where our culture is, then it doesn’t much matter who the president is.

I won’t be a part of it.

Amen to that! I won’t be either.

“America Guided by Wisdom”

(Click to Enlarge)

On the fore ground, Minerva, the goddess of Wisdom, is pointing to a shield, supported by the Genius of America, bearing the arms of the United States, with the motto UNION AND INDEPENDENCE, by which the country enjoys the prosperity signified by the horn of plenty at the feet of America. The second ground is occupied by a Triumphal Arch with the Equestrian Statue of WASHINGTON placed in front, indicating the progress of the liberal arts. On the third ground, Commerce is represented by the figure of Mercury, with one foot resting on bales of American manufactures, pointing out the advantages of encouraging and protecting Navigation, signified by an armed vessel under sail, to Ceres, who is seated with emplements of Agriculture near her. The Bee Hive is emblematic of industry; and the female spinning at the cottage door, shews the first and most useful of domestic manufactures.

~ Benjamin Tanner’s descriptive text.

The first black poet in America to publish a book, Poems on Various Subjects: Religious and Moral, spoke of this wisdom that guided one of our Founding Fathers in a poem entitled, “His Excellency General Washington.”

Just a small bio on this American gem before the poem:

  • Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to publish a book of poetry, was probably born in 1753 or 1754, somewhere in western Africa. At roughly 7 years old, captured by [most likely Arab] slave-traders. She was considered too sickly for hard labor plantations in the Caribbean or Southern U.S. colonies, she became a domestic servant for the Wheatley family in Boston. Though they kept slaves, the Wheatley’s were relatively progressive; after witnessing Phillis copying the alphabet in chalk, instead of punishing her, they decided to cultivate her academic interests. During a period when some states outlawed teaching slaves to read, Phillis was studying Alexander Pope and John Milton. Actually, the education she received from the Wheatley’s was superior even to most Caucasian males’ schooling.

May I also add to History Bitches slightly adapted info above that Phillis was also steeped in the Bible. And being a poet she was well aware of “lady wisdom” in Proverbs. (A more complete bio of her is below):

Celestial choir! enthron’d in realms of light,
Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven’s revolving light
Involved in sorrows and the veil of night!

The Goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel binds Her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise.

Muse! Bow propitious while my pen relates
How pour her armies through a thousand gates,
As when Eolus heaven’s fair face deforms,
Enwrapp’d in tempest and a night of storms;
Astonish’d ocean feels the wild uproar,
The refluent surges beat the sounding shore;
Or think as leaves in Autumn’s golden reign,
Such, and so many, moves the warrior’s train.
In bright array they seek the work of war,
Where high unfurl’d the ensign waves in air.
Shall I to Washington their praise recite?
Enough thou know’st them in the fields of fight.
Thee, first in peace and honors—we demand
The grace and glory of thy martial band.
Fam’d for thy valour, for thy virtues more,
Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore!

One century scarce perform’d its destined round,
When Gallic powers Columbia’s fury found;
And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
The land of freedom’s heaven-defended race!
Fix’d are the eyes of nations on the scales,
For in their hopes Columbia’s arm prevails.
Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
While round increase the rising hills of dead.
Ah! Cruel blindness to Columbia’s state!
Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.

Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
Thy ev’ry action let the Goddess guide.
A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! Be thine.

Richard Gamble writes about this “exceptionalism” with a warning…

In 1765, John Adams unwittingly penned one of the proof texts of American exceptionalism. “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder,” the young lawyer wrote in his diary, “as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”

[….]

In 1814, half a century after the publication of his Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, John Adams wrote to his Southern adversary John Taylor of Caroline. In the course of defending his constitutional principles, Adams issued a warning that the new exceptionalists will never quote, let alone heed: “We may boast that we are the chosen people; we may even thank God that we are not like other men; but, after all, it will be but flattery, and the delusion, the self-deceit of the Pharisee.”

A people, as surely as an individual, cannot stand in the presence of the world and congratulate itself on its unassailable virtue without leading itself into moral blindness and earning the contempt of others. Nothing about the American achievement is “placed beyond all possibility of failure,” as John Quincy Adams boasted. It would be fatal for a republic to entertain such presumption. There is nothing inevitable about our future, and no facile talk about exceptionalism will make it so. A history and a tradition—an authentic, fully American history and tradition—is available to us, but only if we turn away from the myths of the new exceptionalism.

(The American Conservative)

And so, goodbye…

…The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the ‘shining city upon a hill.’ The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

(Reagan’s Farewell Speech

 


Phillis Wheatley


Phillis Wheatley was born in Senegal, Africa, in 1753. She was kidnapped at the age of eight and sent on a slave ship to Boston. Purchased by a prosperous Boston tailor, John Wheatley, she was trained as a personal servant for John’s wife, Susannah.

Phillis was quick and perceptive, and Susannah and her daughter Mary were drawn in a special manner to Phillis. Susannah considered Phillis a daughter, and Mary treated her like a sister. Both tutored her in the Scriptures and in morals, and within sixteen months Phillis had so mastered English that she was able to read the most difficult parts of the Bible with ease. Mary then taught Phillis astronomy, geography, ancient history, the Latin classics, and the English poets, all of which Phillis conquered with equal ease. Because of her aptitude for difficult knowledge and her ability as a brilliant conversationalist, Phillis was considered by the Bostonian intellectuals to be a child prodigy.

When she was only thirteen years old, Phillis wrote her first poetic verses; and then three years later, being an admirer of the celebrated Rev. George Whitefield, she authored a special poem about his life. This early interest in poetry continued for the rest of her life, and today Phillis is known as America’s first Black female poet.

In 1771, Phillis became a member of the famous Old South Church. It was later said that “her membership in Old South was an exception to the rule that slaves were not baptized into the church.”

In 1773, her health began to fail. A sea-voyage was recommended, and Mrs. Wheatley promptly saw to it that Phillis was manumitted (freed). Phillis traveled to England, where she was received by British royalty. While abroad, she published her first collection of poems, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

In 1775, while still abroad, and while the siege of Boston was underway in America, Phillis wrote a letter to the new Commander-in-Chief, General Washington, containing a special poem she had written for him:

His Excellency George Washington . . . Thee, first in place and honors, – we demand The grace and glory of thy martial band Fam’d for thy valor, for thy virtues more, Here every tongue thy guardian aid implore! . . . Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side, Thy every action let the goddess guide. A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine, With gold unfading, Washington, be thine. . . .

Washington was touched by the poem; and when Phillis returned to America, Washington invited her to his military camp at Cambridge to honor her before his staff.

Phillis had returned to America when she had learned of the declining health of Mrs. Wheatley, who died shortly after her return. Phillis remained close to the family. She continued her writings and purposed to bring out a second volume of poems to be dedicated to Benjamin Franklin. Misfortune, however, intervened.

In 1778, Phillis married John Peters, a free Black. Although he appeared promising (he was a writer and had studied for the law), his character was deeply flawed: he was slothful, did not provide for his new wife, and failed to give her the care that her delicate health required. He also demanded that she isolate herself from her former friends and even required that she cut off all contact with the Wheatleys. Peters finally deserted Phillis.

Under these circumstances, and only five years after her marriage, Phillis died in obscurity at the age of 30, alone and in poverty, buried in an unmarked grave. Of her three children, two died in infancy, and the third was buried alongside her.

Despite the hardships in her life, Phillis never complained. In fact, she found a silver lining – or rather a Divine one – even in her tragic life of slavery. In her poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” she wrote:

‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land Taught my benighted soul to understand That there’s a God, that there’s a Savior too: Once I redemption neither sought nor knew. Some view our fable race with scornful eye, “Their color is a diabolic dye.” Remember, Christians, Negroes black as Cain, May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.

Phillis’ poetry was popular for generations after her death, and she was considered a heroine by those who fought to end slavery. She remains a shining example of a devout Christian, an accomplished poet, and a gracious and kind woman.

(Wall Builders)

Nature’s Laws Defines the Reasons for Heterosexual Relations

Romans 1:18-21:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.

Here is the intro from a chapter in my book explaining a bit the above:

Like all of Scripture, Romans references eternal truths based solely in God’s nature and His created order.  These truths brought the once pagan scholar, Augustine, to the Christian faith transforming him into an exemplary apologist.[1]  Similar truths found in the Book of Roman’s electrified Luther’s life.[2]  These two person’s mentioned have had a huge impact on the direction of Western Culture.[3]  The truths in the letter Paul penned were evident enough from the natural created order that even the common ancient man could understand his own nature and the nature of others.[4] [5]  For instance, while Aristotle did not codify the Laws of Thought[6] for another 150-years — the Law of Contradiction and Excluded Middle was clearly used in a legal setting referenced in the Old Testament. This law of nature/thought was referenced to make a stand against the pagan God of the day, Baal:

“So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto Mount Carmel.  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him’.”[7] [8] [9]

These laws were not invented by Aristotle just like gravity was not invented by Newton. Newton – like Aristotle – merely codified these already existing phenomena.  Similarly, while natural law[10] [11] was not officially codified until more modern times[12] – natural law always existed and was referenced and used by thinkers all throughout history.  This includes biblical authors importing Grecian constructs in the writing of Romans 2:15 in regards to natural law expressing God’s eternal truths to the audience of his day.[13]  Paul had a theistic-Christian understanding of “human nature”[14] much like Moses had a grasp on the nature of God’s triuness[15] before the word “Holy Trinity” was ever used.  When Paul wrote that person’s “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,”[16] he was categorically defining human nature.  Not only that.  Paul was referencing the early chapters of Genesis when he spoke about a Creator.  The early chapters of Genesis “are the very foundation on which all knowledge rests,”[17]  Paul knew the importance of a coherent worldview based in the Judeo-Christian worldview as do pro-choice lesbians confirming its positive impact on 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.[18]

FootNotes

[1] Walter A. Elwell and Robert W. Yarbrough, Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 274.

[2] Ibid., 275.

[3] For example:

a) Augustine’s impact implicitly on George Washington, see: Michael Novak and Jana Novak, Washington’s God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 202-203;

b) Luther on work ethic leading to the Protestant ethic therein, see: Paul Marshall, God and the Constitution: Christianity and American Politics (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Inc., 2002), 31;

c) generally the Reformation’s impact on nationalism and economic freedom, see: Alvin J. Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004), 199-213;

d) Calvinism and the influence on the Founders understanding of mankind’s place in the universe, see: John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1987), 17-26.

[4] John R.W. Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove: IVP, 1994), 78.

[5] This polemic, by-the-by, is not an argument for the superiority of natural revelation verses special, the latter is what guides all Christians.  Even to interpret “Romans 1 and 2 in deistic terms of natural religion is unjustifiable” (Carl F. H. Henry, “Natural Law and a Nihilistic Culture,” First Things 49 [1995]: 55-60), this is realized.

[6] Chris Rohmann, A World of Ideas: A Dictionary of Important Theories, Concepts, Beliefs, and Thinkers (New York: Ballantine Books, 1999), cf. “Aristotle,” 26.

[7] The Holy Bible: King James Version (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version; Bellingham: Logos Research Systems, 1995), cf. 1 Ki 18:20-21.

[8] This came to me during one of Dr. Wayne Houses lectures at Faith Evangelical Seminary.

[9] These verses also hint at the Law of Excluded Middle as well as the Law of Identity.

[10] Defined generally as “[r]ules of conduct determined by reflection upon human nature…”  Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan, eds., Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics (New York: Oxford, 2003), cf. “natural law”, 365.

[11] Dr. Elwell defines it as “[a] moral order divinely implanted in humankind and accessible to all persons through human reason.”  Walter A. Elwell, ed., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 814.

[12] Evolving from Aristotle, to Augustus, Aquinas, Locke and most recently, John Finnis. See Finnis’s  Natural Law and Natural Rights (Clarendon Law Series; ed. H. L. A. Hart; New York: Oxford University Press, 1980).

[13] Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 122.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Cf., Genesis 18:1-3, 9, 13, 22, 26-27, 30; 19:1-2, 18, 24. Actually this was a revelation directly to Abraham [revelation of God’s attributes], but Moses edited these earlier testimonies and was himself aware of these explicit implications.

[16] NASB, Romans 1:25.

[17] C. Everett Koop and Francis A. Schaeffer, Whatever Happened To The Human Race? (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1983) 112.

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

Now, let us read a bit from both The Declaration of Independence:

…the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them.

Founding.com explains succinctly what is meant by “laws of nature” penned in one of our many founding documents:

“The laws of nature and of nature’s God” are the beginning point of the political theory of the American founding. They explain the Founders’ decision to declare America’s independence from England. But what does this phrase mean–“the laws of nature and of nature’s God”?

First, it means that nature encompasses laws: certain obligations are prescribed for all human beings by nature–or more specifically, by the fact that all humans share a common nature. Today, some scientists claim that “nature knows no morals.” For the Founders, that is what one might expect to hear from a tyrant like Hitler or Stalin, but not anyone who understands that human nature itself, rightly understood, provides objective standards of how human life should be lived.

Second, “laws of nature” are laws that can be grasped by human reason. The Founders did not believe-as one often hears today-that there is a right to liberty because “who’s to say what’s right or wrong?” The Founders were not moral relativists. To the contrary, they boldly proclaim that they grasp certain fundamental principles or moral and political conduct.

Third and finally, the “laws of nature,” accessible in principle to any person anywhere in the world who thinks clearly about the nature of human beings, mean that the American founding is not based on ideas specifically tied to one people, such as “the rights of Englishmen,” but on ideas that are true for all people everywhere….

Obviously God’s laws are not arbitrary. But according to the Founders, nature is not either. And it is this non-subjective portion of nature that every culture tapped into, based in God’s character/attributes.

For instance, people have a distorted view of Greek culture (B.C.). One is that homosexual acts with boys was accepted in-situ as equal to male/female relations. This is not the case.

NOR were the moral giants from that time that so influenced our Republic silent on the matter. Here for instance is Plato in dialogue with a detractor who ends up agreeing with him on the morality of the two relations compared:

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 “big-wig” in the roots of philosophy our Founder knew so well is that of Aeschines:

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.

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.

Even the Greeks had a reference to nature that exuded a universal moral application. An ideal.

As an aside, no founder of any of the worlds great religions supported the measure of same-sex relations as equal to those of the hetero lifestyle. For instance, the Buddha was alerted to the problem and he issued a rule for the community not to give any ordination to a homosexual, and those ordained gays are to be expelled (Vin.I, 86).

What Christianity did is apply both the Book of Revelation in God revealing His plan to us. So, in Genesis 2:24 God sets up the parameters of the laws of nature and what the Greeks were really tapping into when we read:

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.

Remember, in Genesis 1:26 you have a clear reference to the Plurality of the Godhead. This is continued through chapter two with the reference to Lord God. Elohim is a plural hint at the Godhead.

Who is part of this Godhead Paul references in Romans? In classical understanding God is: God the Father, Jesus the Messiah/Son, and the Holy Spirit. So Jesus is in the mix, fully God. Theology 101. So what did Jesus [God] have to say on the matter?

I will let Dr. Andrews respond to my question (from: Did Jesus Believe in Adam and Eve?):

…If you want to limit yourself to the words of Jesus Himself (as distinct from NT testimony as a whole) you have I think only two specific texts to argue from:

1) Matt 19:4 ‘And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ (repeated in Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’) In Matt. 19 it is important to notice the words that follow; “and SAID ‘For this reason …”, quoting Genesis 2:24. But this latter text doesn’t say ‘God said’ … which means that Jesus attributes the simple statement of Gen. 2:24 to God, thus testifying to the divine authorship of this verse and by implication the whole book of Genesis.

2) The other useful text is Mt 24:38For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, etc”. Here Jesus testifies to the historical reality of the flood, Noah and the ark. Most theistic evolutionists believe that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are mythology and not to be taken literally or as historically true. (But this may not apply to everyone who accepts macro evolution).

Um… in case you are confused… Jesus was one of the “Hombres” present when He made essentially the first contractual obligation for mankind to follow. The perpetuation of mankind.

This law from nature or God’s law (or both!) have inherent benefits, or an ideal situation for offspring to be raised and benefit society ~ as a whole.

...Doug Mainwaring

I’m gay, and I oppose gay marriage

In our sometimes misguided efforts to expand our freedom, selfish adults have systematically dismantled that which is most precious to children as they grow and develop. That’s why I am now speaking out against same-sex marriage.

By the way, I am gay.

A few days ago I testified against pending same-sex marriage legislation in Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary and House Civil Law Committees.

The atmosphere at these events (I’ve also testified elsewhere) seems tinged with unreality—almost a carnival-like surrealism. Natural law, tradition, religion, intellectual curiosity, and free inquiry no longer play a role in deliberations. Same-sex marriage legislation is defended solely on grounds of moral relativism and emotions.

Pure sophistry is pitted against reason. Reason is losing.

[….]

Same-sex marriage will do the same, depriving children of their right to either a mom or a dad. This is not a small deal. Children are being reduced to chattel-like sources of fulfillment. On one side, their family tree consists not of ancestors, but of a small army of anonymous surrogates, donors, and attorneys who pinch-hit for the absent gender in genderless marriages. Gays and lesbians demand that they have a “right” to have children to complete their sense of personal fulfillment, and in so doing, are trumping the right that children have to both a mother and a father—a right that same-sex marriage tramples over.

Same-sex marriage will undefine marriage and unravel it, and in so doing, it will undefine children. It will ultimately lead to undefining humanity. This is neither “progressive” nor “conservative” legislation. It is “regressive” legislation.

(read more)

Which is why one of the most respected Canadian sociologist and homosexual, Paul Nathanson, writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are:

  • Foster the bonding between men and women
  • Foster the birth and rearing of children
  • Foster the bonding between men and children
  • Foster some form of healthy masculine identity
  • Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults

Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival, … every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively . … Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Going further he stated that “same sex marriage is a bad idea” …[he] only opposed “gay marriage, not gay relationships.”

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 [gay and straight] can argue from this point, because either we were created this way or we evolved this way.

Whichever it is, nature has imposed on us certain realities that a healthy society should adhere to.

Continuing.

Keep in mind all societies have supported the superiority of the male-female relation over and above other forms. When Christianity cam on the scene, it not only supported that reality (and in fact explained it’s Origins), but had from Genesis to the Epistles supported marriage as being bewteen only two people.

This had a net benefit for society as well. By supplanting polygamy women and children are better protected from exploitation. Often times women are treated as chattel in these relations. And young boys are shunned as the older patriarchs are after the “younger-better-models” that in a healthy society would pair up typically with their opposites of similar age.

The reality of polygamy, like slavery, was dealt with in the early church. For instance, we see Paul dealing with the reality of polygamy by calling people to a higher standard, a Godley standard:

“But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2-3)

Monogomy is clearly taught in the Bible.

Granted, there are exceptions to the rule — I will give an example I learned in seminary about missionary work in countries that practice polygamy.

In discussing this matter with my professor, he noted that when a family comes to a saving knowledge of God, and the man has multiple wives. You do not go in and then break up that family. These women are better off than being single in that society, not is it right to break up families and release the kids “into the wild” so-to-speak.

Through guidance and teaching God’s principles, the children from these relationships typically throw off their paganism and marry in a way that is honoring to God.

One must also keep in mind as well that in the Western tradition, laws are not written on outliers:

…Proponents of gay marriage fail utterly to comprehend the idea that laws are made with society, not the individual, in mind. That is why they also fail to grasp the idea that law is predicated upon averages, not outliers. Interestingly, both libertarians and progressives suffer from this lack of under-standing…

…But more often they try to undermine the link between marriage and childrearing by pointing to outliers—marriages in which couples choose not to have children or cannot have them because at least one partner happens to be infertile. But this argument only reveals the weakness of the progressive understanding of the law. Put simply, rules that are justified by the average case cannot be undermined by the exceptional case, otherwise known as the outlier. Thus the old maxim, “Hard cases make bad law.”…

Mike S. Adams, Letters To A Young Progressive (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2013), 81, 82.

And the one-man-one-women is the most natural way to curb man’s nature to go from one woman to the next propagating offspring and then leaving the child to have no contact with a father.

We can see as our society becomes more accepting of this behavior, and, in facts rewards it, you will see more incarcerations, violence, drug use, suicides, poverty, and the like.

This being said, the most recent cases on same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court have paved the way for polygamy, as well as incest. People may be happy with the “freedom” they think lies in these rulings, but only when this younger generation is older will they realize what they have done to a once proudly Christian nation.

The bottom line is this. Those wanting male-male relations are not arguing against God, but against nature. Mind you, they are rejecting God’s Ideal as well — in their rebellion. However, you could argue from nature alone for the primacy of the male/female relation in the least.

HOWEVER, if one were to argue that the number in a marriage should be only two-people ~ they are specifically arguing from a Judeo-Christian platform. In arguing for the number two in some objective manner, they are inserting Biblical standards on to the law. Something I do not have a problem with, but point of fact, these people do have an issue with it.

When I say Christianity is true I mean it is true to total reality—the total of what is, beginning with the central reality, the objec­tive existence of the personal-infinite God. Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth—Truth about all of reality. And the holding to that Truth intellectually—and then in some poor way living upon that Truth, the Truth of what is—brings forth not only certain personal results, but also governmental and legal re­sults.

Francis Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Volume Five (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 425.


Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity…. 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…. Instead of thinking of Christianity as a collection of theological bits and pieces to be believed or debated, we should approach our faith as a conceptual system, as a total world-and-life view.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 9, 17-18, 19.

Nor, do I agree that religion should be excluded from the law. To do so would mean a LOT of reversing of freedoms gained here in the West as well as in other corners of the world:

…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.

[….]

Historian Alvin Schmidt points out how the spread of Christianity and Christian influence on government was primarily responsible for outlawing infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (in AD 374); outlawing the brutal battles-to-the-death in which thousands of gladiators had died (in 404); outlawing the cruel punishment of branding the faces of criminals (in 315); instituting prison reforms such as the segregating of male and female prisoners (by 361); stopping the practice of human sacrifice among the Irish, the Prussians, and the Lithuanians as well as among other nations; outlawing pedophilia; granting of property rights and other protections to women; banning polygamy (which is still practiced in some Muslim nations today); prohibiting the burning alive of widows in India (in 1829); outlawing the painful and crippling practice of binding young women’s feet in China (in 1912); persuading government officials to begin a system of public schools in Germany (in the sixteenth century); and advancing the idea of compulsory education of all children in a number of European countries.

During the history of the church, Christians have had a decisive influence in opposing and often abolishing slavery in the Roman Empire, in Ireland, and in most of Europe (though Schmidt frankly notes that a minority of “erring” Christian teachers have supported slavery in various centuries). In England, William Wilberforce, a devout Christian, led the successful effort to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself throughout the British Empire by 1840.

In the United States, though there were vocal defenders of slavery among Christians in the South, they were vastly outnumbered by the many Christians who were ardent abolitionists, speaking, writing, and agitating constantly for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Schmidt notes that two-thirds of the American abolitionists in the mid-1830s were Christian clergymen, and he gives numerous examples of the strong Christian commitment of several of the most influential of the antislavery crusaders, including Elijah Lovejoy (the first abolitionist martyr), Lyman Beecher, Edward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), Charles Finney, Charles T. Torrey, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, “and others too numerous to mention.” The American civil rights movement that resulted in the outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination was led by Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, and supported by many Christian churches and groups.

There was also strong influence from Christian ideas and influential Christians in the formulation of the Magna Carta in England (1215) and of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) in the United States. These are three of the most significant documents in the history of governments on the earth, and all three show the marks of significant Christian influence in the foundational ideas of how governments should function.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010], 31, 49-50.

And it is this First Amendment that is under stress as of late. I will end with an excerpt from Francis Schaeffer’s “Christian Manifesto,” something I think every Christian should reacquaint themselves with if they have read it many years ago… or not at all.

When the First Amendment was passed it only had two pur­poses. The first purpose was that there would be no established, national church for the united thirteen states. To say it another way: there would be no “Church of the United States.” James Madison (1751-1836) clearly articulated this concept of separation when explaining the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty. He said that the First Amendment to the Constitution was prompted because “the people feared one sect might obtain a preeminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.”

Nevertheless, a number of the individual states had state churches, and even that was not considered in conflict with the First Amendment. “At the outbreak of the American Revolution, nine of the thirteen colonies had conferred special benefits upon one church to the exclusion of others.” “In all but one of the thirteen states, the states taxed the people to support the preaching of the gospel and to build churches.” “It was not until 1798,that the Virginia legislature repealed all its laws supporting churches.” “In Massachusetts the Massachusetts Constitution was not amended until 1853 to eliminate the tax-supported church provosions.”

The second purpose of the First Amendment was the very opposite from what is being made of it today. It states expressly that government should not impede or interfere with the free practice of religion.

Those were the two purposes of the First Amendment as it was written.

As Justice Douglas wrote for the majority of the Supreme Court in the United States v. Ballard case in 1944:

The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only “forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship” but also “safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion.”

Today the separation of church and state in America is used to silence the church. When Christians speak out on issues, the hue and cry from the humanist state and media is that Christians, and all religions, are prohibited from speaking since there is a separa­tion of church and state. The way the concept is used today is totally reversed from the original intent. It is not rooted in history. The modern concept of separation is an argument for a total separation of religion from the state. The consequence of the acceptance of this doctrine leads to the removal of religion as an influence in civil government. This fact is well illustrated by John W. Whitehead in his book The Second American Revolution.’ It is used today as a false political dictum in order to restrict the influ­ence of Christian ideas. As Franky Schaeffer V says in the Plan for Action:

It has been convenient and expedient for the secular humanist, the materialist, the so-called liberal, the feminist, the genetic engineer, the bureaucrat, the Supreme Court Justice, to use this arbitrary division between church and state as a ready excuse. It is used, as an easily identifiable rallying point, to subdue the opinions of that vast body of citizens who represent those with religious convictions.

To have suggested the state separated from religion and reli­gious influence would have amazed the Founding Fathers. The French Revolution that took place shortly afterwards, with its continuing excesses and final failure leading quickly to Napoleon and an authoritative rule, only emphasized the difference between the base upon which the United States was founded and the base upon which the French Revolution was founded. History is clear and the men of that day understood it. Terry Eastland said in Commentary magazine:

As a matter of historical fact, the Founding Fathers believed that the public interest was served by the promotion of religion. The North­west Ordinance of 1787, which set aside federal property in the terri­tory for schools and which was passed again by Congress in 1789, is instructive. “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary tc good government and the happiness of mankind,” read the act. “schools and the means of learning shall forever be encouraged.”

In 1811 the New York state court upheld an indictment for blasphe­mous utterances against Christ, and in its ruling, given by Chief Justice Kent, the court said, “We are Christian people, and the moral­ity of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity.” Fifty years later this same court said that “Christianity may be conceded to be the established religion.”

The Pennsylvania state court also affirmed the conviction of a man on charges of blasphemy, here against the Holy Scriptures. The Court said: “Christianity, general Christianity is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania . . . not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; nor Christianity with an established church and tithes and spiritual courts; but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.” . . .

The establishment of Protestant Christianity was one not only of law but also, and far more importantly, of culture. Protestant Christi­anity supplied the nation with its “system of values”—to use the modern phrase—and would do so until the 1920s when the cake of Protestant custom seemed most noticeably to begin crumbling.

As we continue to examine the question of law in relation to the founding of the country, we next encounter Sir William Black­stone (1723-1780). William Blackstone was an English jurist who in the 1760s wrote a very famous work called Commentaries on the Law of England. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, there were probably more copies of his Commentaries in American than in Britain. His Commentaries shaped the perspective of American law at that time, and when you read them it is very clear exactly upon what that law was based.

To William Blackstone there were only two foundations for law, nature and revelation, and he stated clearly that he was speak­ing of the “holy Scripture.” That was William Blackstone. And up to the recent past not to have been a master of William Black-stone’s Commentaries would have meant that you would not have graduated from law school.

There were other well-known lawyers who spelled these things out with total clarity. Joseph Story in his 1829 inaugural address as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University said, “There never has been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.”

Concerning John Adams (1735-1826) Terry Eastland says:

…most people agreed that our law was rooted, as John Adams had said, in a common moral and religious tradition, one that stretched back to the time Moses went up on Mount Sinai. Similarly almost everyone agreed that our liberties were God-given and should be exercised responsibly. There was a distinction between liberty and license.

What we find then as we look back is that the men who founded the United States of America really understood that upon which they were building their concepts of law and the concepts of gov­ernment. And until the takeover of our government and law by this other entity, the materialistic, humanistic, chance world view, these things remained the base of government and law.

Francis Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Volume Five (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 433-436.

Something Missing? `Under God` Removed by President from Gettysburg Address

Via Breitbart:

Washington DC talk show host Chris Plante reported today that Barack Obama omitted the words “under God” from the Gettysburg Address when reciting the great speech for a Ken Burns documentary.

Burns had filmed all living presidents as well as various Hollywood personalities and luminaries to pay homage to the speech which was delivered by Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, today.

[….

WMAL reports: 

Curiously enough, in his version of the speech, President Barack Obama’s delivery contained an omission – in a line that every other celebrity delivered as “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom,” the President left out the words “under God.”

…read more…

Obama does this often, in quoting the Declaration of Independence, removing God from the Thanksgiving Declaration, and even reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.