The Slavery of Now

Consider this your warning – today I am going to put something out there that needs to be said.  I have wrestled with this and have been reluctant in the past to say something on the issue and have provided a limited discourse on the topic because frankly I have been told that I lack the necessary anatomy from some peoples’ points of view to have a valid and legitimate opinion on the matter.

When I started this whole experiment at shining the truth on life, culture, society, government, and current events, I promised myself that I would not hesitate to speak the truth and I’ve had a revelation on this topic.  So, with that said… off we go.

The rancor over abortion today and the debate on whether a fetus is a human being or just a mass of biological material is the exact same argument we had as a country from the moment we were founded.

In 1787 abolitionists existed, but in order to get the Constitution assembled and passed by the states, they compromised in order to fully incorporate the United States as we now know them.  The compromise that was worked into the Constitution was that blacks were not fully human – they were only considered to be three-fifths human.

It wasn’t until decades later that those abolitionists broke with the Whig party and formed what is known today as the Grand Ole Party, GOP, or Republican Party.  The first Republican President was an abolitionist – Abraham Lincoln, but that is not the point of this text today.

James Stewart eloquently puts the beliefs of abolitionists regarding the institution of slavery; “All people were equal in God’s sight; the souls of black folks were as valuable as those of whites; for one of God’s children to enslave another was a violation of the Higher Law, even if it was sanctioned by the Constitution,” (Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery, 1976).

How is this notably different than the very debate over abortion today?

Pro-Choice/Pro-Abortion advocates tout personal liberty, choice, reproductive freedom, and reproductive rights of the mother.

Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion advocates tout the rights of the unborn child.

A pro-choice advocate would heartily agree with the statement that a fetus is biologically unequal and genetically inferior to it’s mother until the point of becoming viable outside of the womb. This is no different than the argument of vehement slaveholders in the South that argued that blacks were biologically unequal and genetically inferior in defense of slavery (Igranick).  The same exact argument that justified slavery of an entire race of people and rationalized it because they believed that they were subhuman is the same exact argument that allows for the moral flexibility required to justify the destruction of an unborn child because of inconvenience on the part of the mother.

In our past, in the Dred Scott arguments before the Supreme Court, it was said that “Although he may have a heart and a brain, and he may be human life biologically, a slave is not a legal person,” (Vulgata Magazine).

A Wisconsin appellate court stated in an opinion that “the term ‘human being’ was not intended to refer to the unborn child,” (John Whitehead).

These two statements at their cores are not philosophically different as they assign a human qualification “score” to each which does not equate the slave (i.e. baby/fetus) with the slaveholder (i.e. mother).

The same comparisons can be drawn between the legal rights of slaves before emancipation (none) to that of unborn children prior to birth (none) amongst many others.

What this all comes down to is this – that men, despite our lack of the necessary anatomy, definitely have a dog in this fight, just as non-slaveholders had a dog in the fight over slavery over a century ago.  The argument over abortion has long been made one of choice rather than one of equality before the law, but when that choice is most definitely morally wrong and devoid of legal and rational consistency, then we must make our voices heard.

Everyone makes mistakes in life for which we can seek forgiveness, mercy, and grace, but we should not compound our mistakes willingly.  We need to recognize this present-day slavery for what it is and change not law, but rather the very heart of this nation and world.

 

A Letter to Boys

While I didn’t pen this, it nails my sentiment and since I am a father to two boys and, at least yet, have no daughters, I can find no lesson to one day teach my son in the Miley Cyrus debacle from a few nights ago, however in this case it took two to tango as they say.

Dear son,

Don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you.

Don’t let any of these pigs and perverts you see on TV be a lesson to you. They treat women like garbage; they possess no chivalry, no self control; they are disloyal and dishonest; they spend all day pursuing pleasure at the expense of others, and they encourage you to do the same. You might be tempted to follow suit. In fact, you WILL be tempted. These male pop stars and celebrities, look at them, you’ll think. They take advantage of emotionally broken, self loathing, confused young women, and they are rewarded handsomely for it. Look at their nice clothes and their nice cars. Look how they are admired and loved. Look, they treat women like trash and other women fawn all over them because of it. This must be how real men behave, you’ll think.

And you’ll be wrong. You’ll be wrong about a lot of things in life — this is what it means to be human — but never will you be more wrong than when you feel the temptation to buy the lies that pop culture sells about the nature of true masculinity. Son, there is nothing glamorous or fun about being a man of low character and no integrity. What you see on TV is a facade. It’s a sales pitch. It’s poison. You see the bright lights and the sexy women, but you don’t see what happens when the cameras are off and these pop culture gods return to their lives as mere mortals. You don’t see them in their big, empty, lonely houses. You don’t see the emptiness in the pit of their souls. You don’t see all the alcohol and drugs they have to use to dull the pain of living a life devoid of real, committed relationships. You don’t see the hatred they have for themselves and for humanity. You don’t see the jealousy they have towards normal, decent men.

Your dad is no celebrity. He’s just an average, boring guy. But he’s got something that every famous and non-famous womanizer envies: He’s got the love and commitment of ONE beautiful, smart, faithful woman. He’s got your mom, and he’ll only have your mom until the day he dies. He ought to be waking up every day shouting praises to the Lord because of that.

Listen, son, don’t let the world tell you how to be a man. They don’t know anything about the subject.

Men are loyal. Men are honest. Men respect and honor women. A man goes out and finds one woman, and he vows to protect and love her for the rest of his life. A man would never betray that vow. Even the weakest and most cowardly man — if he is a man at all — would die for the woman he loves. Your dad is no hero, but let someone try to hurt your mom and watch him suddenly turn into Superman (or Batman, whichever you prefer).

See, son, you don’t have to be big and strong to be a man, although I think you will be one day. You don’t have to be “cool” or athletic. You don’t have to play guitar or fix cars. These are all fine things, but they don’t define a man. A man is defined by how he treats women, by how he keeps his promises, and by how he protects and serves the ones he loves. That’s what makes a man a man. My dad taught me that, he taught it by example. I pray I can do the same for you.

Oh, and by the way, if I ever catch you disrespecting women, I will sit you down and talk to you about it. But first I’ll kick your butt up and down the street. That’s a promise.

Thanks, Matt Walsh, for saying what needed said for the up and coming generation of men that are still boys today.

 

Good

What is good without God?

Can good hinge on human emotion?  some sort of rational definition? or on collective perspective of mankind?  Is it possible to have a definite moral definition of good without an example of the ultimate good – that which we know as God?

What is truth without Truth?

Some would say truth can be determined by scientific analysis of our environment – the collection of evidence, outcome of various tests, and the repeatability of those tests in order to verify theorems and hypotheses about the world around us, but how can we be certain that that evidence, those tests, the very observations made are not tainted by our very perspective?

What is real? How do you define real?  If you are talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you’re talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

Morpheus, The Matrix

So if truth is merely chemical and electrical signals interpreted by our brains, then what is truth other than a commonly held perspective?

Without God, there can be no good, no evil, no truth.  Our own fragile lives and transient attitudes and mores are not adequate judges of goodness and truth even when collectively massed into a common consensus.

Is it good for a man to marry a girl only twelve or thirteen years old?  In America, it is not considered good, but in Pakistan or Afghanistan, it is common.  How can we condemn someone in America for something that is perfectly acceptable elsewhere without having some sort of definition of good?

Good can be defined as being positive or desirable in nature.  This viewpoint is prone to self-virtuosity and justification.  A writer that I personally know asked generally yesterday how our culture turns out vicious criminals that lack remorse.

The simple answer is that our culture has fallen away from the ultimate Good and Truth.  We celebrate libertine values with indefinite welfare, no fault divorce laws, homosexuality, idols so various and numerous that I could write twenty pages on just a small sample of them, glamorization of personally destructive lifestyles, and through the faux-good of “tolerance.”

Public opinion is a poor arbiter of good.  There is and can only be one Good and one Truth – unbendable, uncompromising, eternal, and perfect.   So next time someone starts preaching tolerance for same sex marriage, abortion on demand, welfare or anything else that is contrary to Truth (even equating Christianity with Wiccanism or some other religious viewpoint – they cannot both be true!), keep a wary eye – while it might ‘feel’ good to be tolerant for a time, the steps taken in the name of tolerance of evil and sin can only further degenerate society from one of laws and justice based on God-given truth and goodness, to one variable on the transient whims of man and his follies.

Food for Thought

Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible.  These are the tactics we should study. If we lost these, we are conquered, fallen indeed.  ….so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.

Patrick Henry

The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.

Samuel Adams

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.

Samuel Adams

Can the Republic be restored?  Are you willing to look within yourself for the answer to that question?    What have you done today to deserve the blessings of liberty and freedom?

Quotes of the Day

I have not been bitten by the writing bug in the last few days, but I have come across a handful of things others have said that bear repeating.

 A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.

Benjamin Franklin

If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.

Samuel Adams

It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active. The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt.

John Philpot Curran

Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of freemen. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Patrick Henry

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.

Thomas Jefferson

The question you need to ask as the election looms before us: do you treasure liberty?  or do you treasure liberties?  There is a distinct difference.

The Law

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

1 Timothy 1:8-11

What is the law?

The Apostle Paul was a highly educated man, so it is understood that he was talking about the Old Law here, the Judaic norms, practices, etc.  This is an interesting passage though because of the phrase “the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels…”

It is fairly well understood as well as in my observation that the law was instituted so man would understand that he could never live up to the righteousness necessary to be in God’s presence.  The law’s purpose was to convict the people in their hearts of their need for grace.

 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Romans 7:4-6

So Paul, again, was writing that striving for obedience to the law only bore “fruit for death.”  Why is that?  If the law is God-given, isn’t it holy and just?  How could attempting to adhere to it cause “sinful passions” to be aroused?

Paul goes on and states:

I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.

Romans 7:7-8

Is Paul saying that he would not have known how to sin or what was a sin if it were not for the law?

So is the law there to bind our behavior?

Imagine a metaphor.  As a father, I have to lay down rules of behavior for my children.  My children, before these rules are laid down would just go on not knowing that anything they were doing was “wrong” in my eyes.  The rules I laid out were designed to constrain certain behavior, but they did not put an end to it.  Rather, they provide a guideline for them – if you do X, you will be punished.  This doesn’t mean that such behavior is instantly curtailed, but rather they test the limits of this new rule in any number of ways.  They also do their best to get away with the behavior and hope that they don’t get caught.  How are we any different as children of God?

If the law is meant for the ungodly, then it is meant for people that are spiritual infants at best.  They need direction on how to be and how to act.  They need that direction that touching something hot will mean you get burned so don’t touch it.

Does this excuse the rest of us that have come by faith to Christ and mean that sin is no longer an issue for us because the law no longer binds us?  Not at all.  If you take Christ’s commands to love your neighbor as yourself and love God with all of your heart, mind, and soul, then you will act in accordance with the law of God without needing the law to convict you daily.  Instead of striving to obey the law, you will strive to love fully, and by doing so you will fulfill the law as Christ did with his death and resurrection.

The Mob

Much will be made in the coming few months of the will of the majority.  (Expect much hay to be made about the Electoral College and the popular vote if Romney takes the most Electoral College votes, but comes away on the short side popularly).

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?  For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”

Saint Augustine

In Morality, I wrote about moral populism.  I described it as mob rule at it’s core.  Now imagine moral populists taking the reigns of government and enacting laws based on the mindset of “majority rules.”  I went on to explain how the majority’s will does not make anything good, or morally right, it just makes it popular.

Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
   and clever in their own sight.

Isaiah 5:20-21

As Christians, what should our stand be when faced with an unjust law?  Should we tolerate it as mere temporal folly?  Should we not speak up about the law if it does not effect us?

If society deems evil to be good, should we do nothing?  How much evil should be tolerated regardless of how popular?  Where do you draw the line?  If the culture deems evil to be acceptable and normal, how should we act?

Darkness looms and doubts seed your thoughts:

“What can you, a single person, do against the will of the mob?”

“We live in a democracy and it is the will of the majority.”

It even calls scripture to mind when it tries to force evil down your throat in the form of an unjust law by quoting scripture.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13: 1-2

Despite the doubts, despite the popularity of whatever law, there are some that are unjust at their core.  These laws would have you sacrifice your core beliefs, your principles, and ultimately force you stand and choose between obedience to Christ or obedience to men.  I pray that all Christians have the resoluteness to stand together and say “ENOUGH.  We will not bend.”

Let the world threaten you with fines, penalties, ridicule, and shame.  They will drag you through the mud and try to convince you of how wrong and regressive you are.  They will try to minimize you with their attacks, but each one that you resist successfully will strengthen you against them.   They may even try to imprison you.  They may even try to kill you.

Regardless of how common the beliefs are, the goodness of God is founded in pure righteousness and if the fight you find yourself in is one where you are rooted in the righteousness of God and His Word, then you will win the day.  They may destroy your earthly body, but in the words of Obi Wan Kenobi, “If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can imagine.”

Stand against the mob and tell them “No. You move.”

One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God… Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Romans 12: 2, 9

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:19-20

Friendship with the world is enmity to God.

James 4:4

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1: 5

If sinners entice you, do not consent.

Proverbs 1:10

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

2 Timothy 3:1-4

Will you follow the unjust for the sake of keeping the peace on Earth?

Just because the majority wills something does not make it right or just.  To paraphrase St. Augustine, an unjust law is no law at all. I answer to the One above it all, not to men.

The mob can rule itself.

Morality

I once had a teacher in high school who said that if God didn’t exist we should all be hedonists.  We should all live in the moment and do what feels right to us.

If you want to go have continual orgiastic sex all day long – have at it.

If you want to go smoke pot all day – have at it.

Those that don’t believe in God will say “Great.”

If you want to go kill your neighbor because he borrowed your rake and forget to give it back – have at it.

If you want to rob a bank because you want a new car – have at it.

Now, some of you are probably saying “WAIT A MINUTE – that’s not the same thing…. the first two are totally voluntary and don’t hurt anyone, but the other two hurt people and that is wrong.”

So?  You don’t believe in God.  What does it matter?

I have some hard news for people.  Without God there can be no “GOOD” and no “EVIL.” These are moral constructs and they require a basis in something which is beyond reproach. 

If you deny God than you place that basis in men, whose opinions change from individual to individual.  What is “good” for me might be faithful obedience to what some may think is a fictional god while what is “good” to someone else is an act of violence, or a crime.   This line of thinking is called moral individualism which is when what is moral is defined by each individual and may vary from person to person.

Well what about using the common good as a basis for morality?  Surely that would be more reliable.  That worked fairly well throughout history right?  Shared values must produce reliable measures of “good” within a culture.

Think about the various populist movements of the past.

Red Terror Victims – Kharkov, Ukraine.

Lenin and Trotsky ushered in socialism, which spread throughout much of the world thereafter, in Russia and the body count from that multi-decade experiment will never truly be known.  It has been estimated at 149,649,610 dead through civil war, famine, ethnic cleansings, political imprisonment, death squads, etc.

Holocaust Victims, Buchenwald Concentration Camp – Weimar, Germany

Hitler ushered in national socialism in Germany, which was accompanied by fascism in Italy.  Both were fairly popular during their rise to power since their adherents were democratically elected into office.

These two examples are just a small fraction of the moments where the majority’s opinion rules.  This is moral populism where whatever the majority says is “right” and is “good” is defined in that fashion.

Large, noisy groups, however interesting, cannot be the final arbiters of right and wrong. When consensus becomes our sole guiding light it may all-too-often seem morally legitimate for a majority to oppress a minority, and that, surely, is immoral.

A Blog For All Seasons

Moral individualism leads to anarchy.  Moral populism leads to mob rule.

One of the central themes of my writing to date is God.  By assuming the mantle of the arbiter of good and evil, we defy God.  We assume that we know what is good because of what?  Mushy feelings?  That warm tingle running up (or down) our leg?

How fickle.  How prideful that man would think himself equal to God and able to decide what is truly good.

If God is not the center of your life than you are vacillating around this world operating on a foundation-less morality or none at all.

How can you know what you are doing is truly good or right?  Are you willing to bet for all eternity that I am wrong?

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

Psalm 19:7-9

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