Rand Paul The Only Non-Dystopian Candidate

Rand Paul The Only Non-Dystopian Candidate

Have you seen or read The Giver? The people don’t see color. Everyone is all the same. The have no choices. Bernie Sanders is The Giver. He seeks to limit choice. To make everyone the same. He believes that he has the wisdom to decide for you.

On that note, have you seen or read Divergent? Bernie Sanders is an Erudite. He believes he knows what is best what for you. What you should do. How you should live. How much things should cost etc, etc.

How about the Hunger Games? He is part of the Capitol. He believes that all monies and goods should be distributed through Washington DC. The Capitol decides who gets grants for education, farm subsidies, taxation levels etc. Everything the people make and produce goes there and the scraps are divided up among those who please and entertain the Capitol.

Bernie is not the only dystopian bad guy running this election season. Almost all of them fit the mold one way or another. I am just surprised that a group of people who have grown up reading dystopian novels and watching dystopian movies have not learned the moral lessons contained in them.

There is only one real candidate that is trying to end our 1984 like perpetual wars. Only one candidate trying end our 1984 like “Big Brother” domestic spying. Only one candidate committed to ending our massive over spending and debt problem. Only one candidate trying to end the “Pigs” (see Animal Farm) ability to change the rules and live differently from the other animals (citizens) on the farm. Only one candidate that has a consistent close to 100% Constitutional rating. Only one candidate that believes you are the answer to what ails this nation. Who wants plans by the many across this great land not plans by the few in Washington. One. There is no refuting that. There is only one non-dystopian candidate. So if you are a Millennial, Gen X’er or Boomer, vote for the Hero of the books. The one trying to take down the Capitol. The one trying to bring peace. The one trying to give liberty back to the people. That is Rand Paul and only Rand Paul.

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Why the French Lost North America and Why Washington Eventually Will Too

Why the French Lost North America and Why Washington Eventually Will Too

My kids aren’t in the State Indoctrination Camps, we homeschool. I teach world history to homeschoolers every Friday as part of a local tutorial. I love history and firmly believe that even though history doesn’t repeat, it certainly rhymes. Which brings me to my point. Today I was teaching the future leaders of the free world about The French and Indian War. The book I use as a guide doesn’t give the real reason why the French lost that war, and were driven from the continent. It wasn’t because they were bad soldiers or bad military tacticians. They lost because their leaders were out of touch with reality. Louis XIV was a hard-working, brilliant dictator. Even though he began to sow the seeds of France’s destruction with the construction of Versailles by the blood and wealth of his subjects, nevertheless, he was available and attentive to the state of his country. He may not have cared much about his people, but he at least knew of their suffering.

In contrast, Louis XV was a lazy man. His father did not care for him much. As the leader of France he was hated. He died fairly young, but not until he had squandered most of what his father had built in the New World. When he died of small pox, they covered him in lyme, and chucked him in a hole in the middle of the night. While alive, he was suppose to be leading his people in The French and Indian War. Instead, he was absent, aloof, and uncaring concerning the plight of his people. While William Pitt, the Prime Minister of England, with whom he was at war, was making sure his men had money, weapons, food, and supplies to fight the costly war, Louis was lying in the lap of luxury disconnected from the reality of the day to day existence of his citizenry and soldiers. French soldiers didn’t lose because they were cowards, but because they were cold and hungry. French citizens weren’t hungry because they were lazy, but because they were being legally plundered. The French lost North America in the end because of corrupt and aloof leadership

Does this situation sound familiar? While I am thinking of the broader political class, President Obama is a great modern example of this type of clueless, aloof leadership. Many have called him “Vacationer and Chief”. While our soldiers have shed their blood in unjust foreign wars, he appears regularly to be playing more golf than governing. And when he is governing he is busy catering to lobbyists for green energy, attempting to destroy coal power plants and vetoing oil pipelines knowing full well that in the end these actions will drive up the cost of energy for his citizens. Like Louis XV, he doesn’t really care.. Republican leaders are just as aloof and clueless, just on a whole host of different big business lobby driven issues. Republicans are at war with their own conservative and libertarian base, choosing rather to cozy up to the Wall Street and the Country Club wing of their party. Passing omnibus spending bills, fully funding Amnesty, refusing to audit the Federal Reserve, bailing out “to big to fail” banks and car companies, etc. The political class is aloof and out of touch. While food prices go up and wages go down, they publish phony jobs numbers, knowing full well that the jobs being created are either lower wage, or part time, or both. While companies like Hewlett Packard fire 50,000 employees in order to create reserve cash to buy back their own stocks, driving the stock price up, and amassing huge bonuses for their executives. Congress and the President turn a blind eye to such unethical practices because, of course, this pushes up the stock market and allows them to take credit for a fake “economic recovery” so they can get re-elected and continue plundering the American people. Meanwhile, the rich get richer, misguided youth join Occupy Wall Street. Mandatory Minimum Wage movements gain steam. Tea Parties erupt. Libertarians start having a moment. What do all these things have in common? They are all anti-elite-political class movements. Let’s go back to France and Louis XV for a moment.

What happened after his death? The Enlightenment, “The Bloody Revolution”, and the end of Aristocracy in France. What fills the void when elitist, corrupt leaders lose legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens? Before we answer that, we need to ask, “What causes elitist, corrupt leaders to lose legitimacy?” Economic disruption, brought on by the actions and policies of those leaders usually does the trick. When Marie Antoinette supposedly said, “Let them eat cake”, France was in the middle of a desperate economic disruption caused by the constant wars, taxation, and luxuries enjoyed by the Aristocracy. What fills the void left by elitist, corrupt political leaders? Usually populist movements that claim the noble goal of returning the nation to it’s former glory, and promising never to allow a corrupt elitists political class to rule again. Think of Germany pre-World War II. The Treaty of Versailles had stripped Germany of her former glory. Years of punitive damages inflicted by the victors of World War I stunted Germany’s ability to economically recover. An unjust peace left hundreds of thousands of hungry, unemployed, Germans. This major economic disruption toppled the Weidmar Democracy, and led to the rise of the Nazi Party.

Russia at the turn of the 20th century was in a similar state. Years of aloof, corrupt leadership led to constant foreign wars, high taxation, a virtual caste system that was impossible to break out of, and an extremely prejudicial justice system where the poor simply could not get justice. What filled this gap? A populist movement known as the Bolsheviks came to power through revolution, and every member of the aristocracy that didn’t run was summarily executed. This began 70 plus years of rule by communism, which featured millions of deaths, via starvation, execution, Gulags, etc. Russia today is in the middle of such a movement. What is Vladmir Putin trying to accomplish? He is trying to return Russia to its former glory. This Ukrainian business and the Crimean secession is exactly the type of movement I have been describing. Russia needed a leader. A strong, charismatic figure arises and wins the hearts and imaginations of many Russians. Especially older Russians that remember, with nostalgia, Russia’s former place on the world stage. Russia is currently eyeing their former Baltic states as “economic partners”. But the Baltic nations know this partnership is an “offer they can’t refuse”, to quote Vito Corleone.

The U.S. is now showing signs of this process as well. We’ve had one major economic disruption after another since the 1970’s. All caused by the policies of a corrupt and aloof leadership that promise more than they can deliver and then print more money to cover their spending habits. Because we are the reserve currency holder in the world, we are able to print up a fresh batch of cash and infuse it into our economy. But all we are doing is kicking the can down the road a bit. Debt does not build wealth. The debtor is always a slave to the lender. The piper will be paid. Economic disruption is coming in the near future. With interest rates at zero and quantitative easing not working anymore, what’s the plan this time around? We have painted ourselves into a corner with no way out. These populist movements will gain strength. Eventually, Washington, because of aloof, corrupt leadership will lose it’s legitimacy. It is the way of history. Sure as rain, as we say in the south. What kind of movement will fill the void? This question remains unanswered. I just hope the Libertarian moment, becomes a Libertarian day. Of course, as the Evangelical Libertarian, I know that, “the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) My prayer is that the people of this wonderful land will peacefully return to the God of their fathers, not through government coercion, but because of the great love that He has shown to us in sending His own Son to die in our place. It is only the Gospel that can bring real peace. It must start between God and man. But when internal peace takes hold in the hearts of men, and the Holy Spirit permeates our homes and hearths, national peace will soon follow. That’s a populist movement to get excited about!

We Now Have A Little Something for Everyone

We Now Have A Little Something for Everyone

Looking for good alternative reads on culture, economics, history, and current events. Look no further than The Evangelical Libertarian. From contrarian economic sites like David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Bob Murphy’s blog, and Peter Schiff’s blog, to politics and culture oriented sites like Libertarian Christians.Com, The Imaginative Conservative, Front Porch Republic, and others. We now have something to tickle your Contrarian fancy. Even yours truly, The Evangelical Libertarian joins the fray from time to time with Biblical examinations of current events and economic principles to help give a twist to the brew. Like, Subscribe, set us as your homepage, or do all three.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Separation of Church and State: Marriage Belongs To The Church Not The State

justice-of-the-peace

Henry VIII ascended to the throne of jolly old England at the age of eighteen in 1509. By the late 1520’s his wife, Catherine of Argon, was in her forties and had failed to produce a male heir. Desperate to solidify his family’s future grip on power, Henry moved to divorce Catherine and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. The Pope refused to allow the divorce on the grounds that Henry had been given special permission to marry her in the first place. Catherine was his brother’s widow. In May of 1533 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer declared Henry and Catherine’s marriage invalid. Almost immediately Anne Boleyn was crowned queen. The Pope moved for excommunication. Henry, by an act of parliament was made head of the Church in England, stripping the Pope of religious power in the realm.

Why is this important for our context? It demonstrates some things about the power of the State in regards to marriage that has been lost on us in the modern era. First, when Henry wanted to get divorced, he didn’t go to a judge, he went to the Church. Why? Because Henry understood that marriage was an act of devotion, it was not the creation of the State. He understood, rightly, that marriage is an inherently religious act. So, in the matter of marriage, as in other things regarding worship, Henry was a man under authority, not in authority. Second, we see that in order to justify his actions for posterity, he had to ultimately assume complete power over the church. Henry understood that the State had no power over the institution of marriage. He had to make a theological case for the king to be head of the church. The Anglican Church was born in this controversy.

Where did marriage come from? People rarely ask this question. It is however, a very important question to ask and answer. Marriage was not created by government bureaucrats in a boardroom. It is now, and has always been, a religious act of devotion. It is a function of a religious institution. Where we ever got the idea that civil government has the power to grant marriage licenses and conduct marriage ceremonies is beyond me. The State cannot join two people together in matrimony. That is something only a religious institution can do. Separation of Church and State is a phrase that is often invoked by politicians in an attempt to push religion out of the public sphere. But here is a place where the power falls clearly on the Church’s side of the scale. The State needs to butt out of an affair that is not under its authority. Marriage is a religious creation, and to religion it belongs exclusively.

If marriage is a religious institution, then religious institutions should define it. Congress, the President and his famous (or infamous) pen, and the Supreme Court have no power over it. They cannot declare homosexual marriage legal. They cannot redefine the institution at all. It’s not theirs. If some complain because they are not religious and are not attached to a religious institution, then I reply, why marry at all? Vows are made to God. If you don’t believe in God there is no need to go through the motions. Some may say, “But I want to marry! It’s a cultural institution of which I am fond!” There are plenty of religious institutions that will perform ceremonies for non-religious people. The Unitarian Church, for example, would provide such services. Most evangelical pastors will even marry two non-religious people. Evangelicals generally draw the line at marrying a religious person to a non-religious person. Some may say, “But I’m gay, what about me?” The Presbyterian Church USA and the Episcopal Church would both provide marriage services for gay couples. There are others as well. Frankly, there have been churches willing to do this for a long time. The claim of bigotry aimed at the Church by politicians is a straw man erected to bring another aspect of private life under the control of the American State. Separation of Church and State is a sword with two-edges. One edge is meant to protect the population from having their public lives controlled by the clergy, the other edge is meant to protect their private lives from control by politicians. In either case the sword is there to promote liberty.

This is a theological debate that should be had by various denominations and religions. If there are variant positions through out the nation on what is right and good, those various positions are held by private people and private institutions. The range of influence and power is limited to either individuals or a group of individuals who have voluntarily attached themselves to an institution, like a church or a club. This is the same situation that has always existed. That is the definition of a plural society. If we allow the State to impose a one size fits all belief upon us all, then that belief will almost certainly be the wrong one. Governments are rarely right for long about anything. In a democratic republic like ours in America, power swings back and forth between two parties. A small majority can sometimes impose its will on a large minority, depending on how power is divided. But like all large stable governments in history, policies are very difficult to undo once enacted. Currently the Affordable Care Act is very unpopular, yet, it is difficult to imagine that it will actually ever be over turned. Allowing private religious institutions to be the arbiters of cultural disagreements about morality and religious practice is a much better option. If you don’t like your church or religion in America, you can leave it or change it. Yes, there may be personal sacrifices made on your behalf, but you won’t be killed or jailed. Let the State begin to make these decisions for us, and you will see laws made and crimes invented.

This is precisely what makes parts of the Middle East so unstable. There is no separation of Mosque and State. There is no place in certain types of Islam for a private life with moral disagreement. Therefore, if you are not part of whatever type of Islam that is in power or thinks it should be in power, then you have no right to life at all, and you become subject to imprisonment and execution. Each side of the disagreement rises to power from time to time and punishes the other for recent and/or ancient injustices. There can be no peaceful plural society where this mentality exists.

This is precisely where we are headed. We are reaching a point where there is no place for moral disagreement. The two parties each take the reigns of power from time to time, and the party in the majority then punishes those that they defeated in the last election. This way of thinking is what has poisoned our political discourse. Instead of seeing people that differ in moral judgment, we see enemies to be vanquished. Thus we fight culture wars, drug wars, wars on poverty, wars on women, wars on the Tea Party, wars on terrorism etc. We use the language of violence to describe the way we feel about people and practices. Instead of letting these things be mediated and solved by private individuals and private institutions at the local level, we turn to the monopoly of violence that the State possesses, to try and force each other to live and believe as the other would have it. This is our current cultural moray. If we are to recover from it as a people, we must allow the Separation of Church and State to be the protector of liberty that it has been since the dawn of the Reformation. Just as we would not want the Church punishing crime, I submit, we do not want the State defining marriage. Marriage does not belong to politicians and judges, but to priests and pastors. We in America need to return to our private lives and institutions, learning to express our opinions in them, and stop letting politicians divide us with promises of future punishment on those with whom we differ. If we do not I fear one day the balance of power will shift too far, and too much will be forced upon one side. That is how democratic nations generally move from the ballot box to the cartridge box. War is a destroyer of Life, liberty, and property. It is also the province of the State.