Tag Archives: libertarian

A Christian Nation?

The Balance Between Faith and Liberty

For the last several decades, the secular humanists and the “Religious Right” have been engaged in a political struggle for influence in the government and public life of our nation. The humanists claim to be non-religious and thus able to enforce their views forcibly on the nation without infringing upon the “separation of Church and State”. The Right claims that these United States were founded as a Christian nation and that our Founding Fathers never intended for Christianity to be excluded from the national life of the country. Both sides are ultimately basing there entire arguments on false assumptions. In order to understand the truth, we need to break down the false assumptions on both sides and then form a more complete world view in order to avoid some of the worst historical pitfalls.

To begin with, let me say this: Despite its not appearing anywhere in our founding documents, I agree 100% with Thomas Jefferson on the need for a “separation of Church and State”. In any case we look at historically, a merger between political power and religious institutions resulted in massive loss of life and great destruction of the spiritual vitality of the nation. The takeover of the German churches by the Nazi government was vitally necessary in properly indoctrinating the German people to accept the Fuhrer concept and later war atrocities. Pastors like Bonhoeffer who dared to call out the whole concept of the Fuhrer as contrary to the commands of scripture had to be jailed and ultimately killed. The opposite has also been true, the Catholic domination of the European political scene gave us atrocities like the Crusades and the Inquisition, as the inquisition demonstrates the temptation to use the political might of the “Church” to crush spiritual dissenters is to great to be overcome. In the most comprehensive early history of our nation The Life of Washington, Supreme Court Justice John Marshall even spells out the failures of the early Puritans when they sought to crush dissent despite having only recently fled persecutions in England themselves.

Ironically, this issue they claim to cherish so dearly, is in fact the ultimate issue for the humanists in their rise to power. Secular humanism is the religion of non-religion, it has no more right to oppress religious people than religions people have to oppress its adherents. America is teetering dangerously on the edge of accepting a new State Church in the name of tolerance and political correctness. We are approaching the point where those with certain world views are being treated more and more harshly in the public eye, most notably are dissenting views on the morality of homosexuality, abortion, the creation of the world, and the concept of just war. Most of these pushes are coming not from the Right (ridicule of just war excepted) but from the humanists on the left. Even while proclaiming toleration and justice they are engaging in exactly the kind of religious oppression they claim to abhor. It is not enough that they have different views on moral concepts than the rest of the nation, they are trying to force their vision of morality on the rest of us in the name of equality and toleration.

The ultimate issue, the root cause if you will of this fight, is the vast overreach of our Federal government. Consider some of the hot button “moral” issues facing the nation today:

Prayer in Public Schools: If the Federal Government had not chosen to completely seize control of our Pubic Education system, there would be no church/state issue where school prayer, or for that matter curriculum involving origins was involved. Schools need to be run at the extreme local level, and as has historically been the case parents need to be directly responsible for the hiring of teachers and selection of curriculum. Ultimately, it is the parent and not the government who is responsible for the well being of the child. As soon as we restore our education system to this recognition, this issue fades away.

Homosexual Marriage: The only reason that this is a national political issue is because the government, through the tax code, has gotten itself involved in determining who may and may not marry; which I may add is a very frightening and dangerous prospect indeed! Had we not violated the entire spirit and letter of the Constitution with the formation of the IRS and modern tax code, this issue would not exist. Marriage is fundamentally a religious institution, therefore each religions group ought to maintain its right to marry whomever it chooses. The state has no business coming in and defining marriage, but the tax code has made it necessary for the state to do so. While I’m on this point though, let me point out that much of the homosexual agenda does violate the separation of church and state. Any attempt to use the violent force of government to silence others because they believe that your actions are morally wrong, violates their right to hold their own moral convictions. Arguments that this kind of speech causes bullying, emotional trauma, or violence are a scape goat for the real issue, which is that the homosexual movement is unwilling to permit free speech that they find disagreeable. I would like to strongly advocate that this position be dropped before, like a double edged sword it comes back upon them. As soon as the force of the government is used to silence opposition, the majority (most of whom hold the opposite world view) will role over on the homosexual movement and we may actually see real oppression. Instead we need to get the government out of the whole situation and return to recognizing each other’s freedom of religion.

Notice I didn’t mention Abortion. Abortion is not actually a purely moral issue, and does fall under the authority of the Federal government to address. Abortion involves the murder and oppression of one group of defenseless citizens by the very people who are charged to defend them. The question in the abortion issue is are unborn babies people? To be totally honest, I have never seen strong evidence from either side that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt at what point in pregnancy they suddenly become people. Is this ignorance an excuse to continue wide spread killing until we “know” that they are people? NO! The unborn must be treated as full fledged citizens and as human beings with all the rights thereof from birth, precisely because we do not know at what point we are killing a human child. This then represents the repression of one group by another, and is therefore a liberty issue that must be addressed by the state, much like slavery was not a “moral issue” but rather a liberty issue.

I would warn caution on this one though, the root causes of abortion are moral and must be addressed at the cultural and religious level before any government solution will have any real effect. I believe, despite slavery being fundamentally a freedom issue, that the Civil War illustrates very clearly why morality, even when liberty is at stake, cannot ultimately be legislated nor forced at the tip of the bayonet. Finally passing legal protection for the unborn will not end the mass murder until the society behind the killing fundamentally changes.

This leads to the root question then: How are Faith and Liberty connected? What is the relationship between the two? We have established that morality cannot be legislated, but what about the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Founding Fathers were Christians?

The short answer is this, you cannot have liberty without faith. Unless the nation maintains its moral values at the cultural and religious level, any government built on liberty will ultimately fail. The reason for this is rather simple, the principle of liberty is built upon the belief that all men are created equal and have certain natural or divine rights as soon as my neighbor comes to believe that he has the right to take my rights away, the government must step in. Once government intervention is forced to become to frequent, liberty fades away into the distance. Only a society in which men acknowledge and revere each others rights can maintain liberty. This can only exist when men are sufficiently moral to know and protect each other rights.

For this reason, it was the strong Faith of our Founding Fathers, and Forefathers that ultimately produced the liberty rich environment upon which our Constitution was established. They did not set out to form some sort of Christian nation where the state enforced morality, this couldn’t have possibly been further from their minds. The Founding Fathers had no motivation to establish a political Christian nation, because these United States were already a Christian nation! As soon, however, as the faith and moral principles of the nation began to slide we began to lose our liberty. And so it is that every time the American people place their faith for salvation in the government, be it the Great Depression, 9/11, etc; we give away more of our liberty. Only a root level restoration of the faith that made America, America; the sort of Faith that moves from man to man and community to community, the sort of Faith our Fathers and Forefathers had, can create an environment from which our liberty can ultimately be restored.

Freedom Isn’t Free, And Neither Are You

A brief look at the subtle seizure of American liberty

As a general rule, I avoid talking about what is going wrong without talking about what to do about it. In this case though, the awareness alone is part of the “what to do”. It is a tragic day when your nation gradually slides into tyranny and most of her citizens stand by and cheer, never recognizing the imminent danger. Many American’s delusionaly believe that they live in a free nation, they recognize that we were founded as the most liberty oriented nation on earth and fail to recognize the changes that have taken place.

In order for any action to take place, people have to realize that action is necessary. For this reason I will now summarize some of the most grievous offenses committed against American liberty.

Permits and Licenses

If you have to have a permit or license to do something, then the government does not recognize your right to do it. Rather they believe that it is sometimes necessary that you engage in certain activities and give you special permission to do so, provided that you do it the way that they want you to. So then for specific examples:

You cannot do as you please with your own property. Building codes, supposedly put in place for our “protection” actually serve to keep you from using your own property as you see fit. If you don’t believe me, try getting permission to put non-traditional buildings on your property.

You cannot bear arms. While there has been a great deal of emphasis recently on the right to keep arms, as guaranteed by the second amendment, most American’s fail to realize that except in a handful of states their right to bear arms has been completely infringed. If you have to obtain a permit to possess a firearm for your defense in public, then you have no right to do so and are simply being allowed to do so by the governments good graces. Only the “Constitutional Carry” states actually recognize that your right to bear arms is self possessed and cannot be infringed.

You cannot drive. Despite the governments constant reminders that you own the highways, you are not allowed to drive unless the government gives you approval to do so.

This list can go on, just look at the plethora of licenses required to do just about anything in this country anymore, and as you look remember that each one represents a right the government believe you don’t have.

Regulations

This is another sneaky way that liberties have been seized from the American people. The creative use of regulation has forced us down certain pathways, the only alternative to which is to commit civil disobedience.

Zoning laws might be the most dangerous laws we have as a nation today. Supposedly these laws are put in place to keep big corporations from moving in and ruining the neighborhood, of course this doesn’t matter because when they want to move in the government just seizes the whole neighborhood and gives it to them to “improve the local economy”. What zoning laws actually do is make sure that for, example, I cannot grow to much of my own food on my own property. This is done by limiting whether or not I can have chickens and how many, or in some recent cases by refusing to allow the presence of gardens in the front yard. These laws also prevent me from “setting up a retail center” on my property, which is generally interpreted to go so far as a child’s lemonade stand.

Speaking of food, regulations are also destroying our local farmers. When congress passes a “food safety bill” that requires the purchase of forty thousand dollars worth of equipment, a large scale producer simply adds this minor cost in to each of the millions of items it produces. A local producer, however, can choose to either go out of business (you can’t sell fresh eggs for $100 a piece after all) or refuse to comply with regulations. The government also tells farmers what they can and can’t sell, raw milk being the most well known example today.

In one case I recently read about, a man has had his free speech regulated away. All because he is teaching nutritionally choices and options that the local medical community is unhappy about. So, rather than having a logical discussion and disproving what he had to say, they chose to use creative regulations to prevent anyone who isn’t a licensed nutritionist from giving health advice.

The essence of the regulations issue, is that they consistently force market forces in a certain directions. If you want to know why we have such expensive health care costs, look at the regulations. No one with any real business since wants to get involved in healthcare, because it is to difficult to create a niche and be entrepreneurial. The same can be said for hundreds of other industries, regulations are literally controlling which companies succeed and which ones fail. As you might expect, of course, the government only grants its favor to large business that spend large amounts of money on campaign contributors.

Summing Up

These are just a handful of areas that are currently under assault right in front of the American people, and yet most people obstinately believe that they still live in a free nation. The facts speak otherwise.

The statement that freedom isn’t free is quite true, we must pay dearly to keep our liberties. In many cases this means we have to trade our security for liberty. I am convinced that many people really want the government telling them what food is safe, which doctor to use, and who can and can’t be trusted to own a firearm. The trouble is, government will always expand every single power the people give to it and ultimately full scale tyranny will result.

Why I’m Part of the Constitution Party

In the wake of the mistreatment of Ron Paul’s supporters at the Republican National Convention last year, for more info see video; many libertarian leaning voters have been looking not only for a candidate (many voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson) but for a party. From my perspective the results of last years primaries were clear, the Republicans are to far gone for there to be any kind of liberty movement within the party. The occasional congressman or senator may slip through, but there isn’t going to be any change of the party. Any change that takes place will simply be squashed by the higher ups in the party. That said, while I did proudly vote for Ron Paul in my state’s primary, I have been working towards a different solution, and have recently taken a more active role in the Constitution Party here in my home state.

For my part this has been a bit of a journey, a journey that I think will also help guide a discussion of why I believe the Constitution Party to be the best place to entrust your vote. It began for me in 2008, I considered the differences between John McCain and Barak Obama to be nominal at best and was looking for a candidate who represented my values. I found one in Constitution Party Candidate, Chuck Baldwin. I began following Chuck’s column and continued to become more active in working towards restoring our nation to its original form as a constitutional republic.

2010 was a tipping point, I feel very strongly that it is going to be primarily state level change that brings our nation back to where it ought to be. I was very interested in State Sovereignty and the nullification process as the only way we could retake our liberty. For this reason I felt it was of paramount importance that we have good state governments. I was pretty passionate during the primaries, which are in my opinion the only good opportunity to choose a good candidate from one of the 2 major parties, and strongly advocated for several qualified candidates among my friends, neighbors, and colleagues. With the rise of the so called “Tea Party” movement, there were also a handful of decent candidates running nationwide that I kept an eye. In the end I was pretty disappointed, the candidates who ended up on the ballot in my state were quite poor, and nationwide most of the key races I followed went badly. In addition, many of the supposedly constitution loving “Tea Party” candidates have since proved to be nothing more than nasty big government Republicans rebranded.

It was then that I was so disgusted that I decided to do something about it. I had never been a Republican, but I wanted to be part of the change. So I signed up to participate with our local Constitution Party. I wasn’t more involved up until this point for a variety of family reasons, but 2012 like 2010 pushed me even further. I was struggling somewhat in choosing between Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and libertarian Gary Johnson. The Free & Equal debates went poorly for Mr. Goode, and I felt a little more aligned with Mr. Johnson except on a couple of very key issues. That’s when I saw this video of the Baldwin-Nader debate from 2008. Pastor Baldwin laid out the essence of the Constitution Party platform so articulately that I knew I could do something I had never done before. I could vote for a man because I trusted his party.

In the last few weeks I have been moving towards a more active role, working on bringing my membership up to date and actually getting involved with my local party, so long as they’ll have me I’ll keep getting more involved as I’m able. Here in short are the reasons I believe the Constitution Party embodies the type of change I spelled out in No Magic Bullets:
*The Constitution Party is primarily active at the state level working to bring liberty minded candidates onto the ballot in state and local elections. This has several key consequences:
*In local elections, people are more important than money. This means their candidates
actually have a chance of winning, as opposed to Libertarian party candidates who at least in
my area are a once every 4 years flash in the pan.
*This keeps liberty candidates, and the notion of voting third party before the public eye.
Something that can’t be done in national elections because the debates are closed.
*Should it be unusually successful in winning state elections, this will allow for movement on
the State Sovereignty and nullification movements at previously unseen levels.
*The values of the Constitution Party, while diverse, represent liberty with faith. As opposed to some of the more anarchistic factions of the libertarian movement that are opposed to rule of law as a whole.
*The Constitution Party is consistent. I have always said that a libertarian (person not party member) is nothing more than a Republican or Democrat who has taken his ideals to their logical conclusions. The Constitution Party rejects the phony left-right schizophrenia that embraces certain liberties and not others, and instead advocates for a consistent, Constitutional, and pro-liberty approach.

I could go further, but I will let this list suffice at this time. Let me just sum it up to say, that if you love the liberty movement but are tired of trying to reform the unreformable, if like our nations founders you want faith with your liberty, then the Constitution Party is for you. For more details on Constitution Party values, watch the Baldwin-Nader debate or go here.