Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hard core pointy headed....

From my libertarian perspective, Conservatives have always been a tad frustrating, if not downright disappointing. As a group, they applaud and profess all the fine points of limited governance, speak highly of human rights, Liberty, Freedom and individual responsibility. When prompted, they will extol the virtues of the Bill of Rights - especially #s 1, 2, 9 and 10. However, the 4th and 5th are problematic. Generally, that's due to the fact their most recent hero, Pres. G.W. Bush, hatched the Patriot Act which decimates 4 and 5, doesn't treat 1 or 2 very well and has morphed into a colossus fit for a tyrant most anywhere in the world. Except here in the Land of the so-called Free.

But the sticking point, regardless of logic, objectivity, historical precedent is always God. For a group so enthusiastic and yet sensitive about their religious beliefs, it would seem appropriate for the "separation of Church and State" rallying cry to apply equally to government and governance -- unless you're angling for some sort co-op theocracy. For those on the fringe, it is necessary to post the unnecessary disclaimer about not being against religion, church, God, etc. So there it is. My religious beliefs are mine; yours are yours. Hallelujah, brother! But bringing God into political discussions seems as unseemly for Him as it is for those who toss God/Jesus or any combination into serious political debate. If God has left it up to us to figure all this out, let's get on with it - without calling Him in like some playground bodyguard when the rhetoric gets rough. On the other palm, if God is just biding time before He comes in for the big Armageddon thingy, then why are we wasting our time getting over-heated about Prez -0-, economic cliffs, the never-ending non-debate about abortion, etc. It won't be much longer and we'll all be reaping our just reward, no?

An excellent example of what started this can be found over at my friend Monty Pelerin's excellent Economic Noise. You may have to hop around a bit to put things in chronological order. Or you can enjoy (?) my summary conclusion right here, right now:

Ken – thanks for the stab!

While we agree on the basics (proper function of government), I fail to see the absolutes placed at the margins.  While not a historian or anthropologist, the essentials of the 10 Commandments were found to be a part of societies not at all familiar with Christian dogma. Killing, stealing, etc., were and are pretty much no-no’s in every civilization.  If determining “right from wrong” is the sole purview of a Supreme Being, how do free moral agents make those distinctions without regular Divine communication? The likely answer is prayer and consultation with the Bible. But that still begs the question: how do agnostics/atheists’/non-Christians manage to make proper moral choices every day while simultaneously eschewing such direction? Does Morality require belief in a Supreme Being? Must all sentient beings attend Sunday School to learn God does not approve of stealing and murder without risk of becoming one of the FBI’s Most Wanted?

“Our standard to emulate is the Lord Jesus Christ.” Who is the “Our” to whom you refer? Americans? Baptists? People-Related-To-Ken? What if one doesn't accept Jesus Christ as their Lord? I understand the Hooray For Our Side – but isn't it presumptuous to categorically eliminate vast swaths of similarly constructed free moral agents who have learned a different history and set of rules that respect Jesus, yet see him mostly as an important historical figure who did good works?

“It IS, “too bad” for those who reject Christ. The Founders attempted to make it clear their plan for government would work only for a moral and religious people and that Liberty is possible only with a citizenry educated in the principles involved.” If, by principles, you mean Christian principles and it is those in which the citizenry must be educated, then the America envisioned by the Founding Dads would, of necessity, have to excluded Jews, Buddhists and any/all other religions that did not revere Christian principles. And yet, the First Amendment doesn't bother to make that distinction. Why do you suppose that is?

I have no argument with the tyrannical and self-implosive history of Democracy or the revulsion the Founders reserved for it. My questions are based on the soft hostility and even hypocrisy Christians and Christianity have shown Liberty and Freedom. Second on to life itself, our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose and come equipped with the necessity of individual responsibility. But even at that, Freedom to choose permits one to make choices that contradict Freedom itself – like enslaving oneself to a dogma or belief system that actually enslaves him. But that is also a matter of perception; one man’s freedom might be another man’s slavery.

It may be that “Throughout history when nations have rejected the Creator’s principles of life, they have been disciplined.”  It also may be that those nations were led by a crazed, greedy, power-hungry moron who got his jollies thinking he could rule the world. I doubt Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Roosevelt, Truman and my former employer thought much about incurring God’s wrath doing such dastardly things. Maybe they didn’t go to Sunday School regularly. But if it is God doing the disciplining of nations, one wonders why He went along with the unspeakable torture and killing of innocents when He could have easily just snuffed the bad guys. And let’s not forget, some of those dudes were Lutherans, Baptists, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, ad nauseam who (allegedly) believed the same things you profess.

I always try (unsuccessfully most times) to add this caveat when I write: Next to Carrier pigeons and smoke signals in a hurricane, writing is the next poorest form of communication. It deprives the reader of the nuances present in the spoken word, not to mention the optional body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. That having been typed, please understand nothing written above is meant to instill anything other than Thought. No offense intended or implied.

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