I recently had the privilege of speaking at our church on the topic of a Christian approach to law, or the law and the Bible. I tried to condense my understanding of a biblical approach to law into about 45 minutes to an hour. If interested, you can find the audio here (along with some other great resources.)
“Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest. The same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest.”
Ralph Moody, Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers 177 (1950). In this passage, Father is responding to what a little girl told Ralph regarding her father not having to work hard because he knew the world owed him a living. Her father had said that “only dolts and darn fools” worked hard for a living. Father becomes angry and tells Ralph (Little Britches) that there are really only two types of men in the world–honest and dishonest. Honest men work hard and don’t expect that the world owes them a living. Dishonest men don’t want to work hard and expect that the world owes them a living.
There is a lot to unpack in this little passage. First, we can see that dishonest men are also lazy men. They don’t [click to continue…]
“Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it’s cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government.” Ralph Moody, Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers 80 (1950).
Little Britches’s Father is exactly right. The least government is the best government. Too bad more Americans don’t feel that way these days.
Obviously, it is impossible to know exactly what the Founders might think on a given subject, but there are often some pretty good clues. For example, we can make a pretty good guess as to what Thomas Jefferson would think about gun control.
In a letter giving advice to his nephew Peter Carr dated August 19, 1785 (which is well worth the read in its entirety,) Jefferson writes this about exercise:
Give about two of them [Jefferson is writing of his free hours] every day to exercise; for health must not be sacrificed to learning. A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
(Yes, that is how Jefferson spelled enterprise and independence. You can read it for yourself here.) If Jefferson thought that the best form of exercise is the gun, then it is highly unlikely that he would be a gun control advocate! (For how I recently followed Jefferson’s advice, click here.)
I am one of those crazy people who actually believe that the Second Amendment is about resisting tyranny, not just hunting and sport shooting and self defense. Accordingly, I am an opponent of all forms of gun control. Obviously, I don’t know for sure how far Jefferson would go, but, given his experience with tyranny and the methods for throwing it off, I expect he would be close enough to my position on it to make a lot of the Jefferson-loving-but-real-liberty-hating liberals of our time a bit uncomfortable.
The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock. In legal parlance, they denied cert. This means that the New Mexico Supreme Court opinion stands, which makes this a very sad day for the cause of religious liberty.
Elane Photography, LLC refused to photograph a homosexual commitment ceremony on the grounds that it violated their religious liberty and free speech rights. Their argument had nothing to do with whether someone could legally practice homosexuality or celebrate it in some type of marriage-like ceremony. Rather, they simply argued that they had the right to refuse to photograph such a ceremony due to the fact that it would violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs to do so. It is a liberty-based argument, i.e., I shouldn’t be forced by the government to do things that violate my conscience.
The New Mexico Supreme Court, based upon the state’s anti-discrimination laws, disagreed. The concurring opinion is sympathetic to Huguenins (the owners of Elane Photogrpahy, LLC), and therefore all the more chilling in its conclusions. Basically, the court says that sincerely-held religious beliefs must be checked at the door when one enters the realm of commerce, and this Kantian separation of religious beliefs from the rest of life, particularly the public square, is a price of citizenship. Here are the justice’s actual words: [click to continue…]
In preparing for homeschool this semester, Heather and I are reading through R. J. Rushdoony‘s excellent book The Philosophy of Christian Curriculum. In the following quote, he makes a great point about the purpose of Christian education, tying it in with the rejection of the secular-sacred distinction, the state of the modern church, and the ultimate goal of dominion over the earth. Well worth the read.
[A] Christian liberal arts curriculum should enable the student to exercise dominion over the world. The purpose of the Christian school should be to prepare generation after generation to dominate every area of life and thought. A monastic education is not Christian. It is not the legitimate purpose of the Christian school to prepare the child or student for a retreat from the world. [click to continue…]
Courtesy of the good folks over at the Second Tuesday Constitution group in Roanoke. I gave this little talk there when I was running for the Regional Vice-Chairman position. At that time, I thought I would be running in the Southern Region, but I eventually ran in and was elected in the Central Region.
I want everyone in America, indeed everyone in the world, to have chocolate milk, if they like it. I also want them to have a puppy or a bunny, if they want one. Further, I want them to be the exact right temperature for them at all times—just like Baby Bear’s porridge, neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.
And, I want them all to have healthcare. But, that is not what yesterday’s court ruling is about, and that is not what the debate over Obamacare is really about, or at least should be about. It’s not about whether healthcare or chocolate milk or puppies or comfortable temperatures are good things. It is about liberty and our constitutional Republic. It is about the rule of law.
The City of Lynchburg Mass Meeting is this coming Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., at the Lynchburg City Library Public Meeting Room, 2315 Memorial Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia. This mass meeting will be absolutely critical to my winning the position of Central Region Vice Chairman of the Sixth District Congressional Committee. I would really appreciate anyone who can possibly make it to the meeting coming out and supporting me this Tuesday and then on May 5 at the Convention. (And, a big thanks to all those who turned out in Bedford!) [click to continue…]
49. When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. Intriguing men can never be safely trusted. (Noah Webster’s Advice to the Young and Moral Catechism, pgs. 36-37)
Great quote from Mr. Webster. He is certainly correct; it is incumbent upon all of us to do our duty and vote righteously.