Category Archives: Society

Is Jesus a libertarian? A friendly response to Jason Peirce

Jesus a Theocrat

An interesting article was brought to my attention at the Voices of Liberty. The article, 4 Examples of Jesus Christ’s Libertarianism, made many surprising claims. And I want to focus on two of them:

  1. Satan owns the governments of this world.
  2. Jesus did not command obedience to the governments of this world.

For his first claim, the offered explanation of Luke 4 presents a curious view of the Devil: the governments of this world “belong to the devil. The state then, is a primary mechanism and means by which the devil can achieve his ends.”

His evidence offered is that Christ did not deny the claim of the Devil. Yet, in two of the other temptations, the Devil said “If you are the Son of God. . .”, and Christ never verbally corrected the Devil in those instances.

Does this mean that Jesus is conceding to the Devil’s insinuation that Christ may not be the Son of God? No. Silence is not the same thing as acquiescence.

Further, Satan had already lied in the other temptations to Jesus. He lied by twisting Scripture. And Jesus refuted him with the truth each time. Lastly, the text names the Tempter, Devil, which is Greek for slanderer. Further proof that a perversion of truth is occurring.

The point of the temptations is to show that our Redeemer, as the Second Adam, overcame sin. That He is a Faithful High Priest who sympathizes with our infirmities (Heb. 4:15). It is not to show us Jesus’ views on government.

More importantly (and this point is crucial for Christians who put their trust in Christ’s power), Christ claims what the Devil only lied about:

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’ ” (Matthew 28:18)

Earthly governments are of the earth. Jesus has been given all authority on earth. Therefore, earthly governments are under Christ’s authority.

This does not mean given to Him in the sense of nations now instantly becoming Christianized. It means He has power, authority and dominion over them as Lord.

Since Christ is God, this makes sense. Contending that Satan owns the governments does not make sense. But such a sentiment is understandable if the author means that they are under the influence of the Devil. But then so are many other things in this age.

The other surprising claim of the article is the strained effort to transform Christ’s well-known command: “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

The author interprets as follows:

“So what does Jesus do? He certainly doesn’t endorse obedience to the state. Rather, Jesus doesn’t answer the question…Jesus simply repeats the justice principle: give to people what they are due. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.”

But a closer look at the word “give” undermines this interpretation. This is an unfortunate translation of the Greek word that is better translated “give back.” Or as a scholarly dictionary states: “to give or do something in fulfilment of an obligation or expectation”  (Kittel, see also Strong).

Beyond this simple observation, it is completely unclear how the command to give to those the things that are due to them is not a command to obedience. Something is missing in the article—some hidden premise, some leap of logic, some redefinition of terms.

Now affirming obedience is not the same as saying that one is bound to pay taxes simply because  of the government’s say-so. No. Christians obey the government because we obey God. God is the basis of law, not government.

But this is a far cry from evidence that Christ did not “endorse obedience to the state.”

But why should Christians be limited to the life of Jesus when He gave us the entire New Testament? Especially when He gave us a passage that was written specifically to answer the question: Should Christians obey the government?

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans 13:1)

A cursory view of Christ’s life and that of His followers shows by their actions and words that governments are to be obeyed—to the extent that such obedience does not mean disobedience to God (Acts 5:29).

This is a worthy discussion to have in the midst of an ever-growing American government. But the grounds of rejecting such an overbearing government lie elsewhere than in the verses offered by this article.

The second sexual revolution: polygamy, polyamory and ‘mild pedophilia’

Youth Sexual Rights

The 60s were the beginning of the American sexual revolution. A revolution that leavened society for the next fifty years. It has now matured into the second sexual revolution of the early 21st century.

And this second revolution is not limited to so-called gay marriage. Already the Obama administration has quietly expanded transgender legal “rights” without congressional approval. And other deviations will surely follow:

“[I cannot] condemn  [mild pedophilia in my childhood] by the same standards as I or anyone would today.” —Richard Dawkins interview

“Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.”—Legalize Polygamy! at Slate

“Paedophilia is natural and normal for human males.”—Philip Tromovitch, a professor at 2013 University of Cambridge conference

But three sexual deviants do not make a trend. What is more significant is the reasoning offered. And given the upcoming Supreme Court decision, it is vitally important to realize that similar social arguments of acceptance are being promoted, opening a sexual Pandora’s Box that few Americans can imagine.

Legalizing Polygamy

Polygamy had a partial victory handed to it last fall by a federal judge. The so-called family of the TV reality show  “Sister Wives”  filed a lawsuit against the standing polygamy laws. Their reasoning? Being an arrangement between consenting adults, the government has no business outlawing polygamy.

Their lawyer, Jonathan Turley, Shapiro professor of public interest at George Washington University, rejoiced that such morality laws are fading away. One Professor of Law at UCLA recently suggested a libertarian approach to polygamy, opening the door to more variations of adult relationships.

A Columbia Law Review article, according to the Washington Times, proposed a regulated polygamy, “consistent with contemporary social norms.” A 2014 Atlantic piece offered a sympathetic view of polygamy.

The latest Barna poll suggests about 16% of the populace is in favor of polygamy. Almost  triple what it was less than ten years ago.

But the number of Americans in favor of polygamy is irrelevant if the right people in the right position at the right time make the right argument:

“DOMA was struck down in no small part because it picks out a certain class of people [homosexuals] and, by denying them recognition of their marriages, denies their families equal freedom and dignity. Can it be denied that polygamous families, whose marital arrangements are illegal, much less unrecognised, are denied equal liberty and are made to suffer the indignity of active discrimination?”

Thus argued an article from the respected Economist. The conclusion is obvious: legalize polygamy. The reasoning for polygamy was embedded in the reasoning for the legalization of homosexual unions from the beginning.

And by logical extension, if the sexes of a relationship are legally irrelevant, then why should the number of members be illegal? Why not mix it all up?

Enter polyamory.

Practicing Polyamory

Polygamy, as such, is not getting near as much attention in the opinion pieces as polyamory (more than one consenting relationship at a time).  This makes sense: many Americans already practice something similar:  serial monogamy (though adultery or divorce), fornication and the like. Polygamy, however, is emotionally related to male dominance.

Polyamory is slowly becoming mainstream, as last year’s Atlantic article demonstrates, Up for Polyamory? Creating Alternatives to Marriage. Five months later the Atlantic published another article favoring polyamory. Redbook published a sympathy-piece for polyamory.  Even Scientific American studied the issue.

The Daily Beast essay gives the strongest argument for polyamorous relationships, explicitly tying the arguments to the legalization of gay marriage:

“What if gay marriage really will change the institution of marriage, shifting conceptions around monogamy and intimacy?…Is non-monogamy one of the things same-sex marriage can teach straight ones, along with egalitarian chores and matching towel sets?”

Legalization of an ever-expanding list of possible relationships has been the goal of a number of academics, lawyers and social leaders (including Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Kenji Yoshino) for the last several years according to the public manifesto, Beyond Same-Sex Marriage.

The goal is no longer “gay marriage” but any kind of marriage, any “committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner.” This would include: “Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households.”

But why stop with two couples sharing the raising of children? Why not throuples sharing with throuples? Why use a whole village to raise our children?

And why stop with binary genders? There are third-gendered people. There are pansexual people, changing their gender at will. And there are non-specific gender people. Shouldn’t they all receive  legal recognition if they want to marry, who or whatever it is they wish to marry?

Don’t laugh. It’s already happening in India and Australia.

Even then, the limits of libertarian and progressive imaginations are too narrow: why not legalize and promote all paraphilic relationships? Why should the strange and alien be suppressed as a minority view? Already they are calling themselves a “sexual minority.”

There is incest (aren’t siblings free to love?). There is bestiality (aren’t animals people too?). There is robot love (aren’t computers capable of relationships?).

The arguments are simple: “why should binary-gendered monogamous families get legal advantages?” “it’s between consenting adults,” “it’s about equality,” “it’s about love.”

Normalizing Pedophilia

In 2011 a 60-year old Italian social worker was found guilty of pedophilia. In 2013 the Italian Supreme Court “ordered a retrial because the verdict did not fully account for the ‘consensus,’ the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the [eleven-year-old] girl’s feelings of love.”

The final normalization of pedophilia will occur with a whimper not a bang. And it will occur in either one of two ways: through the continued short-sighted argumentation currently used for polyamory or (more likely) through the expansion of sexual rights to the youth.

Two experts testifying in 2013 before a Canadian parliamentary commission presented similar language and reasoning. A professor, interviewed in The Atlantic, also believed that one is born that way. Harvard medical school assumes that “like other sexual orientations, pedophilia is unlikely to change.”

Youth sexual rights have been pushed in American schools and doctors’ offices for years now. Legally, think of the “right” to have an abortion, to have access to contraceptives and now, especially in Massachusetts, to have a child’s sexual identity changed.

Gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell (Australian LGBTI leader), has argued for lowering the age of consent between youths, ostensibly, to encourage “young people to stand up for their sexual rights [this] will make them more confident and less likely to be victims of sexual exploitation.”

Peter is not alone in such reasoning: the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Child’s Rights International Network and Choice of Youth all argue for such rights among the young.

Back in 1973, Hillary Clinton offered a way to expand children’s rights. Writing in the Harvard Educational Review, she offered (among other approaches) that the state could “abolish the status of minority” and assume competence of children unless “proven otherwise.”

Don’t laugh. Similar reasoning is now offered on an international scale by the IPPF. In fact, the same organization baldly declared:

“Sexual rights are human rights and apply to everyone no matter what age.”

Closer to home, NPR reported: “But in some courtrooms, attorneys argue that children can make decisions about whom they have sex with—and in some cases, those attorneys are winning.”

This other-worldly reality has (naturally) materialized in California. The California Supreme Court interpreted recent legislation as: “juveniles may be able to consent in certain circumstances.”

What does this mean in the concrete here and now? Jennifer Drobac, who teaches juvenile law and sexual harassment law at Indiana University, explained:

“There’s no basement on this…You could take a 9-year-old and say that a 9-year-old could consent, under this reading of the change of law in California.”

No one should be laughing anymore.

Such reasoning will open the doors to legalized pedophilia. What age is a peer? If they have “sexual rights,” whose to say they cannot chose an older teen-partner? Are not age-consent laws subject to change anyway? Why not some closer to twenty? If it is about love, who are we to stop them?

Undermining the Sexual Revolution

The 60s were the beginning of the American sexual revolution. A revolution that leavened society for the next fifty years. It has now matured into the second sexual revolution of the early 21st century.

If Americans keep swallowing the libertarian pill of free love, there will be no stopping this revolution’s abortion of natural morality.

Socially, the average American can only stand up to this continuing onslaught if they are firmly rooted in good moral teachings. Spiritually, the call of repentance from complacency followed by trust in Christ is sorely needed.

Politically, it is up to the current generation of Americans to undermine this revolution with informed voting. And it will involve cooperation between different conservative religions. —

It may look hopeless, but socially, spiritually and politically, it is not over until the conservative block gives up. And that would be a revolution in itself.

The church, false teaching and the homosexual consensus

Gay Marriage couple_hands

Sometimes it takes someone outside the Christian tradition to point to the problems within the American churches. An essay in The Atlantic,“The Quiet Gay-Rights Revolution in America’s Churches,” argues persuasively that the churches of America were a leaven of “tolerance” in society, preparing the way for support of homosexual unions.

In 2006, just over a third of Roman Catholics and mainline Protestant churches favored gay unions. And among evangelical Protestants there was about 11 percent support. As of 2013 over half of Roman Catholics and mainline Protestants support this aberration. And 24% of evangelicals support it as well.

But the statistical numbers do not tell the whole story. It is what these Christians were taught in their churches that the real story comes to the fore. This is the story of the power of false teaching.

The article notes one Senator, a Methodist, who explains the basis of accepting homosexual unions as “the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.” Pope Francis declared, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

But what happens when such widespread sentiments meet an aggressive, and suave, queer campaign as described in The Atlantic?

“Don’t judge my sexuality!”
“Why must you hate me?”

Thus resistance was eaten away by the cancer of false teaching.

For several generations, many American churches jettisoned the Bible as a serious and authoritative source of morality. And many of these same churches never bothered telling their members that fact.

Thus, for around 100 years or more, the average church parishioner was feeding on a steady diet of biblical words devoid of their biblical meaning.

Love and brotherhood became words emptied of their proper meaning and filled withlicense and equality. Love became license to redefine morality and brotherhoodbecame equality between truth and error.

But the liberal falsehoods are only part of the total picture. False teachings in conservative churches helped create this new consensus. And one of the greatest errors is the redefinition of the Gospel. This may explain how more of the newer generations of Evangelicals (homeschoolers and Millennials) are accepting homosexual “marriage.”

How? Two books, Post-Church Christian and unChristian, paint a sad picture of the younger generations rejecting some or all of the beliefs of their churches and parents. And a constant theme is the dangers of legalism. As Carson Nyquiest summarized in the Post-Church Christian:

“Holding on to morality as the foundation for faith had left me stranded. Being ‘good’ and following the behavioral expectations of the church brought nothing but frustration and legalism.”

Such frustration arises from the collision between the real and the fake. The result is hypocrisy: that smiley face masking the tears, frustration and anger of living in morality instead of Christ.

If the younger generation of Evangelicals came from churches steeped in legalism(explicitly or implicitly), then that pressure of hypocrisy could manifest itself in rejecting any and all forms of insincerity toward sins—perhaps to embracing them. As Carson poignantly stated:

“To us, ugly reality beats fake beauty any day. Perfection is a standard no one can meet.”

Perfectionism tends to downplay the realities of sin by painting a smiley face upon the skull of sin. But sin is everywhere. So many of these youths try to scrub off the smiley face and stare ugly sin in the face. And the shock pushes some of them to embrace these sins in the name of authenticity, in the name of eradicating the hypocrisy that brought so much pain.

None of this is to excuse the younger generation but to understand it. And understanding is part of love. But love must include truth.

The truth is that in general the American church helped form the homosexual consensus. And it is not just those mainline churches that are at fault. As much as conservatives blame the schools, media and Hollywood, conservative legalism had a role.

The story of the church, false teaching and the homosexual consensus is a sad story. But it must be told lest more false teaching ensnare a newer generation of Christians.

Gay marriage: June 26, 2015, a day which will live in infamy

Gay Marriage flag_David McNew_Getty Images

The decision to create and codify a law that trumps God’s natural law is a sad day. It is yet another day of infamy showing the true colors of America’s society.

True, in many ways it is not as bad as another more important day of infamy, January 22, 1973—a day when private murder of the unborn was also created and codified by law.

But it is bad nonetheless.

Like the attempted assassination of Reagan and the fall of the Twin Towers, this is a day that will be seared into our minds until heaven.

It is one of those days we will tell our children and our children’s children (if we are so blessed). They will sit at our feet and ask about those days at the twilight of American civilization.

The history books will likely get many facts wrong at that future time. And any living conservative witnesses will be ignored since the major news and social media will not “support” hate speech.

But it matters not. Truth will win out. History is littered with days of infamy and anarchy and open rebellion against Nature and Nature’s God.

That is why as dismal as this day is, it is good to remember that it is only another day of infamy in a history of infamous days before the coming of Christ. And Christ willreturn and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

Then the days of infamy will be no more. And there will be no more sad days.

Maranatha. Come quickly.

Abortion and Assassinations in Obama’s America

Planned Parenthood Selling Baby Parts_2015

Planned Parenthood Selling Baby Parts_2015[In light of the new revelations about the abortion mill, Planned Parenthood, working out the logic of their mad system, I am republishing some past articles on abortion:]

The killing of unborn children is a blight upon this land. It is a prime example of unfettered lust trampling upon the rights of others. It is private and secret tyranny of the worse sort.

If left unchecked, it is also a precursor to ever-growing apathy and public tyranny. How?

If the most obvious of morally egregious acts—murdering an unarmed child—can be casually overlooked, then how much more lesser morally egregious acts—say the assassination of an undesirable American citizen?

America swallowed the camel, so why strain at a gnat? Especially if he is a distasteful figure like Anwar al-Awlaki. Ordered assassinated by the White House without a public trial, arrest warrant and other like rights of all other Americans, in September of 2011, Anwar was destroyed by a drone missile, along with another innocent American.

Even the ACLU is worried about this precedent. Earlier this year, the courts rejected the attempt to open the secret rules and names of the White House hit list.

They are worried about secret tyranny, not unlike the private tyranny of abortion.

When America legalized abortion, she sowed the seeds of indifference to life. Now, almost forty years later, the seeds have matured with a president indifferent to the rights of born Americans. This progression should surprise no one.

If citizenship cannot protect the life of unborn child, why should it protect the due process of born Americans?

This violation of rights will continue as long as many Americans are comfortable with the more important violation of rights: abortion. May God change the hearts of more Americans before it is too late.

The aftermath of legalized gay marriage: the push for polygamy

Polygamy_Sister Wives_2015

Over at the mainstream progressive site, Politico, there is a rare sight: a gay advocate admitting the legal logic for gay marriage is an argument for polygamy:

“Soon, it will be time to turn the attention of social liberalism to the next horizon. Given that many of us have argued, to great effect, that deference to tradition is not a legitimate reason to restrict marriage rights to groups that want them, the next step seems clear. Polygamy_Sister Wives_2015We should turn our efforts towards the legal recognition of marriages between more than two partners. It’s time to legalize polygamy.”

Meanwhile, over at Slate, they didn’t get the memo: ” ‘Polygamy, here we come!’ Right wing melts down over gay marriage victory.” But they will catch up in a few years. Besides, Slate is so busy celebrating the SCOTUS ruling they probably forgot they already had an article favoring polygamy:

“Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.”

Or consider the legal reasoning offered in an opinion piece over at the Economist:

“DOMA was struck down in no small part because it picks out a certain class of people [homosexuals] and, by denying them recognition of their marriages, denies their families equal freedom and dignity. Can it be denied that polygamous families, whose marital arrangements are illegal, much less unrecognised, are denied equal liberty and are made to suffer the indignity of active discrimination?”

But it is not just the articles in mainstream publications that is troubling. Polygamy has already had a partial victory in the courts. And the lawyer for “Sister Wives” made the obvious point about the recent Supreme Court arguments: they “clearly resonates with our arguments .”

Of important note is that the Politico article further admitted that expediency moved the left to hide their head from the logic consequence of their defense of gay marriage. Calling it “political pragmatism,” he almost admitted some on the left simply lied to avoid the logical conclusion:

“But the need to avoid giving ground to conservatives is pass. Now is the time to follow through with thorough and complete logic: legalize polygamy.”

One can only wonder what other “political pragmatism” exists today on the left? And what other positions they will willingly embrace. At least with those loud-mouths on the right you always know where they stand.

Update: Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University, who co-wrote an amicus in favor of gay marriage, openly admitted the majority opinion used dubious and incoherent logic, yet he notes:

“If fundamental rights are not ‘defined by who exercised them in the past,’ [America’s 200 year history of heterosexual marriage] then why should they be defined by the number of people involved in the union in question?”