Sustainable Communities – A Transformation of Virginia

The image above is from Green Sustainable Communities, links, videos. If you like a good scare, I highly recommend it.

I just discovered Virginia’s Campaign For Liberty Blog. Here is an example post, Sustainable Communities – A Transformation of Virginia, by Donna Holt.

How do our leaders envision sustainable communities? The phrase sounds pretty (Look at that pretty picture above.), but this is a future that empowers their bureaucracies, not the rest of us. Thus, such a future will not likely turn out quite the way we might wish. Instead of free men and women, we could become creatures of the almighty STATE.

Do not forget (from here) that we too often elect politicians, not statemen. Politicians:

  1. Promise to take money away from those who honestly earned it (theft even if it is blessed and sanctified by a majority vote) and give it to those who have no legal right to it.
  2. Make promises that most likely will not be kept.
  3. Make promises — either actual or implied — to grant certain favors to individuals and groups who provide the financing for the winning campaign.

Therefore Holt‘s post includes this paragraph.

Another consequence of sustainable development is the gross distortion of justice. Bureaucrats who draw lines on maps create instant wealth for some people, while prohibiting others from realizing any gain on their investments. In communities across the country, people who live outside the downtown area have lived with the expectation that one day, they could fund their retirement by selling their land to new home owners as the nearby city expanded. A line drawn on a map steals this expectation from people who live outside the urban growth boundary. Proponents of sustainable development are forced to argue that the greater good for the community is more important than negative impacts on any individual. There is no equal justice, when government arbitrarily takes value from one person and assigns it to another.

The ends do not justify the means. Instead, evil means lead to evil results. If we use our government to steal from each other, then we can only produce what thieves produce, victims of robbery.


After wondering what to write about, I decided to finish reviewing Nullifying Tyranny: Creating Moral Communities in an Immoral Society. My posts about Nullifying Tyranny have not been especially popular. Nevertheless, I write mostly for my own instruction. I just hope if I find a subject interesting my audience will also, but that has not been the case with this series.

Are other people stupid or am I stupid? Well, I think we are all stupid, and I am trying to cure my stupidity. If other people are stupid, there is little I can do about that — or is there? That is something to think about, but let’s resume. Here are links to the earlier posts:

Section II: Godly Principles of Limited Government (continued)

This post continues with a summary of Nullifying Tyranny‘s ten principles of government. Here are the last five.

Chapter 9 looks at the problem of electing good leadership.

Principle Number 6: Democratic government always favors leaders (politicians) who are power hungry, aggressive, egotistical, and who are willing to compromise on principle for the sake of gaining or maintaining power.

This chapter asks the following question: “Can a moral person win an election?” With respect to our current system, the authors do not offer much hope. They believe that a successful candidate must do three things.

  1. Promise to take money away from those who honestly earned it (theft even if it is blessed and sanctified by a majority vote) and give it to those who have no legal right to it.
  2. Make promises that most likely will not be kept.
  3. Make promises — either actual or implied — to grant certain favors to individuals and groups who provide the financing for the winning campaign.

Chapter 10 reviews the merits of the free market.

Principle Number 7: The free market is the only way that social wealth is created or increased.

Where does wealth come from? Does the government produce wealth? To that question, the authors reply with an empathic NO! Government uses other people’s money, diverting funds that would have been spent elsewhere. The authors explain the consequence of this wealth diversion, the opportunity costs created by government intervention in the private economy.

Chapter 11 explains the difference between statesmen and politicians.

Principle Number 8: Elected leaders in a political system of minimum government will be universally acknowledged as statesmen.

How do the authors distinguish between a statesman and a politician? With respect to spending other people’s money, the politician has no moral inhibitions. What do the authors believe qualifies leaders to be statesmen.

  1. They do not want or seek the position of political power, but at the behest of the community are willing to temporarily fill the political role.
  2. Upon completion of their tenure in office neither they nor their family, nor anyone politically associated with them, has any more wealth than when the leaders assumed office (in other words, the statesman did not use their public office to enrich themselves or those close to them).

Chapter 12 considers the problem of politicians monopolizing the money supply.

Principle Number 9: Government has no legitimate role to play in selecting or manipulating society’s money.

At first glance, Chapter 12 would seem to be about the problem of politicians spending other people’s money. After all, this chapter begins with God’s commandment not to steal. However, as Principle Number 9 states, this chapter is about money and government’s role with respect to regulating money.  Here is the theme of the chapter.

In modern society, government uses its monopoly on society’s money, its “legal” ability to print unsound money that causes inflation, to steal wealth from the productive elements of society. Is this morally acceptable? Is government exempt from God’s law?

The authors explain the origins of fiat money and define sound money. Before we can even begin to consider ourselves politically astute, these are ideas we must understand.

Chapter 13 advocates limited government.

Principle Number 10: The only legitimate role for the Federal government is to protect private property, facilitate free trade between the sovereign states, and protect national borders.

Why do the author’s believe it necessary to advocate limited government? Here is how Chapter 13 begins.

Christians understand that worship is the most important thing we do. But even men who profess to be “free” of religious dogma will create something to worship, even if it is god-government. God created man, giving him a desire to worship. God-fearing men worship God, whereas pagan men created false gods to adore, honor, and pay homage to–and one of the greatest of these false gods is government.

The authors compare the ethical arguments for socialism and limited government. Naturally, they come down on the side of limited government, admitting we need government to protect property rights.

It should be obvious that even in primitive society man needs to accumulate private property to help him to acquire those things necessary for his survival. As individuals accumulate more private property, social wealth increases, which raises the standard of living of everyone in that society. If private property is not protected, men will not be able to increase their productive output, and society will stagnate and die.

When they institute a government, society’s productive elements organize to protect private property rights, thereby enabling an increase in social wealth.

To Be Continued

With respect to this book review, one post remains. That will cover Section III of Nullifying Tyranny, “Godly Republic Lost–Godly Republic Regained.”


In the following passage, the Apostle Paul tells he has learned the secret of contentment.

Philippians 4:11-13 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Why is this passage so remarkable? Paul wrote it from prison near the end of his life.  In an earlier epistle, to “boast” of things that showed his weakness, Paul had cataloged his sufferings.

2 Corinthians 11:24-27 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own people, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

In spite of many sufferings, Paul remained content. What was Paul’s secret? That he tells earlier in the same chapter.

Philippians 4:4-7 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Rejoice in the Lord” appears a dozen times in the Bible, most repeatedly in The Book of Psalms. Here is how the phrase is used to end Psalm 104.

Psalm 104:33-35 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.
But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.

Praise the LORD, my soul.

Praise the LORD.

Paul rejoiced in the Lord because the God who is our Father reigns supreme.

The term “thanksgiving” appears about throughout the Bible about thirty times. Why? Consider what the word expresses.

thank (v.)

O.E. þancian “to give thanks,” from P.Gmc. *thankojan (cf. O.S. thancon, O.N. þakka, Dan. takke, O.Fris. thankia, M.Du., Ger. danken “to thank”), from *thankoz “thought, gratitude,” from PIE base *tong- “to think, feel.” For sense evolution, cf. related O.E. noun þanc, þonc, originally “thought,” but by c.1000 “good thoughts, gratitude.” The whole group is from the same root as think (q.v.). In ironical use, “to blame,” from 1550s. To thank (someone) for nothing is recorded from 1703.

As the word’s origin suggest, being thankful involves an attitude shift. Instead of being concerned about what he lacked, Paul rejoiced in the certainty of God’s gift of salvation.

Psalm 100 (Today’s New International Version, ©2005)

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

For a description of Paul’s circumstances when he wrote The Book Of Philippians, see Joy, hope and love: Paul’s letter from prison.


Why complain about gridlock when you have been highjacked?

Since Brian W. Schoeneman kindly consented to accept my compliment to him (here), this post continues an interesting debate.

The Crux Of This Debate

In the last post, COMPROMISE AND THE CULTURE WAR, we covered a variety of topics. Because it tracks away from the main thesis, such a post must inevitably suffer in clarity. Thus, I found myself wondering, what do I want folks to take away from this debate? When I read the following, I made my decision.

I disagree with your contention that the other side views their rights in a different way than we do. I think there are plenty of Democrats and liberals who are Christian and also view their rights as a gift from God, but who expect government to do more to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. I think that’s a misguided use of government, as you do, but I don’t see these people worshipping government as some kind of false idol. Most of the hardest of the hardcore liberals don’t worship anything. They simply see government as a tool to further their agendas.

There’s no need to cast the debate in such theological terms – I can disagree with Democrats without it being an issue of faith. That’s one of my biggest criticisms with this entire line of thinking – it’s totally detached from the real world. The vast majority of the population doesn’t think of these issues this way. And while I may find it a diverting exercise in rhetoric, it’s not that helpful in the weeds where the real problems lie.(from here)

What is theology? Theology is the science of God. Because God is so far beyond our understanding, we know relatively little about God. Thus, theology is a very inexact science. So we debate the nature of God, and we argue over what God wants from us. Nonetheless, each society shares a certain set of beliefs that defines its culture. In particular, each society shares certain beliefs about God. Otherwise, no society can exist without self-destructing.

Because of our Christian heritage, we Americans share many beliefs derived from the Bible. The Bible is a complex work written by forty authors over a fifteen hundred year period. The Bible is part history, part legal doctrine, part songbook, and all theological doctrine. When books were scarce, American colonials used it as reading primer. Therefore, if a colonist had read any book, he had read the Bible. Today the Bible ranks as America’s most popular unread book. Almost every household has a Bible, but relatively few households contain someone who has read the Bible. Yet most Americans still think they know what is in the Bible.

So where am I going with this? Because of their Christian beliefs, American colonials struggled to create a society that reflected their belief that each man should love his neighbor. Instead of a society where might makes right, Americans earnestly sought a just society. Years latter, as the political battle over slavery edged towards bloody war, Abraham Lincoln expressed this desire for justice.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. — Abraham Lincoln (from here)

How Do We Define Our Rights?

Our nation has never perfectly executed Biblical teachings. Even if we could agree upon what the Bible teaches, we are incapable of such a thing. Nevertheless, because of our Christian heritage, we Americans seek to uphold the rights of the individual. Unfortunately, we now disagree over the definition of human rights.

Conservatives use the traditional definition of rights found in the Declaration of Independence. Conservatives believe each human being has inherent rights. At conception, God gives each of us rights to life, liberty, and property. Government exists to protect us from those who would take our lives, enslave us, or steal our property.

Because Liberals define rights in accordance with the changing interests of their materialistic constituents, Liberals have providential expectations of government. Liberal politicians will happily provide as a “right” whatever they think their constituents will vote for. Here are some examples of our new “rights.”

  • Health care: this “right” explains the drive for Obamacare.
  • Food: exemplified by food stamps and school lunches
  • Housing: housing vouchers replaced even more disastrous housing projects.
  • Jobs: the reason GM could not be allowed to fail.
  • Same-sex marriage: judges find this right in state constitutions, somehow.
  • “Equal” pay: used to justify the drive for “equal” pay for “equal” jobs.
  • Retirement income: Social Security and Medicare.
  • Minimum income: this is the basis for the minimum wage.
  • Education: this started with the public school system and is now expanding into preschool and college
  • Endless unemployment insurance: unemployment insurance has been extended how many times?

What is the problem with these Liberal “rights”? Liberal “rights” infringe upon the inherent rights of productive citizens. When carried to the logical extreme, a majority of drones will vote to enslave a minority of workers. Of course, such a situation is unstable. Productive workers are not stupid; they will eventually rebel. Then tyrannical military force must be used to “restore” order.

When our legislators decide to advocate Liberal “rights”, they advocate programs which have no Constitutional basis. They then cross a perilous line. They violate their oath of office, and they show a willingness to offer their votes to the highest bidder. Such legislators can be purchased with earmarks, Cornhusker Kickbacks, and Louisiana purchases. Reading a bill then becomes just a matter of verifying one has received the expected payoff.

Consider again Schoneman’s car analogy.

Congress passes thousands of bills every session, and hundreds become law. Most are not 2000 pages long. The ones that are are a problem. But they are not rule, they are the exception. If my car starts 10,000 times and doesn’t start 5 times, I don’t complain that my car never starts.

If Congress is a car, then it is a car we now want stopped. Because this car threatens to explode (the budget), we don’t even want our legislators to put the key in the ignition.

What prevents the greedy quest for Liberal “rights”? There is only one thing. That is an ethical system based upon the love of God and neighbor. Unfortunately, our nation is slowly, generation by generation, giving up on God and neighbor. Almost half a century ago, judges begin demanding that public school administrators divorce God from their socialist institutions, insisting that just as we have separated the almighty state from the influence of the Christian Church, we must also separate public schools from the influence of Christian homes. Therefore, parents must use their children’s spare time to teach them about their family’s traditions and religious heritage.


Because Conservatives and Liberals define rights differently, Conservatives with reverence for God and Liberals with boundless expectations of government, Christianity directly threatens the Liberal’s socialist agenda. That is why the Culture War is about our religious differences, and religion cannot be separated from the debate.