HOW DOES GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW PERVERT GRACE TODAY? THE SEQUEL


This post follows on the heels of HOW DOES GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW PERVERT GRACE TODAY? Why this post? Blame Eric the 1/2 troll. He insisted on asking questions. What questions? These questions.

“DOMA is appropriate legislation, and it is constitutional. Traditional marriage involves protecting the rights of a child.”

Rights? What RIGHTS are violated by gay marriage, Tom? But really the point is that through DOMA and you general lobbying against gayness, you yourself are defining and promoting “appropriate” sexual practices. You, of course, will refuse to acknowledge your own hypocrisy. Carry on.

As to paragraph 2 – I simply want to know why you would not wish to respect the rights of EVERYBODY (i.e., why would you exclude immigrants rights?)

As to paragraph 3, I am simply refuting that OUR government has really NOT mucked things up on this here earth. Things are much, much better and if you have your way (do away with the very governmental protections we the people need from capitalists) things will get very, very bad again. (from here)

Since he seemed determined to misunderstand my post, Eric’s questions puzzled me. When he did not want to hear the answers, I wondered why Eric kept right on asking the same questions. So I decided to ask Eric questions, and Eric responded here.

A General Problem

Because of our government-run education system, and because governing is an art, not science, most of us have a poor understanding of government. We don’t understand the limits of:

  • What we should expect government to do.
  • What government can do properly.

So we expect government to do things just because we want those things done, and that creates problems. When we ask government to do something it cannot do properly, government will eventually fail.

Eric’s questions show an ignorance of the problems government can create. My answers show consternation. I am not particularly smart or persuasive. Other than trying to get Eric to study the Bible, books the Founding Fathers studied, and what the Founding Fathers wrote; I do not know how get Eric to understand my point-of-view.

Eric is not stupid. He is just wrong, and he is angry. He is not getting what he wants. He sees me objecting. So he blames me and people who agree with me.

Yet neither I or any of Eric’s fellow citizens stand in Eric’s way. The problem is what Eric has been taught to expect. He expects government to solve problems it cannot solve.

Same-Sex Marriage

Supposedly, we have become much more wise than our forebears. Therefore, we “know” that in the same way it is wrong to discriminate based upon race it must also be wrong to discriminate against homosexuals. With this leap of logic, some have reached the conclusion we should legalize same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, same-sex marriage is an oxy-moron. Two people of the same sex can fondle each other. They can even be remarkably effective transmitters of sexually transmitted diseases, but they can never consummate their “marriage.” What will a same-sex sexual relationship produce — besides disease? For a few people it will produce momentary pleasure.

Religious belief and cultural traditions argue that homosexual relationships are wrong. Obvious physical and behavioral differences between the sexes demonstrate that same-sex marriage is an absurd fantasy.  Why should government give its approval? Why would anyone except the participants have any desire to be involved?

Yet some want our laws to dignify the farce of same-sex marriage. What is their justification? Being forced to participate in a ridiculous fantasy does not violate our rights; it is just mean and insensitive.

That’s why we need laws? To stop people from being mean and insensitive? So we can be forced to participate in other people’s fantasies?

And we justify such nonsense in the name of what? Science or religion?

Illegal Immigrant Rights

Here we have another oxy-moron, “illegal immigrant rights.” When someone enters our nation illegally, their first act is to break one of our laws. As lawbreakers, illegal immigrants should be locked up, serve their time, and then be deported back to their home countries.

So what do our leaders do? Well, they are not doing their job. We have millions of people in our nation illegally. These people sneaked across our borders, and our leaders refuse to make them leave. Instead, our leaders offer illegal immigrants conditional protection. Work cheap, and don’t make trouble.

In addition, our leaders abuse our tax system and our laws by offering illegal immigrants “free” public services. Thus, they provide an enticement for immigrants to enter our nation illegally. And when we complain about their dereliction of duty and outright chicanery what do our leaders do? They tell us we don’t have a heart.

And we justify such nonsense in the name of what? Science or religion?

Utopia Or Has Government Mucked Things Up?

One favorite argument against Conservatism is that Conservatives hate government. The argument is often repeated, but it is nonsense. Conservatives just understand that government exists as a last resort. When nothing else will work, we use government to force miscreants to behave themselves.

Consider the term Miscreant.

Miscreant \Mis”cre*ant\, a.
1. Holding a false religious faith.

2. Destitute of conscience; unscrupulous. –Pope.

Here is how the word originated.

miscreant (adj.) Look up miscreant at Dictionary.comearly 14c., “heretical, unbelieving, infidel,” from O.Fr. mescreant, from mes- “wrongly” (see mis- (2)) + creant, prp. of creire”believe,” from L. credere (see credit). The noun is attested from late 14c.; originally “heathen, Saracen;” sense of “villain” first recorded 1590 in Spenser.

When we have a big and powerful government, us ordinary citizens must inevitably end up doing lots of things we do not want to do. Why? To justify more powers than they actually need, leaders must turn to religion (Even the USSR — as our nation does today — made a religion out of science.). Thus, what may seem nice from the perspective of the people in charge (and those living in Fantasy Land), causes everyone else to suffer a lost of freedom, including religious freedom.

Conclusion

Government is just a bunch big committees. It provides no magic for working out complex moral issues. It just provides the power to force people into compliance. So it is worse than useless to give government tasks we do not need to give it. When we give government control over those things where we have no need for government, we just give license to busybodies.

20 thoughts on “HOW DOES GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW PERVERT GRACE TODAY? THE SEQUEL

  1. Tony – You said:

    However, just because it is beyond rationalism and logic does not mean that it is irrational, or that it does not have its own rational. And therefore, no Tom, no one who truly loves a child, as Jesus loved children, gives that child a dangerous toy, any more than anyone who truly follows Christ’s transcendent law and loves his neighbor as much as himself can deny that neighbor a ride, an education, or the ability just to work to feed his family. It may be very practical to put up a fence to keep the suffering masses away from our freedom and prosperity, but by any, but the most tribalistic, the most nationalistic, the most cynical, interpretation of what Jesus clearly and universally called us to do, could it be said to be “a Christian” sentiment.

    I suppose if any of us saw ourselves as others see us we would die of embarrassment. We create this image in our minds — what we want to be. Then we have this notion of what we have actually achieved, but what do others actually see? Tony, all I will say is that I think it most ironic that you believe you are a pragmatist.

    What Jesus sacrificed he chose to sacrifice. He made a personal choice and sacrificed Himself for us in obedience to the Father. He did not have a bunch of politicians telling him he had to sacrifice Himself on a cross for the sins of others. Instead, He arranged it so they actually thought they were sacrificing Him for their own sakes.

    John 11:45-53 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

    45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
    “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

    49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

    51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

    The apostles had a calling. They listened to Jesus, and they followed that calling. In time, they conquered the Roman Empire with the message of God’s love for us. What God chose for them to do worked in that time and that place.

    Because He is perfectly holy, our love for God can be and should be unconditional. If God calls us to do something, then we must do because we love Him. That is the example Jesus gave us.

    Because we are imperfect, we cannot love even ourselves without conditions. If you had an infection that threatened to destroy you, wouldn’t you sacrifice an arm or leg? Would that be evil? Does the Bible prohibit such an amputation? If you have a neighbor who threatens your family, would you let him torture and kill your wife and children? Would you let the infection destroy your family, or would you do what is required to control the infection?

    Feel free to annoy any time you wish. Love you too.

    Eric – No apologies needed. Life comes before blogging.

    Part 1: I reversed my position? No? I just added to it. Am I only entitled to one reason for opposing same-sex marriage?

    Part 2: There is no basic human right to immigrate to our country. Would — have — illegal immigrants altered the character of the electorate for the worst? Given that Democrats want them in our country so badly, illegal immigrants must be changing something. Has it occurred to you that we spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars educating our people? So what do the people who advocate our government-run school system do? They encourage tens of millions of uneducated people to come into our nation illegally. Why do I have explain how stupid that is? Is it possible this problem arises from where you went to school?

    Part 3: See Part 2 for an example.

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  2. “…and alter the character of the electorate for the worst…’

    Ahhhh….therein lies the meat of the matter. “I don’t want them here because they won’t vote like me.”

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  3. Part 1:

    “Being forced to participate in a ridiculous fantasy does not violate our rights; ”

    Thank you so you reverse your position that “traditional marriage involves protecting the rights of a child.” In that there ios nothing about homosexual marriage that violates anyone’s rights – including children.

    Part 2:

    Even the most hardened criminal still has basic human rights – why do you wish to deny them to illegal aliens. Notice your original post complained about people wanting to respect the rights of illegal aliens – NOT extend them the rights of US Citizen. Two VERY different things. But at least you answered the question – you wish to deny basic human rights to illegal aliens because they broke the law – that pretty much puts us even with China and Iran.

    Part 3:

    Your general dissertation STILL has provided NO evidence that government has “muked thing up”. My position is still sound – we are FAR better off now than we were in the (not too distant) past BECAUSE of our government. You provide no evidence to the contrary. Based on this I conclude that your position has no merit.

    Once again, I must apologize for my late responses. I was again out of town.

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  4. Tom,

    It is not up to me to tell you how to practice your religion, whatever you claim it is. I can only say what I believe Jesus wants of us based upon my own reading of both the spirit and of the clear language of what Jesus says in the Bible. I certainly don’t see it the way that you do, nor do I think that true followers of Jesus, especially early Christians, have practiced their religion so selectively, so nationalistically and so pragmatically as you would have us believe, otherwise Christianity would have died a quick death long ago.

    Judaism was and continues to be a tribal religion. Arguably, you cannot even be a real Jew unless you are born to the Jewish tribe in some sense. Judaism is a great religion of a great culture and that culture has thrived, despite incredible adversity, because it is a religion that admires and respects the law. Because of this cultural trait, Jews throughout history have been a tribe of lawyers and businessmen who respect knowledge and education and devotion to justice and the rule of law. However, Judaism, the Old Testament without the New, is still and will always be just a tribal religion, not a universal religion, not an apostolic religion.

    Jesus, on the other hand, presented us with a New Covenant. Jesus did not supplant the law of Abraham, He transcended it. The religious authorities of Jesus’ time were hung up on the greater and greater minutia and expansion of the interpretation of the old laws, often to the point that they were so caught up in whether Jesus was observing the technicalities of the Jewish Laws that they completely ignored the Law’s real purpose. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus berates the Jewish establishment for their hypocrisy in this.

    Jesus clearly tells us that the greater transcendent law is to love God and to love each other to the point of self sacrifice, and that every other law, whether great or minute, must be interpreted in this new transcendent light of love.

    Jesus’ transcending of the Law of Abraham is what took an obscure tribal religion and turned it into a universal religion. Christianity’s universal appeal is not that it provides a bunch of rules that we can use to keep our little Christian tribe safe, secure and prosperous. If that were all of Jesus’ message, then Christianity would have died out within a few years as just the parochial rantings of some obscure Jewish Rabbi in a backwater of the Roman Empire.

    No, instead over and over again in the Bible, Jesus challenges His followers to leave our comfort zone and do risky (to the practical observer even stupid) things for faith, to sacrifice everything, everything out of an unselfish love of God and one another.

    Is this logical? Well, the Romans certainly did not think so. Personally, I think that it is an aesthetic fundamental that exists beyond mere logic – a state of grace where the truth of logic has little purchase. However, just because it is beyond rationalism and logic does not mean that it is irrational, or that it does not have its own rational. And therefore, no Tom, no one who truly loves a child, as Jesus loved children, gives that child a dangerous toy, any more than anyone who truly follows Christ’s transcendent law and loves his neighbor as much as himself can deny that neighbor a ride, an education, or the ability just to work to feed his family. It may be very practical to put up a fence to keep the suffering masses away from our freedom and prosperity, but by any, but the most tribalistic, the most nationalistic, the most cynical, interpretation of what Jesus clearly and universally called us to do, could it be said to be “a Christian” sentiment.

    Jesus sacrificed everything. He sacrificed His family, His occupation, His prosperity and ultimately His life to bring us His New Covenant of Love. Following the clear message of what Jesus challenged them to do, Jesus’ early followers also risked and sacrificed everything to carry on Jesus’ message. Saints throughout the ages have also taken up the challenge and have freely given and sacrificed everything, often even their lives, out of compassion and love. According to the Jesus of the Bible, we reach toward “perfection”, we fulfill the meaning of the “Law and the Prophets, only in so far as we too are willing to let go all our materialism and our pride and selflessly follow Him and His challenge of love. In so far as we each, as purported Christians, are unable to accept His challenge, we are fallen, we are only sinners. And our pretending that God blesses our selfishness because we follow the Old Testament’s tribal laws, in total disregard of the transcendent message of love that Jesus gave them, doesn’t make us any more Christian – it makes us worse than less.

    Jesus’ transcendent message of unconditional love has spread to the four corners of the planet and He is admired even by religions that do not worship Him. To a devoted follower of Jesus who has taken up His challenge, borders and nationalities have no meaning. When we two squabble here in the mud over the the materialistic swill of what is mine and what is yours and what we both can keep from others, other peoples, other religions, other cultures, even if it means that those others suffer, even if it means that they must die, we are only the swine to Jesus’ pearl, to His message of love. So when we throw up laws that harm our brothers to fence the suffering out, let’s not pretend that we are “paying attention” to His perfect pearl when we really just want to somehow justify, even to sanctify, our selfish, albeit practical, desire for our little share of the swill.

    So no, Tom, I am not the one “setting the Bible aside” or “not paying attention to His word.” I just don’t self righteously fool myself that I am when I clearly am not.

    Really do have to give this up again for a while. Have your reply and I will try not to take the bait. But I’ll be back to annoy you soon enough. Love you brother even when I feel you are most wrong.

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  5. Tony – There is no such thing as corrupt or ignorant churchmen? I thought that the sort of stupidity that started the Protestant Reformation.

    What you are referring to is the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 – 7. You have taken it out of context. The Sermon on the Mount is part of the Bible. In fact, Jesus said as much.

    Matthew 5:17-20 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

    The Fulfillment of the Law

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    What Jesus wanted his audience to understand is that we must try to live in accordance with the spirit of the Law. To fulfill the technical meaning of the words on the paper is not enough.

    In the same text, Jesus also instructed us to take care with our charity.

    Matthew 7:6 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

    “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

    Consider what your interpretation does. It allows you to set the Bible aside. Since it impossible to do what you think Jesus wants, you do not have to pay any attention to His Word.

    Let’s consider an example. I don’t pretend to be Bible scholar, but I do not believe the Bible advocates pacifism. The apostles never called for the disbandment of armies. They spoke of soldiers with respect, using them as examples. Remember Jesus’ own words.

    Matthew 8:5-13 American Standard Version (ASV)

    5 And when he was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

    6 and saying, Lord, my servant lieth in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

    7 And he saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

    8 And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

    9 For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers: and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

    10 And when Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

    11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven:

    12 but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

    13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And the servant was healed in that hour.

    Did Jesus ask the centurion to give up his duties, duties which included the use of arms? No. He simply praised the man’s faith.

    What Jesus wants us to do is to do is to trust and love God — Him — with all our heart and soul and to love each other as we love ourselves. Love does not demand we do stupid things. Would you give a child a dangerous toy simply because that child asked for it? Of course not. And so long as Democrats act so childishly, I don’t intend to give them everything they want.

    Jesus was very logical, not some kind of fool asking us to do utterly stupid things. If we accept His help, we will in time become perfect.

    Anyway, I will point you to a few of my posts,
    https://citizentom.com/2011/07/24/extremes-of-interpretation-what-did-jesus-say/
    https://citizentom.com/2011/07/31/extremes-of-interpretation-what-did-jesus-say-a-sequel/
    https://citizentom.com/2010/08/24/why-does-god-allow-war/

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  6. Tom wrote::

    “Being a follower of Christ does not require us to be stupid. Loving one’s neighbor does not require an act of self-destruction. Love does not require Conservatives to foolishly surrender their religious and property rights to foolish people.”

    Well, I don’t know what version of the New Testament that you have been reading, but yes indeed Jesus does ask us repeatedly for a total surrender, a complete giving of ourselves to God and to each other. All the saints that we admire most made this perfect, very impractical (stupid?) surrender, this commitment, and they (self destructively?) were gladly willing to suffer and even die to keep it.

    Jesus clearly asks that we give up everything (wealth, family, politics, securtity and status) and follow Him. Jesus tells us that, if our fellow human, even a stranger, especially a stranger, asks us for anything, we should give it to that person. If faced with violence, Jesus asks us to meet it, not with our own contempt or violence, but that we turn the other cheek and respond with love. Jesus asks us all to be saints. If we two really made the commitment that Jesus called for in the Bible, then these discussions that we have having here would be irrelevant to us. We would be too busy being Christlike to argue about it.

    However, I freely admit that I am a failed Christian, just as most of us Christians are. I am too pragmatic, too concerned with the my security and the security of my family and my country, to make this perfect surrender. I, as are most of us Christians, am like St. Augustine, who believes what Jesus says, and prays for God’s grace to make this perfect commitment and cease to be a sinner, but “just not today lord, not today.”

    Yes, like you Tom, I am practical, protective and smart. I fail to live up to Jesus’ perfect morality of surrender to love and compassion, but I try support policies that do the most good for the most people while doing the least harm to the least people. It is a compromise, a failure and I am an admitted sinner for doing it. However, I do not make a virtue of my failure to give it all away and follow Jesus, and I do not falsely glorify as somehow “Christian” my sins of supporting policies that turn away from our borders the brothers and sisters in need that we Christians are supposed to welcome with open arms. (Notice it is the Christian church leaders who are protesting most loudly the new Alabama laws that make it illegal to aid an illegal immigrant, even to give that person a ride).

    Instead, I pragmatically protect my job from these strangers. I fear their ignorance and their poverty might overwhelm the security and the comfort that my government provides. I fear that they are different and may harm me or my family. While I am calculating, sane, compromising and pragmatic, I also try to support immigration policies that do the most good while protecting me and my family.

    However, what I don’t do is worry that these people will somehow dilute or defeat my self righteous Christian beliefs. By our failure to live up to the full commitment of those beliefs, of what Jesus actually asks of us and then distorting it to suit our venial needs, I realize that we Christians do that every day all by ourselves.

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  7. Tony – Instead of debating anything, you are working over a straw man. Everyone has rights. What makes you think I would not concede the point?

    What I do not concede is your definition of rights. Neither you, I, or Obama can give anyone their rights. We can only protect each other’s rights. In addition, I do not concede the right of anyone to just hop across our borders whenever they feel like it. As far as I know, there is no such right.

    Being a follower of Christ does not require us to be stupid. Loving one’s neighbor does not require an act of self-destruction. Love does not require Conservatives to foolishly surrender their religious and property rights to foolish people. When we can accurately anticipate that allowing hordes of poorly educated people into the country will strain the Democrat’s idiot-devised welfare system, damage our economy, and alter the character of the electorate for the worst, what is the point in allowing that to happen? Charity?

    Do your precious rights include the right to force others to adopt your peculiar notions of charity? Of course not. However, if you want to reach into your own pocket and give your own money to the poor, you can. If you think you have a religious obligation to be charitable, then just do it. You have that right. Such discretion with one’s own property comes with that right we call freedom of religion.

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  8. Tom,

    You seem to be obtusely ignoring the obvious here. Of course, everyone, even criminals, robbers, immigrants, tax collectors, prostitutes, homosexuals, and politicians, even Republicans, have rights. Being accused and even convicted of something does not destroy all your supposedly “God Given” rights granted by the Constitution. In fact, it is when you are accused that such protection of rights is most important. That’s what the “due process” clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments are all about.

    If you want to talk about “oxymoronic” premises, why not start with the contradiction that you claim that rights are supposed be natural, God given and universal, and yet you fear giving them to everyone, especially to those who you particularly do not approve of?

    Or why not start with your anachronistic view that you claim to be a follower of Jesus and yet you would selfishly fence out your brothers and sisters who only seek hard work, and then you excuse your turning away of “the least of these” with some warped paranoia that our Christian principles are so weak that they could be diluted, or might not even withstand, competing ideologies, cultures and religions?

    Could Jesus’ true message of love have spread so far and supplanted so many other religions if it really were so fragile? Maybe you should ask yourself if instead it is only YOUR distortion of what Jesus said that is so weak and so contradictory that it cannot survive any sort of scrutiny or competition. If our religious principles really allowed us to fence out the suffering who only seek of us the needs that Jesus asked us to freely give in the Beautitudes, then perhaps those religious principles truly would not deserve to survive. But that is not what Jesus specifically asked of us, and such self serving religious principles are not His.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist this one. I’ll go back to studying and quitely lurking again now.

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