IF WE ARE ALL BIGOTS, WHAT KIND OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD WE HAVE?

The_covetous_and_avaricious_VillainHere is another post on bigotry for Tony (last comment here) and other big government Democrats.

What I want everyone to do is consider how he responded to a comment of mine. First he quoted me and then he responded.

“Consider yourself. You can easily and enthusiastically attack your own countrymen as the most horrible bigots. Why? It appears to be just because they do not belong to a particular political party (i.e., they don’t belong to the party of your choice).”

I thought we were over this. We are ALL bigots. It’s facing our bigotries that I was talking about. Pointing out that Trump’s appeal is to our worst bigotries is only dishonest if it is not true and I knew it were not true. I pointed to several Trumpisms that are blatantly bigoted. They are I fact the definition of bigotry. I can find you many more if you like. Tell me how what’s obvious is not true? (from here)

Think about the fact Tony said we are ALL bigots. As Democrat, Tony cannot deny that being a bigot is awful thing. If you read his comments, bigotry is in fact his biggest charge against Donald Trump. Is Trump a bigot? Sure he is. I just think Hillary Clinton is a worst bigot and that she belongs in jail. Just consider two examples.

Anyway, Hillary Clinton is an unsavory character. What about Trump? Is he is as wildly bigoted as Tony claims? I don’t think so. I have been to his web site. I don’t like everything I see, but I don’t see much evidence of blatant bigotry. However, since we are all bigoted, I guess Trump bigoted too.

Why the accusations of bigotry against Trump? Well, Trump is campaigning to be our president. So he has to talk a lot, and the partisan news media is bigoted too. Therefore, many in the news media would love Trump to suffer the death of a thousand sound bites reported out of context.

Here is a press conference that Trump gave yesterday.

Journalists like those to be found NPR picked up one remark 13 minutes and 15 seconds into the press conference.

Since the press conference was quite interesting, it is worth listening to the whole thing, but don’t count on the news media to tell you that.

So what about the title of this post? What kind of government should we have? Well, given our tendency to make and believe outrageous accusations and nasty things about each other, we need a limited government. If we are ALL bigoted, who can we trust to run the government? No one. Therefore, we should not have anymore government than absolutely necessary.

What is among the worst abuses of government power? That is the power our government exercises to redistribute other people’s wealth.  The abuse of such power begins in covetousness. That’s a sin.

Exodus 20:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

When we desire what rightfully belongs to another, we justify our taking with hatred.

29 thoughts on “IF WE ARE ALL BIGOTS, WHAT KIND OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD WE HAVE?

  1. Agreed!

    Yet another tour de force post by the Citizen!

    John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison did a great job in the Federalist Papers, of describing bias as it pertains to government.

    They did not use the word bigot but instead used terms like, “faction,” “ambition,” and “self-interest” to describe how bias manifests itself in the polis as the people express themselves politically.

    Therefore it became necessary to design a government in which its three basic ruling powers were permanently separated so as to throttle tyranny at its source.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t want to beat this horse to death, but I have continuously said that I have no idea whether or not Donald Trump is a bigot. I cannot know his heart. As a Christian, I have no right to judge Trump’s sins and condemn his soul – only God has that right. As Christians, neither do any of us have the right to judge Clinton’s heart or soul. Like all of you, I can only decide whether what Trump has “said and done” promotes a sort hatred and bigotry (as opposed to love and compassion) that does not comport with my own idea of Christian values and virtues, values that are based upon openness, love, kindness and compassion.

    I propose here a Christian experiment of the heart. I propose that we all open our hearts in Christian fellowship. Do not go by what others have said about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Advocates for both sides can blast each other with twisted facts and unsubstantiated opinions to inspire hatred, distrust, fear and loathing of the candidate that they oppose. Set all that aside for a moment, and assume that both candidates are neither the demons nor the saints that their critics would have us believe. Instead, let us assume that they are both just children of God, worthy of all the love and compassion that Jesus wants us to share with them.

    Now that we are all full of God’s love for Donald and Hillary, look at both of them in the best possible light, look at their lives and their words. Looking at the totality of their public records, which one of them has lived a life of service to others most in accordance with Jesus’ commandants of love? Looking at what each one of them has said, which one of them has most promoted each of the Christian virtues? Which one of them is running a campaign most based upon openness, love and compassion, and which one of them is running campaign based least upon hatred, resentment, prejudice and fear? Given that, after his or her being elected, graded not upon unsubstantiated slander and name calling, but based on only on their proven past actions and words, which one is most likely to lead the country in a positive direction, away from open hatred, prejudice, the glorification of materialist greed, thin skinned pettiness and lasciviousness, and rather toward love, compassion, service, spirituality and virtue?

    Given the most positive and loving view of both Donald and Hillary, looking at only the best aspects of their lives and their words, and without denigrating either of them, for me the positive choice for Clinton seems obvious. You may disagree and that is fine. I only ask that that you look to making your choice with a heart brimming with posititive Christian love instead of with prejudging scorn, personal condemnation, hatred and fear.

    As a sinner, I’m not always good at this loving as God wants me to love. I too have turned to condemning Trump out of hand on occasion, but I ask that you be better than me, and that I ask that you help me and all of us be better, be more hopeful, be more positive Christians.

    The election is not tomorrow. We have plenty of time, and I am willing to change my mind as I hope we all are. I would like to hear good things about Donald Trump, things that he has said and done in his life, that outweighs the good things that I know about Hillary Clinton’s life of mostly public service for others. Let’s stack up the virtues, as opposed to the vices, of each candidate and see who is most likely to lead the country as a positive Christian example of love and virtue, rather than in a negative way out of hatred, prejudice, and fear.

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    1. @Tony

      I see some problems with your experiment. For the most part I think I will deal with those problems in a post, but I will briefly outline those problems here.

      The primary problem with your experiment is the presumption that we have not already conducted the experiment. If we have already conducted your experiment, why would we would get different results? Do you expect to reach a different conclusion? Seriously?

      Given the most positive and loving view of both Donald and Hillary, looking at only the best aspects of their lives and their words, and without denigrating either of them, for me the positive choice for Clinton seems obvious. You may disagree and that is fine. I only ask that that you look to making your choice with a heart brimming with positive Christian love instead of with prejudging scorn, personal condemnation, hatred and fear.

      It looks to me like you are asking Trump’s supporters to do what you believe you have already done. Why would you do that?

      I suspect that has to do with the second problem, the way we define love. It is a curious thing. Even though our people is immensely preoccupied with notions about love, we only have one word for love (Like is related, but we use the word “like” to indicate the absence of love.). Hence, when we speak of love, we often mean quite different things. That is, when you and I speak of loving our neighbor, we do not necessarily mean the same thing. Therefore, given we don’t love our neighbors the same way, it is quite possible love does not motivate us to choose our country’s leaders the same way.

      The third problem is that we do not agree on the purpose of government. I believe you support Socialism. Socialists wish to use government to accomplish things I believe government cannot rightly or properly do. In fact, I think that when government attempts what Socialist would have it do the results can only be harmful.

      The final problem provides a foundation for the previous three; we view the world differently. Because we do not share the same religious beliefs, we don’t share the same political beliefs. We both call ourselves Christians, but we do not believe the same things about the Bible, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, or the Father.

      Like

      1. Tom – as for your first problem, I did not intend to make such an assumption. However, if you or others have already done this experiment, then I am fascinated to hear your results. And you may also note that I said that we have some time before polling, and I am quite willing to change my mind based on others’ positive assertions about Donald Trump’s virtues.

        As for your second assertion, are you serious here, or are you just trying to avoid the simple experiment by tangling it up in semantic weeds. Love is the most difficult thing in the world to give, especially to a stranger, but as a concept, it is quite simple. I think most Christians know what Christian love is. I think even most non-Christians know what Christian love is when they actually get to experience it. Love is the spreading force of Christianity. One does not have to be a scholar or a theologian or a philosopher to know what Christian love is. In fact, perhaps the most simple person understands what Christian love is far better then we big thinker here. As the song goes, “they will know we are Christians by our love.”

        As for three, here’s Webster’s online definition of Socialism:

        “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.”

        No, I am not one. Never have been one and never will be one. I work for a stockholder owned corporation that pays me quite well, and I like it that way. I know that you desperately want me to be your strawman for extreme collectivism – not interested. As I have said many times, it is not only a dumb argument, it is the wrong argument, just as the argument for extreme individualism is the wrong dumb argument.

        As for your last, I’ve been a Catholic my whole life, and as I get older, my beliefs just seem to get more orthodox in that regard. At this point my Catholic beliefs differ very little from my Mother’s who, for a convert, was one of the most Catholic Catholics I’ve ever know. I study my denomination’s theology. I go to Mass most Sundays when I can. I pray for grace. That said, I am a terrible sinner. I’m not really interested in fighting the Reformation Wars again, nor am I interested in pretending that I am a better, more righteous, more correct Christian than you are. You win. If you firmly believe that you are holier than I am, then you must be, because I am far from being holy at all. But I’m still not sure what hat has to do with this experiment. The whole point of this is to be positive, good natured, civil and loving. How can that be so awful? Is it really that hard to do? Arguing about how you can’t find good natured common ground on the rules just seems counterintuitive to the whole point, don’t you feel?

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  3. From the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in January 1911:

    “Socialism is the natural enemy of religion…The entry of Socialism is, consequently, the exodus of religion. No man can be consistently both a socialist and a Christian…Socialism, both as a philosophy and as a form of society is the antithesis of religion.”

    Like

    1. @Philip Augustine

      Most of our politicians will firmly deny it, but given the condition of most Socialist countries, that does seem to be the case. Any theory as to why?

      Like

      1. It’s interesting how most folks when trying to justify their actions or beliefs go to the founding authors of said philosophy. However, those who promote Socialism cannot do anything but lie to hoodwink new slaves into accepting their chains for socialism arguably has the longest death toll list in the history of mankind. Of course, we can look to the figure of approximately 20 million Christians dying at the hands of Soviets, The eradication of the Catholic Church in Poland by the Nazi regime, the Communist influence of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, and all of Latin America.

        There must be a denial, because the philosophy for most of its existence has attempted to exterminate Christianity. So it’s the same lie, “We’ve progressed, now it’s Democratic Socialism”

        That’s what the Bolsheviks said! They formed Duma, it didn’t matter.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No one on this thread has advocated or endorsed socialism as a government form for the United States. Tom likes to throw the term at folks trying to engage him in discussion of political ideas, just as he tends to imply that professed Christians who have differing secular political viewpoints than he must be in some regard, be misstating their Christian beliefs or, at a minimum, be caught in the toils of heterodoxy, if not heresy. Predictably, he has played this card with Tony in the past few exchanges.

          I view much of the spilled e-ink here as silly, given that it was sparked by a misstatement or mis-reading of a Tony comment that did not even use the term “bigot” and certainly did not direct the unsaid word at Tom. However, Tony bears some responsibility in that he has largely accepted the discussion on Tom’s terms. So I don’t have much to say about all the back-and-forth on the “bigotry” issue.

          I would, however, like to comment on Philip Augustine’s recent observation concerning the relationship between totalitarian regimes and Christianity. That is a more interesting topic for me and one that perhaps we can have a grown-up discussion for a slightly longer arc than is possible on the bigotry front.

          I think the dynamics of that hostility are not particularly directed at Christianity, but at the fear by totalitarian regimes that any organized religion represents a temporal threat to the regime’s monopoly on the loyalty of its subjects. In Europe and Russia, the conflict largely reveals itself as between dictatorial regimes and Christianity, given the prominence of that religion and its past history of allowing itself to be heavily involved in worldly governance. However, you can see the same thing with other religions and other regimes – e.g., China’s aggressive attempts to suppress Islam in the western areas of that country. The issue is complicated, because you can also see situations such as Putin has engineered in modern Russia, or the Saudis in their country, where the government pretends to be of unified interests with a dominant religious group, whether Christianity in Russia or Wahabbist Islam in SA, in order to co-opt possible organized antipathy toward the regime from religious quarters.

          Scout

          Like

        2. @novascout

          When someone votes for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they are voting for Socialism. That’s the only thing progressive about your political party. It has progressively become more Socialist, and its last two presidential candidates almost perfectly exemplify that fact.

          Why won’t you call it what it is? At this point, why should I expect an honest answer?

          Like

  4. Tom – I completely disagree. The Republican Party, for all its twists and turns since its founding, has certainly not become more progressively socialist. I think you’ll have a tough time sustaining that position. TR probably could accurately be described as “progressive” (I think he would have embraced the label) in the context of the time, but he is rather the exception that proves the rule. I would not describe Romney or McCain as “socialist” by any definition. Trump is much more “statist” and not of the traditional conservative mold, but how you come to think of him as socialist, escapes me. So I’ll decline to call the Republican Party “socialist”, although I would think it completely accurate at this juncture to describe us as “confused” and “disoriented” re our choice of Trump as presidential candidate.

    As for the other party, the Democratic Party, I would think of them as more “statist” than “socialist”, as they have not gone so far as to advocate nationalization (at least not since the Korean War) of industrial concerns. Their socialist instincts are largely accidental, born of a tendency to try to buy favor in the electorate through government programs

    Going back to the general comments in the thread, there are a number of prominent (and not so prominent Christians who are avowed political socialists. There are also in Europe and Scandinavia Christian Democratic Parties that essentially advocate principles that most Americans would describe as socialist. So I don’t see a hard divide between the Christian community and socialist secular political instincts.

    By the way, the reason you can always expect an honest answer from me is that I have always provided you with honest answers, or, where objective fact is not involved, honest statements of my opinion, which, like the opinion of everyone else here, may, on occasion, be mistaken.

    Scout

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  5. Tom, The reason Hillary. Used a private server is because she did not trust that someone in the Obama admin would tell Obama what she was up to. Neither Hillary nor Obams will admit that in public.

    A REGARDS aND goodwill blogging.

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  6. My theory on the private server, Scatter, (and it is pure speculation and essentially worthless) is that there is a zone of Clinton (both Hillary and Bill) activity that is in the shady fog of public versus partisan political versus private activity, and that they like keeping the fog as thick as possible. It’s hard to say exactly what’s in there. Some of it may be as benign as ordering carry-out dinners, but some of it, I suspect, does involve the Clinton Foundation and donations to that particular money machine.

    Scout.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “When someone votes for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they are voting for Socialism. That’s the only thing progressive about your political party. It has progressively become more Socialist, and its last two presidential candidates almost perfectly exemplify that fact.”

    Respectfully, that is a self-serving sort of reductionism don’t you think Tom? It also runs counter to your “identity politics” argument.

    Like life itself, individual political and religious intentions derive from notoriously multifarious rationals and emotional motivations the complexity of which defies your simple formulaic analyses and labels. Sure, it is no doubt very attractive to draw simple battle lines and place everyone into neat camps of friends and foes. The fact that there is some small element of truth to these formulas can only be genuinely compelling if you stubbornly ignore the complexity of an almost endless variety of conflicting factors and iterations.

    Saying “Democrat equals Socialist equals Atheist” (and its opposite, “Republican equals Liberarian equals Christian”) certainly is a true statement sometimes for some people (and you constantly bask only in the narrow beam of this truth whenever and wherever you can hunt out an example while pretending that it has not mostly left you in the dark about what’s really going on around you). Every once in a while, you even actually find a person on the opposite side who agrees with your formula and is willing to engage with you on your terms. However, this silly formula is not true of most people, and it also disregards so many other truths about the complexities of people’s political interests and political systemic preferences as to be an almost useless truth and a ridiculous argument to even have, but sadly it seems to be the only argument you seem to be capable of making. You are obvioously smarter than that.

    Besides this reductionism being a dumb argument, it is also inherently self defeating in the end. Eventually, you must naturally alienate so many people who do not swear perfect fealty to the dogma of your little reductionist formulas, but instead have numerous other conflicting interests and reasons for being a Republican, that you wall so many people out of your little guarded camp until you find yourself surrounded and outnumbered by enemies, both real and imagined.

    This is why all your arguments about the Democrats’ supposedly dishonest appeal to “identity politics” lacks rational intelligibility with your formulaic labeling arguments. Are all these so-called identity groups joining the Democratic Party because they are really closet atheists and socialists, or are they coming to that party because it most appeals on balance to the particular set of varying interests that concern them? Are ALL the people who favor Hillary Clinton really doing so because they identify as atheists or Socialists? Do you seriously believe that all the folks who plan to vote for Donald Trump are doing so because he is the most Christian candidate? 😏

    That is why I proposed that we quit (to steal your metaphor) chasing our tails with this reductionist litmus test debate, and instead just regard the two candidates by holding their positive proven records and public statements up to a scale of universal and timeless measures that we can all agree on – that is one of common virtues.

    Virtues have a universal quality in that they have been recognized as the best qualities in people for every time, place and culture throughout the history of civilization and regardless of that culture’s religion or lack thereof. Also the virtues cannot be a reductionist litmus test because fairly balancing each of the virtues works on the subjective and objective relative criteria of a sliding scale that defies oversimplification and perfect pronouncements. Finally, the virtuous argument fits so neatly into your Christian and Aristotilian religious sensibilities that I am surprised that it is not the argument that you want to have anyway.

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    1. @Tony

      It is strange how you paint me as such an awful bigot, but I want to vote for people who want less control over other people’s lives than you do.

      The folks running the Federal Government these days want massive control over our lives, and there is no constitutional basis for it. Just because some judges lie and say otherwise does not change that. Many of Barack Obama’s executive orders, especially with respect to immigration, are just power grabs that the public at large dislikes. You vote for such people, and I don’t think it is morally defensible. How does calling me name or spouting the word love change any of that?

      At the same time you complain, you put words in my mouth.

      Saying “Democrat equals Socialist equals Atheist” (and its opposite, “Republican equals Liberarian equals Christian”) certainly is a true statement sometimes for some people (and you constantly bask only in the narrow beam of this truth whenever and wherever you can hunt out an example while pretending that it has not mostly left you in the dark about what’s really going on around you).

      I never said “Republican equals Libertarian equals Christian”. For that matter, I never said “Democrat equals Socialist equals Atheist”.

      These days anyone who votes Democrat is voting for Socialism, but they may not realize it or care. You, on the other hand, are smart enough and well educated enough to know better. What I said about Socialism is that it is the enemy of religion, especially Christianity.

      Like

      1. I never said “Republican equals Libertarian equals Christian”. For that matter, I never said “Democrat equals Socialist equals Atheist”.

        I put the equations in quotes as a matter of grammatical correctness rather than to imply that you said that direct statement. However, indirectly you have made that equation and in fact, that is what you are essentially saying in this last comment, that is with the caveat that at least some Democratic voters are too stupid to know that they are Socialists and Atheists.

        How is this still not the most brazen sort of ideological reductionism?

        You could say Democrats “tend” to favor governmental solutions to remedy certain materialist (particularly economic) problems while Republicans “tend” to favor government coercion to enforce certain religious moral prohibitions, but even that statement is oversimplifiing and reductive. In the past history of America, Christians and both Democrats and Republicans were on the forefront on using government for change in both categories of issues. Look at the abolitionists, the temperance movement, women’s sufrage, worker’s rights, and the civil rights movement. A Republican president built the superhighway system. GW Bush expanded Medicare to include paying for drugs.

        It is also reductionist to say that the motivations for using government to solve problems (even when in those cases where it is pragmatically the wrong remedy) are never essentially altruistic, whether the instigators be Democrats or Republicans. The problem with Democrats in recent history is that they “tend” to put their moral justifications in material rather than spiritual terms, and they “tend” to eschew bashing their opponents over the head with Jesus. However, given the tenor of the Democratic Convention, Democrat’s ceding the spiritual ground to Repiblicans seems to be changing dramatically.

        In any event, if you chose to believe that I am painting you personally as “an awful bigot” then you are doing so on your own because I am certainly not intending it nor did anything in my last post even imply that statement.

        However, speaking of bigotry, it is odd that Trump seems to be going out of his way to alienate Muslims and Mexicans. These are socially and economically conservative demographics that would normally make natural Republicans, but your party is lately chasing them into the arms of the Democrats. Like I said, there are far too many factors and iterations here than you can squeeze into sweepingly reductionist statements like “anyone who votes Democrat is voting for Socialism” or “socialism is the enemy of religion.” Like I said, you are far to smart to know that that is not irrational nonsense.

        Like

        1. @Tony

          I will get to my post when I get to it.

          Why don’t you put away the scatter gun?

          You voted for a man who promised to transform the country. After voting for Barack Obama twice, you are getting ready to vote for Hillary Clinton. You did not vote for “love”. You voted for transformation. Whether people wanted to be transformed or not, you voted for their transformation. Do you have any idea what you voted for?

          Like

  8. Tom – could you expand on that a bit? Why is socialism an enemy of religion generally (my suggestion is that you just take a few of the major ones, so as not to get to spread out)? For example, if socialism is an enemy of Judaism, why are so many historical advocates of socialism Jewish? Is it that Jewish socialists have fallen away from the true faith? Does the government of Israel eschew socialism? How about Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity? With regard to the latter, what are Jesus’s reported words, that tell us that He would take a dim view of, say, Eugene Debs or Norman Thomas’s secular policy prescriptions? Is our lack of confidence in secular socialism based on religious doctrine or is it more simple than that (For example, I am a Christian, but my essential opposition to socialism is based on very little more than Lady Thatcher’s observation that “pretty soon, you run out of other people’s money.”

    Tony’s premise does strike a chord with me, I must admit. Based on many of your comments and posts, I have asked you several times whether you think a liberal Democrat in the American political demographic could be a Christian. I think the sodium pentothal answer from you is “No” However, my recollection is that you have avoided a direct answer of that question. If I mis-remember, please do me the favor of refreshing my knowledge of your views on this point. Whatever that wisdom may be, I do think one reading your posts and comments might logically draw the conclusion that, in your mind, there is some kind of direct link between your view of correct Christian doctrine and being a “conservative” “Republican” American voter, as those terms in quotes are bandied about these days.

    Scout

    Like

    1. @novascout

      Tom – could you expand on that a bit?

      It is my intent to write a post. I have found that rushing these things doesn’t serve much purpose.

      Psalm 46:8-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

      8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
      Who has made desolations in the earth.
      9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
      He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
      He burns the chariot in the fire.

      10 Be still, and know that I am God;
      I will be exalted among the nations,
      I will be exalted in the earth!

      Our squabbling doesn’t serve much purpose either.

      Like

  9. RE your earlier (0647) comment, you are hallucinating . How did you ever get the idea that you know who I voted for? John McCain is one of my heroes, and I supported him in toil and treasure in 2000. Of course, I couldn’t responsibly vote for him in 2008, because his age meant that, actuarially, we could not risk the security of the United States with the possibility that Mrs. Palin would become President. But, as I think I have told you several times previously, I have never voted for a Democrat for President.

    It’s absolutely childish for you to go around making up stuff about other people’s religion and contradicting them on matters only they can know, like their voting records or their religious views. What possibly can justify that sort of behavior in an adult, Tom? Is your thought process so brittle and small that you cannot process that there are people who might share your religious affiliations and political leanings, but reach different conclusions than you on policy matters? If that’s not the explanation, one has to assume you do these things more or less just out of a tantrum instinct.

    Scout

    Like

      1. A ha! So it seems. Apologies to Tom and you. I think Tom has called me a Democrat so many times contrary to fact that I have come to expect it. I think he may have even done it previously, by implication, in this thread. It’s a chronic line-drawing problem that I have observed over a very long time with this site.

        Scout

        Liked by 1 person

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The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture." ColorStorm

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