Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. In this painting, the two are shown watching the condemned. (from here)


Today when I read the local paper the juxtaposition of a couple of letters to the editor drew forth an unpleasant laugh. The letters were about Danica Roem, candidate for delegate. Roem is running against Delegate Bob Marshall.

Here is the start of the first.

Does Virginia’s 13th House of Delegates district want a delegate who praises violence, getting drunk and other unsuitable behavior when representing the families of Virginia?

Danica Roem, Democratic candidate for the state House of Delegates 13th District, was the lead vocalist in a thrash metal band called “Cab Ride Home.” The lyrical theme of her band is getting drunk and promoting violence. Danica’s band sings the praises of drunkenness and violence with such provocative song titles as “Slaughter Brew,” “Bullets and Pepperoni,” and “Assassins of Innocence,” to name a few. What message does this send young people who attend Danica’s concerts and listen to her songs online? (from here)

Danica Roems stage name is Danica Amore. This link provides some of the lyrics of what Roem sings.

The second letter starts off this way.

My wife and I bought a home in Gainesville back in 2015. We chose to live in a beautifully landscaped community that made it easy for us and our adopted (former foster) daughter to make a long-term commitment to the area.

Our daughter started school at Gainesville Middle and is now a sophomore at Patriot. My wife, a retired Navy veteran of twenty years of service unpacked for the last time. I started to invest in our community by hiring local businesses to work in our home and on our cars. I always make sure if I spend money, I do it locally. I believe strongly in supporting and strengthening the very community I call home. (from here)

The letter sounds tame, but it is signed with a woman’s name, which I suppose some would regard sort of like a punchline to a joke.

What amazes me is that former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Roem (see THESE SURE AREN’T THE DEMOCRATS I GREW UP WITH), but I guess I am still imagining what the Democrats were like 40 – 50 years ago.

Have you ever thought about the fact that it is much more difficult to imagine Heaven than it is Hell? We know Heaven is beautiful, but we don’t well understand what makes something beautiful. Our natural desire is to use whatever we come into contact with. What we use, we slowly render ugly. Creativity requires the we give from our self to whatever we would make beautiful. That goes against our nature.

Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest heavens; from Gustave Doré’s illustrations to the Divine Comedy. (from here)

When we vote, we have a choice of candidates, but we also have to choose how we decide between the candidates.

  • Which candidate is trying to make Virginia a better, more beautiful place for our family, friends, and neighbors? Which candidate will help us to personally give of ourselves to the betterment of those around us? Which candidate will protect our right to decide for ourselves what to believe, how to raise our children, and how to make the best use of the fruits our labor?
  • Which candidate is trying buy our vote by promising us what rightfully belongs to someone else. Which candidate will help use use family, friends, and neighbors to get what we think we want?

When we vote, we have a choice. Pick your verse.

Love your neighbor

Matthew 7:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Use your neighbor.

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.”

Because God is just, whatever we vote for is what we will get. Will we choose to descend into the pit? What would that be like? Who knows exactly? Jesus spoke of Heaven and Hell, but He left far more to our imaginations than what He told us of either place. Throughout history men have imagined the afterlife, but only Jesus made a credible claim of knowing what is to come.

So what do we know? What do we know from our lives in the here and now? Heaven seems to be a place where everyone loves each other. Hell seems to be a place where everyone uses each other.


  1. Heaven or hell in afterlife?

    Sodom and Gomorrah or virtue in present life, ……..

    might be my descriptive choice of comparisons in the two candidates?

    Wisdom or folly is the choice in my opinion.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, Tom, it’s just this kind of title of post that illustrates the need for the separation of church and state. It makes the religious right look like they are passing moral judgement on others (as usual) and those liberals you are equating with either demonic possession or contributing to the country’s descent into the depths of hell are non-Christian enemies of the state… when in fact, most are indeed God-fearing Christians.
    Your blog and obviously you can post what you will.


    1. @Doug

      Is it possible to avoid establishing a state religion? Yes, but there is no such thing as a separation between morality and state. The Democratic Party constantly pushes social programs, and then the same hypocrites condemn social Conservatives.

      Where does this post propose to establish a state religion? Clearly, it does not. Instead, I advocated for the exact opposite. We each have the right to believe something, and we each have the right to exercise those beliefs. The purpose of the government is to allow us the freedom to believe what we want and to practice our beliefs. Government is supposed step in when we try to impose our beliefs upon each other, not to make us accept each others crazy ideas.

      What some people always do is seek ways to use government to impose their beliefs upon others. Liberal Democrats use the argument for the separation of church and state as a perverse excuse for shutting up Christians. If someone wants to use the government to do something a Christian thinks is wrong, does a Christian have to shut up just because he or she is a Christian? Just because Christianity is a religious belief and the Democrat claims to be secular? Is that what the First Amendment says? Of course not.

      What Danica Roem does with his own life is his business, but his conduct makes him unsuitable for public office. Am I condemning him to Hell? No, but what Roem advocates is deadly wrong, and I want no part of it. I see no reason to hide why. I am not ashamed of being a Christian, and I will not be shamed into silence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I can’t speak to or about Roem because that’s a local thing to you. Yet you say that there certainly shouldn’t be a separation between morality and the state and of that I most totally agree. The issue comes forth is that there’s the more universal morality accepted between two strangers on the street (more akin to the Golden Rule) regarding civility.. and that other.. perhaps we call it.. the “alt-morality”, where moral codes from specific religious beliefs become apparent, like abortion, skin cell research, assisted death, pornography, etc. that can be reflected in our laws according to our democratic principles.
        Also, I did not state the post in general proposed some state religion.. I specifically stated that to the casual observer who may skim titles for reading interest that your title fits the stereotype of the evangelical radical who hates anything liberal because thinking liberal is simply the express elevator to hell… and Obama is the elevator operator. (yes.. I know you didn’t mention Obama.. or the Clintons.. once in any post, Tom.. that was simply my interjection of what I think you were thinking).

        Look, how can you deny that social programs are NOT any sort of a Christian effort to help those who have trouble helping themselves? Of course you can argue how they are administrated, are any of them making a difference, is government even qualified to help, yada, yada, whatever. The point being… Christian kindness to those who need a second chance or are having trouble is best demonstrated by our social programs. Again my point… there are God-fearing Christians among the ranks of those nasty liberals too.


        1. @Doug

          If I worry too much about what casual observers think of my post, I won’t be writing anything, and neither will you? What would casual observers think of your posts on Donald Trump?

          Let just focus on your last paragraph. When government redistributes wealth, what motivates politicians? Do some of them really intend to be generous? Yes. Do some of the people who vote for wealth redistributing politicians really intend to be generous? Yes. Unfortunately, lots of the wealth redistributing politicians are just using other people’s money to steal money from some people to buy the votes of other people, and some people are perfectly happy to sell their votes.

          The framers of the Constitution tried to design our Constitution to prevent such factional politics. Such behavior divides and eventually destroys nations. That is why the Constitution clearly does not authorize the Federal Government to implement anything that looks like a charitable government program. Can you point to anything in our Constitution that remotely looks like a health, education, or welfare program? The fact is that in order to implement such programs our glorious leaders had to violate their oath of office, and we had to let them get away with it.

          Are there people who call themselves Christians who tell lies. Yep! Are there people who call themselves Liberal Democrats who don’t have the first clue as to how the Constitution was supposed to work? Yep!

          It took me years to figure some of this stuff out. Most people have never taken the time to read the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. At best they read the Constitution, and they believe the utter nonsense that the Constitution is a “living document”. Read “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. That book will tell you how a living constitution works.

          Charity and love are related. In older versions of the Bible, translators used the word “charity” where “love” is used today. Without love, what we call charity today just become a transactional exchange. In order to get some goodie from Uncle Sam, voters give up their votes to the highest bidder.


          1. When people refer to the Constitution as a “living document”, they are saying that Supreme Court can revise the meaning of the Constitution without amendment to suit the tenor of the times. Here is a Wikipedia link.

            The whole idea sounds quite scholarly, but it subverts the rule of Law. When individual men can arbitrarily say the Constitution means something other than what it was originally intended to mean, then Constitution no longer protects our rights. Consider the obvious. The Federal Government has much more power now than the Constitution gave it.


          2. As with most things in life there are levels… or degrees. While I personally may subscribe to the “living document” concept in general I am not all that favorable to the typical “judicial activism” that can be applied from the bench. Let’s take the Second Amendment as a perfect example. I believe in it as written; to me the language is plain. It matters not about how I may or may not feel about gun control. But the conservative right has given it a lot more meaning than what the Found Fathers gave it. But see, that “living document” interpretation is ok for conservatives. Hell, if it were up to me I would recommend cleaning up the amendment to read, “Every citizen has a right to own a firearm (of any kind) for fun, sport, home defense, or for decoration over the mantel piece.” At least that’s plain understandable language. In other words, it’s not the Bill of Rights conservatives want to protect but rather the language because as time progresses it’s the language that can be interpreted far more widely and with greater difficulty than actually the right itself. What the FF thought was plain English back then is not always the case now.

            By the way, “individual men” are the Justices, appointed by the president and approved by Congress. There’s very little “randomness” about it… and certainly the language of the Constitution is clear on how we do that process, is it not?
            Besides that, your question is not “is government bigger” but rather “is government more encompassing/encroaching on our lives”. Of course government is “bigger” because our population is bigger. It’s the complexities of our world over that of 18th century that make government intervention in our lives more apparent… and quite honestly, we need to monitor with great scrutiny… but with the idea that sometimes it’s necessary for some level of intervention in order to maintain that idea of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all (which is not in the Constitution, btw).


          3. @Doug

            If you are going to talk about the Second Amendment, then you need to understand original intent FOR YOURSELF, not what some bonehead activist has said. These days we have the resources to do that rather easily.

            Amendment II

            A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

            The key part is the last part: ” the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The explanation is okay, but so what? Yet let’s say the first part is relevant. We are big wig judges, and we don’t like guns. So we think the first part still has to be valid for the second part to have standing. What is a militia? Here is the older meaning of the term, and it has not much changed.

            militia (n.)
            1580s, “system of military discipline,” from Latin militia “military service, warfare,” from miles “soldier” (see military). Sense of “citizen army” (as distinct from professional soldiers) is first recorded 1690s, perhaps from a sense in French cognate milice. In U.S. history, “the whole body of men declared by law amenable to military service, without enlistment, whether armed and drilled or not” (1777). (from =>

            You understand that the militia played an important role in the American Revolution. We play up the role of the Continental Army, and those guys were critically important, but most of them were ill-paid and poorly trained volunteers, and they were not enough of them. Hence the framers of the Constitution thought the militia was a big deal. We should too.

            Wherever Washington fought with his army, he had to have support from the local militia or minutemen. Whenever the Continental Army was not, the British still had to overcome the militia.

            Google the expressions “militia” and “American Revolution” together. Figure it out for yourself.

            In your last paragraph you bring up two issues: how judges are selected and the enormous complexity of our times.

            How are Federal judges selected? There is nothing random about it. The president we elect nominates them. The Senate we elect confirms or rejects them.

            What the Framers of the Constitution expected is that the state legislatures would appoint our Senators. We were foolish enough to change that (17th Amendment). Had we not done so, more than likely the Senate would not consent to the appointment of judges they thought might infringe on state rights. As it is, when we elect presidents and senators who like to make lots of promises they should not be making, they nominate and confirm judges willing to give them more power.

            What about our times being so horribly complex? What that means is that the government should be focusing on the things it needs to do, not sticking its nose into matters where it is not needed.

            Complexity requires decentralized management and responsibility. That is what private enterprise produces by default. Complexity is what our federation (Federal, state, and local government) actually deals with fairly well.

            With respect to complexity, what is wrong with centralization? If management is centralized it is guaranteed produce bottlenecks and bad decisions. Hence, making every decision in Washington D.C. is foolish. Running every enterprise from DC is nuts!

            What socialism or communism produces every time either one is tried fraud, waste, abuse, and untold suffering. That is what Obama and the Liberal Democrats were doing to our country, and that is what, by reversing a great many executive orders, Trump has been undoing.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I have a spinoff question for you, Tom. And this isn’t meant prove some point that simply echoes back and forth, but since you mentioned centralized vs. decentralized (states rights)… I’ve wondered this.

            If we presume to acknowledge that our personal freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution, why is not murder.. the killing of someone else… not a federal offense? Why is it that each state handles murder cases, and subsequent sentences, so dramatically different? If person A murders person B, person A has ultimately robbed person B of their Constitutional rights. That should definitely be a federal offense. Why is it necessary to allow each state to have their own interpretation of imposing their own morality on murder.. when the victim has been robbed of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

            Just curious how you handle that.


          5. @Doug

            When I was young, I had the notion that all the states should do things the same way. That was in fact one the arguments for the so-called Pro-Choice crowd, that it was absurd for the states to have different laws. Supposedly, because she had the right to choose, no State should be able to prohibit pregnant woman from aborting the life of her child.

            What we forget is that we have neither perfect knowledge nor perfect wisdom. None of us is perfectly holy. Unless God Himself chooses to rule us, we have no one we can trust enough to rule over us. Therefore, we have no choice except to create a government that divides power among our leaders and even puts power in different hands balanced so that our leaders are encouraged to check others abuses and excesses.

            Therefore, the framers of the Constitution chose to create three branches within the Federal Government, three branches that balance and check each other: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. In addition, they created a federation designed so that the States and the Federal Government balance and check each others abuses and excesses.

            Note also that the States also have executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and that the States are divided into local governments that generally have executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

            Thus, we have thousands of elected and appointed officials constantly balancing and checking each others powers. While that sometimes makes our government appear quite messy and awkward, it is definitely preferable to Hitlerian efficiency.

            Consider that on a day-to-day basis most of the government officials most people deal with are State and local officials. That allows the average citizen the opportunity to express his complaints directly to the people making the decisions that affect him. Have you ever tried contacting elected officials at the Federal level? Not as easy.

            In addition, the states provide laboratories to test new laws before they go national.

            Unfortunately, because we have not been properly educated, too many of us don’t understand how the framers expected our government to work. So we are electing leaders who want more power than they should have, and we are letting them take it.

            Liked by 1 person

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