WHY WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE PROTECTION OF OUR RIGHTS — PART 1

Jerusalem_Modell_BW_3
Model of Herod’s Temple (a renovation of the Second Temple) in the Israel Museum, created in 1966 as part of the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. The model was inspired by the writings of Josephus. (from here)

OF A POST TO COME promised to compare the governing approaches of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with respect to two issues.

  • The growth of the power of government.
  • The protection of our rights.

Here we will consider the protection of our rights.

Why The Law Written In Our Hearts Is Not Enough

Why don’t we care about the protection of our rights? We are ignorant of our rights. Because we don’t properly educate our children, we don’t understand the concept of human rights and RESPONSIBILITIES. I suppose that sounds arrogant, but please bear with me and let me explain.

The notion that individuals have rights is a relatively new idea.  We tend to be more concerned about doing the right thing, and we equate what we think is the right thing with respecting human rights.

What do we think is the right thing? Consider this Bible passage.

Romans 2:12-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Without ever hearing about Jesus or the Bible we each know enough to do the right thing (see IS GOD EVIL OR HOLY?), but our pride and our instincts fight with this knowledge. Hence, we constantly find excuses to ignore it.

Consider when and where the Apostle Paul wrote the passage above.

  • The Roman republic was dead, subsumed by the empire its efficient and brutal legions had created. Slavery was common. How well a slave fared depended upon the decency of his or her master (see here, here, and here). Rome defended the institution of slavery mercilessly. The rebellion led by Spartacus provides the most famous example. Roman legions crucified 6,000 of the rebels (see here and here).
  • Even without slavery, Roman society was highly class conscious (see here, here, and here), and the prestige of the Rome depending upon the integrity of its empire. About a decade after Paul wrote the Book of Romans, the Jews  rebelled. Eventually, Roman legions descended upon Jerusalem. They slaughtered and enslaved the population and burned the city, including the temple (see here and here).

Do we live in a better place and time? Yes, but why? The Romans were civilized and in many ways quite virtuous. Yet they had little respect for human rights, particularly the rights of foreigners. The Romans were as savage as any barbarians, just better organized, trained, and equipped.

What is the difference between the Roman Empire and America? The Romans only had the law written in their hearts. They could see themselves and their conduct reflected in their own eyes and each others eyes, but they too often saw only what they wanted to see.

The Bible provides a better mirror. The Bible teaches that we are all children of God, made in his image. The Bible teaches that we must love our neighbor as our self. As Jesus explained in The Parable of the Good Samaritan, every man is our neighbor. Every man has rights we must respect.

When studied carefully, the Bible does what the law written in our hearts cannot do. Whereas the law written in our hearts is intertwined with our fleshly desires, the Bible is purely of the spirit. Thus, the Bible perfectly mirrors our life and conduct with respect to what God expects of His children.

James 1:22-25 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Yet the Bible only works if we read it and study it, and it works best when we insist our children read it and study it. Unfortunately, such Bible instruction is not common in America anymore.

To Be Continued

  • What Are God-Given Rights?
  • Where Do The Candidates Stand With Respect To God-Given Rights?

SAFE AT LAST: THE LATEST INNOVATION IN HOME SECURITY

burglarI got the following from a friend in an email.

cannot-buy-rebel-flagSince chain emails (particularly those that are tongue in cheek) cannot be trusted, I did some research.

  • I tried to track down both a rebel flag and an ISIS flag on EBAY. As of now, EBAY seems to exclude both.
  • Not sure what ADT charges, but it cannot beat free.
  • The reference to burkas? Since that obviously refers to profiling….

So would it work? Well, if Hillary Clinton gets elected, I suppose this is what I might have to do after I retire. Got save money on a fixed income, but I will have to run the idea of wearing his and her burkas by my wife.

 

 

WHAT IS IN A INSULT?

What it is like to be mooned by a peacock
What it is like to be mooned by a peacock

choosing language carefully – being considerate byvioletwisp is an interesting post. I suppose it is also a relatively harmless post. It only begins with what thinks of Christianity.

What is ‘s focus for the use of considerate language? Well, she does not like certain insulting words, especially “retard”. Here we can sympathize, but we still need perspective. “Retarded” is a word that people use to describe people with learning disabilities. It is simply a word that describes a problem nobody wants to have. “Cancer” is the same sort of word. “Retard”, on the other hand, is a word that some people decided would be cute to use as an insult instead of “stupid” or “dumb”. Hence, the problem is the desire to hurt or insult, not the word.

Why do we insult people? Generally, this desire comes from a deficiency in character. In our pride (see the peacock above), we want elevate ourselves over others. Thus, we can get into these discussions over whether my stuff is better than your stuff, or whether my way is better than your way, or whether I am better than you. Hence, as The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux indicates in the comment thread on ‘s post (see here), intent matters. Are we trying to help someone or put them down beneath us?

silenceofmind makes a different observation in the comment thread. He observes that ‘s post (see here) “is an ode to political correctness and is thus a disgusting insult to the free exchange of ideas”.

Political correctness is a method of shutting people up by shaming them into silence. Supposedly, the politically incorrect are mean and selfish because they don’t use the right words and believe the right things. Political correctness is ironic, actually. When those propounding the glories of their own beliefs angrily shame the “politically incorrect”, they are just engaging in another form of bigotry. To silence their opponents, they end up being at least as insulting and hurtful. Because they can put an end to communication, such exchanges risk unraveling our nation.

What is the alternative? Is it not liberty, the freedom to believe what we wish, the freedom to exercise our own beliefs? So long as we do not infringe upon each others liberty, we do not have to pay attention to people spouting senseless insults. We still retain the right to choose better company.

What about our personal conduct? How do we avoid insulting people? How do we avoid political correctness? To some extent we cannot. No matter what we do we cannot control what others think of our words. We can only work on what is in our own hearts.

Matthew 5:21-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Murder Begins in the Heart

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

We can also strive for reconciliation, but that works only to the extent the fault is within our own heart. We cannot make our brother or our sister repent of the their sins. We can only repent of our own.

OF A POST TO COME

Here of late we have been favored with attentions of several commenters who don’t like Donald Trump. So they have criticized him, sometimes quite ferociously. Yet, for various reasons, none of them, no, not one of them, have had much to say about Hillary Clinton. Oddly, the same thing seems to be true of Hillary Clinton. She too would much rather talk about Trump.

The first thing I saw on Hillary Clinton's website.
The first thing I saw on Hillary Clinton’s website.

What is the first thing you see on Donald Trump’s website?

America is Back I am Your Voice.
America is Back
I am Your Voice.

When we vote, our object should be to compare and contrast the candidates. Since I am a Trump supporter — and I want others to vote for him — I have said why I intend to vote for him. Meanwhile, we have heard others complain how awful they believe he is.  When asked, these critics have had nothing much to say about Clinton. So as a political junky I feel a bit obligated to fill in the void.

This coming weekend I hope to put together a post that does two things.

  • The first will be a discussion of H. Clinton’s public record. What has she accomplished?
  • The second will be review of H. Clinton’s campaign website. What does she propose to do if elected.

The following weekend I hope to put together a post that compares and contrasts the differences between governing approaches of the two major candidates.  Here I will highlight two issues.

  • The growth of the power of government. Conservatives prefer limited government. Liberal Democrats are never satisfied the government is big enough. IS IMMIGRATION A NATURAL RIGHT? got into that issue somewhat. However, plainandsimplecatholicism‘s comment here, my reply, and his reply to my reply does a good job of laying out the issues involved.
  • The protection of our rights. Conservatives refer to natural, or God-given rights. Liberal Democrats deny such rights exist. Liberal Democrats think government gives us our rights. Tony‘s comment here, my reply, and his reply to my reply illustrates how we differ.

Frankly, I think the second of the two posts I have proposed will be the more important. Nevertheless, if the public can be convinced of Clinton’s malfeasance in public office — and of Trump’s relative sanity — the nefariousness of Clinton’s deeds are more likely to cost her the election.

So why is the second post more important? The second post will about the character of our people. Who we choose to govern us and how we choose to govern ourselves depends upon the character of our people. The first post, on the hand, will just be a relatively superficial comparison of the character of two presidential candidates. We cannot pretend to know these people. At best, we can only learn something about their record of public life.

Nevertheless, the character of the people we elect depends upon us. When we vote, what matters is what we want our elected leaders to do. If we want our leaders to lead us honorably, we will elect honorable leadership. If we want to elect leaders with high moral standards, then we must uphold high moral standards, and that second post will be a debate about moral standards.