WHAT IS A QUALIFIED PRESIDENT?

Donald Trump, the President of the United States since January 20, 2017 (from here)
Donald Trump, the President of the United States since January 20, 2017 (from here)

insanitybytes22 has this post that left me chuckling, Okay Piper… In her post, reviews an article by John Piper, “How to Live Under an Unqualified President.” Why laugh?

Piper always seems to have this idea that our authority and leadership must always be worthy, qualified, above us, and to some extent that is true, but consider marriage for example. One could simple declare one’s spouse unworthy and unqualified, but that kind of denies the hidden truth that you chose them. It takes some humility to see it, but who really is the one with poor judgment here? And if your own judgment is so flawed, should you really be pointing fingers at someone else? As the saying goes, “don’t be too critical of your husband or wife’s choices, you were one of them.” (from here)

Since quite ably attacks the faith-based matters in her post, I decided I would consider a more practical problem here. What is a qualified president?

What drives the qualifications we expect from our elected officials? If you were hiring an employee, how would you decide what qualifications that employee needs? Would you come up with a job description? Would you not your list the qualifications of your new employee based upon what you expect that employee to do?

So how should we come up with a job description for our president? Well, don’t we have this thing we call our constitution, The United States Constitution? Doesn’t that document describe the functions of our president?

Article II describes how we select our president and our president’s primary powers and responsibilities. Of course, whatever the president does generally requires money. Since Congress controls spending, that makes Congress the most powerful branch of government. That makes Article I, Section 8 important to the president’s job description. Article I, Section 8 lists the things that Congress has the power to make laws about, and as the head of the executive branch, the president is obligated to enforce those laws.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (from Article 11, Section 1)

Effectively, the president of the United States should be someone we trust to take that oath and fulfill it.  The man must be worthy of our trust and competent to execute the duties assigned to him by the Constitution. Is Donald Trump such a man? If not, why not? Before we select an employee, perhaps we need to qualify ourselves to select that employee.

  • Because we need them to be trustworthy, we require the president and all the officials of our government to take an oath. Are we trustworthy? Is it reasonable to expect people who are not trustworthy to select trustworthy people to lead them?
  • Because we need them to know what they are doing, we want the president and all the officials of our government to be competent people. Do we know what we are doing? Do we understand what our government is supposed to do? Is it reasonable to expect the incompetent to select competent people to lead them?

When we started this post we said we would focus on the practical problem of selecting a president. Nevertheless, because the Bible provides practical wisdom, here is a quote from it.

Matthew 7:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Do Not Judge

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

We get the leadership we deserve.  So long as we do not ask our Lord to help us remove the planks in our own eyes we will not do a good job of judging the qualifications of the people we elect.

  • We will find the promises of candidates for public office more important than their character.
  • Instead of the law of the land, we will give preference to our egos and our pocketbooks.

If we let ourselves become foolish enough, we will become the dogs and the swine who trample the pearls of God’s wisdom and tear His people to pieces.

HOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

Lincoln swearing-in at the partially finished U.S. Capitol. (from here)
Lincoln swearing-in at the partially finished U.S. Capitol. (from here)

It is late, a long day.  So I reviewed the comments on WHAT IS THE POINT OF LIMITED AND SECULAR GOVERNMENT? with both astonishment and dismay. What should I say? I have got to go and get some sleep. Should I say anything? I decided that I would have to. Why? Why have I and others tried to make an issue limited and secular, constitutional government?

On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will become our president.

President-elect Donald Trump told “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt that he doesn’t mind Democratic members of Congress boycotting his inauguration, saying “I hope they give me their tickets.”

At least 60 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have opted to miss Friday’s ceremonies, most notably Georgia Rep. John Lewis, who said last week that he did not consider Trump a “legitimate” president.

“I think he just grandstanded, John Lewis, and then he got caught in a very bad lie, so let’s see what happens,” said Trump, referencing Lewis’ initial claim that Trump’s would be the first inauguration he’s missed – despite having previously boycotted George W. Bush’s 2001 inauguration. (continued here)

What the Democrat’s boycott reminded me of was the start of the American Civil War.  How did that begin?

In the November 1860 election, Lincoln again faced Douglas, who represented the Northern faction of a heavily divided Democratic Party, as well as Breckinridge and Bell. The announcement of Lincoln’s victory signaled the secession of the Southern states, which since the beginning of the year had been publicly threatening secession if the Republicans gained the White House.

By the time of Lincoln’s inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven states had seceded, and the Confederate States of America had been formally established, with Jefferson Davis as its elected president. One month later, the American Civil War began when Confederate forces under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina. In 1863, as the tide turned against the Confederacy, Lincoln emancipated the slaves and in 1864 won reelection. In April 1865, he was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after the American Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. (from here)

The Democrat’s boycott of the inauguration obviously is not as serious as states seceding from the Union, but it is a clear sign we risk loosing our nation’s capacity to peacefully transfer power from one party to another. Just as the Democrats once demanded slavery, they now demand unquestioned obedience to …… to what? When it comes down to it, big government is a nebulous thing. What is it that the Democrats don’t want to control?  What is the property they refuse to give up? Who are their precious slaves now?

Where does the root of the Democratic Party’s power rest? It rest upon their ability to buy votes with other people’s money, what we call redistributing the wealth. Thus far I have been unable to convince some commenters, two in particular, that redistributing the wealth is toxic to a constitutional republic. Just calling it stealing does not seem to work. So this weekend I will write a post that uses a starkly  different approach.

Again, I thank those who commented. Interesting, to say the least.

2016 POST ELECTION STRATEGY AND TACTICS – PART 3

Conflict in narrative comes in many forms. "Man versus man", such as is depicted here in the battle between King Arthur and Mordred, is particularly common in traditional literature, fairy tales and myths. (from here)
Conflict in narrative comes in many forms. “Man versus man”, such as is depicted here in the battle between King Arthur and Mordred, is particularly common in traditional literature, fairy tales and myths. (from here)

In PART 1 of this series, I spoke of a personal goal for government, a stable and efficient government that allows us to fulfill The Great Commission Jesus gave us, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In PART 2, we considered the fundamental obstacle to such a goal, we are sinners. We need a government to protect our rights from each other. Yet, we cannot be trusted not to abuse the powers of our government. Therefore, to protect our family, friends, neighbors and countrymen, each of us must take part as citizens in the governing of this nation as best we can.  How? We need a strategy.

Whether that strategy is of God or not depends upon how much each of us prays and the God we praise. Yet as I am not a prophet, I make no claims to divine guidance. I just propose what I hope God would approve.

The Components Of A Strategy For Good Government:  The Defensive Components

Any good strategy must have both offensive and defensive components.  We must identify and counter the threats that could defeat us, and we must determine how to carry the war to the enemy and defeat him.

War? Enemy? This is just about politics, right? Unfortunately, politics is a blood sport.  When We the People allow them to seize the opportunity, the winners of political contests can, have, and will arrest their political opponents and kill them.  The Nazis and the Communists did just that in the last century, and we have no reason to believe it could not happen here today, particularly if we do not actively work to prevent it. Therefore, we must defend ourselves.

Refuse Indoctrination

We are the citizens of a great constitutional republic. At its best, our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. That is, the quality of our government depends upon the quality of our participation. What does the quality of our participation depend upon? To participate appropriately in our government, we must know how the framers of our government expected it to work, we must have up-to-date and accurate information on the activities that relate to our government, and we must each figure out how we can and want to participate. We must both learn what it means to be a good citizen and how to behave as a good citizen. Instead, most of us just stand and watch on the sidelines. At best we are just a fan of some politician we think great.

Why are we such poor citizens? Instead of receiving the instruction and the information we need to be good citizens, we have allowed ourselves to be indoctrinated.

  • The public school system is the primary culprit.  When we raise our children, don’t we want them to learn how to be good, responsible people? Doesn’t that include being a good citizen in a constitutional republic. Even at its best, the public school system cannot teach children how to be good citizens, much less good, responsible people.  That’s because our public school system provides a secular education, an education that is either devoid of values or supportive of only those values those in power deem politically correct.
  • The mass media is the secondary culprit. When we listen to the mass media, we generally expect to be entertained or informed. We expect the owners of the mass media to give us the information we need because we have a choice, and they want to make a profit.  We overlook the fact we are not always wise consumers of the mass media. We also forget that most of the mass media is owned by about six corporations, and the owners have their own agendas.  If we were wise, we would watch and listen to only those programs we think are good in God’s eyes. We would inform ourselves to help our family, friends, and neighbors. More often we are foolish; we watch only what looks good in our own eyes. Moreover, the people who own the mass media are no wiser. They cater to our tastes, and they also seek to manipulate us, to shape our views so that we believe what they want us to believe.

How do we counter these threats. We must fight for school choice by refusing to send our children to the public schools. We must let parents, the people who most love them, choose who educates children. We must also fight to keep media ownership as diverse as possible by seeking, using, and supporting alternative sources. We cannot control how our neighbors choose to inform themselves, but we can at least strive for a meaningful choice of information sources.

Don’t Appease The Enemy: Rebuild America’s Defenses

Look around the world. Then consider the national rivalries that existed  just before World War II.  What was going on just before the German Nazis and the Russian Communists invaded Poland? Did we not see an array of belligerent powers arming themselves and bullying their neighbors? Were the United States, the United Kingdom, and France prepared for war when it began? Had not the nations most responsible for maintaining peace let their military forces atrophy. Did they not try to appease the belligerent powers?

Russia has invaded Georgia and the Ukraine. Russia has taken Syria’s side in the Middle East and allied itself with Iran. China has seized the China Sea, refusing to acknowledge the boundaries long set by International law. Islamic terrorists, including those backed by terrorist states such as Iran, threaten innocents around the world. Gangster-like governments of all sizes have acquired the technology to build and mass produce nuclear arms, chemical munitions, and biological weapons. And what has the United Nations done? Why it has passed a resolution condemning Israel.

War is on the horizon; it is striding our way. Can we avoid conflict? If we cannot, can we protect our family, friends, and neighbors? God only knows, but for the sake of our children, we must pray and prepare.

End The Purchase Of Your Vote

Look at The United States Constitution. Does it authorize the Federal Government to redistribute the wealth of the “rich” to the “poor”? Does it give Congress the power to set up health, education, and welfare programs? The Federal Government spends most of the money it takes from us on Social Security, Medicare (now Obamacare), education programs, Food Stamps, and so forth. Have you read The Federalist Papers? Do you know why the original 13 colonies voted for the Constitution? Can you read the Constitution, point to anything in it that authorizes most of the programs that our elected officials use as excuses to spends our money, and still keep a straight face?

Then why do our elected officials spend all that money on health, education, and welfare programs? The answer is simple. They are using our own money to buy our votes. If we want a government that we can control, then we each have to make the correct personal choice. We each have to refuse to vote for politicians who seek to bribe us with “other people’s money”.

Each of us must make a choice. Will we refuse the cocoon offered by the welfare state? Will we open our eyes? Will we accept God’s offer to be His children? Will we choose a government that exists — that empowers each citizen — to protect the rights of his family, friends, and neighbors? Or will we worship the lords of the welfare state and help human masters bind our family, friends and neighbors into submission?

To Be Continued

What will Part 4 be about? The Components Of A Strategy For Good Government: The Offensive Components.

THE BIBLE SAYS DON’T DO IT

babyThe Issue

Several years back I wrote a series of post on abortion (Here is the first post => WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT ABORTION? — PART 1). I put a lot of work into it, but it did not get a lot of hits.  I guess, even though I am not a Bible scholar, it came across as too scholarly and ivory tower.

Regardless of what we say, when most of us surf the web, we want something bite-size and personally relevant. Life, however, does not necessarily give simple, easy problems. It only gives us what looks like easy choices, like that choice favored by the Pro-Choice crowd.

How Do We Choose?

You are a man. You get your girl-friend pregnant. You are that girl-friend. He doesn’t want the child. If you have the child, you could have a 20-year obligation. If you don’t have the child, it is just gone? Not exactly, and the longer you live the better and more painfully you will understand the consequences of making the wrong choice.

altruistico is doing a series on abortion. His series deals directly with that Pro-Life/Pro-Choice choice. Since ‘s series deals directly with the choice we have to make, I suspect his readers will find his series more personally relevant.

Here is what has thus far posted.

If you have any doubts that unfairly presents what the Bible has to say about abortion, then please consider my poor series on the subject as a place to start your investigation. I did my best to consider both sides of the issue. To my surprise, I discovered the Pro-Choice scholarship on this issue plainly unworthy of any respect.

The 2016 Presidential Election

Please note that abortion will be an issue in the 2016 Presidential Election. We have a candidate that is so rabidly Pro-Choice she has announced her intention to select judges who put their personal “life experience” ahead of what the Constitution actually says.

Here is what Hillary Clinton said in the Second Presidential Debate about her selection criteria for judges.

This is one of the most important issues in this election. I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real life experience. Who have not just been in a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge and then gotten on the bench, but maybe they tried more cases. Actually understand what people are up against. Because I think the current court has gone in the wrong direction. I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United and get dark unaccountable money out of our politics. Donald doesn’t agree with that. I would like the Supreme Court to understand that voting rights are a big problem in many parts of the country. That we don’t do always do everything we can to make it possible for people of color and older people and young people to be able to exercise their franchise. I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, and I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality. Now, Donald put forth of the names of people he would consider. And among the ones that he has suggested are people who would reverse Roe v. Wade and reverse marriage equality. I think that would be a terrible mistake and take us backwards. I want a Supreme Court that doesn’t always side with corporate interests. I want a Supreme Court that understands because you are wealthy and you can give more money to something doesn’t mean you have more rights or should have any more rights than anything else. (from here)

Given Hillary Clinton speaks out of both sides of her mouth, we can disregard her comments about corporate interests. However, Planned Parenthood has supported her campaign, and that support does interest H. Clinton.

Here is Donald Trump’s statement on abortion.

If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions. (from here)

Trump has already given us a list from which he would make his judicial picks. See for yourself. See what Trump has to say about the Constitution and Second Amendment.