The daisy chain is a pretty thing children love, but its method of construction features flower stem after flower stem passing through flower stem after flower stem until flower has been pointlessly damaged for the sake of another. (from here)
The daisy chain is a pretty thing children love, but its method of construction features flower stem after flower stem passing through flower stem after flower stem until each flower has been pointlessly damaged for the sake of another. (from here)

Here are some more excerpts from Essays on Political Economy by Frédéric Bastiat. The subject here is Government. At the time Bastiat wrote (1848), competing groups of Socialists politicians promised the impossible to the people of France. Then what happened in France looked much like what is happening here today.

What did Bastiat see as the source of the trouble? Was it the politicians? Not really. The problem is we each want something for nothing.

Man recoils from trouble–from suffering; and yet he is condemned by nature to the suffering of privation, if he does not take the trouble to work. He has to choose, then, between these two evils. What means can he adopt to avoid both? There remains now, and there will remain, only one way, which is, to enjoy the labour of others. Such a course of conduct prevents the trouble and the satisfaction from preserving their natural proportion, and causes all the trouble to become the lot of one set of persons, and all the satisfaction that of another. This is the origin of slavery and of plunder, whatever its form may be–whether that of wars, impositions, violence, restrictions, frauds, &c.–monstrous abuses, but consistent with the thought which has given them birth. Oppression should be detested and resisted–it can hardly be called absurd. (from here)

The problem is that we, the great mass of humanity, are all selfish, not just politicians. Fortunately, slavery is not as popular an institution as it used to be, or is it? How do some people enslave other people in this day and age?

The oppressor no longer acts directly and with his own powers upon his victim. No, our conscience has become too sensitive for that. The tyrant and his victim are still present, but there is an intermediate person between them, which is the Government–that is, the Law itself. What can be better calculated to silence our scruples, and, which is perhaps better appreciated, to overcome all resistance? We all, therefore, put in our claim, under some pretext or other, and apply to Government. We say to it, “I am dissatisfied at the proportion between my labour and my enjoyments. I should like, for the sake of restoring the desired equilibrium, to take a part of the possessions of others. But this would be dangerous. Could not you facilitate the thing for me? Could you not find me a good place? or check the industry of my competitors? or, perhaps, lend me gratuitously some capital, which you may take from its possessor? Could you not bring up my children at the public expense? or grant me some prizes? or secure me a competence when I have attained my fiftieth year? (from here)

Sound ridiculous? Well, we can be ridiculous. We can each go to the government and asks for favors at the expense of others, and our leaders will say, “no problem”. Thus, we can all end up paying each others bills, and our leaders will happily take a cut from each transaction.

Shortsighted, we can fail to consider what we are throwing away. We can forget that We the People must insist upon the morality of our leaders.

But the most remarkable part of it is the astonishing blindness of the public through it all. When successful soldiers used to reduce the vanquished to slavery, they were barbarous, but they were not absurd. Their object, like ours, was to live at other people’s expense, and they did not fail to do so. What are we to think of a people who never seem to suspect that reciprocal plunder is no less plunder because it is reciprocal; that it is no less criminal because it is executed legally and with order; that it adds nothing to the public good; that it diminishes it, just in proportion to the cost of the expensive medium which we call the Government?

And it is this great chimera which we have placed, for the edification of the people, as a frontispiece to the Constitution. The following is the beginning of the introductory discourse:–

France has constituted itself a republic for the purpose of raising all the citizens to an ever-increasing degree of morality, enlightenment, and well-being.

Thus it is France, or an abstraction, which is to raise the French, or realities, to morality, well-being, &c. Is it not by yielding to this strange delusion that we are led to expect everything from an energy not our own? Is it not giving out that there is, independently of the French, a virtuous, enlightened, and rich being, who can and will bestow upon them its benefits? Is not this supposing, and certainly very gratuitously, that there are between France and the French–between the simple, abridged, and abstract denomination of all the individualities, and these individualities themselves–relations as of father to son, tutor to his pupil, professor to his scholar? I know it is often said, metaphorically, “the country is a tender mother.” But to show the inanity of the constitutional proposition, it is only needed to show that it may be reversed, not only without inconvenience, but even with advantage. Would it be less exact to say–

The French have constituted themselves a Republic, to raise France to an ever-increasing degree of morality, enlightenment, and well-being.

Now, where is the value of an axiom where the subject and the attribute may change places without inconvenience? Everybody understands what is meant by this–“The mother will feed the child.” But it would be ridiculous to say–“The child will feed the mother.”

The Americans formed another idea of the relations of the citizens with the Government when they placed these simple words at the head of their Constitution:–

We, the people of the United States, for the purpose of forming a more perfect union, of establishing justice, of securing interior tranquillity, of providing for our common defence, of increasing the general well-being, and of securing the benefits of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity, decree,” &c.

Here there is no chimerical creation, no abstraction, from which the citizens may demand everything. They expect nothing except from themselves and their own energy. (from here)

Don’t we all know that government is horribly inefficient? Don’t we all know that requesting special favors from politicians is dishonest? Don’t we all know that the fact “everybody does it” does not make what is dishonest honest? Then why do we believe dishonest politicians who promise to give us things we have not earned? Perhaps it is time we reconsidered.

Citizens! In all times, two political systems have been in existence, and each may be maintained by good reasons. According to one of them, Government ought to do much, but then it ought to take much. According to the other, this twofold activity ought to be little felt. We have to choose between these two systems. But as regards the third system, which partakes of both the others, and which consists in exacting everything from Government, without giving it anything, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous. Those who parade it, for the sake of the pleasure of accusing all Governments of weakness, and thus exposing them to your attacks, are only flattering and deceiving you, while they are deceiving themselves.

For ourselves, we consider that Government is and ought to be nothing whatever but common force organized, not to be an instrument of oppression and mutual plunder among citizens; but, on the contrary, to secure to every one his own, and to cause justice and security to reign. (from here)

Not certain of your choice? Then consider reading all of this great work, Essays on Political Economy.


William Blake: Christian Reading in His Book (Plate 2, 1824–27) (from here)
William Blake: Christian Reading in His Book (Plate 2, 1824–27) (from here)
pilgrim (n.)
c. 1200, pilegrim, from Old French pelerin, peregrin “pilgrim, crusader; foreigner, stranger” (11c., Modern French pèlerin), from Late Latin pelegrinus, dissimilated from Latin peregrinus “foreigner” (source of Italian pellegrino, Spanish peregrino), from peregre (adv.) “from abroad,” from per- “beyond” + agri, locative case of ager “country” (see acre).

Change of first -r- to -l- in most Romance languages by dissimilation; the -m appears to be a Germanic modification. Pilgrim Fathers “English Puritans who founded Plymouth colony” is first found 1799 (they called themselves Pilgrims from c. 1630, in reference to Hebrew xi:13).

I have a difficult and stubborn commenter,Arkenaten, who is perfectly willing to allow his comments to go into moderation. I guess he knows I will read them.

Since I used his “name” on the THE GIFT OF LOVE, I posted one of his comments (from here) with my reply.


(Arkenaten) likes to amuse him by trying to torment Christian bloggers with questions to which we have no answers. (author’s note: Here Arkenaten quotes a portion of what I said in my post.)

I believe this sentence tells the reader everything they might wish to know about Christianity.
A real gem, this. A keeper in fact.

Citizen Tom

Since I mentioned your name, one comment.

Here is my reply.

We all have questions.

Why am I here?
What is right and wrong?
What brings me meaning
What happens to a human being when I die?

Can we learn the answer to those questions? Yes.

Check out => http://josephelonlillie.com/2016/01/25/road-through-romans-seek-and-find/

Here is how he replied.


We know what happens to humans when they die. They decompose.
Why do you have a problem with this?

Why did I bother? That’s a topic in the comment thread that follows WHEN LOVE BECOMES AN EXCUSE FOR TYRANNY. For example, this comment.

Necessary and Proper

@Tom and Keith,

Tom’s question to Keith (“That is, how do we persuade people to properly amend the Constitution?”) brought me full circle back to the first interchange I ever had with Keith. It was when you reblogged my first Due Process of Law article on May 25th last year, called “Can a Law Be Unlawful.” I was trying to start a train of thought that would illuminate the fact that, no matter how all the detailed x’s and o’s tactics play out in the daily political arena, the BIGGER picture is that the whole legislative and executive world is now operating in an “extra-Constitutional” manner. An alarming percentage of the federal statutes on the books, and many of the federal government’s overt actions are simply devoid of any Constitutional basis — which I asserted makes them philosophically/morally unlawful. As we’ve gotten to know each other, Keith and I have found we’re both enthusiastic advocates for an Article V Convention to amend our Constitution back towards its original intent.

I would like to reprint a comment I made back then:

[[Keith, I would also observe that it’s clear your (and Citizen Tom’s) greater interest is in “What do we do about it?”, and you’re not necessarily as interested in hearing the case for why it’s morally wrong for the government to pass bad, unconstitutional, improper, wrong, inappropriate, laws. But there are a LOT of people who would never stop to question the behavior of lawmakers like I am doing here. It’s them I am primarily addressing, not you. Why? Because I believe that educating them to question their government’s actions is THE BEST thing within my control to help “do something about it.” Clearly, the impeachment avenue that was provided by the Constitution will never seriously be used, because there’s too much political posturing and media subterfuge in the modern political arena for impeachment to be practical. So influencing moderates, independents, and new voters in their teens and twenties that they should be careful and effective with their voting power is what I’m all about….especially in this series. I’m trying to fight against the spread of moral relativism.]]

– Jeff

Jeff wrote a very thoughtful comment. Nevertheless, he is addressing Keith and myself.

When I started blogging, I focused more on politics than religion. Then I realized that our political system is collapsing because our people no longer uphold an ethical system capable of supporting a constitutional republic. So now I focus far more on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

When I blog, like Jeff I hope that I will reach some people who have not given either Christianity or politics much thought. However, I don’t seriously expect many of those people to stop by and read my blog. Yet that is most of the electorate.

What has happened? Why is a nation that once seemed so interested in Christianity now so ignorant of it? I think the answer is our education system. We have allowed the public school system to indoctrinate successive generations of children, and that school system has left a void in the hearts of our people. Think of the idiocy. Almost no one trusts politicians, but we have put them in charge of so much that we value, including the indoctrination of our children.

With respect to Christianity, our education system has left the impression that these questions have no serious answers.

Why am I here?
What is right and wrong?
What brings me meaning
What happens to a human being when I die?

Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.

Our schools avoid the Bible. When they speak of religion, they speak of religion as a source of controversy and war. Seriously, does anyone truly believe American politicians think of Islam as the religion of peace. Don’t we know that what politicians who call Islam the religion of peace think is that all religions are worthless except their own idols, power and money.

With respect to our duty to be good citizens, our education system has left the impression that all we have to do is listen to the evening news and then vote for the best man.  In fact, for the most part people do nothing. Because they never learn what to do — how they can make a difference — they do what seems easiest and leave it to “the experts.” That is exactly what most corrupt politicians would prefer they do.

So why do I blog? It is my pilgrimage. Putting my thoughts on paper and reading what others have written helps me to better understand the Bible and politics. That’s the primary reason.

For the time being, blogging also seems to be my calling. There are new Conservatives with a poor understanding of Conservatism and new Christians who need to be encouraged to read the Bible. With the help of other Christians and Conservative bloggers, those are the people I hope to reach, and those are the people I hope will talk to their friends and neighbors. If God answers our prayers, those are the people God will call upon to revive His Spirit within our nation. These people will bring the Gospel of Christ to those with ears to hear, and the Holy Spirit — if God so wills — will soften our hearts so that we can each perceive the message of Jesus Christ.


Ummah (Islamic community) distribution map according to Pew Research. (from here)
Ummah (Islamic community) distribution map according to Pew Research. (from here)

POLITICALLY CORRECT? WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT? — PART 1 was supposed be the first of four posts. However, because this is a blog, I write what I want, and I write what passion drives me to write. So I can get sidetracked onto a different topic easily enough, but there is this strange thing. Sooner or latter passion usually brings me back with even greater force to the topic from which I got sidetracked. In this case, that passion belongs to Donald Trump. Hence I will wrap up what was to be a four-part series with this post.

What is modern America’s primary failing? We don’t study the Bible; we are losing the advantages of our Christian heritage. Therefore, we have a difficult time discerning between honest men and women and demagogues.

What is the difference between honest leaders and demagogues? Demagogues scratch our itching ears. Honest leaders strive to speak the truth, perhaps even out of their love for their neighbors. Thus, when we have an election, to vote for the right person we must first seek to be honest with ourselves. We must discern between what we want to believe and the truth. What has happened repeatedly to Donald Trump is a case in point. The demagogues have charged The Donald with being politically incorrect.

What is the latest example of the Donald being politically incorrect? Donald Trump is now calling for an end to all Muslim immigration into the United States.

In a written statement late Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign said the Republican frontrunner wanted a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” As backing, Trump cited a controversial six-month-old survey from the right-wing Center for Security Policy finding that one-quarter of U.S. Muslim respondents believed that violence against Americans was justified as part of global jihad and that a slim majority “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” (from here)

Predictably, the establishment immediately charged the Donald with extremism. Of course, that included the RINOs.

Condemnations from Republicans quickly followed. Jeb Bush tweeted that Trump had become “unhinged.” John Kasich said Trump’s “outrageous divisiveness” was more reason why he was “entirely unsuited” to be president. Senator Lindsey Graham, a long-shot Republican rival, tweeted that Trump had “gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.” (from here)

In fact, as The Washington Times reported the criticism was international (Donald Trump defiant as Muslim ban draws widespread condemnation), but when The Donald stood his ground his rankings went up in the polls (here). What is politically correct may be what our elites demand, be it is not what many of us want.

Think about that constant refrain.

The terrorists have hijacked Islam. Most Muslims are not terrorists.

What happens if a Conservative starts to explain what the Koran says? Don’t we get told the Koran is like the Bible and the Bible says bad things too? Don’t we get told this by people who have never read either Koran or the Bible? So how do the politically correct know what they are talking about? How do they even know which people are the true followers of Islam? They don’t. They have no way of knowing whether the radical Islamists represent the true spirit of Islam. Afraid Muslims will hear, they may also not care to tell us what they really think.

When The Donald proposed to ban immigration from Muslim nations, the PC crowd raised the hue and cry that such discrimination based upon creed is unconstitutional. It isn’t. If it wanted to do so, Congress could exclude immigrants based upon their creed. However, our leaders cannot be trusted to discriminate based upon creed. So we probably don’t want to do that. Hence Senator Rand Paul offered up another option.

The Senate overwhelmingly rejected an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)last week that would have suspended visas to the U.S. from “high risk” countries until new enhanced security processes are in place.

Paul’s amendment would have designated 33 countries as “high risk” and placed moratoriums on refugee resettlement and visa issuance to nationals from those countries until the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Director of National Intelligence certify and new processes to identify security risks.

The 33 countries included: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia,Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and the Palestinian Territories. (continued here)

As stupid as it sounds, our political elites refuse to restrict immigration. Period. No matter what! Hence their charges against Trump are just a smoke screen.

So why are our political elites so adamantly determined to keep our borders open and admit hordes of immigrants? The obvious answer is money. If you have capital assets in the United States, cheap labor makes those assets more profitable. For the sake of short term profit, our elites have deliberately chosen to ignore is the longcost to our country. We risk extreme violence, violence of the sort much of Europe may soon experience on a massive scale. In fact, at this point our elites may just be terrified of pissing off the Muslims in Europe.

What are the stakes? To help us appreciate what a full blown clash of cultures looks like, in the The Next King Phillip’s War James Atticus Bowden takes us back to 17th century America.

The King Philip’s War (1675-1676) was the bloodiest war – per capita – in America. Twice as many casualties as a portion of the population than our American Civil War (a.k.a. The Recent Unpleasantness)! Seven times more bloody that WW II – FYI – for all “Greatest Generation” fans. Consider what happened and could happen again. (continued here).

Instead of hordes of people from a primitive culture settling into a more advanced society, the Stone Age Indians tribes in the New England area had to contend with English Pilgrims and Puritans. Inevitably, the local Indians and the Pilgrim/Puritan coalition clashed, and the Indians lost their lands and their way of life.

In retrospect, because the blood thirst of both the Indians and the Englishmen they fought is nearly forgotten, we now pity the poor Indians. Yet for the sake of our children it is also important we remember the lesson. The Pilgrims and the Puritans never had any intention of assimilating and becoming Indians. Yet, had it been feasible, there are some advantages to the life of hunter-gatherer. The Pilgrims and the Puritans had to work very hard, and the life of a hunter-gatherer was a bit easier, but the Pilgrims and the Puritans had not come to the New World to be Indians. They had come to be Pilgrims and Puritans.

Now the United States is being settled by Peoples from all over the world. Because of their associations with rabid terrorism, Muslims from the Middle East rank as the most strange and difficult immigrants. Hence, we have politicians calling for a stop of immigration from countries with terrorists, principally Muslim lands.

However, terrorism is only the visible tip of the problem. Unlike previous legions of immigrants, many recent immigrants have either entered the United States illegally or they have overstayed their visas (also illegal). Therefore, we have millions of people in our country who have no right to be here. Weirdly, we are even giving many of these people welfare and free public services. Unfortunately, their connections to and their loyalty to the United States is dubious at best. Given the continuing rate at which such people are arriving, we should expect many of these people will not assimilate. Instead, as the Pilgrims and the Puritans did in the 17th century, they may insist upon retaining their own culture and allegiances to the nations from which they came. They made even insist upon their own laws, like Sharia. Hence, when Donald Trump speaks about immigration, people listen.

Other Examples of Political Incorrectness

The are three big areas where political correctness tends to become an issue, discrimination based upon race, sex, and creed. The example above relates to discrimination based upon creed.  What about race and sex?

Here is an example of political correctness running amuck based upon racial discrimination.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Thursday blasted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for uttering what he called “racist ideas” from the bench of the nation’s highest court.

Scalia on Wednesday suggested it’s possible that some black students would benefit from being at a “slower-track school” instead of the University of Texas’ flagship campus in Austin, where Scalia suggested some of those students are “being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.” Scalia made the comment while the court heard arguments in an affirmative action case. (continued here)

Scalia’s crime? He questioned whether “affirmative action” is “good” racial discrimination. Given that the government is generally not suppose to discriminate based upon race, sex, or creed…… Is it possible that Democrats would also rather not talk about the quality of the intercity public schools that so many blacks attend?

Here is an example of political correctness running amuck based upon sexual discrimination. The subject is a December 3, 2015 article from the Center for Military Readiness (CMR).

Yesterday, President Barack Obama and Secretary Carter overruled the best professional advice of the U.S. Marine Corps in matters involving life, death, and national security.  Secretary Carter also broke his own promise to base his decision on the quality of scientific research behind the military services’ recommendations. (continued here)

For as long as human beings have fought in organized, military units, armies have deliberately excluded women. Has combat changed that much? That is the point of the CMR article. In spite of the desires of so-called feminists, women and men remain different, and sensible people cheer that difference. Why? Well, there is the pleasure of sexual intercourse, but there is also something far more serious, the greatest honor that any human being might have.

Most of us have the opportunity to bring one or more babies into the world. When we watch our children grow, we can love them and show them how to love, or we can set them adrift and go about our personal business. If we do what we are supposed to do, we can live life with a clear conscience. As we watch our children grow, we can also learn things about ourselves we would otherwise never know. And we will have a family who will care about us and help us hold ourselves together as the years pass.

For it is in giving that we receive. — Francis of Assisi

When we have children — when we each give the people in our families what they need — we must discriminate based upon sex. Sometimes even our government has no choice except to discriminate based upon sex.

Other Views

Who really needs our help?


Children’s Games Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) (explanation here)
Children’s Games by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) (explanation here)

I have never been a big fan of horror movies. So I never bothered see The Silence of the Lambs (film). Nevertheless, because the film’s makers advertised and talked up their film, it became popular. So I heard a little about it.

I wondered about the title. I supposed Lector’s victims were lambs, and he silenced them. We are capable of that sort of thing, silencing the weak, the helpless, and those in the minority.

Imagine being a Jew in Nazi Germany, incarcerated in a Communist gulag, dying in Cambodia’s killing fields,……..  There is no end to the examples of persecution. Because  many of the people who immigrated to America came here to escape persecution, they were familiar with persecution. At first they even persecuted those with beliefs that differed from theirs. However, many came here resolved not to do others what others had done to them. Thanks to such people, the colonists slowly established the notion that God gives us our rights, not a majority, not a government, not a king, and certainly not a tyrant.

What are our rights? In our day, the term has become almost meaningless. When demagogues run for office they promise us everything we might want, and they tell someone else will pay for it. They tell us we have a “right” to whatever we want, that we deserve it. Convenient, right? Of course, they are lying. We know they are lying, but what they offer is convenient, right? No, it is not right.

For some reason (God only knows why.) the Americans who lived about 240 years ago decided the demagogues were wrong. Perhaps that is because the king of England wanted to use their wealth to pay the bills for the promises he was making. Perhaps, they were also more discerning. Wherever the reason, in the Declaration of Independence they spoke of rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and they did not speak of rights to free housing, clothing, or food (or even to an education).

Even later, when they considered adopting The United States Constitution, the colonists did not demand something for nothing. Instead, they demanded something very strange for that day. They called it a Bill of Rights.

When we read the Bill of Rights carefully, we cannot avoid noticing a pattern. The ten amendments in the Bill of Rights have one thing in common. Each explicitly limits the power of the government, especially the power of the people who run it. What concerned the people who favored those amendments? Apparently, they wanted the right to live their lives as they saw fit, and they feared the government would take away that right.

That’s why we celebrate the formation of our nation on Independence Day. The Declaration of Independence says why the people who fought to create this country did what they did.

So what did those who lived in 1776 really think about our “rights?” There is an old quote that originated a hundred years later, before the welfare state and big government, that I think most aptly describes what they thought.

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.

That quote (above) is attributed to various people, but it seems to have its origin in a speech given by John B. Finch. Here is an excerpt.

This arm is my arm (and my wife’s), it is not yours. Up here I have a right to strike out with it as I please. I go over there with these gentlemen and swing my arm and exercise the natural right which you have granted; I hit one man on the nose, another under the ear, and as I go down the stairs on my head, I cry out:

“Is not this a free country?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Have not I a right to swing my arm?”

“Yes, but your right to swing your arm leaves off where my right not to have my nose struck begins.”

Here civil government comes in to prevent bloodshed, adjust rights, and settle disputes. — John B. Finch (from here)

What was the point the man was trying to make? We can do what we want, but we don’t have a right to harm others.

What constitutes harm to others? When does government have the right to restrain us from harming others? That determination requires wisdom. Using the government to give us our “rights” and to brutalize others to get our “rights,” however, merely requires that in various ways we manifest seven deadly sins.

It is when we forget we are sinners, that we are all sinners, that we are tempted to abuse the rights of others. Because we are all sinners and too easily tempted, any of us may be tempted to harm another. We don’t need a government to force others to fulfill our needs or to conform to our values (and our prejudices, perhaps). We need government to protect us from each other, and that is we best we can hope that a government of the people, by the people and for the people might accomplish.