“THE LAW” VERSUS A CLEAR CONSCIENCE — reblogging Your Sister is in Jail

freedomconscienceI suppose it will seem to some that I am going too far, that I am just being absurd and playing the Hitler card. I am not playing the Hitler card.  What I am playing is the conscience card. With that in mind, please consider the words of Hartley Shawcross, the lead British prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal. Here is an excerpt of Shawcross’ defense of the CONSTITUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL, the document that authorized the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal.

Admittedly, the conscience shrinks from the rigors of collective punishment, which may fall upon the guilty and the innocent alike, although, it may be noted, most of these innocent victims would not have hesitated to reap the fruits of the criminal act if it had been successful. Humanity and justice will find means of mitigating any injustice in collective punishment. Above all, much hardship can be obviated by making the punishment fall upon the individuals who were themselves directly responsible for the criminal conduct of their state. It is here that the powers who framed this Charter took a step which justice, sound legal sense, and an enlightened appreciation of the good of mankind must acclaim without cavil or reserve. The Charter lays down expressly that there shall be individual responsibility for the crimes, including the crimes against the peace, committed on behalf of the state. The state is not an abstract entity. Its rights and duties are the rights and duties of men. Its actions are the actions of men. It is a salutary principle, a principle of law, that politicians who embark upon a particular policy-as here-of aggressive war should not be able to seek immunity behind the intangible personality of the state. It is a salutary legal rule that persons who, in violation of the law, plunge their own and other countries into an aggressive war should do so with a halter around their necks. (from here)

We cannot hide behind the “fact” we are just following orders or obeying the law. We can always refuse orders or disobey “the Law,” and sometimes we must. Therefore, it seems to me those who think Kim Davis should resign want something that never was and cannot be. They want good people bound by “The Law,” but not bound by the need for a clear conscience. Yes, Ms. Davis occupies an elected office. Yes, she has obligations to her constituents, but would she fulfill those obligations if her conscience did not require it?

Don’t we know that “The Law” can be anything man can imagine? Who establishes — what establishes — The Law? Are the members of the Supreme Court the only people who can read the Constitution? Are the members of the Supreme Court the only people who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution? Why doesn’t anyone take an oath to support and defend the opinions of the Supreme Court?

Why do we require public officials to take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the Supreme Court? Most of us can read. The Constitution is plainly written. It is a brief document. The Federalist Papers, not a library full of legal journals, explains most of the major issues. After considerable deliberation, the American People, not the Supreme Court, reluctantly accepted the Constitution as The Law of the land.

Didn’t the Constitution infer that men have the right to own slaves? The fact the Constitution is imperfect is why the American People accepted it reluctantly.  With its unconstitutional decisions — with lies — the Supreme Court threatens to wreck the Constitution. Just five people, five people with too much pride in their own wisdom, arbitrarily amended the Constitution and legalized same-sex “marriage,” overriding the laws of Kentucky and many other states.

No one believes the people who wrote the Constitution considered “same-sex “marriage” a right. We know the men who wrote the Constitution designed a system of laws intended to protect our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not to force crap like same-sex “marriage” upon unwilling. Yet same-sex “marriage” advocates would use “The Law” to do exactly that. Is homosexuality a new or obscure concern? Don’t we all know that when the Supreme Court declared a right to same-sex “marriage” five people lied?

Is Ms. Davis perfect? No. Is she some sort of hypocrite? I don’t know. Is she the one I would have picked to take a stand against same-sex “marriage”? I certainly would not have picked her if I were making a movie. Nevertheless, with her refusal, she has made the hypocrisy of the proponents of same-sex marriage self-evident. With blatant hypocrisy they demand that she follow “The Law,” but when have they shown any respect whatsoever for The Law, especially the plain intent of the Constitution?

Should we be surprised that those who would pervert marriage will also pervert The Law? No. Instead of condemning Ms. Davis, such should question their own motives. Why do they prefer lies? What price will they pay to defend their precious lies? Who won’t they sacrifice upon the altar of that perversion they call “The Law”?

So what should we do? Here is a suggestion. (H/T to insanitybytes22 for the link to Your Sister is in Jail at Glass Planet.)

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority…”

The ink was barely dry on U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order sending Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis to jail for following in the apostles’ footsteps, obeying God rather than man before the Minutemen of the “me too! I’m good just like you!” faction of Christ’s Holy Church took to the interwebs to declare their solidarity with the pitchfork waving mob. It is not my purpose to go down any of the gazillions of rabbit trails, logical and otherwise that sprout like toadstools across the manure-rich landscape of social media after the rain of such schadenfreude laden storms. (continued here).

Instead of calling for Kim Davis to resign, we need to replace the people who appointed and confirmed the appointment of dishonest judges. We also need to amend the Constitution. We must stop the judges on the Supreme Court from arbitrarily amending the Constitution.

LITMUS TEST

Temperance Lecture by Edward Edmondson, Jr. (1830–1883)
Temperance Lecture by Edward Edmondson, Jr. (1830–1883)

Moderation in all things. — Terence (from here)

I have a commenter, novascout (or scout, depending upon his mood), who is confused about litmus tests.

litmus test (noun)

  1. Chemistry. the use of litmus paper or solution to test the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
  2. a crucial and revealing test in which there is one decisive factor.

With respect to our judgement of politicians, the second definition is relevant.

left a string of comments on DO LIBERAL DEMOCRATS REALLY THINK THEY ARE TOLERANT? starting here. That post is about a court decision that supports punishing a baker for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex “marriage.” In his first comment  took issue with my application of a litmus test.

Tell me more about the Judge. How do you know that he’s a “liberal Democrat”? Did you research his history before you wrote the post? Does he have a track record of importing liberal Democrat ideas into his dispensation of justice? Did you read the decision to see how it tracks with relevant precedent on the point, in Colorado or elsewhere? (continued here)

Based upon the fact that the “Judge” had supported punishing a baker for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding, I labeled that “Judge” a Liberal Democrat. That is, I used the issue of forcing business people to participate in religious ceremonies they think abhorrent as a litmus test. Is my litmus test appropriate? Here are the relevant facts.

  • The Colorado Court of Appeals has 22 members.  Three sat as judges on the case, and I know almost nothing about them.
  • Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of Colorado says the following:

    Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.

    Marriage has huge religious significance.

  • Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of Colorado says the following:

    Marriages – valid or recognized. Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

  • The movement for the approval of same-sex “marriage” has come primarily from the courts. In spite of our government-run, secularized public schools and a Liberal Democrat dominated mass media, the People in various states have repeatedly voted against same-sex “marriage.” There is absolutely no constitutional basis for a “right” to same-sex “marriage.” The people who wrote the U. S. Constitution obviously never intended any such thing. To make it happen, judges violated their oath of office and lied. Oath-breaking is highly intemperate, extreme behavior.
  • After “evolving” (most would call it lying) during Obama administration, the Liberal Democrat party now adamantly supports same-sex “marriage.” How do people change their minds that fast? Democrats have reconsidered the situation. They looked at where their campaign funds are coming from. They looked at the beliefs of the people in the mass media. They put their fingers up in the air.
  • Republicans still strongly oppose same-sex “marriage.” Even RINOs, while they may waffle on the issue, have not come out in favor of it.

So why did I decide “the judge” is a Liberal Democrat? Temperance is a virtue. Therefore, we should not judge the views of others too readily. However, when a politician or a political appointee holds a radically intemperate view (an extreme view), we have a litmus test. Punishing someone for refusing to bake a cake, prepare flowers, cater, and so forth in support of a religious belief they find abhorrent is extreme. In fact, we rightly call forcing someone to serve someone else involuntary servitude. That is a fancy way of speaking about slavery.

Those in support of same-sex “marriage” don’t know when to stop. Even after getting away with abusing our legal system and getting what they say they wanted, a “right” to “marry,” they still are not happy. They have to punish anyone who expresses disapproval their “right.” Just to silence their critics, they would participate in the complete destruction of our republic. Don’t they understand that without freedom of conscience, freedom to believe and practice our own religious beliefs, their “right” to marry becomes meaningless.

The animal needing something knows how much it needs, the man does not. — Democritus (from here)

Those advocating same-sex “marriage” proclaim themselves caring and understanding. In reality, they are simply intemperate.

We need water? Without water, we die of thirst. Too much and we drown.

We need food. Without food, we starve. Too much, and we grow fat. We can even acquire certain debilitating and painful diseases like gout.

We feel the need for sexual intercourse, but unless we discipline that need, it destroys our relationships and our bodies.

Look at our government. Has it not become a disaster in the making? Why?

  • We need laws. Without laws, the strong prey upon the weak until all are subjected to tyranny of the mighty. But too many laws, and we are en-shackled again. Only this time, it is by our own design.
  • We need government spending. Without some government spending, we will not have the military forces we need to protect our sovereignty. Without some government spending, we will not have the police forces and the courts we need to protect us from each other. Too much spending on things our government should not even be doing, however, just drives us into bankruptcy and poverty.

Too many laws and too much government spending. That is the price we pay for voting for intemperate Liberal Democrats.

Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 3

The Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890
The Sermon on the Mount
Carl Bloch, 1890 (from here)

In Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 1,  I reblogged Everything is a Miracle, an insightful post by insanitybytes22. Because I wanted to discuss in some detail some of the comments that followed that post, I decided to do a multi-part post.  Hence, I posted Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 2 and now this post.

Does The Bible Teach Us To Hate Homosexuals?

Does the Bible teach us to hate homosexuals? No. In fact, some silly people say the Bible does not even condemn the practice of homosexuality (Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality). However, that’s going too far. The Bible clearly condemns the practice of homosexuality. See What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?  and What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Why would people be confused? The Bible doesn’t have much to say about homosexuality. The Bible makes it clear homosexuality is a sin, a sign of depravity, but it then focuses on more important topics. Moreover, because homosexuality has become so controversial, many ministers don’t even like talking about the subject. Similarly, many ministers don’t like talking about the abortion of babies (see Rev. Graham: ‘Don’t Shut Up!’ – ‘Homosexuality is Wrong’ & Abortion is ‘A Sin Against God, It’s Murder). Thus, it is easy to remain blissfully ignorant.

Since we don’t want to be ignorant, let’s consider the matter. What do the practice of homosexuality and the abortion of babies have in common? They are both sins, and the practitioners of these sins have succeeded in convincing large numbers of people there is nothing wrong with these sins. Homosexuals and abortionists have actually succeeded in doing what most sinners — most human beings — attempt at one time or another.  When they rationalized their sin, they convinced themselves and a great many others that there is nothing wrong with their sin.

People will rationalize even the most abhorrent of sins.

  • When do gluttons finally see themselves as obese and not gourmets?
  • When are alcoholics and other drug abusers finally convinced they have a problem?
  • When we run a traffic light and accept the possibility of killing someone, when do we consider it a sin instead of some kind of game we play with the police?
  • When bank robbers rob banks, don’t they make excuses? Don’t they tell us the bankers stole the money or some such thing, that the rich really did not earn that money? Do bank robbers ever understand they have done something wrong?
  • When the Nazis murdered twelve million in concentration camps, didn’t they offer a justification for persecuting the people they condemned? Didn’t the Communists justify the murder of the tens of millions they purged? When did the Nazis and the Communists finally admit they had sinned?

So what are the consequences? If homosexuality is wrong, the Bible (and therefore Christians) can rightfully condemn the practice. Otherwise, when they condemn the practice of homosexuality, Christians commit a sin, and the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.

Why does the Bible condemn homosexuality? The Bible doesn’t specifically say. However, the Bible also doesn’t specifically say what is wrong with stealing or murder. Apparently, we are suppose to have enough sense to recognize something is wrong with murder, stealing, and homosexuality.

Well, that is not entirely true. The Bible does give us a clue as to why sexual immorality is wrong. Consider this passage, written by the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Flee Sexual Immorality

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

The Corinthians Paul addressed in his letter lived in sinful city. According to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6 (www.usccb.org), 1 Corinthians 6 considers two examples of prostitution. Earlier, in verse 9, Paul condemns the used of boy prostitutes. Verses 15 and 16 refer to temple prostitutes who “worshiped” in a temple dedicated to Aphrodite (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 (www.godrules.net)). As the passage continues, Paul makes it clear that sexual immorality (or fornication) is a form of idolatry. That is, sex of any kind outside of marriage is sinful.

Verse 18 refers to sexual immorality as a sin against the body. What does that mean? There are various interpretations.  John Wesley offered these comments.

Verse 18 (from the KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Flee fornication — All unlawful commerce with women, with speed, with abhorrence, with all your might. Every sin that a man commits against his neighbour terminates upon an object out of himself, and does not so immediately pollute his body, though it does his soul.

But he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body — Pollutes, dishonours, and degrades it to a level with brute beasts.

However, in Premarital sex – why are Christians so strongly against it?, altruistico provides an explanation that better indicates why sexual immorality is such a subtle poison.

There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. An analogy is instructive here. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all. The sexual relationship is so strong and so intimate that we cannot enter into it casually, no matter how easy it might seem. (from here)

So what does all that have to do with homosexuality? Some time back I wrote a series of posts on homosexuality.  Since the topic keeps coming up, I did a rerun a couple of years ago, RERUN: REVIEWING THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST NORMALIZING HOMOSEXUALITY — PART 1. The last part, Part 4, included this paragraph.

Furthermore, homosexual sex is unnatural. If Nature’s God “ruthlessly designed” every aspect of sex to further reproduction, not frivolous pleasure, then what is the likelihood a same-sex relationship will function properly to form and sustain a family? When Nature’s God has no interest in such a relationship, why would he want two people of the same-sex to complement each other as well as two of the opposite sex? (from here)

In practice, when two people of the same-sex have sex, all they can do is mess up their friendship and each other. For the sake of a few minutes of pleasure, they can spread disease to each other, they can play havoc with each others emotions, and they can damage each others ability to form a long-term bond with a member of the opposite sex. What their sexual union cannot do is produce anything productive.

In three posts,  talks about the different types of love spoken of in the Greek language.

  • “What is eros love?”: “Eros is the word used to express sexual love or the feelings of arousal  that are shared between people who are physically attracted to one another.”
  • What is phileo love?: “Philia refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy.” To have a successful marriage, a husband and wife must be best friends.
  • What is agape love?: “Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself.” When we have agape love for others, we are willing to make sacrifices without the anticipation of gain for those we love.

Sexual intercourse between two people of the same sex is for the most part about eros love and just about exploiting another human being. That is, when two people of the same sex have sexual intercourse, at least one of them is doing so solely for sake of his or her sexual pleasure. As observes:

When shared between husband and wife, erotic love can be a  wonderful thing, but because of our fallen sin nature, eros too often  becomes porneia. When this happens, human beings tend to go to extremes,  becoming either ascetics or hedonists. The ascetic is the person who completely  eschews sexual love because its association with sexual immorality makes it  appear evil and therefore must be avoided. The hedonist is the person who sees  sexual love without restraint as perfectly natural. As usual, the biblical view  is seen in the balance between these two sinful extremes. Within the bonds of  heterosexual marriage, God celebrates the beauty of sexual love: “Let my lover  come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. I have come into my garden, my  sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my  honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, O friends, and  drink; drink your fill, O lovers” (Song of Solomon 4:16–5:1). But outside of biblical  marriage, eros becomes distorted and sinful.

If you are interested in reading more on this subject, please see Homosexuality: SIN OR ABOMINATION by .

To Be Continued (By Next Saturday, hopefully)

Comments welcome. That includes advice on what I should say when I post on the last topic: The definition of a miracle.

TWO POSTS AT “THE LIFE PROJECT”

branches of governmentDon Merritt is steadily working his way through the Book of Romans. Recently, he realized a lack of “planning.”

Obviously I haven’t planned very well, for we have arrived at these verses at a moment in time where many of us don’t really want to hear this, at least many of us in the US. Like many of you, I am not terribly pleased with my government right now; I am looking forward to the next election, and I’ll just leave it at that. (from here)

‘s problem post is Lesson 4: Dealing with Government, and the subject is Romans 13:1-5. In that passage, the Apostle Paul says we should be subject to the governing authorities. Of course, preaching on that passage just after the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex “marriage” is decidedly unpleasant.

Of course, one thing just had to lead to the other. Nevertheless, instead of writing his own post,   chose a reblog for his following post, Rabyd Opinion – A Little Rational Perspective on Gay Marriage for Christians (original post is here). Since it is excellent, I can see why  reblogged Rabyd’s post. I have just one minor point of disagreement. That’s with Rabyd’s second point.

2) The Bible condemns homosexuality, not homosexual marriage specifically.  We are acting like now that the state has to acknowledge the marriages of homosexuals that it has elevated homosexuality to some greater level.  Such is not the case.  The Bible simple say the existence of homosexuality is enough.  Marriage in this issue is not relevant. (from here)

From a Biblical perspective, same sex “marriage” may not be an issue; however, as a practical matter, same sex “marriage” is a big issue. Why? Here are two major reasons.

  • When government licenses same-sex “marriage,” government signals its approval of homosexuality. Because many people already have this foolish tendency to approve of anything that isn’t against the law, that makes the government’s outright approval disastrous.
  • When they achieved the “right” of same-sex “marriage,” homosexual rights advocates and their many allies set the stage for an assault on Christianity. How far will this assault go? God only knows.

So what about Romans 13:1-5? When we read the Apostle Paul’s words, they can be quite confusing. When I wrote my take on the Christian’s obligation to be obedient to government (see WHAT IS SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER?), I did not claim to have a complete answer, and I still don’t. However, based upon history what the Bible says, I think these three observations relevant.

  • Our first loyalty is to God. When the authorities insist we must do something in disobedience to God, we must refuse.
  • Even a bad government is better than no government at all. Therefore, if we cannot replace a bad government with something better, it is sinful to rebel against the government. Note that although early Christians did not always obey their Roman rulers, they did not rebel. They simply chose to obey God first.
  • The legitimate government is that government that has the support of the people. That’s why our Declaration of Independence is a moral document. King George had lost all legitimacy. Yet because we are our own worst enemy, we sometimes choose awful people to lead us. When the happens, we must remember the reason. Instead of trying to virtuous — as God wants us to be — we have chosen to do what seems right in our own eyes.