Since Jan 25, 1999
"Mankinds deepest problems are universal and existential. But solutions to these will problems vary from individual to individual and culture to culture, based upon insight, emotional maturity, depth and breadth of intelligence, spiritual perception, and other factors.
"It is a truism that ideas have consequences, but even ideas must take a back seat to the unexamined values that shape the ideas one is capable of thinking. As Camus once said, no one became a communist from reading Marx. Rather, first they had an emotional, psuedo-spiritual conversion, then they read the unholy scriptures in order to deepen their faith. [ .....huge snip.....]
"...To return to our original point about values, every man is faced with two, and only two, choices that will determine everything else: essence or existence. For the spiritually inclined interior man, essence, or real being, is prior to, and determines, existence. But for the hexteriorized leftist, existence determines essence. You are a cosmic fluke. You have no a priori transcendent essence, much less purpose. Rather, your essence is determined by contingencies such as race, class and gender. For example, this is why the left is obsessed with race, whereas it is irrelevant to the conservative classical liberal.
"It is no coincidence that the largest constituents of the left always include the young and unmarried. As one matures, gets married, and has children, one naturally tends to evolve away from leftist ideas, obviously not everyone, but a clear majority. This is because concrete reality has a way of clearing aside so much abstract intellectual theory. There is a reason why Marxism only exists in universities, and that you will never find a businessman who operates his business along the lines of Marxist doctrine. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, Liberals read Marx. Conservatives understand him.
"It is one thing for an adult to believe such leftist claptrap. If they want to ruin their lives in their adolescent rebellion, thats fine by me. But to ruin a childs life by inculcating him with their dysfunctional values really is an unforgivable sin. For example, to raise a black child in contemporary America to believe that this is a racist country, that white people hate him, that he is a victim from the start, and that his efforts will be for naught, is soul murder pure and simple.
"Likewise, to brainwash an Arab child into believing that 15 million Jews in the entire world are the cause of a single problem among the worlds billion Muslims let alone all their problems is an outrageous form of abuse, because when you create a victim, you create a nihilist. Why? Because once victim status is secured, then you are no longer burdened by a conscience. You are sanctioned to abandon yourself to your most primitive instincts, because the order of the cosmos is unfair and illegitimate, so anything you do to set things right is inherently moral, no matter how immoral. And the violence will not end until the Old Order is overthrown and the New Man is created, free of the existential categories that define man to begin with.
"Meaning has been vanquished. Man is liberated from himself. The Triumph of the Will and the Reign of Nothingness are complete. God and man are dead. Long live the Beast!"
"And whoever must be a creator in good and evil, verily, he must be an annihilator and break values. Thus the highest evil belongs to the highest goodness: but this is creative." Nietzsche
"Nothing makes me more certain of the victory of our ideas than our success in the universities. "Adolf Hitler
In Defense of Capitalism (Debunking The Religious Left) EXCERPT: "Only capitalism operates on the basis of respect for free, independent, responsible persons. All other systems in varying degrees treat men as less than this. Socialist systems above all treat men as pawns to be moved about by the authorities, or as children to be given what the rulers decide is good for them, or as serfs or slaves. The rulers begin by boasting about their compassion, which in any case is fraudulent, but after a time they drop this pretense which they find unnecessary for the maintenance of power. In all things they act on the presumption that they know best. Therefore they and their systems are morally stunted. Only the free system, the much assailed capitalism, is morally mature." ~ Dr. Ronald H. Nash
The Religious Left - Who They Are and What They Believe - by Dr. Ronald H. Nash
Poverty and Wealth: Why Socialism Doesn't Work ~ Dr. RONALD H. NASH, Ph.D
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH ~ Dr. RONALD H. NASH, Ph.D
Individuals, Liberty and the Environment - The American Conservation Ethic -- Environmental policies which emanate from liberty are the most successful.
The American Conservation Ethic is grounded in experience, science, wisdom and the enduring values of a free people. It affirms that people are the most important natural resource and that we must be good stewards of the world around us for this and future generations. It is founded upon a deep respect for the wonder, beauty and complexity of creation and is dedicated to the wise use of nature's bounty. It reflects every American's aspiration to make our environment cleaner, healthier and safer for our future, and it draws its strength from the most powerful force for improving our environment free people.
Our chosen environment is liberty, and liberty is the central organizing principle of America. To be consistent with our most cherished principle, our environmental policies must be consistent with liberty. Restricting liberty not only denies Americans their chosen environment, but also constrains environmental progress.
Liberty has powerful environmental benefits. Freedom unleashes forces most needed to make our environment cleaner, healthier and safer for the future. It fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, rapid information exchange, accuracy and flexibility. Free people work to improve the environment, and liberty is the energy behind environmental progress. .."
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World by Bjorn Lomborg
Book reviewer bcn (Jack): "...Bjorn Lomborg, a self-proclaimed leftist and former Greenpeace member, set out to debunk what he believed were the overly optimistic views of Julian Simon, who claimed that the world was improving in every quantifiable measure from air and water quality, to availability of natural resources, to longevity, to global warming. After years of painstakingly analyzing current scientific data, Lomborg was shocked to discover that Simon was right after all and that the sky wasn't falling as most environmentalists would have us believe. ..."
Book reviewer Herb West: "Our resources are running out. The population is ever growing, leaving less and less to eat. The air and the water are becoming ever more polluted. The planet's species are becoming extinct in vast numbers. The forests are disappearing. Fish stocks are collapsing and the coral reefs are dying. Fertile topsoil is disappearing. We are decimating the biosphere and will kill ourselves in the process. This is what Lomborg calls the Litany. The media has repeated the Litany so many times that we accept it as fact. The purpose of the Skeptical Environmentalist is to determine whether the Litany's predictions of environmental cataclysm are supported by the best available scientific data. Lomborg's conclusion is that the Litany is wrong, the environment is improving rather than declining. ..." [Click link for more]
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with power, which knowledge gives." ~ James Madison - "The Father of the Constitution".
Caveat to the above: A person's degree of emotional maturity -- not IQ -- determines the degree to which he has the courage to face the truth about anything. IQ is helpful in allowing him to obtain important facts, but his emotional maturity will determine how he interprets those facts.
Moral relativists are - ALL - emotionally immature - that's why they suffer from varying degrees of illogic and cognitive dissonance (the mental confusion that results from holding polar opposite ideas, beliefs, and attitudes simultaneously). ..." More HERE
So... before deciding what weight to assign to anyone's opinion (despite their "credentials"), you would do well to first find out if they have denied the law of contradiction by believing that it is possible for something to be both true and not true at the same time and in the same sense or context. The quintessential example: Suicidalism Frontpagemag.com 09/29/2005 Eric S. Raymond
"Whenever I meet someone who claims to find faith in God impossible, but who persists in believing in the essential goodness of humanity, I know that I have met a person for whom evidence is irrelevant." ~ Dennis Prager ( Ultimate Issues , July- September, 1989)
"Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." ~ Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, New York, 1954 p. 46.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also he has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Inerrancy and Human Ignorance - Religious and Philosophical Reasons Why We Dont Have Inerrant Copies (Note that word, "copies". When discussing Biblical inerrancy, it is important to remember that ONLY the original texts of the Bible are claimed to have been inerrant.)
Shame and Honor Societies - The Impossible Faith - Or, How Not to Start an Ancient Religion by James Patrick Holding
"We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was written for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." ~ John Adams
"The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike." C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963), The Poison of Subjectivism (from Christian Reflections; p. 108)
"A great many of those who 'debunk' traditional... values have in the background values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process." C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963), The Abolition of Man
"Whenever you find a man who says he doesn't believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later." C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963), The Case for Christianity
"An open mind, in questions that are not ultimate, is useful. But an open mind about the ultimate foundations either of Theoretical or of Practical Reason is idiocy." -- C.S. Lewis - The Abolition of Man
"With me, the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" ~ Charles Darwin
"Origin of man now proved. -- Metaphysics must flourish. - he who understands baboon would do more toward Metaphysics than Locke." - Darwin, Notebook M, August 16, 1838
Give Us Your Victims, Your Losers, Your Addled Misfits Longing To Be Serfs "..This problem of the left hijacking science was recognized by...Michael Polanyi as early as the mid-1940s."
The BioLogos Foundation explores, promotes and celebrates the integration of science and Christian faith.
"...science is said to be religiously neutral, if only because science and religion are, by their very natures, epistemically distinct. However, the actual practice and content of science challenge this claim. In many areas, science is anything but religiously neutral; moreover, the standard arguments for methodological naturalism suffer from various grave shortcomings. .." Methodological Naturalism ~ Alvin Plantinga
"History is eloquent in declaring that on a people's religion ever depends their freedom or their bondage."
"..In striking contrast with these democratic and republican tendencies which are found to be inherent in the Reformed Faith we find that Arminianism has a very pronounced aristocratic tendency. In the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches the elder votes in Presbytery or Synod or General Assembly on full equality with his pastor; but in Arminian churches the power is largely in the hands of the clergy, and the laymen have very little real authority. ..."
"The despotic rulers of former days ... claiming the divine right of kings, feared Calvinism as republicanism itself."
"We may say that the spiritual republic which was founded by Calvin rests upon four basic principles. These have been summed up by an eminent English statesman and jurist, Sir James Stephen, as follows: [snip] Continue here: Calvinism in History: Calvinism and Representative Government by Loraine Boettner:
When one studies the history of New Testament "church government", one can readily see that the bottom-up, checks and balances, Republican form of limited government that America's Calvinist Framers gave us, is based straight out of the New Testament CHURCH GOVERNMENT example. [Acts 6:3; 1:15, 22, 23, 25; 2Cor.8:19, etc.]
Paul, Barnabus and Titus are shown as installing the elders that were chosen by the congregations [Acts 6:3-6; 14:23 and Titus 1:5].
Paul says to the whole church congregation: "Pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom whom we may appoint to this duty." (of servant aka deacon)
The apostles had the *unique authority* to found and govern the early church, and they could speak and write the words of God. Many of their written words became the NT Scripture. In order to qualify as an apostle someone had to have seen Christ with his own eyes after he rose from the dead **and** had to have been specifically installed/appointed by Christ as an apostle.
In place of living apostles present in the church to teach and govern it, we have instead the writings of the apostles in the books of the NT. Those New Testament Scriptures fulfill for the church today the absolute authoritative teaching and governing functions which were fulfilled by the apostles themselves during the early years of the church. Because of that, there is no need for any direct "succession" or "physical descent" from the apostles.
Emory Report 11/29/99 Vol.52. No. 13 Excerpt:
"...Marci Hamilton ... [is] a nationally recognized expert on constitutional and copyright law. ....
Her forthcoming book, Copyright and the Constitution, examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of copyright law and asserts that the American "copyright regime" is grounded in Calvinism, resulting in a philosophy that favors the product over the producer.
Calvinism? Hamilton's interest in the intersection of Calvinist theology and political philosophy emerged early in her career when she began reading the work of leading constitutional law scholars. She was puzzled by their "theme of a system of self-rule." "They talked about it as if it were in existence," she said. "My gut reaction was that direct democracy and self-rule are a myth that doesn't really exist."
What Hamilton found was that a "deep and abiding distrust of human motives that permeates Calvinist theology also permeates the Constitution." Her investigation of that issue has led to another forthcoming book, tentatively titled The Reformed Constitution: What the Framers Meant by Representation.
That our country's form of government is a republic instead of a pure democracy is no accident, according to Hamilton. The constitutional framers "expressly rejected direct democracy. Instead, the Constitution constructs a representative system of government that places all ruling power in the hands of elected officials."
And the people? Their power is limited to the voting booth and communication with their elected representatives, she said.
"The Constitution is not built on faith in the people, but rather on distrust of all social entities, including the people." ...
..Two of the most important framers, James Wilson and James Madison, were steeped in Presbyterian precepts.
It is Calvinism, Hamilton argued, that "more than any other Protestant theology, brings together the seeming paradox that man's will is corrupt by nature but also capable of doing good."
In other words, Calvinism holds that "we can hope for the best but expect the worst from each other and from the social institutions humans devise."
"Neither Calvin nor the framers stop at distrust, however," Hamilton said. "They also embrace an extraordinary theology of hope. The framers, like Calvin, were reformers." ~ Elaine Justice
The 55 Framers (from North to South):
John Langdon, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nicholas Gilman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Elbridge Gerry, Episcoplian (Calvinist)
Rufus King, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Caleb Strong, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nathaniel Gorham, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Roger Sherman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Samuel Johnson, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Oliver Ellsworth, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Alexander Hamilton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Lansing, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
Robert Yates, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
William Patterson, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
William Livingston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jonathan Dayton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
David Brearly, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Churchill Houston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Benjamin Franklin, Christian in his youth, Deist in later years, then back to his Puritan background in his old age (his June 28, 1787 prayer at the Constitutional Convention was from no "Deist")
Robert Morris, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
James Wilson, probably a Deist
Gouverneur Morris, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas Mifflin, Lutheran (Calvinist-lite)
George Clymer, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas FitzSimmons, Roman Catholic
Jared Ingersoll, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
John Dickinson, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Read, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Richard Bassett, Methodist
Gunning Bedford, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jacob Broom, Lutheran
Luther Martin, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Daniel Carroll, Roman Catholic
John Francis Mercer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McHenry, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Daniel of St Thomas Jennifer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Washington, Episcopalian (Calvinist; no, he was not a deist)
James Madison, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Mason, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Edmund Jennings Randolph, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James Blair, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McClung, ?
George Wythe, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Richardson Davie, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Hugh Williamson, Presbyterian, possibly later became a Deist
William Blount, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Alexander Martin, Presbyterian/Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Rutledge, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, III, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Abraham Baldwin, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Leigh Pierce, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Houstoun, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Few, Methodist
NOTE: Historic Protestant, Episcopalian doctrine is Reformed and Calvinistic. The Episcopalian church that adheres to its historic doctrine is still Reformed in the United States.
"Calvinism prevailed in England since it was the theology behind the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) of the Church of England" (Paul Enns, *Moody Handbook of Theology*. Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), p. 476.
The Episcopalians held as their subordinate standards the 39 Articles of Religion. This confession is Calvinistic in emphasis.
During that historic period, not only the 39 Articles of Religion ("Episcopalians"), but whenever you read of the Waldensians, the Bohemian Brethren (in Poland), the Huguenots, you're reading of churches that were Calvinistic.
Historic Protestant, Episcopalian doctrine is Reformed and Calvinistic. The Episcopalian church that adheres to its historic doctrine is still Reformed in the United States.
X. OF FREE WILL. 39 Articles of Religion.
The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing [spiritually guiding] us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
XVII. OF PREDESTINATION AND ELECTION
Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only- begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
"...Thomas Payne and Ethan Allen, for example, were in no- wise intellectual architects of the Constitution. Rather, they were firebrands of the Revolution. Was that important? Sure, they made an important contribution, but they weren't Founding Fathers. Period. ..."
A Bigger Paine in the Posterior Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" Dissected
A moral relativist, by definition, makes up his own moral truth as he goes along; basing his changable ideas of right and wrong on the situation.
Moral relativists are the biggest danger to the undermining of our Constitution because the Constitution was only put into place to guard ABSOLUTE (UNchangeable/self-evident) moral truths. It is a meaningless document otherwise.
"Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. Subjectivism leads to tyranny. The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral order which overarches both ruler and ruled alike.
We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law, but if there is no law of nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators, and conditioners, and every creator stands outside his own creation. ~ C.S. Lewis - The Abolition of Man
That expresses precisely the dilemma of the postmodern age. And remember who the barbarians are. The barbarians come, Lewis told us, not over the parapet, not carrying their clubs and wielding their weapons, but they come with polished fingernails and blue pin-striped suits, gathering in well-lighted conference rooms. They are the good people who say that they know how to make life better for all of us. They are pharisaical mentalities. They were known as "busybodies" in my grandmother's day. They are known as the "politically correct", today. This quote most effectively exposes them for who and what they are:
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under live robber barons than under omnipotent moral busibodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ~ C.S. Lewis
"Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever."
How does one "glorify God"?
If you love God above all others, you will love others as much (and no more than) you love yourself.
No rational person would ever deliberately do harm to himself - he loves himself too much.
"If a man say, I love God, and hates (harms) his brother (by lying to him, stealing from him, defrauding him in any way, murdering him, etc.) he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen" 1 John 4:20
Mark 12:28-31 The two greatest commandments of all: "Then one of the scribes ... asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as much as you love yourself'(and no more). There is no other commandment greater than these." Matt. 25:35-36
"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his [two] commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." ~ Eccl. 12:13-14
Disclaimer: FReeper "Agamemnon" has complained about the "sloppy" way I have presented these postings on my profile page. Because many of the people I quote speak in the first person, he is unsure if I am either Alan Bellows, Prof. Robert Harris, Phillip R. Johnson, Gregory Koukl, James Freeman, John G. Reisinger, J.P.Holding, Christopher M. Sharp, or an unnamed employee of James Kennedy. (I think I've named them all). In order to address his, and any others') concerns, I want to make it clear that I am not any of those people named above. Since Jim Robinson knows me personally, he can attest to it. :)