Jesus Would Vote For…

This site used to be filled with political posts. I even campaigned for Gary Johnson and the 69337_540638712616748_1005414912_nLibertarian Party in 2012. After that season, I was pretty burned out and took a break. I read ConCom by Rory Miller and then was done with politics altogether after seeing the dynamics at work underneath it all.

Now it’s a new election season and my Facebook feed is deluged by posts about Trump, Sanders, and Hillary. It raised a question in my mind about how we should look at political issues as Christians. Philosopher Peter Kreeft in the book The Philosophy of Jesus has a chapter on Jesus’ ethics that provides some insight.

Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, and Jesus?

Think about your favorite issue. What are the different ideological stances on it? Guns for example. Do you favor banning them, having no restrictions, or having some restrictions? Either way you look at it, you’re weighing the choices against each other.

The World’s Smallest Political Quiz has five results on two scales: left, center, right, and anarchy or totalitarianism. Your politics can be liberal or conservative, maybe even sitting in the middle. The question is how much do you want the government involved in the issue and what areas do you want them involved in?

They’re still being weighed against each other. Human morality and clashing worldviews meeting on the battleground. Caveats are made, compromises are added into bills on issues of morality. We’re using the wrong standard.

Which Standard Then?

If you follow Christ, then you weigh it against his standards and decide from there. Kreeft said that the standard is found in divine revelation (the Bible), natural law (a person’s intrinsic value and freedom) and our consciences. When looking at the Bible for the standard, remember that much of Leviticus and Deuteronomy is about the newborn nation of Israel being set apart to be fundamentally different from other nations.

It’ll take some homework, but I’ll make it easy for you. Find the two greatest commandments, then logically weigh an issue against them. Is God first, and does it recognize the value of others? Then you have to answer that for every group affected.

Ever hear the term “walking the straight and narrow”? That line should be Jesus’ teachings. It’s integrated and when we pick and choose, we step off the path and go either left or right. Then we have to convince others why your pieces are better than their pieces.

Kreeft wrote that Jesus gives us better reasons for doing things than political moralizing. His examples were to feed the poor because Jesus said it was like doing it for him, in a parable (Matthew 25:31-46), and not for sentiment or political correctness. He also loves sinners (which is good since that’s what we are), but hates the wrong they’re doing. If your kid is messing up, intentionally or not, do you hate them for what they did?

We’re to do good for people because Jesus did. We can’t hold any prejudices because he didn’t, not against Jew, Samaritan, Gentile (non-Jews), leper, or sinners; he wants them all to come to him. We follow him, not our preferences; if something is to be sacrificed, it’s the latter.

Don’t get hung up on traditions in case something new and better comes along. However, be faithful to the standards because Jesus is unchanging. An example I’ve heard used is a circle with three layers: the center is the non-negotiables of Christianity, then the traditions in the next layer, and finally opinions are in the outermost layer. Only the center matters.

Jesus is that center. I like how Kreeft put it, and I’m paraphrasing, “Jesus is a ‘bleeding-heart liberal’ and a ‘hard-headed conservative’”. He then goes on to say that Christ isn’t a team player with people’s causes. They can’t recruit him. He has to recruit them, and they have to team up with him. Case in point, after he fed the 5,000, the people wanted to make him king, and Jesus left before they could grab him. You can’t recruit him.

The religious right have to beware slipping into legalism like the Pharisees did. One can follow the rules, but not have love, and be like a healthy looking tree that is rotting inside. The standards are there, but it’s only a part of the picture.

The religious left have to watch out for worshiping Jesus’ values, but not him. It is its own form of legalism that is also just a part of the picture. Kreeft compares it to the Sadducees during the first century. Both miss the mark.

You can be legalistic, but will never match Christ’s perfection. Alternatively, even the most altruistic heart is cold in comparison to Christ’s heart. You don’t change people for the better by winning just their mind or heart; they change by coming to Christ himself.

How Do Politics Stack Up Against Jesus?

01.09-cijty-debates-generic-d0dc84ee065e3934bc74a54a8cb33cbf2b90539b-s300-c85Poorly. The sides can’t compare to Christ, they only point to a part of what’s needed. The reasoning is flawed in that sentiment and laws both change, but if it’s because of Jesus, it won’t change. Love God, make him the center of your life; love others, do for them what you would have them do for you.

You don’t need a particular candidate; it’s Christ that is needed, not just his doctrines or values. They don’t save you. Societies fade into history, empires fall, time marches on, new ones appear. Put Jesus at the center. To quote Pastor Rod awhile back, “Be followers of Christ, and leaders of others to him.” It’s the change inside that truly changes the outside. That’s how you can affect change that lasts, not by enforcing laws or values.


Freedom Isn’t A Utopia

I am about to dab into politics again, only to retreat into the underlying issue. Recently my Facebook feed exploded about the story of a baby burned by a stun grenade during a drug raid. Armchair quarterbacking ensued; I wonder how many considered what information the police had. The stories cited that an undercover office bought drugs from the location, noted the presence of weapons. That escalated the situation to a level where people could die. That is the reason for intimidating body armor, flash-bang grenades, and choosing to come after everyone is probably asleep; using overwhelming less-lethal force to neutralize so lethal force is not necessary.

Having said that I will now say this, I have written about my stance on the drug issue before, legalize them. It is your body to do what you will with.
Now, with the issue of laws, most ignore the ones they do not agree with. Traffic laws are a good example of this. You speed, or drive drunk, you know its illegal and hope you are not caught. However if you disrupt the peace or safety of other people, you are going to get someone’s attention, and you know this. Any person you bring into it that does not have a choice is a burden on your soul and responsibility. You want the freedom to do what you wish; you have to bear the responsibility of your actions and the consequences of when someone does not agree with you.

Freedom is not a utopia.

Where Did The Political Posts Go?

I am sure the lack of political posts was noticed if the site traffic statistics are any indication with kettlebells and the Constitution’s Preamble getting the most hits. Reason for that is politics just do not grab me the same way they used to, with most discussions becoming emotional and accomplishing nothing. From my studies in human behavior once it gets emotional, our limbic system kicks in while the neocortex checks out. Politics and religion trigger four social problems if approached emotionally that has to be dealt with before addressing the real human issue logically.

First problem is ‘status checking’, who are you and where do you fit, navigating the mine field of insecurities, rules and culture to face the next issue…who’s in charge. For someone active in politics and not just discussing it, that is a problem. First they have to find their place or forced into it (especially if they have different ideas), the human version of ‘doggy butt-sniffing as Rory puts it’. What happens when someone challenges you? I feel insulted, personally. That is just my ego kicking in and it needs to quiet down so the grownups can work. Egos lead to the ‘hierarchy problem’, so to solve that issue you have to make the other person’s ego feel better. If not you plow into the ‘that’s not how we do things around here’ problem, and it is a monster.

How things are done becomes the identity of the group, whoever identifies with it, which causes any change to be seen as an attack. For example, look at the two major political parties in the U.S., they are recognized by how they address the issues the party pushes (any prevailing issue during a 24 hour news cycle). When you challenge that you put yourself on the fringe of the group you’re in, which causes the fear of alienation from the next issue…’you don’t belong here’. Then it becomes easier to marginalize and discard someone as a threat to ‘the group’.

All of this is to protect the group, to keep it going, and it’s tiered on many levels. The different levels have different values to a particular person. I am speaking generally. Starting with a country overall, that is the largest group identity people use normally. Then the smaller parts of the country, states, provinces, etc., followed by what race they are if they even claim a race. Things people have no choice in, followed by some they do, like sports teams and political parties, then the special interests they are passionate about.

All of these groups are fighting for and over where people fit (classes, special interests), who should be in charge (election years, appointments), and making their worldview into laws that others conform to because that’s how we do things here and if you disagree you need to leave. A constant battle to implement worldviews using the tyranny of the majority through the voting booth. The problem is that politics on a national scale it is hard to make any real change happen, since everyone is defending their territory. It has to be done on a smaller scale till you reach a level where you can take on the larger scale of the issue while being careful not to fall into the same cycle of status problems with your solution. Until then focus on the issues you have a direct effect on, use a holding action on those you have little control over and insulate yourself from the ones you cannot effect.


The Majority Isn’t Always Right…

Watching the battle over gay marriage in my state this past week led to Arkansas’s Supreme Court to issue a stay on the marriages. So I wrote this when I shared the news link here

“Hopefully this is temporary and the Supreme Court overrules the tyranny of the majority. When it comes to issues of equality you cannot say you’re for freedom if you’re unwilling to let others love their lives as they see fit so long as no one is physically hurt.

Freedom doesn’t hinge on how you feel about something, it stands alone righteous and true. That’s what makes it grand.”


I Have The Right…

This has been rattling in my head and I cannot find a place for it in the book.


What it is that like all laws, its paper. People follow them as long as it is convenient for them. Force or threat of it, keeps them in line. You have no rights or sovereignty unless you are willing to stop someone yourself. Anything else is negotiable.

You don’t have a right to life, the only reasons you’re still breathing is that someone hasn’t decided you’re worth more dead than alive and made you fight for it. Natural laws, food, water, and shelter. You don’t get those from anything other than your own initiative or from the graces of another.

There is no entitlement in nature.

The right to defend yourself, it is only (like all ‘rights’) a nonverbal, social agreement. What you do have is an ability, like all animals. Rights mean nothing to overwhelming force. You set a boundary, enforce it while hoping you prevail if someone tests it.

You have nothing unless you are willing to fight or work for it. All the rest is negotiation and social games until someone pulls the trigger.

America: Born 7-4-1776 Died 4-9-1865

Last week in Pledge Allegiance To A Lie, I said:

Land of the free and home of the brave
Once it may have been
Now it’s nothing but a sin to humanity
Land of the sheep and home of the slave

Now I will get more in depth with that, starting with July 4, 1776, which is now Independence Day or America’s birthday. What I now think is a misconception is that the country is 237 years old, and the government maybe however, the spirit of freedom…did not survive but 89 years. It died April 9, 1865 when the South surrendered in the War of Northern Aggression.

This is not about the War; it is about the principle of freedom. If you add a caveat to freedom then it is no longer a freedom or a Right. It becomes an accepted standard of behavior or a privilege. In the end, I do not care about the reasons behind secession, just the ability to secede. Nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights said States were forced into a contract.

Indeed this line in the Declaration of Independence:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This is freedom! Let us look at a paragraph before the above one:

”When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

This is secession! If America were truly the Land of the Free then Secession on a personal level or as a State would not be an issue. States would not be indebted to the government for handouts for bloated budgets. If this were the Home Of The Brave then it never would have gotten this far in the first place. Brave maybe against those outside the group but the group (country) is sacrosanct.

No, instead, it is the home of a group of people comfortable with the standards now and you had better be too or the NSA will have a drone tail you. People who are comfortable with losing 30% of a paycheck before they see the first dollar they have earned making a living and then have to pay more taxes at the store. Only a black market is tax-free, even something as simple as a yard sale is a black market. Americans who probably don’t know how many kids and Americans (3) have been murdered overseas due to complacency and apathy. The NSA listening and logging our phone calls and the outrage is…nothing.

“They always do that.”

This is America now? Why would I wish to be associated with this as a whole? As individuals, Americans are generally good people; however so are Mexicans, Europeans, Asians, Africans, and Australians. They see to their families and try to do right by their fellow humans. Therefore, I will deal with them as such, human to human.

Not on a larger scale though, I will no longer pledge allegiance to anything, I will not celebrate a joke of a holiday that is the 4th of July since the country it celebrates died long ago. I will mourn the veterans on Memorial Day who naively believed they were fighting for freedom. They only stopped one while ignoring our own slave masters. Courageous, yes, you do not run to gunfire without either that or some heavy-duty indoctrination. Nevertheless, I will not thank them for my freedom, because I have none in the eyes of Uncle Sam. I have privileges.

I am not an American; I am Ronin, just a man.

Pledge Allegiance To A Lie

Pledge Allegiance to a Flag

For one nation for which it stands
Under a God, Indivisible and for liberty and Justice for all

Hollow words ringing a room
Indoctrination coming to bloom
Words coated in hypocrisy

I refuse to take an Oath to a lie
For it’s not intended to be a nation under God
When the elders acknowledged the right to worship any or no god

Brutal genocide brought to bear when some wanted to divide
Showing that liberty was a lie
Justice quickly died

I’m not an American
Just a man

Who is stolen from
Spied on
Threat of drone overhead

To this you still wave your flag and shout America
Land of the free and home of the brave
Once it may have been

Now it’s nothing but a sin to humanity
Land of the sheep and home of the slave
It’s our fault, we made it this way

Always voting the same way or not at all
You have no weight to say my words appall
No Right you haven’t given away

Held sway to the cult of country
You can have it, I’ll walk my own way
Maybe America will be reborn someday