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.

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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.”

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Proud To Be An American?

Semper Fi. Always faithful.

I saw this in a comment on my sister’s Facebook directed toward the country. This made me think, should a spouse stay faithful or leave if their significant other hits them without reason, snoops on them, or keeps them defenseless? What if this same spouse doesn’t let you speak, and lord help you if you air the dirty laundry? What about keeping you locked in a room without anyone being able to see you? Or takes any money you have comes in, blows it and runs up credit card after credit card?

If they won’t change should you stay faithful or leave them?

Now take this and use it as an analogy of America today. America now can kill you with a drone without trial thanks to NDAA and has murdered Americans before. The NSA was busted for snooping on all electronic communications. Would you tolerate a significant other doing that?

All the limitations on firearms, same as keeping your other half helpless. We don’t have unabridged freedom of speech, look at the whistleblowers being pursued, same as a beaten wife telling a friend. That is if you get to even have friends, indefinite detention anyone? Taxes and running up debt in your name is the same as me controlling all money in the house without asking permission and getting credit cards in my wife’s name and running them up.

Guess what, we’re abused spouses. How’s that make you feel about your relationship with the USA? Do you keep your head down and get back in the kitchen where you belong to cater to Uncle Sam’s every whim?

Fuck that. This place has gone to hell considering where it came from, and I hold those who vote the same crooks into office repeatedly in office responsible. I hold the crooks responsible. I hold those who don’t vote out of apathy responsible and lastly…I hold myself responsible. I’ve made a few bad votes myself.

Guess what? I’m doing something about it, I’m engaged in the political sphere, and not falling for the two party farce, what are you doing? Staying in the kitchen or filing for a divorce?

Ronin’s Journey: A New Beginning

944443_651080298239255_1566928342_nThe destination, the end of one journey and the beginning of another; everything is leading up to self-actualization. What is self-actualization? Dictionary.com defines is as “the achievement of one’s full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world.” You will not need the affirmations of others to help your ego, esteem or respect to feel good. You truly become independent; you become a ‘wave man’ or ronin. Belonging to none but yourself.

This does have a potential pitfall; you turn into a massive prick full of self-esteem and confidence. So much so that you will not listen to anything, then you stagnate, fall of the pyramid’s peak and get a hell of a wakeup call. I was headed in that direction hence the touch of humility in my mission statement. No matter how smart I get, I am not the smartest. Proactive 😉

To sum up the series: the urge to learn and be better combined with the personality and processing system to plan it out; builds a set of morals and principles that line up with the goal of Independence (Ronin). The abiding by the principles grows the values; which all is applied to completing the mission laid out and in the process, I gain peace and freedom. I become Ronin.

This is me; do you know who you are?

Here is how I did it by bullet points, just answer the questions for yourself.

  • What drives you to get up? If it is not a passion then you are off the tracks.
  • Do a though experiment, strip away all that you were taught in life, and then describe yourself. What are you? This is your nature.
  • Take two online personality tests, if the results are the same then you have found the lenses you view and interact with the world. If not the same, take another until you get a pairing.

Combine these three and your foundation is in place; they are the materials you have to work with.

  • Now look at the way you were brought up, that is the rules you were taught to abide by. Do you agree with them? Why? Could it be better? Do you need this one or that one? Go through them individually, do not be afraid to remove what does not fit and add your own; it is your life to live. Devise a guiding principle if you wish. When you finish you will be living on your terms by your principles. Congratulations, first chain broke.
  • Now look at what you value, does it agree with your principles? Do they agree with you? Remove what does not and add what does.

You have now decided what is moral by your reasoning.

  • What is your motto in life? Does it agree with your values? If so, live it.
  • What do you want out of life as a whole? Do it.

All of this driven internally leads to your ideal and it is a lot of work but remember you are sculpting a masterpiece. Chipping away the unessential and the chisel I recommend using is Unchained by Thorin. It helped me a whole lot, and I tell everyone they should read it, even above my own books. It is that good.

The Irony of Religious Values in Politics

One of politics biggest ironies to me is when people try to line up their vote with their religious beliefs, and then get self-righteous about it.

“I voted for Obama because he will help the poor.”

Alternatively…

“I voted for Romney because he will keep America’s traditional values and a God-Fearing man.”

Really people? I’m about to reduce your soapbox to kindling. Let’s look at a few relevant scriptures in the Ten Commandments first.

“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13

If you were bombed at a wedding, would that be murder? What if, you were minding your own business and someone kicks open the door, you run and get shot down. Oh, it was a drug task force, raiding the wrong house. Murder? Let us go on…

“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

How many politicians have been caught doing this? Clinton, Gingrich and the one Governor with the Brazilian mistress spring immediately to mind. Not exactly people you can trust, let alone with a tool as powerful as the government.

“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15

Taxes? Civil Asset Forfeiture? Eminent Domain? Answer this honestly, how big of a check are you willing to write to the government? Should I have to write one too? What if I don’t want too? Then what? It is my money, I gave up time and effort to earn it, so who has a right to it?

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16

What are politicians caught in all the time? Lies! Yet, people elect a person who has proven they cannot be trusted and get all self-righteous that they voted for them and when caught in a lie they cannot escape from, they quickly make excuses for them. Way to live by your principles people.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20: 17

What is Obama practically famous for? His ‘spread the wealth’ line in that interview. If you think along those lines then you are coveting.

Let’s look at the Golden Rule.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

Good Principle? I think so, lines up well with the Non-Aggression Principle; however, when you force your morality on others but recoil when they do the same, then you both have broken the Golden Rule.

Now some may quote the Sermon on the Mount’s Beatitudes to me, however that is Jesus advocating charity from the goodness of your heart and property. That can be admirable, however saying ‘those poor souls, you go help them or else’ isn’t by any stretch. One is charity, the other is welfare.

Think about all this before you consider yourself a good Christian by voting for your particular political flavor to act as your proxy. For them to do what you ask they are committing sin so do not be so proud of yourself, after all you’re an accomplice to everything you proclaim to be against.

Is A Voter Accountable for the Ballots They Cast?

One of my favorite podcasts/radio shows is Free Talk Live and one of the hosts Ian is fond of saying, “not my government” which to a point is correct. However recently I have been thinking voters should be held accountable for the actions of those they voted for, especially if it is an incumbent politician! They have a track record you can look at, instead of the big game they talk. Technically, they do “work” for you in theory.

What if you had not voted though?

I would ask why? Was it apathy, or none of the several (there are more than two) running just didn’t line up with your principles? I can respect the second. If you are not involved in politics and making sure the government does not overreach then we will have few option since diplomacy failed. Fight or retreat. With the state of the electorate, I would leave and let the country fall, they deserve everything that comes to them.

People complain about things that affect them (understandably) but are so damn short sighted they do not realize and/or care about the ill effects on others. Yes, you may be having a hard time making ends meet and sign up for government assistance; but do you realize that your neighbors on the block just got saddled with the burden of your life as well as their own. Selfish if you ask me. Yet your vote in November made it possible by keeping the status quo.

On the other hand, as another example, you see unrest overseas and say someone should do something about it, so you vote for the neoconservative politician that will send troops overseas. The admirable thing would be if you went, not by sending proxies. That vote you just cast does more than waste money on things that does not matter to our well-being as a whole, you just ripped men and women from families to handle someone else’s business instead of their own. Because you are such a busybody, some will not make it home on his or her own. You were an accessory in their death, and a family loses a father/husband/son or mother/wife/daughter because you chose someone with a track record of sending troops overseas.

A voter’s hands are not clean. Those hands hit a button far more powerful than the trigger of a fully automatic weapon. It keeps a government that steals (taxes), enslaves (prison), murders (current wars/death penalty/civilians killed in battle or police raids), invades your privacy and subjugates everyone (victimless crimes). The common criminal only wishes they had it so good and Al Capone would be jealous he hadn’t thought of it.

Voting has consequences and you are fully accountable for those votes.

“Marriage Isn’t About Desires of Adults”

I get a newsletter from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, and this week I got one concerning the Supreme Court’s taking on Prop. 8 and the Defense Of Marriage Act. I thought to myself that this might be interesting; it also was infuriating to my personal philosophy. Here’s a link here so let’s take a look.

Those pressing the Supreme Court to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 essentially argue that marriage as we’ve always known it is not constitutional. But redefining marriage would make marriage about the desires of adults rather than the well-being of children.

That was the takeaway from a media briefing Tuesday at the National Press Club featuring Heritage’s Ryan T. Anderson, Claremont Institute legal scholar John C. Eastman, and Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Austin R. Nimocks (who is also co-counsel in the Prop 8 case).

“Government is not in the marriage business to regulate citizens’ romantic lives,” Anderson said. “Encouraging marriage is the only way to ensure adults take responsibility for their children.”

And what is DOMA? Regulation.

Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships would further separate marriage from the reality that every child needs both a mother and a father, Anderson said, and transform the institution into whatever emotional bond the government says it is.

Say what? The damn welfare state and irresponsible heterosexual people are doing a bang up job of screwing up the ‘sanctity of marriage’. Look at Hollywood and the amount of kids on food stamps, government insurance, etc. And you know what? Everyone of them came from a heterosexual relationship. Let’s move on…

 Among the consequences: erosion of religious freedom and growth of the welfare state.

There is nothing “equal” about redefining marriage, Anderson said, a point he also made in a piece this week in The Washington Post. And the Court has held that same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right, said Eastman, author of Heritage’s legal memo on the marriage cases.

Religious freedom? Is someone else’s actions in their life going to come between you and your God? Does your God not realize it’s not your doing? Not very omniscient if it doesn’t. It’s not Biblical? I offer this…

Welfare state? You know what grows that? Democrats do. Republicans do. A supermajority of straight politicians. Excuses. The real growth comes from politicians bribing constituents with ‘free’ money.

This line…”same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right” If it’s not, then neither is heterosexual marriage and in the name of equality all marriages should be annulled or government gets the hell out of it and stays out.

“What is at stake is the constitutional authority of the American people,” Anderson said.

To that I offer this…

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Tenth Amendment. There is nothing in the Constitution that supports DOMA as legal. However, State’s can define marriage under the 10th, however it’s not right. The Constitution is flawed after all, but I can argue with this point from the Declaration of Independence...”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

All men and women, straight, bisexual, homosexual, all races and creeds, are created equal free to their Life, Liberty to do what they want without physically harming another and pursuit of happiness, such as marrying whoever they love. Stating that someone has power to limit this flies in the face of what this country was founded on.

What would you do if a majority voted that you couldn’t marry your sweetheart?

Gun Control After A Disaster? Not If Arkansas Has A Say.

Should a Governor be able to stop gun sales, their dispensement and the transporting of them during a disaster? A bunch of Representatives in Arkansas don’t believe so, and they filed H.B. 1819. It takes the above ‘power’ from the Governor in a disaster. Not a lot to read:

SECTION 1. Arkansas Code § 12-75-114(e)(8), concerning the disaster emergency responsibilities of the Governor, is amended to read as follows:
(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles; and

And…its not finished apparently. After Katrina, a law was passed in Arkansas making it illegal for the Governor to confiscate guns after a disaster, if I remember right. This strips more power, from the Governor. So, thoughts on the Bill?