It is perhaps ironic that as I sit here recovering from a stomach bug, most likely picked up from the child care center at which I work, that I and many others who love freedom must now bear stark witness to its death. Yes I speak of the health care bill. In a previous blog I wrote about the concept of true charity and how it does NOT come from government mandates.
Charity can never come from government mandates. Let’s first take a look at the definition of charity as set forth in the Merriam-Webster dictionary shall we?
1) benevolent goodwill or love toward humanity
2) generosity or helpfulness esp. toward the needy or suffering; aid given to those in need; an institution engaged in relief of the poor; public provision for relief of the needy
3) a gift for public benevolent purposes; an institution (such as a hospital) founded by such a gift
4) lenient judgment of others
It becomes quite clear that charity then must be a PUBLIC provision, not a government one, and that it must be a gift for public benevolent purposes. It’s not a gift for the poor if such a charitable thing were not given freely, as all gifts are. So government welfare programs fail in providing true charity. Where’s the free will if help for the poor is the result of government mandates? I feel much like Simon the Cyrenean (feel free to check my spelling on his nationality, LOL!) who was forced by the Romans to help carry the cross upon which would eventually, and which came to pass, hang the Savior of all mankind. I could never sleep at night knowing that my help came from people who were forced to help me rather than instead helping me of their own free will.
I also spoke about how true charity must be geared towards helping the needy help themselves, just as it says in Scripture that God helps those who help themselves. Government welfare programs are not geared towards this goal either. Government welfare programs are designed to give us only one thing, a nanny state where people become slaves to the government. I am reminded of the PsiCorps mantra from a show called Babylon 5: We fed you, we clothed you. The Corps is Mother. The Corps is Father. Quite chilling when with the passage of this latest expansion of government in our private lives we are coming closer to having a version of this mantra play out in real life: The Government is Mother. The Government is Father. This is precisely what our ancestors bled and died to fight against. Our ancestors got sick and tired of the British government telling them how to live their lives and imposing costly taxes. I would say that it is becoming close to the time where we may have another violent revolution like the first one in 1776. I pray to God that we can take back our country without having to resort to exercising our Second Amendment rights, but I fear that we may be left with no other choice. And perhaps these earthquakes we keep hearing about, while it is not God punishing us, perhaps they are the result of our Founding Fathers turning over in their graves rather violently.
I’ve been thinking about the core values most conservatives abide by. And I came to the conclusion that while anyone can subscribe to these values, conservatism has more in common with Christianity.
First let’s examine conservatism. The work ethic we conservatives subscribe to is a very unique one. The work ethic we subscribe to says that the only fair way to obtain wealth is to work for it. So we constantly labor and invest a great amount of time, talent, and treasure in order to obtain for ourselves a better life. We labor so that we can reap the rewards of our labor. If there are no tangible rewards except for maybe some empty “job well done, sport!” phrases, then where is our incentive to labor?
This is why conservatism shares much in common with the Judeo-Christian mindset. This mindset leads us to the ethic by which we can obtain eternal life: spending our earthly years casting off our sinful nature. We labor to do this so that we may earn eternal life with God in Heaven. This is the religious basis for the conservative work ethic, that just as salvation is earned by laboring to cast off your sinful nature, so must success in earthly affairs be earned by your labor.
And conservatism shows us a fairer and better way to live, by freeing us to work for ourselves, not for the government. By the same token Christianity to me provides the best vehicle by which to better myself by offering a tangible reward for laboring to cast off my sinful nature.
I cringed when I heard that some evangelical Christians have begun to speculate that perhaps we are seeing all these disasters like the one in Haiti because God is now seeking to punish us for going astray. I had to cringe. Because the idea that if something bad happens to you then you must’ve done something to make God mad at you is just plain ridiculous.
Bad things happen to good people all the time. On the surface this doesn’t seem fair, but disasters are a part of life. And yes when a disaster such as the quake in Haiti claims many human lives it is a tragedy of epic proportions. But it’s not necessarily because people like the Haitians did something that made God mad.
Quite simply, natural disasters in the world, from a religious standpoint, are another of the temporal effects of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Not only did their actions cause us, the human race that they created, to inherit a corrupted nature and a comparatively frail and weak physical form, but their actions had temporal effects on our world as well. In the beginning earth was a paradise, but because of their actions our world is no longer a paradise. It is now a world fraught with imperfection, much like our own selves, corrupted till the very end.
And so we are directed to pray for those people lost to these expressions of our world’s imperfection and the family members and other loved ones they leave behind. And we must also with heavy hearts mourn their passing. For the Haitians and others, while subscribing to cultural beliefs that often times clashed with ours, are not as a people intrinsically evil. They deserve our prayers and our charitable support, not our condemnation for not believing in God. For if all we do is condemn those who do not believe, we will not endear them to us and we will push them further away from the ideal we as Christians seek to show them.
Many times have I been accused of not caring for those “least among us” for fighting against health care reform and other government welfare programs. People who accuse me of this are just plain ignorant of the concept of true charity. Government welfare is not designed with true charity in mind.
Number one: Government welfare is forced through taxation. This does not fit the first rule of true charity, which is that it must be a free-will gift of ones own time, talent, and/or treasure to benefit those least amongst us. Where’s the free will in a welfare program that instead of letting you decide how to help these people they decide for you in the form of taxation?
Number two: Government welfare is not explicitly designed with the adage “give a man a fish, he eats for a day…teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” in mind. This means that true charity must also be geared towards the goal of helping poor people become self-sufficient.
So when I fight against government welfare programs it doesn’t mean I hate poor people and think that they all deserve their plight. I in fact have great compassion for those least amongst us. I just simply want them to utilize private charities that do a better job of embodying the 2 principles I just discussed. Programs that use free-will donations to provide for the poor while at the same time teaching them the honest skills by which poor people can then take to the job market and eventually get a decent job that they can use to feed, clothe, and otherwise care for themselves. And that is how poverty is truly dealt with, through these private programs that actually work to liberate people from poverty, not keep them in it like most government welfare programs.
I love America. I love every inch of Her. Because when our ancestors built this nation, they did so by remembering why they fled: lack of liberty in their country of origin. So when our ancestors fought and died to throw off the yoke of British tyranny, they did so in order to create a government based on true liberty.
But then we ask, what is true liberty? We as a people yearn for freedom. Oftentimes, however, we yearn for too much freedom. People have forgotten that any free society in order to be truly free must be constrained by the constant force known as natural law. In this law exists the precepts by which a clear distinction between right and wrong can be established. I love America because of this unique trait that sets Her apart from the many and varied tyrannies that exist throughout the world. Natural law gives us the moral clarity to treat every human being within our borders with equal respect and dignity, while at the same time not giving any quarter to the many and varied intrinsically wrong and sinful behaviors. This is because of a philosophy most of our ancestors lived by, a philosophy inherent in the Judeo-Christian kingdom: Hate the sin, not the sinner.
Because of this philosophy we have a unique system of laws in our country. A system of laws that give us all the freedom we could ever want provided we abide by the natural law that serves as the basis of our system of laws. This unique system of laws punishes wrongdoing while at the same time treating all citizens with equal respect and dignity. And look what is being done to our once proud Republic. People now seek to abide moral relativism in this republic, the exact opposite of moral clarity. This would do nothing except create a society where every man is a slave to the government who is driven not by natural law, but by laws made on the basis of man’s own transient and selfish whims.
Gun-banning activists contend that if guns are outlawed, then society will will be much safer. This is false when one considers the old adage: If guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns.
Because of the sinful world we live in, there will always be people who exist that don’t give a rat’s tuchis about the law. These are the people we rightfully call outlaws. In such a world the law of every truly free society must then, and is indeed morally bound to, recognize the natural right of the citizenry to defend themselves. There is indeed a world of difference between an outlaw wielding a gun and a law-abiding citizen who carries one for the purpose of defending himself and others.
Our liberty was given to us by the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors. So thus it is by being willing to fight in order to defend ourselves and our natural unalienable rights that we can protect this gift from those who seek to rob us of this gift through crime. The law-abiding citizens who exercise their right to choose to keep and bear arms through concealed-carry permits must undergo a lot of extensive training in weapon safety and just use of such a weapon. So these people are by no means simple-minded individuals.
And like I say, if you aren’t man enough to do what it takes to defend your life, the lives of your friends and family, the lives of other innocents, or property then perhaps you aren’t man enough to have them in the first place, though there isn’t much we can do about life. Just don’t come cryin’ to us because you were too much of a wuss to defend that which you hold dear and lost everything you held dear as a result of crime.
The push for so-called “gay rights” has led me to this point. People have begun contending that gays are being denied certain unalienable constitutional rights by not being allowed to marry. This is patently false. The Constitution makes no mention of marriage as an unalienable right. It is, however, an institution that exists outside of the Constitution that is used to properly confirm a unique and very special kind of love, one that allows society to continue on in the form of new life.
So I suppose the question remains, what is love? Is the love that exists between 2 members of the same-sex valid? No. This is because any kind of love you can think of is unique and exclusive as a unifying force. The kind of love that exists between a father and his children is unique and exclusive. The kind of love that exists between a mother and her children is unique and exclusive. The kind of love that exists between siblings is unique and exclusive. And the kind of love that arises naturally between friends of either the same sex or opposite sex is also unique and exclusive, though sharing some similarities with the kind that exists between siblings.
All of these are unique and exclusive. They all seek to unite in some way. The first one I mentioned unites a father with his sons and daughters in a very unique way. So it is for all the others I listed. They also all have one thing in common, that to add a sexual connection that doesn’t belong is wrong. So just as all these other forms of love are unique and exclusive, so is the love that can only exist between a man and a woman. This love is unique and very special and to treat lifestyles that devalue this kind of love to the point of being a mere tool for carnal pleasure as being just as good is intrinsically wrong and disordered.
And so thus is the institution of marriage constrained by natural law. The benefits offered by society that encourage men and women to participate in this institution with each other are also therefore extra-constitutional in nature. They are simply that, benefits designed to encourage natural sexual behavior and discourage unnatural sexual behavior, not unalienable rights that everyone is entitled to. This is no different than financial institutions offering to lower the interest rate for the remaining term of the note for a borrower who has always made his payments on time. This is a benefit that some financial institutions offer as an incentive for good financial behavior. Thus are the benefits offered through society to those that choose to abide by the natural law that the institution of marriage is governed by provide an incentive to participate in that institution.