Unicorn Flatulence

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Rick Phillips recently wrote that socialism is evil. Now this is a sentiment that should make all God’s children rejoice and be glad, and I applaud Phillips for saying out loud what needs to be said out loud. Socialism really is evil, and it is evil for the reasons Phillips said.

But more needs to be said than that theft is bad, that laziness is bad, and that a swollen state that perpetuates such things is bad.

Here is the problem. When we react to the disease of socialism, we are reacting to a disease that we already have. We are not in the position of a healthy person resisting an invitation to cancer. We are in the position of a patient with Stage III cancer fighting to stay out of Stage IV.

Unicorn flatulence is incredibly rich in methane, and could meet our energy needs for 200 years. Not many people know this.
Unicorn flatulence is incredibly rich in methane, and could meet our energy needs for 200 years. Not many people know this.

Now the problem is that many believers (rightly) fight all the blandishments that Bernie offers, and that part is good. But they also have a tendency to fight to keep the blandishments that all the Bernies of yesteryear offered.

In other words, we are not choosing between a capitalist option and a socialist one. Looking at our (very regulated) economy, we should be tempted to say what Frederic said about Ruth in Penzance — there are the remains of a fine woman about her. There have been times when the American economy was relatively free, and this has been the source of our incredible wealth. But that freedom has been steadily eaten away by economic parasites until it has been transformed into a crony capitalism (or crapitalism for short) that is no alternative to socialism, but rather the preparation for it.

There is another layer to this as well. Those who do not understand how compromised our economy already is, but who fight nobly and well to prevent our descent to the next level of economic folly, are charged by intelligent socialists with radical inconsistency and/or ignorance. You don’t want a single payer health care system, but you do want to keep Social Security, Medicare, government schools, etc. Up to this point, it looks like a fair cop, justly delivered.

But when paleo-conservatives, or libertarians, or theocratic libertarians such as myself, grant that such accommodations really are inconsistent, and that in a just society they would all be eliminated, we are promptly accused of wanting to push grandma off the cliff.

In short, inconsistent conservatives do want to keep the “advances” of previous socialists. There are some fire-eating conservatives who want to eliminate every compromise for the sake of ideological purity, and they want the reforms all instituted the week after their guy is inaugurated. They lend some justice to the charge of grandma-pushing. But responsible advocates of liberty grant the current inconsistencies as inconsistencies, not worthy of a defense, but also know that the pressing issue now is to prevent the next disaster. Evils already in place must be dealt with gradually.

This is not compromise; it is simple triage.

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Luke Pride
5 years ago

It’s hard to stand against the tide though, so many of my good friends and dear family work in public schools and are very sincere, and it’s taken as a moral requirement to support public education if you care about kids. And working for or going to a non government school hurts financially, largely because of the state funded schools.

mike daniels
mike daniels
5 years ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

it is illogical to believe that we can create an organization (department) tasked with eliminating its very customer base, and therefore its own existence.
welfare will in veritably strive to increase its societal demand, just like Walmart does.
sadly the wonderful, kind public school teachers who have seldom been exposed to the fact that the product that they work so hard to provide is destructive to the very reason that they pursued that profession.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  Luke Pride

Interesting aside about teachers. Just posted something on FB about Scalia and the woman who is a 6th grade teacher in one of the “Top 100 Districts” didn’t know who he was. Hmmm.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

It is a shame we don’t hear about the brilliant teachers the same way we hear about the dummies. But I know what you mean. In my state you have to pass a test called the CBEST to get a credential. First they had to remove the algebra from it because everybody was failing. When I took it, the math section featured questions much like the following: “What is the area of a rug that is 6 feet by 8 feet? Hint: Area equals length times width.” And STILL a ton of people fail their first time through.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The teacher I mentioned has been a teacher for 30 years and she had no idea who Scalia was. I have a friend who is a teacher in Texas and when he first applied for his certificate he had to take a test like you describe. He said it took him about 30 minutes, was written at an 8th grade level and still a majority of the applicants failed. There are plenty of great teachers, my sister was one for many years before she died, but I’m afraid that the old saying of “those that can’t do teach” has become… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

The current unicorn paradises are as follows:

People’s Republic of China
Republic of Cuba
Laos
Vietnam

Bernie and co. Should demonstrate their awesomeness with these herds of unicorn first.

Coyote287
Coyote287
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

No North Korea?

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Coyote287

I went with the current wiki list, how could a socialist argue with it? North K is probably too embarrassing for socialists to call it socialist.

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

While desiring to avoid violating Godwin’s Law, another infamous politician espoused socialism, just to be fair, you know:

“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions”

https://goo.gl/t5B7mO

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

‘Doubt that Bernie will concede that Hitler (and his unicorn) were socialists. That would be like putting square wheels on a canoe!????

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

There is little doubt Hitler was a socialist. The name of the party says it all, and the tenets of the party were left wing. He was also a nationalist which the globalist communists had against him.

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

“A” and bethyada, That seems to be one of the besetting hypocrisies of the American leftistsin their love affair with communism. They right condemn the evil of the National Socialists, while excusing a level of murder by the communists that made the former look like amateurs. Their favorite rationalization for it is either “socialism is not communism” (in reality socialism is simply communism in the slow lane), or “well, its a viable economic model, it just was not done the right way by the right people”. Meanwhile, the current occupant in D.C. famously said that “we are the ones that… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

“A” dadisim: “They waited for themselves…..and they were still disappointed!”
????

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Globalism , a unicorns only rodeo!????

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

As I have said before, Bernie Sanders and Kim Jung Un share the very same economist: Karl Marx. (Yes, this was met with virulent sputtering by more than one Sandernista.)

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

“Sandernista” brilliant !

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
5 years ago

I read Rick Phillips piece, and the assertion that socialism is evil (as opposed to communism, which isn’t the same thing) is based on some of the most impressive leaps over the tops of barriers of logic, as to defy belief. Basically, he (and you?) admit that Jesus said that it’s OK for the state to take things from people, whilst also asserting the apparently obvious overarching Biblical truth that it’s NOT OK for the state to take things from people. Run that one by me again??

BooneCtyBeek
BooneCtyBeek
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

From each according to his ability to each according to his need. Communism is socialism with a scowl on its face at the point of a gun.

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

Kinda like Moses for the hardness of yer hearts regulated divorce–NOT saying divorce is “OK,” just saying sometimes ya gotta put up with it. Or put up with slavery–and do good work–but get free if you get the chance. A “bad idea whose time has come” is still a bad idea, even if its time be here at the moment for some people. So pay taxes, but remember God prefers small government, so when people humble before God are running a country, the advice Israel rejected in I Sam 8 will be followed, and the tax rate will be under… Read more »

Daithi_Dubh
Daithi_Dubh
5 years ago

Excellent as usual, Pr. Wilson! But I have indeed been like that fish who has no notion of “wet,” thinking as a “conservative,” I’m right in resisting the socialism of the Obamas, Sanders, Clintons, etc., but unable to discern the equally evil violence against my neighbor reflected in the structural theft of property taxation/eminent domain, Social Security, public education, Medicare, etc. I’m absolutely blind to the “larceny in my own heart,” but I’m a good conservative, by thunder! I’m just not sure what exactly I’m conserving, though. Details! Mere details! While I’m no Libertarian (I also identify as a paleo-conservative),… Read more »

rwinestock
rwinestock
5 years ago

I could not have said this any better. It portrays a mirror of my own soul, not one iota off the mark. Well said Douglas Wilson. (I wrote this today in a response to a politico story written about Bernie Sanders background, and something I understand by similar ancestry). Well written. I would add that Eastern European Jews from the era of his father have a secret too. Historically, socialism offered a less persecuted life to Jews than fascism. Families that immigrated brought these old school philosophies with them, the ubiquitous sense that all would be fed if all would… Read more »

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
5 years ago

Doug, what would you propose to do with kids once government schools are eliminated?

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

I think some sort of celebration would be in order. Take them to the park and then out for ice cream?

BooneCtyBeek
BooneCtyBeek
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

That’s an absolutely absurd question. Behind it is the proposition that only the government can provide education. This is patently false.

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
5 years ago
Reply to  BooneCtyBeek

It’s absurd to ask the author what he would do given his proposal of slowly, but eventually ending government education? How is that absurd?

Coyote287
Coyote287
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

But we can vaporize them right? Please?

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Privatizing would be interesting. Do you think that system would better prioritize the needs of kids who are currently struggling in schools in the inner city? I tend to think the poor performing schools in poor areas are a reflection of the challenges there. I’m not sure I’m convinced privatizing would bring the sort of solution you think it will.

Much of what is needed, parents and adults in the community who care and are involved, could be done right now regardless of government or private run schools.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Ryan, “Charter Schools” in Massachusetts, aka privatized “public schools” already do perform better than “TPS”, typical public school. Google “Massachusetts charter school performance”.
Again, nice job on the civil conversation !????????????
(Assuming there was only one Ryan Sather!)

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Link on this? Is it comparing apples to apples? Big difference between better performance worth same kids vs better performed with kids coming from better socio economic status.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

https://credo.stanford.edu/documents/MAReportFinal_000.pdf

poor kids, rough neighborhoods, better performing semi “private” schools.

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Thanks, I downloaded this. I really like what I see here!

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

“I tend to think the poor performing schools in poor areas are a reflection of the challenges there. I’m not sure I’m convinced privatizing would bring the sort of solution you think it will.”

Poor performance in poor areas would not be inheremtly fixed by privatization.

As you say much of what is needed is parents amd adults in the comunity who care and are involved. The curent poor performance indicates that the goverent is not providing these things.

Andy
Andy
5 years ago

I agree with you, but would change “…government is not providing these things” to government CANNOT provide these things. I’m a public school teacher of 15 years (who home schools my 4 young boys) and have watched as our educational system foolheartedly tries to do the job of parents, psychologists, educators, social engineers, etc. Even in its best incarnation, no educator should be tasked with such expectations. While i agree with them in principle, charter schools are not the answer. They serve as a sort of shell-game distracting us from the real, societal problems and, not to mention, have a… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy wrote: I’m a public school teacher of 15 years (who home schools my 4 young boys) and have watched as our educational system foolheartedly tries to do the job of parents, psychologists, educators, social engineers, etc. Even in its best incarnation, no educator should be tasked with such expectations. Can homeschooling parents be tasked with such expectations? I ask that question as one who fully endorses homeschooling, but I want to be careful not to oversell it. Parents are just as capable of failure as the government is. Homeschooling is no automatic path to success. My objection to government… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

This puzzles me a little. Take, for example, TV series like Bonanza in which as soon as a town was settled, the town fathers built a school and hired a teacher. Do you see this as a usurpation of the church’s role even when there is total local control? What about the Mass Bay Colonists who built a public school using government money within 40 years of their arrival?

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I have no objection to people cooperating to build a school and hire teachers. Not sure why jillybean would suspect that I would. The question is whether they have to wield the sword of the civil magistrate to do it. If they start reaching for that sword, that is the signal that they don’t understand what sphere they are of. Parents are charged with final authority to educate their children, and bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. They can delegate some of this through various cooperatives (i.e. not just homeschooling). The Church’s involvement in education… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Thank you, I understand.

Daithi_Dubh
Daithi_Dubh
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Amen! We conservatives have collectively been immersed in this idea of public education for so long now, perhaps evoking a time when we may have experienced community based and genuinely good schools, that we just assume it to be the proper role of government. As you point out, regardless of how good those schools, whether at present or those of venerable memory may have been at providing such education, it is most certainly not, nor has it ever been, government’s proper sphere at any level! This stance (i.e. supporting publicly funded education), incidentally, may indeed be characterized as pragmatic, but… Read more »

Theocrat
Theocrat
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

again, you hit the ball out of the park with you comments, I am going to have to search through all your comments and find more of these pearls of wisdom. Thanks again!

Theocrat
Theocrat
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

“My objection is that they are simply the wrong sphere of authority to be doing it at all, in principle. It is outside of their legitimate jurisdiction, even if they were doing an excellent job at it.”

This statement summarizes exactly why every Christian should object to government educating their children. Thank you!

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Andy

They have a horrible fail rate because they lack adequate supervision in the start up years. People who have never handled large sums of money are given hundreds of thousands of dollars with no oversight. We had a case in LA where the principal used school money to buy a luxury car–which he justified on the grounds that nobody would send his children to a school where the administrators were poor.

Elle
Elle
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Ryan, I think you’d find – https://egwestcentre.com – really interesting and encouraging. They’ve done a lot of research and work in poorer countries and the results from inexpensive, private education are wonderful.

There’s also this TED talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzv4nBoXoZc – “How Private Schools Are Serving The Poorest.”

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Catholic schools in the inner cities have shown what can be achieved with motivated parents and a shoe-string budget. California has a 20-student limit in primary classes, and the inner cities still produce abysmal test scores. On the other hand, Catholic children used to be herded into classes of 60, and every single one of them learned to read. I don’t believe it is the uniforms or the discipline, although they help. I believe it is motivated parents who will give up cable TV in order to make tuition payments.

CruzAlltheWay
CruzAlltheWay
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Pastor Wilson – it may be helpful to write a follow up piece about your vision of a world with no government schools.

ArwenB
ArwenB
5 years ago
Reply to  CruzAlltheWay

He’s written several books on the subject over the last 35 years. I’m sure Canon Press has the back catalog.

Bike bubba
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Ryan, what you’re doing is assuming exactly the opposite of what your host is recommending. A triage situation would recognize that in a nation where too many parents are unwilling or flat out unable to train their own children (or hire others to do so for them), some level of government schooling is necessary. Like the English used to say, it takes three generations to make a gentleman; it took three or more generations to get us here, and it will likely take three or more generations to fully get out of the situation. But give it three generations of… Read more »

Daithi_Dubh
Daithi_Dubh
5 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

My only quibble here is that the time for rational and gradual elimination of these schools – along with much else that the government does utilizing confiscated resources – may be long past. Things may just suddenly – and irrationally – collapse, making our discussion moot.

Bike bubba
5 years ago
Reply to  Daithi_Dubh

Agreed. But if things do happen suddenly, I can think of few better preparations than to have done some thinking about how to get out of the institution gradually. You will have at least done some partial planning.

Daithi_Dubh
Daithi_Dubh
5 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

Yessir, another excellent point!

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
5 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

I said “once eliminated”, meaning in context of the author’s gradual triage, at some point triage would end. My question is once the schools are shut down then what. I know he doesn’t mean shut them down this coming September.

And for Doug’s sake I’m glad he is all for teaching folks to read. He should try it sometime rather than attempting to be a smart donkey.

Bike bubba
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Read your initial comment again. Once government schools are eliminated, the government will ipso facto be doing a lot less with/to/for kids. The implicit assumption is that the triage would end quickly, hence my comment. But let us assume that even after three generations, there would yet be a remnant of people who refused to educate their children. There would be, in such a case, two things that would happen. First, their parents would be punished by having their kids live at home until they were 40 or more, just like many parents of public school students are so punished… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

I think we need to look back at a time when government did not supply education or much assistance of any sort to the children of the poor. Consider England in the early 1800’s. There will always be people who cannot educate their children, and if parents have not been at least minimally educated themselves, that number will increase. In England the children of the very poor either worked (and died) in factories or they roamed the streets picking pockets. Two of the purposes of compulsory government education were to prevent parents from sending six year olds into the mills… Read more »

Rick Davis
Rick Davis
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Although John Taylor Gatto in his book “Dumbing Us Down” points out that literacy rates were near 100% before 1852 in New England. After 1852 when public schools were implemented the rate soon dropped to 93%.

Bike bubba
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

We do need to look back to that point, but we find something surprising there; a lower rate of illiteracy than we have today. Given a reason to learn to read, people will do so, and there are plenty of them out there.

Mark Beauchamp
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Better to be a smart donkey than a smug Balaam.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Ryan, you do know that Wilson was one of the founders of a pretty successfull private school and a private college right? I think he teaches or has taught at both of them, even if he is a smart donkey. I suspect he had a hand in teaching his kids to read as well. Now those crazy kids are writing all the time!

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

As well as co-authoring a text on Introductory Logic…

http://goo.gl/Pfpuwv

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

“It takes 3 generations to make a gentleman.”
On the other hand, it seems like “bike bubba’s” are born, not made! looks like we need a few of each!????

Theocrat
Theocrat
5 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

Actually, It should only take one generation of godly Christian parents to make a gentleman.

Coyote287
Coyote287
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Homeschool or die.

Keith LaMothe
Keith LaMothe
5 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Dear Ryan,

To sum up the other helpful responses:

We (the church, the families) man up to the responsibility we previously shirked. Responsibility for education, for children, for the poor, and for the defenseless.

It would not be easy, and apart from a truly massive dose of God’s grace it would be an utter disaster, but the alternative is far worse.

Warmly,
Keith

J.k. Miles
J.k. Miles
5 years ago

When I read the headline, I thought of this article that came out today as well. Mike Munger argues that the State socialism that lefties want and we try to talk them out of is akin to trying to convince someone who loves unicorns that they would be terrible. http://fee.org/articles/unicorn-governance/

Ben
Ben
5 years ago

We know of course that there will be no gradual rollback as the American people slowly come to their senses. It will only get worse, as has been the trajectory for decades. Working under this assumption, I welcome the destruction of the current political, economic, and social order. Trump 2016!

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

“We know of course that there will be no gradual rollback as the American people slowly come to their senses”

Not without an act of God, but God does act and may have mercy on us.

bethyada
5 years ago

If we consider redistribution of money to the poor is socialist (which it is), why do people not say the same about corporate welfare? And surely it is worse to give money to a business than to a poor person? Yet many of your Republican candidates supports subsidies, especially farm subsidies. Your gradual comment is important. I think libertarian types forget that even if the government controls too many jobs, those working in them are trying to provide for their families. They may not wish for their boss to be the government (though they may enjoy the security), but they… Read more »

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I think that the Church is the ministry of grace and charity, with a priority given to the members thereof. I also think that inasmuch that Christians do not tithe, they create a vacuum that the statists rush in to fill., thus generating sympathy for the robbery, and thereby creating the ready “customer” base for increased robbery. And for the sake of your argument, I do not favor subsidies to any economic class. Also, just to make myself perfectly clear on this, there are no poor in the U.S., so “helping the poor” is a specious argument. There are some… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

I agree with you that there are no poor in the U.S. if we compare them with the poor in India or the Brazilian slums. But I have dealt with very poor children and families. I knew two first graders, twins, who were discovered to be attending school one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Upon investigation, the school learned that the children had one pair of shoes between them. Now, it is obvious that there are many resources that would have outfitted those children. At the very least, almost every teacher and more affluent parent would have… Read more »

onerob
onerob
5 years ago

From a European perspective, this point blank opposition to the notion of a government doing anything whatsoever to help people (other than law keeping and defense) is wildly silly. Using the scary word ‘socialism’ to describe any deviation from this view is also linguistically suspect. I guess this hostility to government can be explained by the forces of history involved in the creation of the U.S that have embedded themselves into its psychological DNA.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

onerob wrote:

From a European perspective, this point blank opposition to the notion of a government doing anything whatsoever to help people (other than law keeping and defense) is wildly silly.

Law enforcement and defense helps people. Given this, we do not oppose the government helping people. What we oppose is the government using its sword to usurp the role of charity that God has given to the Church. Onerob may call this “wildly silly”, but I don’t find a sword to be the right instrument to feed a hungry mouth. The hungry mouths get cut up in the process.

onerob
onerob
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Opposing the state on the grounds of theocratic doctrine is, I guess, consistent. However, I was lumping the views expressed in the article with the wider Republican culture of radical anti-government sentiment. It always strikes me as something hugely primal and emotional in the soul of many Americans. For those of us on the other side of the Atlantic, we don’t necessarily see the back-story and intellectual theory behind the apparent wall of ideological resistance to government.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

I would grant that there might be some Republican who is simply opposed to anyone ever helping needy people. That’s how our (onerob’s?) media portrays Republicans. However, my concern is to use the right tool for the job. This is not about being anti-government. God gave His tribute offering (the tithe) to be used for genuine charity by a motherly body, the Church. He gave His sword to the State, to be the deacon of His wrath. Recognition of this principle is what separation of Church and State originally referred to. It did not refer to separation of God and… Read more »

onerob
onerob
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Questions could be asked about how much of that doctrine is formed by eisogesis and how much exegesis. I do not know the history of Theocratic post-millenielism.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

Is onerob questioning whether God gave the sword of His wrath to the Church, or whether He gave His charity purse to the State? We can’t know unless he actually asks a question. It’s almost as if onerob isn’t quite prepared to be confronted with answers. I’d be happy to offer an exegesis, but perhaps he would rather be safe in the comfort of his belief that we are “wildly silly”, and that we are hostile to government, and that we don’t want to help the needy. One wonders what onerob has been exegeting to arrive at his conclusions about… Read more »

onerob
onerob
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Would you oppose education being provided by a secular charity? What about a country with few Christians and many atheists — has God given away the ‘purse of charity’ to the atheists just so long as it’s not the state?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

Any individual can offer education to others from their own purse. Parents can choose to avail themselves or not of the offer.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

onerob asks: Would you oppose education being provided by a secular charity? If by secular, onerob means godless, then Christians should not financially support any such institution that would seek to rob God of the glory due His name. Every good gift comes down from the Father, and any institution that pretends otherwise is a liar. However, secular charities would be free to raise whatever funds they can, for whatever lawful purposes they wish, including education. The point is not to force little atheist Johnny to go to a Christian school. If secularists want to cooperate together to educate their… Read more »

onerob
onerob
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Thanks for taking the time to reply. What is the general umbrella term for the theology that you’re outlining above? (Genuine question).

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

I’ve heard Wilson use the term “minarchy” (minimal rule), but from a theological standpoint, I would probably use the term sphere separation or sphere sovereignty. It’s basically what “separation of Church and State” used to mean before secularists redefined it to mean separation of God from State.

onerob
onerob
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

OK, thanks.

Theocrat
Theocrat
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

I know your question was for katecho but if you don’t mind, I would like to offer a definition of Theocracy that summarizes my take on the biblical passages that outline the doctrine. To demonstrate my first point, all you need to do is look at God’s reply to Samuel when Israel asked for a king, He told Samuel it was because they had rejected Him as king (under His Theocracy) as to why they were asking for a king. So here we see the transition from His Theocracy to human monarchy and God outlined the types of punishments they… Read more »

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I cannot agree more strongly to this point (and bethyada’s below). It seems that a certain cross-section of Christian’s have no problem, and in actuality are eager, to point a gun in their brother’s face by using the compulsory power of government, (which is inevitably that end point). I would also venture that the same people have rarely if ever been intimately involved in actually doing that very thing: being the one who by direct action will remove from that man everything he is or has, and sending him instantly to the Judge Who will judge him for eternity. (They… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Not sure why you’re capitalizing Church? What’s with the tithe, anyway – who gets to collect and administer that? – the “pastor” that takes a fat slice for spending half his week prepping for a forgettable 40 minute lecture? And who did Abel and Seth and the faithful before Abraham and outside Israel tithe to?

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Examine Matthew 23:23, were He says: “…you pay tithe…and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone”. He prefaces His rebuke by pronouncing a “woe” upon them for their hypocrisy. What hypocrisy is in play here? A public display of “I love Jesus” for all to see, with a hidden stingy heart. It is very easy to nod in approval of “Justice and mercy and faith” because gnostic man thinks those are somewhat invisible. On the contrary, they are not ephemeral; “O foolish man…faith… Read more »

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

Faith comprehends that because “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”, (Outside the Church there is no ‎salvation.), funding the declaration of Christ and His kingdom is a duty, a privilege, and an act of “Justice and mercy”. (James 2:20, James 1:17, Luke 17:10, Luke 11:42, 1 Timothy 5:17, Matthew 28:18-20, )

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

So, how and why is this regarding elders? Well, in the simplest construct, those who job it is to “labor in the word and doctrine” need to keep body and soul together to do so; they need to eat. Even though Paul declined the “right” of support, his reasoning involved a tactical decision so as to try to preclude both false accusations and the example of the hucksters who were selling the gospel. His words elsewhere underscore the fact that God does not consider this as the normative practice for teaching elders: “Let the elders…be counted worthy of double honor,… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

Who was commanded to fund declarations about how God rules? Abel? Seth? Ancient Egyptians? Present day Californians? And how many more declarations are enough? And we need to fund these wannabe Osteens too? For what?

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful…for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. I would say that unless your objection to Christ’s command (you pay tithe…[as] you ought to have done] is according to the law and to… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I think it would be a lucky pastor whose work ended with the composition of a 40 minute sermon. I think of my parish priest’s day even before the emergencies begin: Bible studies, ladies’ fellowships, scheduled counseling appointments, teaching a religion class at the local parochial school, and trying to figure out how to pay for patching the roof. Then come the emergencies: my pastor makes regular hospital visits as well as dropping everything to come by when someone is suddenly taken ill, he goes down to the jail when a parishioner’s kid gets in trouble with the cops, he… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

You must have read the first part of Les Miserables with a sense of recognition.
They make relatively few pastors like that now-a-days, especially in Protestant churches.
I interviewed a pastoral student fella for doing nursing home visitations and chapel and he declined when he learned his goal of 30+ minutes sermons would be inappropriate — after all, he was training to be a lead pastor with a Bible and a pulpit and a backup guitar, not some schmuck holding an old widows hand.
Lucky pastor?

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I capitalize the word Church when referring to the one Body and Bride of Christ, universal and catholic. I use lower case when referring to a local church. The tithe is our visible way of giving tribute and owning God as our King and Lord. God certainly doesn’t need our money, but we need to acknowledge that all good things come from Him, and we do this by giving back a portion of what He has first given to us. God specifies that only a tenth is sufficient to help us incarnate this lesson. He also promises to bless that… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I don’t doubt many Church folk can be found in churches, but I doubt many Pastors are there, at least in pastoral jobs. I’m guessing most (percentage wise) Church folk never attend churches. Real Pastors neither. But I agree that real Pastors should get financial support, and real Church ministry too. But the Jewish system tithe itself is merely a metaphor for the wider and more applicable principle at work, therefore that word is misleading. Kind of like insisting we must be circumsized. We must — just not in the nethers. We must Tithe to Church activities — just not… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

PerfectHold seems to be hiding behind a “no true Scottsman” doubt regarding pastors, and advancing a slippery concept of an invisible Church. He wrote: We must Tithe to Church activities — just not tithe to merely “c”hurch activities. PerfectHold doesn’t tell us how to detect the difference. He can agree that we “must Tithe”, but one is left wondering if it is a metaphorical tithe that does not come from a real wallet or from hours on a real clock. One is left wondering if PerfectHold ever darkens the door of a real church, or if he is an invisible… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

You say I don’t tell you how to detect the Members or Pastors in our Church!

Why, they’ve passed the formal exams you’ve invented (to replace circumcision, in part).

Fruit no longer qualifies in churches.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Do you chuchinians warn unauthorized Pastors to stop casting out demons in His name? Or you just make sure they refrain from doing so in Your assembly?

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

Defense and law keeping are things that are best in a collective, corporate cooperative system, a government. Making dinner is better in a smaller group, a family. It’s a matter of proper scale. We don’t pound nails with a 50 ton press.

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

“…to help people…” That reminds me of an episode of the Twilight Zone titled “To Serve Man”. It is about an alien race that come to earth vowing solely to aid humanity. The aliens give the earth people a book (written in their own language and titled “To Serve Man”) Many of the naive and enthusiastic do-gooders decide to embark back to the alien planet on an excursion. As the space ship takes off, the earth citizen book interpreter shouts to the bon voyage participants “don’t get on that ship…it’s a cookbook!” Help has an objective meaning, and it really… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

My overwhelming problem with this rule is that while I don’t mind imposing hunger on the able-bodied shirker, I do mind imposing it on his or her young children. I used to believe that no parent would allow his children to suffer want if there was anything he could do to prevent it. I no longer hold that naïve and optimistic view. So what do we do? Do we accept the hungry children as the collateral damage of a totally free society? Do we remove children from homes like these, and if so, what do we do with them without… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

jillybean wrote: Every teacher I know who works in an inner city school keeps a desk drawer full of granola bars for hungry children. What would become of these children if there were no longer public schools? I hope jillybean isn’t suggesting that government schools are the sole means for the distribution of granola bars. Teenagers are always hungry, so we can’t use hunger as our criteria. But we can have a civil criteria around neglect and severe malnutrition. The State does have an interest in this kind of inquiry into the family sphere. If severe malnutrition of a child… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I agree with you, Katecho. But I have been dismayed by people who say that the welfare of the child must come second to the autonomy of the parents.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

jillybean wrote:

But I have been dismayed by people who say that the welfare of the child must come second to the autonomy of the parents.

Welfare needs to be strictly and narrowly defined. For example, if a government school is essentially providing expanded day care services under the heading of a nutritious breakfast and dinner program for the kids, then we aren’t talking about a justifiable State intervention. The kind of welfare that involves the State is the kind that has to do with life and limb.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Matthew 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ Godly charity is personal, even to the point of being personal when the charity is institutional. The charity Jesus is talking about is the kind He gives. The kind that lifts us up to His lifestyle. (this is why we don’t… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

That is indeed a good example of Godly charity. Sadly however, that is a example that is only an ideal, that has seldom ever been actualized or realized. Far too often “the church” has abused those under their care and prosperity pastors have stolen little old ladies SS checks in order to buy themselves private jets.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

That’s why charity has to be “personal”, even in an institutional context. Where the Word describes the function of Deacons (and Deaconesses) is where institutionalized charity remains personal, and WOrd grounded.

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

And why God commands that His work be funded by tithing.

Not by the IRS.

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Mrs. Bean, Without trying to pretend to be as erudite as katecho, I was going to reply to you with thoughts very similar to his above. In addition to the charitable action he referred to, I also concur with “the State has authority to directly intervene in the family sphere, even with force, for the life of the child in need of protection.” Since it is an absolute that shelter, food, clothing, medicine and education are basic provisions, the parent who does not provide these is “worse than an unbeliever”. (God’s words) Since the penalty by God for an infidel… Read more »

ArwenB
ArwenB
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Teenagers are always hungry

Especially sine the First LunchLady implemented her school lunch reforms!

Bdmp-tsh! /cheapshot

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  ArwenB

Cheap shot, but as the parent of public schooled teenagers, I’ll give it an abso-bloomin-lutley true, as well. It’s all the worse because I’m in an “all free lunch” district which means I’m paying twice what we used to pay before it became “free,” to ensure they have something decent to eat.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Take care. Some are required to pay for their “all free lunch” district while conscientiously choosing not to render their children to the government schools. My greatest sympathies are with them.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Understood. I am not seeking anybody’s sympathy for my choices, simply pointing out the ludicrousness of the system.

I’m paying taxes, too, and my kids couldn’t pay for their lunches if they wanted to. I don’t condone the system and I certainly didn’t choose it for the fact that the lunches are free.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

My child’s school district was like that. It was explained to us that the cost of billing people who could afford to pay was greater than the cost of feeding everyone. I found this unlikely. After my daughter was ten or so, she wouldn’t eat school food.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

This is why the provision of slavery is more compassionate than a society that strictly enforces free labour.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

Says the perspective that could not handle it’s Hitler problem, to the perspective that did handle that Hitler problem.
And that European perspective still calls other people “silly”?
Wow.????????

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

deleted

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Rah rah, USA, winner of the war that made the world safe for Communism.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Holy Cow! You’re right!
The Soviet Union could strike at any moment.
Oh Wait, the Soviet Union choked and does not exist any more.

But China could strike at any moment, with even more cheap, market derived consumer goods stocking the shelves of Walmart. Sounds like a Mafia state, not a communist state.

Well……, there’s still North Korea. After we beat them back above the 38th, they are still able to launch a barage of complaints. If they had any electric light at night, they could talk even more!

Rah rah! ashv!

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I’m just sick of people who act like beating Hitler was such a great accomplishment when it required allying with a force that murdered much larger numbers of people.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

The enemy of my enemy is my friend . Then there is the population as opposed to the government. We are always for innocent populations, sometimes a bad gov’t comes with the package.
Anyway, what is your “no bad partners” plan to beat Muslim terrorism now ?
Wouldn’t that be an actual “great accomplishment”?

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

It doesn’t surprise me that you feel this way — America is a communist country( and always has been).

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Ash, have a PBR and go fishing! You are too wound up. I’d go too but I have my free market obligations to attend to!
That “invisible hand” keeps things moving!

Oh, the USA preceded communism by about 70 years. Saying America has always been a communist country is like saying Christians have always been Muslims. Such statements are in error.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  onerob

The difference is that in Europe, the people who receive these
government payments are much more often of your ethnic
group/nationality. In America the transfer of wealth primarily goes from
productive Whites to unproductive Blacks and Hispanics, so the
emotional responses to these things are much different. In the European
case, one can easily picture oneself or family members being caught in a
bad economic situation and needing to fall back on the “safety net”; in
the American case it’s more visibly one people group living at the expense of another.

ME
ME
5 years ago

“This is not compromise; it is simple triage.”

No. This is a society that has pursued greed, that has been delighted to just hand grandma over to social security, that has reveled in public school, that has exploited low wage earners, that has abandoned crazy relatives, that has availed themselves of inheritances and called themselves “self made,” while lecturing everyone else to just pull themselves up by the bootstraps. There are huge planks in the eyes of conservatives.

It’s too late for triage. Even my heart cries out for justice.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

God is certainly within His holiness to pour out justice on us, but remember Nineveh. Jonah thought they were beyond triage as well.

My prayer is for national and cultural repentance, as an undeserved gift from God, to demonstrate His power over our sin. Mercy for the repentant. But, at the same time, I can also plead for justice to fall on the unrepentant.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I think we should be very careful about praying for justice on the unrepentant, because often that is us, unrepentant, unaware of sins we ourselves have committed.

Christopher
Christopher
5 years ago

This is a sad discussion. As someone who once had more respect for Doug Wilson, it saddens me to see him and his flock countenance such sophistry. You guys finish up your armchair philosophizing while the whole world dies. I actually have a soft spot in my heart for the likes of Wilhelm von Humboldt and history’s true libertarians, because ultimately, humanity is truly free only when he is free from external authority. But those who follow that famous atheist, Ayn Rand are blind to the bloated, multinational, rapacious elephant in the room. Right now the state is one of… Read more »