The Fourth of July in Vanity Fair

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Introduction

My topic, if you could not guess from the cryptic title, is religious liberty. Vanity Fair, if you have not guessed, does not celebrate the Fourth of July. That’s a problem.

Lots of Americans still celebrate it, but because we are now governed by non-elected functionaries from Vanity Fair, the celebrations are merely impressive displays of light, noise, and little else. Among our other liberties, we still celebrate our putative religious liberty on the Fourth, but we do this in lieu of actually being able to practice it anymore. It is kind of like religious liberty without the religious part, and without the liberty part either, come to think of it. If we had some ham, we could make a ham and cheese sandwich, if we had some cheese.

Celebrating religious liberty is way easier than defending it, or exercising it. Setting off a squib or a firecracker is much to be preferred, because much easier, than acting like you don’t need permission from the government to live like a free Christian. You don’t, incidentally.Old Glory

Lest You Think I Overstate . . .

Scarcely a day goes by without some reeking testimony to the official kind of contempt directed at religious liberty by aficionados of the totalitolerant state. Just this last week I read about the Virginia governor vetoing a bill that would allow ministers to opt out of sodomite ceremonies, another story about a judge insisting that Christian Mingles, a Christian dating site, start matching up folks what actually don’t go together because the pieces don’t fit, and I also read some more about that noxious bill in California that would require Christian colleges to abandon their Christian convictions in order to function legally. The secularist commitment to religious liberty resembles the rabbinical commitment to the ham and cheese sandwiches mentioned earlier.

Vanity Fair Has No Tradition of Religious Liberty

“Therefore they took them and beat them, and besmeared them with dirt, and then put them into the Cage, that they might be made a Spectacle to all the men of the Fair” (The Pilgrim’s Progress).

But because Christian and Faithful responded to the persecution with grace, “some men in the Fair that were more observing, and less prejudiced than the rest, began to check and blame the baser sort for their continual abuses done by them to the men.”

Religious liberty comes from intractable Christians, and from some unbelievers who are favorably impressed by those intractable Christians.

So what kind of society produces religious liberty? What are the preconditions of religious liberty? The answer is “not our kind.” The kind of society we have become would be entirely incapable of creating a respect for religious liberty, and is rapidly proving that it is not even capable of sustaining it.

This is because we are Vanity Fair. We are Babylon the great, and so naturally we traffic in the souls of men (Rev. 18:13).

In order to get back to a true respect for religious liberty, we have to recover something. Even the millions of Christians who live here in the Fair have to recover something — I should say especially the Christians have to recover something. The first thing they have to grasp is the realization that they have been had.

The Root of Religious Liberty

The doctrine of religious liberty is itself a religious doctrine. There is no neutrality, and this reality is especially pronounced when it comes to this subject. The doctrines of religious liberty can be derived from the realization that Jesus is Lord. They cannot be derived from the realization that we are all the mindless end product of so many aeons of a blind and groping evolutionary process. They can be derived from the Christian faith, and cannot be derived from secularism.

A society that allows for no transcendent court of appeals is a society that cannot allow for religious liberty. In other words, on its own terms, because a secular state cannot come under judgment from outside it cannot allow for its citizens to act as though it could ever come under judgment from outside.

The living God is the giver of all rights. Man can give certain privileges, but we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. This includes our right to worship Him as His Word requires. Our right to worship Him includes not only the right to worship Him in weekly religious services, but also to worship Him with our bodies and vocations every day of the week. We are called to present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2), and this is a 24-7 religious obligation. It means that we not only have the religious duty not to engage in sexual uncleanness ourselves, but that we have the corresponding duty not to applaud or celebrate it in others.

And so it is that Christian bakers, florists, and wedding planners have the religious obligation before God and consequent right before man to abstain from any such celebrations. The owners of a Christian dating site have the obligation before God and consequent right before man to refrain from acting as a pimp or procuress. Christian colleges have the obligation before God and consequent right before man to teach foundational Christian morality, and act in their admissions and discipline policies as though they actually believed what they taught.

Without that word consequent, we have no rights whatever.

But if God has bestowed these obligations upon us, as He most certainly has, then it is not possible for any parliament or congress or assembly of men to take the consequent rights away. It is not up to the rulers of men. It is not within their jurisdiction. They have no authority in this whatever. And this leads us to . . .

Pious Disobedience

So the ultimate cause of religious liberty is the will of God. But the proximate, intermediate cause of religious liberty in history has been the firm and cheerful disobedience of Christians. The idolatrous state requires certain things, and Christians, because they know what the will of God is as outlined above, say no.

They do not bow before the statue of Nebuchadnezzar. They do not kill the Hebrew children as Pharaoh required. They hide their crops from the Midianites. They ignore the arrest warrant issued by Saul the tyrant. They refuse to bow to Haman. They pray facing Jerusalem with their windows open. King Aretas sets up a roadblock and they run that roadblock. They preach in the name of Jesus. They just say no.

Let me cut to the chase. There can be no religious liberty unless and until certain Christians are hard enough and tough enough simply to disobey. And they will not exhibit that kind of hardness toward tyrants unless and until they are soft toward God. When men recognize the sovereignty of God, they simultaneously realize that man does not possess that sovereignty. Resistance to tyrants is therefore submission to God. And without that submission to God, resistance to tyrants is futile. With it, liberty is inevitable.

Given the nature of the encroachments being made by the secular state, the clash between Christians and the secular state will not be a narrow one. It will extend across the board, touching on every area of life. Of course, when they say we must not preach the gospel, we must continue to preach the gospel. But this is an all-encompassing collision. It involves everything. It is a clash of worlds.

They do not simply say not to preach the gospel. They also say that if we do not take the mark of their beast, wearing it proudly on the forehead or right hand, we cannot buy or sell from any of their federally regulated outlets (Rev. 13:17). What do we do then? Well, we refuse the mark, and head on out to buy and sell from unregulated outlets. We have a religious duty and right to function in the black market.

Christian photographers go underground. They do a wedding “for a friend,” and take a token of gratitude in cash. Wedding cakes are sold out the back door, after hours. Christian colleges become unauthorized study centers, offering online certificates issued from servers located somewhere in the Caribbean. And when I am finally shut down here at Mablog for being an “enemy of mankind,” along with my other bad deeds, you can head on over to the dark web, and try to find me there. Perhaps you might say, “but that’s illegal,” and I would reply by inviting you to ask me if I care. The catacombs were illegal too.

Religious liberty is not something we have to get a permit for. It is not something we possess if they agree to it.

The Theologic of Religious Liberty

The Christian faith is therefore source of religious liberty, and secularism cannot be that source.

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matt. 7:24–27).

Too many Christian advocates for Christians retaining their religious liberties are actually theologically compromised. They want the secular storm to help prop the house up. But secularism is the storm, not part of the foundation. Christ is the foundation. The words of Christ are the foundation. Without Jesus, we cannot have the house. With Jesus, we can withstand this current storm, not to mention the next one.

When we appeal to the secularists to respect our liberties, they can simply respond with “why should we?” We must either appeal to an ultimate standard that they reject, or to a humanistic standard that we ought to reject. If we apply to their humanistic standard, and they say, “no,” what then?

We need to work it out in our hearts and minds first. We need to be prepared to say to them, along with the friends of Daniel, that our God is able to deliver us. But even if He does not, we are not going to comply. This includes private individuals like Gideon not complying and government officials like Daniel not complying. It includes John Q. Citizen not complying and Chief Justice Roy Moore not complying.

Wherever you are, just say no. Bloom where you are planted.

One Final Thing

These are not new issues. We have been here before. For those Christians who want to read up on these themes, there is a long and inspiring story. I would recommend starting with The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World by Douglas Kelly.
This has all been done before, and it most certainly can be done again.Emergence Liberty

“In England and America the great struggles for civil and religious liberty were nursed in Calvinism, inspired by Calvinism, and carried out largely by men who were Calvinists” (Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, p. 390).

If you intend to be part of that movement, as you certainly ought to be, then a few anticipatory fireworks tonight would not be out of place at all.

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40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago

Some good old fashioned flag wavin’ Commie propaganda for Independence Day. Starring Frank Sinatra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhPwtnGviyg

weisjohn
weisjohn
5 years ago

So if the Feds ask me to help fund abortion, should I just say no?

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  weisjohn

The Feds aren’t asking you to fund abortion.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Try telling the whole truth, Twisted. Of course the federal government isn’t asking anyone to fund abortion, because they don’t ask anyone to do anything. What you’re not telling us is that the federal government does indeed fund abortion. How do you suppose the federal government gets its money, Twisted? Do you really think taxes are voluntary?

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

I think that, under the Hyde Amendment, the federal government cannot directly fund abortion unless there is a threat to the life of the mother. Funding is generally a state matter, and the majority of states follow the amendment. http://billmoyers.com/content/five-facts-you-should-know-about-the-hyde-amendment/

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jilly, the country’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, received over $500 million from federal, state, and local governments in 2013-2014, which made up 41% of its budget. While it’s true that we don’t know exactly how much came from the feds, the fact remains that those who pay taxes are funding abortion, whether they like it or not.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/09/disentangling-the-data-on-planned-parenthood-affiliates-abortion-services-and-receipt-of-taxpayer-funding

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

I don’t see how they get away with it when the law is so explicit.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Just ask Hillary Clinton.

holmegm
holmegm
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The word you are looking for is “fungible”.

If I give a bum $10 “for food”, he can use the other $10 that someone else gave him for booze.

It doesn’t matter, in reality, what you say each 10 spot is “for”.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  holmegm

Right. Say Planned Parenthood’s budget for how many services they want to offer is $100. They only have $75. So right now, they can only afford $25 for abortion, and $50 for other services.

Then along comes Uncle Sam, and gives them $25 for other services.

Oh, look, we can “cut” the other services budget by $25! Now, look what we just found — $25 to spend on subsidizing abortions! It didn’t come from Uncle Sam, it was unbudgeted funds, right?

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  holmegm

You’ve taught me a new word, but it sounds like mushrooms to me.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

It’s always sounded like that to me, too.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jilly there was recently a ruling in a state, sorry I can’t remember which one, where the federal government said they could no longer stop medicaid funds from being used for abortions. Currently 17 states use their own tax dollars to fund abortions. So yes, our tax dollars directly fund abortion.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Oh dear.

Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
5 years ago

Fantastic post, Douglas. Thank you! Here are some corresponding thoughts I gave in a recent sermon: What did Peter and the other apostles reply to the tyrannical state of their day when their preaching was made criminal: “We must obey God rather than men!’” That is the biblical bottom line in all of this. When the state sets itself up as God—sets itself up as an unlimited authority—“We must obey God rather than men”—come what may. As the disciples demonstrated, there are times when it is legitimate and biblical to resist those in authority. When the civil government oversteps its… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago

One thing though: A bill vetoed by the Virginia Governor and a noxious bill in California do not exactly serve as examples of being governed by non-elected functionaries. They might just serve as better example of elected functionaries acceding to popular demand.

Aquila Aquilonis
Aquila Aquilonis
5 years ago

What is the audio from?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago
jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

A Man for All Seasons

weisjohn
weisjohn
5 years ago

It’s a thumbnail in the Related Posts section, not sure why it’s set to auto-play.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

Happy Fourth of July to all my buddies here! Next year I hope to be celebrating as a citizen–no more Resident Alien!

Ian Miller
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Hooray! We welcome you (even us Calvinists!)

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Ian Miller

If God wills…

Ben
Ben
5 years ago

As a social conservative, I recommend we drop the religious liberty argument once and for all. Instead we need to focus on the freedom of association. This is a far more important and fundamental right. When you appeal to the government to uphold your religious liberty, you are making the case that you ought to be allowed to engage in X behavior because of the thoughts in your own head. By making this appeal, you’re saying that the government has the right to uphold or infringe upon rights based on a person’s thoughts (though you may not like how they’re… Read more »

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

When you appeal to the government to uphold your religious liberty, you are making the case that you ought to be allowed to engage in X behavior because of the thoughts in your own head.

How is that not also the case with freedom of association? You choose to or not to associate based on thoughts in your head.

Ben
Ben
5 years ago
Reply to  jigawatt

My point is that your reason for discriminating against someone should have nothing to do with whether the government should allow you to. You should be allowed to discriminate for any reason or no reason.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

I could possibly go along with that, but any business or institution that receives taxpayer money should not be allowed to discriminate.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Except possibly against non-taxpayers?

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The problem with that idea is the definition of “receiving taxpayer money”.

Taxpayers pay for the roads and bridges that deliver customers to businesses. As Obama famously argued: “You didn’t build that”. Given that reasoning, every business – including schools – is subject to non-discrimination laws (and any other restrictions the government sees fit to impose).

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Also, even now, a lot of “receiving taxpayer money” is actually payment for services that the government desires to be rendered. When a hospital “gets taxpayer money,” the government isn’t writing a check to the hospital’s endowment fund. They’re paying for a service that the government has previously agreed to pay for. Why does the government get to “call the tune” because it pays someone’s Medicare hospital bill, any more than I get to tell the guy at the gas station how to spend his money? The government gets to dictate how the actual medical services they’re paying for are… Read more »

Ben
Ben
5 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Granting for the sake of argument that the government has a right to enforce anti-discrimination laws upon businesses that take tax money, my central point still applies, which is that it’s bizarre that religious people would appeal to the thoughts in their head as a reason to not have to comply with anti-discrimination laws. By doing this you’re literally giving the government the power to police your thoughts. Most people have a hard time connecting those dots.

Ben
Ben
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

But that will guarantee that the taxpayer money will not go to its best use, as it limits the ability of the business owner to use his own discretion about what kind of people he will do business with.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

jillybean wrote: … any business or institution that receives taxpayer money … It must not go without saying that our system is no longer based on taxpayer money. For some time now, taxpayers have been unable to afford the things that the government continues to funnel toward its chosen businesses and institutions and states. Our money system has detached from the taxpayer base, and from any tangible standard of value, or ability to repay. Money may have already reached escape velocity. Money is truly fiat, created from nothing at the whim of the government to dangle before whoever they wish… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Freedom of conscience is religious freedom (in the sense it is authorised by God).

Ben
Ben
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

My point is that it shouldn’t matter what someone’s reason is for discriminating, whether it’s for conscience, religion, or anything else. People have the right to discriminate. regardless of why they’re doing it. I don’t know why we give up that argument so easily.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago

Hallelujia! You finally caught up to Anne Barnhardt.

It is refreshing to read your words. There are multitudes of us throughout this land; we will prevail.

God bless.

flock32
flock32
5 years ago

So let me ask this… Let’s say the local public school district teaches and allows things that are not honoring to God. And let’s say that the county treasurer sends an itemized tax bill every year that shows how much of my tax dollars go to the school district. Should I send the county treasurer my tax payment less the part that would go to the school district?

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  flock32

I’ve thought of this, too. The immediate answer is, “Am I willing to endure the consequences of not paying the school tax?” And thus far I have continued to pay the tax.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

I wish that Wilson had addressed (will address) the practical application of the principle of disobedience (which I agree with). First, I am not convinced that individuals should begin applying disobedience at their own discretion. Not because they are poor regarding judgment of issues, but because they will be isolated and made examples by the government. We need to be organized and represented in disobedience. We must move together, for maximum impact. In order to do this, we must have representation. This can either come from lesser magistrates, or from rulers in the Church. We are not practiced at submitting… Read more »

John
John
5 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly. The one caution I would have is that many Christians seem to conflate American things like the flag, respect for military, etc. as being at the same level as Biblical commands. I’m in full support of Christian disobedience when the government commands that we disobey God, but I’m not in full support of Christian disobedience in the name of “Americanism.”

Andrey Bulanov
5 years ago

Thats gnarliest fire cracker I’ve heard all day. Well said!

Teacher02
Teacher02
5 years ago

With you, absolutely. Thanks for these thoughts. They are spot on for our day. Hebrews 11 needs another read. It would do us all good.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago

Gee, I wonder why the “religious liberty” fanatics keep losing in the courts? Could it be because they’re wrong? And what does Vanity Fair have to do with any of this?

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Maybe it’s got something to do with the courts.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  Bro. Steve

Yeah, that stupid Constitution.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

The Constitution is silent on the subject of forcing anyone to decorate cakes of any description.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

True, however, it’s eloquent on the topic of equal protection under the law (14th Amendment), which is why discrimination against gays and lesbians is illegal in most states.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

According to the sites I checked, only 22 states have explicit laws prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians, although counties and municipalities within the other states may have similar laws. I generally support those laws with regard to employment and housing, but I am unhappy to see them used against small business owners who have religious convictions. My preference would be to let the free market take care of it.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Your lack of understanding of widely understood literary illusions does not constitute Wilson’s incoherence.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

When are you and all of the other Christian activists going to take Smith’s advice and be willing to go to jail for your beliefs? After all, if early Christians were willing to be put to death for their beliefs, you should be willing to spend a few months in the slammer for refusing to bake a cake with 2 grooms on it.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

It’s nice to see someone support the violent suppression of christianity.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago

Exactly who is supporting the “violent suppression of christianity”?

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

If you think christians should be willing to spend a few months in jail then you must think christians should be put in jail.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago

Wrong. The author of this post is the one who is demanding that faithful Christians be willing to disobey the law for their beliefs.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Exactly, if the law and christianity conflict you are in favor of violently suppressing the christians who do not abnandon their beliefs.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago

Being sent to jail isn’t exactly “violently suppressing,” but if it makes you feel better to say so, then so be it. Not to worry though, as I suspect that few (if any) Christians will be willing to go to jail for refusing to put 2 grooms on a wedding cake.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

How do you suppose people get to jail? Do they all come quietly, then, or is there perhaps some teensy threat of violence in play?

Twisted Mister
5 years ago

Correction. I’m in favor of punishing lawbreakers, whether they be Christians or otherwise. Since when is paying a fine “violent”?

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

You initially said jail, not fine, but fines are backed up with the threat of violence. You’re still leaning towords a totalitarian state.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Who says we aren’t? But sending people to jail for opposing vice is still a rotten policy, and honest men can say so.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago

If you break the law, then you have to be willing to accept the punishment. Christians are not above the law.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Unless your name is Hillary, Obama, Bill Clinton, Lois Lerner, certain members of the Supreme Court, etc… then there is no punishment for your lawbreaking.

What you fail to realize, Twisted Mister, is that when you are tasked with making/enforcing the law, then turn around and flout the law, you have made yourself illegitimate.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

Your comment is beside the point. This post isn’t about Obama or the Clintons.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Not at all. You’re in no position to lecture Christians about the rule of law when you’re perfectly willing to let progressives get away with breaking the law. When the law doesn’t apply equally to everyone, then it applies to no one.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  fp

When did I say that I was willing to let progressives get away with breaking the law? I’ll thank you not to put words in my mouth. The topic here is Christians, NOT Obama.

fp
fp
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Wrong. Your point was, “If you break the law, then you have to be willing to accept the punishment.” So where’s the punishment for Hillary, Obama, Lerner, etc.? It was you who said, “You break the law, you pay the price.” Only, those in positions of power are breaking the law and paying no price. By brushing aside the malfeasance of the current regime, you outed yourself as nothing more than a hypocritical left-wing hack. The fact is, you really don’t care one whit about the rule of law until one of those evil wingnut Christians break it, and then… Read more »

St. Lee
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

You are correct. Christians are not above the law, but Christ is, and there are implications to that fact.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  St. Lee

Wrong. Christ wasn’t above the law, as he, himself, demonstrated by allowing himself to be tried and punished. He is also famous for saying, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, etc.”

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

You miss understanding grace by a mile. You also fail to understand that Christ was crucified not according to the law, but by the lawless. He submitted to that because God so loved the world. Note too, St Lee correctly put it as “Christ is”. Perhaps that too you don’t get?

St. Lee
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Christ did indeed lower himself and perfectly fulfilled the law. And he did allow himself to be tried in a mockery of a trial. But he was punished for my crimes, not his own. However, Christ was under the law in respect to his incarnation. My statement was meant in light of his position as King of kings and Lord of lords. More along the lines of how Psalm 2 states it: “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Sure. And the laws that punish justice and reward evil are wicked laws.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

I prefer to see you hang. We are not the same people. I will not be ruled by you or yours. Take your laws, your courts and your (shredded, living) Constitution and go pound sand.

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Tell it to the judge. You break the law, you pay the price.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

I am telling it to you. You will have to bloody your hands. You must be willing to pay the price. I don’t think you are.

One more time.

Screw your laws.
Screw your people.
We will not be ruled by you.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

As we see in Mister’s case, some are not really opposed to tyranny. They are only opposed to it until they can get some power for themselves, and start oppressing others.

What if judges break the law? The highest human law of the land bars government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof“).

Where was Mister when the blacks were breaking the Jim Crow laws in disobedience to immoral human law? Would he troll them with the same taunt that he applies to us? If not, why not?

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Where did you ever get the idea that I favor tyranny? Regardless, if you feel strongly enough that any particular law is immoral, then, by all means, go ahead and disobey it. Just be prepared to accept the consequences of your decision.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

Okay, you’re just a troll. Blocked.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Twisted Mister

But, so you know, the writer is here is referring neither to the periodical nor to a line of women’s lingerie, but rather to a location in the famous Puritan John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”

Twisted Mister
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yes, thanks. I figured that out.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago

This is all moot. When’s the last time you heard of a Christian baker, florist, or photographer refusing to service a gay wedding? AFAIK, there hasn’t been a case like that since Obergefell came down. People saw what happened to Baronelle Stutzman and others and decided they’d rather cave in on gay weddings than face financial ruin.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago

Did Patrick Henry say “Give me religious liberty, or give me death!”?

No, he didn’t.

Christians want the right to refuse to associate with or do business with people, but don’t want others to have the same right.

It’s rank hypocrisy.

And neither government, society, or God will honor such hypocrisy by granting Christians the very rights they want to deny to others.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

This is why religious toleration is better ground for Christians to aim for than religious liberty.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

IMO, they should drop the “religious” part entirely. Why should only religious people have freedom of association? They should have been fighting for the freedom of association for all people for the last 50 years as this right has been bulldozed into oblivion by civil rights laws. Instead, they applauded the bulldozing of the freedom of association for five decades, because racists aren’t “nice”, and only nice people deserve liberty. Well, now the government and culture has put them on the not-nice list, and they don’t know what to do. So they want to insist on the general authority of… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

What’s so great about freedom of association? I don’t think much of “rights” in general.

The country’s rulers should uphold the church. The church should minister to both the king and his subjects.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Ashv doesn’t think much of “rights”, but what does he think of rights, the inalienable kind endowed by our Creator, in whose image we are made?

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Thoroughly unsupported by Scripture.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago

If ashv grants the virtue of freedom of association, then he might have to acknowledge that the South was in the wrong to pass Jim Crow laws against freedom of association (affecting both whites and blacks). It seems that ashv is not ready to acknowledge there was any need for repentance over Jim Crow laws.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

There was no need for repentance over Jim Crow laws.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I appreciate the crystal clarity of ashv’s foolishness on that particular subject. Perhaps 40 ACRES will realize that ashv has no interest in freedom of association, religious or otherwise.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I don’t understand your position there. Jim Crow laws forbade whites who were willing to serve blacks from doing so. That was not ensuring freedom of association; it was denying it. A government that can prevent me from serving blacks if I want to can also force me to make wedding cakes when I don’t want to.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I don’t see any reason to regard freedom of association as particularly sacred. I do think that honouring perversion under the name of “marriage”, or requiring others to do so, is abominable and needs no appeal to any abstract “freedom of association” to oppose.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Just to be clear, it is okay for the government to tell me I can’t serve black people but the government will let me decide whether I want to bake cakes for gay marriages. Doesn’t this logically suggest that the government thinks my serving black people is a worse abomination than my honoring gay weddings?

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I don’t know what you’re referring to, since neither of those things appear to be true today.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Of course not, but since you seemed to approve government-mandated limits on freedom of association then, I am assuming you would approve them if they were to happen now. And most states don’t require anyone to cater gay weddings because most states do not have LGBT anti-discrimination laws. But it seemed to me contradictory that while you were willing to have the government forbid me from serving blacks, you are willing to leave the decision to serve gay marriages to me. Do you consider a white man serving a black customer in a diner to be a greater abomination than… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I don’t regard a white man serving a black customer (or vice versa) to be bad at all, but neither do I regard laws against it as fundamentally bad either. It’s a matter of prudence that depends on the situation. Public acceptance or approval of perversion is in an entirely different category.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I really do appreciate ashv’s crystal clarity on this. It makes it so much easier to reject his views as contrary to liberty, to Scripture, and to Christ-likeness.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Contrary to “liberty”, sure whatever. I’m sure that bothers Americans.

Please explain how this is contrary to Scripture or your idea of Christ-likeness.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago

40 ACRES wrote:

So they want insist on the general authority of the government to deny
the freedom of association to people they don’t like, but want to carve
out a special exemption for themselves.

Who is “they”? The secular statists are certainly on the warpath to trample freedom of association and disassociation, as well as the free expression of religion. Who is 40 ACRES talking about?

jsm
jsm
5 years ago

I suggest Christians go ahead and get familiar with how to access the dark web. Learn how to navigate it and how to cover your tracks. The time to learn such things is not when it becomes a necessity. Fortunately I don’t forsee such persecution lasting very long. The immutable laws of economics will likely bring the whole thing down soon.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago

This has all been done before, and it most certainly can be done again.

But it’s never been done in a multiracial, multi-religious “nation”, and never will be.

If you want to maintain your White Anglo-Saxon Protestant way of life and form of government, your first duty is to keep your country overwhelmingly White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago

40 ACRES wrote:

If you want a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant way of life and form of government …

It seems that 40 ACRES works hard to embody the racist slur. As a racist, he assumes that any Protestant expression must be white, and then projects such a desire onto others. Some of us want a faithful way of life and form of government for all nations, tribes, and peoples. Such a desire has nothing to do with whiteness, or with 40 ACRES of foolishness.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

My desire for a Mercedes has nothing to do with my paycheck, either.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv wrote:

My desire for a Mercedes has nothing to do with my paycheck, either.

This appears to be sarcasm, but what if your father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and loves to be generous to his sons? In that case, the desire for a Mercedes would in no way be limited by a paycheck. What sort of father does ashv have, besides the white one?

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I’ll spell it out: You want the results while ignoring the observable preconditions needed. Africa is poor and chaotic because it’s full of Africans. Europe and America are wealthy and peaceful because they’re full of Europeans. This isn’t a moral judgement, the perversion and decadence of white societies is all the more damnable because of their greater ability. Nevertheless, if you want grapes out of your vineyard, plant grapevines.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Racial vainglory in shameless form. Apparently ashv thinks that the blessings of God are only for the white race, with its “greater ability”. I suggest that ashv repent of such foolishness and reconsider that God’s blessings and promises regarding all nations, tribes, tongues and peoples, are not tied to our abilities. Let ashv repent of trying to tell God where He may harvest grapes, and where He may not. We serve the God who can raise up children of Abraham from stones.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I’m not telling God what to do. If God wants to build a peaceful, wealthy society composed entirely of sub-Saharan Africans then hallelujah, let’s be thankful when it happens. That’s no excuse for wilful blindness to the nature of the world we can see today. I didn’t say anything about harvesting. I said if you want grapes, plant grapevines.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv wrote: That’s no excuse for wilful blindness to the nature of the world we can see today. Is Anglo-European wealth somehow a law of nature? Speaking of willful blindness, is ashv referring to the illusion of wealth that we see today, or the reality behind that illusion? Those “wealthy” Anglo-European societies are among the most heavily indebted in the world, even more so than the sub-Saharan African societies. African nations may be poor, but their citizens are also not carrying the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts owed. How does the saying go, “If you want… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

Is Anglo-European wealth a law of nature? Only in the sense that IQ, low impulsivity, etc are heritable. My ancestors were living in daub huts, painting themselves blue, and killing each other with spears when the Romans brought civilisation to them a couple thousand years ago. It took centuries of cultivation to produce Shakespeare, Chaucer, Drake, Priestley, Watt, etc. (And certainly the church played a large part in this — prohibiting cousin marriage was perhaps the single biggest factor.) Could this be done elsewhere? Highly likely. It just takes a very long time. Again, re debt, you choose to ignore… Read more »

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv wrote: That is why (three times now) I have said that pride in wealth is sinful. Sure, says ashv, pride in wealth is sinful, but if you want wealth, you better keep the non-whites out. Well, at least ashv is not proud of his wealth. Perhaps that is why it is called racial vainglory. ashv wrote: You want the results while ignoring the observable preconditions needed. Africa is poor and chaotic because it’s full of Africans. So ashv is saying that his ancestral lands were full of uncivilized Anglos, just like Africa is full of Africans today? But what… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

More selective reading. I’m not going to waste any more time on this except to point out 1) the Roman colonisers of Britain were not Christian and 2) exporting civilisation via the military and missionaries is not the same thing as importing barbarism.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I suggest you repent of false accusations of
vainglory. As I said, the greater ability of European peoples to build
wealthy, productive civilisations is not moral superiority. To take
credit for God’s material blessings would be vainglory, certainly. To
ignore or waste them is sinful as well.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

ashv wrote: I suggest you repent of false accusations of vainglory. As I said, the greater ability of European peoples to build wealthy, productive civilisations is not moral superiority. Scripture addresses this pridefulness head on: Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God … otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied,… and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  katecho

I do not think “our hand has generated our wealth”. I have twice stated that I do not believe that.

It’s easy to win an argument when you ignore what your interlocutor says.

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

If white hands have not generated white wealth, then what does whiteness have to do with it? Ashv wrote:

Europe and America are wealthy and peaceful because they’re full of Europeans.

Looks like race pride to me. “We are wealthy because we are us!” Foolishness.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

Where do Catholics like me fit into your scheme of things? Do we detract from your civilized way of life? Are we less educated? Do we smell bad? Are our manners not quite up to snuff?

katecho
katecho
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Apparently, if you are out to embody the racist slur, you might as well be partisan and sectarian too. It goes with the rest of the show.

steghorn21
steghorn21
5 years ago

Great and inspiring article. I love the line, “firm and cheerful disobedience”. That sums it up perfectly: we are called to resist with strength but not with anger or hatred. The persecutors are girding their loins and we are all going to be reminded that the history of Christians has nearly always been one of persecution, even when society was supposedly “christian”.