From the Mailbag . . .

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Lock Her Up?

There were a cluster of letters on this same theme, which I will try to answer at the end.

Thank you so much for the gift of your writing. One question in regards to your post on “the fragility of order.” I am a conservative first and foremost. I tend to vote republican. Seeing what is going on with the deep state right now and how far they have gone to set up, discredit Trump (not a huge fan) and HRC seems to be heavily involved. Would you prosecute her for things she did before becoming the DNC candidate—i.e. Uranium one, pay for play while SoS? I would I think. If there are not consequences for her actions and other people involved would not that make them try that much harder to destroy people in their path to power? Thanks again for your gift of writing and furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jeff

“My concern is that I do not believe we should allow the ritual of our election cycle to culminate with the losing candidate being hauled off to jail. This would be an incentive for far more corruption, not less. It would encourage the elections to get dirtier, not fairer.” Doug, I think this is a rare instance where you are off on your logic. One of your big first principles is: “Reward what you want more of, punish what you want less of.” If and when Hillary Clinton is prosecuted for any of her many crimes, security negligence in particular, she would be prosecuted because she showed probable cause. She would not be prosecuted because she was an awful, dishonest, sanctimonious candidate. She should be prosecuted and punished because she broke the law. Hillary should be punished because we want less kooky liberalism! As proof of the rightness of prosecuting Hillary Clinton for her criminality alone, I predict that perennial presidential candidates, like your good friend “Vermin Supreme” will never be prosecuted, just because they were more honest political candidates! They would only be prosecuted if they were suspected of a criminal act. Vermin Supreme should be rewarded! We want more kooky liberals like him! ; – ) Especially the part where he wears a big rubber boot on his head!

Jason

Pastor Wilson, please clarify. Prior to this paragraph you advocated for no prosecution/indictment/conviction of Hillary as she was the DNC POTUS candidate and we don’t want to conclude elections with jail time for the loser. In the basketball sans refs analogy, aren’t you making the case that we need rules/laws to be enforced lest we descend into chaos? You’re simultaneously saying that the game needs to have boundaries, enforced by NEUTRAL third parties, but we agree that NEUTRALITY is a myth (see recent theocracy posts). In lieu of neutral refs, should there be no rules to the game, no boundaries of the engagement? If so, what non-neutral actors shall enforce them? Agreeing that tribalism isn’t Godly or positive to society, shall we fear it so greatly that we invite chaos by removing the refs? Is this where we land, that unless there’s a GODLY theocracy, (agreeing that theocracy is inescapable, but the object is variable) we are destined to a sinful corrupt government that is lawless? That the current madness in untenable, and therefore cannot continue indefinitely. Without a well-educated and morally upright citizenry, what stops corrupt governments in other parts of the world throughout history? Are you for the legal ramifications on FBI personnel, Judges and other bad actors who are not candidates in this scheme? I agree that making a routine practice of jailing failed candidates isn’t healthy. If they pass all the proper due process methods to have their liberty removed from them, I would advocate for incarceration, as is the proper function of civil government. How do we advocate for civil government, however partisan, to abdicate their role in bearing the sword, simply because this person was a candidate, or worked on the campaign? . . . I’m not advocating tribalism as an answer. There need to be checks on government power. There need to be safeguards benefiting the citizens. Advocating for the silence of refs, as you desire prior to the basketball analogy, will only increase the tendency toward the tribalism we reject. Lost faith in the system can happen on either side of the (mythical) aisle. If the ethical behavior by one party begets unethical responses by the counter-party, shall we advocate the ethical actors stand down?

“Does anyone actually believe that in our postmodern times, when truth is defined as whatever has that truthy feel, the reverse would not happen the next time around? The dishonest candidate, seeing what happened to the last dishonest candidate, pulls out all the stops, and wins the election by hook and by crook and by lots of dead people voting. When the election is over, and it comes time for the honest candidate to be hauled off to jail, the partisans of the dishonest candidate jeer at all the protests. ‘Sauce for the goose! Don’t like it now, do you? Ya!’ Matters like guilt and innocence, and trials, and evidence, seem like bizarre concepts to them. When people lose faith in the system, they do not lose their faith. Their faith simply transfers to their faction, to their tribe. And when one faction is bound in the same civil order to another faction, with both factions inflamed to the same degree, then that civil order is fragile. It is hard for me to evade the fact that this is what has happened, and is happening, to us.”

Ron

“My concern is that I do not believe we should allow the ritual of our election cycle to culminate with the losing candidate being hauled off to jail.” The problem facing Trump is that the losing candidate (and party) have not accepted their loss. They are actively engaging, through the bogus Russian collusion narrative, in an attempt to take him out—the “secret society,” “insurance policy” and “OUR task” referred to by Page and Strzok. He can’t let Hillary fade quietly into the sunset because she has no interest in going. He can’t allow Obama the usual ex-Presidential privilege because Obama’s bishops are still on the chess board, coming after him. What would you do if you were the Donald?

Ginny

Good post, Doug, but I can’t see how prosecuting Hillary for crimes committed outside of the election process could ever be a wrong move. “Whoever says to the wicked, ‘You are in the right,’ will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,” after all. Civil order is indeed fragile, but the fact that the Right holds back when it might have gone for the gusto will cut no ice with the Left when their turn in power comes. We are not dealing with individuals, who might be reasoned with, but with a mob.

Tom

There are many federal judges who should be in jail. The judicial system and judges are not above the law.

Melody

All, I do agree that no one is above the law, and that you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you penalize. And I agree that no one is “too big to jail.” The difficulty lies in what will necessarily happen if our judicial processes are thrown into the middle of a high-order political scrum. I want our elected officials to not be corrupt, and that means accountability when they break the law. Agreed. But I care more about our entire process not being corrupted, and the politicalizataion of the judiciary would be one such corruption that I don’t want to see. What I had in mind was something that would forever disgrace a corrupt official like Hillary (removing her as a threat), but which would not threaten her with jail (protecting the system from the banana republic stuff). Combine a special counsel with a promise of a pardon if indicted so that she can retire in disgrace. But with all that said, Ginny makes a strong point when she notes that Hillary and her allies are not playing the “retire quietly” game. Under such circumstances, I do believe it is the responsibility of the refs to call fouls as long as someone is on the court.

Embedded Worldliness

Pastor Wilson, Good evening to you. As a father trying to shepherd my family faithfully under the authority of our great Shepherd, I have found your writings to be very helpful and encouraging (Future Men has been the most helpful to date). With that in mind, I have lately been considering how much thought I should be putting into where my food, clothes, and technology come from. From what I understand, we have freedom to exercise our God-given conscience in these matters—but if we are told explicitly that this food, shirt, or phone is made in honor of an idol then we are to reject it. With that in mind, I found myself wondering if my owning an iPhone is one of those gross inconsistencies in my own life. Apple is a company that has not shied away from its support of gay marriage-yet almost every believer I know owns an iPhone along with several other Apple products (myself included). A few days after thinking through this, I came across the following paragraphs in your post titled “On Taunting the Cows”:

“Full disclosure: I do own an iPhone myself, but I have managed to do this without being one of the cool kids. The issue is not the thing, but rather our approach to the thing. Same as with food. Our temptation is to objectify the problem, trying to locate sin in the stuff—in the tobacco, in the alcohol, in the gun, in the donut— instead of where sin is actually located, which is right under the breastbone. On matters of gross injustice in the production of my dinner, I quite agree with the principle. In other words, if I knew a restaurant in town with the best-tasting steak got those fantastic results by flogging its cooks out back, cheating its wholesalers, double-crossing the waitresses on the tips, and sending representatives out to the stockyards every month to taunt the cows, I would not patronize that restaurant. I don’t want to bless known scoundrels with my business. So the principle is fine.”

I understand the first paragraph—the phone in itself is part of the earth which is the Lord’s “and the fullness thereof.” My question comes from the illustration given in the next paragraph—how are we not “patronizing scoundrels with our business” when we gladly (and too often in my case) make use of our iPhones? Thank you for your time.

Robert

Robert, I believe we are to reject the meat if we are told that it was offered to idols by someone who was recently delivered from idol-worship, and who is in live danger of being sucked back into that worship because he sees “strong Christians” partaking. Under those circumstances, I abandon my steak rather than cause a brother to stumble. But I have no obligation to forswear something simply because sin was involved in its production somewhere upstream. If that were the case, then Paul’s observation on another subject holds good—we would have to leave the world to do that.

If I give up some manufactured good because of how I read that its production was unrighteous, I am running a greater risk of participating in unrighteous anti-capitalist propaganda than I am likely to free myself through giving it up. Possible complicity lies in every direction.

Church and Kingdom

Re: “The church is therefore at the center of the kingdom, but the church and the kingdom are still very different.” [from State of the Church #7.] This goes way off in the weeds, but I’ll give it a try: Adam is designated God’s regent (not king) on earth, which is the kingdom of God, with the task of preparing the kingdom for its habitation of God with man. He rebels and loses his job. In the process, Satan establishes his kingdom on earth. The angels, including Satan, become intermediaries between God and man, since man (now a little lower than the angels—Psalm 8:5) can no longer stand before God. God uses good and fallen angels in some ways to replace the lost functionality of man as regent, not really reigning (Satan?) but somehow directing. Christ comes. In the process of living obediently, dying, and being resurrected, He defeats and deposes Satan, destroys his kingdom, and establishes His kingdom, the kingdom of heaven (or God), which was at hand (Matt 4:17) and which covers the earth (Matt 13:38). After a period of transition, lasting until A.D. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the new order of Christ’s kingdom (of heaven) is fully in place, with Christ reigning from the right hand of God and governing through the Holy Spirit (not so much the angels anymore). In this kingdom reside two types of subject, the loyal sons of the kingdom (sowed by the Son of Man) and the disloyal sons of the evil one (sowed by the devil) (Matt: 13:38-9). Satan may still be sowing, but is no longer (faux) reigning. The Son of Man’s servants (believers in the church), anxious to eliminate the troublesome weeds (the sons of the evil one), want to pull them up now. But though we are now (in Christ) higher than the angels, that is not our job. Instead, we are to wait patiently continuing our preparatory kingdom work until the full harvest is gathered in, at which time the angels will gather out the lawbreakers (weeping, gnashing of teeth, etc.). Thus, the kingdom parables aren’t saying the kingdom of heaven is the church with the sons of the evil one being members of the visible church but not the invisible church. Instead, the kingdom of heaven is the entire earth and both the sons of the kingdom and the sons of the evil one are its subjects and either might be inside or outside the visible church at any particular moment, notwithstanding their eventual destination. Is this even close?

Bill

Bill, way to go.

Pray for a Hudson River Landing

The Fragility of Civil Order. Doug, I concur that this is going to stop, though I believe our wings are already falling off and we wondering aimlessly at 30, 000 feet. Justice was long ago cast off in the streets of humanist America, but thank God our Sovereign Lord is the Chief Justice over all. May He be merciful and bring us in for a survivable crash landing from which we can rebuild a Christian culture.

Thomas

Thomas, amen.

“Say you have a bunch of people in a pick-up basketball game, the kind with no refs. If one team takes the continued existence of the game for granted, and then prioritizes winning over everything else, and consequently throw all the elbows they want, the thing they are not taking into account is the prospect of the basketball game turning into something else entirely—a melee or a fistfight.”

RE: The Fragility of Civil Order. While agreeing with your main point, isn’t it also prudent to lay up guns and ammo in addition to praying?

Dave

Dave, well, I have some. As Oliver Cromwell once told his troops during his campaign in Ireland, as they were about to cross a river: “trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry.”

Your article dovetails quite well with this essay I recently read: This way of thinking is critically important in our time. I applaud it wherever I see it and try to spread it around as much as possible. Thanks for doing the same.

Ben

Ben, thanks.

The Fragility of Civil Order This is a great reminder. And a prayer for this type of peace should be coupled to a prayer for a wide repentance and revival across the country. I think the two go hand-in-hand. I doubt we can have the peace without the repentance, and it’s only our flesh that would want it. So throw in personal repentance as well. Hand-in-hand-in-hand?

Nathan

Nathan, yes, all of it together. I do not believe that any political solution is to be had apart from a massive reformation and revival within the church.

Nuts and Bolts Theonomy

A further clarification on my question about the practical working-out of a case law theonomic system . . . You answered my question, though, I guess what I really meant to ask is how punishment for crime works in a case law system? I’ll use Deut. 22:23-24 for an example. So in a case law system, a man has sex with an engaged virgin in New York City. Do the proper authorities take them out to the country and stone them? I am curious because this is a specific form of capital punishment. It’s not just “put them to death” it’s specifically “take them out and stone them.” How does a case law system work in this instance? I apologize if I’m being annoying or if it seems like I’m attacking your position. I’m genuinely curious. Because, while I actually agree with the theonomic position in theory, I’m not that clear on how it practically works out. Thank you. In Christ,

Avery

Avery, this is obviously a huge subject, and so I will try to do justice to it within these space limitations. While I take issue with some his reasoning, I do agree with Joel McDurmon’s general take on cherem penalties like stoning, which were connected to protecting and preserving the holy land and the holy seed prior to the coming of the Messiah. For more on this, see his book The Bounds of Love.

Ironically, when the Messiah did come, His arrival was under just this very cloud—had the seed been polluted? But because they were under Roman law, not the Mosaic law, Joseph had to make do with what he had. “And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly” (Matt. 1:19, ESV). Thus we see that under changed circumstances, it was legitimate to honor the principle while adapting the method—in this case with divorce as a substitute for execution. Notice also that Joseph’s unwillingness to shame her, his mercy, is described as an aspect of his justice.

With regard to your specific question, I don’t believe that a betrothed woman in ancient Israel and an engaged woman are in strictly comparable circumstances. That is a situation where (in an ideal biblical republic) you would have to do some case law reasoning, mutatis mutandis.

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ashv
ashv
3 years ago

The crucial question is whether there are judges that could be trusted to uphold justice, who could be known to be free from blackmail threats or other such leverage, and also be presented to the public as such. In other words, it’s not clear how much of a banana republic the system really is at this point. How come it took a Trump to start revealing all the human trafficking and sexual abuse going on in Hollywood, the media, and Washington? Could it be that he was the first in a long time to gain power without being compromised in… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Ashv, the assumption that Trump is not personally compromised when it comes to sexual abuse is not one I am willing to make. Couldn’t it work equally the other way–that some women were appalled enough that Trump’s sexual history did not disqualify him from office that they were no longer willing to be silent about their own experience with abuse in the workplace? I think it is a tenuous connection.

ashv
ashv
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Trump certainly has a history of being a womanizer and is hardly the model of marital fidelity. But he hasn’t been, for example, involved in child sex slavery. http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2018/02/11/ky-judge-gets-20-years-prison-human-trafficking/

We haven’t seen the last of these kinds of arrests.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

A truly ghastly story. I was struck by his lawyer’s comment: “Mr. Nolan has been a public servant to the people of Campbell County for a majority of his life, and at some point there has to be a redemption for those who committed offenses but has to be balanced by what they have given,” Grubbs concluded.

There was a time when his having been a judge would be seen as an aggravating factor, not as something argued in mitigation.

Ginny
Ginny
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

There are stories like this almost every day but the MSM isn’t covering it. LOTS of trafficking arrests over the last year.
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/02/14/plot-rape-dissolve-girls-acid-court/
God have mercy on us.

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

We never have that choice. Our only choice is to obey the triune God by worshiping Him with our lives, or not. When our cultural priority is anything else, we bring about default on all the blessings, including the country, constitution and institutions.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

There must be a Shapiro joke for this occasion. There simply must.

Jane
Jane
3 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Well that certainly removes some background noise from the comment section.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago

“Say you have a bunch of people in a pick-up basketball game, the kind with no refs. If one team takes the continued existence of the game for granted, and then prioritizes winning over everything else, and consequently throw all the elbows they want, the thing they are not taking into account is the prospect of the basketball game turning into something else entirely—a melee or a fistfight.” Or worse yet (in my opinion), an official basketball game with referees who pick which rules to apply and choose when to apply them. It amuses me to watch the reaction of… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

You seem to think this is a problem, but I think this is a benefit of democracy. Yes people don’t always want what is right, but in a democracy it is and should be the people who deside what is right. The people decide that same sex marriage is okay, then it is not the law makers job to make a moral argument but to do what the people want. Similarly with other things, for instance right now in the middle East, women are protesting burkas, and possibly it will get the rules change in the same way. The moral… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Malik, ‘You seem to think this is a problem, but I think this is a benefit of democracy.    […] Therefore culture is the starting point for moral change, and to stop the “madness.”. I heard an interesting piece by Andrew klavin, he said that while the church was arguing against post modern art and rap they lost the culture war, and without the morals of the country. And I think that’s an interesting idea, that the church did a bad job being engaged with the culture, and in the sphere of culture as a whole and this is why the… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

“The culture war, such as it was, was the process of moving further away from God’s standard. The battles were humans choosing their own way rather than God’s way. ” This is I think, respectfully, an oversimplification that tends to benefit the church more than it ought. Not every “culture war” is about sexuality or drug use. Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean practically all the time, some parts of church culture (not to be confused with Christian culture, in this instance) decide to go after something completely benign for no rational Biblical reason whatsoever, and they alienate everyone who… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Yeah I totally agree. The church in many ways made itself the unpopular kid at the party. They can stay, but their criticisms are completely irrelevant. And I also agree that part of the reason for that was attacking genres of music, Pokemon, etc. It’s kind of pointless, and it makes truly important criticisms completely ignored. No one is going to listen to that annoying person who says all rap is awful when they criticize life choices.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, I probably shouldn’t even have gone into the question of “culture war”. How do you even define such a thing? I’m inclined to think it’s a loosely defined entity used as an attempt to describe disagreements (or battles) between conservative and progressive groups over some “cultural” issue. I will amend my previous statement to this: “Many of the battles were the result of humans choosing their own way rather than God’s way.” I am disappointed that you seem to equate “the church” with “some parts of church culture”, because that is what I expect of non-Christians. I would suppose… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

” While they claim to be Christian and are presented as such by the media, allowing those who desire it an opportunity to knock the true church, I think that you recognize the difference.” I was interpreting you the way I would expect the average person to be using the language. On this point of clarification, I don’t think we have a true disagreement. Creating a division between “people who attend church and use the name Christian” and “People with a genuine Christian motive” is difficult to do in a concise and conversationally practical way. I would point that I… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKR, do you think it is possible that differences of opinions on trifling issues were sometimes given so much weight that they became proxy battles in the culture wars? That once we decided there were specifically Christian ways of teaching reading or feeding babies, we sometimes went to war defending them, confusing them with genuine cultural issues? I have been in churches where phonics and scheduled feeding were seen as “God’s way”. There are things we have no choice about, but I can kind of see Justin’s point here. Too many trivial issues were turned into cultural battles Christians thought… Read more »

ashv
ashv
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

My usual starting point for that discussion is asking whether there’s a Scriptural case to be made against criminal penalties for blasphemy.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Perhaps that our Lord was brought before the Sanhedrin on trumped up charges of blasphemy is a reminder to us how such laws are often used unjustly. I was glancing through the now outdated blasphemy laws in Britain and the justification for them. Strangely, they related mostly to good order. Speaking disrespectfully about God, Jesus, the Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer were seen as an attack on the authority of the state. Further, they offended the pious and potentially corrupted the simple-minded. Prosecutions were rare but they tended to be brought against, not lunatics shouting abuse in the… Read more »

ashv
ashv
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Abusus non tollit usum.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

True, but a history of the use of blasphemy laws shows that they have little to do with defending God and much to do with upholding the ruling regime and the status quo. It’s important to make that distinction. Blasphemy laws tend to make martyrs out of quite dreadful people who write horrible and unreadable novels. I don’t much like people who gratuitously and noisily insult religious belief. with which they disagree. But surely the answer is social pressure, not the full force of the state.

ashv
ashv
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Also, I would certainly trade what we have now for a Catholic monarchy in a heartbeat, laws against lese-majestie, insulting the Pope and the Blessed Virgin, and all the rest of it. It’d be better in every way.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I couldn’t do it. I would insult the Pope straightaway out of principle, and at present I have no desire whatever to say anything about the old socialist.

ashv
ashv
3 years ago

I already live in a society that would render me unemployable if I insulted a man for pretending to be a woman. I’m not William Bloat, keeping my opinion of the Pope to myself isn’t that hard to do. And it’d be much better to have a few people exempt from public criticism rather than an ever-expanding collection of them.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

You know better than to try to get me to defend the secular utopia we have today.

I just think that there is still enough Protestant influence from corners of the world like this one to push back. Perhaps my postmillenialism is showing.

ashv
ashv
3 years ago

I’m less enthusiastic about the Reformation than I used to be, given how instrumental it was to ushering in our secular utopia. But Luther really was right about some things and the Pope really was wrong.

I guess I’d rip off a proverb and say “Better a repressive sectarian government with peace and order than ‘religious freedom’ with strife and chaos”. That’s all.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I am still waiting for the good reverend to biblically defend religious freedom. So, no, I won’t defend that either.

Neutrality is a myth in the religious sphere, which is why I have made it my life’s goal, at least recently, to get people in my church to stop defending religious freedom. We are slaves, not free autonomous being.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago

Some interesting things here to engage with. I’ll tackle in order of my intrigue, rather than as you stated them. ” We are slaves, not free autonomous being.” I would suggest that any practical reading of the Bible would suggest the opposite. God goes out of his way to establish that we aren’t slaves. A slave has no choice whether to obey or not. We have complete choice whether or not to obey, we just really should. If He wanted slaves, he’s certainly going about it in a strange way, creating creatures with free choice, and then freely allowing them… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, “I would suggest that any practical reading of the Bible would suggest the opposite. God goes out of his way to establish that we aren’t slaves. A slave has no choice whether to obey or not.” Perhaps this argument about Christians being slaves is a matter of definition, particularly related to the issue of voluntary subjection. Strong’s Definitions, for G1401 δοῦλος (doulos), states “δοῦλος doûlos, doo’-los; from G1210; a slave (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary; frequently, therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency):—bond(-man), servant.”. This word is used often in the New Testament with many authors… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

I wouldn’t necessarily argue with that. Though within the context of Kilgore’s post, isn’t “involuntary” rather relevant? We’re talking about religious freedom as it exists as a legal construct. Certainly something you’re compelled to do by external forces is no longer “voluntary”, but “mandatory”. Though there’s a reason I was asking for more clear definitions from him. Depending on what he means by a variety of these statements, and how precisely he envisions a lack of religious freedom, I may agree with him.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin,

I am not certain of Kilgore’s intent. I just replied to his comment, too.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago

Kilgore,

I think it is true to say that we are to be voluntary  slaves of Christ.

Please see my comment 215889 in reply to Justin.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago

Kilgore, I will defend your right to insult the pope. Not quite to the death because i am not very brave, but I would march in a quiet procession down Main Street.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I refuse to like Catholics, simply out of principle, but you test me in this regard. :)

I do my best to ignore the Pope in almost all cases. I tend to get too angry if I ponder on it too long. But this guy is something else. Do you like him? Or would you be more on the side of the conservatives Catholics who are simply tolerating him till he dies?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago

I started off liking this pope very much; I liked his humility, his simple lifestyle, and his warmth and tenderness. He did bring people back to the church, and at the beginning he felt like a breath of fresh air. I also hoped he could rein in the Vatican establishment. There are still things I like about him, but he has been on the whole more divisive than unifying. Some of this was not his fault in the beginning. He has media coverage that feeds off his tendency to speak his personal opinions, not realizing that when non-Catholics hear his… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

I think you completely misread my comment. It is a positive that the majority defines what is legal. Of course moral standards never change. I think that was clear.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

It is a positive that the majority defines what is legal. Of course moral standards never change.

This might be the dumbest statement I have ever read. You need to take a week away from the keyboard for this silliness, and spend some time doing some actual thinking.

Malik
Malik
3 years ago

Wow, you really logically destroyed me there sir. ????????????. Look, if you have something against the argument say it. If you have no response, don’t respond. It may be the dumbest thing to you, but excuse me if you thinking something is dumb means absolutely nothing to me. Give me an actual reason, or some semblance of an argument. It seems that your “actual thinking” is going with your gut with no arguments, and for everyone else that means coming to the same conclusion as the all wise gut of Kilgore.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

I wasn’t trying to logically destroy you. The statement is logically nonsensical. If moral standards never change, it simply is not a positive to give the majority authority to make law. Why do you think moral standards never change? Because the majority opinion that you have given authority to define what is legal never changes? No, you say? Oh, then on what grounds do you think it is positive to give this finicky, depraved mob control over how our police manage our behavior? If you point to the Bible as the authority, you will find nothing in it about 50%… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago

If you suppress what people want you become athoritarian. So you have to legally enforce what the people want, and unfortunately because the people don’t agree our standard is what the majority want. Moral standards never change, God has set them. But no one person knows the will of God perfectly, we have no one to make all of the laws perfectly how God wants them. Furthermore we are not a majority Christian nation, Christians cannot make their religion law, nor can anyone else. And even if we had a Godly leader even half the Christians would disagree with what… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

But no one person knows the will of God perfectly

This type of Scriptural agnosticism is silly. You say that moral standards never change, but that sounds a lot like you know the will of God.

There is just no way to make the absolute morals into a good set of laws.

Really? God didn’t do it for us in Scripture? The problem I have with your position is that you elevate democracy above Scripture. Plain and simple.

Malik
Malik
3 years ago

I dont understand your argument? Are you saying that God’s will does change? I’m not pretending to know his will, I am only saying that it is eternal and unchanging. This is my personal belief and one held by most churches, however I would not go so far as to say it is universally accepted. I am not trying to make a law saying that people have to believe that God’s law and morality never changes. To your second point, not everyone believes God’s word, so you can’t make it a law. Sure, in an all Christian nation something may… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Malik,

“Furthermore we are not a majority Christian nation, Christians cannot make their religion law, nor can anyone else.”

I don’t know what you mean by “majority Christian nation”, but Gallup in 2015 said 75% of Americans identify as Christian. I think that qualifies as a majority.

If the US was a full democracy, then any religious group with a majority could make the law according to their religion. Since you believe that “It is a positive that the majority defines what is legal”, you should have no qualms about that possibility.

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

Hmm, I didn’t know that. I’m sure the true church is much smaller but okay, fair point. This does mean then that I’m far from alone in thinking that gay marriage is okay as a Christian. I don’t think we should turn into a Leviticus style government, but people can certainly vote with their conscience, And if 70 percent of people agree with you then we should be a Bible banging culture in no time. The thing is that I think there are so many beliefs that fall under Christian maybe. The majority of people agree with same sex marriage… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Malik,

No doubt “Christian” includes a broad spectrum of beliefs and level of belief. A great number of them would be what some call “churchian”. That is, they claim the name but it’s more of a game.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

” I’m sure the true church is much smaller”

How do you define “true church”? Obviously it has nothing to do with taking the Bible seriously on issues like homosexuality.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

JP, I presume that comment is intended for Malik, not me.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKR: Yes.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Malik, What you believe was clear, and I disagree that I completely misread your comment. I provided reason(s) that I consider the majority determining legal behavior to be a negative. Moral standards at every human level can and often do change. For example, I think the general US population would have roundly denounced homosexual activity 25 years or so ago, but today homosexual marriage is tolerated by the majority. In contrast, the moral standards provided for us by God do not change. By the way, does your device of choice for commenting lack a spell checker? Or do you consider… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

Okay, that’s fair. I think that allowing homosexual marriage was a positive. And it sounds like we just agree to disagree on the main point. It does have spell check, but unfortunately it often tries to correct it to Spanish or French. I’m dyslexic so often my English is closer to the French word anyway????. And I also don’t find it that important, you understand what I’m typing. And spare me the spelling is important speech, I’ve gotten it all my life, and I know it is, but I’d rather focus on learning other things. English has never been my… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Malik,

“And I also don’t find it that important, you understand what I’m typing.”

Whether you like it or not, spelling and grammar do influence how well people understand the written word. I do sometimes find it hard to understand what you intend. I doubt I am alone. If that qualifies as “the spelling is important speech”, I do not apologize. It is the truth. You need to know it, even if you choose to avoid improvement in that area.

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

Yup, I should work on it.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Dyslexia is a burden,and it must make English class a daily hell. Are spell checkers actually useful to you, or do you find yourself confronted with choices where you can’t tell which is right? Are there software programs designed to help dyslexics navigate our very difficult spelling system?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

“but in a democracy it is and should be the people who deside what is right.” In a democracy (which, rather noteworthy, the United States isn’t), the people don’t decide what’s right. They decide what’s legal. That’s not remotely the same thing. It was legal to own slaves. That didn’t make it right, and majority opinion changing isn’t what made it wrong. “The people decide that same sex marriage is okay, then it is not the law makers job to make a moral argument but to do what the people want. ” Within the confines of their legal authority. On… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I live in a state where many laws are determined by propositions. Some of these are trivial (paper vs plastic), some are very serious (shall we add postal employees to the list of people whom it is a death-worthy offense to kill?) What I have noticed is that many of them require knowledge and experience there is no reason to expect the average voter to possess. I do not know how mandating increased cage sizes for chickens will affect consumer prices. That is why I thought we had a department of agriculture. I don’t know if porn actors being made… Read more »

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

” That is why I thought we had a department of agriculture.”

Unfortunately leaving decisions to bureaucrats is even worse than letting the uninformed public decide. The Deptartments of Education and Energy are great examples of this. They issue stifling, often arbitrary regulations, and can be influenced by lobbyists (revolving door). But I certainly don’t agree with “solve every issue with an instant vote by the public” either.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

Yes, there are a lot of bureaucrats who are not very trustworthy. But the problem with the masses in a state like California designing the abodes of our fine-feathered friends is that , if the people I talk to are anything to go by, they see no relationship between building Chicken Utopia and the ultimate cost of the product. Heaven knows I care that chickens be treated as well as possible under the circumstances. But it seems obvious to even the most dim-witted that if you double the number of coops a farmer requires, you might also be doubling the… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

That’s what I said. You and ok need to read more carefully. I said that the majority changes what is legal, and that power can be used for good or bad. And no it isn’t a democracy, a democratic Republic, we get it. And yeah it makes sence you would be anti federalist, I happen to lean federalist, but I see your view. Yes people choose what they want, but the church could still be relivent in culture if it had done things different. Instead they became the complaining weird uncle in culture. No one cares what the weird uncle… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Perhaps you’re the one who should be reading (and writing) more carefully.

” I said that the majority changes what is legal,”

Actual quote:

” but in a democracy it is and should be the people who deside what is right.”

We were responding to what you actually said.

“And no it isn’t a democracy, a democratic Republic, we get it.”

No, it’s a constitutional republic. There’s no “democratic” about it.

” it makes sence you would be anti federalist”

I’m not an anti-federalist. What did I say that gave you that idea?

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

For the democracy, which is legality. Yes I wrote it poorly, your smart, the whole thing was discussing state and legality, I’m sure if you wanted to you would have figured it out. And everyone argues about this, and it’s dumb. Voting is democratic, therefore there is something democratic about it. A constitutional Republic can be also a democratic Republic, they are far from mutually exclusive. Democratic Republic means a government with a mix of democratic and Republic systems. Given we elect the leaders and vote on tons of propositions especially on the local level there is a democratic aspect.… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

” Democratic Republic means a government with a mix of democratic and Republic systems. ” Which we don’t have. ” Given we elect the leaders” This doesn’t make it a Democracy. “Democracy” doesn’t mean “voting”. “vote on tons of propositions especially on the local level ” Not especially on the local level, exclusively on the local level. We were talking about the United States’ government, not the government of Nevada. A state has the leeway to employ numerous Democratic modes of government. “Satisfied over your argument over one of the most inconsiquential things possible?” Why are you irritated? I’m not… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

For those who might be interested, here is a little lesson on how to use html tags to help with readability: Note: The   /   in the “ending tag” is critically important. Italics: <i>Test text</i> results in:    Test text Bold: <b>Test text</b>    results in:    Test text Bold Italics: <b><i>Test text</i></b>    results in:    Test text Hyperlink: <a href=”https://dougwils.com/”>test hyperlink</a>    results in:   test hyperlink Strikethrough: <del>strikethrough</del>    results in:    strikethrough New paragraph (with a blank line preceding it): Line 1 <p>Line 2     results in: Line 1 Line 2 Non-breaking space: <TEST&nbsp&semi;&nbsp&semi;&nbsp&semi;&nbsp&semi;TEXT> results in:    TEST    TEXT   rather than   TEST TEXT Note: You can practice using these online… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

For the an ancients, democracy meant direkt democracy, and any representive system was not a democracy but a republic or oligarchy or something. Today, wha people mean by democracy is representive democracy. If the US is not a democracy, the same is true of all western democracies: none is a democracy by the classical defention. It is mainly a matter of terms. Present day USA is a democracy as the word is used today.

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Another point is that in my expirience the church in general and especially many very conservative Christians have done a fairly terrible job understanding people. The exceptions stand out very starkly, Jill I would say is one. The head of my highschool was another. But as a generalization, the church understands people poorly in my expirience.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Malik, would you feel the same way if a democracy was freely choosing laws you found abominable? If the imaginary U.S. state of Leviticusland held democratic elections in which the citizens voted to execute gays, adulterers, and women who have abortions, would you still be saying it is the lawmaker’s job to do what the people want? Or would you be calling for the federal courts to intervene and block the laws? I am wondering if part of your support for this idea comes from the fact that, so far, the will of the voter has been to liberalize our… Read more »

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Unfortunately I would have to say that while it is awful it is still the job of the government to do what the people want. In your example everyone would have vast moral blood on their hands, but still, a small group of lawmakers should not impose their will, right or wrong, in my opinion. Of course I also think in that situation they should resign, given that you should not support something contrary to your conscience.

Jane
Jane
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

I missed the democratic process whereby same sex mirage and legal abortion became the law of the land.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane

The Supreme Court is its own little mini-democracy that represents us all…or something like that.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

I see no reason to think it will stop. Even evangelical millennials are squishy on gay marriage and abortion compared with their elders. Lay Catholics of all ages do not listen to the hierarchy on contraception, abortion, fornication, divorce, and gay rights. According to a poll I just read, one out of two millennial women has used emergency contraception. I think the current scandals will lead to tougher laws being developed to attempt to curb sexual abuse in the workplace, but after a while, things will go back to normal. California will attempt to enforce its “four pot plants per… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I think that what will happen is that conservative states will try as much as the courts will let them to legislate according to the values of their constituents. “As much as the courts will let them”? By what authority? Jilly, we’ve had this discussion before. Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution: The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. If Congress can ordain and establish lower federal courts, then they can certainly abolish them.… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago

Go easy on me, FP, remembering that I am a newcomer to the US Constitution! I was describing what I have seen–that the states enact legislation which the Supreme Court strikes down in whole or in part. Are you saying that the right of judicial review which emerged from Marbury v Madison was not the framers’ original intention? When, in your opinion, would it be valid for SCOTUS to exercise such review?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

The Supreme Court only has the authority to strike down the legislation of a state insofar as that legislation contradicts the constitution. If, for example, a state legislature or in fact the federal legislature passed a law which established an official religion of the state, SCOTUS would have the authority to knock it down. Outside of the Constitution, the only legal document who’s authority supercedes Congress, the SCOTUS’ only actual power by design is in accurately interpreting the laws that Congress makes. That SCOTUS has literally no power outside of enforcing the constitution is why the interpretation of the constitution… Read more »

Nathan James
3 years ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I’ll point out that the constitution-as-written doesn’t forbid individual states to establish religion. The bill of rights only prohibited congress from legislating on the matter.

But lest I mislead anyone, mainstream legal opinion applies the first amendment’s ban to states and municipalities as well as to congress. Which is to say, many people disagree with my first paragraph. They just do so in contradiction of the text and history of the constitution.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 years ago
Reply to  Nathan James

“I’ll point out that the constitution-as-written doesn’t forbid individual states to establish religion. The bill of rights only prohibited congress from legislating on the matter.”

You’re right and I knew this. I misspoke.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 years ago
Reply to  Nathan James

This is more complicated because of the 14th amendment part of which states “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” This doesn’t directly speak to the establishment of a state church but jurisprudence has held that establishing and funding a state church deprived citizens of that state from a true free exercise of religion. A… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

And we know that state churches and religious texts were viewed with disfavor by some of the most illustrious founding fathers. “It is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit; for remedy whereof, and that equal liberty as well religious as civil, may be universally extended to all the good people of this commonwealth.” ~Founding Father George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776 And: “We should begin by… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Are you saying that the right of judicial review which emerged from Marbury v Madison was not the framers’ original intention? Jilly, going into the framers’ original intentions regarding judicial review would require a book-length treatment, as they all had varying opinions, but it is safe to say that none of the Founding Fathers envisioned the degree of judicial review to which the Supreme Court currently engages. Thomas Jefferson explicitly warned against judicial review: “The question whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law has been heretofore a subject of consideration with… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago

Thank you, FP, I knew very little of that. If I am understanding you rightly, then SCOTUS has no power of judicial review over either states’ laws or over laws passed by Congress. This leaves me wondering what the founders intended SCOTUS’ role to be. Would it have been to referee disputes between states? Can you recommend a commentary that lays all this out? If so, I will diligently read it! Considering SCOTUS as a check on the executive branch, was it a proper use of power when Nixon was ordered to hand over the tapes (showing my age here)?… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago

It is a tragic thing for a Catholic when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day. I am sorry to say that after a struggle of only seconds the box of Godiva chocolates won.