Let’s put it plainly – the OWS protests are nothing like the Tea Party events. Despite the possibility of valid grievances, their “tear down the system” socialist radicalism is anything but constructive.
It’s hard to pin them down on any one issue, not because of their sophomoric egalitarian approach to decision making, but because every liberal frustrated at losing the public arguments in the political arena is now joining in and acting out like juveniles in a gleeful rebellion against authority. Yeah, we all did that in college, then we grew up – well, some of us.
What’s even more shameful is the main stream media’s support for this foolishness, as well as the Administration’s. Pathetic.
Let’s catalog just a few of the less than fringe occupations at the occupations, as nicely discussed in IBD’s editorial ‘Occupy’ Protests Dump On America:
- Terrible Messes
Good luck with that.
I was watching Truths that Transform this week, and during the social action part of the program, his organization and a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America talked about the threat to free speech that hate crimes and hate speech laws pose, especially to churches that want to preach about the immorality of homosexuality. Below, I present their argument, which I mostly agree with, with the caveats I mention.
But here’s the executive summary: Hate crimes laws are redundant with existing laws that cover those same crimes, can demand punishments out of proportion with the crime, and are Trojan horses for ushering in hate speech laws which threaten the free speech of opponents, usually to liberal social policy, by erroneously equating disagreement and moral criticism with hate.
Having grown weary of being called hateful for every conservative stance I take, I suddenly realized that liberals call their opposition on almost every issue “hateful.” It’s an epidemic! And WHY do they do this? I surmise that two things are going on – one, it is easier to make ad hominem attacks than make logical counter arguments, but secondly, and more importantly, they are victims of The New Tolerance, which mistakes every moral judgment for hate.
One interesting example that author gives of liberal inconsistency in this matter is the infamous Piss Christ painting. Paint Christ in a jar of piss, and leftists call that free speech. But paint a homosexual in a jar of piss? Unthinkable. Offensive. And you know what? It probably is. But only the OPPONENTS of the left are hateful in almost every stance.
There are a mix of noble and ignoble reasons why conservatives oppose the global warming initiatives. Of course, the ignoble one is that many are more concerned for short term economic prosperity and holding on to power and the status quo than long term environmental safety. However, there are the more ‘noble’ reasons why conservatives oppose the modern panic over global warming:
- Unsubstantiated Claims of Certainty: Conservatives [believe they] can smell pseudoscience and unsubstantiated claims built on faulty assumptions a mile away. The same overreaching overconfidence that we see in the evolutionist camp plagues the environmentalists. No matter how much they protest that their science is definitive, it is clearly incomplete. They just haven’t made their case well enough even if they are right. They appear to be jumping the gun for ideological, rather than scientific reasons.
One of the points at which I disgree with my fellow conservatives is on the "point of personhood" of an embryo. While the standard evangelical and Catholic point of view is that the embryo is a person with rights beginning at fertilization, I think we should legally define it at some later point, perhaps around 4-6 weeks into gestation. At that point, the fetus has a heartbeat and brainwaves, and should logically be protected by law.
As I have been reading some of Wm. Gallston’s works, I found an interesting 2004 essay he wrote entitled RELIGIOUS PLURALISM AND THE LIMITS OF PUBLIC REASON. One of the things that he discusses is that Jewish tradition doesn’t give the fetus personhood until 40 days. I feel vindicated.
The more I ready about incidents like that of the Nigerian teacher whose home was burned to the ground for disciplining a Muslim student, or any of the other ways that "radical" Islam is trying to intimidate the free world, the more I keep asking myself, what would I do if they were coming for me?
I’ll tell you what I would not do – I would not let myself be slaughtered like a sheep. I keep thinking of the movie The Mission, where Jeremy Irons and Robert Deniro play two Jesuits who have to choose to fight or passively resist – tough choice – it shows the value of both positions (and I think both are valuable and "right.")
Many pundits are now using the term “angry left” to describe the liberal analog of the “angry right.” Sites like When Angry Democrats Attack are springing up to document acts of vandalism and rage from the left, and many are saying that the angry left is hurting the Democratic party.
But I think that the angry people in each party are those farthest to the extreme left or right – the fanatics. But my question is, who do we think represents the far poles, and what specific things to they believe?
Liberals and Democrats often complain that they are being unfairly characterized as the amoral and irreligious party, and that conservatives don’t have a lock on morality. Of course, this is true. Both parties have their own set of morals and ethics that they aspire to and try to
push use as a basis for their approach to legislation.
And while being a "moralist" is now a pejorative label (see EO’s In Defense of Moralism), both parties do want to be seen as not being in opposition to morality.
The problem with liberalism, however, is that it has lost ground in the moral arena, in both reality and public opinion, because it has (1) taken mature movements like black civil rights past the point of justice to supporting injustices like reverse discrimination, and (2) has taken their love of freedom to a point of supporting irresponsible behavior and trampling the rights of others in the name of freedom.
I have had many discussions about why we make laws, and I am always incredulous when some of my liberal friends contend that laws are not made based on morals or ethics. I think that, probably on principle, they are afraid of the idea of “legislating morality” since they often view morality as almost entirely subjective, and don’t want to have anyone “imposing” their morality on others through law. However, I always counter that I think we make laws based on two ethics – to prevent harm and promote good for individuals, and for society. Prohibitions against murder and theft prevent harm, and setting up the tax code to encourage property ownership, or programs for education promote good.
With this in mind, I thought to record what I believe the functions of legislation to be. I haven’t read any real thinkers on this topic yet (John Locke not withstanding), but here’s my first thoughts.
Solving the healthcare problem won’t be easy, for a couple of reasons. First, we don’t have a model that allows us to properly contain costs while providing adequate care. Secondly, and more importantly, there is shared responsibility between the spheres of government.
I believe that we need a tiered, shared model – that is, all spheres of government should be involved, but in a certain hierarchy of responsibility:
1. Self Government
The primary responsibility for a person’s health falls upon the person themselves. If they disregard common responsibility for their own health, they can not expect everyone else to keep or make them healthy. As Jim Carey said to one of his clients in the movie Liar, Liar, “Stop breaking the law, *sshole!” It’s my responsibility to exercise, eat right, drive safely, not smoke, etc.
Stand to Reason has an interesting post on the liberal canard of “imposing your views.” Much legislation is moral/ethical in nature, and as with all moral issues, I think we have a classic black/white/gray problem.
Some legislation may be purely based on an ethic of not harming others - hence, do not kill, do not steal, do not lie. Even though these are all religious commandments, in civil govt discourse, we may consider them on their ethicality alone.
On the opposite extreme are religious morals that are purely religious, and probably should not be legislated – keep the sabbath, don’t eat pork, whatever.
But there is a gray zone where we have difficulty. Is adultery wrong because the bible says so? Does it really harm people? Maybe it harms the person who needs an extramarital affair to criminalize their adultery. That may sound crazy, but proponents of open, group, and polygamous marriage argue that. Does homosexuality harm people? How about teaching our children that homosexuality is ok? What about sexual exploration among teens? What about teens sexually experimenting with adults?
Is Obama facilitating change or forcing it? Here's today's quote.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. ~ William Pitt
In our recent political history, this might be applied to some of the actions of GW Bush, such as the war on Iraq, wiretapping, suspending habeas corpus for Gitmo detainees, etc.
It could also be applied to the Obama Administration, in the way that they forced through their various enormous spending bills, as well as their upcoming "carbon offsets" (a.k.a as 'cap and trade') legislation. Trust me, it will be urgent and necessary.
As we have seen in the Obama administration, you don't need time to read or openly debate legislation, you just need time to manipulate a majority vote.
As is often the case with controversies surrounding politicians, much of the rhetoric on Rep. Mark Souder's affair with a staffer has been divided politically. As I have stated on numerous occasions, hypocrisy makes it worse on these type of issues for conservative Republicans, especially those who claim to be committed Christians.
My uncle sends me a lot of conservative ‘spam,’ and some of it is interesting stuff. Here’s the latest. I wonder what these posters would look like if they focused on our modern enemy, ‘militant’ Islam?
Republicans and conservatives are often accused of holding President Obama to an impossible standard and simply criticizing him for every decision he makes. It is not surprising that the GOP is opposed to many of the policy proposals of the president (similar to the Democrat's response to Bush), however when Obama accomplishes something in the War on Terror he deserves credit for that progress.
One of the repeated political strategies of the Obama administration has be to blame any of the current problems facing our nation on his predecessor (some of it correctly, some of it debatable, some it incorrectly).
Recently however, Vice President Biden signaled that they were going to take responsibility for one of the more important political developments – the success of the war in Iraq.
Courtesy of Faith 2 Action.
1. Government Health Care Takeover.
The Senate debate of health care is now underway. Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid wants a vote to take place before Christmas. Strongly
urge your two Senators to oppose this bill at 202-224-3121. Send "Pink Slips" to all of them (as well as each Congressman) here.
3. Energy Tax Bill.
is great concern that the U.S. will enter into some type of agreement
when world leaders meet in Denmark for a global climate change
conference that starts on Monday.
This treaty would be devastating to our economy and sovereignty. The
U.S. could also be asked to contribute billions of dollars toward
implementing this. Call the White House at 202-456-1414 and your two Senators at 202-224-3121 to express opposition to this treaty. A number of large companies, including Coca-Cola, are supporting the treaty efforts.. Call them, and strongly urge them to withdraw their support for Copenhagen.
It's appearing less and less likely that a "cap-and-trade" bill will
pass this year, but we must not become complacent about it. It has
already passed by the House and sub-committees in the Senate. Continue
to ask your Senators to oppose this bill at 202-224-3121. Contact the companies
supporting this and consider boycotting them, including BP America,
Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Nike,
4. Safe School Czar. Kevin Jennings, the homosexual activist who was recently chosen by the
President to run the Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools. Call your
Congressman at 202-224-3121 to ask Congress to expel Jennings. Then,
send letters to the President and your Congressional leaders through
3. Energy Tax Bill.
I subsribe to way more blogs than I read. I wanted to pare down my political blogs to just the few that would help me take action against the alarming initiatives of the Obama administration. Here's my latest list.
Last Update: 11/20/09
1. Introduction: Christianity and Politics
2. Augustine on Civil Government: The Two Cities
3. Augustine on Civil Government: Two Further Preliminaries
4. Augustine on Civil Government: Authority
5. Augustine on Civil Government: The City of God and Compromise
6. Christian Political Participation
7. Religious Motivations in Politics