Samson Agonistes – The Donald

“If I had my way, I would tear this whole building down.” – Samson and Delilah – Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead I don’t know if God has appointed Donald Trump to win the presidency. I know he is making a lot of people mad, but I see a lot of similarities to the Story of Samson from The Judges. Donald is impulsive, immature, self-centered, vengeful… He has a weakness for women… It is all about the hair… Everyone is afraid he is offending someone and the powers that be (media, the Republican Establishment, etc.), but he don’t care. We are being ruled by Philistines (Political parties that can’t do or fix anything, plus a judiciary that makes up rules as they go). And he may be being used to “tear this whole building down.” Judges 14:1-4 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. Then he came up, and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of … Read more…

Replacing Scalia, the Politics of Justice and The Role of the Supreme Court

To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions would be very dangerous doctrine indeed and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy… The Constitution has erected no such tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruption of time and party, its members would become despots. – Thomas Jefferson Letter To William Charles Jarvis. Monticello, September 28, 1820.

When words no longer mean what they mean, the Constitution becomes a Rorschach splotch, where justices can read anything into it they want to see and read out of it anything they want to see changed. My point here, though, is not to argue for an originalist interpretation, which I clearly support, but to point out how the Court’s role has veered from that intended by the Founders.

Dante’s Inferno, Pedophilia, and the Catholic Church

Dante’s Inferno is a picture of hell with 9 levels, each with greater punishments for sins committed on the earth. Dante was not afraid to place in hell Cardinals, Bishops, and Popes. Dante’s point was that corruption in the Roman Catholic Church by its leaders was just as worthy of punishment, if not more so, as sinful deeds done by pagans and government leaders. His political activity was not admired by all, but his writing exposed the abuse of power by Popes and church leaders. We hear today that Pope Francis is engaged in a similar battle, facing much entrenched opposition to his attempts to cleanse the church of its sins. This week I met an artist, Butch Casanova, who invited me to his home. There I saw a work of art that reminded me of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He was disgusted by the corruption exposed in the pedophilia scandals that rocked the Roman Church. And putting brush to canvas, he created a great allegory of the cover up by  Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston. He tried to have this work displayed through the Boston media, but at that time, no one would touch it because Bernard Law was feared and so powerful. He has … Read more…

The Quartet: A Review

What if the Constitution Had Not Compromised on Slavery?

The Quartet: Orchestrating The Second American Revolution, 1783-1789, by Joseph J. Ellis. 

Slavery would have lasted much longer…. 

The Hobby Lobby Decision and What it Means for the Church

The Supreme Court upheld religious liberty and freedom of conscience in its 5-4 decision on Monday, and in doing so, avoided the same mistake the Court made when it upheld the rights of slave owners in the Dred Scott decision and ensured the Civil War. The Dred Scott case not only restored the rights of slave owners to recapture runaway slaves in the Northern States, but made those who did not believe in slavery complicit in their capture and return. In other words, it forced those who hated slavery to comply with slavery by handing slaves back to their masters. This legal decision to deny freedom of conscience only served to strength Abolitionist sentiment and helped precipitate the Civil War. Noting that then, as today, we have a sharply divided country on the issue of just “who” is entitled to the protection of life and liberty, that narrowly divided Supreme Court is reflective of that divide. The belief that abortion is indeed murder is a conviction that will not disappear with the stroke of the judge’s pen, as has been amply demonstrated by over 40 years of conflict and social disaffection. However, this decision is a lesson for the Church … Read more…

Sympathy for the Devil: Understanding Radical Islam and the Failure of Neo-Con Foreign Policy

Differences in Eastern and Western Views of War If anyone would like a helpful primer on the motivations Middle Eastern society,  I cannot recommend highly enough a book given to me by a friend who worked at the NSA.  The book is called Balkan Ghosts, by Robert Kaplan, and while it is a travelog, it gives an invaluable history of the clash of East and West over the centuries, including insight into the different perceptions of war.  In the West, due to its Christian heritage,  a theory of just war was developed.  Among those principles in just war theory was a respect for the protection of non-combatants (civilians) and the establishment of justifiable reasons for war, such as protecting the nation from aggression by foreign powers.  Since the late Middle Ages, the West has recognized slaughter of non-combatants as unjust, and nations which ignored those principles were identified as rogue nations (Nazi Germany, e.g.). But the Eastern view of warfare has always been entirely different, in part because the respect for the individual is not native to their value system. While this summary does not do justice to the book, it may begin to expose the vast cultural differences that exist … Read more…

America’s Fragile Empire

The United States is at its most vulnerable point since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Aside from the possibility of total annihilation due to global thermonuclear war, the United States is at its most fragile point in its entire history. This vulnerability is largely due to its dependence on the infrastructure of computer technology powered by the electrical grid. As we have seen in the recent super-storm, hurricane Sandy, when the power went out, many people were reduced to living in the dark and scrounging up what food and blankets they could for weeks. They were without power, without gasoline, and without transportation. They were miles from the nearest food supplies and electricity. From what I read, the response was far from immediate. Now imagine this situation hitting the entire Eastern Seaboard at one time, extending 300 miles inland to middle of the Appalachians. Power gone with not only no way to call in extra power crews, but no way to communicate and coordinate with them. But this time, the problem is not downed power lines, but every transformer blown and no way to replace them. Imagine food stores empty and no deliveries available or planned for weeks. Surely there would … Read more…

The Politics of Envy and a Culture of Greed

 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife… or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” –  Exodus 20:17 To covet is to desire to possess what rightfully belongs to another. It is not simply admiring what another has, but is the desire to take it. Covetousness is a form of greed. You don’t have to be rich to be greedy. You can be poor and greedy, and you can be poor and envy what others have.   We now have an entire political party dedicated to stoking the fires of envy and greed. It is called the Democrat party, and its chief strategy is intent on dividing Americans by stirring up envy towards the rich. It also appeals to people’s greed, because it promises to take what others have and give it to those who have “less.” This is covetousness, pure and simple, and that means the entire Democrat strategy is built upon a violation of the Ten Commandments: You shall not steal (take what belongs to another) and you shall not covet (desire to take what belongs to another). Anything built upon the evil of sin cannot be good. I am a populist. The fact … Read more…

Strategies for Leaving The PC(USA) with Property Intact

The latest rulings by the supreme judicial committee of the Presbyterian Church(USA) have made an absolute mockery of their Book of Order and the votes of the General Assembly. The attempt to exert absolute control over the local churches gives lie to the appearance of tolerance that liberals so much advocate. If you disagree, you are still forced to accept the views of the elitist bureaucrats.  Lately the GAPJC (General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission)  has ruled in 3 cases which void any ruling of the General assembly as a whole, while threatening to take the property of any presbytery or church that wants to leave over matters of conscience.   If you want to leave, I have some strategies for you. If your presbytery wants to leave, quickly vote to relinquish all presbytery claims to church property to the respective churches, then vote to leave the denomination as a presbytery. When the synod comes in with an administrative commission to remove the presbytery leaders, it will be too late.   For an individual church: give all your endowments away to valid missions and ministries, indebt your buildings, and then see if the presbytery still wants them. Walk away if they do. … Read more…

A Christian Philosophy of Life – Part 1

Introduction: The Love of Wisdom In ancient Greece, the first schools of philosophy flourished. They were called academies, or colleges, and their goal was to prepare young people to lead the State by giving them instruction in morals and ethics, mathematics, dialectics [or logical reasoning], and the natural sciences. The crucial aspect of this education was not simply to gain knowledge but to build wisdom and character. A greedy, corrupt, and selfish person could not be a good leader of the State. Citizenship and virtue were requirements for a true education. The schools  established by Socrates and Plato  were not started simply because they had a desire to know facts. Facts by themselves do not reveal ultimate meaning, nor do they reveal the purpose of life. Socrates, Plato’s teacher, was interested in discovering truth. The very meaning of the word philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” This pursuit of truth is not a dispassionate and disinterested inquiry into the nature of things. Philosophy is a journey of ultimate importance, a journey whose purpose is to discover the meaning of life – the ultimate meaning of all things – the reason “why.” No one can enter such a pursuit dispassionately and … Read more…

Menu