Election 2016 – The Libertarians

The race for President in 2016 is about to enter its next phase as presumptive nominees emerge from their respective political parties after a year-long battle.

PetersenVsJohnsonWith the highly controversial Donald Trump being the last active campaign amongst Republicans, and the highly corrupt Hillary Clinton close to being the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party over rival Bernie Sanders (as of this posting), many people are dismayed and looking for alternative choices. So let’s look at one of the main third party alternatives, the Libertarian Party.

I am someone who tends to feel too libertarian for the Republican Party and not libertarian enough for the Libertarian Party. I am always looking into their nominees as potential candidates to support and leaving underwhelmed.

The Libertarian Party convention on this 29th day in May, 2016 has nominated Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003).

Why am I underwhelmed? Let’s look at what troubles me about his advocacy.

An exchange at a Libertarian Party candidate debate, between Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen on John Stossel’s show, highlights well his problem…

Johnson takes the un-libertarian position that governments can punish those who exercise their free-will to not participate in something that is against their beliefs. We’re not talking about a physical harm between two parties; we are talking about an exercise of conscience. Here, it is baking a cake specific for a homosexual wedding. It could be any kind of situation where a customer asks a business to engage in something against one’s beliefs. In this light, Petersen rightly makes a comparison about forcing a Jewish baker to bake a cake for a Nazi customer. You can see Johnson squirm as his libertarian credentials take a serious hit. Johnson favors punishing who he has a disagreement of conscience over a misguided “progressive” interpretations of discrimination and equality. He ultimately favors empowering the state over the individual. He favors compulsion.

BakeTheCakeNow although Petersen rightfully does not want to grant government this abusive power, he shows his disdain for this not-so-hypothetical baker who wants to exercise individual choice and right of refusal, and Peterson would team up with the Gaystapo bullies against this baker and call the baker names. And his snide remark about who would want to eat at this baker’s shop? I would. And so would people of my moral values. I stand up for the bullied. I despise bullies and the Gaystapo are some of the worst bullies out there, and they have many allies in politics, media, education, and the entertainment industry.

Johnson is typical of those who falsely think of homosexual rights in the same terms as those who fought for equality amongst the races, and yet cannot see the preborn child in the same terms. Race is a trait beyond one’s control. Age, development, and location are beyond the control of the pre-born child. However, in regards to sexual unions, free-will is very much in one’s own personal control. To claim otherwise is to claim that you are nothing but a machine that cannot function beyond its own programming. It is not open to rationalization and reason; it is bound and limited and unchangeable. There are plenty of people who have indeed changed, for better or worse. But poor is the man who cannot make decisions based on evidence but rather succumbing to ones own alleged wiring.

It is intellectually dishonest to compare homosexual unions with any other kind of true civil rights activism (race, gender, or pre-born status).

As a civil rights advocate, I have trouble voting for anybody who does not see the humanity of the pre-born child, protected under Amendment Five as well as Amendment Fourteen. Johnson wants the abortion issue given back to the states (which is a good start, better than what we have now) but supports legalized abortion up to “viability” (and that is certainly open for debate and criticism; who’s to say which pre-born child is “viable?”).

And as a civil rights advocate, if you aren’t supporting my religious liberty, you aren’t earning my vote. I should not be bullied, fined and imprisoned for my beliefs. As a student of history, I feel a strong kinship with the slavery abolitionists. Some would claim those abolitionists were “pushing their morality” as well, to which I say, “So what?” Civil rights trump what you see as a right if you are advocating immorality. Slavery abolitionists were bullied, imprisoned, and even killed for their advocacy. I stand in good company with good people.

I will not tolerate government force, even when it is advocated by a Libertarian. No thanks, Gary Johnson. Another third party candidate, who recognizes religious liberty and the civil rights of the pre-born, will earn my vote, if such a candidate is on my ballot in November.

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The Scorpion and the Frog (2015)

FrogAndTheScorpion2Perhaps you’ve heard this fable before? It went something like this:

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion  says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature…”

—–
Why do we think making nice with Islamists and making deals Islamist nations will give us anything close to peace and security? After all, of those who follow the words of their false prophet Mohammed, it’s their nature, to lie, to cheat, to kill.

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Religious Liberty

EdwardMoran-UnveilingTheStatueofLiberty1886Large“Religious Liberty” (or “religious freedom”) is a term generally understood by the Christian community (though not necessarily limited to that one religion). The right to gather together without government persecution, to praise our God without government persecution, to share our faith without governmental persecution, and to speak on the issues of the day without governmental persecution. An idea from the very beginnings of the American colonies from colonialists and post-Revolutionists who sought freedom from governmental control over the masses.

In recent days, it has also come to mean the right to not have the government dictate what services and benefits we have to provide, whether individually or as a group or business. As with the Hobby Lobby case and governmental health care in general, Christians, or people with certain moral convictions, have the right to determine what they wish to offer or not offer, as well as what they wish to partake or not to partake in. Christians should not be forced to participate in what they deem highly immoral, one issue being abortion, though not limited to that deadly procedure.

Those who favor large governmental controls and/or hate Christianity take issue with Christians demanding their rights, and rights of refusal, and get hostile over the term “religious liberty.”

Because of that, I want to get away from the term “religious liberty” which plays into the hatred and prejudices of the left-wing totalitarian types. This doesn’t just have to be about Christians exercising faith, though that is often the target of wrath of said totalitarians.

So let’s just talk about “liberty” as a stand-alone word.

Those who favor liberty ought to oppose any tyrannical government dictate. Government should not be telling any employer what benefits they must provide its employees. Period. I would even go so far as to say government should not dictate the salaries and wages either. Employer and employee initially agree to dollars-per-hour or a particular annual salary. If an employer wishes to sweeten a deal to attract or keep workers by increasing pay or adding benefits such as an employer-funded health plan, that is their choice. And an employee can accept or refuse such benefits or plans.

Adults have the right on their own to use their earnings however they choose outside of the place of employment. If a person wants birth control, or sexual stimulants, that person can seek those items on their own without using the force of government to force a company into complying with demands that could conflict with an employer’s conscience, regardless of a religious affiliation of said employer.

There is no reason in an adult society I (or my employer) should have to pay for an activist’s insistence for a government or employer to pay for her birth control, nor should I (or my employer) have to pay for little blue pills for somebody who has erectile dysfunction and wants to get laid. Those are and should be outside the realm of government and employers, especially for those who make a claim of rights of privacy.

Those who hate a company’s health plan ought not force the company to comply, but seek alternatives outside of said company in the free market (and a truly free market has no government dictates that restrict marketplace choices). You can hate a company’s policy all you want, and logically, a company cannot possibly please everybody. Somebody’s bound to be displeased. So the free market is the only possible solution to find somebody who caters to your wants and needs.

Force is tyranny. Force is anti-liberty. And government is good at employing force, and those who support force are themselves tyrants. So choose this day: Liberty or Tyranny?

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Who is Noah?

WhoIsNoah

Trivia alert! Did you know that there are not one, but two people named Noah in the Bible?

Of course the more well-known Noah is documented in the book of Genesis (specifically chapters 6 – 9) in the Bible.

So who is this second Noah? We read of her in a few passages (Yes, it’s a girl!). Numbers 26:33 (and again in Numbers 27:1, Numbers 36:11, and Joshua 17:3). “Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.”

Nothing else is mentioned of this second Noah, so she becomes an interesting bit of trivia.

But getting back to the more well-known Noah, let not falsehoods from Hollywood studios deceive you about the true nature of Noah and the story of the ark and the flood, and even more importantly, God’s creation and His righteous judgment.

In 2 Peter 2:5 speaks of Noah as a “preacher of righteousness.” In Genesis 6:9, Noah is described as “a just man, perfect in his generations,” and that “Noah walked with God.”

And Jesus, our Lord and Savior, makes mention of Noah in the New Testament (Matthew 24:37-38, Luke 17:26-27) in reference to Jesus’ second coming, where people were living life without knowing the swift judgment and destruction to come.

No one knows the day nor the hour of His return, so it is in our best interest to be ready. Be steadfast and remain righteous, for He is coming.

(originally posted in my church’s April 2014 newsletter)

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The Debate

ken-ham-bill-nye-debate-2014

A debate took place that was watched by millions between a believer in creationism, Ken Ham, and a well-known “Science Guy” in Bill Nye. I want to highlight a few points.

The first thing Ham had to do was explain observational science, which we can all agree to, versus historical science, which has to make assumptions (by faith) of how we got to this point which observational science is limited.

The second point was to take on the arrogant and condescending attitude that came from Nye and his ilk. Many portrayed the debate as Creationism vs. Science, which right off the bat is a dishonest wording.

A belief that God is the creator of the Heavens and the Earth does not automatically place a person outside the science realm. As Ken Ham pointed out, a Creationist scientist can and has contributed greatly to science, to advancements in technology, in medicines, in exploration of the cosmos.

During this debate, Bill Nye lighted up in wonder when questions were posed to them such as “what was before The Big Bang” and “how did consciousness come from matter,” with Nye saying that they didn’t know (“this is a great mystery”) and how amazing it is to try to find the answers to that. Ken Ham coolly replied that there was this book, called the Bible, that explained the creation and our origins.

What was even more important than the importance of countering the prejudices and hatred of the belief of Creationism was that Ham explained the Gospel. How despite the fallen nature of mankind and disobedience to God, God sent His son Jesus to die on a cross as the perfect sacrifice to restore us to God. Millions, probably the first time, got to hear that Gospel message, the free gift of salvation. What a marvelous opportunity to share the Gospel.

(Originally posted in my church’s March 2014 newsletter)

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Spring is here

March 20 is the Spring Equinox for this year. Time for an apropos concerto from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” to welcome it. 🙂

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An actor was found dead

An actor I never heard of was found dead on Sunday from an apparent drug overdose. Somewhere else, there is a person living on the streets who has died after a downward spiral from drug use. One person becomes a headline newspaper death; another a mere statistic. One lives on in film; another is quickly forgotten. One is not more tragic than the other; both are sad tales with a sad ends.

There is a teachable moment in there somewhere. Someone introduced and tempted someone else to try a drug for “recreational” purposes. We can easily fool ourselves that we won’t succumb to a premature death for that next fix, for that next high, for that next thrill.

Let us choose wisely. Bad choices have bad consequences. As long as you have breath, it’s never too late.

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