Saturday, October 16, 2004

Another Non-theological post:

The country is very divided and the divide is again falling (mostly) along old regional lines. The North East will vote very differently in this election than will the Deep South. The divide is actually greater than it will seem because blacks in the South will vote almost exclusively democratic even though they, as a whole, are culturally very religious and differ with the Democrats on issues like abortion and gay rights.

We, in practical terms, no longer have a “federalist system.” Instead, we have a highly centralized form of Government. Washington makes policy on most issues for the whole country, but we are socially and culturally dissimilar in a number of ways because of regional and cultural differences.

Each region can not be satisfied with its own culture and let others be as they are. Folks in Washington speak of pluralism, but treat us as though we are “ONE” people by imposing its views across the spectrum on the whole land. It is not OK for Massachusetts to have abortion and gay marriage and Mississippi to outlaw these things. It is a "winner take all game," so each region and people must try to impose its own views on all others.

I think that is just as it is. I think a return to federalism is the only just way to keep the country together, but I am not optimistic that that could be done even if the there was the political will to do it (which there is not). It is interesting to note that the terms federal and confederacy were used interchangeably by the founders. This is clearly visible in their writings and you can see how the words are defined that way in, Founding Father and Federalist, Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

FED’ERAL, a. [from L. faedus, a league, allied perhaps to Eng. wed. L. vas, vadis, vador, vadimonium. See Heb. to pledge.]
1. Pertaining to a league or contract; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, particularly between nations.
The Romans, contrary to federal right, compelled them to part with Sardinia.
2. Consisting in a compact between parties, particularly and chiefly between states or nations; founded on alliance by contract or mutual agreement; as a federal government, such as that of the United States.
3. Friendly to the constitution of the United States. [See the Noun.]

CONFEDERACY, n. [L., a league. See Federal and Wed.]
1. A league, or covenant; a contract between two or more persons, bodies of men or states, combined in support of each other, in some act or enterprise; mutual engagement; federal compact.
The friendships of the world are oft confederacies in vice. A confederacy of princes to check innovation.
2. The persons, states or nations united by a league.
Virgil has a whole confederacy against him.
3. In law, a combination of two or more persons to commit an unlawful act.


George Washington, in his letters refers to the United States under the, then new, Constitution as “our new confederacy.” The two great fears of most of the Federalists and Anti-federalists were dissolution of the Union on one side and the centralization of power in a national government on the other. The Federalists won the debate the Constitution was ratified and the warnings of the Anti-federalists (such as Patrick Henry, George Mason, James Monroe) have come to pass. The United States has ceased to be a federal republic. It is now the highly centralised national government that most of the Founding Fathers feared and worked very hard to prevent.

Dominus Vobiscum,

Thursday, October 14, 2004

This is a non-theological post:

On Politics

I am not overly concerned with the current elections. I believe that what ever way I vote, things will continue the current slide into the abyss (metaphorically speaking). I want to see the one who will do the least damage elected.

Personally, I like the Constitution Party, but I think they have made a serious mistake at running for president; without starting at the bottom and building up they will waste all their funds and never become a viable organisation. They need to start locally, in a few states (Western or Southern) and make a name for themselves first.

The Lord is in control and so what happens is as he has ordained, but we are to do our duty (i.e. vote), because that is the means that God has chosen to give us, in this sphere, to do His will. We live in a fallen world that is full of unregenerate men and women (both private and public), and because of that things here should be far worse than they are. As bad as thing seem at times, they could be (and may become) a great deal worse.

We as a people deserve a Saddam Hussien and God has been gracious to give us a Bill Clinton and a G.W. Bush. We deserve no better than the Russians received under Stalin, but God has been merciful to us and given us incompetent, rulers who only take 50% of our income. Most countries are in far worse shape than we are, because they have more consistent fallen rulers and more consistent fallen peoples.

If either Bush or Kerry is elected we will get more of the same. They will both try to federalise what little local control we have left, but in different ways, for different reasons and for different constituencies.

I do believe the left-wing segment of the democratic party is very dangerous. They are becoming desperate and remind me of the Revolutionaries in France’s 18th century blood bath, the Bolsheviks and the Brown Shirts. I see them as deadly enemies.

I think most of the Democrats are just so many politicians, and are not anywhere near that extreme. But the far-left wingers are more consistent and would deal with you and me in the same manner that their revolutionary predecessors in France, Russia and Germany dealt with folks like us– death or dungeon/terror and torture. I do think the extreme types are still far away from control and may never take control, but they are there.

As a whole the Republican party is not much better than the Dems, but I do believe they are somewhat better. With them you have a small "CHANCE" (30- 70) to get a decent federal judge nominated and appointed. With the Dems there ain’t a snowballs chance in hell of getting a good judge.

Again, I believe we get what we deserve (or better). I pray that we get better. I think we deserve the left-wing of the Dems, but I don’t think we will get them in either case.

The stakes are high, because both parties are sucking all power to D.C. The stakes will get higher and the two sides will get all the more desperate to gain or hold onto power. The national parties have centralised most power in Washington and that makes the power, perks and prestige very high and some men are willing to do unspeakable things to gain these things.

We are moving in the direction of Rome. We have not yet made it to the point where we have a Caesar and/or Pompey, but we are moving in that direction. I don’t see us turning from that path, but I do believe that there are both intolerable and (relatively) benign despotic governments. I am hoping and praying that the latter is the worst we get.

Now after that very glum picture let me look at things from a more optimistic vantage point. Christian today, and in the past, have lived under far worse conditions than we do. Most Christians in other parts of the world and in the past would see our condition as wonderful and so we need to keep things in perspective. We have great liberty to worship and live here. These things are slowly eroding but they will not be loss to us anytime soon, so we do have time. We need to use our time at the local level.

We Christians need to plan and live as though we are preparing the world for our great, great grandchildren to live in it. If we all believe that the Rapture will happen tomorrow, we will not plan and work, at all levels, as we should. I think this is the greatest damage inflicted on the Church by the error of Dispensationalism.

Dominus Vobiscum,