Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finding Time for God

Photo by Sujit kumar
Life goes by at lightning speed.  I recall being a child and wondering why it was taking so long to grow up.  Now each passing year seems to go faster than the last and I wonder why time can't just slow down.  It's less than a week until Christmas and I still haven't found time to finish my Christmas shopping (for my wife...so you know it better get done!).  In the midst of this chaos what get priority?  Going to work certainly seems important; so I'd put that high on the list.  Changing the oil in the car is important, but you can fudge that a couple hundred miles and it's not going to make a big difference.  What about finding time for God?

The answer depends highly upon your religious proclivity.  The atheist just laughs and says something about how smart he is and that science is his savior.  The agnostic doesn't care while the deist doesn't think God cares.  The scientologist claims he is his own god and therefore justifies spending exorbitant amounts of time for "god" - just look at that religious group and try convincing me I'm wrong.  The catholic makes time from exactly 9:00 AM to 9:55AM every Sunday, but not a moment longer.  The protestant makes just enough time to make more time than anyone else in the congregation.  Reverend Jesse Jackson makes time as long as it advances his social agenda, but not if it doesn't.  

Maybe the better question to answer is: why does it matter if I find time for God?  I'm certainly no role model for finding time for God, but I can definitely answer the question.  If I compare a week wherein I've spent a lot of time for God (writing, reading the Bible, praying, etc.) I am much happier, less stressed, and much more focused on what is really important in life.  By contrast, weeks where I don't spend time on God are usually filled with stress, anger, and a disproportionate concern for things that don't really matter.  Consider by analogy why that might be.

Imagine if you needed to travel between point A and B and decided to purchase a Cessna Citation to fulfill this need.  On the surface, it might seem like a great solution and owning a sleek private jet is certainly appealing to most of us.  However, if points A and B are only separated by 10 miles your purchase is a horrible solution; in fact, you would quickly loathe taxing down roadways crowded with cars, parking would be a disaster, refueling would be next to impossible, and the cost far in excess of a more appropriate form of transportation.  You might also do some jail time for trying to drive and airplane down the roads, but that's  beyond the scope of our analogy.  It's not that a Citation is a bad airplane, it's that it isn't designed to be a 10 mile commuter car.  Imagine how much better the Citation performs when it's being used in the way it was designed.
Just like the airplane, we were designed by God with a specific purpose.  Determining our purpose isn't always easy, but the less time with God the farther we are from finding it.  It should be no surprise to me that I am happier the more time I spend "with" God because I am closer to realizing my purpose.  When I'm not finding time for God it's a lot like driving my private jet down I-5 in the middle of Los Angeles during rush hour.

The aforementioned might describe why it's important to find time for God, but how do we accomplish it in the midst of busy lives?  First, by properly prioritizing our lives - and God should be number one.  Attending church, small groups, and bible studies are all excellent ways to focus - plus they're usually more relaxing than pandering to the beckoning calls of the strip mall.  Second, finding time for God isn't all about going to church.  Throughout any day there are a multitude of opportunities to pray for help, give gratitude, or offer simple praise.  It needn't be a showy unfurling of your prayer mat whilst bowing in mock reverence.  In fact, I think of it more as a conversation throughout the day...something similar to texting God.  For example, when I go hiking I like to stop, take in the beautiful scenery (did I mention I live in Colorado?), and say a simple prayer of praise for the majesty of Creation.  At work it's often a prayer to help me stay focused and work hard.  Third, reading the Bible is valuable, but I find it much more rewarding to do so with a good study guide to explain the connections and parallels I would otherwise miss.  I was once timid and easily dissuaded by secularists who challenged Biblical truths and made accusations about apparent paradoxes or incongruities in the Bible, but having read the Bible with the aid of christian apologetics I am confident, have much greater understanding, and can easily refute the challenges.  Consequently, I understand the logical consistency that can only come from a God-created universe and my faith is never stronger.

Ultimately, we can make plenty of time for God during the day.  Doing so requires abandoning some classical ideas of God being only present and accessible through church, although church is always important.  It takes a conscious effort to focus on God, but the rewards are much greater than you can fathom.  Indeed, the meaning of our life is fulfilled when we live according to our design, and our design is revealed through our closeness to God.

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tebow: Headlines for the Right Reasons

Photo by: Jeffrey Beall
A Colorado native and long-time resident, I have been an ardent Broncos fan since I watched my first football game.  When the Broncos signed Tim Tebow I was excited because I knew of his deep religious convictions and I was glad his influence was coming to Denver, regardless of his capabilities.  Of course, when he began his winning streak (Broncos vs Patriots aside) it was merely icing on the cake.  Not surprisingly, Tebow has summoned forth a preponderance of critics, some rebuking his skill and many others chiding his religious zeal.  Yet I wonder, with my bias aside, is there anyone else garnering headlines this year that is a more positive role model?

Looking back on 2011 and contemplating the individuals who captured the majority of our newsprint (and pixels) the list looks something like this:

Lindsay Lohan:  In and out of court for drug and alcohol problems and has become the poster child of Hollywood self-destruction
Kim Kardashian: Reality TV's latest example of a dysfunctional family; married for an insultingly short 72 days; more concerned about appearances than anything of real value
Osama Bin Laden: Died a cowards death after years in hiding; greatest claim to fame is the murder of thousands of innocent people
Lady Gaga: Best known for her eccentric style and backwards sense of morality; wore a dress of raw meat to protest eating meat (because apparently killing animals for no other purpose than fashion is far better)
Jerry Sandusky: Scumbag child predator, enough said.
Herman Cain: GOP primary candidate who showed promise, but became embroiled in scandal over claims of sexual harassment and adultery
Steve Jobs: Apple founder and icon who dies of pancreatic cancer...not than anything is wrong with this, but there's not much that's overtly positive or negative

The list could become quite lengthy, but overall I cannot think of another individual who has exerted as much positivity over the news as Tim Tebow.  He has shown himself of upright character and optimism even amid scathing criticism and a loss to the New England Patriots.  Moreover, he stands up against those who challenge his beliefs even though they are not politically correct.  In fact, Tebow challenges the rest of us, whether we agree with him or not, to stand up publicly for our beliefs in a confident and respectful way.  He leads by example to show us that we can battle against the cultural current.

As long as Tim Tebow continues to honor God, remain humble, and stay positive his influence will have good ramifications.  I am thankful for a person who is making news based on his moral and upright character and optimism.  In a world rife with negativity, pestilence, and moral depravity it is refreshing to see so much coverage on the other end of the spectrum.  Although the almost miraculous fourth quarter wins have been exciting to watch and certainly a part of his rise to fame, I believe the largest portion of Tebow's positive favor is a consequence of his peculiar positivity.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Headline Rewind week of Dec 12

Moving to Canada Just Became More Attractive

Canada announced it is dropping out of the Kyoto Protocol, a long-standing, ill conceived, and ineffective piece of globalism slated as the panacea to Anthropogenic Global Warming.  Proving its new conservative leadership is more logical and realistic than the USA's, Canada has provided yet another piece of evidence that it is a nation worth living in.  However, I will still not be moving to Canada because I'm not about to give U.S. liberals that kind of satisfaction.



President Obama Sizes up the 2012 Competition, but Remains Ignorant of his own Failures

Obama again invoked liberal rhetoric when interviewed about his thoughts on the GOP candidates for the 2012 presidential race.  For the second time in less than a week, Obama decried them as conservative ideologues (apparently not knowing what a real conservative is) who wish to promote the wealthy at the expense of all others.  He further asserted that the economic ills we face today are a consequence of three decades of failed conservative economic theory.

Apparently, Obama doesn't realize that conservatism has been waning steadily over the last 100 years; most notably ever since FDR graced us with socialism run amuck.  Contrary to a [true] conservative view, our nation has become ever more shackled by government regulation making a "free market" system farther and farther from reality.  Instead, we have transition closer to the liberal utopia of total government control, but in spite of this trend we have still suffered economic recessions, accounting scandals, government corruption, and multiple Ponzi schemes (not just Social Security).  In the past three years, the trajectory towards statism has only worsened under the "leadership" of Obama whose first two years in office included Democratic party control of the entire government.  Therefore, Obama's suggestion that conservative ideals have made this country worse doesn't measure up to reality.  Lacking any success of his own, because his Marxist views have never and will never work, Obama is instead waging a campaign war preying upon the ignorance of many and the like-mindedness of a few while leveraging his dishonesty via a sympathetic media.

Iran Begs to be Bombed

In its latest nose-thumbing to the rest of the world, Iran downed a U.S. stealth drone intact and also began maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz to blockade oil shipments from the region as retaliation against economic sanctions.  These events come shortly after attempting to assassinate foreign dignitaries on U.S. soil and ongoing efforts to develop nuclear weapons.  To any fair minded American these are all obvious evidences that Iran needs to be severely punished.  However, President Obama continues to prefer his typical approach to international relations: pretentious huffiness.  Watch out Ahmadinejad...Obama might roll his eyes at you!

The Government Saves Christmas at Kmart

Photo by: Caldorwards4
Oh wait...no it didn't.  Instead, anonymous private donors across the country have been paying off layaway accounts at Kmart stores.  Many of the unsuspecting benefactors have been surprised by calls from Kmart staff informing them their layaway accounts are paid up and they can claim the merchandise; it has come as a perfectly timed Christmas blessing.  Although the payoffs weren't part of a government social welfare program (as liberals suspected), we can be assured the IRS will attempt to collect taxes on the "income" these lucky families have received via the payoffs.

America Makes Significant Strides Towards a National Religion

Atheist Alliance International logo
Despite the Constitution's First Amendment Establishment Clause preventing Congress from establishing a religion, the United States continues its steady march towards a national religion.  Across the country this Christmas season the free exercise of Christianity has been impeded and the state religion imposed in its place.  In California, public school teachers were barred from decorating their classrooms with offensive things like poinsettias and stockings; Boca Raton, Florida has outlawed any "holiday symbol" in public places; Rhode Island's governor Lincoln Chafee has called the state's illuminated and decorated tree a "holiday tree" avoiding the apparently controversial name: Christmas Tree.  Atheism, the religion of randomness and meaninglessness, has instead been propped up as the national religion.  Atheists have successfully launched campaigns against Christianity, apparently offended by anyone who practices a religion that is not their own.  However, government officials have not forbade the use of public places for the placement of Atheists' religious symbols and messaging.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The "God Particle" the End of God?


Photo by: alpinethread

The scientific community is atwitter with rumors of the empirical discovery of the Higgs Boson via recent results from Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider.  Often, such discoveries are hailed as another nail in the coffin of theism; further proof the universe doesn’t need God to exist.  Physicists have gone so far as to nickname the Higgs Boson the “God Particle” for its purported final link between the naturalistic origin of the universe and our universe today.  However, this type of thinking is so illogical it should be insulting to the droves of PhD’s who proselytize it while also calling into question their judgment and reasoning ability.

The failed logic goes something like this: the more we know about the way the universe works, the less need there is for mythological gods to explain the unknowns.  In essence, they believe the only reason God exists is as a filler to prevent cognitive dissonance - a way for people to make sense of the incomprehensible.  Perhaps they have spent too much time learning of Greek mythology whereby the Greeks invented gods to explain the forces in the universe without needing to understand the underlying physics behind the phenomena.  While Greek mythology may be responsible for shaping the physicists perspective of God and religion, it still doesn’t excuse their naiveté.

Let’s put this into better context via analogy.  Reverse engineering is a technique employed to understand how a competing technology works so it can be leveraged for someone else’s benefit.  This why we never want our military technology to fall into the hands of an enemy (such as a stealth drone being downed and confiscated by Iran) – we don’t want enemies to use our technology against us.  Through disassembly and testing it is possible to recreate the engineering and knowledge that led to the technology.  For example, Iran may be able to learn how our stealth aircraft technology works by reverse engineering the downed drone and consequently develop its own stealth drones, or build defense technologies to ward off our drones.

In effect, Iranian scientists may go from knowing very little about U.S. stealth technology (or drone technology) to knowing almost everything about it.  At the completion of their reverse engineering, the Iranian scientists will not proclaim they have proven the stealth drones were spontaneously self-created through random, naturalistic processes.  Yet, doing so is equivalent to scientists’ claims that learning more about particle physics proves the universe came into existence through random, naturalistic means.  Instead, the Iranians will reaffirm their initial assumption that the drones are byproduct of intelligent design.

No one reverse engineers something of purely random origins because it would be, by definition, meaningless.   The expectation for reverse engineering is that the subject matter was designed and constructed by rationale beings using sound engineering principles conforming to consistent physical laws.  Therefore, the very act of “reverse engineering” nature, so to speak, belies the expectation that nature has a logical Creator.  If there were no Creator then the universe must be the consequence of purely random events with no basis for consistent fundamental physical laws; thus, reverse engineering would be futile. 

Before the CERN physicists can design an experiment they must first assume a universe created by an intelligent, logical being.  In fact, trusting their own cognition assumes they are the consequence of a consistent, logical Creator; the alternative is “intelligence” derived from nothing more than random chemical reactions over billions of years.  In other words, the ability to design, conduct, and interpret experiments pre-assumes the universe and human cognitive ability are logical and consistent.  Concluding the empirical affirmation of the standard theory of physics is the death knell of religion first borrows the necessary logic and consistency from the Judeo-Christian religion to make operational science possible before concluding the Judeo-Christian religion is disproved by the results.  Perhaps Iran will use the same reasoning and pile carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum at the end of a runway in hopes that a stealth drone will spontaneously manufacture itself and take to the skies – after all, stealth drones are clearly the consequence of time and chance; not some fable about intelligent designers creating them in a factory in America, right? 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Headline Rewind - Week of Nov. 14

Obama Administrations Continues to Snub Nose at Transparency


The only thing transparent about the Obama Administration is the toilet water into which he is flushing his campaign promise for government accountability.  In a fresh round of Congressional testimony before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee, the CEO of consulting firm ECSI described the pressure from Obama Administration officials to redo their analysis after the number of projected job losses resulting from Obama regulations on the Coal mining industry were too high for their liking.  The firm refused, citing a little something known as intellectual honesty.  The Administration didn't want to show the true impact of more of its burdensome regulations upon the American middle class; given the consultant's refusal to lie, the Administration terminated ECSI's contract. 

Black Friday Beckons


Still a week away, many are already getting ready to indulge in the customary, day-after-Thanksgiving, Black Friday melee.  A couple in St. Petersburg, Florida began their campout at Best Buy on Monday - that's 12 days before Black Friday.  It would be much more impressive, however, if someone would camp outside the Best Buy in Anchorage 12 days in advance.  

NYC to Occupy: Vacate

Photo by Debra Gaines
New York Mayor Bloomberg finally found the gumption to evict Occupy protestors from Zuccotti park.  Many arrests were made as police officers moved in on protestors who had refused to leave during the early morning hours.  In the process of clearing out the remaining mess of tents, tarps, and other structures left by the protestors, workers discovered garbage, feces, and hypodermic needles...and yet the protestors wonder why they can't find jobs?  Really!!??  It's bad enough they want more government handouts, but apparently they also expect taxpayers to foot the bill for cleaning up after themselves - I'm sure they'd also like us to pick their boogers and wipe their butts.

In a related story, the city of Washington D.C. is opting to continue permitting protestors.  City officials suggested the protestors were good for local business.  However, it may simply be that Occupy protestors effectively bring down the per capita crime and drug use rates in D.C.


Ex-Coach Sandusky Makes a Good Case for Bringing Back the Stocks

As the Sandusky scandal continues to unfold at Penn State, Jerry Sandusky made a public attempt to defend himself.  Speaking without a lawyer present (obviously), Sandusky revealed just how perverse he really is.  Sandusky, and the filth like him, make an excellent argument for bringing back the humiliating punishment of the public stocks.  Although I'm not sure he would survive very long.

Monday, November 14, 2011

God and Liberty - Part V


The following is part of a five-part series discussing the inextricable link between God and Liberty in the context of challenges to religion on the fallacious notion that our Founding Fathers intended a secular nation.  The consequences of a Godless society are considered and the historical precedence for religion in U.S. politics is explored.

Part V shows the direction we must go as a nation to preserve liberty and provides recommendations for achieving it.

Part V – So now what?

Did the Founding Fathers intend the United States to be a Christian nation?  It depends upon how you define “Christian nation.”  The Founders most certainly did not intend for the free exercise of religion to be restricted provided the practice of other religions did not infringe upon the natural rights of the population, were moral, and did not break the law.  However, they clearly intended Christianity to be a part of American government and central to the derivation of proper law.  For 171 years the United States fulfilled that intent; it wasn’t until the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education trial that supreme court justices, 8 of the 9 appointed by uber-progressive FDR, that the Establishment Clause was perverted into its present day legal interpretation.  The question is: What do we do now?

First, we must recognize the current trend is a problem and understand the ramifications.   Recall that only meaninglessness can be derived from an a priori belief the universe, and everything contained within it, is a result of completely random, naturalistic phenomena.  Consequently, morality and therefore law cannot be objective under an atheistic view.  Similarly, Part III showed that non-Judeo-Christian religions cannot provide an objective basis because they also lack cogent logical derivations for morality.  Thus, if we abandon our Judeo-Christian religious values we are destined to erode into amoral practices and eventually degrade as a society.

Atheists like to counter that they act morally and therefore this concern is unwarranted.  However, this missed the point entirely.  Confined to an atheistic worldview, one cannot know what is or is not moral; therefore, their moral behavior can only be understood in a Christian context.  Because the universe and all life is created by God and mankind is created in the image of God we should rationally expect people to have a general sense of right and wrong.  Under any other worldview this would not be a reasonable expectation.

This by no means implies that abolition of all religion (particularly Christianity) from government would immediately result in moral decline.  General societal sense of morality and legal precedence would still be in effect.  However, as time progresses, upon what basis would the courts adjudicate their decisions; namely on matters involving ethics and morality? Because the Court would no longer be permitted to base its judgment on the objective moral principles it must resort to some other measure or morality.  Is it whether or not someone is injured?   This might be an acceptable method for some cases, but what defines injury?  Is injury only physical harm or does it include psychological harm?  What if the defendant was also injured, perhaps in a case of self-defense – wouldn’t the victim also be guilty of injuring the defendant?  Morality could be decided democratically by majority vote, but what happens when the majority is immoral?  More poignantly, what happens if the majority is Christian and they decide morality on the basis of their worldview – wouldn’t this still be an unacceptable outcome to the likes of the ACLU?

No matter which alternative scenario is envisaged, the result always ends with irrational subjectivity.  The need to maintain an objective reference for morality is evident.  However, we’ve already come far down the path of extricating the Judeo-Christian religion from our nation’s governance.  This leaves us with two choices. The first is to lobby our government to act legislatively to change the law and give our courts a new basis for evaluating future cases.  Doing so would probably require a constitutional amendment to revise the wording of the First Amendment and is, quite frankly, highly improbable.

The second option is feasible but requires a new perspective: properly recognizing atheism as a religion.  According to the atheist faithful, their positions are based upon science and are irreligious.  However, a lack of belief in God is not a lack of belief in anything.  Quite to the contrary, atheism is the arduously held belief that there can be no supernatural explanation for anything.  It presupposes that all unknowns can eventually be explained in a naturalistic way – an obvious statement of faith.  In addition, an atheist answering the fundamental question posed in Part I, why does the universe exist, is unable to answer without imbuing purely ideological opinions.  Atheism is, by definition, a religion.

By officially (through legislation or legal precedence) declaring atheism a religion the impetus to remove Christianity from government is eroded.  Atheism and its beliefs have been indoctrinated into our public schools, national parks, colleges, news, and politics without the legal challenge of “separation of church and state.”  Once this same treatment is applied, those raising legal challenges to “religion” in government will likewise be obstructing their own beliefs.  Of course, this only curtails the suits against Christianity and does not reinstate it into our judicial code or national ethos.

Reviving the Christian ethos requires enough time to overcome generational inertia.  Our schools’ curricula should be revised to include specific and arduous instruction in logic and reasoning.  Specific attention should be paid to the derivation of morality, the eternal questions of right and wrong.  Such instruction could be, and rightfully should be, completely devoid of any particular religious indoctrination.  However, it must be rigorously taught.  This means oxymoronic liberal-logic is not permitted – in other words, statements like, “whatever makes you happy” or “it’s not fair” cannot go unchallenged.  Students must be tested on their ability to construct positions on the basis of sound logic and they must be made aware of their presuppositions.  This instruction cannot begin in grade school through high school, it must begin in the colleges where new teachers are receiving their instruction so that they can pass it down to their students.  Otherwise, the current whimsical, irrelevant ideology espoused to them – and subsequently by them – will make it impossible for them to instruct our children about proper logic and reason.

This approach may seem anti-religious itself, but remember the discussions in Parts I through IV showing how other presuppositional ideologies implode when taken to their logical ends.  Instruction in logic compels students to consider these ends and reformulate their own presuppositions into rational, logically defensible a priori beliefs.  Secondly, this concept favors no religion or ideology so it should face no opposition (aside from atheists who realize the fallaciousness of their beliefs but hold to them out of dogma).  Third, you may disagree with my entire dissertation, but in proposing this approach I am willing to let logic be the ultimate test of truth at the risk of being proven wrong – a risk I consider extremely improbable.

Note also that I am not proposing Christianity be inserted as a State religion.  The free exercise of religion was, is, and should always be an important aspect of the United States of America.  Requiring citizens to practice a particular religion does nothing to instill someone’s faith in that religion.  Bona fide faith in God is the ultimate hope, but it most come to everyone on a personal level; not at the threat of being punished by government.  On the contrary, my proposal de-establishes atheism as the state religion and equips everyone with the proper intellectual tools to make the decision on their own.

If I did not believe in the logical robustness of a God based presuppositional belief I would never be willing to leave the fate of my nation to chance.  Because I have evaluated the logical ramifications of alternative beliefs I am confident the outcome of my proposal is a resounding reinstatement of the moral principles and unalienable rights that can only be justified in the context of the Judeo-Christian God.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Headline Rewind - Week of Nov 7


Occupy Protestors Prove Math Isn’t Their Cup of Tea

Opinion polls for the Occupy [bowel] movement are showing plummeting public approval.  Depending upon the poll, the Occupiers have about a 30% approval among Americans calling into question the group’s 99% claim.  Perhaps it is the 53% of earners who actually pay taxes that are upset by the group’s vociferous demands for government handouts that has turned off many would-be supporters.  Alternatively, it might be the 31% of respondents from Occupy Wall Street that believe violence is justified in pursuit of their ends.  Of course, I would rule out the rampant violence against police, destruction of public and private property, or the obstruction of businesses resulting in job-losses caused by Occupy. 

Regardless of the reason, Occupy’s claim of representing 99% of the populous doesn’t add up.  Maybe that’s why so many are swimming in tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt  - they simply couldn’t figure out the arithmetic that would have proved an ivy league arts degree isn’t a good investment.

Iran Thinks We’re Stupid

Photo by Daniella Zalcman
Iran’s Ahmadinejad still insists his nation’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.  Apparently, Ahmadinejad thinks we’d also leave our kids with the neighborhood pedophile because he gives them a lolipop.  On the other hand, the Obama administration’s inept response to the brewing crises might in fact prove we are that stupid- or at least the majority of Americans who elected the President are.

Thank goodness for Israel, a nation with the common sense to prep for the inevitability of a nuclear Iran despite the willful ignorance of the rest of the World. 

Mexico Annexes California

Photo by Esparta Palma
A Federal judge upholds California’s Morgan Hill Unified School District ban on pro-American clothing on the fifth of May (Cinco de Mayo, as it will now be known).  In 2010, the school district banned students from wearing American flag shirts, and other pro-U.S. clothing, on May 5th.  Although, this is a big holiday in Mexico, the School District seemed unaware that California was, at the time, a part of the United State of America – not Mexico.  The Federal court ruled that the ban was not an affront to the First Amendment protections of free speech leaving one to conclude that California must therefore be a State of Unidos Estados de Mexico, or the judge simply confused the U.S. State with the Mexican State of Baja California…an honest mistake.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Union Fix - Part 2

In part one of “The Union Fix” I introduced the immediate step towards dismantling the strangle hold unions have on U.S. manufacturing.  In part two, I discuss the longer-term solution to finally break the cycle of anti-competitiveness and bring manufacturing back to our nation.

In Washington State, the IAM waged a strike on the Boeing Company in 2008 resulting in months of delays and lost production.  After reaching a contract agreement, Boeing sought assurances from the IAM that it would not strike again.  When the IAW failed to meet this demand Boeing made the decision to build a second 787 assembly line in North Carolina, a right-to-work state.  Although now embroiled in a highly publicized lawsuit against Boeing over the decision, the IAM provides a perfect example of how unions price themselves out of the manufacturing labor market and drive companies to alternative markets. 

The Boeing case also illustrates part of my proposed solution.  Twenty-two of our nation’s States are right-to-work states.  However, the liberal foothold in the remaining 28 States is unlikely to relent sufficiently to permit the adoption of right-to-work laws.  Therefore, we need a compelling compromise. 

Large corporations are forbade from controlling too much of a given market per existing anti-trust laws.  The word monopoly in the halls of the Federal Trade Commission is a springboard to action and eventual divestiture of assets from the offending firm.  However, these same principles have not been applied to unions.  Unions that represent all employees to a particular firm or industry have a monopoly on that labor market.  Therefore, we should extend anti-trust laws to unions via legal precedent or legislation.  In so doing, no single union would be able to have a monopoly on labor.

The outcome of this step would be a dismantling of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and Change to Win Federation.  In addition, no one union could represent all the employees in a particular trade at a single company.  Therefore, more than one union would be required; in cases where no additional union is ratified, at least a portion of the employees would not be unionized.  In all cases, the unions would be forced to compete with one another for members.  Competition would tend to put downward pressure on dues and inherently limit the amount of money available for political manipulation.

This solution is effectively a compromise in that it still allows a closed shop for unions, it preserves worker’s rights to unionize, and it gives workers greater choice in representation.  Finally, from the perspective of the firms, there would be competition in the labor market giving the companies greater flexibility over the compensation packages.  In turn, this helps prevent ludicrous pension benefits, exorbitant wages for menial labor, and ultimately makes the U.S. manufacturing industry more competitive against a world of low priced alternatives. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

God and Liberty - Part IV


The following is part of a five-part series discussing the inextricable link between God and Liberty in the context of challenges to religion on the fallacious notion that our Founding Fathers intended a secular nation.  The consequences of a Godless society are considered and the historical precedence for religion in U.S. politics is explored.

Part IV looks at the history of the infamous phrase, “a wall of separation between church and state,” and examines the efficacy of its current interpretation.
Part V shows the direction we must go as a nation to preserve liberty and provides recommendations for achieving it.

Part IV – History of “Wall of Separation between Church and State”

Undoubtedly, the most common phrase in the government vs. religion battles is “Separation between church and state.”  Most Americans probably don’t have any idea where this phrase comes from; much less what it really means.  In present times it has become the catch phrase of those who wish to strip any religions mention (particularly Christian religions) from any public place.  However, truth is a vociferous enemy of revisionist history and wanton logic and in reality it was a matter of reassurance to a populous of varied Christian denominations.

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson penned the following letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut.  In Connecticut, Baptists were a minority and they were likewise concerned that the preponderance of political representation (local, state, and federal) from other denominations would cause them to be subjugated to the more dominant denomination.  Jefferson was pointing out that the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prevented any faction of the United States political apparatus from “establishing” a particular religion.

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.


Since the writing of this letter – most notably since 1947 – the phrase “Wall of Separation Between Church and State” has been used to successfully argue that there shall be no mention of religion in any public venue.  However, this was certainly not Jefferson’s intent.  Jefferson was simply elucidating what the First Amendment already said: Congress can’t establish a state religion.  If he was implying anything further he would certainly be stepping outside his Constitutional authority as president; only a Constitutional amendment could ratify the Establishment Clause.  Yet his letter has formed the basis for several legal actions going far beyond the intent of the First Amendment even to the point of violating it outright, such as the ACLU suing the Tennessee Board of Education to prevent teachers from wearing or bearing any objects that could suggest a Christian subcontext, or even praying with students as part of the National Day of Prayer.

Many like to argue that Jefferson was an atheist or agnostic and thus inclined to view the First Amendment in this way.  However, this is a false representation of Jefferson’s religious views.  He was most likely a Deist, but certainly not agnostic or atheistic.  Certainly no self respecting atheist would provide the salutation found in the last paragraph of the aforementioned letter.  Moreover, such a supposition of Jefferson ignores blatant historical truth.  Jefferson’s reply to the Danbury Baptist Association was dated January 1, 1802.  On January 3, 1802 Jefferson attended church in the House of Representatives, as was his usual custom.  (Church services were held every Sunday in the Capitol building until 1866.)  Had Jefferson intended the current interpretation of his infamous phrase it would defy all reason for him to attend Christian religious services in the epicenter of U.S. government without any objection.

Indeed the question is begged: why did it take until 1947 (Everson vs. Board of Education) for the Supreme Court to take Jefferson’s 1802 letter as evidence for the Founder’s belief that government and religion should be completely disengaged from one another?  The answer is ideology.

The World is rife with examples of mixed ideology.  Some heated exchanges can be had by taking a stance in the Anthropogenic Global Warming hoax (see…I’ve revealed my bias), Creation vs. Evolution debate, and the subject separation of church and state issue within American government.  Much like my question in Part I, “Why does the universe exist?” there are ways to derive each person’s a priori beliefs.  These personal presuppositions are what cause us to formulate opinions and positions on issues – the role and breadth of government in society is one such issue.  A debate about the philosophical merits of the courts’ decisions regarding religion and government is pointless and likely to be never-ending with neither side of the philosophical spectrum yielding from their fundamental beliefs.

Instead, it is instructive to consider who the Supreme Court justices were in 1947 during Everson.  Not surprisingly, 8 of the 9 justices were appointed by FDR, the father of modern American liberalism (second only in chronology to progressive Woodrow Wilson).  To suggest that a president’s Supreme Court appointments are without bias is to live in ignorance of the judicial records of Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, both appointed under the reign of the ultra-liberal President Obama.  Likewise, it is easy to see how the progressivism of FDR became instrumental, via his court appointees, to the decision of Everson.  Once Everson was “on the books” it became only a matter of legal precedent for all subsequent cases on this issue barring an act of Congress to change the law.

Thus we see that today’s objections to as much as a whisper of religion regarding anything resembling a public entity is not based upon the intentions of our Founding Fathers; instead it is the consequence of ideology run amuck.  It is unlikely that those popping the cork on their champagne bottles following the court decisions supporting their dubious claims to the extrication of religion considered the following two paradoxes:

1)   In seeking legal action against religious establishment (predominantly Christian) the separationists have established a state religion: atheism.  This is in direct violation of the Establishment Clause which they reference as the source of authority in their cases.
2)    By upholding atheism as the only belief system permitted by government, they seek to derive just proper law from a philosophy that can only offer meaninglessness (see Part I) and therefore lawlessness.

In conclusion, it should be readily apparent through this limited discussion, that the Founders of our nation most certainly did not intend a government completely devoid of religions influence.  To the contrary, their intent was to establish a government on the basis of unalienable rights afforded by the “Creator.”  James Madison wrote that “religion is the basis and Foundation of Government.”  George Washington said in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”  John Adams wrote, “…it is Religion and Morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”  The true intentions of the Founders could not be clearer. 

It is no accident the treacherous and deadly regimes led by the likes of Mao and Stalin were strictly atheistic – law and morality are entirely subjective when there is no basis for it and the slaughter of millions of innocent citizens is defensible without religion.  Any derogatory references by the Founders to religion must be considered in the context of the times where differences between Christian denominations had been the source of civil and multinational wars throughout Europe.  In America, all colonies except Rhode Island had established official churches – of varying Christian denominations.  Therefore, it is easy to understand the motivation of the Founders to establish a form of federalism that did not alienate one State’s religious preference.  Likewise, they did not want to descend to fighting amongst the states like Europe.  The Founders well understood logic and reason (it was still a part of basic educational curriculum at the time) and they knew a government devoid of religion was based upon nothing.  Consequently, the U.S. government was based upon objectivity and common sense that can only come from God.  To follow the current trend is to descend into a deep chasm of illogical senselessness. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Union Fix - Part 1

Photo by Bill Burke
Any non-imbecile can tell you that unions have exacerbated the decline in manufacturing in the United States.  Their demands made upon the threat of work stoppages have enabled them to amass pension funds that have crippled the likes of Ford, GM, and Chrysler.  Many States and municipalities are likewise stumbling under the weight of massive public employee union pension programs.  Like the foreign substance invading a festering wound, we must winnow the power of unions in our country to restore our predominance in manufacturing. There are two key steps towards stripping unions of their power and influence in order to reinstate our manufacturing base and thereby strengthen our economy (Note that addressing the unions must be done in concert with far reaching tax and regulatory reform – resolving our union problem with not be sufficient alone).  The first is immediate action to be taken by sensible persons holding unions positions; the second is longer-term and can only be accomplished at the State and Federal levels.

The first step is for all concerned union represented employees to become objectors.  When I graduated from college I went to work for a company that was infected with an agency shop union.  Initially, I chose to be a Beck Objector (see Communication Workers of America v. Beck for legal history), but still paid an “agency fee” which was nearly as much as the full union dues.  About a year later I learned that a significant portion of my agency fee was being used as campaign contributions towards democratic candidates.  Under Section 701(j) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1967, employees with bona fide religions objections cannot be coerced into supporting unions.  I wrote a letter to the union showing how every candidate supported by my fees was an abortion advocate.  I concluded by confirming that I view abortion as an unethical and abhorrent per my religious convictions.  The union agreed (as required by law) to allow me to contribute to a non-religious charity of my choice instead of paying union dues.

Although not all union represented employees are similarly inclined to depose of unions, it is quite likely that many would be put off by their union’s prolific use of union dues to support the campaigns of politicians and legislation that offends their religious sensibilities.  Therefore I encourage all union employees to investigate how their dues are spent – following the paper trail all the way to the AFL-CIO if necessary.  With the veil of faux-legitimacy lifted, I’m willing to wager many more union employees would become religious objectors.  Doing so would strip unions of the more than $400 Million they spend annually on political influence that has effectually stripped our nation of its competitiveness and propelled us closer to socio-Marxism.

For more information about becoming a Religious Objector I encourage you, or your union worker friends, to visit www.choosecharity.org and www.nrtw.org.

This step is critical and immediate.  However, it is not sufficient to curtail the influence, and therefore damage, of unions over our government.  Next week I will share step two – a longer term solutions with greater reach and impact.

Monday, October 31, 2011

God and Liberty - Part III


The following is part of a five-part series discussing the inextricable link between God and Liberty in the context of challenges to religion on the fallacious notion that our Founding Fathers intended a secular nation.  The consequences of a Godless society are considered and the historical precedence for religion in U.S. politics is explored.

Part III addresses the question of which religion can be used to form a logically coherent and objective basis for morality.
Part V shows the direction we must go as a nation to preserve liberty and provides recommendations for achieving it.

Part III – Who’s Religion?

A legitimate question to ask at this point is, “Who’s Religion?”  In other words, why should we believe one religion over another; why do we adopt the Judeo-Christian worldview instead of the Buddist worldview, for instance?  Evaluation of the logical consequences of several religious categories’ core beliefs can answer these questions.

First, the atheist religion is easily eliminated from consideration.  Atheism requires the origin of the universe and everything in it to be of completely random, naturalistic mechanisms.  There is no possible explanation for the abstract, non-inheritable aspects of humanity such as morality, conscience, and philosophy in general.  A direct logical consequence of atheism is that everything must be entirely meaningless – clearly this cannot be a rational source for deriving unalienable rights nor proper law.

Second, we can eliminate all polytheistic religions (e.g. Shinto, Mormonism, Mayan Religion, Jainism, Hinduism).  Under such a regime there could be no unified source of morality, much less logic.  We could never know to which deity we belonged; therefore, we could not understand our purpose, or even surmise the existence of purpose.  A universe under the control of many competing deities would be as bungled as our federal government.  At best, natural laws derived from such a system of religious belief would be arbitrary and constantly changing.

Third, we can eliminate all religions that teach any form of self-actualization or self-as-god (e.g. Bon, Christian Science, Druze, New Thought, Scientology).  The logical consequence of these religions is somewhat similar to polytheistic religions, only worse.  If we are all god-like individuals then how could there ever be any consistent paradigms under which to evaluate morality?  Likewise, we might be able to self-claim purpose, but everyone else’s purpose would be relative to our own; extending this rationale to each individual in existence creates massive circularity with no possible resolution.  Any sense of morality stemming from these religions is completely arbitrary and exists only to fill the blatantly obvious shortcoming of this philosophy.

Fourth, religions that teach God or gods exists but with no interest in humanity (e.g. Deism, Islam, Epicureanism) cannot be used because without an interest in humanity, there is no way to know God.  If God does not care about humanity then he most certainly cannot have purpose for our lives.  If we do not have meaning or purpose for God then how can we claim unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property as explained in Part I of this series?  Even if there were a purpose, a disinterested god would never reveal that purpose to us; thus, we would be no better off than under a atheists regime.

Through logical evaluation of the many varied religions of the world it is evident that only Judeo-Christian religion can offer the basis for unalienable rights and a foundation for the formation of proper law.  We must have a God with purposeful intent for his creation, one consistent source of objective morality, and a means of receiving information about God in order to understand these things.  The Judeo-Christian worldview is the only one that meets these criteria: a loving God with a personal, consistent interest in his creation; God is also the source of just, objective morality; and the Bible is the revealed word of God.  Consequently, God is necessary for our liberty and the continued well being of our nation.  Those who try to remove God from our government unknowingly (and sometimes knowingly) doom our nation to eventual despotism.

Monday, October 24, 2011

God and Liberty - Part II


The following is part of a five-part series discussing the inextricable link between God and Liberty in the context of challenges to religion on the fallacious notion that our Founding Fathers intended a secular nation.  The consequences of a Godless society are considered and the historical precedence for religion in U.S. politics is explored.

Part II compares government under religious and irreligious extremes to understand the importance of God’s influence in establishing just governance.
Part V shows the direction we must go as a nation to preserve liberty and provides recommendations for achieving it.

Part II – God and Government

This world’s propensity for evil threatens to infringe upon our rights.  As individuals we may not be capable of standing against evil factions; therefore, we enter into a social contract: In order to more fully protect our unalienable rights we agree to form governments to establish positive laws.  Some philosophers have argued in favor of monarchy while others, notably Locke, argued in favor of republicanism.  Given the influence of Locke’s ideas on the founding fathers it is no accident the U.S. Constitution begins with “We the People…” 

The concept of individuals forming governments is logically consistent with natural law.  If individuals are the rightful bearers of unalienable rights, then it stands to reason only an individual can enter into a social contract with a government.  Any tyrannical form of government whereby a ruling minority proclaims the right to establish a de facto government with or without the consent of the governed is a violation of natural law.  An unjustly formed government is prone to equally unjust punitive laws.  By contrast, a just government granted its power by the governed is infinitely more likely to spurn unjust positive laws.

Imagine a world in which every person lives according to their God-given purpose.  There would be no violence, no injustice, and certainly no need for laws; much less the penal system that comes with them.  However, God gave us liberty through free will – the will to choose God’s purpose for our lives or our own.  In principle, it is the choice of God or not God.  In the beginning there was only God’s purpose and it was “very good.”  It wasn’t the very good you associate with a well flavored, over-priced coffee drink, it was the exact definition of very good – good in the sense of something completely without evil. 

As soon as Adam and Eve used their liberty to chose evil they no longer were fulfilling the totality of God’s purpose.  Being their Creator, God was well within his right to obliterate his creation, but he had mercy and allowed them to remain, albeit with the castigation of toiling in life, culminating in eventual death.  Thus was established the basis of punishment and proper law.

What is just and unjust, good and evil?  Absent any definition we are left to develop our own criteria.  Whose criteria are correct and how do we know?  The notion that evil is anything that harms another is overly simplistic as there are numerous examples that blur the line.  Moreover, what is harm – is harm limited to physical harm, or can it include psychological harm?  Is harm relative?  In a God-created universe the answer is straight forward: God is good.  Thus, whatever is not God is, by definition, evil.  It follows that living outside of God’s purpose is therefore evil, and yet how can we possibly know God’s purpose for someone else’s life?

Thankfully, the ultimate judgment resides with God, not us.  However, there are still instances within the confines of our limited human existence wherein we must take immediate action to cease further usurpation of our rights.  For this purpose we have the Ten Commandments and the Levitican laws – much of which has been relied upon as an objective basis for the practice of law within our nation, serving as a reference for many Supreme Court justices who recognize their inability to affect judgment without objectivity.

Perhaps this sounds like a lot of religious garbage to you?  Have you considered the alternative?
I previously established that there can be no unalienable right to life, liberty, or property within an irreligious existence.  This has far reaching logical consequences.  If there are no unalienable rights, then for what purpose do we enter social contracts with government?  A common response is that we function better as a society working together.  Often this is followed by references to behaviors within groups of wild animals such as packs of wolves who will hunt together.  Such observations are compelling…to an extent.  Certainly, pack behavior fits nicely into the survival narrative – the sole source of motivation in an atheist’s universe.  However, it reaches a practical limit when the pack becomes too large.  The weaker wolves will not have food to eat and will die off.  By extension, wouldn’t this philosophy advocate the death of people who are incapable of working, or who are too poor to subsist on their own?  If true, then governments would form only to the extent that survival and well-being is guaranteed for its citizens; specifically, those deemed too weak or incapable would die and the size of the governed be inherently limited.  There is no justification for compassion for the poor or disabled under such rationale.

Sadly, this type of thinking isn’t too far removed from reality.  Abortion in the United States was largely pushed to the forefront by the Eugenics movement in the early part of the 20th century.  Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a eugenics supporter and urged the use of abortion, contraception, and sterilization of poor women (and black women, whom she considered genetically inferior) to “cleanse” the gene pool.  In a universe derived from meaninglessness it is not difficult to justify such barbary because there is no right to life; thus, a baby conceived into a poor, homeless, unloving, or accidental reality can have no purpose.  What few realize, or are willing to admit, is they are likewise purposeless under this regime.  Any arbitrary criteria for worth can be envisaged and applied because there is no other basis with which to refute it.  Take for instance the Nazi Holocaust.

Nazi’s tried at Nuremberg after World War II referenced American eugenics as a source of inspiration and validation for their genocide.  The Nazi’s used identical arguments to claim non-Aryans were genetically inferior and not worthy of life.  They took this failed, atheistic worldview to its logical end by attempting to create a world government for the most genetically qualified people.  Yet in a meaningless universe, this is not evil – in fact, there can be no objective good or evil in an existence devoid of purpose.  Within this worldview, the Nazi’s might as well be correct because there is no basis to prove otherwise. 

It is little wonder that in every example of totalitarian governments, the leaders have despised religion.  Under the truth found in God we know everyone is meaningful and our rights are unalienable – these are condemning facts to a ruler bent on domination.  Religion is banned in such nations because the subservience of the populous depends upon them being unaware of their meaning.  Having such knowledge could compel them to rise against the unjustness much in the way the American colonists rose up against Great Britain.

I highly doubt those who file suit against every minute religious “infiltration” of our government would consciously chose a form of government derived from the atheist’s worldview.  However, their unchecked litany of litigation eventually results in a tyrannical government devoid of God-given purpose and liberty.  Here again we see the irony of proclaiming fighting for “separation of church and state” done to protect liberty because its inevitable end is a stark loss of liberty.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Headline Rewind - Week of October 17th

Capitalism to Blame for Death of Toddler in China

Photo by Boris van Hoytema
In a horrific tragedy in Foshan, China, a two-year-old girl toddling across the street is struck by two vans - neither driver stops.  Video of the incident shows the first driver realizing he hit the child, slowing, then continuing.  Eighteen people walked by the little girl laying in a pool of blood in the street before someone picks her up and helps her.  Wang Yue, the girl, died at a hospital from her injuries.

The Associated Press is heaping blame on China's "economic growth and rising prosperity."  A Chinese psychologist is quoted as saying, "Rapid urbanization not only affects China or Foshan, but anywhere in the world where you have a lot of high-rise buildings, where there is high population density, then the relationship with the neighbors, and with each other is affected."  Apparently the AP and Chinese citizens cited by the media outlet have never heard of China's One Child Policy which was instituted in 1978, well before any semblance of capitalism entered the communist nation.  (Special Economic Zones weren't enacted until the 1980s).  Also missing from the list of realities is the prevalence of female infanticide resulting from the policy and cultural favoritism of men.  The bodies of infant girls have been left in street gutters for decades, but apparently it is all caused by economic prosperity and not habitual immorality derived from a largely Godless society.

Senate Breaks Record and Does Right Thing Twice in Same Decade

Unprecedented in recent history, the U.S. Senate made two good legislative decisions.  The first was voting down President Obama's full "jobs bill" last week and the second was voting down his pared down "jobs bill" this week.  Seemingly unaware of the Democratic party's majority in the Senate, President Obama proceeded to chide Senate Republicans for "obstruct[ing] a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again."  Of course, the Senate would have passed the bill had it not been for Senators Nelson and Pryor (Democrats), but the President again failed to tell the truth.

No word yet on whether the politicians in D.C. will ever get over their incessant need to play politics with every issue and actually do something to benefit the U.S. economy: such as deregulating, lowering and simplifying taxes, and drastically cutting government spending.

The U.S. Begins Manufacturing Homosexuals (Was this part of Obama's jobs plan?)

A lesbian couple in California (of course) is giving their 11 year old son hormone blocking drugs so he can decide if he is a boy or a girl - apparently his anatomy wasn't a good enough clue.  In a development only shocking to his two moms, Tommy (now called Tammy) began insisting he was a girl at age 3.  The drugs are intended to delay onset of his physiologically normal adolescent testosterone to allow Tommy to remain confused.  In a world where the nature versus nurture origins of homosexuality are still hotly debated, this pair of women appear intent to manufacture their own gender confused child.  Sadly, it will ultimately be Tommy who suffers the ill effects.

Muammar Gaddafi Dead

Libya's 69 year old tyrannical despot was killed while running from advancing rebel forces.  Libya is now considered under control of the National Transition Council, a provisional government headed by Mahmoud Jibril - a U.S. educated politician.  However, it was reported on October 10, 2011 that Jibril intended to resign once liberation was achieved - opening the door for democratic elections to put representatives from Hamas and other like-minded terrorist organizations in power.  Perhaps Libya can be the newest Terroristocracy in the Middle East.



Monday, October 17, 2011

God and Liberty - Part I


The following is part of a five-part series discussing the inextricable link between God and Liberty in the context of challenges to religion on the fallacious notion that our Founding Fathers intended a secular nation.  The consequences of a Godless society are considered and the historical precedence for religion in U.S. politics is explored.

Part I discusses the true origin of liberty and I don’t mean the liberty afforded by our government – I mean true liberty. 
Part V shows the direction we must go as a nation to preserve liberty and provides recommendations for achieving it.

Part I – The Origin of Liberty

The United States became a nation through a grand self-declaration of independence on July 4, 1776.  The American colonialists-turned-revolutionaries fought a valiant and victorious battle against Great Britain to back up the audacious claim made in their Declaration of Independence.  In 1788 the Constitution of the United States was ratified.  A new nation was born that would stand as the bastion of liberty for centuries to come because of its religious influence.

Ironically, many citizens of this very same nation today writhe at the suggestion that religion is, or could be, responsible for the political innovation of the United States.  Moreover, these same individuals consistently seek legal injunctions against those who make even a faint religious overture in connection with anything vaguely resembling a government institution.  They do so presumably because their atheistic sensibilities feel threatened.  More likely, it is their vile contempt for opposing views compounded by their inability to make coherent arguments against Christian apologists that has caused them to resort to their own religious censorship as a last resort.  The irony is the liberty they claim to defend through religious persecution could not exist without the religion they are persecuting – the Judeo-Christian religion, specifically. 

Perhaps my claim strikes you as bold, unfounded, or – if you’re a member of the ACLU’s Facebook fan page – blatantly uninformed.  However, my proof would be insultingly obvious to any self-respecting American were it not swept under the rug of revisionist history and political correctness.  I suspect there are very few American citizens that have read the Declaration of Independence, but this is my starting point; it’s no coincidence as this is also the starting point of our great nation.

Although the entire document is well worth a read, the most relevant sentence is from the second paragraph: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

At the time of its writing, the truths mentioned were self-evident as well known logical outcomes based upon the prevailing political and moral philosophy of the time.  The concept of unalienable rights can be traced back to John Locke (although there is some dispute among historians, the National Archive still lists John Locke as one of the primary influences).  He ascertained that there are certain rights based on natural law which are unalienable – meaning they could not be taken away.  He further reasoned that these natural laws must be granted by our Creator, God, for the purpose of fulfilling His will in our lives.

Natural law is a philosophical construct predating Locke.  In fact, the concept of natural law was not necessarily associated with or deemed to be God-granted by all philosophers.  It is reasoned that natural laws are byproducts of nature – an outcome of our surroundings and environment.  This would pave the way for an atheistic interpretation if it weren’t for one simple question: Why?

According to some philosophers, natural law is an outcome of consciousness.  For example, my body can be enslaved, but my conscious is free to think as is pleases.  Therefore, the nature of human consciousness dictates that liberty must be ubiquitous – a law of nature.  While this explanation may seem sufficient for showing the existence of natural law in an atheistic universe, it doesn’t go far enough.  Specifically, why do humans have a conscious in the first place?  With no conscious there could be no absolute liberty.

Consider Locke’s first unalienable right: Life.  We might observe our world and see that new life is fundamental.  Yet concluding that the right to life is unalienable simply because the cycle of life occurs doesn’t go far enough.  We must ask, “Why is there life?”

An atheistic world-view cannot answer the why questions.  We can keep asking why until we must provide a reason for the beginning of the universe.  I’ll save you some time and jump right to the question: why does the universe exist?  The atheist can only answer that it was a random event without meaning or purpose; consequently, anything that follows from a random event must also be without meaning or purpose.  For example, assume I pick a completely random number (note that even this example cannot be as random as the origin of the universe because it involves a logical human mind engaging in an activity, picking a random number, for a particular purpose).  If I multiply, divide, add, subtract, square, invert, round, or do any other mathematical operation with that number the answer is equally useless and meaningless.  Imagine presenting that number during a board meeting at the office:

You: “…and on this slide we have 1,463,288.”
CEO: “What does that mean?”
You: “Well that, sir, is a number.”
CEO: “Yes, I can see that, but for what purpose are you showing it to me?”
You: “Ahh, yes.  A good question.  I’m showing it here because I multiplied 731,644 by 2.”
CEO: “And what is 731,644?!”
You: “A number.”
CEO: “I KNOW IT’S A NUMBER, WHAT DOES IT MEAN??!!!”

No amount of number crunching could add any meaning to the random number.  Likewise, no subsequent events can add any meaning to a universe that occurs via some spontaneous, random event.  Under this regime, the existence of life is likewise meaningless: an outcome of randomness.  If meaningless, then how could there ever be a right to life?  We can try to assign meaning, just as I can try to say that 731,644 is the company’s gross revenue, but it doesn’t make it true.  More grotesquely, assume all life is obliterated.  So what?  If it was a random accident in the first place, then who cares?  If there is no purpose to original life, then there is no purpose to a subsequent life, then there can be no purpose to the last life; therefore, there is no reason to protect life so why not just nuke all life?

Now consider the alternative.  Assume 731,644 is your company’s gross revenue.  Now multiplying it by 2 has meaning – it’s twice the gross revenue.  It might be that’s how much money you need to make next year to pay all your current liabilities.  Likewise, if the universe and the life within it is the outcome of a creative act by a loving God, then it has meaning.  Even the most abstract work of art has meaning.  An artist might claim it is a meaningless painting, but even something done intentionally without meaning was meant to be meaningless – it has purpose.  Under this scenario, life is meaningful.  There’s a reason you and I exist – to fulfill God’s purpose.  Because we are all extensions of God’s purposeful creation then each of us must likewise be equally valuable to that purpose.  Consequently, none of us have more purpose than another. 

Think about the ramifications for a moment.  If Adam and Eve are part of a meaningful, purpose-filled event, then anything or anyone derived from them must be of equal meaning.  If God intended for the children of Adam and Eve to have no purpose He would not have created them with the ability to reproduce because there would be no reason to.  (Not to mention that He literally commanded them to “Be fruitful and multiply.”)  Because we are all descendents of Adam and Eve, we must likewise be of equal meaning.  As such, there are no humans that are accidents; none of us are without purpose.  It follows logically that we must all therefore be here to fulfill a purpose.  The only way to fulfill that purpose is to live; thus, we all have a right to life.

Our right to life is unalienable for two reasons: 1) we are all of equal purpose, so no one’s life is dominant over another; thus, I cannot rightfully take away your right to life. 2) We are all subservient to God; thus, He alone can decide if we are worthy to live and because we are living we must be deemed worthwhile.

Consider further the right to liberty.  If our lives are purposeful, then we must be allowed to fulfill that purpose.  If we are constrained for reasons beyond our own actions – e.g. slavery – then we are unable to fulfill our purpose.  Therefore, the right to liberty is unalienable, revocable only by God.  Yet it is God who established the greatest example of liberty: free will.  God gave Adam and Eve, and all their descendents, the freedom to choose God’s purpose or our own purpose. 

Our conscious is a necessity for cognition – a prerequisite to understanding and therefore fulfilling our purpose.  A universe derived from pure randomness has no use for consciousness because there is no purpose.  Life existing in such a circumstance continues to exist only to the extent it is able to survive competing forms of life.  In the vernacular of atheists, this form of existence is driven solely by survival of the fittest.  An organism’s “fitness” can only be attributable to its physical characteristics, but conscious is independent of anything physical.  Conscious is not a genetic trait; thus, its existence cannot be explained by an atheistic worldview.  Consequently, liberty cannot be an unalienable right in an atheist’s universe because a person’s physical body can be limited by another and with no conscious there is nothing that retains its liberty.

Finally, we have Locke’s third unalienable right: the right to property.  Locke reasoned that we must have a right to property in order to fulfill our purpose.  If we cannot be assured the uninterrupted possession of the implements of our purpose, then we cannot fulfill our purpose.  Assuming we have made the choice to live according to our purpose, then we cannot be denied our right to property.  Moreover, in order to acquire property we must trade our life for it.  We trade time, moments of our life, to work for the money we use to purchase property (more than just real estate).  Now allowing someone to retain his property is equivalent to taking away his life; because we all have a right to life we must also have the right to property paid for with our life.

Without God there are no unalienable rights: no life, no liberty, no property.  Without God, there wouldn’t have been any consciousness to recognize the tyranny of the King of England; consequently, there would never have been a United States of America.  Yet the God that grants us these rights is being forced out of our government by legal challenges posed by predominantly atheistic organizations.  In future posts on this topic I will explore the consequences of such actions and explore how we can effectively combat further erosion.