Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Personal Politics

American politics intrigues me. The idea that this government was established to pursue liberty and individual freedoms is something sacred, and was an original idea (in practical application) at the time of its establishment.

Individual freedoms and liberty are pursuant to the fundamental truth of "free will" around which God shaped the entire human condition. I have tried to craft a political philosophy that adheres to liberty, human truths, and the fundamentals of free will. I do not believe an extensive discussion on this philosophy is necessary if I can enumerate my conclusions on the current issues facing the United States today.

Below I will name the issue, and give a short philosophy of why I subscribe to that particular path of liberty. If you wish to discuss my position on certain subjects, I'm all for it. Just do so respectfully, and try the point-counter point style of dialog to avoid lectureship.

1. Gay Marriage- I do not believe Governments should be in the business of regulating or defining marriage on any level at all, whatsoever. The current method of "marriage licensing" is an authoritarian policy that is in strong opposition to the pursuit of liberty.

I believe this practice to be unconstitutional on 1st amendment grounds. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." One man and one woman is a modern Judeo-Christian form of the institution of marriage.

Furthermore, as Christians, we should not seek the power of the state to protect the sanctity of marriage, or any other Christian value. This mindset is closely linked to the same argument that led to the vanity exercise of The Crusades. Believers should have no use for that policy.

As far as adoption goes with the same issue, governments should not discriminate based on these grounds. Do I believe that homosexuality is a sin? Yes. Though not any more of a sin than gossiping, lying, greed, and gluttony.

As a sinner myself, I know I need grace and help to conquer my flaws and inequities. Banning a practice is meant to curb the behavior or shows a fear of the practice. I do not fear homosexuals, and it is absurd to believe outlawing homosexuality will rid the country of those who subscribe to it. Grace and love should abound from the church toward everyone, and laws should be neutral in their crafting.

2. Health Care & Entitlement Programs- No matter the great oratory for the masses espousing health care as a right, it is NOT one. Liberty is the freedom from governments acting as Robin Hood. When people are paid to do nothing, it is "majoritarian plunder." It's not good for a society to base a system of taxes and welfare on providing every meal, roof, and doctor's visit cradle to grave for every citizen. It is not practical, and it is not healthy.

It is true that not all people can simply pull themselves up by their bootstraps. This is where the Church should come in to provide support and show pure and undefiled religion. It is the failing of the Church that has given leftist and communist the practicality edge on socialist agendas.

3. Public Education- Although it is not a Constitutionally enumerated right, it was universally understood by the founders of our nation that Republics and Democracies must have a well-educated electorate in order to survive. American education should be the world leader in this arena. The cause of education's awful state is the method by which it is funded: property taxes. (San Antonio ISD v. Rodriguez, 1973 found that the right to education does not live anywhere in the Constitution)

Poor areas will have little money to contribute to their district schools. Rich areas have the best schools. It's cyclical, and it's a mess. Without a change, it will continue to be one. Truth be told, this government has the ability to fund education if we scaled back in foreign aid and entitlement programs.

4. Environment- I love the environment. Regulation on emissions and industrial waste are good. Just remember this for another conversation: Pure and unchecked capitalism tramples on the rights of individuals as much as an authoritarian state could.

5. Economics- Low taxes equals more money for consumers to put into the economy. The more money out there to be spent, the more competitive the market place becomes. I believe that liberties and low taxes are almost synonymous with one another, but that is open to discussion.

6. Nation Building & Foreign Aid- Shouldn't do it, not ever. The purpose of taxes is to provide services for citizens that live within that nation's borders. I'm not saying these practices are "unconstitutional" as the congress to authorize the expenditures.

I believe when there is a need here at home, we don't send any of our cash overseas, despite the positive ramifications it could have because of the strengthening force of globalization. It's a recipe for disaster.

7. Immigration and National Security- Controlling and documenting the flow of immigration in this country is closely tied to national security. How President Bush can claim a strong national defense agenda and want an open and unsecured border with Mexico or Canada is beyond absurd.

I don't want to deny work and fair wages to immigrants here in America. I want them to enjoy the opportunities and freedoms that America offers. I also want them to operate within the laws of America. That's all I ask. Documentation and tracking systems for immigrants are viable, it can be practical, and it can be paid for without raising taxes.

8. Abortion & Death Penalty- The right to life is so fundamental to the pursuit of liberty that I cannot ever afford, even begrudgingly, the right of personal choice to supersede the superior right of life.

Unequivocally, outside the womb, the right to life is the superior right. Only when equal liberties bump up against each other does a choice need to be made. The mother should have a choice when her life is in danger, but she may choose to sacrifice her life for her child. That is the only time an abortion should be optional, and those circumstances are few and far between.

Even though many disagree with this position, I contend that life and person-hood begin at conception. Just because the child is dependent on the mother's body for nine months, I do not find her choice to control what goes on in her own body justification for ending a life. She is destroying another body that is inside hers. "Choice" is not the superior right, although I understand those who disagree with me may be trying to pursue personal liberties as well, and we have reached a different conclusion.

Insofar as the death penalty goes, I do not believe governments should be in the business of putting people to death. It is vengeful. Depriving one of their freedoms for crimes that trample on the rights of others, especially the right of others to live, is a fitting and appropriate punishment. Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is a far more just and harsh punishment than death. Just ask a death row inmate; They can't wait to die to end the hopelessness.

I know the families of victims may feel the need to have a death sentence carried out, and that is certainly how I would feel if something happened to a loved one of mine, but I understand the pursuit of liberty must have consistency. No abortion, no death penalty: It is the unimpeachable right to life. I have enumerated this stance before. Let me know what you think.

-I know many of you will disagree with several portions or the entirety of my reasoning, but this is where my pursuit of liberty has led me on the issues. If anyone wants to debate, I'm all ears.

If there is an issue did not address, please bring it up, and I'll discuss it under the comments section.

To borrow from my brother, Live Free Today.

34 comments:

J. Canterbury said...

1. I must say that while it has taken me a long time I agree with you on gay marriage. A Bible-banging debate has its place in the moral theatre, not on the floor of congress.


4. I heart the environment. Business should not run unchecked and waste should be controlled and managed properly. As a Christian I subscribe to what I was taught in scripture and that is to be a good steward of what God has richly given. We are the care-takers and we need to tend to that work.

I hate the environmentalist religion. It has given us global warming, a hole in the O-zone and 50 other calamities that somehow disappear when a new one gets kicked up. They rush to reactionary consensus and leave most of the science behind.


8a. This kind of spills over from the discussion on the porch but I wanted to weigh in on the topic of abortion and also explain my severely limited participation from that thread. For brevity's sake however, I'll just direct you over to my blogpost titled, "Planned Parenthood Survey Doesn't Jive".

8b. Until one of our many long talks, Roon, did I come to realize that I'm not steadfastly death penalty anymore. I'm convinced that it is not an effective deterant nor is it a cheaper alternative to life-in-prison sentencing.

I am not convinced, however, that the prison system is a hard enough punishment. But then again, does a criminal need punishment as much as he needs reformation and rehabilitation? I'm still coming to my beliefs on this one.

May liberty be achieved regardless.

Jared Gable said...

Where is the right to a public education enumerated in the Constitution?

Cameron Clark said...

The statement, as it was written was false. It is not what I meant to write. I had rephrased the sentence and did not proof read it well enough.

The statement has been amended accordingly.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

How do you feel about the statement, "if Homosexual marriage is okay and legal, then many souls will not be created.."? I hold life in high esteem, as you do with your stance on abortion and the death penalty. It just seems to me that homosexuals cannot reproduce, therefore, life is being cheapened and "ripped off."

J. Canterbury said...

Joseph,

Do you then hold married couples who medically cannot have children in the same eye as you do homosexual couples?

Cameron Clark said...

Joseph,

homosexuality is practiced, and has been practiced long before and after American laws prohibited it.

I don't think the legality of the act crosses into a question of more souls vs. less souls. Again, legality and morality are two different things.

This sounds like a question John Madden would like to answer.

"There were souls, and there could be souls, but then there were less souls, and boom! We have less souls.

I mean it's like the hokie pokie, Joseph. You put your right foot in. You put your right foot out. Hey, your right foot is in, and you shake it all about.

You do the...hokie pokie, and you turn yourself around, and boom! That's what that's all about, Joe!"

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

I feel as though I am being mocked. It was a serious question and I wanted to know your thoughts.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

The implications for children in a world of decaying families are profound. A recent article in the Weekly Standard described how the advent of legally sanctioned gay unions in Scandinavian countries has already destroyed the institution of marriage, where half of today's children are born out of wedlock. It is predicted now, based on demographic trends in this country, that more than half of the babies born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes.
Social scientists have been surprisingly consistent in warning against this fractured family. If it continues, almost every child will have several "moms" and "dads," perhaps six or eight "grandparents," and dozens of half-siblings. It will be a world where little boys and girls are shuffled from pillar to post in an ever-changing pattern of living arrangements-where huge numbers of them will be raised in foster-care homes or living on the street (as millions do in other countries all over the world today). Imagine an environment where nothing is stable and where people think primarily about themselves and their own self-preservation.The apostle Paul described a similar society in Romans 1, which addressed the epidemic of homosexuality that was rampant in the ancient world and especially in Rome at that time. He wrote, "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless" (v. 29-31, NIV). It appears likely now that the demise of families will accelerate this type of decline dramatically, resulting in a chaotic culture that will be devastating to children

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

The introduction of legalized gay marriages will lead inexorably to polygamy and other alternatives to one-man, one-woman unions. In Utah, polygamist Tom Green, who claims five wives, is citing Lawrence v. Texas as the legal authority for his appeal. This past January, a Salt Lake City civil rights attorney filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of another couple wanting to engage in legal polygamy. Their justification? Lawrence v. Texas.
The ACLU of Utah has actually suggested that the state will "have to step up to prove that a polygamous relationship is detrimental to society"-as opposed to the polygamists having to prove that plural marriage is not harmful to the culture. Do you see how the game is played? Despite 5,000 years of history, the burden now rests on you and me to prove that polygamy is unhealthy. The ACLU went on to say that the nuclear family "may not be necessarily the best model." Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia warned of this likelihood in his statement for the minority in the Lawrence case.10 It took less than six months for his prediction to become reality. Why will gay marriage set the table for polygamy? Because there is no place to stop once that Rubicon has been crossed. Historically, the definition of marriage has rested on a bedrock of tradition, legal precedent, theology and the overwhelming support of the people. After the introduction of marriage between homosexuals, however, it will be supported by nothing more substantial than the opinion of a single judge or by a black-robed panel of justices. After they have done their wretched work, the family will consist of little more than someone's interpretation of "rights." Given that unstable legal climate, it is certain that some self-possessed judge, somewhere, will soon rule that three men and one woman can marry. Or five and two, or four and four. Who will be able to deny them that right? The guarantee is implied, we will be told, by the Constitution. Those who disagree will continue to be seen as hate-mongers and bigots. (Indeed, those charges are already being leveled against those of us who espouse biblical values!) How about group marriage, or marriage between relatives, or marriage between adults and children? How about marriage between a man and his donkey? Anything allegedly linked to "civil rights" will be doable. The legal underpinnings for marriage will have been destroyed.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

An even greater objective of the homosexual movement is to end the state's compelling interest in marital relationships altogether. After marriages have been redefined, divorces will be obtained instantly, will not involve a court, and will take on the status of a driver's license or a hunting permit. With the family out of the way, all rights and privileges of marriage will accrue to gay and lesbian partners without the legal entanglements and commitments heretofore associated with it.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

With the legalization of homosexual marriage, every public school in the nation will be required to teach that this perversion is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Textbooks, even in conservative states, will have to depict man/man and woman/woman relationships, and stories written for children as young as elementary school, or even kindergarten, will have to give equal space to homosexuals.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

From that point forward, courts will not be able to favor a traditional family involving one man and one woman over a homosexual couple in matters of adoption. Children will be placed in homes with parents representing only one sex on an equal basis with those having a mom and a dad. The prospect of fatherless and motherless children will not be considered in the evaluation of eligibility. It will be the law.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

Foster-care parents will be required to undergo "sensitivity training" to rid themselves of bias in favor of traditional marriage, and will have to affirm homosexuality in children and teens.How about the impact on Social Security if there are millions of new dependents that will be entitled to survivor benefits? It will amount to billions of dollars on an already overburdened system. And how about the cost to American businesses? Unproductive costs mean fewer jobs for those who need them. Are state and municipal governments to be required to raise taxes substantially to provide health insurance and other benefits to millions of new "spouses and other dependents"?Marriage among homosexuals will spread throughout the world, just as pornography did after the Nixon Commission declared obscene material "beneficial" to mankind. Almost instantly, the English-speaking countries liberalized their laws against smut. America continues to be the fountainhead of filth and immorality, and its influence is global. The point is that numerous leaders in other nations are watching to see how we will handle the issue of homosexuality and marriage. Only two countries in the world have authorized gay marriage to date-the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada is leaning in that direction, as are numerous European countries. Dr. Darrell Reid, president of Focus on the Family Canada, told me two weeks ago that his country is carefully monitoring the United States to see where it is going. If we take this step off a cliff, the family on every continent will splinter at an accelerated rate. Conversely, our U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that it looks to European and Canadian law in the interpretation of our Constitution.13 What an outrage! That should have been grounds for impeachment, but the Congress, as usual, remained passive and silent.Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. The family has been God's primary vehicle for evangelism since the beginning.

Its most important assignment has been the propagation of the human race and the handing down of the faith to our children. Malachi 2:15 reads, referring to husbands and wives, "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth" (NIV).

That responsibility to teach the next generation will never recover from the loss of committed, God-fearing families. The younger generation and those yet to come will be deprived of the Good News, as has already occurred in France, Germany and other European countries. Instead of providing for a father and mother, the advent of homosexual marriage will create millions of motherless children and fatherless kids. This is morally wrong, and is condemned in Scripture. Are we now going to join the Netherlands and Belgium to become the third country in the history of the world to "normalize" and legalize behavior that has been prohibited by God himself? Heaven help us if we do!The culture war will be over, and I fear, the world may soon become "as it was in the days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37, NIV). This is the climactic moment in the battle to preserve the family, and future generations hang in the balance.

This apocalyptic and pessimistic view of the institution of the family and its future will sound alarmist to many, but I think it will prove accurate unless-unless-God's people awaken and begin an even greater vigil of prayer for our nation. That's why Shirley and I are urgently seeking the Lord's favor and asking Him to hear the petitions of His people and heal our land.

As of this time, however, large segments of the church appear to be unaware of the danger; its leaders are surprisingly silent about our peril (although we are tremendously thankful for the efforts of those who have spoken out on this issue). The lawless abandon occurring recently in California, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere should have shocked us out of our lethargy. So far, I'm alarmed to say, the concern and outrage of the American people have not translated into action.

This reticence on behalf of Christians is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacrament designed by God that serves as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His Church. Tampering with His plan for the family is immoral and wrong. To violate the Lord's expressed will for humankind, especially in regard to behavior that He has prohibited, is to court disaster.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

I know my speech is lengthy and "elevated" for some. But I shall not be mocked.

Cameron Clark said...

I'm not mocking, and I answered the premise of your question with regard to the law.

Marriages should be recorded like births and deaths, but not regulated and defined by the state.

If social scientist blame gay marriage for the destruction of the family, then they posses very poor deductive reasoning skills.

The problem you are describing is a human one, not confined to the homosexual lifestyle. Children in America that have heterosexual parents experience the same trauma when those parents divorce and remarry, possibly several times.

Do you wish to outlaw divorce as well? A congressional decree that parents of children must stay or even get married?

I'm saying it's a specific moral code that I believe is prohibited from being legally enforced because of the establishment clause, and the very fabrics of personal freedoms.

I cannot make someone adhere to Christianity because I work it into the laws of the state. Liberty does not work that way, nor does free will.

What practice will be curbed if gay marriage is outlawed?

Cameron Clark said...

Denying personal freedoms for sake of tax structure and entitlement benefits is the upheaval of liberty.

Homosexual marriage poses no threat...no threat at all whatsoever to the covenant with my wife. NONE!

I don't think espousing a hatred of a set of people favors my ability to talk to them about the gospel. It destroys the possibility to teach and convert.

A family is destroyed because of single sets of personal decisions, not the laws the govern their geography.

The compelling state interest in protecting families has very narrow parameters. It cannot enforce the one man, one woman covenant on anyone.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

Would God be for it? You said "no". Are we "one nation under God"...you would say yes. Why, then, not take any steps that we CAN to line up with His thinking? You are a man of faith, not Law.

Cameron Clark said...

A Christian should NEVER force their beliefs on other souls with laws.

It is vanity that is adherence to a behavior, and abandons the war for the heart and soul of the human.

My personal adherence to God's law is a decision that I can make because I do not live in the authoritarian state of Saudi Arabia. There are laws that bind men, and laws that set men free.

"Setting men free" from the laws of sin and death through Constitutional means is a deprivation of liberty and free will at the most fundamental levels.

Humans make the free will choice to follow God and live in His service without the coercion from the state. A state that favored the human execution of God's law in punishment would be more riddled with hypocrisy, injustice, and power grabs than this libertarian republic we live under now.

All one would have to do is look at the state of churches in general to understand that.

I want a government that allows me to worship how I wish. That is the only thing guaranteeing religious freedom, even from religion itself.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

I believe "some of us" might be in danger.The Bible even warns us against following other gods. The first commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before Me." Substantively, anything that is the object of your affection can be considered to be your god. I am not saying don't love your wife. However, even the Christian is supposed to love his wife as he is doing this unto God. A proverb of many Christians, in order to discern whether or not something is sinful, is to ask, "What would Jesus do?" Or another one is, "If it can't be done unto God, then it isn't right." Obviously, you can love your wife and be right with God. God commands husbands to love their wives. Back to my point. Anything that is the object of your affection can be a god to you. For example, an environmentalist worships the earth (dirt) and a socialist worships government. And believe me, government is a very jealous god! Tithing to the church of government isn't an option, it's mandatory. Everybody has something that serves as number one in their life. Everybody also engages in certain behaviors and expresses certain ideas based on those relationships with their number one love. Nobody can actually see or hear my relationship with God. What they do see and hear are my behaviors and ideas based on my relationship with God. Whether or not somebody has a god is not the question. The only question is, do you serve a creature, creation, or the Creator?

Cameron Clark said...

How exactly am I not serving the creator in my interpretation of liberties as they incorporate into the bigger picture of His free will ?

Shall we punish not honoring your mother and father? 11 months, 29 days in jail per offense seems reasonable.

What about coveting your neighbor's wife? Do you have to turn yourself in? And if you do turn yourself in, do you reach a better plea bargain agreement with the D.A.'s office?

Your rhetoric is precisely the same as that of many countries in the Middle East, just substitute Allah or Koran in the appropriate spots.

Christ didn't come to create a system of government. In fact, the first government Christianity was under was hostile to its' existence, yet it still flourished.

Christ came and died in the war for the hearts and souls. He has won mine, and that of my family. Where Biblically does it command us to use governments to bend behavior to His standards?

I think the inverse of James 2:20 is also true...works without faith are hollow.

God is not checking off the naughty and nice list. The war for the mind and heart is bigger than that of hollow actions and stances on personal liberties.

I am desperately chasing after the will of our God. I just don't think forcing adherence to superficial standards is anything without the faith behind it.

If it helps you to question the integrity of my faithfulness, then go ahead. My faith and course of action is not shaken by your criticisms.

Travis Gable said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you The Great Dr. James Dobson, founder of the monolithic organization "Focus On The Family". What a treat! Seriously, Dr. Dobson, you do not need to write under this "southerndaddy" pseudonym. Perhaps the "mockery" would not have been so great if your true identity had been revealed at the beginning of this thread. How's the weather in Colorado?

Travis Gable said...

Interestingly, I found a similar post on the following website:

http://www.nogaymarriage.com/tenarguments.asp

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

Clap Clap Clap (this is me applauding your great research, Travis). However, it wasn't a secret. It's FREE information. If you look at when the blogs were typed, you would see that I didn't make any secret about it, no one would could type that fast.And I don't live in Colorado...if you weren't such an ignorant jackass looking for a fight you would see that. I do not appreciate your tone or the fact that you are coming off as a pompous prick.

Travis Gable said...

Tonight's weather in Colorado Springs: Frigid, with a high pressure system moving into the area.

Something in your "tone" tells me that you aren't Dr. James Dobson.

However, you really do cut to the chase with your immediate ad hominem attacks.

I know you are but what am I?

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

Is it my deep insight that causes you to take such shots?

tayers44 said...

Cameron,

I am going to pretend that the above comments do not even exist.

Your insight on freedom and liberty is very fair and balanced.

It is refreshing to see political thoughts that are rooted in the Bible and steeped in common sense as well.

(maybe the more positive and rational stuff that we post will "squeeze" out the polar expressions of others).

Cameron Clark said...

Joseph, I have responded appropriately to your criticisms. I would ask that you leave my brother, Travis, alone.

He is a fragile and simple soul. Bless his pointed head....

Actually, Travis is twice as smart as anyone else I know. I believe The Chief of Staff was trying to disengage your comments because of the nature of your attacks, and felt discussion on the issue with you would be quite futile.

I don't know for sure, I'm just guessing.

When you said, "I know my speech is lengthy and "elevated" for some. But I shall not be mocked." That sounds as if you were taking credit for the preceding statements. Typically a web link to the article would have sufficed. Although the rapid succession of your postings tipped me off that these points may have been written down somewhere else previously.

You have laid out your reasoning for a compelling state interest to ban homosexual marriage. I have tried my best to respond to the liberty and free will problem your solution inherently possesses. The high hurdle the state must clear to show a compelling state interest to ban the practice has not been met.

If you wish to discuss this further, go right ahead.

Taft, thanks for your thoughts. I believe the church, when it fights against personal liberties, makes itself irrelevant.

Living in the world, and not of the world are two different things. I know you and Mel live this everyday, so please don't think I'm preaching, just reaffirming.

The discernment between intolerance and acceptance/endorsement is one that I wish The Church (in general) would take more time to understand.

joseph, "southerndaddy" said...

I will not make any attempts to understand Travis. The will be futile. But I do appreciate the manner in which you spoke to me. I am convinced we are kindred spirits. You mirror me in the essence of Proverbs 19:8, "He who loves wisdom loves his own best interest and will be a success."

Cameron Clark said...

I doubt it, but I appreciate your candor.

I think we have a problem communicating past a certain point, and I think the virtues of wisdom we individually value are radically different.

You do raise the level of debate on this site, and I appreciate that.

However, I disagree with almost everything you have written from your first response on The Bunkhouse.

Nicole McIntyre said...

Umm...wow. I'm afraid to throw a stone into these righteous waters.

I'll just go play with the Jesus Action Figure my niece found at Wal-Mart last week...

jkb said...

Cameron,

I have just recently found your site and love the debates that you create.

I'm not totally sure of my thoughts on all this quite yet. I'm not quite as eloquent as some here, so forgive me. But here are a few that come to mind:

1. Being a Christian means death to self. Christians fighting for liberty and personal freedoms in government is almost a contradiction. I don't mean that we should give up the fight, but it's just a thought that comes to mind. To an extent, I do agree with you on the legality of homosexual marriage. Yet, I do feel that we should fight to preserve a favorable atmosphere in our government towards the values that it was founded on.

2. Death penalty - I have done much research on this and know all the statistics to argue against state-sanctioned executions. But, there is just something in the back of my mind that says that there are some people who deserve to die for what they have done. I appreciate your arguement against it based on the right to life. I just feel that when someone takes the life of another, they forfeit their own right to life. Call it a revenge stance or whatever you want. That's just how I feel. I do think that on the whole, the death penalty shouldn't be administered. I don't feel that it is a deterant to crime. However, any person involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks (for example) are prime candidates for the death penalty. Those people will never be rehabilitated. Actually, criminal rehabilitation is a whole other issue for me so I will leave it for now.

Thanks for the great thought provoking blog.

Cameron Clark said...

JKB,

I have long wrestled with the idea of living in the world, and not being of the world, and what exactly that may look like.

I had previously considered total pacifism and disengagement in American politics. I came to the conclusion that refusing to participate in the discussion and opportunity that politics presents to us as Christians, would be ignoring an ideal situation to use some of my specific spiritual gifts. It seems to work for me, but not a lot of other people like it or respect it.

I totally respect Christians who do not participate in politics on Gospel principles.

However, you would be shocked at how many homosexuals I have been able to talk with about Christ because of my philosophy on liberty. More than a dozen times I have been able to quickly link my philosophy to my Christianity and use the opportunity to discuss the love of Christ or the gospel in general.

I feel as if I have chosen the right path for me, and do not feel my conscience is violated as a Christian in doing so. I fully believe I am doing my best to be in the world while adhering to Matthew 28:19-20.

As for the death penalty, it is such a difficult topic to approach for many of the reasons you have already listed. I totally respect those who wish to see it enforced, as it does have both civic and social uses, as well as religious endorsement for truly heinous acts.

I really and truly hope you continue to visit the site and participate in the discussions.

JKB said...

I guess my real point to my comment is that I don't have a full personal philosphy figured out on either of these two topics. I'm kind of thinking it through out loud. I tend to think through points with the devil's advocate in my ear.

I completely believe that you can't legislate morality. The problem is that our system of law would be useless if it wasn't based on the truths given by God. Which is why I believe that Christans should be involved in the political process. Who else is going to preserve our system? I don't want to become too cynical, but without Christians in politics we would have the blind leading the seeing. How could a Christian say that this or that is wrong in government and yet refuse to take a role?

Even after saying all that, I'm still not sure where that leaves the issue of gay marriage. Heterosexual marriage has been cheapened so much already. I personally hate how lightly people take the act of marriage. The divorce rate is horrible. I wish it were harder to get a divorce just so people would think about what they are doing when they get married.

So I don't have any clear answers on this issue. Just a bunch of points.

Cameron Clark said...

I agree that the divorce rate is an atrocity, I just don't want government making it easier or harder by legislating the act of marriage or divorce.

Most states have a "no-fault" policy on divorce anyway, it is just equatable division of the property and child custody that must be overseen by the court. The existing laws on property division and child custody are sufficient, and do not need a regulation or marriage to keep in force.

"Legislating morality" is something done legitimately everyday on every level of government. A pro-gay marriage argument breaks down when they stray down that path.

Everyone approaches politics based on their world perspective, which is mostly likely shaped fundamentally by their religion or lack thereof.

The big problem with legislating morality based upon religion is that the basis of the laws will change depending upon which religion or sect holds a majority. Thus, the establishment clause to strike down those laws.

One of my favorite high court decisions of all time is United States v. Reynolds, 1878. It deals with polygamy.

The decision states that the establishment clause granting freedom of religion does not mean a man can be a nation unto himself because of his religion.

Therefore, the people and the courts are responsible for keeping the law from taking away the liberties of others. We have failed in that regard miserably as citizens and Christians.