Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Paulestinians

I'm reposting some comments I left over at Justin Taylor's blog:

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm
One of the issues is whether Ron Paul’s explanation was “evolved” over time:

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Joe P.

“These smears have been around since at least 2008. The National Review is hardly an unbiased news source concerning Ron Paul. They (National Review) have had an ax to grind with Rothbard, Rockwell, et al. for a long time.”

It’s not as if NRO singles out Ron Paul for special treatment. True, NRO doesn’t care for Ron Paul, but most of the contributors to NRO are equally critical of Bachmann, Cain, Perry, and Gingrich.

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm
Justin McKay

“Moreover, evangelicals should embrace Paul more, relative to his position on the issues they care the most about (i.e abortion and same-sex marriage). Paul’s position on these issue should have them salivating.”

Really? Isn’t his position that individual states have a right to legalize abortion and sodomite marriage? How is that something evangelicals ought to embrace?

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

“After all, if I didn’t want to give my tax money to a state that legalized either one, it wouldn’t be too difficult to move to another state.”

Actually it would, since it only takes a Federal judge to turn a red state into a blue state. Unless RP opposes judicial review, his solution is illusory.

When the issue of judicial review came up in the Sioux City debate, Gingrich was the candidate with ideas on how to curtail judicial review, and RP opposed Gingrich on that issue.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm

“In Paul’s defense, he is FOR reversing Roe V. Wade.”

Which would give Congress an opportunity to pass a national ban on abortion. But RP opposes that.

“He believes abortion is murder.”

Which he’d leave up to the discretion of individual states.

“He believes life begins at conception. He believes the definition of marriage is one man one woman.”

What matters is not what he believes, but what he’d do. What are his policy initiatives? Are they effective? That’s the question.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm

“The problem is the power you give to the federal government to outlaw abortion is the SAME TYPE of power that progressives used to pass Roe V. Wade.”

i) You’re confusing the judicial branch with the legislative branch. Try to keep those two things straight in your mind.

ii) To say I’m “giving” Congress that power begs the question. What makes you think Congress lacks that power in the first place?

“Take ‘No Child Left Behind’. Seems like a good thing to offer vouchers to families who want to put their kid in private school.”

That’s the democratic process at work. Congress can pass good laws and bad laws. Same thing with state legislatures. There’s no failsafe. Laws are only as good as lawmakers, and lawmakers are only as good as the voters who elect them.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm

“So, I guess it’s okay to have unnecessary programs, powers, spending, etc at the federal level that will give way to bad laws being written in the future?”

i) You reflect a persistent inability to respond to what your interlocuter actually said. Do you filter everything through your Ron Paul spectacles, is that it?

I’ve pointed out that you’re simply shifting the same problems to state and local gov’t. Look at California, for instance.

ii) Ultimately, a democratic process is only as good (or bad) as the electorate. Unless you plan to foment a violent revolution to overthrow our republican democracy and then install a benign dictator, you’re stuck with the limitations of the democratic process.

“As long as we get a federal marriage amendment and an anti-abortion amendment? Is it pointless to even talk about being a ‘Constitutional Candidate’”?

Claiming to be the “Constitutional candidate” no more makes a candidate Constitutional than a man claiming to be an elephant makes him a pachyderm.

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm
Steven Hunter

“So true. Christians never seem to have an issue with militarism, but they want to strain at the gnat on this issue that has been answered at length.”

Perhaps because many Christians have a more discriminating position on national security.

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Michael Boyd

“Paul’s position is the position of the Constitution, and his thinking is we best abide by the Constitution because if we allow the federal government the power to make the decisions we should be deciding upon in our own states through the voting process, then the door is opened up for too much power by the federal gov’t. His response to you would be the same as a myriad of quotes from the founders. Paul’s position is one of protecting freedom and liberty from the tendency of government to grow and take it away. This is what makes Ron Paul a man of principle. He sticks by the principles of the Constitution. At the same time, it brings him undue flack from believers because since he abides by the intent of the Constitution, he does not want to make these decisions at the federal level. I’m a huge Ron Paul supported and have been since the early 1990s, but I do disagee with him when it comes to how the federal gov’t should deal with the issue of abortion. I do respect his thinking, and know he has some good points. I think there should be an amendment outlawing abortion in the name of defending life, which I think is part of the government’s role Constitutionally. But, like I said, Ron Paul’s thinking here is not bad.”

i) Using the word “Constitutional” doesn’t make it Constitutional.

ii) Where does the Constitution forbid Congress from banning abortion or sodomite marriage (to take your two examples)? Explain from the text of the Constitution how it’s unconstitutional for elected representatives whom the voters sent to Congress to do that.

iii) You have things backwards. Whether we think it’s better to handle a social issue at the state level rather than federal level is not an issue of principle; rather, that’s a process issue. That’s a pragmatic consideration. A means to an end, not an end in itself.

By contrast, protecting innocent life or marriage between a man and a woman are issues of principle. That’s where we’re dealing with intrinsic values.

iv) State gov’t can be just as corrupt or oppressive as the federal gov’t. Giving more power to the states is hardly an antidote to abuse of power. It merely shifts the potential abuse of power.

v) As long as Federal judges have the authority to strike down state laws, falling back on local sovereignty is a mirage.

“I wish more ‘evangelicals’ would become aware of how we’ve taken a great mis-step in associating ourselves so closely with a culture war and actually fighting in it. It’s made it harder for us to be about the gospel work we’re called to do and it’s intentions are far removed from what Jesus and the apostles said.”

i) Christian men have a duty to protect their dependents (e.g. wives, kids, aging parents). That means political activism when their dependents are threatened by godless politicians.

ii) Protestant theology historically honors the vocation of laymen in contrast to Catholicism, which elevated monks and nuns to a higher echelon. Every man isn’t called to do the work of a pastor.

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 10:11 pm

i) The Constitution doesn’t codify one man’s viewpoint. It’s a consensus document. The Founding Fathers weren’t monolithic.

ii) The Constitution isn’t frozen in the 18C. It has been amended over time. The 14th amendment is a conspicuous example. So the Founding Fathers aren’t the only frame of reference.

iii) “Then consider the 10th Amendment, which states that ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people’. The 9th Amendment should also be considered: ‘The enumeration of the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’ There are not one, but two ‘text(s) of the Constitution’ that you asked for.”

There’s nothing in the specific wording of the two amendments you cite that debars Congress from banning abortion or sodomite marriage. The language is purely programmatic.

iv) “When ratifying the Constitution, many states upheld their rights to nullify any legislation handed down by the Federal government that would infringe upon their sovereignty. Should the Constitution be upheld in our country – as our elected leaders swear an oath to do – then our states would hold their rightful sovereign powers. In this way, the Federal government – including the judiciary branch – would not have the power to override any decisions made within the states.”

Is that the platform Ron Paul is actually running on? I haven’t seen that at his official campaign website. In this election cycle, where has Ron Paul made that campaign promise?

v) “But, which is preferable: one state abusing its power, which solely affects its citizens (who can move), or the Federal government abusing its power, which affects all the citizens in all 50 states? Surely the answer is obvious.”

No, that’s not obvious–for the Federal gov’t has the power to do greater good as well as greater harm than individual states. It cuts both ways.

vi) “As for your defense of the culture war (if I’m understanding you correctly), men & women are not protecting their loved ones; they’re protecting their own moralism while damaging their witness for Christ to a lost world. They’re attempting to clean the outside of the cup while leaving people with filthy & unregenerate hearts, still barreling head-long into damnation. We don’t change the hearts of the people through the voting booth; God does it through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

To begin with, your objection is incoherent. You yourself are politicking. Ron Paul supporters are political activists. It’s hypocritical for you to publicly campaign for Ron Paul while you presume to censure the political activism of social conservatives.

vii) In addition, when Christian men lobby for parental rights, vouchers, homeschooling, national security, heteronormativity, and Christian expression, while they oppose abortion, infanticide, eugenics, and euthanasia, they are protecting their dependents.

viii) The function of a law code was never to change hearts. As Paul says, “The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim 1:9-10).

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm

“Steve, you do know you sound like a socialist right?”

You do know you sound like a flat-earther right?

“’The Federal gov’t has the power to do greater good…’ Right out of a socialist playbook.’

Try to emote less and think more. Greater power entails the power to do greater good and/or greater harm. That’s really a self-evident proposition.

“So is all the rhetoric about the constitution changing. I think all of the bill of rights are unnecessary. Especially AFTER the first 10. The Constitution did not need amending. Those amendments could have been made into law without making them amendments to the Constitution.”

Provision for amending the Constitution is, itself, a Constitutional provision (Article 5). Perhaps you should actually read the document you lionize:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

Your own position is unconstitutional inasmuch as you scorn the Constitutional process of amending the Constitution.

“To say that the Founding Fathers aren’t our only frame of reference is the same argument that activist judges have been making for the past 100 years. All of the decisions made with that argument have lead to more socialism.”

I gave you a reason for that. The history of the Constitution didn’t end in the 18C. It’s been amended over the years. Therefore, you need to take that into account as well. For instance, you can’t turn to Founding Fathers to interpret the 14th amendment inasmuch as that postdates the Founding Fathers.

That has nothing to do with judicial activism. Amending the Constitution involves an act of Congress, ratified by the states–requiring supermajorities in both cases. The judiciary isn’t party to that process.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm
ndefalco December 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm

“Not sure why we needed them when we can pass laws without making amendments to the Constitution.”

Which Federal judges strike down with impunity.

“Because evangelicals are pointing their guns at the federal level, activist judges are quietly passing laws allowing homosexual marriages at the state level.”

Which proves my point.

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm
In my observation it’s only Ron Paul supporters who exhibit this hagiographic reverence for their chosen candidate. It’s like the flip side of Obamamania 4 years ago, where Obama was more than a candidate–he was nothing less a vessel in whom supporters projected their hopes and aspirations.

In addition, it’s not as if restoring Christian values is the leading theme of Ron Paul’s message. What we get is a mix of libertarianism, federalism, and isolationism–which could just as well come from a secular candidate. So the idea that Justin is sinning against a brother bears little resemblance to the actual campaign.

Finally, I keep reading comments about how this was all dealt with years ago, how we just need to properly research the issue, but I don’t see the same commenters interacting with apparent evidence to the contrary–which has been linked to.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

“I can stop reading right there. Why is this a bad thing?”

You seem to have difficulty following a simple argument. I didn’t evaluate RP’s position. Rather, I pointed out that there’s nothing specifically Christian about most of what he campaigns on. As such, it’s incongruous to see RP supporters accuse Justin of “slandering” a “brother” when Christian social ethics are hardly central to RP’s campaign message. He’s not made Christian identity central to his political identity. Indeed, most-all of what he campaigns on a secular libertarian could just as well have said.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Maybe because Jesus and Ron Paul are on the same page, (sermon on the mount) when they talk about how you bring about the kingdom of God, through a changed heart. The kingdom of God is not enlarged via political gains, and trying to bring about a moralistic society where all non-Christians have forced Christian morals. This would produce a nation of hypocrites. I challenge you to spend a good bit of time thinking about this. Is it really good to force non-Christians to act like Christians? What does Jesus and the Scriptures have to say about this.”

i) It makes one dizzy to seen Paulestinians zealously politicking for their candidate one minute, only to go Amish on us the next minute.

ii) I challenge you to derive your straw man about ushering in the kingdom of God from any comments I left at this thread.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Steve, first, you need to be able to debate without personally attacking any one that dares to cross you. I’m starting to notice a theme in your responses.”

You mean…like you accusing Justin of slander?

“I’m not sure what you are referring to, or what point you are trying to make.”

It’s really pretty obvious. You’re politicking for Ron Paul. Likewise, Paulestinians on this thread keep talking about how state laws are generally preferable to federal laws. Well, how is it ushering in the kingdom of God to pass federal laws, interpreted by federal judges, but if we switch to state politics, that’s fundamentally different?

You also fail to explain how my reference to Christian social ethics ushers in the kingdom of God.

My statement was made in response to your harping about Ron Paul’s Christian identity, and how that should dictate the way Justin treats him. Since, however, there’s rarely anything specifically Christian in Ron Paul’s message, why should Justin treat him as a Christian rather than just another politician?

For that matter, why is it even incumbent on Justin to vouch for RP’s Christian faith? If that’s the yardstick by which you think RP ought to be measured, then it’s up to RP to make that more prominent.

steve hays December 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Have you called him on the phone, or emailed him, or tried to contact his campaign first to try and get to the heart of this controversy? If you didn’t do that, I respectfully submit that you should be ashamed to encourage all your followers to inspect this situation with a magnifying glass.”

That’s not a reasonable demand. For a corrective, see:

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 6:31 am

Has it ever occurred to you that you’re slandering Justin Taylor? He’s a Christian too, you know. You need to step back a few paces and ask yourself why you’re so emotionally invested in Ron Paul. He’s just a political candidate. Not the Messiah.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Am I slandering Justin Taylor? If I am, please confront me on it.”

I just did.

“First, he’s a brother.”

So is Justin. Moreover, Justin is far more outspoken about his Christian faith than RP.

“Second, I’ve never respected a politician 1/10th as much as I do Ron Paul.”

It shows.

“It’s the same reason millions of others like me around the country are so passionate about Ron Paul. We’ve never come close to having such an incredible person lead our country.”

I agree with you that RP strains credulity.

“Good leaders produce followers that, with their mind AND heart, are willing to follow after them.”

There’s a term for that: personality cult.

“This questioning how our government does things and operates led to me stumbling upon Ron Paul. My view of politics and the role of government will never be the same.”

In other words, you underwent a conversion experience. Some people have the same experience when they read Karl Marx.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Steve Hays, if I slandered someone, I need you to be specific and show me my error.”

The repeated accusations you level against Justin.

“You might be alone on this one if you are insinuating that one of these two brothers should be treated better than the other.”

You’re treating Ron Paul better than Justin.

“Ron Paul defers all attention away from himself and onto the constitution and the founding fathers and God Himself.”

His followers have made RP a personality cult figure.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Paula, your being very disrespectful in calling Ron Paul a loon.”

Yes, I fear Paula will be struck by lightning for her impertinent words against the Lord’s anointed. Paula, repent!–lest the earth open up and swallow you whole!

“I challenge you to find someone you know that is a Ron Paul supporter, and ask them why they support Ron Paul. Take note of how in depth the answer will be.”

Measured in millimeters.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 6:39 am
Because Ron Paul has been a fringe candidate most of his career, he’s never been vetted the way major candidates for high office are. Now that he’s competitive in the Iowa primary, he’s beginning to receive the type of media scrutiny that’s routine for candidates at his level. Nothing unusual about that. That’s to be expected. That goes with the territory. His supporters need to drop the persecution complex.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm
Ryan Finlay

“Fox News calls Ron Paul a fringe candidate. The polls speak differently of him, as do the millions of supporters across the country that donate small amounts of money to him (as he doesn’t get much corporate support for some reason).”

During the 2008 primaries he couldn’t even carry Texas. You know, the state he’s represented in Congress since the 1970s.

“Other than that it’s just personal attacks as there is nothing else to bring up.”

From the viewpoint of a diehard Paulestinian, perhaps. But there’s plenty to criticize besides the newsletters.

steve hays December 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm
Ah, but who’s behind Wall Street? Clearly Wall Street is just a front for the Trilateral Commission, which is just a front for Skull and Bones, which is just a front for Opus Dei, which is just a front for the Rothschilds, which is just a front for the Illuminati, which is just a front for the Knights Templar, which is just a front for Extraterrestrials.

steve hays December 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm
Of course, it’s futile to vote for Ron Paul, for, if he gets elected, the Mossad will kidnap him and replace him with a double.

steve hays December 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm
Michael Boyd

“…it’s going to take a man with a rock-solid, long- standing record and proven courage, integrity and fortitude to correct the ship.”

RP supporter’s keep vouching for his record of uncompromising courage and integrity. I guess I’m not looking at the same record they are. To take a few counterexamples:

i) On the one hand, opposition to militarism, military adventurism, the military-industrial complex, &c. is one of his signature themes.

On the other hand, his official campaign website is touting his military service during the Viet Nam War. But isn’t that a paradigm-case of what he says he opposes?

Why wasn’t he a conscientious objector? Why didn’t he burn his draft card? Why wasn’t he a war protestor during the Sixties–like Tom Hayden?

It’s the height of hypocrisy for him to talk down America’s foreign wars while he talks up his military service. Shouldn’t he be a draft-dodger rather than a veteran?

ii) In a similar vein, he voted for the AUMF. Doesn’t that go against everything he says he believes in?

a) To begin with, doesn’t he consider it unconstitutional to wage war without a formal Congressional declaration of war?

b) He also knew that he was giving Bush the go ahead. How can he turn around and attack Bush’s foreign wars when he signed the permission slip?

Ron Paul talks a good game, but when he has to make a tough call that would actually cost him, he follows the path of least resistance.

iii) There’s also the question of whether he diverts campaign donations to enrich his own family.

steve hays December 28, 2011 at 9:10 am
Michael Boyd

“I think it’s important for us to all be aware of these things, especially since the media is not making us aware of the facts, is often excluding him, and casting him in a negative light through mischaracterizations and half-truths.”

Actually, I’d say RP’s appeal is based on half-truths. He makes some valid observations from time to time, but that has to be weighed against all the nonsense he promotes.

“Part of the Sanctity of Life Act includes the repeal of Roe vs. Wade.”

Which would be subject to judicial review. Does RP have a contingency plan in that event?

“Is it important to be pro-life for not only the unborn, but also for those innocently killed in an unjust war or as the result of U.S. sanctions on other countries? I commonly imagine a scenario, which is very real for some, of if I lived in Afghanistan or Iraq, or another country affected by our sanctions/wars, and was innocently sitting in my home with my wife who is 8 months pregnant and 3 children and a U.S. war plane’s bomb misses its intended target, hitting our home and killing all my family but me. Thousands of innocent people have died by similar means. Where does this play into being pro-life? I also think of our sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s which led to the deaths of an untold number of women and children.”

Those weren’t US sanctions, those were UN sanctions.

“Should we Christians be concerned about life issues when it comes to these type situations, or just with the unborn? Or, is collateral damage perfectly acceptable as long as it’s not Americans who die? It’s easy for us to sit over here in America and ignore the plight of others who’ve suffered due to our non-pro-life foreign policy, yet all the while we voted for and supported it. How is that Christian?”

i) This type of facile moral equivalence is one reason (among many) I find it hard to take RP supporters seriously. The chronic oversimplification of ethical issues.

ii) To take a comparison, consider the plight of a field medic with insufficient supplies. He can’t treat all the wounded. He has to make terrible life-and-death decisions on the spot.

But that’s the situation he finds himself in. He didn’t create it.

He could avoid making the hard judgment calls by simply deserting his post and letting all of the wounded die. But that wouldn’t be the responsible thing to do.

iii) Notice how Michael insinuates that American civilians are complicit in US foreign policy, but he doesn’t treat Iraqi/Afghani civilians as complicit in the policies of the Taliban, al-Quaeda, or Saddam. Yet the argument cuts both ways.

“As far as Paul’s foreign policy, it has been described as being a ‘golden rule’ foreign policy and is based on the just-war theory of Christianity. Is this not the most biblical?”

Just-war theory doesn’t ipso facto favor noninterventionism. For instance, J. Daryl Charles is a just-war theorist. Yet in his monograph (Between Pacifism and Jihad) he defends economic sanctions, deterrence, preemptive wars, wars of liberation, and nation-building as a valid inference from just-war principles.

“Does this not fit more with the biblical world view in the N.T. and how we’re called to think as Christians?”

Let’s not equate just-war theory with Biblical ethics. Just-war theory was devised by theologians like Augustine and Aquinas. Just-war theory is far more idealistic than the Biblical laws of war.

“For us to think we know better than other countries, dictating to them what they can and cannot do, violating the national sovereignty of other countries…”

National sovereignty is a legal fiction, not a moral absolute. National boundaries are traditionally drawn by whichever side won the last war–whether justly or unjustly.

“…playing the role of world-bully at times, and policing the world like we do is arrogant and prideful.”

This is another reason why I find it hard to take RP supporters seriously. They constantly resort to unthinking rote slogans like the “world’s policeman.” That’s clearly hyperbolic. Are we policing Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Guinea, Holland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Monaco, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, St. Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, the Bahamas, &c.?

“Does it not make sense that the principle of blowback and our involvement in preemptive wars are major reasons for terrorism against the U.S.?”

Not considering the fact that jihad antedates the US by centuries.

“And back to my example of an errant bomb killing innocent people, what if that happened here in the U.S.? Would we not demand retaliation and harbor resentment? So why is it okay simply because we’re the ones dropping the bombs? It goes both ways.”

Are schoolyard snipers and a police sharpshooters morally equivalent because they both have guns and kill people? If the sniper kills students, and the sharpshooter kills the sniper, are those morally equivalent acts?

“Not to mention how angered we would be if they had a long-standing presence on our land with military bases. It makes complete sense that we’ve angered many against us, and this is particularly dangerous when it has occurred in Muslim lands where they already have religious/theological reasons to hate us.”

Of course, some of this goes back to the time when we, along with Muslims in the Mideast, had a common enemy in the old Soviet Union. So the US formed military alliances with some of the local regimes. That was mutually beneficial to both parties.

Now, a military alliance can outlive its usefulness. But military alliances are a basic component of national defense.

“We’re ignoring the ‘respectable sins’ found so prevalent in our federal government…”

“Respectable sins” are just as prevalent in state and local gov’t.

“While I also oppose homosexuality, I believe we have proven over the last several decades that legislating morality to lost men does not work; we should rather win them to the Gospel, by the grace of God, so that both the outside and the inside may be cleansed.”

i) The law is for unbelievers, not believers (cf. 1 Tim 1:9-10).

ii) Do you think we should repeal the criminal law code and focus exclusively on evangelizing rapists, robbers, murderers, &c.?

iii) We also have a duty to protect children. For instance, should we allow homosexuals to adopt children? Recruit children? Indoctrinate children?

“…the roughshod ways the powerful and elite corporations are running all over their smaller competition?”

Why are you using the political process to legislate how Wall Street does business? Are you expecting unregenerate men to live like regenerate ones when there is no way they can, when this is the only way they can live since they’re dead in their sins? Are you going to make them externally conform with no heart change? Shouldn’t you shun the culture war, and be more concerned with evangelizing elite corporate executives?

“If we give the federal government power to make decisions that should Constitutionally be left up to the states, do we not open ourselves up to a lot of misery in an ever-increasing secular world, as this would give them too much power to make decisions unfavorable to us down the road?”

As if that doesn’t happen at the state and local level.

steve hays December 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm
Jed Paschall

“I am not sure that the use of your platform to conflate issues of politics with the gospel is the wisest thing, and it could tend toward wielding undue influence on the consciences of others who might consider voting for Paul to simply assume that the current accusations make Paul to be a racist. The implication that if Paul is a racist…”

i) To begin with, I don’t know what you mean by Justin “wielding undue influence on the consciences of others.” He’s merely expressing his opinion. Why do you think we need to treat Christians a hothouse flowers that wilt so easily? Isn’t that rather patronizing?

ii) In addition, I don’t think his post is predicated on RP being a racist. Justin may think RP is not personally racist, but wittingly and cynically allowed stuff to be ghostwritten under his name to build up a following, even if that appealed to prejudice.

steve hays December 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm

“C’mon people let’s see your true colors…”

I happen to like red, white, and blue.

steve hays December 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm

“Same would hold for all the Republican candidates. Your favorite candidate, the Holy Roman Santorum, would have the same problem.”

i) Except that Santorum has compensatory virtues lacking in RP.

ii) I don’t know why you make a big deal about Santorum’s Catholicism. After all, RP is bosom buddies with Holy Roman Lew Rockwell. Doesn’t seem to bother you that RP makes common cause with Catholics who share his ideology. I suggest you install storm shutters on your glass house before lobbing any stones at the Vatican lest they ricochet.


You deny the sanctions were UN sanctions?

“The question of whether the wars met the standard is legitimate.”

i) The Afghanistan war was just reprisal.

ii) The Iraq war involves questions of risk assessment and risk management. A hypothetical threat.

We can debate the pros and cons of that assessment. In the nature of the case it turns on probabilities.

Preemption is a valid implication of national defense. Whether or not that was validly applied in the case of Iraq we can debate.

iii) I judge a commander-in-chief, not based on whether his decisions were correct, but whether they were reasonable. We often have to make momentous decisions based on inadequate information. That’s the human condition. It confronts us with forced options. Both action and inaction have hypothetical consequences, for good or ill.

“Since Iraqi and Afghani civilians were not part of a popular democracy that elected officials to carry out the attacks the equivalence does not hold. Talk about facile equivalence!”

There’s such a thing as corporate solidarity. It’s a biblical concept.

If my country hosts an unprovoked attack on your country, and your country hits back, I don’t blame your country–I blame my leaders.

If Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, some (or many) innocent Japanese may suffer the consequences, but since human beings are social creatures who live in communities, that’s inevitable.

“So. Does might make right?”

i) Redirect your question to how political borders are drawn.

ii) If a country launches an unprovoked attack against another country, it can’t hide behind its borders screaming “national sovereignty.”

“No need to police those countries as long as they look the other way or comply with our demands when we do so.”

“Look the other way” at what?

What demands have we made on Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, or Monaco (to name a few)?

“Apparently another good reason to vote for Santorum. When was the last time we had a good Christian crusade?”

i) Is that also a good reason to support RP’s Catholic cohort Lew Rockwell?

ii) BTW, the First Crusade was justified. It was a counteroffensive against Islamic conquest.

“Since the US sold it’s soul to the UN we have abandoned the proper constitutional solution. Of course Statists love the fact we sold our soul to the UN.”

i) I think the US should withdrawal from the UN, sell the real estate to a private developer, and ship the delegates off to Brussels or the Hague.

ii) Hostile regimes don’t honor letters of marque–unless you bribe gov’t officials.

“Are all Middle Easterners ‘schoolyard snipers’? Apparently by the mere fact one is Muslim that puts them in that class.”

Once again, you illustrate the inability of Paulestinians to have a serious debate over serious issues. Go back and consider what I was responding to.

“Of course, unintended consequences are easy to ignore.”

i) The law of unintended consequences applies to inaction as well as action alike. Unintended consequences can be good as well as bad. Try not to be hopelessly simplistic and unrealistic.

ii) If a lifeguard saves a drowning swimmer, that has unintended consequences. Perhaps the swimmer will kill a pedestrian in a traffic accident a year later. If we let him drown, we’d be saving an innocent life a year later. Therefore, should we do nothing at present to save a drowning swimmer unless we can foresee the future consequences of our intervention?

“Why would unbelievers care about sound doctrine?”

They don’t have to. That’s why we have laws.

“What harm is done between two consenting homosexual adults.”

i) To begin with, you’re changing the subject. I was responding to a commenter who acted as if evangelization is a substitute for a penal code.

ii) What if they want to adopt children. Or have children by IVF?

What if a homosexual adult seduces underage minors? Is that consensual or nonconsensual?

What if a high school student needs a football scholarship to get into college. What if his homosexual coach demands a weekly blow job in return? Is that consensual?

“Of course this can apply to all kinds of situations. What about swingers? Or parents that drink and/or smoke. What about parents that don’t take their children to church? Statists are never satisfied unless the government controls all behavior.”

i) So you’re an anarchist. You don’t think we should draw any lines.

ii) You again illustrate the inability of Paulestinians to have serious discussions of serious issues.

At the risk of starting the obvious, there’s a difference between parents and strangers. Biological parents have a natural bond with their kids, and vice versa. Therefore, it has to be a pretty extreme situation before the state should terminate custody.

That’s a very different threshold than relationships involving children and strangers.

steve hays December 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

What harm is done between two consenting homosexual adults…Of course this can apply to all kinds of situations. What about swingers? Or parents that drink and/or smoke. What about parents that don’t take their children to church? Statists are never satisfied unless the government controls all behavior.”

Historically, our anti-sodomy laws were state laws, not federal laws. So you’re now attacking states’ rights, which is pretty ironic coming from a Ron Paul supporter.

steve hays December 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm
Why do Ron Paul supporters keep dredging up the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when Ron Paul voted to authorize both wars? He issued Bush a blank check, then whined about how Bush cashed it. When push came to shove, Ron Paul voted with the “warmongers.”

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