Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you're given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal.
Saturday, September 05, 2015
The Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Spirit and in accordance with sacred Scripture and the ancient Tradition of the Fathers, has taught in the holy Councils and most recently in this ecumenical Council that there is a purgatory and that the souls detained there are helped by the acts of intercession (suffragia) of the faithful, and especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar.
Related Canon 30 from the Council of Trent's Decree on Justification (Sixth Session, 1547)
30. If anyone says that after the grace of justification has been received the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out for any repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be paid, either in this world or in the other, in purgatory, before access can be opened to the kingdom of heaven, anathema sit ["let him be anathema" or excommunicated].
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
1471 "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."81 [Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 1.]
The U.S. Constitution grants the federal government with power over issues of national concern, while the state governments, generally, have jurisdiction over issues of domestic concern. While the federal government can enact laws governing the entire country, its powers are enumerated, or limited; it only has the specific powers allotted to it in the Constitution. For example, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to levy taxes, mint money, declare war, establish post offices, and punish piracies on the high seas. Any action by the federal government must fall within one of the powers enumerated in the Constitution.
"My construction of the Constitution is . . . that each department is truly independent of the others and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the Constitution in the cases submitted to its action; and especially where it is to act ultimately and without appeal."
—Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819. ME 15:214
Friday, September 04, 2015
Judicial supremacy is an anti-constitutional doctrine, not a constitutional principle. Cases such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, Roe v. Wade, and Obergefell v. Hodges are unconstitutional usurpations by the judiciary of the constitutional authority of the American people acting through their elected representatives in the Congress and state legislatures. The edicts handed down in these decisions are not "the law of the land" and should not be treated as such by the people or other public officials. What Abraham Lincoln said in rejecting the Court's lawless and usurpative ruling in Dred Scott remains true: to accept judicial supremacy would be for the American people to "resign their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal." In the debate between Abraham Lincoln and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, the author of the Dred Scott opinion, we should side with the Great Emancipator. To do otherwise is to abandon republican government and accept, to quote Thomas Jefferson, "the despotism of an oligarchy."
Where is the Condemnation from Theists For Zacharias’s Dishonesty?
September 2, 2015 by Jeffery Jay Lowder
If a prominent atheist such as Richard Dawkins had exaggerated his credentials in the way Ravi Zacharias has, then we can be sure that theists would have shouted that fact from the mountaintops.
So why is it that Zacharias is getting a “free pass” from theists?
I won't name names, but I know that several prominent, vocal theists do read this blog on a regular basis. (You know who you are.)
What I want is even one reputable journalist (if any remain) to ask that question to any of the vocal supporters of Ms. Davis' civil disobedience. In case you didn't get it, I'll repeat the question. How would you feel about this Rowan County Clerk if she were instead a dark-skinned Muslim who refused to do her job because she thought it violated the teachings of the Koran?
That's a pretty stupid question, really; because we all know the answer. If a Muslim Kim Davis were allowed to hold up the civil workings of her county based on the Koran; you all, along with the whole Fox News megaphone would be apoplectic about Sharia Law!!!!!! on a 24/7 basis.
Really, answer that then tell me why you're not a gigantic hypocrite who actually hates religious freedom.
So what about her religious conscience? If you think Davis’ religious conscience is sufficient grounds for a same sex couple to be denied a marriage license then be prepared to defend the religious conscience of a Muslim clerk who denies a heterosexual couple a marriage license because the woman is a Muslim and the man is a non-Muslim. Islamic law forbids Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men unless they convert. Somehow I can’t see Mike Huckabee going out on a limb for a Muslim marriage clerk who demands an Evangelical Christian male convert to Islam in order to marry a Muslim woman.
I would say I can't wait for a Muslim county clerk in, say, Dearborn, Michigan (which has a huge Muslim community), to refuse to issue a marriage license to a Christian couple on the grounds that the this kafir couple hasn't been paying jizya... but that's not going to happen.
Finally, the defenders of “religious liberty” are never entirely honest about what they mean. They only really care about the liberty of Christians, not religious people as such. What would they say if a Muslim county clerk refused to marry a Muslim to a non-Muslim? What would they say if that clerk consented to polygamous marriages in accordance with Sharia law? My guess is they’d sound the alarm bells and hysterically protest the theocratic encroachment.
Slippery slope arguments are almost always sloppy, but not in this case. Once you permit religious objections of this kind, where do you draw the line? What constitutes a genuine religious belief? Who can make such a determination? And how do you apply religious exemptions in a secular and pluralistic context? There are no definitive (or acceptable) answers to these questions, which is why church and state are separate in this country.
In “Christians standing against gay marriage need to be consistent on divorce” I pointed out the tension with Christians impugning gay marriage as unbiblical whilst ignoring Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage.
In his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, p. 18, Ron Sider points out how serious the problem of divorce is within the evangelical community. Indeed, he suggests that divorce rates may be higher among evangelicals than in the general population.
I understand why Christians would rather talk about gay marriage than the ethical black hole of Christians who are divorced and remarried.
But if one purports to uphold the Bible as an ethical guide in matters of marriage, one must apply the standards consistently.
I have heard one way that Christians have attempted to deal with the problem. They concede that remarriage in cases other than marital infidelity results in an adulterous union. However, they add, the moral ascription of adultery applies to the event of the divorced man and/or woman marrying rather than to the resulting state of affairs of that man and woman being married. In other words, the moment was adulterous, but the resulting marriage is not.
Presumably the point of this tortured argument is to shift the spotlight back off divorced and remarried Christians and onto gays. But the reasoning is completely spurious. If the original marital event was illegitimate then the resulting state of affairs does not constitute a legitimate marriage.
In like manner, Jesus considers the event of becoming married to result in an ongoing reality which persists even if one receives a certificate of divorce from a civil magistrate.
Don’t skip over that fact. Mull over it. Let it sink in. Hundreds of thousands of Christians are in ongoing unrepentant states of adultery and all the while the church communities in their midst are saying nothing. They’re saying nothing on divorced and remarried Christians, but they sure are saying a lot about gay marriage.
So here’s the fact of the matter. Christians who want to speak with some moral authority on the topic of gay marriage really ought to start by applying to themselves and their immediate belief communities the very biblical standards that they attempt to enforce on others. This isn’t rocket science. It’s ethical consistency 101.
We want a pagan society to respect our sentimental religiosity, and that is not going to happen any time soon.
The point here is not just private conscience. The right to liberty of conscience is at play with florists, bakers, and so on. But Kim Davis is not just keeping herself from sinning, she is preventing Rowan County from sinning. That is part of her job.
Every Christian elected official should be determining, within the scope of their duties, which lines they will not allow the state to cross. When they come to that line, they should refuse to cross it because “this is against the law of God.” They should do this as part of their official responsibilities. This is part of their job. It is one of the things they swear to do when they take office.
This is nothing less than Calvin’s doctrine of the lesser magistrates (Institutes 4.20.22-32), which I would urge upon all and sundry as relevant reading material. And as Calvin points out, after Daniel — a Babylonian official — disobeyed the king’s impious edict, he denied that he had wronged the king in any way (Dan. 6:22-23).
Thursday, September 03, 2015
It seems to me many actresses don't know how to act like mothers. They don't seem natural when they're around kids on screen. Sure, they try to act like mothers, since the role calls for it, but their acting feels wooden or stilted. It's not how mothers normally behave towards kids in real life.
That's a bit surprising to me because I would've thought most women including actresses would innately know how to be mothers. At the least, wouldn't they remember how their own mothers were like and try to imitate their mothers?
I wonder if this may reflect a cultural shift of some sort? Perhaps gender roles are becoming so confused in our society and culture that even women have become confused about how to act like mothers? Perhaps women are no longer having as many children so there are less children for women to be exposed to, and thus even if women know in theory how they should behave around kids, they don't know by experience how to behave around kids?
Oh yeah, and as for that clerk Kim Davis, she’s been married four times. (To be fair, that’s three divorces before she says she became a Christian. But that doesn’t change Jesus’ above-mentioned indictment.)
This brings me to an issue I’ve raised at several points in the past. So long as Christians apply to others different standards from those which they apply to themselves and their immediate belief community, they will not have a credible moral voice in the public square.