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Monday, December 30, 2013

On Social Issues, Neal Boortz is Lost

While substituting for Sean Hannity recently, Neal Boortz went into another of his “libertarian” rants against “social” conservatives. Taking note of the recent flak involving Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, while pleading that the fate of the republic may depend upon republicans retaking the U.S. Senate, Boortz forebodingly predicted that republicans would fail in this task because, “they [republicans] simply cannot resist the urge, the impulse to get into this social conservatism.”

Long known for his disdain of the “social” (I prefer “moral”) issues, like many others, Boortz masquerades as libertarian while in reality being nothing more than a liberal on the moral issues of our time.

Contrary to what self-described libertarians such as Boortz and John Stossel would have us believe, if conservatives simply shut up about issues like abortion and marriage and focus on things like debt and fiscal responsibility, there’s no guarantee when it comes to election time. It is a long-held myth, typically perpetuated by self-described liberals in the mainstream media but also by self-described libertarians, that whenever the moral issues are prominent in elections, conservatives lose. As I have noted before, Jeffrey Bell in his book The Case for Polarized Politics helps dispel this myth.

“Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964,” notes Bell. “The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period. . . . When social issues came into the mix—I would date it from the 1968 election . . . the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.”

Bell concludes, as have many others, that American social conservatism began in response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Thus, it is unsurprising that all of the most significant “social” issues in America today are sexual issues. Abortion, homosexuality, marriage, contraception, and the like, are not hot political topics merely because they relate to people’s personal lives. They are hot political topics because they reside deep within the moral realm of our culture.

Whether liberals or libertarians admit it, somebody’s morality is going to govern us. Libertarians would do well to examine America’s history before ranting about the morality of today’s [Christian] conservatives. Like our founders, most conservatives today understand well that religion (especially Christianity) is an indispensible tenet of liberty.

America’s “Schoolmaster” Noah Webster bore this out in his 1832 History of the United States when he wrote that “our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.” Webster rightly concluded that, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles…to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.”

Additionally, and again contrary to popular myth and what pundits like Mr. Boortz would have us believe, Christian conservatives aren’t the aggressors in the so-called “culture wars.” It has been liberals with the aid of those like-minded in our courts and our media who have forced their moral views on our culture. Whether it’s abortion, the environment, public displays of religion, marriage, or other issues, liberals have taken the view of what is typically a small minority and imposed their will on the country.

In more ways than one, the results have been disastrous and (speaking of debt) expensive. As an example, consider the environment and the myth of man-made global warming. Starting out with a small minority, through judicial fiat and a relentless media campaign, liberals began preaching that through the use of fossil fuels, human beings were warming the globe and that (of course) drastic political measures needed to be taken to “save the planet.”

Though most Americans do not consider global warming a significant issue for our government, decades of propaganda have taken a toll on our nation. For too long, conservatives didn’t do enough to combat the tactics of liberals on this issue, and today far too many Americans believe the lie that the actions of humans are warming the planet. So much so that, the last republican-elected president, George W. Bush, signed a significant piece of legislation that was premised on the notion of man-made global warming.

After signing the Energy Independence and Security Act, President Bush declared, “Today…We make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding production of renewable fuels and giving future generations a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure.”

According to the New York Times, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi echoed Bush’s sentiments by describing “the bill as groundbreaking because it would reduce oil imports, cut production of the gases that scientists blame for global warming and significantly increase the efficiency of the nation’s auto fleet.”

Boortz would do well to note that this is what happens when conservatives acquiesce to the positions of liberals. We get conservatives at the highest level parroting liberal speak and the government spending billions of dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist—even telling us what light bulbs we can use. However, this is nothing compared to the slaughter of tens of millions of children in the womb or the legal redefinition of the institution upon which our republic rests.

So-called libertarians like Boortz can moan and groan about the moral positions of “social” conservatives all they want, but it doesn’t change the facts. All law is rooted in some morality; thus somebody’s morality is going to “determine the fate of this republic.” Libertarians need to decide with whom it’s easier to live: those who share the morality of the vast majority of our founders, who gave us the greatest document for self governance ever created by men; or those who seek fundamentally to change this republic into something that conservatives and libertarians both will lament.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why We're Raising "Duck Dynasty" Boys, and Not "Pajama" Boys

After Phil Robertson told the truth to GQ Magazine (though in a rather colorful way) about homosexuality, liberals went into their predictable hypocritical hyperventilations. While slamming Robertson’s (and essentially the Bible’s) views on homosexuality and sin (which are shared by ten-of-millions of Americans), liberals completely ignored (read: had absolutely no problem with) what were by far the most offensive things in the GQ column.

Authored by Drew Magary, the column is replete with dripping sarcasm along with plenty of vulgar and foul language. In the very first paragraph, referring to Mr. Robertson’s large crossbow, Magary says “It looks like you could shoot through a god—mn mountain with it.”  Of course, if one doesn’t believe what the Bible says anyway, what harm is there in swearing with God’s name?

Just two sentences later, Magary writes, “The bow is cocked and loaded, just in case a deer stumbles in front of us and we need to do a redneck drive-by on the poor b-stard…” The f-bomb is dropped more than once, along with several other foul words and crude references. Seemingly, none of this bothers the left. No, they are offended by Scripture quotations that contradict their liberal worldview.

As Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller points out, such a worldview much prefers “Pajama Boy” to the boys of Duck Dynasty. As Lewis noted in his column, “There is a huge schism between red state America and blue state America, and these two stories seem to symbolize the yawning chasm.” However wide this chasm, as a father of four, three of whom are boys (ages 5, 9, and 11), one thing is clear to me: I’m raising “Duck Dynasty” boys, not “Pajama” boys.

Now, my boys love their cozy pajamas and hot chocolate, but they are also learning to shoot (guns and bows), hunt, and fish. Last Christmas I gave my two older boys junior compound bows. This year they have fished for and caught crappie and trout. My two older boys also won a “Turkey Shoot” with BB guns—the prize being a frozen turkey—at a local fall festival this year. Below is a recent photo of our boys with our only daughter Caroline, which my wife proudly posted on Facebook along with the caption shown.


"You may come calling boys, but you must meet my brothers first."

Don’t worry, libs, along with our children’s outdoor exploits, our home has an extensive library of hundreds of books. My wife, who is in charge of homeschooling our four children, has made sure of that. Each of our three older children, including our daughter, also takes karate and piano classes. So along with learning how to clean a trout, this year Caleb, Jesse, and Caroline learned to play a “Mozart Themed” Sleigh-ride.

I have an undergraduate degree in physics and two graduate degrees in mathematics education. I have taught mathematics in public and private schools for 20 years. My wife has an undergraduate degree in sociology, graduated summa cum laude, and was valedictorian of her college class. She has also recently authored a book. Our children will receive one of the best K-12 educations of any child in the country.

I’m not nearly the outdoorsman that the Robertsons are, and my wife can’t stand camouflage, but whether my children prefer sipping hot chocolate (like Uncle Si, I prefer sweet tea) or shooting a gun, most importantly, our children are being taught from a Christian worldview.

Yes, that means that among other things, they are learning that, along with adultery, fornication, and bestiality, homosexual behavior is sin. They are also learning that they are created in the image and likeness of God, and that all human life, from the moment of conception, is especially precious. And they are learning that in the world today, both abortion and homosexuality are uniquely heinous.

Why the focus on these two particular issues? Because the greatest lie ever told is that there is no God. The second greatest lie ever told is that the devil does not exist. The third greatest lie ever told is that your sin (and mine) is not really sin, and this is exactly what is happening with homosexuality and abortion.

For decades in the U.S. there has been a movement spearheaded by many well-funded organizations devoted to preaching the value and legitimacy of abortion, homosexuality, and a redefining of marriage. In other words, tens of millions of Americans have been preached the lie that homosexual behavior and killing a child in the womb are not sin. My children are learning the truth in these grave matters.

As Joel Belz of World Magazine noted several years ago, it is time for conservative Christians to “stop apologizing” for the attention we give the issues of homosexuality and abortion. Like Phil Robertson, it is time for more Christian celebrities to take on these issues. Time and again we see homosexuality portrayed in music, movies, and television as nothing but normal, acceptable behavior.

There is virtually NOTHING in the secular media that portrays the other side of homosexuality and similar issues. Such absence impacts our culture. There is no doubt that public opinion on homosexuality and same-sex marriage has been swayed toward a more liberal view of these matters in no small part due to the media campaign that favors them.

If we stay silent, what happens? Television networks will pull the Phil Robertsons (and the Craig Jameses) from the air. Of course, supposedly networks such as Fox and A&E have the “right” to make such decisions, but photographers, bakers, and florists with Christian views on homosexuality and marriage don’t. Such small businesses are sued and even held liable by our courts for refusing services to same-sex couples.

Even worse, once the homosexual agenda (which, we must not forget includes those who are “transgendered”) has the full force of the law behind it, public schools will teach that homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage are good and right. In school systems like Los Angeles, it’s already happening. Likewise, schools (certainly public, probably private as well) will be forced to accommodate “transgendered” children.

What’s more, state constitutions that have amendments defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman are proving to be not enough to stop the homosexual agenda from progressing on the marriage front. Just days ago, a federal judge ruled Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Like almost all of the 28 other states with similar bans, in 2004 the citizens of Utah passed the ban by an overwhelming 66% to 34% majority.

If America wants to stop this madness where good is called evil and evil is called good, we must change our culture. This fight begins with our families. Liberals know this. This is why almost exclusively the “culture wars” being fought in the U.S. are an attack on the family. In other words, if we want to change our culture, we better start raising our kids with a worldview like that of the cast of Duck Dynasty instead of the worldview that govern “Pajama Boy” and his big sister, Julia.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Polygamy and the Left

With the ruling of a federal judge last week that declared part of Utah’s anti-polygamy law unconstitutional, the left finds itself torn. Of course, with their ever-wavering consciences that are willing to go along with whatever seems the latest fad that tests our moral bounds (especially in the sexual realm), some liberals say that it is time that we take a closer look at plural marriage. After all, if consenting adults want to enter into such relationships, what is the problem? In other words, as I asked over five years ago, what’s wrong with polygamy?

However, some liberals took comfort in the fact that the federal judge’s ruling in the Utah case was somewhat limited in its scope. So don’t worry, declares Jay Bookman of the AJC, (in spite of where the redefining of marriage will eventually lead us) judge Waddoups' ruling “does not in any way require government to recognize a polygamous marriage.”

Haven’t we heard something like this before? No need to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman; the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is sufficient. For over a decade (and marriage has only been an electoral issue for little more than a decade), the vast majority of elected U.S. democrats were for biblical marriage, until they were against it. In 1996 DOMA passed by a 342 to 67 margin in the U.S. House, and an 85 to 14 margin in the Senate, and was signed by President Clinton.

After DOMA, until 2003, only three U.S. states (AK, NE, NV) saw fit to amend their constitutions to limit the legal definition of marriage to a union of one man and one woman. And just as they now have with polygamy, the liberal courts struck. In Lawrence vs. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6 to 3 ruling (reversing itself from the 1986 Bowers vs. Georgia) overturned the Texas anti-sodomy law and thus invalidated similar laws in the 12 states that still had them on their books.

Of course, as liberals now point out with polygamy, the Lawrence ruling in no way granted gays the legal right to marry, but it did give legal (and inevitably cultural) legitimization to homosexual activity. Then the liberal courts struck again, as they almost certainly will do (if they follow their own liberal logic) in the case of polygamy. Later in 2003, the state Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

These two events set in motion of a torrent of activity among U.S. states to amend their constitutions to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Conservatives and liberals alike rushed to declare their support for biblical marriage. In other words, in the late 1990s and early 2000s same-sex marriage did not poll well.

As Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics (and a supporter of same-sex marriage) put it, “Although ‘marry the person they love’ is a talking point, it’s also a noble sentiment. But ‘fight like hell’ is not what Barack Obama or his political party did on this issue. Quite the contrary: ‘Headed for the hills’ is a more apt description.”

According to Cannon, as late as 2004, Bill Clinton himself (who earlier this year “bravely” announced that “It’s time to overturn DOMA”) privately urged then presidential candidate John Kerry to “outflank George W. Bush from the right on gay marriage.” Once the polling changed, liberals in the democrat party were very willing to “evolve” on the issue of same-sex marriage. In his Op-Ed in March of this year, President Clinton stated that DOMA was “discriminatory” and “should be overturned.”

Those who support polygamy are simply following the same play book used by the homosexual agenda to obtain full legal recognition of same-sex marriage. First, get legal recognition of the behavior. Then use the rulings of the courts along with allies in the media to sway public opinion. Finally, use the courts again to further erode whatever elements of Christian morality that remain in the U.S. legal code.

But currently, the left does face a quandary: on the one hand, their ever-evolving morality says that there really can’t be anything wrong with polygamy, but on the other hand, the line for marriage must be drawn somewhere. Thus, since liberals really don’t want to defend the inevitable myriad of consequences of a legal redefinition of marriage, and since polygamy doesn’t yet poll well among Americans, and democrats don’t yet want the political burden of supporting polygamy, right now at least, liberals are willing to “discriminate” when it comes to marriage.

Yes, whether they would admit it (and they almost never do), liberals do take moral stands and they do discriminate. All of us do. Yet, liberals (and even some confused conservatives) would have us believe that it’s wrong to “legislate morality.” CNN’s Mark Goldfeder ignorantly concludes that in the light of the Lawrence ruling, morals based legislation is “unconstitutional.”

In his dissent of Lawrence vs. Texas, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of…laws based on moral choices.” Scalia later concluded that the Court had effectively decreed “the end of all morals legislation.”

Maybe the “Court” has so decreed, but not the Constitution. And of course, by “morals” what Scalia and Goldfeder are both referring to are Christian morals. As I have often noted, all law is rooted in some morality. It is illogical, ignorant, and hypocritical for liberals to rail against laws that are rooted in Christian morality, all the while preaching a morality of their own making. Americans simply need to decide by whose morality we want to be governed.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Confronting Christmas

As godless secularism becomes more and more entrenched in our culture, the Christmas season is one of the most contentious times in our calendar. Every year there are stories in the news of banned Christmas trees, or of atheists protesting nativity scenes (or trying to get them removed). Christmas concerts at public schools are without “religious songs,” and U.S. Congressmen are barred from wishing their constituents a “Merry Christmas” in their official mailings. Last year, even Charlie Brown created controversy.

Actually, when it comes to A Charlie Brown Christmas, there was controversy from the beginning. In 1965, just as the culture wars were heating up in the U.S., the “enlightened” executives at CBS balked at the Peanuts classic containing Bible passages. Most every American has heard Linus, in teaching Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas, perfectly recite the King James Version of Luke 2:8-14. Of course, the Scripture reference is what was “controversial.”

Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts (the most popular and influential comic strip of all time), was insistent. As Lee Habeeb of National Review puts it, “[Schulz] knew that the Luke reading by Linus was the heart and soul of the story.”

Today children (and adults) are bombarded with deceptive (but alluring) messages about “Christmas Spirit” and how Christmas is about “spreading joy throughout the world,” and “a time for warmth and brotherly love” (as a recent TV cartoon declared). Even Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol is bereft of the complete message of Christmas.

One author I encountered a few years ago foolishly described the “hidden meaning” of Christmas as a: “festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing.”

Of course, peace, brotherly love and spreading joy are not bad things, but they are far from the “heart and soul” of Christmas. Schulz was right. The “heart and soul” of any Christmas story is “[B]ehold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Or, as C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how “the rightful King has landed.” Just prior to His death, as Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pilate, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concludes to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him saying, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

So Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior King. “Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!” This is the reason for the all of the conflict and contention when it comes to Christmas time. This is why so many fear a Nativity scene, a Christmas tree, or even a meek “Merry Christmas.”

Who wants to be confronted with the idea that maybe they are ignoring the most significant event in human history? Who wants to be reminded that perhaps Jesus Christ really was (and is) a King?

And He’s not just any king, but a king with a holy mission. “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my King would die for me?” Jesus was the Christ, the “Messiah,” the “Anointed One.” As the angel reported to the shepherds, “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you…” Jesus was a king who was born to die—not only to die, but to rise again and rule forever.

His death was to “redeem” us and to serve as “atonement” for us. Jesus came into the world so that the world, through Him, “might be saved.” And on the third day after his death, our King, born in a stable, conquered even death so that we could live forever with Him.

When Christians truly celebrate Christmas, we celebrate not just a birthday, but the beginning of a sequence of events that would change the world forever. He was born, He lived, He died, He arose, and now He is preparing a place for all of those who would believe in Him. Just as sure as all of the other events took place, we who celebrate Christmas look forward to His return and we will celebrate for all eternity.

Just before handing Jesus over for crucifixion, Pilate asked the crowd, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus…?” That is the ultimate question that each of us must answer, and Christmas provides us with the beginning of the answer.

Have a truly Merry Christmas.

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, December 7, 2013

When Will the Catholic Church Learn?

As a writer, little is more flattering than to have someone (especially another good writer) examine your work and say, “That’s exactly what I would have written.” Or even better, “I wish I had written that.”

Not that any professional writer would be very flattered to receive my praise (I mostly get paid to teach mathematics), but after all of the recent hoopla over the second major teaching document issued by Pope Francis (but the first written by him), Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), I sat down to pen my thoughts on the matter. Then I came across this piece by David Harsanyi of The Federalist. “No need for me to continue,” was my thought after reading his take on the Pope’s criticisms of modern capitalism.

Some of my favorite lines: “As fascinating as the context of [the] Pope’s message might be, there is—or seems to be—something new about this rhetoric. You could always detect a pinch of socialistic seasoning in the Church’s theological stew…In this case, the Pope didn’t simply point out that the wealthy weren’t doing enough to help alleviate poverty. He used the recognizable rhetoric of the Left to accuse free-market systems of generating and nurturing that poverty. And these platitudes—things that run wild in the liberal imagination like unfettered capitalism and ‘trickle-down’ economics—were clearly aimed at the United States.”

And: “[I]s it really true that ‘absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation’ are the driving reasons for poverty and inequality? People in places like Congo, Burundi, Eritrea, Malawi, or Mozambique live under corrupt authoritarian regimes where crippling poverty has a thousand fathers — none of them named capitalism. The people of Togo do not suffer in destitution because of some derivative scheme on Wall Street or the fallout from a tech IPO.”

There are many other good points in Harsanyi’s piece (on trickle-down economic theory, federal economic regulation, abortion, and more), and a full read of the piece is well worth your time. There is one thing in particular that I would have added.

As a part of his solution for addressing the “economy of exclusion and inequality,” Pope Francis bemoans the rejection of “the right of states” to exercise properly “any form of control” over financial markets. While criticizing trickle-down economics, the Pope also expresses frustration in what he perceives as a “crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

The Pontiff later adds that, “A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determi­nation and an eye to the future…” Besides the blatant falseness of “any form of control” in U.S. markets (As Harsanyi notes, “The Federal Registry of the United States regularly comes in over 60,000 pages.”), why does the Pope express such “crude and naïve trust” in our secular government to regulate properly U.S. markets? When will the Catholic Church learn its lesson? Big Government can never fix immorality.

Was Obamacare not lesson enough? The Catholic Church teaches that health care is “a basic human right,” and true to the Pope’s Big Government ideas on financial reform, has been very supportive of efforts in the U.S. to implement universal healthcare. Enter Obamacare. For months leading up to the final passage of Obamacare, Catholic Bishops lobbied heavily for its passage—minus federal funding of abortion. Once House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to add the Stupak amendment to the House version of Obamacare, the Bishops were onboard.

Though the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the version of Obamacare that passed (because of the removal of the Stupak amendment), they did not support GOP efforts to repeal it once republicans took control of congress. Also, some Catholic leaders supported Obamacare in spite of the lack of the Stupak amendment.

Of course, it wasn’t long before the Catholic Church was in an all out war with the Obama administration over contraception. Again, why the “crude and naïve trust”? Why does the Pope lament the lack of angels in the boardrooms of large corporations but ignore the demons patrolling the halls of Big Government?

In other words, as is typical with almost every elected liberal in the U.S. government, there was no reason to believe that Obama was going to be anything other than a radical liberal on social issues. The time for “war” with Obama was BEFORE he was elected leader of the free world. However, in partnering with democrats and liberals, it seems that many within the leadership of the Catholic Church have for far too long been willing to violate my proverb that, “It is no act of charity to be generous with someone else’s money.”

Or, as Paul Rahe put it in early 2012, the American Catholic Church decades ago “fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States—the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity—and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor.”

The contraception mandate is a classic example of “state paternalism.” It is exactly what one gets when the people surrender that kind of power to a secular government led by those determined to ignore God’s laws. If such liberals remain in power, the result will be no different when the issue comes to economics or marriage or any other matter precious to Christians and other like-minded Americans.

Left unfettered, the slow creep of liberalism knows no bounds. Elections have consequences. If the Catholic Church continues to preach a willingness to surrender more liberty in order to receive another entitlement, or to “spread the wealth around,” we will even further embolden those, who, while claiming to serve us, are seeking to become our masters.

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Laughable Liberal "Moral Imperative"

Here liberals go again. Trying with all their might to prop up an increasingly unpopular piece of legislation, no less than Robert Reich (note the lengthy liberal bio at the end) has now attempted to take the “moral” high-road and claim that there is a “moral imperative” to Obamacare.

Reich noted that recently he heard a young man express that he would rather pay a penalty than be forced by law to purchase health insurance. According to Reich, the young man asked “why should I pay for the sick and the old?” Reich’s answer is telling: “The answer is he has a responsibility to do so, as a member the same society they inhabit.”

When explaining why “richer people” have to pay higher taxes to finance health insurance for lower income Americans, Reich concludes “It’s only just that those with higher incomes bear some responsibility for maintaining the health of Americans who are less fortunate.” Did you catch that? A liberal exclaiming that “it’s only just” when explaining his plans for wealth redistribution.

Reich complains that Democrats have not properly made the argument in favor of redistribution. “This is a profoundly moral argument about who we are and what we owe each other as Americans,” he declares. Reich even goes so far as to lament that redistribution has become so “unfashionable” that it’s just easier to say “everyone comes out ahead.”

So redistribution of wealth by our benevolent federal government is not only moral but “profoundly moral.” So much so, that it’s okay to deceive the public at large about what is really happening. (Democrats are getting quite good at that.) Because, you see, as Reich puts it, “there would be no reason to reform and extend health insurance to begin with if we did not have moral obligations to one another as members of the same society.”

As you see, multiple times Reich makes a moral (almost desperate it seems) appeal in favor of Obamacare and the redistribution of wealth that it requires. I love it when liberals attempt to make moral arguments to support their Big Government programs. It opens up so many possibilities. To begin with, to what moral code is Reich appealing?

As is typical with so many liberals and their similar arguments, he never does say. I suppose it’s just assumed that everyone thinks that providing health care for those in need is the “just” or “responsible” thing to do as “members of the same society.” However, not so long ago the “responsible” thing to do was for men and women to get married before they decided to make babies.

Not so long ago, to kill a child in the womb was considered a terrible act of injustice. Now the “responsible” thing is to allow people to end the lives of all those unwanted children.

Not so long ago, no sane person would have thought that marriage was anything but a union of one man and one woman. And for that matter, not so long ago, homosexual behavior was considered immoral and something that needed to be cured. Today the “just” thing to do is to allow people to live their lives any way they choose, no matter the old moral standards or the consequences, because “love is love.”

Whether Reich, or Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid, or Jim Wallis, or Obama himself; and whether the issue is health care, marriage, abortion, climate change, education, and the like, time and again liberals attempt to make moral arguments in favor of their Big Government liberal worldview.

Yet, if conservatives attempt the same, we are “forcing our morality” on others, or we are attempting to “legislate morality.” In fact, such accusation has been leveled so often that even some conservatives have started to believe it. Speaking to young libertarians earlier this year, GOP representative Justin Amash said, “We can’t legislate morality and force everyone to agree with us.”

Bill O’Reilly called those of us who oppose same-sex marriage on biblical grounds Bible thumpers. He went so far as to say, “If you’re going to stand up for heterosexual marriage, and exclude gay marriage if you’re going to do that, you’ve gotta do it outside the Bible. You can’t cite the Bible, because you’ll lose if you do.” Yet, as I have noted before (see the links above), liberals will often cite the Bible to further their Big Government agenda, and the media barely bats an eye.

It’s time for the moral double standard to stop. It’s time for the media and pundits across the political spectrum to see that both sides—liberal and conservative—are making moral arguments when pushing their respective agendas. All that needs to be decided is by whose morality we want to be governed: a morality that is rooted and grounded in absolute truth or one that is guided by whatever political winds seem to be prevalent at the time.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Liberal Cohen Critics’ Disdain Misdirected

It seems that liberals have finally had their fill of Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen. As fun as it might be to watch the left cannibalize one of their own, they’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.

Writing about Chris Christie’s TEA Party problem, Cohen followed much of the liberal playbook. Heck, along with attacking the TEA Party (Cohen admitted, “Why can’t intelligent liberals see I’m only mirroring their loathing of the Tea Party?”), he even insulted Sarah Palin. What got him in trouble with his pals is the last sentence of this paragraph:

“Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

Cohen was summarily deemed a racist across the spectrum of the liberal media. Many calls for his firing ensued. The Huffington Post pleaded “Dear Washington Post: Please Fire This Man.” Salon.com tweeted, “His horrifying new column reminds us why old racists like Richard Cohen need to be fired.” ThinkProgress declared, “Even if Richard Cohen Isn’t Racist, He’s Incompetent.”

Following the outrage, Cohen insisted (as his quote above indicates) that he is a good liberal and that he has been grossly misinterpreted. That is probably the case. However, in all of their caterwauling over Cohen’s supposed racist comment, liberals have missed a more blatant, albeit subtle, betrayal of left-wing doctrine.

Immediately following the sentence that got him in so much trouble, Cohen asked “Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?”

“Used to be a lesbian?” Given the worldview of modern liberalism, how is that possible? Isn’t homosexuality supposedly innate (genetic) and unchangeable? And if it is possible to turn from homosexuality (which it is), why would today’s liberals want such as that bandied about in the pages of the Washington Post?

In fact, even Chris Christie himself, the focus of Cohen’s column, in August of this year signed a bill into law that banned licensed therapists from performing homosexual conversion therapy. New Jersey became the second state (after California) to ban this practice.

After signing the law, Christie parroted typical liberal speak (joining such esteemed company as Lady Gaga), saying that he believed that people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. I wonder if Ms. McCray’s conversion was as a result of therapy.

McCray has addressed this issue and said that she once “identified” as a lesbian, but, according to Out.com, “renounced her lesbian lifestyle after meeting her husband.” So, after meeting Mr. Right (or course, given de Blasio’s politics, “Mr. Left” is more appropriate) Ms. Mcray decides that she’s no longer a lesbian.

There is nothing at all surprising about this. As renowned psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr. Jeffrey Satinover noted over a decade ago, the idea of “sexual orientation” is pure fiction. He refers to a 1994 University of Chicago study which states, “…it is patently false that homosexuality is a uniform attribute across individuals, that it is stable over time, and that it can be easily measured.”

Dr. Satinover adds that, “Studies across the globe that have now sampled over 100,000 individuals have found the same. We now know that in the majority of both men and women, ‘homosexuality,’ as defined by any scientifically rigorous criteria, spontaneously tends to ‘mutate’ into heterosexuality over the course of a lifetime.”

In 2003, testifying before the Massachusetts Senate Judicial Committee, as they were considering the legalization of gay marriage, Dr. Satinover stated that the belief that homosexuality is a genetic and unchangeable condition is not “even remotely true.”  He continued, “however widely believed (these claims) may have become; the evidence of the kind that ‘everyone knows’ simply does not exist; even a cursory examination of the actual sources behind these claims will reveal a very strong preponderance of evidence to precisely the contrary; the claims are simply fiction.”

C.S. Lewis wrote in the mid 1940s that “…you and I, for the last twenty years, have been fed all day long on good solid lies about sex. We have been told, till one is sick of hearing it, that sexual desire is in the same state as any of our other natural desires…Our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so ‘natural,’ so ‘healthy,’ and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them.”

Seven decades later, the lies persist. So much so that pornography, prostitution, same-sex marriage, “transgenderism,” and the like enjoy not only widespread support among the populace, but also legal protection. Laws banning such behavior have been virtually wiped from our legal system. As recently as the early 1960s, every state in the U.S. had laws against homosexual behavior (sodomy). (Thomas Jefferson himself authored an anti-sodomy law for the state of Virginia.)

Also, as recently as 1986, upholding Georgia’s anti-sodomy law, the U.S. Supreme Court declared, “Proscriptions against [homosexual] conduct have ancient roots. Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 States when they ratified the Bill of Rights. . . . In fact, until 1961, all 50 States outlawed sodomy, and today, 24 States and the District of Columbia continue to provide criminal penalties for sodomy performed in private and between consenting adults. Against this background, to claim that a right to engage in such conduct is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition,’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ is, at best, facetious [silly].”

Of course, the Court reversed itself in Lawrence vs. Texas in 2003, which nicely coincides with when the first state in the U.S. (Massachusetts) legalized same-sex marriage. So in a matter of about four decades, the U.S. went from laws against homosexual behavior to laws encouraging it. With 15 states joining Massachusetts—Hawaii’s governor just signed a law legalizing same-sex marriage that takes effect December 2, and the governor of Illinois is poised to sign a similar law this week that will take effect in 2014—and in spite of any real science to support such a position, the idea that homosexual behavior is normal, innate, and unchangeable is pervasive.

What’s more, as noted above, such a position now also has legal protection in two states. Just as with pornography, same-sex marriage, and “transgenderism,” how long until other states follow? Never mind that there are countless individuals like Ms. McCray (thanks for the publicity Mr. Cohen!) who have left the homosexual/transgender lifestyle behind, and many others who wish to do so.

In mathematics and philosophy, Ms. McCray is what is called a “counterexample.” And to prove a conjecture (“homosexuality is genetic and unchangeable”) false, only a single counterexample is necessary. Again, thank you Mr. Cohen.

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Want to be a Slave to Debt? Vote for Big Government

My wife Michelle and I are financial disciples of the late Larry Burkett. As I have noted in columns before (and as our newly published book details), due in great measure to Mr. Burkett’s ministry, on a teacher’s salary, we have lived the last 14 years of our lives completely debt free including building a home without borrowing a dime.

As I was first learning the biblical principles of finance, I encountered many Bible verses that deal with money and wealth (there are hundreds). One of the verses that most impacted me was Proverbs 22:7. It reads, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender (NIV84).” If you have ever had trouble with debt and creditors, you understand well what this verse is communicating. To be a slave to debt is a sad reality for far too many Americans today.

The debt of our federal government is well known. Many state and local governments have not fared much better—some even worse. We are in such a position for a myriad of reasons, but I believe that when it comes to debt (as is the case with most issues) our government is simply a refection of our culture. We have governments addicted to debt because far too many families and individuals in the U.S. are addicted to debt.

When governments are swimming in debt, especially when it gets to the point of bankruptcy, the consequences are far reaching. There is no better example than the city of Detroit. With liabilities totaling about $18 billion, Detroit’s Chapter 9 filing in the summer of this year was easily the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy.

With public services slashed, a fire-sale of city assets, and cuts to benefits for Detroit employees, Detroit’s citizens are in the midst of a whirlwind of financial chaos and uncertainty. True to the warning issued in Proverbs 22:7, a very recent L.A. Times column noted that the misery in Detroit had some citizens describing their situation as enslavement.

Of course, when dealing with something described as “enslavement,” as is typical of a liberal publication such as the L.A. Times and with the liberal mindset of the vast majority of Detroit’s citizens, “racism” is the frequent cry when lamenting the sad reaping the Motor-City is now enduring.

Detroit’s bankruptcy is being overseen by a state-appointed emergency manager. Some citizens are in court attempting to halt the bankruptcy. One of the more contentious issues is the law that empowers the emergency manager. Testifying in court, longtime Detroit resident Bill Hickey declared that he found the emergency manager law “to be racist in its aims and in its application.”

To further push the racism narrative, The Times found several individuals willing to use the “slavery” analogy: “‘We still remember—we haven't forgotten—that we are only a few footsteps away from slavery,’ said Monica Lewis-Patrick, a community activist who works at Hush House, a shelter in one of Detroit's most embattled neighborhoods.” Also testifying in court, Sheilah Johnson tearfully wondered, “When my 9-year-old grandson asks me, ‘Grandma, are they trying to make us slaves again?’ how do I answer that child?” Johnson added, “We do not need a slave owner, and I am not a slave.”

The Times piece ends with Hickey concluding, “But racism is still a huge issue. It's a hard conversation to have, but it's an important one, and we need to have it.”

Yes, there is a conversation to be had, and yes, we are dealing with a form of enslavement. However, racism has virtually nothing to do with it.

The most common themes with municipalities facing dire debt consequences are billions in unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities. Also, according to Stephen Moore, senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal, of the U.S. cities in the most trouble financially, “the vast majority are located in states with forced unions, non-right-to-work states.”

Moore points out that, “Unions control state legislatures and city halls in non-right-to-work states, so it can become politically paralyzing to try to fix the problem of runaway labor costs.” And of course, the most significant common trait of U.S. cities with heavy debt burdens is that for decades now their governments have been dominated by liberals.

As Moore explains, “
For at least the last 20 years major U.S. cities have been playgrounds for left-wing experiments—high taxes on the rich; sanctuaries for illegal immigrants; super-minimum wage rules; strict gun-control laws (that actually contribute to high crime rates); regulations and paperwork that make it onerous to open a business or develop on your own property; crony capitalism with contracts going to political donors and friends; and failing schools ruled by teacher unions, with little competition or productivity.”

Over 80% of Detroit’s citizens are black. Anyone with an attention span greater than that of a Miley Cyrus fan knows the overwhelming rate at which U.S. blacks vote for liberals. As more and more state and local governments draw ever closer to their day of reckoning with their debt masters, just as in Detroit, they too will learn the hard lessons of Proverbs 22:7. And any U.S. citizen, whatever the skin color, who doesn’t want to find himself feeling like a slave needs to get off the Big Government plantation.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Big Government Can't Do Charity

Lost in all the uproar over Obamacare, and for that matter, in virtually every debate over government “entitlements” or “handouts” or whatever you want to call them, is the fact that, when it comes to charity, our government is just about the last place that one should turn. Time and again, Big Government liberals love to paint themselves as the champions of the poor and down-trodden—while at the same time making conservatives out to be selfish brutes (when, in reality, conservatives are far and away more personally generous than liberals).

That liberal of liberals, Paul Krugman of The New York Times, recently did so. “Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else,” he wrote on Halloween. He added that, “[Republicans are] still clearly passionate about making sure that the poor and unlucky get as little help as possible…” This is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) lies of liberalism.

In general, liberals aren’t for the poor and others in need. This may have been somewhat true of classic liberalism, but today most liberals are for those in need as long as it helps them feel good about their immoral anti-God behavior, make money, win elections, and/or remain in power (or keep other like-minded liberals in power).

So just why should we help those in need? The answer is not as obvious (to most) as it seems. First of all, the truly needy must be identified. To pad their voting rolls, liberalism has made this purposefully difficult. Of course, not all those who ask for help need it or deserve it. So what is our standard? Where do we look for moral guidance in this significant (literally to the tune of trillions of dollars) matter? The same place that we should look in all such matters: Scripture.

If you are secular minded, don’t balk. In his attempts to justify his extremely liberal Big Government agenda, Obama himself has made many appeals to the Bible (as do other like-minded liberals). In the 2008 election, when Obama was asked by pastor Rick Warren what he thought was, “the greatest moral failure of America,” Obama (almost certainly with his Big Government agenda on his mind) responded that, “I think America’s greatest moral failure in my lifetime has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me…”

When describing the “least” of us, Scripture often mentions those such as orphans, widows, and the physically impaired (lame, blind). Of course, people in those circumstances will usually be “poor.” The first laws God gave concerning those in need (in Leviticus) instructed the Israelites to refrain from “gleaning” their vineyards or reaping the corners of their fields (in other words, gathering every last morsel).

This was so that the “needy,” the “stranger,” or the “alien” would have something to harvest. Notice that even those described as needy were expected to work and gather for themselves. Those who owned the fields and vineyards were simply instructed to provide the “needy” with an opportunity.

In the New Testament, Jesus often spoke of ministering to the poor (sometimes more accurately described as “the poor in spirit”). Among other things, He instructed His followers to give to those in need without expecting anything (in this world) in return. Jesus’ ministry modeled such generosity. He went about healing those who were desperately ill, feeding the hungry, delivering the demon possessed, and even raising the dead. He told His followers to “go and do likewise.”

However, (and this is what often escapes those who attempt to justify their Big Government policies with the words and deeds of Jesus), Jesus didn’t perform acts of charity simply to fulfill some physical need a person had. Consider that the greatest miracle recorded in Scripture, performed by Christ, was raising someone from the dead. (There are three recorded instances of this occurring.) This was not done merely out of “niceness,” only to save the lives of those who had died. They would, after all (with apologies to James Bond), “die another day.” His ultimate goal was to give them “everlasting life.”

This could be said of every miracle Christ performed. It is true that He healed, fed, and cast out demons because of His great love for those in need. However, these acts alone did not save anyone. Those healed of one disease or sickness would someday die of another. Those fed would someday be hungry again. Christ’s ultimate goal was to bring people into His Kingdom. In other words, God became man not simply to help us with our troubles in this world, but to make us into new creatures.

“Niceness” and “good deeds” are excellent things. Jesus told His followers to
“let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).” Inversely, as C.S. Lewis puts it, “When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.”

Lewis continues, “We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power, to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up ‘nice’ (performing good deeds); just as we must try to produce a world where we all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeed in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save.”

Thus we see, the ministry of God—feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick—can never be separated from the message of God—to repent of our sins and believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be: the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

It should also be pointed out that, in today’s American culture that is so obsessed with self, especially the sexual gratification of self, the message of “repent of your sin” must include the truth about marriage (one man for one woman for life) and the sins of homosexuality, abortion, divorce, and the like. The ministry of God and the message of God—both together complete the mission of God. And this is why a secular government can never effectively do charity.

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beware of Scientism and the Technocrats

At the beginning of the movie “Van Helsing,” Dracula, sounding much like a faithful member of today’s left, joyfully exclaims to Dr. Frankenstein that his monster, just brought to life, is a “victory of science over God.” Writing in the UK’s Guardian, Julian Baggini declared that any religion “that seeks to explain the hows of the universe…is competing with science. In such contests science always wins, hands down, and the only way out is to claim a priority for faith over evidence, or the Bible over the lab.”

Scientist and former White House senior policy advisor Jeff Schweitzer recently declared that “Religion and science are incompatible at every level. The two seek different answers to separate questions using fundamentally and inherently incompatible methods. Nothing can truly bring the two together without sacrificing intellectual honesty.”

Renowned Darwinist Jerry Coyne, who also believes that religion and science are fundamentally incompatible, recently made the asinine and ignorant conclusion that “all the achievements of both ancient and modern science have been made by explicitly rejecting the theistic view that God has a hand in the universe, and that religion, if it ever did inspire scientific research, doesn’t do so any longer.”

The word “science” is derived from the Latin word “scientia,” meaning “knowledge.” All knowledge is derived from certain governing presuppositions. In other words, each side of every issue that human beings debate ultimately has certain un-provable assumptions upon which they must eventually rely. As the late philosopher, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, put it, “At the most fundamental level of everyone's thinking and beliefs there are primary convictions about reality, man, the world, knowledge, truth, behavior, and such things. Convictions about which all other experience is organized, interpreted, and applied.”

Likewise, theologian, author, and pastor, R.C. Sproul, recently discussed the “lasting impression” that the book, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science, which he read over 50 years ago, had made upon him. He noted that the book was so influential to him because it “clearly set forth the importance of understanding that all scientific theories presuppose certain philosophical premises.”

The concept of “primary convictions” or presupposed “philosophical premises” is important when it comes to the nonsense that is religion vs. science. Religion and science are not mutually exclusive arenas where we must leave one completely behind as we cross over into the other.

Anyone can practice good science while operating from a biblical worldview (such as Pasteur, Pascal, Newton, Kepler, et al). If this is not the case, then how did Newton, considered by many the greatest scientist of all time, ever invent calculus and develop his laws of motion and universal gravitation while operating from a strict biblical worldview? Newton also calculated the age of the earth to be only a few thousand years old and declared, “For an educated man…any suggestion that the human past extended back further than 6,000 years was a vain and foolish speculation.”

If science and religion are “fundamentally incompatible,” how did Pasteur, the father of modern medicine and a firm believer in God and His Word, ever discover the principles of vaccination, fermentation, and pasteurization? If, as Coyne declares, Darwinian evolution is “biology’s greatest theory,” then why did Pasteur directly oppose Darwin and his theory, all the while conducting experiments to enhance the Law of Biogenesis?

Just as there were centuries ago, today there are scientists with a biblical worldview in every field of science. They go to school, study, graduate; they go to church, worship, pray, read (and believe) Scripture; and they go to work, conduct research, develop products, heal the sick; all the while operating completely unfettered (except by the opposition they endure from the enemies of faith) in their fields.

Likewise, some things involving matters of faith can be tested (observed, measured, and repeated). There is bountiful evidence (the field of archaeology has been a great friend to Christianity) for everything I believe about God and His creation. In other words, there is no battle between science and religion. The only competition that exists when it comes to our pursuit of knowledge and truth lies in our worldviews, or one might say, our presupposed “philosophical premises.”

Nevertheless, the idea that there is some battle between science and religion—especially Christianity—simply won’t go away. According to today's left, politicians, judges, military officers, policemen, teachers, and so forth are never to be guided by religion, but always by “science.” Thus, with their common liberal worldview (that is extremely hostile to religion—especially Christianity), we now have a disastrous marriage between the liberals who dominate “modern science” and those who dominate Big Government.

I wonder if “geniuses” such as Baggini, Schweitzer, and Coyne applied their massive intellectual powers to the merits of the disaster that is now Obamacare, or to the debate over when human life begins, or to the many dangers of homosexual behavior, or to the myth of anthropogenic global warming. Wouldn’t you want to wager that, in spite of what many see as clear moral and scientific evidence to the contrary, such “scientists” abandon almost all reason and tow the liberal line when it comes to issues such as health-care, abortion, homosexuality, marriage, guns, and “climate change”?

Writing about the “great issues” of his day, C.S. Lewis wrote in 1940, “Lord! How I loathe great issues…Could one start a Stagnation Party— which at General Elections would boast that during its term of office no event of the least importance had taken place?” Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, John G. West writes that “According to stepson David Gresham, Lewis was skeptical of politicians and not really interested in current events. His concern was not policy but principle; political problems of the day were interesting to him only insofar as they involved matters that endured.”

Nevertheless, West adds that Lewis did indeed have a “great deal” to say about politics, writing about such things as crime, obscenity, capital punishment, communism, fascism, socialism, war, the welfare state, and so on. West noted that, “It is precisely because Lewis was so uninterested in ordinary political affairs that he has so much to tell us about politics in the broad sense of the term. By avoiding the partisan strife of his own time, he was able to articulate enduring political standards for all time.”

Nowhere is this clearer, West states, than in Lewis’ writings on tyranny and morality. According to West, Lewis was particularly concerned with the tyranny that could result from the union of modern science and the modern state.

Lewis disputed the notion that we must rely on the counsel of scientists because only they have the answers to today's complicated problems. He did not dispute their knowledge, but concluded that most of it was irrelevant. In West’s words, “Political problems are preeminently moral problems, and scientists are not equipped to function as moralists.” Lewis added that, “I dread specialists in power [such as our now numerous political “czars”] because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man's opinion no added value.”

What such “specialists in power” do is give a Big Government, which is already too willing to encroach on our lives, even more of a reason for doing so. This is especially true in times of crisis. (“Never let a crisis go to waste,” right?) In such times many of us are far too eager to become what Lewis called in 1958 “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.”

Typically, in order for any oligarchy effectively to rise and rule, it needs some “extreme peril,” something to cure, some desperate need that the rulers promise to fulfill. As Lewis asked, is this not “the ideal opportunity for enslavement?”

When a generation lives in fear or dread of some looming crisis or when a society is made to believe that someone else can provide the things that it cannot live without, is this not the opportunity for those who seek to rule over us to be seen as liberators rather than the tyrants that they are? Were not Stalin and Hitler first seen as saviors and deliverers? 

Following two world wars and in the midst of a cold war, Lewis wrote that “The increasing complexity and precariousness of our economic life have forced Government to take over many spheres of activity once left to choice or chance…The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good…Read Montaigne; that’s the voice of a man with his legs under his own table, eating mutton and turnips raised on his own land. Who will talk like that when the State is everyone’s schoolmaster and employer?”

To “fix” our problems (whether real or perceived) and to exert the power and influence necessary, the new ruling class must more and more rely on the “experts.” This means that the politicians must increasingly rely on the knowledge and advice of scientists, until, in the end, the politicians become “merely the scientists’ puppets.”

Thus, we get the motto of the technocrats: “only science can save us now.” Whether it is global warming, stem-cell research, the beginning of life, healthcare, crime, homosexuality and marriage, or even gun control or economic policies, the technocrats have the answers. After all, as Lewis also noted, “If we are to be mothered, mother must know best.”

In other words, many of our politicians (and scientists alike) are surrendering themselves to scientism. Scientism is not science. It is an ideology that is often confused with science. It is, rather, an abuse of the scientific method and scientific authority.

Scientism can also be classified as a religion. It is a religion with many denominations: Darwinism, environmentalism, feminism, hedonism, humanism, Marxism, socialism, and so on. How many Americans now find their fulfillment and purpose in these movements? They celebrate Earth Day and Darwin Day. They boldly assert, “Science is my Savior.”

Also, scientism arrogantly attempts to lift itself above all other beliefs and disciplines—philosophy and theology included. “Philosophy is dead,” declared Stephen Hawking in his 2010 book The Grand Design. It is dead because, “Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics.”

Thus, as we see, scientism seeks to elevate the methods of natural science to a level where it is the bar by which every other intellectual discipline is held. Scientism ridicules faith and religion and tells us that “God is dead.” Scientism tells us that the “debate is over,” so shut up and get in line.

And, of course, scientism leads us to technocracy. “I dread government in the name of science,” said Lewis. “That is how tyrannies come in.” What a profound conclusion! How many of us have been duped in the name of “science”? How many of us cower and yield, because, well, if the “scientists” (and then the politicians) tell us so, then it must be so?

We can see the results: generations are taught that life began without God; that the use of fossil fuels is warming the earth; that homosexuality is genetic and unchangeable; that abortion is not really the taking of a life; that marriage is whatever we want it to be; that confiscating the wealth of some to give to others is “fair;” that guns are evil; and so on. Of course, we then get laws and official government policy based on such conclusions.

Sadly, too many of us then grow accustomed to our chains. We become children, or pupils of the State (like “Julia”). We continue to elect leaders who perpetuate the cycle of the “Welfare State” based significantly on the lies of scientism. It’s time for Americans to wake up to this perversion of science and return science, faith, philosophy, and by all means, common sense, to their proper place.

(A version of this appeared in American Thinker in 2012.)

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World