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February 24, 2005

Comments

As a semi-related -- ok, tenuously related -- tangent to the above post, do people know of any libertarian Christians? Libertarian evangelicals? It occurs to me that libertarianism need not be antithetical to religiosity but that I don't actually know of any examples...

Anarch,
Me mum, devout Mormon in her way (direct descendent of Joseph Smith, tho' she married me pa, atheist scientist), votes the straight Cromwellian ticket, as she calls it. I swear to you, Mormons have encorporated Milton into their theology, but it's the rare Mormon who invites Milton into her politics!

This last season, both she and dad voted Badnarak (sp?!?)--in Berkeley. They were aghast by Bush (and staunchly libertarian Canadian dad was the first to bring canadians being extraordinarily rendered to my attention), but couldn't quite join their community's zeitgeist to the extent of voting for Kerry. I think this has more to do with their Californian why-don't-our-votes-count-dammit pride than anything else.

(Of course, in the early days of the Mormon church, the economic structure was basically communistic: when you joined, you signed over your property. The economy was, in Utah, centrally planned, and while allotments of land were distributed to private owners, residents were forbidden to break up lots to sell. The church still runs parallel taxation, welfare, and communications systems.)

Hilzoy, I have read some of the Slacktivist's parsings. I tried to read the first installment. I should have been able to finish it: I was in Germany, English-language fiction was hard to come by, it was there--but, oh, it was so incredibly bad. I think it's a gauge both of my desparation to read English and of the badness of the book that I abandoned it a mere thirty pages before the end.

The millenial strand is present in most Protestant faiths, but it comes and goes according to contemporary political and cultural conditions. Growing up Mormon in Berkeley, I was vaguely taught about the theological roots of these sorts of ideas, but the directives ("You should keep a year's worth of food in your house to be prepared for the disasters that will prefigure the Second Coming!") from Utah sounded alarmist. Many--if not most--Christians will take such warnings as metaphorical. In California, response to such Utah directives often went like this: "And earthquakes can, of course, strike at any time, so it's important to be self-reliant in emergencies. Emergency supplies are key, and know where the gas-main is."

yet we have Jonas suggest Neiwert conjures fascist demons out of his rear end.

See, I missed that one completely. As unreasonable as this might seem, I don't read every comment. Especially of late, given that I'm un$DEITY-ly busy at work. Plus I'm repainting and reflooring the front couple of rooms. I'll try to save up all the swear-words I use (coming from a first-time installer of wood flooring) and post them on my own personal (albeit sadly neglected) blog.

I'm going to invite Jonas to go over and discuss his opinions of Orcinus with the source, though. Jonas, what say you?

No worries, Slarti, I just thought pointing it out the way I did rather than repeating the offending phrase might get the message across. I honestly didn't mean to ask you to step in, and I should have said something like 'Now is a good time to remember Slarti's dictum that...'

Wood flooring. Just when you figure out how to do it, you'll be finished, if I remember correctly.

One of Christ's central messages is one of peace, but he was no pacifist, Edward. Also, everyone one of us falls well short of the standards He set out for us. A group of believers honoring another group of believers who chose to face the risk of making the ultimate sacrifice is neither dishonorable nor blasphemous.

Overturning the moneychangers tables in the temple? That's all you've got to suggest Christ was not a pacifist?

Anyway, one thing that can be said confidently is that Jesus was speaking to us as individuals, not as a society.

Then I don't expect to hear another Christian cite the Bible when it comes to social issues. Come on, KenB, you can do better than that.

In deciding WWJD in relation to protecting innocent third parties, we don't have much to go on.

Quite the contrary, we have his daily life as an example.

His focus was always on the poor, downtrodden, and abused. He elevated them and insisted they were as valuable in his father's eyes as kings. Kings decide to go to war and the poor and downtrodden are killed in their wars, like so much fodder. There's absolutely no way to conclude from his teachings or his life that Christ would approve of war. Kings have no more right to risk the lives of the poor than the poor have to risk the life of the king. "Render unto Caesar" does not include one's life. That idea is both unChristian and unAmerican. It means pay your taxes so the government can do its business and you can be a productive member of society.

Fifteen years of Bible study have me convinced Christ is sorely disappointed each time humans can't find a better solution than wars that kill his people. Again, the Pope totally gets this. I'm not Catholic, but on that point I know he's right.


When did "the ends justify the means" become part of Catholic/Christian ethics?

Just askin'.

Fifteen years of Bible study have me convinced Christ is sorely disappointed each time humans can't find a better solution than wars that kill his people.

A Nietzsche aphorism: There was only one Christian and he died on the cross.

There was only one Christian and he died on the cross.

Surely, but when your mission statement is to "together to be like Him" you do have an obligation to understand who he was and what he stood for and make a good faith effort to honor that.

As a semi-related -- ok, tenuously related -- tangent to the above post, do people know of any libertarian Christians?

There was a guy who used to post on the Straight Dope Message Board -- maybe still does -- who went by the screen name "Libertarian," and was exactly that: An evangelical born-again Christian who was also a fervent libertarian in the Von Mises/Hayek mode. He often critiqued Rand on the basis that she got one thing wrong: The existence of God is a necessary precondition for libertarianism.

Anyway, one thing that can be said confidently is that Jesus was speaking to us as individuals, not as a society.

Then I don't expect to hear another Christian cite the Bible when it comes to social issues.

If by "social issues" one means getting the government to act in a certain way, then I don't think Christians are justified in citing the Bible, at least not the NT. Where does Jesus say "You shall force all the people in your city or country to give a certain percentage of their income to feed the poor"?

In deciding WWJD in relation to protecting innocent third parties, we don't have much to go on.

Quite the contrary, we have his daily life as an example.

If you can point to a story or parable where person A is beating person B and Jesus recommends a particular course of action for person C who's witnessing this, then you might have something. Otherwise I'll stick with my original statement.

Sorry...Timmy, when you brought up Ireland...I was yhinking something else...anyway.

If you can point to a story or parable where person A is beating person B and Jesus recommends a particular course of action for person C who's witnessing this, then you might have something. Otherwise I'll stick with my original statement.

well, there is this:

According to the Gospel of John, the Pharisees, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, brought a woman charged with adultery before him. Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law. Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people crowded around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. When Jesus found himself alone with the woman, he asked her who were her accusers. She replied, “No man, lord.” Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”

But I don't think that's what you're after. Perhaps if you explain more fully what you're seeking I can respond.

In that story, Jesus is speaking directly to the abusers and convinces them to stop. What I'm looking for is a situation where simply speaking to the abuser(s) doesn't make him/them stop. How do we determine what Jesus would want us to do in that situation?

IOW, would Jesus say that it's OK to go to war if that seems to be the only way to save a given population from horrible treatment?

Would Jesus say that it's OK to go to war? There are clues:

Matthew 5:3-12; 38-42

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. . . .

38 "You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

43 "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Edward, again, these speak to our not defending ourselves. What would Jesus have us do if we come across some guy getting beaten up by a gang of toughs in an alley, and they don't respond to our cries of "Stop!"? Should we just counsel the victim to turn his other cheek too, whether or not he's Christian?

Lew Rockwell is a Roman Catholic.

Gary North: A Protestant libertarian Christian.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north-arch.html

How I Became a Christian Libertarian

http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates87.html

Libertarian Christian Web Pages

http://www.theadvocates.org/christian/


I thnk most Christian Libertarians/Libertarian Christians were against the invasion of Iraq.

What would Jesus have us do if we come across some guy getting beaten up by a gang of toughs in an alley, and they don't respond to our cries of "Stop!"?

OK, I see your question now.

For me there's a significant difference between the spiritual and secular. Christ was aware of the secular realities of our lives (in fact to learn about them was supposedly the reason God sent him to earth, and that in and of itself suggests He recognized it was complicated), but Christ's teachings and especially the sancutary of His Father's House were meant to provide a respite from our daily grind and concerns.

Mixing the two, especially mixing a house for prayer (arguably where we find the very best of ourselves) with a call to arms (arguably the very worst of our secular selfs), is something I belive Christ would become angry about.

He would fully understand that we, weak humans, would not find an altrusistic alternative to war in each instance. He would not understand at all soiling the very place we go to try and learn that altruism.

Oh, and serious dweeb points to kenB for the gruesome pun.

Mixing the two, especially mixing a house for prayer (arguably where we find the very best of ourselves) with a call to arms (arguably the very worst of our secular selfs), is something I belive Christ would become angry about.

I agree with you, but of course we have similar ideas about who Jesus was. I don't feel certain enough of my interpretation to point to the folks in that church and say they're definitely wrong, especially since the world we live in now is vastly different from the one Jesus lived and preached in.

Oh, and serious dweeb points to kenB for the gruesome pun.

Thanks -- I was wondering if anyone would get that one. But wasn't that in a different thread?

I may be wrong, but federalizing the rules for a member of a Christian church is theocracy. (Baptism, marriage, confessions of faith, communion, tithing, church discipline, etc. is for in-house, and not the nation).

Early Christian teachings were indeed "pacifistic."
Many pagans began to blame Christianity for the fall of Rome. Christianity valued Faith, Gentleness, Meekness, Self-Control Temperance, all things a warrior culture must reject. Augustine fought back by blaming Rome's "foriegn policies". Hubris and pride and the "pagan ethos" were the Pagan's thang, and Augustine pegged them for it. What goes around comes around, and the Roman empire was full of itself, it thought it was God on earth.

Nietzsche (and Marx) believed that Christian ethics were a tool to keep the masses weak, while the "real men" understood the pagan ethos and would never allow their power to be stripped because of some hippie Jew's teachings.

Nietzsche (and Marx) believed that Christian ethics were a tool to keep the masses weak, while the "real men" understood the pagan ethos and would never allow their power to be stripped because of some hippie Jew's teachings.

Perhaps, but it is important to remember that Nietzsche (and Marx) were simply adopting Hegel's notion of 'slave morality'. One also has to remember the much more stifling nature of Christian practice at the time and note that a number of Nietzsche's criticisms of Christianity were (and are IMO) painfully true.

If Nietzsche is a little too harsh, I think Kierkegaard is probably a good subsitute. Here's a nice site with side by side quotes of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.

And since we are talking about biblical interpretations, here is Kierkegaard's discussion of the story of Abraham from _Fear and Trembling_,

But the story of Abraham is generally interpreted in a different way. God's mercy is praised which restored Isaac to him—it was but a trial! A trial. This word may mean much or little, and yet the whole of it passes off as quickly as the story is told: one mounts a winged horse, in the same instant one arrives on Mount Moriah, and presto one sees the ram. It is not remembered that Abraham only rode on an ass which travels but slowly, that it was a three days' journey for him, and that he required some additional time to collect the firewood, to bind Isaac, and to whet his knife.

Upon rereading this in the light of discussions about torture here, that last sentence is very disturbing.

There should be a Godwin-type rule about Nietzsche. By the time he gets mentioned, the thread's over.

Holy Shit LB, that KIERKEGAARD VS. NIETZSCHE is fun as hell, thanks.

Students I hang out with usually are surprised that many of the criticism NIETZSCHE had of Christianity are the same critiques modern day right-wingers have of liberalism and pluralism.

NIETZSCHE, I think, thought it was foolish for Christians to believe they could maintain their faith as well as their commitment to the state and/or nationalism and modernity. KIERKEGAARD seemed to be sensitive to this view. (He wanted Protestants to return to the monasteries, for goodness sake.) NIETZSCHE seemed to be sugesting that Christians working outside of a Puritian/Monastic method, were wolves in sheep-clothing. In other words...Christianity was to strict for any normal person to follow. Acetism is the logical outcome and a nation-state and/culture can not have its foundations based on acetics. So many Christians, who love modernity and all it has to offer, will begin to contort Christian ethics into modern/rational catagories, which for N & K misses the point.

(these are the musings of a student with a BA in continental philosophy, so have mercy)

NIETZSCHE, I think, thought it was foolish for Christians to believe they could maintain their faith as well as their commitment to the state and/or nationalism and modernity.

Our Christian Fundamentalist Party (with a program to restore theocraty, ban women from politic functions and 2 seats in parlement) SGP assumes that a christian cannot know the will of god and therefor have to rigidly follow the government (which should follow gods law). Their chairmen in WW2 condemned Dutch resistance against the Germans because of this and had to leave after the war.

That's all you've got to suggest Christ was not a pacifist?

No. A couple of points. Jesus himself said that He didn't seek to destroy the Old Testament but to fulfill it and complete it. If He were speaking in modern terms, I wouldn't be surprised if He said that you have to work with the humanity that you have, not the humanity you want to have. Some excerpts:

The Old Testament records many wars, some of which God commanded or assisted (e.g. Ex. 17:8-16; Num. 31:3-7; Deut. 20:1-4; Josh; Jud 3:10; Isa. 45:1; etc). But God specifically forbids some wars (Deut. 2:4-5,9,19), and there comes a time when God's Kingdom is no longer expanded by 'holy war', with God even allowing his own people to be taken captive in war (e.g. Daniel 1:1-2). There is a 'time' for war (Eccl. 3:8); yet God's ultimate goal is for a world of peace (e.g. Isa. 2:2-4), and much bloodthirsty warfare is condemned (e.g. Isa. 33:1). This complexity has to do with the history of God's salvation of planet earth, which you could discover more about by joining the Moore College correspondence course Introduction to the Bible (ph. 9577-9911).

According to some Christians, both Jesus and Paul forbade all violence, and therefore all war (Mt. 5:39 & Lk. 6:29; Mt. 26:51-53; Rom 12:17-21). One early thinker (Tertullian) goes so far as to say that although God previously allowed some warfare, Jesus "unbelted every soldier". Tertullian therefore demanded the "immediate abandonment" of military service by Christians. But neither John the Baptist, Jesus, nor the early Christians forbade soldiering (Lk. 3:14, 7:1-10; Matt. 8:5-13; Acts 10:1-8,22), and for Jesus, war is just a part of how things are (Mk 13:7; Matt 24:6; Lk 14:31-32, 21:9). Paul, in his letter to the Romans says that God uses rulers to punish evil by use of 'the sword' (Rom. 13:1-4). Elsewhere, God commands rulers to rescue the weak and needy (Ps. 82:2-4). The care of a people is committed to those in authority, and their business is to watch over the common good of the people entrusted to them. In a sinful, fallen world, sometimes they must sadly use force to protect people.

There's more here, which recognizes that there are times when war must be prosecuted. Using Pearl Harbor and Hitler's subsequent declaration of war on us as an example, had we taken the pacifist approach the world would have been a darker, more evil place. I simply find it hard to believe that Jesus would have preferred that pacifist alternative.

Using Pearl Harbor and Hitler's subsequent declaration of war on us as an example, had we taken the pacifist approach the world would have been a darker, more evil place. I simply find it hard to believe that Jesus would have preferred that pacifist alternative.

Why? Not that I disagreee with the first sentence I've quoted, but Jesus didn't concern himself with the political systems under which people lived and died. He concerned himself with the souls of individual human beings and their salvation. An unsaved soul is an unsaved soul whether it lives in a world in which the Allies won WWII or the Axis did. I would think that Jesus would be more concerned with how many unsaved souls there are than with who won the war.

Then again, I'm an atheist, so what do I care?

Nice try Bird Dog, but you can't cherry pick ideas from the Old Testament and suggest Christ supported them willy nilly. Your acting in good faith only when you go by what he's reported to have said himself.

Upon rereading this in the light of discussions about torture here, that last sentence is very disturbing.

For a somewhat different take, I recommend Leonard Cohen's Story of Isaac.

"I brought up that my friend, who is working on his masters to enter the ministry and who takes a very strict view of scripture, thought this was completely absurd. Her reply was for him to read the passages again and pray to God for wisdom. That's all she had to offer."

There's an interesting debate going on that I'm paying moderate attention to about the intellectual underpinnings of Protestantism, especially Evangelical Protestantism, in comparison with the tradition of apologetics and debate coming from Catholicism. Here's a good article in First Things by Mark Noll on the topic.

One thing that strikes me is the increasing postmodernism of Protestantism. As faith becomes more convenient and people get more used to convenience, they become more assertive in redefining Christianity to be whatever they want it to be. Rather than seeking out authority from a pastor or other authority on a right course of action, they just redefine Christianity to be whatever they were going to do anyway, or whatever they feel strongly about. And their belief is intractable. If you try to argue from any position of reason, it is easy to simply say you intuit God's will because He's inside you and you just know what's right.

This is, I think, a sickness in modern Christianity. Religion is about a lot of things, but one of the things it's really about is being denied for your own good. And Westerners, particularly Americans, are really bad at being denied.

But Iraq (and many invasions after and before WW2) were not done in self-defense. They were done for many reasons, but our existential survival was not one of them.

This seems to be the reason so many Protestants (early American history) were isolationist...they had seen the thousands of years of war in Europe. All those wars were commited in the name of God and Country. The whims of the dynamic leader (Prince, King, Lord) who could convince his subjects that it was religious reasons to invade. Many early Americans seemed to be suspicious of a military Class/professional soldiers, and prefered militias.

Jesus doesn't seem to be impressed with devotions to the state...he certainly realized that one must respect the laws of that state...but aligning one's soul with the essence of one's nation is certainly blasphemy.

Being a Christian who is a soldier is one thing, being a Christian soldier who "only follows orders" is quite another thing.

On WWJD:

Jesus' teachings were rarely situational, they were exemplary. It was never intended that people should just simply do what he did and they would be saved (a point illuminated nicely in the Life of Brian). The point was that if you made yourself into a good, holy person, all of your actions therefrom would be proper. The horse comes before the cart.

I would expect, without trying to be presumptuous, that if you asked Jesus for advice on the Iraq war, he would give you the same advice he'd give if you asked whether you should eat meat or whether you should root for the Red Sox or the Yankees. I think he would advise all of you to go home, kiss your children, work on your garden, be brave in your convictions, be kind to your neighbors, and not to suffer from fear. What you did after that would be up to you.

Lovely comment sidereal. Thank you!

Rather than seeking out authority from a pastor or other authority on a right course of action, they just redefine Christianity to be whatever they were going to do anyway, or whatever they feel strongly about.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. There's always a tension in non-fundamentalist churches between the individual conscience and the church's dogma, and the more liberal the church, the more the individual conscience wins out. Sometimes the individual conscience acts in wise ways, sometimes not. Or rather, sometimes an individual mistakes the voice of temptation for the voice of conscience.

"This is not necessarily a bad thing."

Not at all, but the pendulum can swing too far, and I think it has. It's worth noting that when Calvin and Luther opted out of church doctrine, they did so with enormous thought, conflict, and with the highest aspirations to holiness. (Though Pope Leo didn't think so: "Luther is a drunken German. He will feel different when he is sober"). It was in no way a matter of convenience or laziness.

I'd like to add a little background about the militarisic church service I attended. (I know this is a little late in the game.)

My mom ( from the Hugenot line), well she was sort of a religious sceptic. I think her religion was books. She really loved reading, and that was a major source of conversation when we went visiting. My wife, the Unitarian, is a school librarian, by the way. Anyway, my mom once showed me obituaries of her cranky grandfather, great uncles, etc., that read "In his later years, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal saviour, etc., etc.":

I think this was to comfort the relatives.

Mt Dad is a deacon in that Baptist church, and he regularly prays that all of his family find Jesus, so that we will all be together in heaven. Aloud, before Thanksgiving dinner, for instance. Here I actually have to confess that my dad's ancestor was not a particularly religious person; his brothers were with Roger Williams. My ancestor was sort of kicked out of Rhode Island and went to work in the slave plantations in Barbados. His grandson moved to Charleston, South Caarolina, but his son didn't want that kind of life, and headed for the hills. (so yes, I'm a hillbilly.)

That guy that ran for the hills made his way in life after he was given a land grant for fighting the British at the battle of Kings Mountain. (More tangental information: his grandchildren had their town burned down because they refused to join the Confederate army (I think led by General Kirby) in the campaign that ended at the battle of Perrysburg.. My mom's ancestors fought for the union, and I think were characterized as really mean people who liked fighting. I think that if you lived way back in the hills of Kentucky during the Civil War, there weren't people forcing you to join an army like in the Cold Mountain book.

===

To steer this back on topic, my mother in May 2004, after many many tests and doctors visits, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. We all had colds anmd couldn't go to visit until late in June, when my daughter was going to Mountain Camp, a Unitarian camp in a beautiful mountaintop setting not near, but not so far from Kings Mountain. She decided mnot to begin chemo until we came down because she didm't want to be sick when we visited.(By the way, for you liberals, "The Mountain" - google it - needs all the support it can get. The nearby town of Highlamds, NC is absolutely stunning, and "The Mountain" is a great place for retreats, very liberal and gay friendly. I highly recommended it, although I don't think it is generally available in summer.


So, anyway, we got to visit my mom and she seemed to be pretty much all right. My son still had a cold, so he stayed at my sisters house. We had a nice visit, yes a lot of book talk, which is limited for me because I'm a blog reaader, not much a book reader anymore. Mom was opposed to the war in Iraq. My father was for it.

Two weeks later I went doen to pick my daughter up. I went back to my sister's house, near Cumberland Gap, and was going to visit my parents the next day. At around 5;00 in the morning, my sister banged on the door and told me my mother had died. It took a while to get over freaking out about this, but pretty soon we went down to Knoxville to my parents' house. and my childhood home.

It's a little crackerbox house, kind of messsy, my dad is a hoarder. But the living rom is neat as well as her bedroom. Yes, they slept in separate beds now, hers neat and his bedroom full of bargains ("junk") that he had bought at the thrift stores that "somebody could use".

==

So another one of my sisters is already there, my dad has a dish rag in his hand. He wants to clean up the place. See, before my mom died, she felt like she needed to use the bathroom, but she didn't want someone else to lift her up because of the pain that she felt from the crushed disk in her back that was from the myeloma. So my dad had been waiting for her to say "OK help me up" all night when she collapsed, and I think she was already dead when he picked her up and carried her into the bathroom and put her on the toilet.

Anyway, my sister and I cleaned up the shit (not very much) and took the comforter, etc to the laundromat. The ambulance people had already taken my mother away before I got there. I opened the windows. The smell of death is not the same as the smell of the shit. I can't explain it.

===

When my sister and I got back from the laundromat, around 8:00 or 8:30 I think, there were already people from the church at the house. This was Saturday on the 4th of July weekend, and many people were out of town or doing picnics , etc.. Dad wanted the funeral on Monday. The choir director's wife was insistent that my dad write the obituary immediately, so that people might come to the funeral on Monday. Then came the chicken. Buckets of fried chicken, ham, cakes and so on. All kinds of people from the church showed up, to offer whatever consolation and help they could give, including all the various ministers. (This is a pretty big church).

.... I'll leave some stuff out here ...

===

My Dad insisted that he wanted to sing in the choir the next day, in the service commemorating the veterans. That's why I attended the pro-military service.

===

My mother's funeral was overflow capacity for the funeral home, even though she rarely attended church. My wife and son had flown in to Nashville instead of Knoxville, because the ticket price difference was about $400.I had no difficulty picking my wife and son up, but some tornados went though and blew down trees on I-40. Traffic stopped at least 3 or 4 times,so I was LATE FOR MY OWN FREAKING MOTHERS FUNERAL. I phoned the funeral home to tell my sister to start without me. We arrived just after the funeral started, I had my suit on, but the rest in shorts and Tshirts. I did hear the first minister's eulogy, which ended with a Psalm that I, the sort of atheist, had selected:

Psalm 116

1: I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.

2: Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

3: The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of hell laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.

4: Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I beseech thee, save my life!"

5: Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.

6: The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.

7: Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

8: For thou hast delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;

Nice try Bird Dog, but you can't cherry pick ideas from the Old Testament and suggest Christ supported them willy nilly.

Matthew 5:17-19: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

Again, Edward, if there is a scriptural basis for Just War Theory, which applies doctrine from both the Old and New Testaments, how can you say with certainty that Jesus was a pacifist? Virtually all of his words were spoken on a spiritual plane, not on an earthly one.

My grandparents converted from Roman Catholicism/Santeria to a radical Charasmatic Pentecostalism (Mystic Protestantism)...they were converted during the Pentecostal Revivals of the 20s. Those revivals spilled over into the hills of the Caribbean. They were Jibaros (Puerto Rican hillbillies) and many of the kids from the hillside villages got out by-way of missionary work or the military. Or even both.

As patriotic and devout as they are, and as "country" as they can be, losing family and neighbors to the Cold War adventures (Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War 2) is a hard pill to swallow.

The men who come back, their resentment, for having to kill other people, is felt. They never speak about killing for freedom or liberty or democracy, they always talk of war as disagreements between rich and greedy people, and the poorest will suffer for it.

Oohh. . scripture tag. I'll play!

Romans 7
"4So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5For when we were controlled by the sinful nature,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code."

if there is a scriptural basis for Just War Theory

Wow, that's a big if...

Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

Again, Edward, if there is a scriptural basis for Just War Theory...

Them's fightin' words!

"Them's fightin' words!"

How's that Nobel Prize for Literature entry coming along?

Swell!

Re the invocation and dismissal of David Neiwert upthread, he's put up a new post on Orcinus detailing his particular views. They don't seem to cohere too closely to the usual pat summations (either pro or con), so it's worth a read.

I would Like to simply relate a fact pointed out by the german political theorist,Carl Schimtt in his book "Concept of the Political": The often quoted
"Love your enemies"(Matt 5:44;Lukee 6:27)reads in the Latin Vulgate:"Diligite inimicos
vestros,"(love your private enemies) and not "diligite hostes vestros" (love your public enemies) There is no mention of loving the enemy on the battlefield.Never in the thousand-year struggle between christians and moslems did it occur to a christian to surrender rather than defend Europe out of love toward the saracens or turks.A public enemy can be defined as one who (Fights) against us.A private enemy is one who simply (hates) us without ncessarily waging war. I would like to here your opinions on this verse: "He that shall lead into captivity,shall go into captivity:he that shall kill by the sword,must be killed by the sword.Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."Revelations 13:10 Lastly,Mr. Randy Paul we christians have no need of a "Pagan" ethos. Instead we have a Christian Israelite ethos which is shown in the Old Testament and in The Book of Revelation Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened: and behold a white horse. And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true: and with justice doth he judge and fight.
Rev 19:12 And his eyes were as a flame of fire: and on his head were many diadems. And he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD.
Rev 19:14 And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Rev 19:16 And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Rev 19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun: and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that did fly through the midst of heaven: Come, gather yourselves together to the great supper of God:
Rev 19:18 That you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of tribunes and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them: and the flesh of all freemen and bondmen and of little and of great.
Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with him that sat upon the horse and with his army.
Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who wrought signs before him, wherewith he seduced them who received the character of the beast and who adored his image. These two were cast alive into the pool of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 19:21 And the rest were slain by the sword of him that sitteth upon the horse, which proceedeth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

I forgot to mention I liked Mel Gibson's Film "The Passion of the Christ".


The "Just War" Doctrine should be renamed the "Crusade" Doctrine.I Like the word "Crusade" it probably strikes terror and Fear in the hearts of the muslims and Pagans.

I like the cat. Where did you get that picture. You should have more pictures of angel costumes for worship dances on this site, all the words were boring, like blah blah blah. Thank you for wasting your time by reading this. God Bles You! (Whoops I mean bless)

I like the cat. Where did you get that picture. You should have more pictures of angel costumes for worship dances on this site, all the words were boring, like blah blah blah. Thank you for wasting your time by reading this. God Bles You! (Whoops I mean bless)

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