Conservative political and social commentary
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First they came for the communists,
but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists
and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they
came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they
came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.
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|Let My People Go - Monday, November 01, 2010 at 00:00|
Thoughts on the election:
The results are a rebuke to the leftist agenda, but only a mild rebuke. With Republican control of the House, from which all money bills must originate, it becomes possible to defund ObamaCare and stop further “stimulus” spending. But this will require Senate Republicans to stand by conservative principles. Whether they will do so remains to be seen.
The leftward drift of the ship of state has been slowed but not stopped. If the ship is headed to the left, putting the wheel amidships merely continues its current direction. In order to correct the course, the wheel must be turned to the right. Whether this will happen is even more problematic.
The fate of our country remains in our hands. But we must continually remind our representatives that they are our representatives, not our rulers. To paraphrase Daniel Hannan, author of the must-read “The New Road to Serfdom,” we must keep the pressure on advocates of an ever-enlarging government, because they see public opinion not as a reason to change direction, but as an obstacle to overcome.
Let My People Go
David C. Stolinsky, MD
Tuesday is Election Day. But it is not just an ordinary midterm election. It marks a turning point for our nation. We will decide whether we will continue down the road to the left, with ever greater regulation of our daily lives by a remote, central government. Or we will decide to take the other road, the one that leads to greater freedom and empowerment of the individual − the one laid out by our founders.
When the subject of liberating human beings comes up, I cannot help thinking of the words that the Lord told Moses to say to pharaoh: “Let my people go.”
Some might think it is inappropriate to use a biblical reference in connection with politics − that is, if they can recognize a biblical reference in the first place. But our founders used biblical references frequently. If you doubt this, consider “free thinker” Ben Franklin’s suggestion for the Great Seal of the United States:
Moses standing on the shore, and extending his hand over the sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand. Rays from a pillar of fire in the clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by command of the Deity. Motto,“Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” [Emphasis added.]
If that doesn’t impress you, consider “wall of separation” Thomas Jefferson’s idea for the Great Seal:
The Children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Speaking of the “wall of separation” between church and state, Jefferson, the author of that phrase, regularly attended Sunday church services when he was president – which were held in the Capitol at public expense.
And some might think it is an exaggeration to use a quotation describing liberation from slavery. After all, we are hardly slaves. But the time to think about loss of freedom is before it is completely lost − not afterward. The time to think about liberation is when it can still be accomplished in the voting booth − not in the streets.
If today’s Americans can quote from the Declaration of Independence at all, they will probably mention that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But that is a big “if.”
When President Obama used that quotation in speeches, he twice omitted “by our Creator.” Some might see this as a minor gaffe. I see it as extremely troubling. If his omission was due to ignorance, it was a sad commentary on the state of our educational system. If it was intentional, it was frightening. If our rights do not come from God, they must come from the government. And what the government gives, it can as easily take away.
And speaking of taking away rights, here is another quotation from the Declaration of Independence:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. [Emphasis added.]
Here the authors, mainly Jefferson, were justifying our break with King George III by laying out our complaints against the British government. The Declaration goes on:
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Does this begin to sound familiar? If Jefferson was upset by royal officers taxing tea, what would he thought of government officials telling us what kind of health care we could have − or not have? What would he thought of a multitude of laws and regulations, all for our own good, of course? What would be thought of laws that controlled what kind of light bulbs we can buy and what kind of toilets we can use?
King George III would have been outraged by the notion that his officers had anything to do with toilets. He would have found such micromanagement of people’s lives to be beneath his dignity. But modern tyrants are not concerned with dignity − they are concerned only with power. To them, regulating light bulbs and toilets is just the beginning.
The Declaration continues:
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.
Does this remind you of how our courts, including the Supreme Court, now claim the power to take foreign law and opinion into account in rendering their decisions? How this squares with their oath to the Constitution is not explained. Of course, unelected, unaccountable judges with lifetime jobs feel no need to explain anything to anyone.
The Constitution is our table of organization. It describes the various parts of our government and how they relate to one another. It delegates certain specified powers to the federal government, leaving all other powers to the states or the people. The authors of the Constitution would be dumbfounded by the host of laws and regulations that the federal government now lays upon us.
But the Declaration of Independence is our mission statement. It lists our grievances against the British government − specifically, establishing a “multitude of new offices” and sending “swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” Yes, that does sound familiar.
The Declaration condemns these actions, because they abridge rights that were given to human beings by God Himself. We cannot read the Constitution without seeing it in the light of the Declaration. A table of organization tells us how to do things. But a mission statement tells us what we should be doing. One without the other is inadequate for the task of governing a free nation.
But now we have government officials − even judges − who claim that the “living Constitution” empowers them to do what they please, without regard for the actual Constitution as written. And they ignore the Declaration to the point that when they attempt to quote it, even with the aid of a teleprompter, they omit a crucial part.
Let us remember who we are and where we come from. Let us remember that the whole point of America is to empower the individual by restraining the government. Big government is not “progressive.” It represents a regression to an earlier, less free time. A high tax rate is not “progressive.” What is slavery, if not a 100% tax rate?
Our ancestors came here to escape the oppressive regimes of the Old World. That’s why they called it the New World. If we allow an oppressive regime to be established here, we will be insulting the memory of our ancestors. Even worse, we will be condemning our descendants to oppression. That would be unforgivable.
Before it is too late, let us reconnect with our roots. Let us recall that the Constitution is an actual document, not the latest whim of an official. Let us study the key words of the Declaration of Independence before we presume to quote it in public.
And let us remember all the words that the Lord told Moses to say to pharaoh: “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” No, not serve the state. That’s what people did in Egypt. If we go back there voluntarily, we will deserve to be slaves.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.