Jan 07 2009

What Price Victory?

Category: freedom,gay marriage,judges,libertyamuzikman @ 11:34 am

In California, the passage of Proposition 8, defining marriage as between a man and a woman, is being challenged and is now before the California Supreme Court.  This is the very same court that struck down the first protection of traditional marriage, Proposition 22, passed in 2000.  In that case four members of the court overruled a 61.4% voting majority and declared the proposition unconstitutional.  In my opinion there is very little reason to think it won’t happen again.  What is of great concern to me is the outcry, the lobbying and the expectation of so many in this state seeking to obtain through the court system what they couldn’t get through the ballot box.  Both the California Governor and Lieutenant Governor have joined the chorus of those expressing hope that Prop 8 will be overturned by the court.  It has become common and sadly acceptable for the losers in a election to plan and execute a reversal of results by means of the court system and sympathetic judges.

I know this is a very hot-button issue.  But regardless of your opinion about gay marriage step back and think about this for a moment.  Is there any more precious right we have as citizens of this country than to vote?  Is liberty and freedom better expressed anywhere than in the voting booth?  Yet we seem to be perfectly fine with giving the most undemocratic, the most unaccountable and the most unrepresentative branch of government broad sweeping powers to make and change the Constitution as they see fit, taking the right away from us, the voters, We the People.

The people of California have spoken clearly twice in the last decade.  The voting majority want marriage to be defined as one man and one woman. Every vote by definition has a winner and a loser.  But if the loser can manipulate a system whereby they become the winner then does it not make the voting process a sham?

If Prop 8 is overturned the political left, the gay lobby, their sympathizers and supporters will be dancing in the streets. But if you look very closely you’ll see their dancing feet are trampling one of our most cherished and basic rights. And if that does happen then I will have one question…

Why bother to vote?

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Nov 12 2008

What Price Liberty?

Category: libertyamuzikman @ 2:06 am

Liberty: Dictionary.com has several definitions listed.  Here are the two I think most applicable.

freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.

Liberty: There was a man once who made a very famous statement on the subject.  That man was Patrick Henry. His statement was “Give me liberty or give me death”.  He obviously had strong feelings about the subject.

Liberty:  France once gave us a statue.  It currently sits in New York harbor.  You may have seen it.  It’s called The Statue of Liberty.  It stands as a symbol of freedom and liberty to the world.  I suppose France could have kept it for themselves or given it to some other country – they didn’t.

Liberty:  There is a rather famous document that says our Creator endowed us with certain inalienable rights.  Liberty is one of three mentioned by name.  This document is one of the most profound in all of human history and is foundational to our nation’s very existence.

Men and women have bled and died for the sake of liberty.

People have come and continue to come to our shores by the thousands in search of liberty.  Some risking their lives to do so.

Ours is not a nation without faults.  But still a mere glance across the history of the last two centuries shows we have used our liberty well and have been largely a force for good in the world.

A precious individual right of self-determination.  A dream-come-true for the oppressed.  A hope for those who would be free.  A hallmark of these United States Of America.

Our nation now stands on the brink of a new era, soon to be led by a man who by word and deed has indicated he does not hold individual liberty in such high esteem.  We are asked to support this man.  We are asked to reconcile differences and heal wounds.  We are asked to believe in change. I don’t know about his coming change, but I do know a little about liberty.  And who among us believes when this man is finished with his promised change that liberty will remain as strong then as it is now?  And who will be left among us to stand in defense of liberty when so many will lie beholden to the governmental yoke?  Can we even imagine Patrick Henry’s words being uttered by those who are about to occupy the halls of leadership?

Does this sound corny and melodramatic? Do you imagine you can hear The Battle Hymn of the Republic being whistled in the background like some cheesy soundtrack?  Funny, what I hear are the voices of those who we honor today – veterans.  These for whom the word liberty is more than a statue, document, or dictionary definition.  Those for whom liberty was precious enough that they were willing to die to protect it. In the next four years I suppose we shall see how precious liberty is to the rest of us.

Thank you, all veterans.  Thank you.  I pray your sacrifice was not in vain.


Nov 08 2008

What Really Matters

Category: freedom,libertyamuzikman @ 12:54 am

In all the hype. hoopla, and hyperbole of these tumultuous days it might be a good thing to stop for a brief moment and reflect on what really matters.  What runs through your mind at the end a long, hard day when you finally plop down in your easy chair or relax on the back porch swing?  With what do you really concern yourself after the dishes are done, the homework has been completed and the kids are in bed?  In the late night solitude after everyone has gone to bed and there’s no one but you and the dog what do you think about?

For me it always comes back to my kids.  I pray for them daily.  I hope for them.  I worry for them and I cheer for them.  I want them to be happy, safe, well, and secure.  I want them to know God.  I want them to walk with God and live a life of faith.  I want them to be strong, men and women of conviction and moral courage, principled, brave and caring.

I want my kids to live in a world that cherishes, protects, defends and upholds life.

I want them to be successful, dream as big as they want and pursue the passion of their hearts.  I want them to live in a world in which hard work and dedication are rewarded.  I want them to be self-reliant, confident, and free.

I want my kids to understand the great and noble principles upon which our great country was founded.  I want them to appreciate those who gave their lives for the cause of the very freedom we all enjoy.

Have these hopes and dreams gone “out of style”?  Are we now to abandon our noble and precious birthright for what Deitrich Bonnhoeffer called “a mess of pottage”.  Well if by “change” one means to leave these virtues in favor of something else then I must say “no thank you”, no matter what the “something else” may be, and no matter how smooth and enticing the offer.  I’ll take a pass on that “change”, thank you very much.

I’m starting to understand how Moses felt.

“…I have been a stranger in a strange land.”  Exodus 2:22

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Oct 29 2008

William Wallace Was The First Reagan Conservative

Category: freedom,liberty,Obamaamuzikman @ 12:53 am

A little thought just popped into my head.  I was trying to figure out how to put into words what I’ve been feeling about the upcoming election and I think I may have a working metaphor.  Forgive me if you think this overly melodramatic but I must admit I have been most profoundly affected by this presidential election and the choice of possible outcomes.  The reason probably lies with concern for my kids and the kind of world they stand to inherit.

Anyway…. I was just thinking of the movie, Braveheart.  The scene is very near the end of the movie as William Wallace, after being betrayed and captured, lies bound to a table, helpless before his executioner in the public square.  As he is being tortured, (methodically disemboweled) before facing the guillotine, he musters up all he has left and with his last breath he utters a mournful, plaintive and defiant cry of, “Freedom!”

Will it be thus for The United States of America?  I have truly come to believe an Obama presidency will result in the dismemberment of our dear country as we know it.  For we are about to exchange liberty for “change” and it is clear to me that the “change” of which Obama speaks is not freedom but a governmental yoke, hung about the head and shoulders of every citizen.  And there are those with whom this has apparently found favor, the only requirement being that everyone else is also equally yoked.

Freedom carries with it the opportunity to succeed and the potential to fail. Apparently, faced with a large enough number of recent failures, our country now wants to turn away from freedom. Perhaps this is because we think the price is too high. Perhaps we are tired or lost and seek the comfort of the yoke, for when we are shackled together we won’t have to make any more decisions on our own, rather we can just pull the cart and let someone else decide where to go.  We can walk when we are told, stop when we are told, eat when we are fed, sleep when the sun goes down and never ever have to worry about anyone wandering away or, heaven forbid, going ahead of the rest of the herd.

But like that scene in the movie, I do hear a cry in these final days before the vote  – a cry of “freedom!” and a warning that our very freedom as a people is at stake in this election.  For it is freedom and liberty that has made this country great and it will be the surrender of freedom through the election of Barack Obama that may signal the final curtain for America.

Patrick Henry once declared, “Give me liberty or give me death”.  I think he would be shocked to find his famous utterance has been drowned out by so many other voices.  “Give me healthcare!” Give me bailout money!” Give me my house back!” Give me citizenship!” “Give me an abortion!”

Give me the yoke!

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Jul 11 2008

Why I’m rereading CS Lewis this summer

Category: freedom,liberty,theologyharmonicminer @ 6:49 pm

CS Lewis in Screwtape Letters: Demons speaking

Hidden in the heart of this striving for Liberty there was also a deep hatred of personal freedom. That invaluable man Rousseau first revealed it. In his perfect democracy, only the state religion is permitted, slavery is restored, and the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn’t know it) whatever the Government tells him to do. From that starting point, via Hegel (another indispensable propagandist on our side), we easily contrived both the Nazi and the Communist state. Even in England we were pretty successful. I heard the other day that in that country a man could not, without a permit, cut down his own tree with his own axe, make it into planks with his own saw, and use the planks to build a toolshed in his own garden.

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