What is the Democrats’ pledge to America?

OK, we parsed and considered and criticized the Republican “Pledge to America” yesterday. The Democrats don’t seem to have something similar, but perhaps we can reconstruct their working ideology. Is it, the government can make things better? Or, moral liberation plus big government? Anti-big business but pro-big government? Or, Or what? I’m not trying to be critical; I’m just trying to figure it out. I hope some Democratic readers can explain what their party is trying to do and what it stands for these days.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kirk

    “We’re still not George Bush.”

    or maybe

    “We’re not the Tea Party”

  • Kirk

    “We’re still not George Bush.”

    or maybe

    “We’re not the Tea Party”

  • Joe

    I don’t mean this as snark, but as best as I can tell the pledge is: Trust us with everything. Gov’t can make it better.

  • Joe

    I don’t mean this as snark, but as best as I can tell the pledge is: Trust us with everything. Gov’t can make it better.

  • SKPeterson

    Obama = (FDR+LBJ)^2.

    or

    We’ll pretend we’re smarter than the Reps, and we’ll pretend you’re smarter by voting for us.

  • SKPeterson

    Obama = (FDR+LBJ)^2.

    or

    We’ll pretend we’re smarter than the Reps, and we’ll pretend you’re smarter by voting for us.

  • Ken

    People are basically good, if flawed. But they are perfectable if guided by the right ideas and policies.

    Government is the most effective means for bringing about a just and equitable society. Government must work to eliminate inequalities.

    All people are equally entitled to a happy and fulfilled life. It is the responsibility of government to remove obstacles to that end.

  • Ken

    People are basically good, if flawed. But they are perfectable if guided by the right ideas and policies.

    Government is the most effective means for bringing about a just and equitable society. Government must work to eliminate inequalities.

    All people are equally entitled to a happy and fulfilled life. It is the responsibility of government to remove obstacles to that end.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I think the biggest fraud in the current scene is how the Democrats have worked tirelessly to seem as if they are for the populace and or the little man, all the while enacting legislation that only reinforces the largest companies. The bailouts, health care reform (the greatest thing that ever happened to big business – my employer who will remain unnamed but is the largest retailer in the world was gung-ho in support of the bill), and financial reform bills have all served to ensconce big business while choking out the competition. People who do not read the bills and or think are blind.
    P.S. The health care reform bill also has a paragraph in there that places an extra tax upon gold owners. Odd? Maybe not – it means large revenue investors are less likely to invest in gold and will put their money back into the stock market – and back into all the big banks that got bailed out.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I think the biggest fraud in the current scene is how the Democrats have worked tirelessly to seem as if they are for the populace and or the little man, all the while enacting legislation that only reinforces the largest companies. The bailouts, health care reform (the greatest thing that ever happened to big business – my employer who will remain unnamed but is the largest retailer in the world was gung-ho in support of the bill), and financial reform bills have all served to ensconce big business while choking out the competition. People who do not read the bills and or think are blind.
    P.S. The health care reform bill also has a paragraph in there that places an extra tax upon gold owners. Odd? Maybe not – it means large revenue investors are less likely to invest in gold and will put their money back into the stock market – and back into all the big banks that got bailed out.

  • Another Kerner

    “From each according to his ability: to each according to his need.”

  • Another Kerner

    “From each according to his ability: to each according to his need.”

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “To “Change” this once great country into…something else.”

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “To “Change” this once great country into…something else.”

  • Bryan Lindemood

    “The Republican plan looks good – we can ignore it just as well as they – we’ll just spin it with hipper (five years ago) names!”

  • Bryan Lindemood

    “The Republican plan looks good – we can ignore it just as well as they – we’ll just spin it with hipper (five years ago) names!”

  • Tom Hering

    “You don’t have to care about anybodythat’s what America is all about!”

    Oops. That’s “Seinfeld.” And conservatives.

  • Tom Hering

    “You don’t have to care about anybodythat’s what America is all about!”

    Oops. That’s “Seinfeld.” And conservatives.

  • Digital

    I think Ken@4 summarizes the democratic agenda rather well. However, it also explains the fundamental reasons I am not a dem. People are not inherently good, people are sinners, Marxism moves forward with the idea that people are inherently good and can be better if governed correctly. Problem is, this has failed because of the aforementioned reason. It will fail every time, because people are sinners, it is a fact of life.
    Also life isnt about eliminating inequalities, it is about celebrating them. Again, Marxist idealism trys to put the same shoes on everyone. This is just stupid rhetoric. We call it equality now because Marxism is a bad word.
    All people are entitled to a happy life. Again, not true, some people are called to service, perhaps they find happiness doing that. But happiness is not an entitlement, it is earned, no one can give it to you aside from God, nor should you expect it.

    That is the main problem, Dems do the best they can and they are highly idealistic, but the fundamental problem is they are using a good but broken ideal. Marxism and the idea that we are not sinners.

  • Digital

    I think Ken@4 summarizes the democratic agenda rather well. However, it also explains the fundamental reasons I am not a dem. People are not inherently good, people are sinners, Marxism moves forward with the idea that people are inherently good and can be better if governed correctly. Problem is, this has failed because of the aforementioned reason. It will fail every time, because people are sinners, it is a fact of life.
    Also life isnt about eliminating inequalities, it is about celebrating them. Again, Marxist idealism trys to put the same shoes on everyone. This is just stupid rhetoric. We call it equality now because Marxism is a bad word.
    All people are entitled to a happy life. Again, not true, some people are called to service, perhaps they find happiness doing that. But happiness is not an entitlement, it is earned, no one can give it to you aside from God, nor should you expect it.

    That is the main problem, Dems do the best they can and they are highly idealistic, but the fundamental problem is they are using a good but broken ideal. Marxism and the idea that we are not sinners.

  • Louis

    Bryan, you are hitting the nail on the head!

  • Louis

    Bryan, you are hitting the nail on the head!

  • DonS

    Um, the Democrats didn’t even TRY to pass a budget this year. For what I believe is likely the first time in U.S. history. That is the ultimate in NOT having a plan!

  • DonS

    Um, the Democrats didn’t even TRY to pass a budget this year. For what I believe is likely the first time in U.S. history. That is the ultimate in NOT having a plan!

  • DonS

    Here’s another example of the Democrats’ “plan” — inviting Stephen Colbert to come and testify to Congress, IN CHARACTER! — http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/24/stephen-colbert-appears-capitol-hill-hearing-illegal-immigrants/

    Unbelievable.

  • DonS

    Here’s another example of the Democrats’ “plan” — inviting Stephen Colbert to come and testify to Congress, IN CHARACTER! — http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/24/stephen-colbert-appears-capitol-hill-hearing-illegal-immigrants/

    Unbelievable.

  • DonS

    Here’s still another example of the Democrats’ “plan”: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/24/voting-rights-official-calls-black-panther-dismissal-travesty-justice/

    Two thoughts:
    1) Mr. Coates is a brave man.
    2) This is one situation where one may be justified in calling Attorney General Eric Holder an out and out racist.

  • DonS

    Here’s still another example of the Democrats’ “plan”: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/24/voting-rights-official-calls-black-panther-dismissal-travesty-justice/

    Two thoughts:
    1) Mr. Coates is a brave man.
    2) This is one situation where one may be justified in calling Attorney General Eric Holder an out and out racist.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Another Kerner nails it, as far as I’m concerned–with the addition of Don S’s comment about the Black Panther Whitewash indicating that it’s a lot closer to a Politburo of corruption than we’d like to admit.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Another Kerner nails it, as far as I’m concerned–with the addition of Don S’s comment about the Black Panther Whitewash indicating that it’s a lot closer to a Politburo of corruption than we’d like to admit.

  • SAL

    #4
    “People are basically good, if flawed. But they are perfectable if guided by the right ideas and policies.”

    I hope you’re saying this tongue in cheek as this perspective excludes all those who believe what the Bible teaches.

    Government is the most effective means for bringing about a just and equitable society. Government must work to eliminate inequalities.

    This is a problem as often justice and equality are mutually exclusive. Does Democratic ideology mandate the government inflict injustice to promote equality?

    “All people are equally entitled to a happy and fulfilled life. It is the responsibility of government to remove obstacles to that end.”

    In practice those whose happiness is preferred are those closest to the rulling politicians.

  • SAL

    #4
    “People are basically good, if flawed. But they are perfectable if guided by the right ideas and policies.”

    I hope you’re saying this tongue in cheek as this perspective excludes all those who believe what the Bible teaches.

    Government is the most effective means for bringing about a just and equitable society. Government must work to eliminate inequalities.

    This is a problem as often justice and equality are mutually exclusive. Does Democratic ideology mandate the government inflict injustice to promote equality?

    “All people are equally entitled to a happy and fulfilled life. It is the responsibility of government to remove obstacles to that end.”

    In practice those whose happiness is preferred are those closest to the rulling politicians.

  • Digital

    SAL@15
    I posted pretty much the same response but for some reason every once in a while my posts dont hit the wall.
    Big points:
    Humans are not good, they are sinful beings. So building a society on the premise that all people are inherently good, while noble, will ultimately fail.
    Inequalities are not to be eliminated, they are to be celebrated.
    Happiness is not an entitlement, it is earned, it is a blessing. Not everyone will find happiness nor should it be given. People should earn it and receive it as a gift from God.

  • Digital

    SAL@15
    I posted pretty much the same response but for some reason every once in a while my posts dont hit the wall.
    Big points:
    Humans are not good, they are sinful beings. So building a society on the premise that all people are inherently good, while noble, will ultimately fail.
    Inequalities are not to be eliminated, they are to be celebrated.
    Happiness is not an entitlement, it is earned, it is a blessing. Not everyone will find happiness nor should it be given. People should earn it and receive it as a gift from God.

  • Porcell

    We Democrats pledge:

    To in general rely on the state for the welfare of individuals as opposed to holding them largely responsible as free human beings.

    To appoint liberal justices and judge who will cheerfully bend the constitution into a pretzel

    To ban religious views in the public square

    To increase government programs and regulation

    To increase taxes

    To increase public sector employment

    To increase debt annually from a few hundred $billion to over a $trillion

    To go easy on illegal immigrants

    To fight Afghanistan for awhile and withdraw in 2011

    To involve the government massively in medical care

    To favor green energy while saddling nuclear energy with impossible regulation

    To denigrate American private industry and commerce

    To prevent development of potential oil resources on sea and land

    To favor the slaughter of unborn children

    To favor homosexual marriage

    One could go on, but enough

  • Porcell

    We Democrats pledge:

    To in general rely on the state for the welfare of individuals as opposed to holding them largely responsible as free human beings.

    To appoint liberal justices and judge who will cheerfully bend the constitution into a pretzel

    To ban religious views in the public square

    To increase government programs and regulation

    To increase taxes

    To increase public sector employment

    To increase debt annually from a few hundred $billion to over a $trillion

    To go easy on illegal immigrants

    To fight Afghanistan for awhile and withdraw in 2011

    To involve the government massively in medical care

    To favor green energy while saddling nuclear energy with impossible regulation

    To denigrate American private industry and commerce

    To prevent development of potential oil resources on sea and land

    To favor the slaughter of unborn children

    To favor homosexual marriage

    One could go on, but enough

  • E-Raj

    2 + 2 = 5

  • E-Raj

    2 + 2 = 5

  • Porcell

    E Raj, I wish you would follow my example of conciseness!

  • Porcell

    E Raj, I wish you would follow my example of conciseness!

  • Ken

    SAL@15 and Digital@16:

    Dr. Veith asked for insight into the guiding principles of the Democratic Party and I offered some thoughts, having observed the national Democrats for at least thirty years.

    In my experience, there are plenty of people who profess to believe the Bible who would affirm the statement that humans are basically good but fallible. The Founders most definitely did not believe in the goodness of humanity–witness James Madison’s famous statement to the effect that if men were angels government would be unnecessary. The entire principle of checks and balances is founded on a realistic view of human nature. The problem is that many (if not most) Americans no longer believe that.

    And, yes, indubitably the Democratic Party and many of its supporters adhere to the principle that equality trumps justice, especially when it comes to property rights, and that happiness is an entitlement.

  • Ken

    SAL@15 and Digital@16:

    Dr. Veith asked for insight into the guiding principles of the Democratic Party and I offered some thoughts, having observed the national Democrats for at least thirty years.

    In my experience, there are plenty of people who profess to believe the Bible who would affirm the statement that humans are basically good but fallible. The Founders most definitely did not believe in the goodness of humanity–witness James Madison’s famous statement to the effect that if men were angels government would be unnecessary. The entire principle of checks and balances is founded on a realistic view of human nature. The problem is that many (if not most) Americans no longer believe that.

    And, yes, indubitably the Democratic Party and many of its supporters adhere to the principle that equality trumps justice, especially when it comes to property rights, and that happiness is an entitlement.

  • Porcell

    Ken, you bring up a good point that Democrats adhere to the principle that equality trumps justice. Democrats tend to stand for equality of result, while Republicans stand for equality of opportunity.

    Given the inevitable tension between freedom and equality, Republicans favor the just result of unequal ability and effort, while Democrats tend to resent unequal results and demand a redistribution of the goods that achieves some sort of ideal equality.

    In truth politics in a democratic society deals endlessly with the unequal results of freedom that inevitably leads to inequality, given the variable ability and ambition among people.

  • Porcell

    Ken, you bring up a good point that Democrats adhere to the principle that equality trumps justice. Democrats tend to stand for equality of result, while Republicans stand for equality of opportunity.

    Given the inevitable tension between freedom and equality, Republicans favor the just result of unequal ability and effort, while Democrats tend to resent unequal results and demand a redistribution of the goods that achieves some sort of ideal equality.

    In truth politics in a democratic society deals endlessly with the unequal results of freedom that inevitably leads to inequality, given the variable ability and ambition among people.

  • SAL

    “In my experience, there are plenty of people who profess to believe the Bible who would affirm the statement that humans are basically good but fallible.”

    I accept that many people profess to believe the Bible while holding beliefs anathema to it.

    What troubles me is the concept that many people with above room temperture IQs would actually doubt human depravity. I hope Democrats don’t arrive at their ideology through such a dangerous fantasy.

  • SAL

    “In my experience, there are plenty of people who profess to believe the Bible who would affirm the statement that humans are basically good but fallible.”

    I accept that many people profess to believe the Bible while holding beliefs anathema to it.

    What troubles me is the concept that many people with above room temperture IQs would actually doubt human depravity. I hope Democrats don’t arrive at their ideology through such a dangerous fantasy.

  • SKPeterson

    Porcell@17 – you forgot to add “We’d hold the moral high ground, but there aren’t any absolute truths to hold, and no, those aren’t derisive smiles on our faces, why do you ask?”

  • SKPeterson

    Porcell@17 – you forgot to add “We’d hold the moral high ground, but there aren’t any absolute truths to hold, and no, those aren’t derisive smiles on our faces, why do you ask?”

  • Porcell

    SK Peterson, at 22, yes, post-modern relativity would be at the root of their problem, though, not being aware of it, they couldn’t pledge it with or without derisive smiles. Most liberals that I’ve come across are rather grim sorts incapable of smiles.

  • Porcell

    SK Peterson, at 22, yes, post-modern relativity would be at the root of their problem, though, not being aware of it, they couldn’t pledge it with or without derisive smiles. Most liberals that I’ve come across are rather grim sorts incapable of smiles.

  • John C

    Social Democrats believe that in areas such as health , education and housing the freemarket fails the sick and the poor and that governments needs to extend a helping hand.
    Because the free market is so unstable, social democrats believe that governments may have to intervene with subsidies and tax concessions particularly in food and energy sectors.
    In short, Social Democrats believe there is a role for Government in Nation Building.

  • John C

    Social Democrats believe that in areas such as health , education and housing the freemarket fails the sick and the poor and that governments needs to extend a helping hand.
    Because the free market is so unstable, social democrats believe that governments may have to intervene with subsidies and tax concessions particularly in food and energy sectors.
    In short, Social Democrats believe there is a role for Government in Nation Building.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I doubt that many democrats would agree with how the conservatives and republicans have characterized or caracatured them here. It looks alot like how democrats reduce republican and conservative positions to something that looks simplistic , stupid or dangerous.

    It would be interesting to see someone here characterize a democratic position in a way that appear winsome and reasonable and still disagree with that position.

    I am a democrat because I see republicans as trying to reduce everything to black and white, yes or no. Like we can actually cure or prevent evil if only we pass one more law. Actually I see democrats chasing after the same idea now that I think about it.

    So why am I a democrat? I see democrats accepting a world with more room for shades of gray. Moral relativism in fact.

    Since I believe that government can only police things, provide damage control rather than prevention or cure, this seems saner to me. Politics is should not be about a republican cutting of a baby in two. it should be about the lesser of two evils. Compromise is a good thing in politics . It is not the abandonment of a moral compass or compromise or a caving in to evil as many conservatives often suggest. as in “that would be condoning (fillin the blank)”.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I doubt that many democrats would agree with how the conservatives and republicans have characterized or caracatured them here. It looks alot like how democrats reduce republican and conservative positions to something that looks simplistic , stupid or dangerous.

    It would be interesting to see someone here characterize a democratic position in a way that appear winsome and reasonable and still disagree with that position.

    I am a democrat because I see republicans as trying to reduce everything to black and white, yes or no. Like we can actually cure or prevent evil if only we pass one more law. Actually I see democrats chasing after the same idea now that I think about it.

    So why am I a democrat? I see democrats accepting a world with more room for shades of gray. Moral relativism in fact.

    Since I believe that government can only police things, provide damage control rather than prevention or cure, this seems saner to me. Politics is should not be about a republican cutting of a baby in two. it should be about the lesser of two evils. Compromise is a good thing in politics . It is not the abandonment of a moral compass or compromise or a caving in to evil as many conservatives often suggest. as in “that would be condoning (fillin the blank)”.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    newt gingrich´s “contract with america” was pretty good actually, and they had some real power to make it all happen. I note that it did not really get all that far. Government today is far more expensive, intrusive and bloated than ever. and a large part of the blame is the republicans, Not I did not say most of the blame or all the blame. I dont see many republicans fessing up to this fact. repentance on their part would maybe be so refreshing that it would get them votes?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    newt gingrich´s “contract with america” was pretty good actually, and they had some real power to make it all happen. I note that it did not really get all that far. Government today is far more expensive, intrusive and bloated than ever. and a large part of the blame is the republicans, Not I did not say most of the blame or all the blame. I dont see many republicans fessing up to this fact. repentance on their part would maybe be so refreshing that it would get them votes?

  • Digital

    fws@26
    So why am I a democrat? I see democrats accepting a world with more room for shades of gray. Moral relativism in fact.
    As a registered independent this is exactly the reason I cannot side with democrats. They are moral relativists, but yet they dont allow for any grey. It is all, “We cant take care of ourselves” “We must have the bill THIS way or no way”. There isnt a group on this planet that shoots themselves in the feet more that the democrats do with their inability to create bills that are grey in nature, always black and white, making them so left that not even the most liberal republican can vote for it. For reference check pretty much every bill that has come through since Obama (who I voted for) came into office.

  • Digital

    fws@26
    So why am I a democrat? I see democrats accepting a world with more room for shades of gray. Moral relativism in fact.
    As a registered independent this is exactly the reason I cannot side with democrats. They are moral relativists, but yet they dont allow for any grey. It is all, “We cant take care of ourselves” “We must have the bill THIS way or no way”. There isnt a group on this planet that shoots themselves in the feet more that the democrats do with their inability to create bills that are grey in nature, always black and white, making them so left that not even the most liberal republican can vote for it. For reference check pretty much every bill that has come through since Obama (who I voted for) came into office.

  • DonS

    “I am a democrat because I see republicans as trying to reduce everything to black and white, yes or no. Like we can actually cure or prevent evil if only we pass one more law. Actually I see democrats chasing after the same idea now that I think about it.”

    Frank, I think you corrected yourself there, because you realized you had it exactly backward. It is not conservatives/Republicans who think we can prevent or cure evil by passing laws. At least not those of the tea party variety. To the contrary, I think tea partiers recognize that we need a lot fewer laws, and, concurrently, a restoration of greater liberties to our individual citizens. Someone stated it well the other day, I wish I could remember who it was. They said (and I am paraphrasing) — “whenever you pass a law, consider whether the thing you are trying to enact is worth breaking down someone’s door and taking them into custody at gunpoint over. Because that is the end result, inevitably, when you have to enforce those laws later”.

  • DonS

    “I am a democrat because I see republicans as trying to reduce everything to black and white, yes or no. Like we can actually cure or prevent evil if only we pass one more law. Actually I see democrats chasing after the same idea now that I think about it.”

    Frank, I think you corrected yourself there, because you realized you had it exactly backward. It is not conservatives/Republicans who think we can prevent or cure evil by passing laws. At least not those of the tea party variety. To the contrary, I think tea partiers recognize that we need a lot fewer laws, and, concurrently, a restoration of greater liberties to our individual citizens. Someone stated it well the other day, I wish I could remember who it was. They said (and I am paraphrasing) — “whenever you pass a law, consider whether the thing you are trying to enact is worth breaking down someone’s door and taking them into custody at gunpoint over. Because that is the end result, inevitably, when you have to enforce those laws later”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “It is not conservatives/Republicans who think we can prevent or cure evil by passing laws. At least not those of the tea party variety.” Don (@29), I think you corrected yourself there, because you realized you had it exactly backwards.

    So, what, “tea party” folks are the only “conservatives” or Republicans who count now?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “It is not conservatives/Republicans who think we can prevent or cure evil by passing laws. At least not those of the tea party variety.” Don (@29), I think you corrected yourself there, because you realized you had it exactly backwards.

    So, what, “tea party” folks are the only “conservatives” or Republicans who count now?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The Democrat pledge to America:

    Absolutely unrestricted abortion.

    The license to kill the innocent.

    That is all we really need to know.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The Democrat pledge to America:

    Absolutely unrestricted abortion.

    The license to kill the innocent.

    That is all we really need to know.

  • SAL

    #30 Who peed in your coffee and gave you an uncharitable attitude? Lighten up Todd, we’re dealing with brothers in Christ here.

  • SAL

    #30 Who peed in your coffee and gave you an uncharitable attitude? Lighten up Todd, we’re dealing with brothers in Christ here.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 30: I’m not sure exactly what you meant by your comment. Perhaps it was an effort at snark and it just fell flat. Nonetheless, clearly what I was allowing @ 29 is that there are certainly moderate Republicans who share with Democrats the philosophy that for every evil in society there is a government solution. But the ones driving this midterm election are not of that philosophy. They’ve had enough.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 30: I’m not sure exactly what you meant by your comment. Perhaps it was an effort at snark and it just fell flat. Nonetheless, clearly what I was allowing @ 29 is that there are certainly moderate Republicans who share with Democrats the philosophy that for every evil in society there is a government solution. But the ones driving this midterm election are not of that philosophy. They’ve had enough.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@33), you might take a little bit of your own advice. I don’t know what voice you’re reading into my earlier comment (@31), but you appear to have (uncharitably) read a more urine-influenced meaning into what I wrote than I intended. “Lighten up”, indeed.

    Don (@34), I get that you like the “tea party” and all, but that doesn’t mean that all the other Republicans — which still appear to constitute the majority of that party — just magically go away. And anyone who’s been paying attention to American “conservatives” or Republicans in the recent past knows that they not infrequently “think we can prevent or cure evil by passing laws”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@33), you might take a little bit of your own advice. I don’t know what voice you’re reading into my earlier comment (@31), but you appear to have (uncharitably) read a more urine-influenced meaning into what I wrote than I intended. “Lighten up”, indeed.

    Don (@34), I get that you like the “tea party” and all, but that doesn’t mean that all the other Republicans — which still appear to constitute the majority of that party — just magically go away. And anyone who’s been paying attention to American “conservatives” or Republicans in the recent past knows that they not infrequently “think we can prevent or cure evil by passing laws”.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #35 You’re very talented at confusing me into thinking your comments are brash and snide. I apologize for not getting your attempt at humor.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #35 You’re very talented at confusing me into thinking your comments are brash and snide. I apologize for not getting your attempt at humor.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    digital @ 29

    I think the dems and republicans are both wrong. you put things theologically. This is wrong but lets take it there…

    democrats are sort of like armenians, they believe mankind can chose to be good or bad and it is about educating and appealing to their better natures.

    republicans are more like the scholastics (rome) or the neo scholastics (evangelicals and especially the reformed and calvinists) who believe that man is basically flawed but can be fixed. This fixing however requires a good dose of God-juice . Godless pagans really cannot be civically righteous. However god-fearing pagans like mormons can be fixed. Religion is essential to morality this says. I need to reject this as a Lutheran.

    Since I am a Lutheran I confess, along with the Lutheran Confessions, that there is nothing at all that can be added to the ethical system of Aristotle.

    This means that I am bound by my faith to believe that faith in a god is utterly unnecessary to become a virtuous person.

    So how do we become virtuous with that true (ie God-pleasing) visible and earthly righteousness that God demand alike of both believer and unbeliever?

    Aristotle (and we Lutherans ) say thussly

    Virtue is something acquired as a habit. we acquire habits by acting as virtuous persons. pretending if you will to be virtuous. and then that practice becomes a habit for us. a second nature. we become what we do. This is what even believers must do to their Old Adams. Even for believers, outward piety and true righteousness is acquired thussly and no other way. This is called Mortification of the Flesh by st paul and Lutherans. Rome and the Reformed imagine that this is called the process of sanctification. They compromise the holy Gospel this way. For them being a christian is not alone by faith. it is about doing as well.

    Unfortunately the scholastics and neoscholastics (evangelicals and reformed are just like rome here, just not as crass about it) baptized this idea and tell us that sanctification looks like this. This is a satanic idea. Satanic because christian=invisible faith alone gets lost.

    Democrats and republicans are both just scholatics of different flavors. this is necessary. why? it is alone what reason can grasp and comprehend. outward righteousness. this should make sense to us and not offend us in any way. and we should see that neither dems nor republicans are closer to godliness or true righteousness.

    what matters is what they do, not what they profess to believe or say. and what they should be doing to truly please God here on earth is whatever makes the lives of others happier and keeps each of us from thinking we have a right to meddle in the personal life, affairs and business of others.

    Don is right, a good test to see if a law is good is whether or not we would want the govt to batter down the door of someone to enforce that law. but this misses the fact that charity is something God demands. if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it. We have not right to not be charitable and care about our neighbor. this is something God demands of pagan and christian alike. This is something I feel republicans do miss often, imagining that each should be left to his free agency as to whether or not they are required to give to others as a demand of God.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    digital @ 29

    I think the dems and republicans are both wrong. you put things theologically. This is wrong but lets take it there…

    democrats are sort of like armenians, they believe mankind can chose to be good or bad and it is about educating and appealing to their better natures.

    republicans are more like the scholastics (rome) or the neo scholastics (evangelicals and especially the reformed and calvinists) who believe that man is basically flawed but can be fixed. This fixing however requires a good dose of God-juice . Godless pagans really cannot be civically righteous. However god-fearing pagans like mormons can be fixed. Religion is essential to morality this says. I need to reject this as a Lutheran.

    Since I am a Lutheran I confess, along with the Lutheran Confessions, that there is nothing at all that can be added to the ethical system of Aristotle.

    This means that I am bound by my faith to believe that faith in a god is utterly unnecessary to become a virtuous person.

    So how do we become virtuous with that true (ie God-pleasing) visible and earthly righteousness that God demand alike of both believer and unbeliever?

    Aristotle (and we Lutherans ) say thussly

    Virtue is something acquired as a habit. we acquire habits by acting as virtuous persons. pretending if you will to be virtuous. and then that practice becomes a habit for us. a second nature. we become what we do. This is what even believers must do to their Old Adams. Even for believers, outward piety and true righteousness is acquired thussly and no other way. This is called Mortification of the Flesh by st paul and Lutherans. Rome and the Reformed imagine that this is called the process of sanctification. They compromise the holy Gospel this way. For them being a christian is not alone by faith. it is about doing as well.

    Unfortunately the scholastics and neoscholastics (evangelicals and reformed are just like rome here, just not as crass about it) baptized this idea and tell us that sanctification looks like this. This is a satanic idea. Satanic because christian=invisible faith alone gets lost.

    Democrats and republicans are both just scholatics of different flavors. this is necessary. why? it is alone what reason can grasp and comprehend. outward righteousness. this should make sense to us and not offend us in any way. and we should see that neither dems nor republicans are closer to godliness or true righteousness.

    what matters is what they do, not what they profess to believe or say. and what they should be doing to truly please God here on earth is whatever makes the lives of others happier and keeps each of us from thinking we have a right to meddle in the personal life, affairs and business of others.

    Don is right, a good test to see if a law is good is whether or not we would want the govt to batter down the door of someone to enforce that law. but this misses the fact that charity is something God demands. if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it. We have not right to not be charitable and care about our neighbor. this is something God demands of pagan and christian alike. This is something I feel republicans do miss often, imagining that each should be left to his free agency as to whether or not they are required to give to others as a demand of God.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “You’re very talented at confusing me into thinking your comments are brash and snide” (@36). Really? I’m having a hard time believing someone who said that upbraided me for having “an uncharitable attitude” and insisted that I “lighten up”. Yowza.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “You’re very talented at confusing me into thinking your comments are brash and snide” (@36). Really? I’m having a hard time believing someone who said that upbraided me for having “an uncharitable attitude” and insisted that I “lighten up”. Yowza.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 37:

    “Don is right, a good test to see if a law is good is whether or not we would want the govt to batter down the door of someone to enforce that law. but this misses the fact that charity is something God demands. if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it. We have not right to not be charitable and care about our neighbor. this is something God demands of pagan and christian alike. This is something I feel republicans do miss often, imagining that each should be left to his free agency as to whether or not they are required to give to others as a demand of God.”

    Frank, I can’t let this statement go without comment. In particular, where did you get the idea that “if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it” from? Is there scripture to support the notion that if private charity is insufficient, God will impose public charity? I don’t find it. I also don’t believe that Americans are uncharitable. Deductible charitable donations, though down during the recent economic downturn, are remarkably robust, despite the fact that the government, in aggregate, takes close to 40% of our income every year, off the top. And all of us have many examples we can relate of church members, neighbors, and even strangers coming alongside of a family in crisis, because of illness, an accident, or the like, with meals, rides, and donations, to the point where the afflicted family almost always says that they can’t believe how generous people are.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 37:

    “Don is right, a good test to see if a law is good is whether or not we would want the govt to batter down the door of someone to enforce that law. but this misses the fact that charity is something God demands. if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it. We have not right to not be charitable and care about our neighbor. this is something God demands of pagan and christian alike. This is something I feel republicans do miss often, imagining that each should be left to his free agency as to whether or not they are required to give to others as a demand of God.”

    Frank, I can’t let this statement go without comment. In particular, where did you get the idea that “if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it” from? Is there scripture to support the notion that if private charity is insufficient, God will impose public charity? I don’t find it. I also don’t believe that Americans are uncharitable. Deductible charitable donations, though down during the recent economic downturn, are remarkably robust, despite the fact that the government, in aggregate, takes close to 40% of our income every year, off the top. And all of us have many examples we can relate of church members, neighbors, and even strangers coming alongside of a family in crisis, because of illness, an accident, or the like, with meals, rides, and donations, to the point where the afflicted family almost always says that they can’t believe how generous people are.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #38 I apologized tODD for not getting your attempt at humor, are you going to accept that apology or not? If not I don’t see the point in interacting with you.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #38 I apologized tODD for not getting your attempt at humor, are you going to accept that apology or not? If not I don’t see the point in interacting with you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@40), tell me if this looks like an apology to you. I’ll highlight the words that jump out at me: “You’re very talented at confusing me into thinking your comments are brash and snide. I apologize for not getting your attempt at humor.”

    “Contrite” isn’t exactly the word that leaps to mind. But if that’s an apology, then yes, I accept it.

    Might want to cut back on the coffee, though. Adulterated or otherwise. :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@40), tell me if this looks like an apology to you. I’ll highlight the words that jump out at me: “You’re very talented at confusing me into thinking your comments are brash and snide. I apologize for not getting your attempt at humor.”

    “Contrite” isn’t exactly the word that leaps to mind. But if that’s an apology, then yes, I accept it.

    Might want to cut back on the coffee, though. Adulterated or otherwise. :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don @ 39

    You really are asking two questions arent you?

    1) Frank, I can’t let this statement go without comment. In particular, where did you get the idea that “if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it” from? Is there scripture to support the notion that if private charity is insufficient, God will impose public charity? I don’t find it.

    Lutheran Confessions

    “thou shall not kill. what does this mean? We should..not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but we should help and befriend our neigbor in every bodily need”.

    Nothing short of this is completely moral. God demands this morality of everyone. Christian and pagan alike. God will indeed force people to do His Will here if we do not do it willingly.

    It seems that republicans focus more on the first part, restraint, and say that the second part is not the responsibility of government to enforce. They seem to say that this second part should left to individual conscience to do or not in a truly free society. This is contrary to what the Lutheran Confessions say if indeed this is a republican idea. I could be wrong about the republicans. I hope I am in fact, for then they would be immoral and lawless in that one point.

    now for your second question as to whether americans lack in charity

    My answer will be based on the fact that the extended nuclear family has deteriorated in the usa. a fact that is certain because especially conservatives are loud in lamenting this AS a fact.

    I live in brasil now. In contrast I see americans has being, in reality, far more generous with their time and money than brasilians in a sense, and less so in another sense. Americans now tend to give generously to causes and problems that are once removed from their immediate family circumstances. And then they rely on govt to care for their elderly, disabled and unemployed when that is necessary. This is just the way it is, regardless of whether you and I think this is the best way or not. It is not the best way. clearly a strong nuclear family/tribal system is the absolute best and traditional way of providing for these needs. we I assume agree here Don.

    Brasil still has the idea of obligation to family and extended family more intact. blessed are the poor in that they lack the illusion of independence. So they help each other more and not necessarily because they are nicer or more moral. They truly understand that they are just a heartbeat away from being in the same situation. This is therefore just the understood morality here that no one yet really questions. as in the usa, say 100 years ago……. we took care of our own back then more not necessarily because we were more moral back then. follow me?

    Now that the extended nuclear family version of socialsecurity/medicare is gone forever in the usa , the needs still exists in the usa, and, unfortunately, private charity alone is just not enough to fill in the gap. This I feel is a fact. It cannot be simply ignored. those who are lucky to be in the lower middle class or above can at least partially avoid the harsh reality of this fact.

    republicans often assume that the difference between rich and poor is a lack of personal responsibility, ambition or other factor that represents something that is about free choice rather than unchosen circumstance. This is true but only partially so.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don @ 39

    You really are asking two questions arent you?

    1) Frank, I can’t let this statement go without comment. In particular, where did you get the idea that “if individuals in a society will not do charity, then God will have their government force them to do it” from? Is there scripture to support the notion that if private charity is insufficient, God will impose public charity? I don’t find it.

    Lutheran Confessions

    “thou shall not kill. what does this mean? We should..not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but we should help and befriend our neigbor in every bodily need”.

    Nothing short of this is completely moral. God demands this morality of everyone. Christian and pagan alike. God will indeed force people to do His Will here if we do not do it willingly.

    It seems that republicans focus more on the first part, restraint, and say that the second part is not the responsibility of government to enforce. They seem to say that this second part should left to individual conscience to do or not in a truly free society. This is contrary to what the Lutheran Confessions say if indeed this is a republican idea. I could be wrong about the republicans. I hope I am in fact, for then they would be immoral and lawless in that one point.

    now for your second question as to whether americans lack in charity

    My answer will be based on the fact that the extended nuclear family has deteriorated in the usa. a fact that is certain because especially conservatives are loud in lamenting this AS a fact.

    I live in brasil now. In contrast I see americans has being, in reality, far more generous with their time and money than brasilians in a sense, and less so in another sense. Americans now tend to give generously to causes and problems that are once removed from their immediate family circumstances. And then they rely on govt to care for their elderly, disabled and unemployed when that is necessary. This is just the way it is, regardless of whether you and I think this is the best way or not. It is not the best way. clearly a strong nuclear family/tribal system is the absolute best and traditional way of providing for these needs. we I assume agree here Don.

    Brasil still has the idea of obligation to family and extended family more intact. blessed are the poor in that they lack the illusion of independence. So they help each other more and not necessarily because they are nicer or more moral. They truly understand that they are just a heartbeat away from being in the same situation. This is therefore just the understood morality here that no one yet really questions. as in the usa, say 100 years ago……. we took care of our own back then more not necessarily because we were more moral back then. follow me?

    Now that the extended nuclear family version of socialsecurity/medicare is gone forever in the usa , the needs still exists in the usa, and, unfortunately, private charity alone is just not enough to fill in the gap. This I feel is a fact. It cannot be simply ignored. those who are lucky to be in the lower middle class or above can at least partially avoid the harsh reality of this fact.

    republicans often assume that the difference between rich and poor is a lack of personal responsibility, ambition or other factor that represents something that is about free choice rather than unchosen circumstance. This is true but only partially so.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 42:

    The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is, in your mind, justification for the notion that if we are not sufficiently charitable, God will impose charity through social programs engineered by and administered through the government?

    Is there a scriptural example you can cite for this notion? Even in the theocracy of Israel, I don’t see such a notion. God made provision for the Levites, through a form of taxation on the remaining tribes, because they didn’t get their own land and had no way of supporting themselves. In other words, they were civil servants, exchanging their priestly services for a portion of Israel’s wealth. And the Year of Jubilee was established, but that involved a requirement, under Jewish law, that debts be forgiven periodically by other private parties. No government handouts, that I can see. And certainly nothing of the sort in the New Testament. In fact, Christ definitely puts the onus on individuals, and acknowledges that we will always have the poor among us.

    As for your other point, it is my contention that the nuclear family and the concept of familial responsibility has broken down, in part, because of government welfare programs.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 42:

    The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is, in your mind, justification for the notion that if we are not sufficiently charitable, God will impose charity through social programs engineered by and administered through the government?

    Is there a scriptural example you can cite for this notion? Even in the theocracy of Israel, I don’t see such a notion. God made provision for the Levites, through a form of taxation on the remaining tribes, because they didn’t get their own land and had no way of supporting themselves. In other words, they were civil servants, exchanging their priestly services for a portion of Israel’s wealth. And the Year of Jubilee was established, but that involved a requirement, under Jewish law, that debts be forgiven periodically by other private parties. No government handouts, that I can see. And certainly nothing of the sort in the New Testament. In fact, Christ definitely puts the onus on individuals, and acknowledges that we will always have the poor among us.

    As for your other point, it is my contention that the nuclear family and the concept of familial responsibility has broken down, in part, because of government welfare programs.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #41 I can’t drink coffee or alcohol for health reasons. And if I seem less than contrite it’s because I found it very difficult to see your remarks as anything besides brash and snide. However I give you the benefit of the doubt as my brother in Christ.

  • http://www.spaceagelutheran.blogspot.com/ SAL

    #41 I can’t drink coffee or alcohol for health reasons. And if I seem less than contrite it’s because I found it very difficult to see your remarks as anything besides brash and snide. However I give you the benefit of the doubt as my brother in Christ.

  • Another Kerner

    DonS @39.

    We are agreed.
    The positive side of the fifth commandment is addressed to individuals, Christian or not.

    It is not an “advisory” to governments in the left hand kingdom.

    Governments don’t sin: the people controlling them do.

    If there are Scripture passages to support a concept that God “forces” charity via the engine of government, I have yet to see them.

    Charity is individual and voluntary.
    Utopian societies are just that…. Utopian and unworkable.

    If the police power of the state applies force with threats of fines and/or imprisonment for failure to pay taxes, such an expenditure ceases to be a gift of charity and certainly is no longer voluntary.

    Perhaps we need to think about both political parties (and the politicians in them) as less than “idealistic”. The “campaign promises” are for the most part hollow and simply a means to get elected: holding office in the legislative branch provides those elected the opportunity to garner wealth and power for themselves…. and their friends.

    It was ever thus.

    Marx’s “idea” of making all equal so that government will then “whither away” is much more than stupid.

    It is a means to power for the few and “The Road to Serfdom” for the many.

  • Another Kerner

    DonS @39.

    We are agreed.
    The positive side of the fifth commandment is addressed to individuals, Christian or not.

    It is not an “advisory” to governments in the left hand kingdom.

    Governments don’t sin: the people controlling them do.

    If there are Scripture passages to support a concept that God “forces” charity via the engine of government, I have yet to see them.

    Charity is individual and voluntary.
    Utopian societies are just that…. Utopian and unworkable.

    If the police power of the state applies force with threats of fines and/or imprisonment for failure to pay taxes, such an expenditure ceases to be a gift of charity and certainly is no longer voluntary.

    Perhaps we need to think about both political parties (and the politicians in them) as less than “idealistic”. The “campaign promises” are for the most part hollow and simply a means to get elected: holding office in the legislative branch provides those elected the opportunity to garner wealth and power for themselves…. and their friends.

    It was ever thus.

    Marx’s “idea” of making all equal so that government will then “whither away” is much more than stupid.

    It is a means to power for the few and “The Road to Serfdom” for the many.

  • DonS

    Another Kerner @ 45: Well said, as usual :-)

  • DonS

    Another Kerner @ 45: Well said, as usual :-)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @45

    So Kerner, let me try to get what you are suggesting right. You are saying that the government can only morally enforce the negative part of the 10 commandments and it would not please God for the govt to compel it´s citizens to do the positive part through taxation or other means to any extent whatsoever or for any reason?

    or is it that the negative part is commandment and the positive part is only a suggestion?

    or that the negative part is for both christian and pagan, whereas only christians can do or are required to do the positive part?

    or is it that the govt should not legislate morality? in which case we would need to define what morality is…

    Please clarify. Your suggestion does not seem clear to me. Thanks.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @45

    So Kerner, let me try to get what you are suggesting right. You are saying that the government can only morally enforce the negative part of the 10 commandments and it would not please God for the govt to compel it´s citizens to do the positive part through taxation or other means to any extent whatsoever or for any reason?

    or is it that the negative part is commandment and the positive part is only a suggestion?

    or that the negative part is for both christian and pagan, whereas only christians can do or are required to do the positive part?

    or is it that the govt should not legislate morality? in which case we would need to define what morality is…

    Please clarify. Your suggestion does not seem clear to me. Thanks.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @45

    “Charity is individual and voluntary.
    Utopian societies are just that…. Utopian and unworkable.”

    what I suggest does not mean communism or utopianism. no amount of law will prevent murder. no amount of law will ensure that the needs of the poor are attended to. this is largely because the poor too are sinners and are fully capable of misusing any help to their own harm and likely will in fact without a curb on it.

    This last point is why social welfare programs are so awful. they never will work as intended. this is why I said earlier that the worlds history of extended nuclear families were the best form of social welfare. there was built in accountability etc etc etc.

    Yet the needs remain. and yet it still remains that with the colapse of the nuclear extended family, voluntary non governmental charity cannot fill the gap. or at least so far has not come close.

    Maybe in one vision of a utopian society, people would do what you and don suggest. give from their abilities to those whom have need. and do it volutarily! yeah sure this will happen since we are all basically good folk eh? americans! this was tried in communism and failed and was tried in the early church and I assume failed for the same reasons. sin. and selfishness.

    I agree that no law will cure anything. murders, including abortions will continue. as will greed, poverty. hunger etc. Jesus told us this. But from that fact I do not agree that negative laws are legitimate and positive laws are not the legitimate function of any government. I just dont see that we can dichotomize things that way.

    I am merely saying there is wider room for debate on this than what you seem to have internalized as some sort of civic/religious dogma would suggest. the european social democracies are not entirely wrong and what they do is not entirely immoral. nor is our approach entirely without reproach.

    God´s will is for us each to work toward the greatest measure of true happiness for our neighbors. yes this is an ideal. it is utopian. the 10 commandments are utopian in that sense. so what? God´s will is for us to keep the second table . he promises earthly blessings to those who do this, and promises to punish temporaly those who do not with the precise point of making them do love for others. Government is a part of all that . as are parents. and the fact that we cannot do so is meant to drive us to the foot of the cross. both pagans and christians alike.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @45

    “Charity is individual and voluntary.
    Utopian societies are just that…. Utopian and unworkable.”

    what I suggest does not mean communism or utopianism. no amount of law will prevent murder. no amount of law will ensure that the needs of the poor are attended to. this is largely because the poor too are sinners and are fully capable of misusing any help to their own harm and likely will in fact without a curb on it.

    This last point is why social welfare programs are so awful. they never will work as intended. this is why I said earlier that the worlds history of extended nuclear families were the best form of social welfare. there was built in accountability etc etc etc.

    Yet the needs remain. and yet it still remains that with the colapse of the nuclear extended family, voluntary non governmental charity cannot fill the gap. or at least so far has not come close.

    Maybe in one vision of a utopian society, people would do what you and don suggest. give from their abilities to those whom have need. and do it volutarily! yeah sure this will happen since we are all basically good folk eh? americans! this was tried in communism and failed and was tried in the early church and I assume failed for the same reasons. sin. and selfishness.

    I agree that no law will cure anything. murders, including abortions will continue. as will greed, poverty. hunger etc. Jesus told us this. But from that fact I do not agree that negative laws are legitimate and positive laws are not the legitimate function of any government. I just dont see that we can dichotomize things that way.

    I am merely saying there is wider room for debate on this than what you seem to have internalized as some sort of civic/religious dogma would suggest. the european social democracies are not entirely wrong and what they do is not entirely immoral. nor is our approach entirely without reproach.

    God´s will is for us each to work toward the greatest measure of true happiness for our neighbors. yes this is an ideal. it is utopian. the 10 commandments are utopian in that sense. so what? God´s will is for us to keep the second table . he promises earthly blessings to those who do this, and promises to punish temporaly those who do not with the precise point of making them do love for others. Government is a part of all that . as are parents. and the fact that we cannot do so is meant to drive us to the foot of the cross. both pagans and christians alike.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @ 45

    i perhaps misdirected with the use of the word charity. lets substitute the word love shall we. Love is the fulfillment (or purpose or reason for the existence of) the Law. of conscience.

    and the Lutheran Confessions agree that love for neighbor simply will not happen in the old adam of any of us without or being forced to do it with the law. period. this includes both the negative and positive keeping of the law. how would we have a right to separate the two? using some sort of elightenment govt theory? God demands both. neither is voluntary or optional. If we do not do love for our neighbor, God will send ones who will make us do so.

    You don´t think it is optional for a divorced father to be compelled to provide daily bread for his children. but for you to be compelled as part of a larger society to provide bread for the hungry and disadvantaged or assitance to those physically incapable of self help….. that must be totally volutary? explain please how you draw that line. on what basis?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @ 45

    i perhaps misdirected with the use of the word charity. lets substitute the word love shall we. Love is the fulfillment (or purpose or reason for the existence of) the Law. of conscience.

    and the Lutheran Confessions agree that love for neighbor simply will not happen in the old adam of any of us without or being forced to do it with the law. period. this includes both the negative and positive keeping of the law. how would we have a right to separate the two? using some sort of elightenment govt theory? God demands both. neither is voluntary or optional. If we do not do love for our neighbor, God will send ones who will make us do so.

    You don´t think it is optional for a divorced father to be compelled to provide daily bread for his children. but for you to be compelled as part of a larger society to provide bread for the hungry and disadvantaged or assitance to those physically incapable of self help….. that must be totally volutary? explain please how you draw that line. on what basis?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 45

    enforced acts of mercy, by way of tax/”redistribution” does not mean that one needs to believe that society can or should be equal to be just. I would hate to live in a society with enforce equality. Why do you feel the need to drive what I say to that extreme? There is no necessary slippery slope here.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 45

    enforced acts of mercy, by way of tax/”redistribution” does not mean that one needs to believe that society can or should be equal to be just. I would hate to live in a society with enforce equality. Why do you feel the need to drive what I say to that extreme? There is no necessary slippery slope here.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don @ 43

    “As for your other point, it is my contention that the nuclear family and the concept of familial responsibility has broken down, in part, because of government welfare programs.”

    naw. it is mostly affluence that has done this. and greed. and selfishness. here in brasil people have the same govt benefits. yet the poor help each other. the rich and middle class here are very much like americans.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don @ 43

    “As for your other point, it is my contention that the nuclear family and the concept of familial responsibility has broken down, in part, because of government welfare programs.”

    naw. it is mostly affluence that has done this. and greed. and selfishness. here in brasil people have the same govt benefits. yet the poor help each other. the rich and middle class here are very much like americans.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    fws @ 51

    perhaps also the great migrations due to industrialization have helped destroy the nuclear family as well. but then look at the jews and other tight minorities. they thrive economically precisely because the still help young married couples with a house and money to get started for example. so then what? they get the same govt benefits we all do…. but they act differently…. so I wont blame it on the govt, although i agree with your suggestion to a point. but it would be simplistic to blame it all or even mostly on govt welfare.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    fws @ 51

    perhaps also the great migrations due to industrialization have helped destroy the nuclear family as well. but then look at the jews and other tight minorities. they thrive economically precisely because the still help young married couples with a house and money to get started for example. so then what? they get the same govt benefits we all do…. but they act differently…. so I wont blame it on the govt, although i agree with your suggestion to a point. but it would be simplistic to blame it all or even mostly on govt welfare.

  • Another Kerner

    fws…
    Scripture is clear about the role of government in Chapter 13 of Romans, verses 3-6.
    The government has the “ministry of the sword”, bringing not a terror to good works but to evil, executng wrath upon him “that doeth evil”.
    That would be the negative side of the fifth Commandment.

    And, as you already know, the positive side of the fifth commandment which government employs is the function of maintaining order: its function is to protect the innocent, the helpless, and all citizens, providing them with the opportunity live out their lives in peace and freedom.

    The local police departments are preserving domestic tranquility whilst the military armed forces protect a nation against foreign enemies which would do it harm.

    A gift of Charity is individual and freely given, without force.
    It is your responsibility and mine.

  • Another Kerner

    fws…
    Scripture is clear about the role of government in Chapter 13 of Romans, verses 3-6.
    The government has the “ministry of the sword”, bringing not a terror to good works but to evil, executng wrath upon him “that doeth evil”.
    That would be the negative side of the fifth Commandment.

    And, as you already know, the positive side of the fifth commandment which government employs is the function of maintaining order: its function is to protect the innocent, the helpless, and all citizens, providing them with the opportunity live out their lives in peace and freedom.

    The local police departments are preserving domestic tranquility whilst the military armed forces protect a nation against foreign enemies which would do it harm.

    A gift of Charity is individual and freely given, without force.
    It is your responsibility and mine.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @53

    ANOTHER KERNER “executng wrath upon him “that doeth evil”.
    …would be the negative side of the fifth Commandment.”
    “the positive side of the fifth commandment which government employs is the function of maintaining order^”

    compare…..

    THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS “do not hurt nor harm our neighbor in is body” (negative)”
    “help and befriend in EVERY bodily need”(positive)”

    FWS I simply can´t see either a close parallel here between what you say is positive/negative and what our Confession says, nor can I see this defining and delimiting and restricting the govt role in enforcing the 5th commandment in it´s entirety. Show me. You seem to be throwing some theory of governance that is simply foreign to our Confessions. Your theory could very well be a very sensible one based on reason and logic, but it it certainly not one mandated by scripture or our confessions. Nor do I see support for your attempt to limit legitimate (ie in your case God pleasing) govt scope to protection from foreign and domestic aggressors, or support for the notion that government demand for and distribution of alms for the poor is forbidden by scripture in romans 13 or the confessions. Where do you see that?

    ANOTHER KERNER A gift of Charity is individual and freely given, without force.
    It is your responsibility and mine.

    The Lutheran Confessions: “The Old Adam [in christian and pagan alike] is like a ‘recalcitrant ass’.” No love or charity is ever produced from him by nature, or freely, it is against his nature. The Law and mortification are always necessary to produce earthly love and righteousness. Charity on earth is only produced with the carrot and stick of the law. Sometimes we respond to the carrot and stick “voluntarily” of our own “free ” will and out of our reason. At other times we must be made to do it. Sometimes it is the government, or parents who make us. NEVER according to our old adams do we do God´s Will from our heart.

    Luther´s 1545 preface to his Romans translation makes this point much more elegantly than I can dear Another Kerner….

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Excerpt/teaser…

    “You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done. That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not. God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not. ”

    Here is Romans chapter 13. I simply dont see the rules limiting government there as you do dear another kerner. show me… this does not say that the only legitimate basis for taxing authority is if those taxes are used for policing actions does it…. To not care for the poor makes one a “wrongdoer”. This is not about volutary charity as though we are talking about the 5th suggestion or as though “love your neighbor as you love yourself ” is a suggestion rather than the entire point of the law dear Another kerner. Break this commandment and fear the government, for you are then one of those “wrongdoers”.

    1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    Fulfilling the Law Through Love
    8Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    another kerner @53

    ANOTHER KERNER “executng wrath upon him “that doeth evil”.
    …would be the negative side of the fifth Commandment.”
    “the positive side of the fifth commandment which government employs is the function of maintaining order^”

    compare…..

    THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS “do not hurt nor harm our neighbor in is body” (negative)”
    “help and befriend in EVERY bodily need”(positive)”

    FWS I simply can´t see either a close parallel here between what you say is positive/negative and what our Confession says, nor can I see this defining and delimiting and restricting the govt role in enforcing the 5th commandment in it´s entirety. Show me. You seem to be throwing some theory of governance that is simply foreign to our Confessions. Your theory could very well be a very sensible one based on reason and logic, but it it certainly not one mandated by scripture or our confessions. Nor do I see support for your attempt to limit legitimate (ie in your case God pleasing) govt scope to protection from foreign and domestic aggressors, or support for the notion that government demand for and distribution of alms for the poor is forbidden by scripture in romans 13 or the confessions. Where do you see that?

    ANOTHER KERNER A gift of Charity is individual and freely given, without force.
    It is your responsibility and mine.

    The Lutheran Confessions: “The Old Adam [in christian and pagan alike] is like a ‘recalcitrant ass’.” No love or charity is ever produced from him by nature, or freely, it is against his nature. The Law and mortification are always necessary to produce earthly love and righteousness. Charity on earth is only produced with the carrot and stick of the law. Sometimes we respond to the carrot and stick “voluntarily” of our own “free ” will and out of our reason. At other times we must be made to do it. Sometimes it is the government, or parents who make us. NEVER according to our old adams do we do God´s Will from our heart.

    Luther´s 1545 preface to his Romans translation makes this point much more elegantly than I can dear Another Kerner….

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    Excerpt/teaser…

    “You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done. That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not. God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works; rather it punishes as hypocrisy and lies all works done apart from the depths of the heart. All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not. ”

    Here is Romans chapter 13. I simply dont see the rules limiting government there as you do dear another kerner. show me… this does not say that the only legitimate basis for taxing authority is if those taxes are used for policing actions does it…. To not care for the poor makes one a “wrongdoer”. This is not about volutary charity as though we are talking about the 5th suggestion or as though “love your neighbor as you love yourself ” is a suggestion rather than the entire point of the law dear Another kerner. Break this commandment and fear the government, for you are then one of those “wrongdoers”.

    1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    Fulfilling the Law Through Love
    8Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.


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