Election post-mortem

Well, the House will be under the control of the Republicans with the Senate still in the hands of the Democrats.  What is your analysis and what are your projections?

A hung government is a good thing according to conservatives who want government to be checked and balanced into inactivity.  But might this thwart things that the government does need to do?

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.

  • SKPeterson

    Like what, exactly? Both parties are still more than capable of spending like drunken sailors. We’ll see if the new Reps can actually hold the line on spending or if more “national emergencies” will require them to “temporarily” give up their principles for the “common good.”

    I shouldn’t be so cynical, but as a student of history…

  • SKPeterson

    Like what, exactly? Both parties are still more than capable of spending like drunken sailors. We’ll see if the new Reps can actually hold the line on spending or if more “national emergencies” will require them to “temporarily” give up their principles for the “common good.”

    I shouldn’t be so cynical, but as a student of history…

  • Porcell

    The issue now is what the Republican House does with its majority. They could squander it by simply engaging in self defeating power politics, or they could, following Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor, deal squarely with the issues and make proposals that deal well with the issues. The issues will require some hard choices that will not set well with powerful interest groups; it will take political courage to stand up to them. The public for the most part knows how to distinguish between crass, ineffective power politics and effective politics that deals well with the tough issues.

    Frankly, I;m dubious as to whether the Republican establishment will deal smartly with the issues, though I hope and pray that they will.

    It could be that the public is ready for a third party along the lines of Codevilla’s Country Party that will sweep aside the deeply corrupt Democratic and Republican establishment politicians. Being a conservative, I usually reject radical solutions, though there are times when they become necessary, as in the cases of the American Revolution and the Civil War

  • Porcell

    The issue now is what the Republican House does with its majority. They could squander it by simply engaging in self defeating power politics, or they could, following Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor, deal squarely with the issues and make proposals that deal well with the issues. The issues will require some hard choices that will not set well with powerful interest groups; it will take political courage to stand up to them. The public for the most part knows how to distinguish between crass, ineffective power politics and effective politics that deals well with the tough issues.

    Frankly, I;m dubious as to whether the Republican establishment will deal smartly with the issues, though I hope and pray that they will.

    It could be that the public is ready for a third party along the lines of Codevilla’s Country Party that will sweep aside the deeply corrupt Democratic and Republican establishment politicians. Being a conservative, I usually reject radical solutions, though there are times when they become necessary, as in the cases of the American Revolution and the Civil War

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I increasingly see merit in the parliamentary system. I dont think we were wise to ditch it.

    It would be better for either party to have to bear full blame for whatever they do on their watch.

    I have hear the republicans avoid responsibility for the growing reach of government even though they controlled congress for years. How does that work?

    The dems get the blame for the past two years, but they can claim that the inherited a real mess. Did they make that mess worse? probably.

    in a parliamentary system it is clearer who gets credit and blame for what.

    That would be a healthy thing just now.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I increasingly see merit in the parliamentary system. I dont think we were wise to ditch it.

    It would be better for either party to have to bear full blame for whatever they do on their watch.

    I have hear the republicans avoid responsibility for the growing reach of government even though they controlled congress for years. How does that work?

    The dems get the blame for the past two years, but they can claim that the inherited a real mess. Did they make that mess worse? probably.

    in a parliamentary system it is clearer who gets credit and blame for what.

    That would be a healthy thing just now.

  • trotk

    Perhaps better than the parliamentary system:

    Heed George Washington’s advice in his farewell address and get rid of political parties all together. Force everyone to vote either according to conscience or according to what the represented district desires.

  • trotk

    Perhaps better than the parliamentary system:

    Heed George Washington’s advice in his farewell address and get rid of political parties all together. Force everyone to vote either according to conscience or according to what the represented district desires.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Part of the point of the Tea Party’s uprising was that yes, in fact, the Republicans completely squandered their opportunity to govern according to their stated principles when they had the White House and both houses of Congress.

    A hung Congress means no repeal for Obamacare. The bill passed in the middle of the night may get lip service, but I doubt a repeal gets by the Senate. Republicans don’t have 60, much less 50 there.

    The House does control the purse strings, so the Republicans need to act on that. The President can write a budget, but the Congress passes the authorization bills. We’ll see if and when the Republicans deviate from core principles again.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Part of the point of the Tea Party’s uprising was that yes, in fact, the Republicans completely squandered their opportunity to govern according to their stated principles when they had the White House and both houses of Congress.

    A hung Congress means no repeal for Obamacare. The bill passed in the middle of the night may get lip service, but I doubt a repeal gets by the Senate. Republicans don’t have 60, much less 50 there.

    The House does control the purse strings, so the Republicans need to act on that. The President can write a budget, but the Congress passes the authorization bills. We’ll see if and when the Republicans deviate from core principles again.

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

    fws, technically the United States never HAD a parliamentary system, but rather we suffered or prospered according to someone else’s parliamentary system.

    I have the hope that the GOP will consistently say “no” to Obama’s requests for new taxes, and point out wasteful spending like the Stimulus plan isn’t the way to prosperity.

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

    fws, technically the United States never HAD a parliamentary system, but rather we suffered or prospered according to someone else’s parliamentary system.

    I have the hope that the GOP will consistently say “no” to Obama’s requests for new taxes, and point out wasteful spending like the Stimulus plan isn’t the way to prosperity.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I predict that the republicans will…

    Make a big show out of trying to dismantle Obamacare,
    will push for full restoration of the bush tax cuts,
    will propose absolutely nothing that will truly reduce the deficit.
    They will restore cuts made by the Dems to Medicare.
    They will propose legislation always in a way that will ensure rejection by the Senate or better a veto as a strategy.

    In short, Republicans will simply posture and prepare for elections in 2012.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I predict that the republicans will…

    Make a big show out of trying to dismantle Obamacare,
    will push for full restoration of the bush tax cuts,
    will propose absolutely nothing that will truly reduce the deficit.
    They will restore cuts made by the Dems to Medicare.
    They will propose legislation always in a way that will ensure rejection by the Senate or better a veto as a strategy.

    In short, Republicans will simply posture and prepare for elections in 2012.

  • Tom Hering

    First, congratulations to all the candidates who won yesterday.

    Here in Wisconsin, Republicans took Feingold’s seat, Obey’s district, the governor’s mansion, and both houses of the legislature. They emphasized jobs creation in their campaigns more forcefully than the Democrats did.

    So, in my view, it was all about economic insecurity. And if the economy hasn’t improved by 2012 and 2014 (which is unlikely), another sweep of incumbents – including the new incumbents – will occur. A hung government will guarantee that.

  • Tom Hering

    First, congratulations to all the candidates who won yesterday.

    Here in Wisconsin, Republicans took Feingold’s seat, Obey’s district, the governor’s mansion, and both houses of the legislature. They emphasized jobs creation in their campaigns more forcefully than the Democrats did.

    So, in my view, it was all about economic insecurity. And if the economy hasn’t improved by 2012 and 2014 (which is unlikely), another sweep of incumbents – including the new incumbents – will occur. A hung government will guarantee that.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    does anyone here know why we did not follow the parliamentary system and adopt it? I assume that the founders theorized that if we had a system with strife and fighting built in , that that would mean political parties would not be necessary.

    Is that it?

    If so, then we got the worst of both worlds….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    does anyone here know why we did not follow the parliamentary system and adopt it? I assume that the founders theorized that if we had a system with strife and fighting built in , that that would mean political parties would not be necessary.

    Is that it?

    If so, then we got the worst of both worlds….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 8

    indeed tom. if I were the democrats, I would very graciously bow to a republican agenda and do everything to give them FULL credit for the next two years. Why?

    we only have had the first wave of the recessions at the federal level, where we can print money to spend our way out of problems. That republican borrow and spend or the democratic tax and spend. Pick ya poison.

    At the state and local levels, neither of these solutions is possible, and the tax base there is ravaged with income tax, property tax, and sales tax. and borrowing is becoming more difficult.

    This is great right for Republicans? The state and local governments have to reduce their emploment levels and the goods and services they offer right?

    Inconvenient Fact: This is the only level of government where starving the government of tax revenue MUST result on reducing the size of government. The republican strategy of “starving the beast” can only work here.

    Republicans have proven to us that this method does NOT work at the federal level. At the federal level, if we increase spending, then we should also increase taxes.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 8

    indeed tom. if I were the democrats, I would very graciously bow to a republican agenda and do everything to give them FULL credit for the next two years. Why?

    we only have had the first wave of the recessions at the federal level, where we can print money to spend our way out of problems. That republican borrow and spend or the democratic tax and spend. Pick ya poison.

    At the state and local levels, neither of these solutions is possible, and the tax base there is ravaged with income tax, property tax, and sales tax. and borrowing is becoming more difficult.

    This is great right for Republicans? The state and local governments have to reduce their emploment levels and the goods and services they offer right?

    Inconvenient Fact: This is the only level of government where starving the government of tax revenue MUST result on reducing the size of government. The republican strategy of “starving the beast” can only work here.

    Republicans have proven to us that this method does NOT work at the federal level. At the federal level, if we increase spending, then we should also increase taxes.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws, the parliamentary system would be a disaster, and would lead immediately to increased bureaucratization, partisanship, etc.–precisely because it is “efficient.” I’ll vote “no” on that one until the day I die.

    Meanwhile, Republicans are now in a dangerous positions. They won’t accomplish anything because they can’t, which may upset voters in the next two years. In order to put up a good face, they’ll have to obstruct Obama’s remaining major policies (which are uniformly unpopular) and pretend to make proactive proposals of their own (which will, of course, be defeated, but then they can credibly blame the Democrats for their failures).

    Whatever they do, I couldn’t be happier to welcome our do-nothing national government for the next two years. It’s been too long since we had one.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws, the parliamentary system would be a disaster, and would lead immediately to increased bureaucratization, partisanship, etc.–precisely because it is “efficient.” I’ll vote “no” on that one until the day I die.

    Meanwhile, Republicans are now in a dangerous positions. They won’t accomplish anything because they can’t, which may upset voters in the next two years. In order to put up a good face, they’ll have to obstruct Obama’s remaining major policies (which are uniformly unpopular) and pretend to make proactive proposals of their own (which will, of course, be defeated, but then they can credibly blame the Democrats for their failures).

    Whatever they do, I couldn’t be happier to welcome our do-nothing national government for the next two years. It’s been too long since we had one.

  • Cincinnatus

    p.s. One of the reasons we avoided the parliamentary system was so that we could preserve (or institute) a nice idea called local representation. Parliamentary members “represent” a particular district only nominally and incidentally. But representation of local interests–even though it results in log-rolling and pork–is the essence of our system. And I would fight for that.

  • Cincinnatus

    p.s. One of the reasons we avoided the parliamentary system was so that we could preserve (or institute) a nice idea called local representation. Parliamentary members “represent” a particular district only nominally and incidentally. But representation of local interests–even though it results in log-rolling and pork–is the essence of our system. And I would fight for that.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinnatus @ 11

    Interesting. Could you please unpack that word “efficient”?

    Here is the definition I found:
    “producing a desired effect, product, etc. with a minimum of effort, expense, or waste; working well”

    So you favor a government that produces undesireable effects with a maximum of effort, expense and waste ; working poorly?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinnatus @ 11

    Interesting. Could you please unpack that word “efficient”?

    Here is the definition I found:
    “producing a desired effect, product, etc. with a minimum of effort, expense, or waste; working well”

    So you favor a government that produces undesireable effects with a maximum of effort, expense and waste ; working poorly?

  • Kirk

    May Christine O’Donnell rest peacefully (and hopefully silently) in her political grave.

  • Kirk

    May Christine O’Donnell rest peacefully (and hopefully silently) in her political grave.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinnatus @ 12

    So you advocate each person seeking is own personal good in the form of log-rolling and pork rather than the sacrifice of personal good in favor of the common good that would also benefit one´s neighbor?

    And you say this idea is of the essence of our system? Interesting take on what patriotism looks like. It explains alot eh?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinnatus @ 12

    So you advocate each person seeking is own personal good in the form of log-rolling and pork rather than the sacrifice of personal good in favor of the common good that would also benefit one´s neighbor?

    And you say this idea is of the essence of our system? Interesting take on what patriotism looks like. It explains alot eh?

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, it’s at the state and local levels that a reduction in government services is felt most painfully. If the Republicans cut services without creating a lot of good, new jobs, they’re just going to increase anger at government. The key is our bad trade policies, which I fear neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are willing to fix – because those policies serve the big corporations that fund the politicians. Those bad policies will, instead, be expanded.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, it’s at the state and local levels that a reduction in government services is felt most painfully. If the Republicans cut services without creating a lot of good, new jobs, they’re just going to increase anger at government. The key is our bad trade policies, which I fear neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are willing to fix – because those policies serve the big corporations that fund the politicians. Those bad policies will, instead, be expanded.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I expect gridlock no matter which way the new congress goes. Even if the tea party backed congressmen propose and pass reasonable bills that would enact fiscal responsibility, Obama won’t allow them to be enacted. He cannot afford for the Republicans to succeed or they just may seize control of both houses and the WH.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I expect gridlock no matter which way the new congress goes. Even if the tea party backed congressmen propose and pass reasonable bills that would enact fiscal responsibility, Obama won’t allow them to be enacted. He cannot afford for the Republicans to succeed or they just may seize control of both houses and the WH.

  • Greg Smith

    First, I believe a hung government is a good thing. We could build the gallows in front of–oh, wait!–that’s not what you meant.

    Hopefully, the Republicans can stop any more shananagins from happening. They will certainly not be able to reverse any of the damage done in the last two years. But the Republicans have a history of botching every opportunity given to them.

    My biggest concern right now is that the Dems, knowing their window of opportunity is rapidly closing, are going to railroad crap like Cap and Trade through during the lame duck session. They don’t much care that the voters have sent another message of change, that this election was a referendum rejecting Obama’s policies.

  • Greg Smith

    First, I believe a hung government is a good thing. We could build the gallows in front of–oh, wait!–that’s not what you meant.

    Hopefully, the Republicans can stop any more shananagins from happening. They will certainly not be able to reverse any of the damage done in the last two years. But the Republicans have a history of botching every opportunity given to them.

    My biggest concern right now is that the Dems, knowing their window of opportunity is rapidly closing, are going to railroad crap like Cap and Trade through during the lame duck session. They don’t much care that the voters have sent another message of change, that this election was a referendum rejecting Obama’s policies.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom @ 16

    Not necessarily. People tend to express their anger at the king. since we don´t have one, it would be directed at the speaker of the house, the senate leader or the president. we like to blame a person.

    and people would not connect the dots that way.

    I am not really sure that there is any foreign trade policy that would work short of trying, sincerely , to establish a trade block in the western hemisphere that is truly one of equals.

    Our generosity in the Marshall Plan is what assured a generation of prosperity and an expanded middle class.

    Who would have guessed that rebuilding our sworn enemies, something unprecidented in history that America should be praised for more than anything else they did in the last century besides civil rights and womens sufferage, would result in such amazing american economic dominance and prosperity?

    And that generation was against that plan having be propagandized to think of germans and japs as pure evil. The government then had the courage to buck popular thought, and the ability to persuade and lead.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom @ 16

    Not necessarily. People tend to express their anger at the king. since we don´t have one, it would be directed at the speaker of the house, the senate leader or the president. we like to blame a person.

    and people would not connect the dots that way.

    I am not really sure that there is any foreign trade policy that would work short of trying, sincerely , to establish a trade block in the western hemisphere that is truly one of equals.

    Our generosity in the Marshall Plan is what assured a generation of prosperity and an expanded middle class.

    Who would have guessed that rebuilding our sworn enemies, something unprecidented in history that America should be praised for more than anything else they did in the last century besides civil rights and womens sufferage, would result in such amazing american economic dominance and prosperity?

    And that generation was against that plan having be propagandized to think of germans and japs as pure evil. The government then had the courage to buck popular thought, and the ability to persuade and lead.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dr Luther @ 17

    That is very cynical. I think we are commanded to pray for our leaders and give them the benefit of the doubt that they truly want the best for the country above their own political ambitions, as the 8th commandment demands that we do.

    Your post does not reflect that Godly attitude.

    I was not in favor of much of what GW Bush did, but I never questioned his patriotism or sincerity. That would have been sinful and wrong to do.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dr Luther @ 17

    That is very cynical. I think we are commanded to pray for our leaders and give them the benefit of the doubt that they truly want the best for the country above their own political ambitions, as the 8th commandment demands that we do.

    Your post does not reflect that Godly attitude.

    I was not in favor of much of what GW Bush did, but I never questioned his patriotism or sincerity. That would have been sinful and wrong to do.

  • Tom Hering

    For most voters (40% “conservatives” aside), I honestly don’t think it was a rejection of Obama’s policies, per se, but rather a rejection of incorrect focus – which should have been on jobs creation. People vote their wallets, not ideology.

  • Tom Hering

    For most voters (40% “conservatives” aside), I honestly don’t think it was a rejection of Obama’s policies, per se, but rather a rejection of incorrect focus – which should have been on jobs creation. People vote their wallets, not ideology.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 21

    I think that what you say is always, unfortunately or fortunately, the truth.

    The only time voters allow themselves the luxury of voting on “principle” is when the economy is humming along.

    Otherwise the rule of thumb is “it´s the economy stupid.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 21

    I think that what you say is always, unfortunately or fortunately, the truth.

    The only time voters allow themselves the luxury of voting on “principle” is when the economy is humming along.

    Otherwise the rule of thumb is “it´s the economy stupid.”

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 22, the Prince should have a loaf of bread as his coat-of-arms. And all that this implies.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 22, the Prince should have a loaf of bread as his coat-of-arms. And all that this implies.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom Herring @ 23

    Are you saying that Martin Luther is proposing in his explanation to the 4th Petition in the Large Catechism, that the purpose of the government is primarily about making sure that the populace has abundant material goods and services and is not limited soley to police action?

    Heresy! This is contrary to libertarian enlightenment thinking!!!!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom Herring @ 23

    Are you saying that Martin Luther is proposing in his explanation to the 4th Petition in the Large Catechism, that the purpose of the government is primarily about making sure that the populace has abundant material goods and services and is not limited soley to police action?

    Heresy! This is contrary to libertarian enlightenment thinking!!!!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 23

    That WOULD explain however, why all nominally Lutheran countries have adopted a political philosophy that would, indeed, look like putting a loaf of bread on their coat of arms . And all that that would imply….

    This is something all Lutherans are conscience bound to confess because it is in the Lutheran Confessions right?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 23

    That WOULD explain however, why all nominally Lutheran countries have adopted a political philosophy that would, indeed, look like putting a loaf of bread on their coat of arms . And all that that would imply….

    This is something all Lutherans are conscience bound to confess because it is in the Lutheran Confessions right?

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 24, well, yeah. Health care is very important, but jobs are more important. Getting sick and having medical bills pile up is bad, but going hungry, or having your utilities disconnected, or losing your home is worse.

    Hey, I’m just trying to be the populist Democrat that Dr. Veith has lamented the passing of.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 24, well, yeah. Health care is very important, but jobs are more important. Getting sick and having medical bills pile up is bad, but going hungry, or having your utilities disconnected, or losing your home is worse.

    Hey, I’m just trying to be the populist Democrat that Dr. Veith has lamented the passing of.

  • Cincinnatus

    Frank, you interpreted my comments uncharitably. Parliamentary rule is effectively a one-party state. The party in charge gets what it wants and everything that it wants (its only obstacle being the mechanisms of existing bureaucratic “inertia”). The opposition party exists in name only and is utterly meaningless and ineffective. In some cases, this can produce good outcomes: Margaret Thatcher was able to quickly and effectively reduce the size of Britain’s government in the ’80′s. But it goes both ways: Tony Blair neutered the House of Lords, ballooned spending, and plunged Britain into two wars, and there was nary a thing anyone could do about. Such happens in our nation as well, but there are routes of opposition. I don’t want to live in a one-party state, and the parliamentary ideal of democracy is not one I share.

    Meanwhile, local representation is a good thing. Our national government was designed to accomplish a very limited list of things pertaining to the common good of all the states. Moreover, Congress in particular is designed to be inefficient and, indeed, ineffective in some cases. This attenuates the strength of factions and limits the capacity of Congress to pass laws that would be burdensome to many regions/states of the nation. This is a Good Thing. The negative side-effects of this process can be log-rolling and pork (i.e., waste). I do not deny that. But there are ways to attack these specific vices without reverting to one-party parliamentary mechanisms. As I said, I would literally fight to preserve the concept of local, regional representation that is meaningful.

    And enough talk of “outcomes”. A good conservative isn’t utilitarian, and though the government is supposed to “do things,” we’ve discarded too many venerable institutions (that serve meaningful purposes for our own safety from tyranny) in the name of achieving good outcomes more quickly. That’s the shortest road to despotism.

    So again, I’m quite happy with a do-nothing government for the next couple years, regardless of whether Republicans acquit themselves more. I won’t have to wake up every morning wondering how many taxes will be raised, how many new wars we’ve started, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Frank, you interpreted my comments uncharitably. Parliamentary rule is effectively a one-party state. The party in charge gets what it wants and everything that it wants (its only obstacle being the mechanisms of existing bureaucratic “inertia”). The opposition party exists in name only and is utterly meaningless and ineffective. In some cases, this can produce good outcomes: Margaret Thatcher was able to quickly and effectively reduce the size of Britain’s government in the ’80′s. But it goes both ways: Tony Blair neutered the House of Lords, ballooned spending, and plunged Britain into two wars, and there was nary a thing anyone could do about. Such happens in our nation as well, but there are routes of opposition. I don’t want to live in a one-party state, and the parliamentary ideal of democracy is not one I share.

    Meanwhile, local representation is a good thing. Our national government was designed to accomplish a very limited list of things pertaining to the common good of all the states. Moreover, Congress in particular is designed to be inefficient and, indeed, ineffective in some cases. This attenuates the strength of factions and limits the capacity of Congress to pass laws that would be burdensome to many regions/states of the nation. This is a Good Thing. The negative side-effects of this process can be log-rolling and pork (i.e., waste). I do not deny that. But there are ways to attack these specific vices without reverting to one-party parliamentary mechanisms. As I said, I would literally fight to preserve the concept of local, regional representation that is meaningful.

    And enough talk of “outcomes”. A good conservative isn’t utilitarian, and though the government is supposed to “do things,” we’ve discarded too many venerable institutions (that serve meaningful purposes for our own safety from tyranny) in the name of achieving good outcomes more quickly. That’s the shortest road to despotism.

    So again, I’m quite happy with a do-nothing government for the next couple years, regardless of whether Republicans acquit themselves more. I won’t have to wake up every morning wondering how many taxes will be raised, how many new wars we’ve started, etc.

  • Tom Hering

    “I won’t have to wake up every morning wondering how many taxes will be raised, how many new wars we’ve started, etc.” – Cincinnatus @ 27.

    Hmm. Those two things seem gridlock-proof to me.

  • Tom Hering

    “I won’t have to wake up every morning wondering how many taxes will be raised, how many new wars we’ve started, etc.” – Cincinnatus @ 27.

    Hmm. Those two things seem gridlock-proof to me.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @20 fws
    I am not being cynical. If I were being cynical, I would be saying this is just another “contract with america” gag. No, I am making a prediction based on past observation of Obama. He is an academic turned politician, he thinks politically. He is only as patriotic as he needs to be in order to be elected. His only true care is to see his academic theories played out, because he believes they will save us. You can see this thinking come out when he is faced by opposition to his pet theories i.e. his response “if only you really understood” or “they are just being obstructionist.”

    He could surprise me and actually reach across the aisle. Yet, I doubt he will suddenly turn into a true statesmen. Instead, we will see more campaign style rhetoric of how evil Bush and the rest of Republicans are.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @20 fws
    I am not being cynical. If I were being cynical, I would be saying this is just another “contract with america” gag. No, I am making a prediction based on past observation of Obama. He is an academic turned politician, he thinks politically. He is only as patriotic as he needs to be in order to be elected. His only true care is to see his academic theories played out, because he believes they will save us. You can see this thinking come out when he is faced by opposition to his pet theories i.e. his response “if only you really understood” or “they are just being obstructionist.”

    He could surprise me and actually reach across the aisle. Yet, I doubt he will suddenly turn into a true statesmen. Instead, we will see more campaign style rhetoric of how evil Bush and the rest of Republicans are.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @ 27

    Please accept my sincere apology for appearing to be uncharitable.

    Of course I know you and so know that you would not push what you said to where I took it. Since we are here to debate and discuss, I was hoping you would tell why you would not take it that far. And this you did not do right?

    “And enough talk of “outcomes”. A good conservative isn’t utilitarian”

    Lutheran morality and so it´s ideas of the “proper ” role of government is exactly as utilitarian as the Virtue Ethics of Aristotle. Our confessions say that. Emphatically and categorically right?

    “Utilitarian governmental theory” can be traced to john stuart mill whos ideas can be traced back to the Conservative Lutheran Reformation and then to Aristotle, and from there to both St James and St Paul.

    cf the Large Catechism, 4th petition.

    So what is the proper function of government according to the Lutheran Confessions? It would be one where the government would put a loaf of bread on all of it´s official seals to remind government of what it´s purpose is.

    Interesting to think of how what we Lutherans confess as the God Willed purpose of Government would square with your own idea of “conservative” eh Cincinatus?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Cincinatus @ 27

    Please accept my sincere apology for appearing to be uncharitable.

    Of course I know you and so know that you would not push what you said to where I took it. Since we are here to debate and discuss, I was hoping you would tell why you would not take it that far. And this you did not do right?

    “And enough talk of “outcomes”. A good conservative isn’t utilitarian”

    Lutheran morality and so it´s ideas of the “proper ” role of government is exactly as utilitarian as the Virtue Ethics of Aristotle. Our confessions say that. Emphatically and categorically right?

    “Utilitarian governmental theory” can be traced to john stuart mill whos ideas can be traced back to the Conservative Lutheran Reformation and then to Aristotle, and from there to both St James and St Paul.

    cf the Large Catechism, 4th petition.

    So what is the proper function of government according to the Lutheran Confessions? It would be one where the government would put a loaf of bread on all of it´s official seals to remind government of what it´s purpose is.

    Interesting to think of how what we Lutherans confess as the God Willed purpose of Government would square with your own idea of “conservative” eh Cincinatus?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dr Luther @ 29

    ” He is only as patriotic as he needs to be in order to be elected.”

    This is false witness. and it is cynicism.

    I think GW Bush and Cheney were very very misguided, but I would never ever suggest that they did not sincerely believe that what they were doing was what was best for the country, and I would like to believe that they would have chosen that over being reelected.

    You are right however that political compromise can be a virtue called statesmanship and is not necessarily to be judged as a compromise of one´s principles as many conservatives and liberals alike seem to believe.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dr Luther @ 29

    ” He is only as patriotic as he needs to be in order to be elected.”

    This is false witness. and it is cynicism.

    I think GW Bush and Cheney were very very misguided, but I would never ever suggest that they did not sincerely believe that what they were doing was what was best for the country, and I would like to believe that they would have chosen that over being reelected.

    You are right however that political compromise can be a virtue called statesmanship and is not necessarily to be judged as a compromise of one´s principles as many conservatives and liberals alike seem to believe.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 26

    dare to be lutheran. you dare to let the Lutheran Confessions actually influence your political views.

    Rare to see that done .

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 26

    dare to be lutheran. you dare to let the Lutheran Confessions actually influence your political views.

    Rare to see that done .

  • SKPeterson

    @ fws and Tom (21 and 22). That is precisely the problem – the expectation by people that the government can manage the economy and create jobs. It cannot, it does not, it will not, ever; it merely pretends, preens and postures. Government involvement in the economy is nothing more than a continual, ritualized presentation of bread and circuses.

  • SKPeterson

    @ fws and Tom (21 and 22). That is precisely the problem – the expectation by people that the government can manage the economy and create jobs. It cannot, it does not, it will not, ever; it merely pretends, preens and postures. Government involvement in the economy is nothing more than a continual, ritualized presentation of bread and circuses.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    skpeterson @33

    so then either the Lutheran confessions are wrong or we are misreading them with respect to the Large Catechism and the 4th petition?

    Enlighten me please.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    skpeterson @33

    so then either the Lutheran confessions are wrong or we are misreading them with respect to the Large Catechism and the 4th petition?

    Enlighten me please.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    All I know is that we really need to bring the classic sword duel back to congress and the senate. Maybe we could update it with light-sabers! This would make deadlock a little more exciting and efficacious.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    All I know is that we really need to bring the classic sword duel back to congress and the senate. Maybe we could update it with light-sabers! This would make deadlock a little more exciting and efficacious.

  • http://www.utah-lutheranlblgospot.com Bror Erickson

    Bryan @ 35.
    I’m for that, they could use dueling pistols too though, if one of them is not a sword’sman. It would make Cspan worth watching.

  • http://www.utah-lutheranlblgospot.com Bror Erickson

    Bryan @ 35.
    I’m for that, they could use dueling pistols too though, if one of them is not a sword’sman. It would make Cspan worth watching.

  • SKPeterson

    fws @34 -

    Luther says, “For when you mention and pray for daily bread, you pray for everything that is necessary in order to have and enjoy daily bread and, on the other hand, against everything which interferes with it. Therefore you must open wide and extend your thoughts not only to the oven or the flour-bin but to the distant field and the entire land, which bears and brings to us daily bread and every sort of sustenance. For if God did not cause it to grow, and bless and preserve it in the field, we could never take bread from the oven or have any to set upon the table.”

    I see nothing in this part or the rest of the 4th petition that goes against what I have stated. Managing the economy does not equate with the maintenance of law and order or the provision of national/community defense. There may be two kingdoms, but the size and scope of the government is up to debate, and the market and our vocations play out in the 2nd kingdom as well. government. I advocate for the diminishment of the government in the 2nd kingdom in order that the rest of the 2nd kingdom has some room to breathe and act, and I do not believe that the government can legitimately arrogate to itself the primacy of place in the 2nd kingdom. That belongs to the family and to the individual as they engage in their vocations.

  • SKPeterson

    fws @34 -

    Luther says, “For when you mention and pray for daily bread, you pray for everything that is necessary in order to have and enjoy daily bread and, on the other hand, against everything which interferes with it. Therefore you must open wide and extend your thoughts not only to the oven or the flour-bin but to the distant field and the entire land, which bears and brings to us daily bread and every sort of sustenance. For if God did not cause it to grow, and bless and preserve it in the field, we could never take bread from the oven or have any to set upon the table.”

    I see nothing in this part or the rest of the 4th petition that goes against what I have stated. Managing the economy does not equate with the maintenance of law and order or the provision of national/community defense. There may be two kingdoms, but the size and scope of the government is up to debate, and the market and our vocations play out in the 2nd kingdom as well. government. I advocate for the diminishment of the government in the 2nd kingdom in order that the rest of the 2nd kingdom has some room to breathe and act, and I do not believe that the government can legitimately arrogate to itself the primacy of place in the 2nd kingdom. That belongs to the family and to the individual as they engage in their vocations.

  • SKPeterson

    @fws – I inadvertently deleted a sentence in the last post. (Note to Veith: an edit feature would be great!) I don’t think it detracts from my overall point. Have at it.

  • SKPeterson

    @fws – I inadvertently deleted a sentence in the last post. (Note to Veith: an edit feature would be great!) I don’t think it detracts from my overall point. Have at it.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror @ 36, hilarious! :-)

    SKPeterson @ 37, I think we see how Luther (and his fellows) thought the bread-and-government thing should work out in Luther’s support of the common chest at Wittenberg. (You can Google that.) Do you have contrary evidence that the Lutheran reformers thought government should be very limited in its role? I think you can make a good argument for an American tradition of limited government, but not for a Reformation tradition of such. So, yeah, here I stand, or crouch down in soci@list stealth – supporting a concept of government that has its roots in Old Europe. The Christian West. Woo hoo! :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Bror @ 36, hilarious! :-)

    SKPeterson @ 37, I think we see how Luther (and his fellows) thought the bread-and-government thing should work out in Luther’s support of the common chest at Wittenberg. (You can Google that.) Do you have contrary evidence that the Lutheran reformers thought government should be very limited in its role? I think you can make a good argument for an American tradition of limited government, but not for a Reformation tradition of such. So, yeah, here I stand, or crouch down in soci@list stealth – supporting a concept of government that has its roots in Old Europe. The Christian West. Woo hoo! :-)

  • kerner

    fws:

    Cincinnatus has answered for himself very well, but I would add a couple things.

    Essentially, what you are complaining about are the “checks and balances” built into the American system of government. Where I think your viewe departs from sound Lutheran theology is that you seem to believe that there is any such thing as a “good” ruler.

    The concept of checks and balances takes into account the very Lutheran belief in the total depravity of all men. There are no “good” governors. Hence, there is no “good” government.

    The government will never (let me emphacize this)

    NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER !!!!!!!

    love its neighbors. Given any opportunity to do so, the governmant will, in a totally sinful and depraved way, oppress its neighbors.

    It it utterly naive (and requires an anti-Biblical concept of human nature) to believe that, if we just removed enough obsticles from government’s way, it would miraculously lose its depraved and sinful character and start loving its neighbors.

    The founding fathers, in what may be a uniquely clear (among founders of governments at least) concept of human nature, decided that the best way to keep the damage caused by our new depraved and sinful government to a minimum, was to so organize it such that the rulers would be many and continually fighting among themselves, thus depriving them of the time and energy to cause harm to the people, or as you have put it, to “produce” the “desired effect”. Thus, to get anything done at all, our rulers have to continually come to the people, their desired victims, to get permission and support for whatever they want to do.

    In judo, as in many of the martial arts, a major principle is to use the weight and momentum of one’s opponent against him. The American founding fathers, rather brilliantly I think, have designed a system that allows the people to use the government’s weight and momentum against it. Through our system of checks and balances, we have been able to restrain out sinful and depraved government from harming us on countless occasions. The most recent occasion, I would argue, was yesterday.

    I wouldn’t trade our system for the world.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Cincinnatus has answered for himself very well, but I would add a couple things.

    Essentially, what you are complaining about are the “checks and balances” built into the American system of government. Where I think your viewe departs from sound Lutheran theology is that you seem to believe that there is any such thing as a “good” ruler.

    The concept of checks and balances takes into account the very Lutheran belief in the total depravity of all men. There are no “good” governors. Hence, there is no “good” government.

    The government will never (let me emphacize this)

    NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER !!!!!!!

    love its neighbors. Given any opportunity to do so, the governmant will, in a totally sinful and depraved way, oppress its neighbors.

    It it utterly naive (and requires an anti-Biblical concept of human nature) to believe that, if we just removed enough obsticles from government’s way, it would miraculously lose its depraved and sinful character and start loving its neighbors.

    The founding fathers, in what may be a uniquely clear (among founders of governments at least) concept of human nature, decided that the best way to keep the damage caused by our new depraved and sinful government to a minimum, was to so organize it such that the rulers would be many and continually fighting among themselves, thus depriving them of the time and energy to cause harm to the people, or as you have put it, to “produce” the “desired effect”. Thus, to get anything done at all, our rulers have to continually come to the people, their desired victims, to get permission and support for whatever they want to do.

    In judo, as in many of the martial arts, a major principle is to use the weight and momentum of one’s opponent against him. The American founding fathers, rather brilliantly I think, have designed a system that allows the people to use the government’s weight and momentum against it. Through our system of checks and balances, we have been able to restrain out sinful and depraved government from harming us on countless occasions. The most recent occasion, I would argue, was yesterday.

    I wouldn’t trade our system for the world.

  • Carl Vehse

    Election post-mortem taken from a Freerepublic poster, tired1:

    “We got bumped up to the luxury suite on the Titanic. Enjoy the view, the drinks are free.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Election post-mortem taken from a Freerepublic poster, tired1:

    “We got bumped up to the luxury suite on the Titanic. Enjoy the view, the drinks are free.”

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @39 – so you agree then that government programs regarding the care of the poor should be devolved down to the local level. That’s a start!

    However, I would add that programs to address issues of poverty, as misguided and failure-prone that they so often are, are not the same as managing the economy or what I think voters have in mind when they think the government will “create jobs.” The two are distinct.

    I’ll defer to Washington: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” As kerner notes, it is NOT your friend no matter how big the smile or promise.

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @39 – so you agree then that government programs regarding the care of the poor should be devolved down to the local level. That’s a start!

    However, I would add that programs to address issues of poverty, as misguided and failure-prone that they so often are, are not the same as managing the economy or what I think voters have in mind when they think the government will “create jobs.” The two are distinct.

    I’ll defer to Washington: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” As kerner notes, it is NOT your friend no matter how big the smile or promise.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Kerner @ 40. Nice Judo reference. The gentleman’s martial art.

    “Maximum efficiency – Minimum effort.” and “Mutual welfare and benefit.” Two other very important sayings I learned in Judo, back in the day.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Kerner @ 40. Nice Judo reference. The gentleman’s martial art.

    “Maximum efficiency – Minimum effort.” and “Mutual welfare and benefit.” Two other very important sayings I learned in Judo, back in the day.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    And perhaps why I would prefer a sword duel to pistols, any day.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    And perhaps why I would prefer a sword duel to pistols, any day.

  • Tom Hering

    “… to so organize [government] such that the rulers would be many and continually fighting among themselves, thus depriving them of the time and energy to cause harm to the people … I wouldn’t trade our system for the world.” – kerner @ 40.

    But isn’t it the heart of the far-right conservative/libertarian argument, especially that of the Tea Party, that American government hasn’t worked out that way? That it harms the people a lot? I mean, it got where it is under its own, unique system – didn’t it? And there’s nothing to stop it from getting there again, Constitutional revival or no. So maybe our system has something self-defeating at its core. What might that be?

  • Tom Hering

    “… to so organize [government] such that the rulers would be many and continually fighting among themselves, thus depriving them of the time and energy to cause harm to the people … I wouldn’t trade our system for the world.” – kerner @ 40.

    But isn’t it the heart of the far-right conservative/libertarian argument, especially that of the Tea Party, that American government hasn’t worked out that way? That it harms the people a lot? I mean, it got where it is under its own, unique system – didn’t it? And there’s nothing to stop it from getting there again, Constitutional revival or no. So maybe our system has something self-defeating at its core. What might that be?

  • Tom Hering

    “… so you agree then that government programs regarding the care of the poor should be devolved down to the local level.” – SKPeterson @ 42.

    Not at all. The local nature of the example in no way limits the example to the local. Unless a statement can be found, somewhere in the documents concerning the chest, that it was meant to be limited that way.

  • Tom Hering

    “… so you agree then that government programs regarding the care of the poor should be devolved down to the local level.” – SKPeterson @ 42.

    Not at all. The local nature of the example in no way limits the example to the local. Unless a statement can be found, somewhere in the documents concerning the chest, that it was meant to be limited that way.

  • Abby

    I’m listening to the President’s press conference right now. It’s the best I’ve heard him speak. Not a tinge of arrogancy. Hope the humility will last.

  • Abby

    I’m listening to the President’s press conference right now. It’s the best I’ve heard him speak. Not a tinge of arrogancy. Hope the humility will last.

  • DonS

    The unfortunate fact for Democrats is that the President will continue to bear full blame in the 2012 elections if the economy has not improved by then, despite the fact that Republicans now hold the house. Glancing through the above comments, I note that no one recognized that the Democrats held both houses from 2006-2008, yet bore absolutely no blame, and, in fact, gained a historic control of both houses, despite the fact that the economy melted down under their watch. Bush and the Republicans bore all of the electoral blame. So will Obama and the Democrats.

    Obama may well be politically finished. His speech and brief press conference today seemed pretty defiant to me — he certainly did not take the kind of responsibility for electoral defeat that Clinton did in 1994. I think there are a lot of Democrats who now realize that he was completely unprepared and unqualified for the job of President, and that he is an incompetent administrator. Even some of the media seem to be belatedly noticing this. There will be a lot of Democratic infighting over the next two years — the deference will be gone. Remaining Democratic “conservatives” (there aren’t many) realize they are lucky to still be in office, and will move right. There may be a primary challenge to Obama if things don’t improve in the next year. Reid won’t be challenged for Senate majority leader, because Chuck Schumer is next in line, and nobody wants him in that role, but he will not be effective.

    So, the Democratic agenda has been effectively halted for the next two years. But, what will the Republicans do? The good news is that the new contingent of House and Senate Republicans are considerably more conservative than those leaving, but a lot of the old guard is still there. It will take several election cycles to root out those who think the federal government is a piggy bank for their districts and constituencies. They should start by extending the Bush tax cuts for two years, across the board. The federal government does not need to be taking more money out of the private economy during a recession. At the same time, they should cancel all remaining unspent stimulus funding. Since the Democrats didn’t even perform their basic function of passing a budget for this year, they should do so now, slashing discretionary spending to the bone. They need to recognize they have a mandate for that. They should also fully repeal Obamacare. These measures, once passed in the House, should be sent to the Senate. If the Democrats kill them there, so be it. That will be on their political heads. In the meantime, they should start passing new healthcare bills that will more effectively address our health care system problems without the government intervention and controls endemic in Obamacare.

    In the longer term, other entitlements need to be dealt with, one-by-one. That is where things will get tough. The Democrats, many Republicans, and too many voters, love their cookies, despite the fact that they are forcibly taking them from someone else, and/or permanently indebting and impoverishing their children.

  • DonS

    The unfortunate fact for Democrats is that the President will continue to bear full blame in the 2012 elections if the economy has not improved by then, despite the fact that Republicans now hold the house. Glancing through the above comments, I note that no one recognized that the Democrats held both houses from 2006-2008, yet bore absolutely no blame, and, in fact, gained a historic control of both houses, despite the fact that the economy melted down under their watch. Bush and the Republicans bore all of the electoral blame. So will Obama and the Democrats.

    Obama may well be politically finished. His speech and brief press conference today seemed pretty defiant to me — he certainly did not take the kind of responsibility for electoral defeat that Clinton did in 1994. I think there are a lot of Democrats who now realize that he was completely unprepared and unqualified for the job of President, and that he is an incompetent administrator. Even some of the media seem to be belatedly noticing this. There will be a lot of Democratic infighting over the next two years — the deference will be gone. Remaining Democratic “conservatives” (there aren’t many) realize they are lucky to still be in office, and will move right. There may be a primary challenge to Obama if things don’t improve in the next year. Reid won’t be challenged for Senate majority leader, because Chuck Schumer is next in line, and nobody wants him in that role, but he will not be effective.

    So, the Democratic agenda has been effectively halted for the next two years. But, what will the Republicans do? The good news is that the new contingent of House and Senate Republicans are considerably more conservative than those leaving, but a lot of the old guard is still there. It will take several election cycles to root out those who think the federal government is a piggy bank for their districts and constituencies. They should start by extending the Bush tax cuts for two years, across the board. The federal government does not need to be taking more money out of the private economy during a recession. At the same time, they should cancel all remaining unspent stimulus funding. Since the Democrats didn’t even perform their basic function of passing a budget for this year, they should do so now, slashing discretionary spending to the bone. They need to recognize they have a mandate for that. They should also fully repeal Obamacare. These measures, once passed in the House, should be sent to the Senate. If the Democrats kill them there, so be it. That will be on their political heads. In the meantime, they should start passing new healthcare bills that will more effectively address our health care system problems without the government intervention and controls endemic in Obamacare.

    In the longer term, other entitlements need to be dealt with, one-by-one. That is where things will get tough. The Democrats, many Republicans, and too many voters, love their cookies, despite the fact that they are forcibly taking them from someone else, and/or permanently indebting and impoverishing their children.

  • Porcell

    Dr. Veith: A hung government is a good thing according to conservatives who want government to be checked and balanced into inactivity. But might this thwart things that the government does need to do?

    Conservatives have hardly argued for a federal government checked into inactivity. The constitutional convention was formed to replace an ineffective federal government under the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution intentionally gave the president considerable power as commander in chief of the military and as a strong administrator of the government, though checked by the Supreme Court and Congress.

    The conservative Federalists under Washington, Adams, Hamilton, et al favored a strong federal government capable of supporting American commerce/manufacturing and a military capable of defending American interests against European powers. Even the Democrat, Jefferson, used federal government funds to make the Louisiana Purchase. Lincoln used his presidential power to wage a severe war to preserve the Union and end slavery.

    Conservatives, however, are skeptical that any government provide social security for the people with redistribution of income through “entitlements” and mega thousands of pages of regulations. What has happened is that Leftist economists and politicians have involved the government in a nightmare of redistribution and regulation that, unless checked, will in the long run bring the nation down.

    What is needed just now is not a government checked into inactivity but one that will assertively reign in what has become a monstrous administrative and “entitlement” outfit run by an elite political and administrative class largely for their own narrow interest, while not losing sight of the necessity of legitimate federal government federal interests.

  • Porcell

    Dr. Veith: A hung government is a good thing according to conservatives who want government to be checked and balanced into inactivity. But might this thwart things that the government does need to do?

    Conservatives have hardly argued for a federal government checked into inactivity. The constitutional convention was formed to replace an ineffective federal government under the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution intentionally gave the president considerable power as commander in chief of the military and as a strong administrator of the government, though checked by the Supreme Court and Congress.

    The conservative Federalists under Washington, Adams, Hamilton, et al favored a strong federal government capable of supporting American commerce/manufacturing and a military capable of defending American interests against European powers. Even the Democrat, Jefferson, used federal government funds to make the Louisiana Purchase. Lincoln used his presidential power to wage a severe war to preserve the Union and end slavery.

    Conservatives, however, are skeptical that any government provide social security for the people with redistribution of income through “entitlements” and mega thousands of pages of regulations. What has happened is that Leftist economists and politicians have involved the government in a nightmare of redistribution and regulation that, unless checked, will in the long run bring the nation down.

    What is needed just now is not a government checked into inactivity but one that will assertively reign in what has become a monstrous administrative and “entitlement” outfit run by an elite political and administrative class largely for their own narrow interest, while not losing sight of the necessity of legitimate federal government federal interests.

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell: Wrong. We’re not talking about executive power here, about which opinions among the founders differed (though, as you note, Hamilton et al.’s vision for an “active” executive triumphed). We’re talking about Congress, and a quick perusal of the Federalist Papers amongst other explanatory documents should reveal that Congress was, in fact, designed specifically to be inefficient, meticulous, and slow (precisely the reason, in fact, that the President is in charge of the armed forces during wartime).

    And I quite like it that way.

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell: Wrong. We’re not talking about executive power here, about which opinions among the founders differed (though, as you note, Hamilton et al.’s vision for an “active” executive triumphed). We’re talking about Congress, and a quick perusal of the Federalist Papers amongst other explanatory documents should reveal that Congress was, in fact, designed specifically to be inefficient, meticulous, and slow (precisely the reason, in fact, that the President is in charge of the armed forces during wartime).

    And I quite like it that way.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    what a fine argument we are having here as lutheran and christian gentlemen. and see? there IS room to argue, once we actually read the Lutheran Confessions as living documents and don´t ignore them.

    sk @ 37

    The Lutheran doctrine of the two kingdoms is purely a law vs gospel distinction. It includes EVERYTHING one can see and do in ones body in the category of the Earthly Kingdom, so that in the Heavenly Kingdom there is only ONE single item… invisible faith . alone . in Christ . alone. That invisible Righteousness that is meaningless and without any utility on earth except to God and a troubled conscience.

    That other concept of the two kingdoms as being about the churchly estate vs the civil estate is the Reformed distinction that again makes the romans 8 flesh/body vs spirit/Spirit a movement from the carnal/unspiritual to churchly/virtuous/spiritual/faith-required-works. It is a return to roman scholasticism. You will not find the concept anywhere in the Lutheran Confessions. You WILL find that it IS just and purely another mode for expressing Law and Gospel. Here….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    No it is not in the book of concord. So how do I claim for this Luther sermon confessional status? It just so happens that the FC article VI in the Solid Declaration tells us to turn to this sermon as a fuller explanation of what they are up to in article VI. Connect. the. dots.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    what a fine argument we are having here as lutheran and christian gentlemen. and see? there IS room to argue, once we actually read the Lutheran Confessions as living documents and don´t ignore them.

    sk @ 37

    The Lutheran doctrine of the two kingdoms is purely a law vs gospel distinction. It includes EVERYTHING one can see and do in ones body in the category of the Earthly Kingdom, so that in the Heavenly Kingdom there is only ONE single item… invisible faith . alone . in Christ . alone. That invisible Righteousness that is meaningless and without any utility on earth except to God and a troubled conscience.

    That other concept of the two kingdoms as being about the churchly estate vs the civil estate is the Reformed distinction that again makes the romans 8 flesh/body vs spirit/Spirit a movement from the carnal/unspiritual to churchly/virtuous/spiritual/faith-required-works. It is a return to roman scholasticism. You will not find the concept anywhere in the Lutheran Confessions. You WILL find that it IS just and purely another mode for expressing Law and Gospel. Here….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    No it is not in the book of concord. So how do I claim for this Luther sermon confessional status? It just so happens that the FC article VI in the Solid Declaration tells us to turn to this sermon as a fuller explanation of what they are up to in article VI. Connect. the. dots.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    skpetersen @ 37

    4th Petition

    Give Us this Day our Daily Bread [The Earthly Visible Kingdom of Works and the Law]

    73] To comprise it briefly, this petition includes everything that belongs to our entire life in the world, because on that account alone do we need daily bread. Now for our life it is not only necessary that our body have food and covering and other necessaries, [Augustana "Good works are necessary." This is the commentary for the force and full meaning of that word "necessary']

    but also that we spend our days in peace and quiet among the people with whom we live and have intercourse in daily business and conversation and all sorts of doings, in short, whatever pertains both to the domestic and to the neighborly or civil relation and government. For where these two things are hindered [intercepted and disturbed] that they do not prosper as they ought, the necessaries of life also are impeded, so that ultimately life cannot be maintained. 74] And there is, indeed, the greatest need to pray for temporal authority and government, as that by which most of all God preserves to us our daily bread and all the comforts of this life. For though we have received of God all good things in abundance, we are not able to retain any of them or use them in security and happiness, if He did not give us a permanent and peaceful government. For where there are dissension, strife, and war, there the daily bread is already taken away, or at least checked.

    75] Therefore it would be very proper to place in the coat-of-arms of every pious prince a loaf of bread instead of a lion, or a wreath of rue, or to stamp it upon the coin, to remind both them and their subjects that by their office we have protection and peace, and that without them we could not eat and retain our daily bread. Therefore they are also worthy of all honor, that we give to them for their office what we ought and can, as to those through whom we enjoy in peace and quietness what we have, because otherwise we would not keep a farthing; and that, in addition, we also pray for them that through them God may bestow on us the more blessing and good.

    76] Let this be a very brief explanation and sketch, showing how far this petition extends through all conditions on earth. Of this any one might indeed make a long prayer, and with many words enumerate all the things that are included therein, as that we pray God to give us food and drink, clothing, house, and home, and health of body; [cf First Article in the Catechisms]. [We pray] that He cause the grain and fruits of the field to grow and mature well; furthermore, that He help us at home towards good housekeeping, that He give and preserve to us a godly wife, children, and servants, that He cause our work, trade, or whatever we are engaged in to prosper and succeed, favor us with faithful neighbors and good friends, etc. 77]

    Likewise, [we pray] that He give to emperors, kings, and all estates, and especially to the rulers of our country and to all counselors, magistrates, and officers, wisdom, strength, and success that they may govern well and vanquish the Turks and all enemies; to subjects and the common people, obedience, peace, and harmony in their life with one another; 78] and on the other hand, that He would preserve us from all sorts of calamity to body and livelihood, as lightning, hail, fire, flood, poison, pestilence, cattle-plague, war and bloodshed, famine, destructive beasts, wicked men, etc.

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=113

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    skpetersen @ 37

    4th Petition

    Give Us this Day our Daily Bread [The Earthly Visible Kingdom of Works and the Law]

    73] To comprise it briefly, this petition includes everything that belongs to our entire life in the world, because on that account alone do we need daily bread. Now for our life it is not only necessary that our body have food and covering and other necessaries, [Augustana "Good works are necessary." This is the commentary for the force and full meaning of that word "necessary']

    but also that we spend our days in peace and quiet among the people with whom we live and have intercourse in daily business and conversation and all sorts of doings, in short, whatever pertains both to the domestic and to the neighborly or civil relation and government. For where these two things are hindered [intercepted and disturbed] that they do not prosper as they ought, the necessaries of life also are impeded, so that ultimately life cannot be maintained. 74] And there is, indeed, the greatest need to pray for temporal authority and government, as that by which most of all God preserves to us our daily bread and all the comforts of this life. For though we have received of God all good things in abundance, we are not able to retain any of them or use them in security and happiness, if He did not give us a permanent and peaceful government. For where there are dissension, strife, and war, there the daily bread is already taken away, or at least checked.

    75] Therefore it would be very proper to place in the coat-of-arms of every pious prince a loaf of bread instead of a lion, or a wreath of rue, or to stamp it upon the coin, to remind both them and their subjects that by their office we have protection and peace, and that without them we could not eat and retain our daily bread. Therefore they are also worthy of all honor, that we give to them for their office what we ought and can, as to those through whom we enjoy in peace and quietness what we have, because otherwise we would not keep a farthing; and that, in addition, we also pray for them that through them God may bestow on us the more blessing and good.

    76] Let this be a very brief explanation and sketch, showing how far this petition extends through all conditions on earth. Of this any one might indeed make a long prayer, and with many words enumerate all the things that are included therein, as that we pray God to give us food and drink, clothing, house, and home, and health of body; [cf First Article in the Catechisms]. [We pray] that He cause the grain and fruits of the field to grow and mature well; furthermore, that He help us at home towards good housekeeping, that He give and preserve to us a godly wife, children, and servants, that He cause our work, trade, or whatever we are engaged in to prosper and succeed, favor us with faithful neighbors and good friends, etc. 77]

    Likewise, [we pray] that He give to emperors, kings, and all estates, and especially to the rulers of our country and to all counselors, magistrates, and officers, wisdom, strength, and success that they may govern well and vanquish the Turks and all enemies; to subjects and the common people, obedience, peace, and harmony in their life with one another; 78] and on the other hand, that He would preserve us from all sorts of calamity to body and livelihood, as lightning, hail, fire, flood, poison, pestilence, cattle-plague, war and bloodshed, famine, destructive beasts, wicked men, etc.

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=113

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 40

    I find only one thing wrong with your post. that is the idea that the government is the enemy of the people. Government is a gift of God.

    Reagan spoke against Holy Scripture when he said that the government is the problem and not the solution. I regret that I voted for him and was his delegate at the republican state convention. shhhhhh! don´t tell anyone!

    I do like much of our theory of govt just as you articulated it. But not even that will save us from sinful men. We are where we are now precisely because of this system. so no constitutional revival will save us. Communists too argue that their system would work flawlessly if it were not for sin. (yea I know they dont put it that way but…). And I agree that maybe it would. But sin is there!

    Government works exactly like the lawless judge driven by a conscience widowed from god and love. God still works his Fatherly goodness as our small catechism says in the first article and the 4th petition… “out of pure fatherly divine goodness and mercy without any merit or worthiness on our part” and “… even for all the wicked (that would be you and me kerner according to our Old Adams!)”.

    So God the Holy Spirit works in, with and under the old adams of all of us to produce his earthly goodness and righteousness , love, aka daily bread from the wicked for the wicked every day.

    He will do this using saddam hussein. hitler, or our government.

    And when we think that the role of government is merely to enforce the negative part of the 10 commandments that say dont kill or steal , and that the positive part that is about helping and befriending our neighbor in every bodily need is purely charity and optional and is not a DEMAND of God, then he will send the unrighteous rabble to make us do justice. what we wont do willingly or regard as an optional charity.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @ 40

    I find only one thing wrong with your post. that is the idea that the government is the enemy of the people. Government is a gift of God.

    Reagan spoke against Holy Scripture when he said that the government is the problem and not the solution. I regret that I voted for him and was his delegate at the republican state convention. shhhhhh! don´t tell anyone!

    I do like much of our theory of govt just as you articulated it. But not even that will save us from sinful men. We are where we are now precisely because of this system. so no constitutional revival will save us. Communists too argue that their system would work flawlessly if it were not for sin. (yea I know they dont put it that way but…). And I agree that maybe it would. But sin is there!

    Government works exactly like the lawless judge driven by a conscience widowed from god and love. God still works his Fatherly goodness as our small catechism says in the first article and the 4th petition… “out of pure fatherly divine goodness and mercy without any merit or worthiness on our part” and “… even for all the wicked (that would be you and me kerner according to our Old Adams!)”.

    So God the Holy Spirit works in, with and under the old adams of all of us to produce his earthly goodness and righteousness , love, aka daily bread from the wicked for the wicked every day.

    He will do this using saddam hussein. hitler, or our government.

    And when we think that the role of government is merely to enforce the negative part of the 10 commandments that say dont kill or steal , and that the positive part that is about helping and befriending our neighbor in every bodily need is purely charity and optional and is not a DEMAND of God, then he will send the unrighteous rabble to make us do justice. what we wont do willingly or regard as an optional charity.

  • Cincinnatus

    I think you’re misinterpreting Reagan (and Augustine, for that matter). If he interpreted himself the way you do, he would have been or become an anarchist. All he meant was that many of the problems in American society during his electoral moment (and, frankly, ours too) were rooted in government overreach, incompetence, and dependency. More government wouldn’t fix the problems, so he promised (if not endeavored) to reduce the scale of government in these domains.

    Can we really debate him on this point?

    To interpret him as you do is ludicrous and, again, uncharitable. He obviously didn’t believe that government was an unmitigated evil or he wouldn’t have run for President…twice (during which time the government expanded just as it always had before).

    Personally, I value politics (very broadly conceived) and government, and in their ideal forms, they are positive goods. My idea of “utopia” is not a land without politics or government necessarily. But we know that the ideal is unreality.

  • Cincinnatus

    I think you’re misinterpreting Reagan (and Augustine, for that matter). If he interpreted himself the way you do, he would have been or become an anarchist. All he meant was that many of the problems in American society during his electoral moment (and, frankly, ours too) were rooted in government overreach, incompetence, and dependency. More government wouldn’t fix the problems, so he promised (if not endeavored) to reduce the scale of government in these domains.

    Can we really debate him on this point?

    To interpret him as you do is ludicrous and, again, uncharitable. He obviously didn’t believe that government was an unmitigated evil or he wouldn’t have run for President…twice (during which time the government expanded just as it always had before).

    Personally, I value politics (very broadly conceived) and government, and in their ideal forms, they are positive goods. My idea of “utopia” is not a land without politics or government necessarily. But we know that the ideal is unreality.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 54

    I think you miss our Lord´s law/gospel point in the parable of the lawless judge and widowed conscience.

    ideal has nothing to do with it. God works in with and under all government to make the goodness of the 1st article and 4th petition happen through all of our old adams.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 54

    I think you miss our Lord´s law/gospel point in the parable of the lawless judge and widowed conscience.

    ideal has nothing to do with it. God works in with and under all government to make the goodness of the 1st article and 4th petition happen through all of our old adams.

  • Cincinnatus

    I don’t see where I denied anywhere the reality of God’s work “with and under all government.”

  • Cincinnatus

    I don’t see where I denied anywhere the reality of God’s work “with and under all government.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 56

    my point is that God will do his thang in with or under ANY government.

    we all share the utopian pipedream of communists and socialists in thinking that some ideology is going to make the world a safer place for true morality and what is right. building a better mouse trap.

    everyone here, especially the conservatives, seem to be griping about where that idea has taken us to with the american version of this.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    cincinatus @ 56

    my point is that God will do his thang in with or under ANY government.

    we all share the utopian pipedream of communists and socialists in thinking that some ideology is going to make the world a safer place for true morality and what is right. building a better mouse trap.

    everyone here, especially the conservatives, seem to be griping about where that idea has taken us to with the american version of this.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, you’re right that FWS doesn’t understand Reagan’s purpose in stating that government is the problem not the solution. FWS mistakenly interprets this as a criticism of all government, something that Reagan clearly did not intend.

    In truth on this and other issues FWS tends to be hazy in his application of Lutheran principles to reality. On another recent thread he argues that a Cambridge scientist that has discovered a potential cure for the common cold and other lethal viruses is tampering with creation.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, you’re right that FWS doesn’t understand Reagan’s purpose in stating that government is the problem not the solution. FWS mistakenly interprets this as a criticism of all government, something that Reagan clearly did not intend.

    In truth on this and other issues FWS tends to be hazy in his application of Lutheran principles to reality. On another recent thread he argues that a Cambridge scientist that has discovered a potential cure for the common cold and other lethal viruses is tampering with creation.

  • trotk

    peter, speak to him, not about him.

  • trotk

    peter, speak to him, not about him.

  • Cincinnatus

    trotk: Say something relevant.

  • Cincinnatus

    trotk: Say something relevant.

  • Carl Vehse

    More Election post-mortem, from the NewsOK:

    “Oklahoma voters have approved a measure that would forbid judges from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases. Republican Rex Duncan, the sponsor of the measure, called it a ‘pre-emptive strike” designed to close the door on activist judges “legislating from the bench or using international law or Sharia law.’”

  • Carl Vehse

    More Election post-mortem, from the NewsOK:

    “Oklahoma voters have approved a measure that would forbid judges from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases. Republican Rex Duncan, the sponsor of the measure, called it a ‘pre-emptive strike” designed to close the door on activist judges “legislating from the bench or using international law or Sharia law.’”

  • trotk

    Cincinnatus, I apologize that I offended your sense of purpose.
    I took us off topic by addressing how something was written, rather than what was written. I appreciate your gentle reproach and I will correct my boorish ways. Again, I apologize. I ill-advisedly considered that it was reasonable to critique both the content and the manner of speech.
    But, if I was irrelevant, your critique of me (which is one more step removed from the content at hand) was doubly irrelevant! I demand an apology.

  • trotk

    Cincinnatus, I apologize that I offended your sense of purpose.
    I took us off topic by addressing how something was written, rather than what was written. I appreciate your gentle reproach and I will correct my boorish ways. Again, I apologize. I ill-advisedly considered that it was reasonable to critique both the content and the manner of speech.
    But, if I was irrelevant, your critique of me (which is one more step removed from the content at hand) was doubly irrelevant! I demand an apology.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @57

    we “tamper with creation” with alot of stuff. It all has positive and negative effects.

    we weigh the net benefit and make our choices . Hopefully the choice is one that aims to benefit the flourishing of everyone and spread the cost or negative consequences as widely as possible.

    A good example of this is when we build a dam. Should we? we can endanger species, increase ocean salinity. impovrish countries downstream, remove valuable farmland, and dislocate lots of people . There are probably negative consequences that we can´t even imagine.

    and then there are the positives. jobs from construction and cheap energy, reduced flooding, retention of water in times of drought, and probably other benefits I can´t think of. Usually the benefits are more obvious than the problems or we would not do these things.

    I am saying that ALL moral choices look like this according to the Lutheran Church. They are utilitarian and not religious. This is saying that they are to please and serve the creaturely needs of our fellow man and do Mercy , rather than attempt to please God by sacrificing people´s happiness to the Law in favor of what we imagine is faith-full-ness by following some Divine Moral Code in the bible or imbedded in nature.

    God works with sinful men to provide his Fatherly Goodness,called love or “daily bread” by our confessions and the Holy Scriptures, in exactly these situations even when we often make the wrong choices either due to innocent ignorance, hubris, or greed.

    What these researchers are finding is a great example of how God uses mortification in the form of the scientific disciplines to produce “daily bread” and love for others.

    Imagine that these men are godless, wiccan, pagan, pedophilic, womanizing, nasty people. God still produces his Fatherly Goodness even from the faith-less for the faith-less (which includes our Old Adams).

    I am sure you still do not get my point dear friend.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @57

    we “tamper with creation” with alot of stuff. It all has positive and negative effects.

    we weigh the net benefit and make our choices . Hopefully the choice is one that aims to benefit the flourishing of everyone and spread the cost or negative consequences as widely as possible.

    A good example of this is when we build a dam. Should we? we can endanger species, increase ocean salinity. impovrish countries downstream, remove valuable farmland, and dislocate lots of people . There are probably negative consequences that we can´t even imagine.

    and then there are the positives. jobs from construction and cheap energy, reduced flooding, retention of water in times of drought, and probably other benefits I can´t think of. Usually the benefits are more obvious than the problems or we would not do these things.

    I am saying that ALL moral choices look like this according to the Lutheran Church. They are utilitarian and not religious. This is saying that they are to please and serve the creaturely needs of our fellow man and do Mercy , rather than attempt to please God by sacrificing people´s happiness to the Law in favor of what we imagine is faith-full-ness by following some Divine Moral Code in the bible or imbedded in nature.

    God works with sinful men to provide his Fatherly Goodness,called love or “daily bread” by our confessions and the Holy Scriptures, in exactly these situations even when we often make the wrong choices either due to innocent ignorance, hubris, or greed.

    What these researchers are finding is a great example of how God uses mortification in the form of the scientific disciplines to produce “daily bread” and love for others.

    Imagine that these men are godless, wiccan, pagan, pedophilic, womanizing, nasty people. God still produces his Fatherly Goodness even from the faith-less for the faith-less (which includes our Old Adams).

    I am sure you still do not get my point dear friend.

  • Porcell

    FWS, I’m afraid that you have diverted a most interesting discussion on the subject of the election post mortem into a gauzy and rather obscure interpretation of Lutheran theology.

  • Porcell

    FWS, I’m afraid that you have diverted a most interesting discussion on the subject of the election post mortem into a gauzy and rather obscure interpretation of Lutheran theology.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 63

    I sincerely apologize for you feeling left out. That is not polite is it? You could not feel otherwise since you don´t know the Lutheran Confessions as the Lutherans here do.

    Give it some time Porcell here. you will catch on in time. then you may disagree or agree.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 63

    I sincerely apologize for you feeling left out. That is not polite is it? You could not feel otherwise since you don´t know the Lutheran Confessions as the Lutherans here do.

    Give it some time Porcell here. you will catch on in time. then you may disagree or agree.

  • DonS

    Two more things should be noted concerning the electoral results last night. One is that Republicans won more state legislative seats in a single election than either party has won from the other party since 1928. This is in addition to the historic number of governorships they picked up. So, they are well positioned to control the process of re-apportionment which will take place before the 2012 election. Second, they are virtually guaranteed to take control of the Senate in the 2012 election, and have a good chance of holding it until at least 2016. The only reason that they did not do so this time is because they were defending many more seats than were the Democrats, so the math was nearly impossible. But for the next two cycles, the Democrats will be defending the many Senate seats they picked up in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

  • DonS

    Two more things should be noted concerning the electoral results last night. One is that Republicans won more state legislative seats in a single election than either party has won from the other party since 1928. This is in addition to the historic number of governorships they picked up. So, they are well positioned to control the process of re-apportionment which will take place before the 2012 election. Second, they are virtually guaranteed to take control of the Senate in the 2012 election, and have a good chance of holding it until at least 2016. The only reason that they did not do so this time is because they were defending many more seats than were the Democrats, so the math was nearly impossible. But for the next two cycles, the Democrats will be defending the many Senate seats they picked up in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @31 – fws Dr Luther @ 29

    “‘ He is only as patriotic as he needs to be in order to be elected.’
    This is false witness. and it is cynicism.
    I think GW Bush and Cheney were very very misguided, but I would never ever suggest that they did not sincerely believe that what they were doing was what was best for the country, and I would like to believe that they would have chosen that over being reelected.”

    I never said I think Obama doesn’t believe in his pet theories. I honestly think he does . What I think is that he appears to only be patriotic for pragmatic reasons. A true patriot would have listened when the people spoke, instead those who object are ridiculed. But then maybe I am confusing statesmenship for patriotism. Maybe what I wrote is a little jaded but I also live very close to the political machine Obama grew up in and it is hard not to be jaded by Chicago politics – the land of vote early and often, vote twice if your dead.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @31 – fws Dr Luther @ 29

    “‘ He is only as patriotic as he needs to be in order to be elected.’
    This is false witness. and it is cynicism.
    I think GW Bush and Cheney were very very misguided, but I would never ever suggest that they did not sincerely believe that what they were doing was what was best for the country, and I would like to believe that they would have chosen that over being reelected.”

    I never said I think Obama doesn’t believe in his pet theories. I honestly think he does . What I think is that he appears to only be patriotic for pragmatic reasons. A true patriot would have listened when the people spoke, instead those who object are ridiculed. But then maybe I am confusing statesmenship for patriotism. Maybe what I wrote is a little jaded but I also live very close to the political machine Obama grew up in and it is hard not to be jaded by Chicago politics – the land of vote early and often, vote twice if your dead.

  • Grace

    I believe the health bill was one of the worst con jobs of this administration -

    Reuters

    Boehner vows to repeal Obama healthcare reforms

    Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Vicki Allen

    WASHINGTON | Wed Nov 3, 2010
    “I believe that the healthcare bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best healthcare system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told a news conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.

    Boehner vows repealing Obama health bill

  • Grace

    I believe the health bill was one of the worst con jobs of this administration -

    Reuters

    Boehner vows to repeal Obama healthcare reforms

    Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Vicki Allen

    WASHINGTON | Wed Nov 3, 2010
    “I believe that the healthcare bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best healthcare system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told a news conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.

    Boehner vows repealing Obama health bill

  • Porcell

    FWS, I’ve read the Lutheran Confessions and just now am reading Melanchthon’s Loci Communes along with Piepkorn’s second volume, On the Sacred Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

    I frankly find your application of the Lutheran Confessions to the election post-mortem be both mistaken and rather garrulous.

  • Porcell

    FWS, I’ve read the Lutheran Confessions and just now am reading Melanchthon’s Loci Communes along with Piepkorn’s second volume, On the Sacred Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

    I frankly find your application of the Lutheran Confessions to the election post-mortem be both mistaken and rather garrulous.

  • Porcell

    Don, at 65, you’re right that altogether this was a decisive election for the Republicans at both the state and federal levels. Now the question is whether the Republicans can govern. Christie is doing well in New Jersey; at the federal level the Republicans have some able leaders including Ryan and Cantor.

  • Porcell

    Don, at 65, you’re right that altogether this was a decisive election for the Republicans at both the state and federal levels. Now the question is whether the Republicans can govern. Christie is doing well in New Jersey; at the federal level the Republicans have some able leaders including Ryan and Cantor.

  • Carl Vehse

    More Election post-mortem: Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District Representative Chaka Fattah (D), who was re-elected for his 9th term yesterday, said he will introduce a resolution that would “disavow” the House’s impeachment of Monica’s ex-boyfriend and cigar afficionado, Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton.

    BTW, the first representative elected to the 2nd Congressional District, created in 1791, was the Lutheran pastor, Frederick Muhlenberg, (son of the famed Lutheran, Henry Muhlenberg), who was a member of the 1779-80 Continental Congress and first signer of the Bill of Rights). Rep. Muhlenberg was also the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    The PA 2nd District has gone Democrat since 1949.

  • Carl Vehse

    More Election post-mortem: Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District Representative Chaka Fattah (D), who was re-elected for his 9th term yesterday, said he will introduce a resolution that would “disavow” the House’s impeachment of Monica’s ex-boyfriend and cigar afficionado, Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton.

    BTW, the first representative elected to the 2nd Congressional District, created in 1791, was the Lutheran pastor, Frederick Muhlenberg, (son of the famed Lutheran, Henry Muhlenberg), who was a member of the 1779-80 Continental Congress and first signer of the Bill of Rights). Rep. Muhlenberg was also the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    The PA 2nd District has gone Democrat since 1949.

  • mark†

    One of the most amazing that occurred in this election is that three Justices of the Iowa Supreme Court were denied retention. Extraordinary.

    “But might this thwart things that the government does need to do?” What defines what the government should do? We seem to have gone beyond the Constitution. Personally, I am favor of gridlock.

    I always ask my liberal friends what percentage of my income they want in their quest of doing good. I never get an answer. I am forced to conclude that they want it all.

  • mark†

    One of the most amazing that occurred in this election is that three Justices of the Iowa Supreme Court were denied retention. Extraordinary.

    “But might this thwart things that the government does need to do?” What defines what the government should do? We seem to have gone beyond the Constitution. Personally, I am favor of gridlock.

    I always ask my liberal friends what percentage of my income they want in their quest of doing good. I never get an answer. I am forced to conclude that they want it all.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mark† said (@71), “I always ask my liberal friends what percentage of my income they want in their quest of doing good. I never get an answer. I am forced to conclude that they want it all.” Oh, well, that seems like a reasonable conclusion.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mark† said (@71), “I always ask my liberal friends what percentage of my income they want in their quest of doing good. I never get an answer. I am forced to conclude that they want it all.” Oh, well, that seems like a reasonable conclusion.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don @ 65

    those are excellent observations Don. control of redistricting alone will cement a certain republican dominance for years to come. Our representative government is structured in such a way that popularity and the popular vote is not always what wins out.

    I dont think this is of itself a bad thing. Democracy is a terrible idea! I am very fond of small r republicanism.

    Don, what is your thinking about redistricting being made into a more politically neutral process? would this be a good thing? if so how would it be done? independent or judicial redistricting commissions?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    don @ 65

    those are excellent observations Don. control of redistricting alone will cement a certain republican dominance for years to come. Our representative government is structured in such a way that popularity and the popular vote is not always what wins out.

    I dont think this is of itself a bad thing. Democracy is a terrible idea! I am very fond of small r republicanism.

    Don, what is your thinking about redistricting being made into a more politically neutral process? would this be a good thing? if so how would it be done? independent or judicial redistricting commissions?

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

    Vehse @60 man, that’s a beautiful thing.

    In other news Arizona followed California’s lead and approved an anti discrimination amendment, prop 107

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

    Vehse @60 man, that’s a beautiful thing.

    In other news Arizona followed California’s lead and approved an anti discrimination amendment, prop 107

  • Porcell

    If anyone doubts the corruption of the Republican establishment types in Washington, read Jim DeMints WSJ Welcome, Senate Conservatives Remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom. including:

    Many of the people who will be welcoming the new class of Senate conservatives to Washington never wanted you here in the first place. The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Consider what former GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told the Washington Post earlier this year: “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them

    …Congress will never fix entitlements, simplify the tax code or balance the budget as long as members are more concerned with their own narrow, parochial interests. Time spent securing earmarks and serving personal ambitions is time that should be spent working on big-picture reforms.

    Jim DeMint in the Senate and Paul Ryan in the House are among a small number of people in the Congress interested in serious reform. We need to keep a close, critical eye on whether they will be successful in order to determine whether or not its time for a third country party to take over and clean this corrupt house.

  • Porcell

    If anyone doubts the corruption of the Republican establishment types in Washington, read Jim DeMints WSJ Welcome, Senate Conservatives Remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom. including:

    Many of the people who will be welcoming the new class of Senate conservatives to Washington never wanted you here in the first place. The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Consider what former GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told the Washington Post earlier this year: “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them

    …Congress will never fix entitlements, simplify the tax code or balance the budget as long as members are more concerned with their own narrow, parochial interests. Time spent securing earmarks and serving personal ambitions is time that should be spent working on big-picture reforms.

    Jim DeMint in the Senate and Paul Ryan in the House are among a small number of people in the Congress interested in serious reform. We need to keep a close, critical eye on whether they will be successful in order to determine whether or not its time for a third country party to take over and clean this corrupt house.

  • mark†

    tODD @72, nice deflection. What percentage do you want?

  • mark†

    tODD @72, nice deflection. What percentage do you want?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dr Luther @ 66

    I feel strange arguing with Luther, so I won´t.

    “A true patriot would have listened when the people spoke, instead those who object are ridiculed. But then maybe I am confusing statesmenship for patriotism. ”

    I seem to remember GW Bush taking pride in doing what his conscience dictated and not paying to much attention to the polls. I didn´t take that as arrogance or hubris. I understood it in a charitable way.

    I think I agree that Obama betrays a certain hubris when talking about those who disagree with him. I would give Bush good marks for that. At the same time all his meetings with the populace were all filled with party loyal. Probably hard to get a bead on what people think when you only are exposed to questions from the party faithful. So Obama trys to listen and understand people who disagrees and concludes, in error, that they just dont get it. Bush simply ignored those who disagreed and deliberately filtered them out.

    Sigh. We can only think of how hard it is to be president and our unreasonable expectations of these men. And try, at least try, to put the very best construction on everything eh my dear Dr Luther?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    dr Luther @ 66

    I feel strange arguing with Luther, so I won´t.

    “A true patriot would have listened when the people spoke, instead those who object are ridiculed. But then maybe I am confusing statesmenship for patriotism. ”

    I seem to remember GW Bush taking pride in doing what his conscience dictated and not paying to much attention to the polls. I didn´t take that as arrogance or hubris. I understood it in a charitable way.

    I think I agree that Obama betrays a certain hubris when talking about those who disagree with him. I would give Bush good marks for that. At the same time all his meetings with the populace were all filled with party loyal. Probably hard to get a bead on what people think when you only are exposed to questions from the party faithful. So Obama trys to listen and understand people who disagrees and concludes, in error, that they just dont get it. Bush simply ignored those who disagreed and deliberately filtered them out.

    Sigh. We can only think of how hard it is to be president and our unreasonable expectations of these men. And try, at least try, to put the very best construction on everything eh my dear Dr Luther?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mark† (@77), in order for me to “deflect” your question, you’d actually have to ask me one. You haven’t. I was merely making a point about the remarkable conclusions you are capable of drawing from silence.

    But now you have asked me a question! “What percentage do you want?” From the context (@72), what you apparently mean is “What percentage of [Mark†'s] income [do I, tODD] want in [my] quest [to do] good?” But see, it occurs to me that your “liberal friends” might be silent in return because it isn’t a very good question. Do you give other guidelines in this thought experiment? What other parts of the government do I get to control? Is this a totalitarian state run by me, with my agenda, and I get to set the tax rate? I have to admit that, even if you do provide the full framework by which I might be able to answer this question, I might not actually possess a simple answer. I’m not involved in government beyond voting, so my ability to draw up a realistic budget is rather hindered. (And I’ll just go ahead and make the joke for you that this ability is apparently hindered for many of our government workers as well ha ha.)

    But if you think your question is a good one, then answer it for me as well: what percentage of my income do you want in your quest to do good? Presumably, yours will be a lower limit, while mine would be an upper one. How low can you go, Mark†?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mark† (@77), in order for me to “deflect” your question, you’d actually have to ask me one. You haven’t. I was merely making a point about the remarkable conclusions you are capable of drawing from silence.

    But now you have asked me a question! “What percentage do you want?” From the context (@72), what you apparently mean is “What percentage of [Mark†'s] income [do I, tODD] want in [my] quest [to do] good?” But see, it occurs to me that your “liberal friends” might be silent in return because it isn’t a very good question. Do you give other guidelines in this thought experiment? What other parts of the government do I get to control? Is this a totalitarian state run by me, with my agenda, and I get to set the tax rate? I have to admit that, even if you do provide the full framework by which I might be able to answer this question, I might not actually possess a simple answer. I’m not involved in government beyond voting, so my ability to draw up a realistic budget is rather hindered. (And I’ll just go ahead and make the joke for you that this ability is apparently hindered for many of our government workers as well ha ha.)

    But if you think your question is a good one, then answer it for me as well: what percentage of my income do you want in your quest to do good? Presumably, yours will be a lower limit, while mine would be an upper one. How low can you go, Mark†?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd @ 79 (Dear Porcell, I hope you read this too. It will explain alot if what I have been saying)

    Luther:

    “The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.

    Undestanding this one article correctly is the art that alone makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.

    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.

    But to understand this article that alone makes one a Christian, and not lose it, we must know something else as well. We must know that there are two kinds of true or God pleasing righteousness or two powers. We must also then learn how to skillfully tell the difference between the two.

    There is a righteousness that is here on earth. This righteousness is willed and ordered by God and is included in the second table of the ten commandments. This is called “man´s righteousness” or “the world´s righteousness”. The only purpose of this righteousness is to help us live together and enjoy the gifts God gives us.

    Because God really wants this, He has even added a blessing in Leviticus 18:5: “Which if a man do, he shall live in them” which means that whoever men see is honest, will enjoy a good and long life.

    It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else.

    Now on the other hand, if men are not willing to voluntarily practice being righteous, God sends dictatorships, armed police and brute force to restrain and check those who refuse to be righteous. Where even this is not enough and government can no longer restrain anyone, then God sends famine, war and other terrible things, to subvert the government and destroy evil men. This has happened to the Jews, Greeks and Romans.

    From all this, we can learn God´s Will: earthly righteousness is to be practiced and maintained. We can also know that God will provide what is necessary to make this happen. If it does not happen, God will take it away and instead destroy everything. What this all should tell us is that God is very serious about earthly righteousness!

    This is the entire short sum and substance of this righteousness on earth.”

    So it is necessary to encourage and urge everyone to voluntarily be diligent and even zealous in the exercise of this earthly and outward righteousness rather than having him be driven to it by force and punishment.

    This encouragement looks like setting out what is nicely summarized in the second table of the 10 commandments and then applying it in the context of the all the various relationships one finds himself in in his life. This includes every earthly responsibility, duty, role, profession, trade, career, occupation, job, vocation, work, or task, in the context of family, friends, work, and larger society, however great or seemingly trivial. We can be confident that God himself has ordered and appointed these things.

    What we do with these relationships, our vocations, are to be respected and highly honored. We should find pleasure in them and be happy to do what is required on the different spheres of life. For example when we are told to honor our mother and father, every child, employee, employer, citizen and whoever should feel joy in this and have no greater treasure on earth. It should feel like heaven to do this.

    This should be taught in this way for the one purpose of assuring everyone without any doubt at all: Any human being, of any faith, should be able to say: “now I know that such a work life or position is right and proper and should have full assurance that God is really and truly pleased with it.” If I am Christian, I further have his word and command as a sure witness, which never deceives of fails me.

    But when your conscience rests on this decision that you know your works please God, don´t let this in anyway become an earthly “gospel”. We owe this assurance alone to Jesus who alone is the Gospel. We should delight in this [other Righteousness] and reverence it. We do this even if it is useless to us except that it quiets our conscience and in what relationship we stand to God.”

    Analysis:

    “It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else. ”

    This looks like a perfect description of the conservative political ethics many Americans espouse doesn´t it. It seems to say that the structure of society is best seen as each of us being left alone except where we interfere negatively with the lives of others. This sounds positively libertarian!

    But then , Luther touches on vocation. If , as Luther and the Confessions say, the ENTIRE point of morality is to do Mercy, Then vocation and morality is ENTIRELY about “helping and befriending our neighbor in EVERY bodily need. And that bodily includes especially all the “spirit-ual” (here in the non-biblical sense of non-material) stuff that we all know, even pagans, makes the world go ´round and makes life worth living: good and faithful friends, a good reputation, romantic love, beauty in music, art and design, and the like. Stuff that makes our toes curl in ecxtacy and give us goosebumps and make us cry with joy. These things, scripture tells us, are the SUM TOTAL of what true earthly morality is. This is all fully included in those words “daily bread”.

    Connect the dots! How much of what you got Todd, does God demand that you provide to your neighbor who does not have? How much of yourself does he demand that you pour out to your neighbor posturing yourself as his servant and he as your judge?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd @ 79 (Dear Porcell, I hope you read this too. It will explain alot if what I have been saying)

    Luther:

    “The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.

    Undestanding this one article correctly is the art that alone makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.

    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.

    But to understand this article that alone makes one a Christian, and not lose it, we must know something else as well. We must know that there are two kinds of true or God pleasing righteousness or two powers. We must also then learn how to skillfully tell the difference between the two.

    There is a righteousness that is here on earth. This righteousness is willed and ordered by God and is included in the second table of the ten commandments. This is called “man´s righteousness” or “the world´s righteousness”. The only purpose of this righteousness is to help us live together and enjoy the gifts God gives us.

    Because God really wants this, He has even added a blessing in Leviticus 18:5: “Which if a man do, he shall live in them” which means that whoever men see is honest, will enjoy a good and long life.

    It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else.

    Now on the other hand, if men are not willing to voluntarily practice being righteous, God sends dictatorships, armed police and brute force to restrain and check those who refuse to be righteous. Where even this is not enough and government can no longer restrain anyone, then God sends famine, war and other terrible things, to subvert the government and destroy evil men. This has happened to the Jews, Greeks and Romans.

    From all this, we can learn God´s Will: earthly righteousness is to be practiced and maintained. We can also know that God will provide what is necessary to make this happen. If it does not happen, God will take it away and instead destroy everything. What this all should tell us is that God is very serious about earthly righteousness!

    This is the entire short sum and substance of this righteousness on earth.”

    So it is necessary to encourage and urge everyone to voluntarily be diligent and even zealous in the exercise of this earthly and outward righteousness rather than having him be driven to it by force and punishment.

    This encouragement looks like setting out what is nicely summarized in the second table of the 10 commandments and then applying it in the context of the all the various relationships one finds himself in in his life. This includes every earthly responsibility, duty, role, profession, trade, career, occupation, job, vocation, work, or task, in the context of family, friends, work, and larger society, however great or seemingly trivial. We can be confident that God himself has ordered and appointed these things.

    What we do with these relationships, our vocations, are to be respected and highly honored. We should find pleasure in them and be happy to do what is required on the different spheres of life. For example when we are told to honor our mother and father, every child, employee, employer, citizen and whoever should feel joy in this and have no greater treasure on earth. It should feel like heaven to do this.

    This should be taught in this way for the one purpose of assuring everyone without any doubt at all: Any human being, of any faith, should be able to say: “now I know that such a work life or position is right and proper and should have full assurance that God is really and truly pleased with it.” If I am Christian, I further have his word and command as a sure witness, which never deceives of fails me.

    But when your conscience rests on this decision that you know your works please God, don´t let this in anyway become an earthly “gospel”. We owe this assurance alone to Jesus who alone is the Gospel. We should delight in this [other Righteousness] and reverence it. We do this even if it is useless to us except that it quiets our conscience and in what relationship we stand to God.”

    Analysis:

    “It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else. ”

    This looks like a perfect description of the conservative political ethics many Americans espouse doesn´t it. It seems to say that the structure of society is best seen as each of us being left alone except where we interfere negatively with the lives of others. This sounds positively libertarian!

    But then , Luther touches on vocation. If , as Luther and the Confessions say, the ENTIRE point of morality is to do Mercy, Then vocation and morality is ENTIRELY about “helping and befriending our neighbor in EVERY bodily need. And that bodily includes especially all the “spirit-ual” (here in the non-biblical sense of non-material) stuff that we all know, even pagans, makes the world go ´round and makes life worth living: good and faithful friends, a good reputation, romantic love, beauty in music, art and design, and the like. Stuff that makes our toes curl in ecxtacy and give us goosebumps and make us cry with joy. These things, scripture tells us, are the SUM TOTAL of what true earthly morality is. This is all fully included in those words “daily bread”.

    Connect the dots! How much of what you got Todd, does God demand that you provide to your neighbor who does not have? How much of yourself does he demand that you pour out to your neighbor posturing yourself as his servant and he as your judge?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd here is the link to the Luther quote….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?paged=2

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    todd here is the link to the Luther quote….

    http://www.thirduse.com/?paged=2

  • mark†

    tODD, I don’t want any percentage of your income. Does my robbing Peter to pay Paul satisfy the obligation to help my neighbor. I don’t think it does.

  • mark†

    tODD, I don’t want any percentage of your income. Does my robbing Peter to pay Paul satisfy the obligation to help my neighbor. I don’t think it does.

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

    You know, mark†, most people might even be okay with the high tax redistribution of wealth, yada, yada, if it actually accomplished the goals and didn’t cause crippling debt. I mean, social welfare has lead to sky high illegitimacy and single motherhood. The gov’t incentivized bad behavior and got more bad behavior. Illegitimate births to teen mothers have increased 250% since the early 60′s and legitimate births to teens have fallen 90%. We tried to fix a small problem and we got a huge one. And then we wonder why kids don’t do better in school. The state is a poor husband and father.

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

    You know, mark†, most people might even be okay with the high tax redistribution of wealth, yada, yada, if it actually accomplished the goals and didn’t cause crippling debt. I mean, social welfare has lead to sky high illegitimacy and single motherhood. The gov’t incentivized bad behavior and got more bad behavior. Illegitimate births to teen mothers have increased 250% since the early 60′s and legitimate births to teens have fallen 90%. We tried to fix a small problem and we got a huge one. And then we wonder why kids don’t do better in school. The state is a poor husband and father.

  • trotk

    mark, I would agree that “robbing Peter to pay Paul” doesn’t “satisfy the obligation to help my neighbor”.

    However, I don’t agree with the idea that taxes are robbing someone. To treat taxes as theft is dramatic hyperbole.

    It is perfectly reasonable for a society to decide that it is better for the poor to be taken care of than for our personal wealth to be totally our own. It is perfectly reasonable for a society to decide this against the will of a few (presumably the wealthy). This doesn’t make it robbery. Robbery is by definition unlawful. Taxes by definition are not unlawful. They may be unjust, or punitive, or excessive, etc, but they are not unlawful.

    Besides, I don’t really think that the phrase “robbing Peter to pay Paul” makes any sense here.

  • trotk

    mark, I would agree that “robbing Peter to pay Paul” doesn’t “satisfy the obligation to help my neighbor”.

    However, I don’t agree with the idea that taxes are robbing someone. To treat taxes as theft is dramatic hyperbole.

    It is perfectly reasonable for a society to decide that it is better for the poor to be taken care of than for our personal wealth to be totally our own. It is perfectly reasonable for a society to decide this against the will of a few (presumably the wealthy). This doesn’t make it robbery. Robbery is by definition unlawful. Taxes by definition are not unlawful. They may be unjust, or punitive, or excessive, etc, but they are not unlawful.

    Besides, I don’t really think that the phrase “robbing Peter to pay Paul” makes any sense here.

  • trotk

    And mark, if a society decides to tax its members to care for the poor, it is satisfying some part of the obligation to help its neighbors.

    Now, if this is a way that the society decides to help its neighbors, it should do its best to make certain the money is spent in ways that actually help, rather than hurt.

    But their is nothing inherently wrong with taxation for the purpose of caring for the poor, and it is in fact a way of collectively loving those in need.

  • trotk

    And mark, if a society decides to tax its members to care for the poor, it is satisfying some part of the obligation to help its neighbors.

    Now, if this is a way that the society decides to help its neighbors, it should do its best to make certain the money is spent in ways that actually help, rather than hurt.

    But their is nothing inherently wrong with taxation for the purpose of caring for the poor, and it is in fact a way of collectively loving those in need.

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

    “It is perfectly reasonable for a society to decide that it is better for the poor to be taken care of than for our personal wealth to be totally our own.”

    But how reasonable is society when it ignores the fact that the policies born of good intentions did not work? Is is just conceit that keeps us from admitting we did more harm than good? I mean, think of all the fatherless children. Even poverty is not as bad as growing up without a father. We have incentivized the destruction of the family.

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

    “It is perfectly reasonable for a society to decide that it is better for the poor to be taken care of than for our personal wealth to be totally our own.”

    But how reasonable is society when it ignores the fact that the policies born of good intentions did not work? Is is just conceit that keeps us from admitting we did more harm than good? I mean, think of all the fatherless children. Even poverty is not as bad as growing up without a father. We have incentivized the destruction of the family.

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

    “But their is nothing inherently wrong with taxation for the purpose of caring for the poor, and it is in fact a way of collectively loving those in need.”

    What if I am not affluent enough to pay much in taxes and I vote for others to do my share for the poor? I am collectively loving those in need by voting your money for their needs? Sounds like bull.

    http://bible.cc/1_chronicles/21-24.htm

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

    “But their is nothing inherently wrong with taxation for the purpose of caring for the poor, and it is in fact a way of collectively loving those in need.”

    What if I am not affluent enough to pay much in taxes and I vote for others to do my share for the poor? I am collectively loving those in need by voting your money for their needs? Sounds like bull.

    http://bible.cc/1_chronicles/21-24.htm

  • trotk

    # 87

    sg, in the context you provide (“What if I am not affluent enough to pay much in taxes and I vote for others..”), you are not loving the poor. You can take no credit for what you did not do.

    However, it does not mean that it is not worth doing. Secondly, your vote (and the society’s decision) was made with the understanding that if you ever got money, you would then pay taxes.

    I don’t think that David’s statement about not accepting another’s generosity in an act of WORSHIP applies here. There is a fundamental difference between the situations.

    As to #86, of course the society should evaluate the systems and programs and not do anything harmful. This is what I said in #85. I would discontinue the vast majority of our social programs on this standard alone. But that is not an argument against the underlying principle, it is merely an argument against a particular application.

  • trotk

    # 87

    sg, in the context you provide (“What if I am not affluent enough to pay much in taxes and I vote for others..”), you are not loving the poor. You can take no credit for what you did not do.

    However, it does not mean that it is not worth doing. Secondly, your vote (and the society’s decision) was made with the understanding that if you ever got money, you would then pay taxes.

    I don’t think that David’s statement about not accepting another’s generosity in an act of WORSHIP applies here. There is a fundamental difference between the situations.

    As to #86, of course the society should evaluate the systems and programs and not do anything harmful. This is what I said in #85. I would discontinue the vast majority of our social programs on this standard alone. But that is not an argument against the underlying principle, it is merely an argument against a particular application.

  • mark†

    sg and Trot, thank you for your courtesy. Heard a line once, for some people, everything they learn about Christ, they learn from you.

    With regard to robbing Peter to pay Paul, I think that many people think they are fulfilling an obligation toward their one neighbor by using the money of a second neighbor which was taken by force of law.

  • mark†

    sg and Trot, thank you for your courtesy. Heard a line once, for some people, everything they learn about Christ, they learn from you.

    With regard to robbing Peter to pay Paul, I think that many people think they are fulfilling an obligation toward their one neighbor by using the money of a second neighbor which was taken by force of law.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @ 83 ff

    I think your approach approached the Lutheran and Confessional one. The virtue/morality of a thing is determined by weighing the benefit.

    Can you really correlate the rise of the welfare state directly to all the ills you mentioned?

    Is the welfare state the cause of or the result of these problems or maybe it is a more complex interaction?

    Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg? If you were dictator for a year what would you do? immediately dismantle all social programs and expect the extended nuclear family to immediately kick in or what?

    what is the practical alternative vision agreeing that the nanny state is far more inefficient and has alot of undesirable collateral side effects?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @ 83 ff

    I think your approach approached the Lutheran and Confessional one. The virtue/morality of a thing is determined by weighing the benefit.

    Can you really correlate the rise of the welfare state directly to all the ills you mentioned?

    Is the welfare state the cause of or the result of these problems or maybe it is a more complex interaction?

    Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg? If you were dictator for a year what would you do? immediately dismantle all social programs and expect the extended nuclear family to immediately kick in or what?

    what is the practical alternative vision agreeing that the nanny state is far more inefficient and has alot of undesirable collateral side effects?

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

    “Can you really correlate the rise of the welfare state directly to all the ills you mentioned?”

    Core of the problem right there. Those who advocate the position that was pretty effective for thousands of years are asked to meet an impossible standard of proof despite overwhelming evidence. While those who have the weaker position, concede nothing. An absurd proposition.

    “Is the welfare state the cause of or the result of these problems or maybe it is a more complex interaction?”

    “Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg? If you were dictator for a year what would you do? immediately dismantle all social programs and expect the extended nuclear family to immediately kick in or what?”

    The nuclear family gone? Hardly. This looks like a demographic transition phase. Those without strong families will grow more and more dependent and vulnerable and ultimately be far worse off when the gravy train ends. This cycle is observed constantly in nature where populations grow until there is a crisis and you have a mass die off when conditions change. We are creating conditions that cannot go on forever. You can’t change the natural laws. The Word of God is the only solution.

    I honestly believe that poor would be benefit more from Bible study than handouts.

    It is a bunch of complex interactions all subsidized by the government.

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

    “Can you really correlate the rise of the welfare state directly to all the ills you mentioned?”

    Core of the problem right there. Those who advocate the position that was pretty effective for thousands of years are asked to meet an impossible standard of proof despite overwhelming evidence. While those who have the weaker position, concede nothing. An absurd proposition.

    “Is the welfare state the cause of or the result of these problems or maybe it is a more complex interaction?”

    “Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg? If you were dictator for a year what would you do? immediately dismantle all social programs and expect the extended nuclear family to immediately kick in or what?”

    The nuclear family gone? Hardly. This looks like a demographic transition phase. Those without strong families will grow more and more dependent and vulnerable and ultimately be far worse off when the gravy train ends. This cycle is observed constantly in nature where populations grow until there is a crisis and you have a mass die off when conditions change. We are creating conditions that cannot go on forever. You can’t change the natural laws. The Word of God is the only solution.

    I honestly believe that poor would be benefit more from Bible study than handouts.

    It is a bunch of complex interactions all subsidized by the government.

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

    I am off to LWML. I won’t comment further. Have a great day:-)

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

    I am off to LWML. I won’t comment further. Have a great day:-)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mark† (@82), you replied to me, “I don’t want any percentage of your income.” Am I to understand from this that you believe the government needs no more than a 0% tax rate to do its job?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mark† (@82), you replied to me, “I don’t want any percentage of your income.” Am I to understand from this that you believe the government needs no more than a 0% tax rate to do its job?

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

    “If you were dictator for a year what would you do?”

    Provide for Christian education for every man, woman and child.

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

    “If you were dictator for a year what would you do?”

    Provide for Christian education for every man, woman and child.

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

    “Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg?”

    Why would we abandon the only model that has ever worked?

    Civilization is just another word for patriarchy.

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

    “Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg?”

    Why would we abandon the only model that has ever worked?

    Civilization is just another word for patriarchy.

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

    “Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg?”

    Not even close to gone. It is the standard for successful people.

    When we look at the poor and think they are hopeless unless we engineer some government program, we just expose our own egotism and deny the efficacy of Biblical principles for creating a just society. God saves. We don’t. We can love and serve and as we do that we need to point people not to our own works but to God’s laws and His justice and mercy. I believe in charity done in the name of Jesus Christ. Faith in uncle Sam is unwarranted.

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

    “Since the extended nuclear family that was the social welfare apparatus from the dawn of time till around 1940 is gone probably forever, what is the practical alternative you might suggest sg?”

    Not even close to gone. It is the standard for successful people.

    When we look at the poor and think they are hopeless unless we engineer some government program, we just expose our own egotism and deny the efficacy of Biblical principles for creating a just society. God saves. We don’t. We can love and serve and as we do that we need to point people not to our own works but to God’s laws and His justice and mercy. I believe in charity done in the name of Jesus Christ. Faith in uncle Sam is unwarranted.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @94

    interestingly the LCMS used to try to do that for most of the communities they had churches in. tuition was free and church membership was not required.

    And it was not a way to do missionary work either. it was a gift of love to the community to support the parents in their proper role.

    I wish we could get back to that…..

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @94

    interestingly the LCMS used to try to do that for most of the communities they had churches in. tuition was free and church membership was not required.

    And it was not a way to do missionary work either. it was a gift of love to the community to support the parents in their proper role.

    I wish we could get back to that…..

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

    fws@97 Amen, brother, I wish we could get back to that too. It would dollars far better spent.

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

    fws@97 Amen, brother, I wish we could get back to that too. It would dollars far better spent.

  • Abby

    fws @97: That is how I was educated in the Lutheran school. The church was adamant that, if you went to that church, they wanted you in school. Free. My parents were very poor. I never would have been able to have this education if it were not for that. They were, and have been, the best years of my life. For which I am forever grateful. If I ever would be a rich woman, I would give funds to schools to take care of some children who would need that help. It has saddened me greatly when I have seen church after church abandon the school’s financial support. I understand why it has to be, but it is a travesty nonetheless.

  • Abby

    fws @97: That is how I was educated in the Lutheran school. The church was adamant that, if you went to that church, they wanted you in school. Free. My parents were very poor. I never would have been able to have this education if it were not for that. They were, and have been, the best years of my life. For which I am forever grateful. If I ever would be a rich woman, I would give funds to schools to take care of some children who would need that help. It has saddened me greatly when I have seen church after church abandon the school’s financial support. I understand why it has to be, but it is a travesty nonetheless.

  • Abby

    Also, I recently heard all but one Lutheran school in Detroit have closed their doors. That in a city of horrible public education. My daughter was a Lutheran teacher in one of the schools years ago. 99% of the students were black. I wish in the LCMS there was some program money that could be used for this purpose. To boost up, especially, our elementary schools.

  • Abby

    Also, I recently heard all but one Lutheran school in Detroit have closed their doors. That in a city of horrible public education. My daughter was a Lutheran teacher in one of the schools years ago. 99% of the students were black. I wish in the LCMS there was some program money that could be used for this purpose. To boost up, especially, our elementary schools.


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