Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#StandWithRand

 To rescue a great country now adrift, join me as together we seek a new vision for America. Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America.-Rand Paul

Today, I believe, is a great and historic day.

Today Rand Paul formally announced he is running for President of the United States.

The announcement comes as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to Paul's recent actions.  Regardless, it is a landmark announcement, and I will long remember April 7th, 2015.

I was born in 1994.  For the first six years of my life, Clinton was in office.  I don't personally recall anything that he did, but I do recall that conservatives all sighed with relief when he left the white house and a Republican named Bush was elected.  But then came 9/11, and with it the PATRIOT act, the War on Terror, increased debt... and for eight years I watched as liberty was sacrificed over and over for so-called safety.

Then came 2008.  People were sick of the way the country was going, and for good reason.  The "conservative" president had failed them, and so they rallied behind a man who promised to take Washington in a new direction, to give them the hope and change they wanted.  But alas, this direction, while slightly "new" in focus and pace, was one which only carried us even further down the path to an America where freedom is trampled.

Clinton, Bush, Obama... they have all taken my country further and further down the path of tyranny.  They have expanded unconstitutional aspects of government, sunk us into deeper and deeper debt.  We are taxed beyond reason, spied upon, lied to, and ignored in-between election seasons.

There is no question about it: Washington is broken.

But on March 6th, 2013, I gained a new hope for our country as I watched Rand Paul and others speak for hours in a filibuster for freedom.  For the first time in a long time, there was a light visible at the end of the tunnel.  The hashtag #StandWithRand went viral, and it's still being used to this day. 



Just this past October I had the opportunity to attend an event where Rand Paul was an honored guest.  Technically the rally was for various Kansans seeking office in the 2014 elections, but it was obvious that Rand Paul was the one drawing the crowd.  He was the man the other candidates wished to be seen with.  As the months passed it became more and more obvious that Rand Paul was not only a leader for freedom, but that he had political savvy and know-how.

Do I agree with him on every single issue?  No, but I am convinced that he has both a true love for liberty and a solid grasp of what a Constitutional government looks like.  

We have come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank, the special interests that are more concerned with their personal welfare than the general welfare.
The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.
His announcement today is one which I have long looked forward to and which I am excited to witness.   I am thrilled to the point of giddiness at the prospect of having a man like him to campaign for, and I have every hope that 2016 will be a landmark year for our country.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Young People, Ron Paul, and Libertarianism

Nearly three years ago I read an article entitled, "Six reasons Paul appeals to some young voters" on Forbes.com.  My then-seventeen year-old self toyed with the idea of writing a response to the article, but the blog post never came together and the few notes I jotted down soon got lost in the virtual pile of drafts which would never be published. 

For some reason, however, the article has remained in the back of my mind for these years, the inaccuracy of it keeping it from utterly fading away.  The recent elections of 2014 brought with it an opportunity for me to briefly hear Rand Paul speak, and with talk of the 2016 elections beginning the article has resurfaced in my mind all over again.  Despite the length of time that has passed since the original article was written, I'd like to present my reply now. 

Stephen Richer, the author of this article offers the following reasons for why young people vote for Ron Paul: Paul is a rebel, He's unusual, He’s not going to win, He doesn’t care if he wins, He addresses youth issues, and He’s online.  I'm going to respond to each with my own thoughts and comments.

1. "Paul is a Rebel"

 ...Ron Paul is the tattoo or nose piercing for the nerdy political junkies that never seriously rebelled.
Ron Paul = rebel?

He doesn't try to be politically correct, he tries to be logical.  

He didn't pander to the audience and tell them what they wanted to hear, he stuck by his principles.  

He used common sense instead of assuming the status quo was correct.  

He knew and understood and heeded the Constitution when no one else did.  

Do these things make him a rebel? If so - if principle and truth and common sense are rebellious - then go ahead and count me as a rebel as well.  But don't compare that "rebellion" to a tattoo or nose piercing.  Instead, compare it to the Boston Tea Party, or the Declaration of Independence or some other event portraying American moxie.

2. "He's Unusual"

The 20-year-old who knows about Ron Paul and libertarianism is a bit like the 20-year-old who knows about a special wine vintage or a remote micro brew – so erudite!
Um, wait a second, I'm confused.  Ron Paul has just gone from being compared to a rebellion-inspired tattoo to being compared with fine vintage wine?  How did that happen?

I'm going to almost ignore this point, because it seems to me that it's just a re-twisting of the first point.  Yes, much to my dismay, following the Constitution is unusual for those in D.C.  But I don't promote following the Constitution simply because very few people are doing it; I promote following the Constitution because it is the highest law of our county.

 3. "He's not going to win"

President Paul — the idea — will never be tarnished because he will never be President.  Additionally, when things invariably go wrong with the next administration, young Paul supporters — over their college cafeteria tables — can say, “You can’t blame me.  I supported Ron Paul!”
Says who?

Okay, so given the fact that it's 2014 I know that he didn't win the 2012 election, but back in January 2012 there was no reason to say he wasn't going to win.   In fact, he was dominating many straw polls for a long time, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that he was cheated out of the Republican nomination.  Nobody that I know of wanted to vote for Romney, they only supported him because they didn't want more of Obama.  A huge amount of people desperately wanted to vote for Ron Paul, and even those who didn't love him would have voted for him had he received the nomination.  If the Republican National Convention had gone differently, I think it is quite probable that we'd have Ron Paul rather than Obama in the White House today.  Romney was the candidate who was "unelectable", as the 2012 general election showed - not Paul.

4. "He doesn't care if he wins"

This sort of nonchalance about the most powerful office in the world, coupled with his seeming preference for ideological purity rather than political power, is attractive to young voters who loathe “selling out.”
Unless and until I hear proof from Ron Paul himself that he didn't want to win, I believe this statement is unfounded and quite silly.

The misconception, I believe, comes from the fact that Ron Paul didn't flip-flop on his positions for the audience.  He had (has) a spine.  Yes, this sometimes meant that he lost votes - but it also proves that he valued truth and principle above his own career.  This is not something that indicates a lackadaisical attitude, but rather the fact that Ron Paul is a man of honor.

Do we now only support candidates who act like stereotypical politicians, believing that because they lie and pander and compromise they are the only ones who really want the office?  I certainly hope not.

5. "He addresses youth issues"

Paul’s focus is on: getting government out of the economy, reducing government spending, getting out of foreign wars, and sealing the borders.
This is something I can agree with.   Ron Paul's ideology was not only relevant to his generation, but to every generation including the youngest.  Young people are among those affected by minimum wage laws, high taxes, military service, and other such issues.  That they would vote for Ron Paul, who was offering the most straightforward and effective strategies for dealing with these issues, is quite logical and obvious.

6. "He's online"

 The media seemingly bestowed the Republican-online award in 2008 to Ron Paul.  He might be winning it again this year.
Once again, I agree.  Young people, including myself, are quite likely to get their news and opinions from the internet rather than from a television set or newspaper.  Ron Paul led the way in using the internet for campaigning, and doing so allowed him to reach a huge amount of voters who may have otherwise never heard of him, given the fact that mainstream media seemed to ignore him all too often.

My Reasons

I certainly cannot speak for all young libertarians, but since I am a young libertarian, I can at least speak for myself and offer my observations regarding why my age group supported Ron Paul, and continues to support the libertarian ideology.

The main reason: we're disillusioned. We've witnessed both Republican and Democrat presidencies.  We've watched as each year, candidates for each party promise to be radically different.  And then we've watched as they get elected and seem nearly indistinguishable on so many levels.

Bush campaigned in 2000 under the banner of non-interventionism, of ending foreign wars and not getting involved in the squabbles of other countries.  He said that we shouldn't be the world's police.  And then 9/11 happened and we went straight to war with "terrorism", a war which has been waged ever since.  Then Obama came along and talked about getting the troops home... and started more wars in more countries. In 2012, Ron Paul was the only candidate offering concrete solutions regarding bring our troops home, and he was also the only non-interventionist.  (Guess who got the most funding from our troops?)

The patriotic ferver that caused many Americans to support going to war after 9/11 has long ago worn off.  I was only seven then, but I can easily recall the indignation felt by so many at the deaths of their fellow Americans.  But then instead of targeting those few terrorists who (according to the official story) caused the attack, we waged a war "against terror".  As long as sinful humans reside on our planet, how will we ever declare this war to be over?  It is a never-ending war.  And we're tired of it.

Republicans are supposed to be fiscal conservatives, but Bush still managed to get our country deeper and deeper in debt.  Oh, sure, he may not have done so as fast as Obama, but he certainly didn't come close to even trying to reduce the debt.  Ron Paul didn't just say that the budget needed to be reduced, he offered a plan and talked about the fact that unconstitutional agencies and departments needed to be cut from the budget entirely.  Radical as that may sound to some, his was the only solution that offered any real change.

Over and over again, we've watched as Republicans and Democrats argue endlessly over what they should do about X rather than asked themselves if they Constitutionally allowed to do anything about X.  Many of them have not so much as read the Constitution, much less tried to understand and follow it.

Furthermore, we are tired of the government trying to dictate moral and social issues.  Bush may have been reelected in 2004 because of his stance against gay marriage, but the tide in America has since shifted.  Pot has been legalized in several states, signaling that voters are no longer supporting the government's war on drugs.  Despite all this, Republicans really didn't campaign around these issues in this past election.  Instead, they attacked Obamacare (another government intrusion of social issues and liberty) and won in a landslide.

OH, and guess who most Republicans wanted to be seen with while campaigning?  Rand Paul, who happens to be... Ron Paul's son.

If Rand Paul runs for president this election - and I have no reason to think he will not - I believe he will win by a landslide.  Even liberal-leaning HuffPost has an author who has stated emphatically that he would much prefer Paul over Clinton.

Obama's presidency has done nothing but fan the flames of libertarianism across America, for his obvious dismissal of the Constitution only makes sweeter the idea of electing a truly-Constitutional president.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Philosophy on (Romantic) Relationships

There are many formulas and rules set up nowadays for the forming of new relationships, whether one is part of the dating or the courting culture. But the lists of endless rules and man-made notions seem to be mainly based on man's interpretation of what is best, rather than looking to the Scripture. 

Yes, it is true that there are social guidelines which one would do well to follow as well - for instance, make sure you are polite and have good manners - but these are not things which should be required by a third party, nor should they be treated as if they are on par with God's Word.

We see from the Bible several obvious principles regarding romance:
  • Marry whomever you wish, (Num 36:6, 1 Cor 7:39) except,
  • Don't marry a non-Christian.(2 Cor 6:14)
  • It's more than okay to remain single.(1 Cor 7:8, 25-28, 37-40)
  • Follow God's rules for remaining pure. (1 Cor 7:1)
AAAANNND, despite what many Christians believe, that's about all we have specifically related to getting married.  Obviously, there are some other texts instructing husbands and wives on how to interact, but the scope of this post is the pre-marital stage.

Of course, there are countless other passages in Scripture which indirectly relate to the formation of any relationship, including one with a future spouse.  There are hundreds of verses and concepts which could be addressed here, such as:
  • Honesty, 
  • edifying communication, 
  • keeping God first in one's life,
  • praying without ceasing,
  • being long-suffering, 
  • forgiving others...etc, etc.
...the list is endless, but a Christian ought to be quite familiar with these concepts, and I don't think I need to try to list them.  These are verses that every Christian ought to follow all the time, not just when involved in a romantic-type relationship.

Then, there are common-sense guidelines which ought to be obvious (whether stated or not) to most people.  For instance:
  • Marry someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, 
  • be accountable to others, 
  • accept advice, 
  • don't continue the relationship if you know you won't marry this person, 
  • seek counsel, 
  • make sure you know this person inside and out before you commit to marrying them,
...and so on.  In other words, don't be stupid.  God gave you a brain, He gave you His Word, He gives us common sense.  We don't need to be walking around helplessly confused just because another human hasn't provided us with a hard-and-fast list of exactly what every element of your relationship process ought to look like.

Finally, it is worthwhile noting that the two (adults!) involved in this relationship should be the ones calling the shots about what their romance actually looks like.  If they want to spend most of their time together in the presence of their families and they call this "courtship", that's fine.  If they desire to be able to go out together interact one-on-one on "dates", that's okay too.  How, when, where, and who they communicate with is up to them. 

In other words: There are principles, which are set forth and enforced by God.  Then there are practical and common sense issues, which have their own natural consequences.  Finally, there is the matter of preference, which can be decided by the couple.  Note that none of these require the presence of a third-party human authority.

Every person is different.  They have different intellects, different ideas of what is humorous, different passions, different families, different backgrounds, different levels of sanctification, different dreams for the future, different ages, different locations, different ways of communicating, different hobbies, different resources... you get the picture.  To try to make a one-size-fits-all formula for how to find the "right one" is laughably ridiculous. 

Many teachers nowadays assert that there must be another earthly human involved making sure that the two involved in the relationship are following all the rules, whether they be God's rules or man's rules.  They do their best to assure us that this will cause the least amount of pain, and that this is God's best plan.  But is it, really?

If a couple violates God's rules or acts stupidly, they will be answerable to the Lord about that, and will likely have earthly consequences to their foolishness or outright disobedience.  To make them answerable to man, however, (even if it gives us a feeling of security because we can see mankind) is to usurp God's position.  God will not demand from us an account of other people's actions, but merely our own.  To make ourselves accountable for others messes up this principle big time, and is not excusable.

Furthermore, every person on earth is going to have a slightly different notion of what is best in a specific situation.  To place a fellow human (who will not be affected by his decisions in a position of power) over two people, (whose entire lives will be affected) assuming that they cannot be responsible before God by themselves, is not wise or logical.  Furthermore, even if this authority figure has identical beliefs as the two in the relationship regarding all possible worldview issues, this does not factor in personality differences and such.  Some issues which are vitally important to said authority figure might be regarded as trivial by the others, and endless discussions regarding this matter might result in vexation and frustration.

If two people are so unable to handle themselves that they require the physical presence and restraint of a human authority to make all their decisions with or for them, then they probably ought to wait several years until they are more mature and able to handle such a relationship.  Shockingly enough, they will not have the "luxury" of a third party telling them what to do after they get married, and they need to know that they can make wise and Godly choices before they enter into a lifelong commitment.

Man has a tendency to want to shield himself and others from any possible unpleasantness by setting up man-made governments and authorities.  Whether it be in politics, in churches, or in the family, the result is the same - a crippled authority structure ends up trying to fill God's role, and those under that person's authority find themselves smothered and unable to follow God's leading in their lives.  While there are certainly proper rules for government in the state, in churches, and in families, this government needs to be limited to its proper jurisdiction, rather than trying to usurp the throne of God.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why I Want To, But Cannot, Vote For Ben Carson

 Just the other day I saw an article announcing that, though he cautioned his supporters not to be too optimistic, Ben Carson is forming a political action committee and may run for president come 2016. Given the amount of attention he received after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, and then again after his speech at CPAC, this really isn't terribly surprising.

About two years ago I wrote a blog post entitled, "Why I Will Not Vote Romney".  That was an easy post to write in many ways, given that I did not like Romney at all.  He obviously had no backbone, his integrity was lacking in every way I could see, and he was generally distasteful to anyone who loves liberty or freedom or America or principle or honesty or... you get the picture.

Writing about why I cannot vote for Ben Carson (should he run) isn't so easy.  I would love to have Mr. Carson as a neighbor, friend, or doctor.  I've seen the movie "Gifted Hands" which details much of his life thus far, and having the story climax even beyond neurosurgeon to that of President of the United State would be absolutely epic.

Furthermore, I've read Ben Carson's book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, and I agree with a good amount of the common sense presented therein.  So far as I can tell, Carson is an honest man, a man of integrity, and one who I would trust to do his best job in in any situation.  He has character suitable for leadership.  Unfortunately, he does not (thus far) have a thorough enough understanding of what Constitutional government looks like, and this is why I cannot at this present time support any political venture he makes.

Firstly, his view on the 2nd Amendment is sadly lacking.  He stating when speaking to Glenn Beck that location should help to determine whether or not people should have access to firearms, that guns (semi-automatics were specified) should be limited in urban areas.  Obviously, this does not show either a proper respect for or understanding of the amendment.  Our right to bear arms is not allowed to be prohibited by government, and the ability to own weapons does not encourage, but prohibits crime.



If he personally felt that it would be foolish for himself to own a semi-automatic in a busy neighborhood and decided against it, that would be more than okay.  Should he caution his family and friends, informing them about the perceived danger of such a thing, that would also be more than okay.  But once one takes such opinions and perspectives into the realm of legislation, imposing them on others, that opinion is not at all okay.

Furthermore, while he has a lot of common-sense opinions on how governmental-aid programs ought to be restructured in a more practical manner, he fails to realize that they are not allowed in a Constitutional government.  For instance, in his book America the Beautiful he states:
"Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and our food stamp program, among others, are all socialist-leaning programs that help provide our nation with a social safety net.  Their growth, however, must be controlled, and self-sufficiency must be the goal of our society.  The masses should not depend solely upon these social programs; instead, they should be encouraged early in life to make provisions for themselves and their families well into the future."
But it is not the job of the civil servant to make sure that Grandma saves her retirement money wisely, or that Johnny has health insurance, or that Susy can buy food.  This ought to be the job of private charitable institutions, of churches, of individual persons, and of any other willing organization.  Government does not uphold society; government keeps the harmony by acting on behalf of an injured party as well as making sure the citizens are defended from other countries which would do it harm.

Should Ben Carson begin a charitable institution with the guidelines and common sense he has written about, I am sure it would be quite successful.  Actually, he does already help fund academic excellence with the Carson Scholars Fund, and I'm sure that that is set up in a very practical and truly beneficial way.

In fact, his scholars fund demonstrates just what I am talking about. I personally have huge qualms about public education, and I would not at all wish to see my tax dollars funding students in those schools.  I'd much rather find some way to make all schools become community schools (funded by those who benefit from them, run by those in the community, and in no way connected to the government) or home schools.

However, if Dr. Carson chooses to set up his own private organization to help those in public schools, good for him!  How he spends him money is up to him, and the fact that he is doing so to help others is commendable.... so long as it remains a private institution, funded by voluntary contributions rather than taxes (which obviously aren't voluntary contributions).

Should Dr. Carson come to a better realization of what the role and functions of government are, and should he, like Ron Paul, advocate common sense AND a Constitutional government, I would be more than thrilled to throw my full support behind him.  As it is, despite the fact that he has much common sense, he does not understand what equitable legislation is; his application of common sense is flawed, and it will not truly benefit America.

I'm really tempted to send him a copy of Bastiat's book, The Law...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

PSA: Life Update

I posted about pretzels in March, then proceeded to disappear from the blogging world for several months to get engaged, be held hostage, get married to my best friend Dylan, move halfway across the country, and now reappear on the blogging scene with the same blog title and a different URL.  And that's not even half the story.  Perhaps someday I will find time and energy to write for the world a chronicle of what happened, but for now, suffice it to say that:
1-I'm okay,
2-I'm still blogging, and am currently working to update this new blog with all the posts from the old one,
and
3-being married is awesome.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

“Legislating Morality”

Note: This was originally written about a year ago as a way for me to simply sort out my thoughts on the matter. I had no intention then of publishing it to my blog, but after polishing it up a wee bit I've decided to make my rantings/musing public.

I don’t care for this term. It is far too vague and can be interpreted too many ways for me to find it helpful. I've found four possible definitions, in fact.

First: Is legislation either moral or immoral? Yes, and we need to get our definition of ethics from a Biblical worldview. Should we legislate immorality? Of course not! Is this the definition of legislating morality? If so, then why would any Christian protest?

Second: Should we legislate something just because it is moral? Should we make laws against everything which is immoral? No – this would rapidly lead to an utterly tyrannical civil government.

This is where the issue of jurisdiction comes in. The civil government should be viewed as the safety net of all governments (family, self, church, etc) and is only to act when there is actually an injured party.

Take, for instance, the issue of drinking alcohol to the point of excess.  Is it wise to go get drunk? Is it moral? Of course not! But if I were to injure no one but myself while inebriated, there is no reason for the civil government to step in and punish me for this lack of morality. Instead, such morality should be enforced by self-government, and actively encouraged by church and family governments.

Thus, morality is not the only basis to determine what legislation ought to be passed by the civil government. Jurisdiction also MUST be a determining factor if we are to be free.

As a side note, I find it interesting that, every form of human government follows a pattern: the more people affected by it, the less amount of jurisdiction it has.
Self-government is the most powerful, as God grants salvation on a person by person basis (the names written in the book of life are not family names, nor are they town or country names.), and we are all to answer indiviudally to God on judgement day.
Family government is next, as parents have the ability to control almost every aspect of their children’s lives up until their adulthood, and it is the responsibilty of the parents to bring their children up in the fear and admonission of the LORD.
Then comes the governance of the (local) church, which instructs, guides, encourages and disciplines obvious and ongoing sins in the various families which make it up.
The various forms of civil government – town, county, state, and federal – also follow this same pattern.
God is the only governing authority with unlimited jurisdiction and power.

Third: Does legislation define morality? Is something which is technically illegal necessarily immoral? Absolutely not. The Ten Boom family was violating Nazi law when they saved Jewish lives, yet their doing so was not in any way immoral, and was the correct course of action for them to take in every way.
God is the only one to ultimately determine what is right or wrong, and if we say that any other government determines morality through their decisions, we are guilty of attempting to usurp God’s role in the universe. This is why Hitler’s regime was wrong, even though it was technically “legal”.

Fourth: Furthermore, should we seek to change society’s view of morality (be it a correct or false view) through civil legislation? Is this the job of civil government? No. The gospel is the only way to truly redeem people – civil government can never save us, and must stick to its God-given role — that of defending life and liberty from those who seek to harm them.

History shows us that state-established religion leads to chaos, corruption, and confusion in both the church and the culture. Whether we look at Constantine’s establishing Christianity as state religion and the rash of false conversions which followed, or the Church of England, which answers to the king before the Bible, there is no good which comes of this muddling of rulers.  All governments are answerable to God, but they are not to usurp each others roles and “force” them to do what is right.
________
When Joshua was to lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan, he was ordered by God to destroy the Canaanites and their property.

Now, Biblical scholars and Christians have for centuries stated that the only proper use of force and war is in self-defense. We do not attack countries without provocation, neither do we attack them merely because they are attacking another (who appointed us to be police of the world?). Rather, we are only to keep ourselves safe from harm.

The Israelites conquest of Canaan, however, was really not one of self-defense. They were entitled to the land, it is true, but it is likely that the Canaanites who originally settled there we unaware of God’s promise to Abraham, and indeed, they may have even been there before Abraham’s time. However, because God is above the law, he choose in this instance to order the Israelites to conquer the land through bloodshed and force.

Does this, however, set a precedent? Are we to go into foreign lands without provocation and slaughter the inhabitants? Were the crusades Godly and Biblical? Are wars not related to self-defense okay? Of course not! Just because God chose in one instance to allow his people this remedy does not mean that we are to presume that a precedent has been set for all time.

Likewise, I would argue that, in laws where God is the only “injured party”, we should not take the sword of the civil government to punish the evildoer, even when we see that God once ordered it in one case in the Old Testament.

First, we must take into account the fact that there was only a tiny amount of time in the Old Testament where a proper form of civil government was upheld – from Moses to Samuel. After that, Israel rejected God’s governance and appointed for themselves a human king. Throughout the rest of their history, they were ruled either by a king of Israel/Judah or by foreign kings who had conquered them.
These years of Israel’s history are mainly covered in Deuteronomy (and other books of the Torah), Joshua, and Judges, and 1 Samuel.

In Deuteronomy, Moses was the main judge over Israel. He had other, lesser, judges under him, and they judged small matters, but I think it safe to say that matters were a person’s life or a significant amount of property were at risk were brought before Moses himself. We also know that Moses was a prophet, and heard directly from God in a way most people did not – and even to this day, do not.

Numbers 15:35 and 27:5,6; show that Moses heard directly from God in regards to specific civil matters – Joshua 7 shows that the same was true for Joshua – Joshua 9:14 would indicate that their custom was to ask counsel of God, yet in this instance they did not and thus suffered.

Judges 2:18,19 would seem to indicate that God spoke to the other judges of Israel in like manner.
We know that Deborah was a prophetess (a fact which is highlighted for us, perhaps because, although normally a woman would not be qualified for such a role, God chooses to make exceptions at times and made her a prophetess, thus qualifying her for such a role). We also have recorded for us the fact that Gideon was spoken to by the LORD, and Samson had the Spirit of the Lord upon him. Samuel definitely was able to hear the voice of the LORD.

Unfortunately, Israel was corrupt all too often throughout these years, and the people did not follow God. I would state that this is not the fault of improper civil government, but of families who did not pass on to their children a fear and love for the LORD. Judges speaks of a generation rising up which did not know the LORD, and even Samuel’s sons were wicked. This goes to show that even when God himself is speaking directly to the civil leaders, good civil government alone cannot make people righteous – you cannot legislate morality.

Today, we do not have leaders – not even church leaders, but certainly not civil leaders -who hear from God in such a direct, case by case, personal manner. Perhaps someday God will choose to speak to people this way again, but we don’t know that He will, and if that happened I would have to reconsider my conclusions here.

That being said, I do not believe that civil government should be able to punish people for sinning against God and thereby “injuring” Him (insofar as a mortal can harm the Almighty). Self, family, and church governments should address sins, obviously, but it should be noted that they do not hold the sword – they really can’t resort to physical force, at least not to the extent that the civil government can. As such, I would advocate putting the civil government on as short a leash as possible (without thoroughly making it useless).
Take, for instance, the matter of the sabbath – most Christians today observe it on the 1st day of the week. Others feel that this is a Catholic perversion of the command to celebrate it on the 7th day, and so celebrate on the last day of the week. Should civil government then step in and determine for us what God has said? Are they to then force everyone to ignore their conscience and observe the sabbath on "X" day? Does the Bible say that man is the head of women, the state is the head of man, and God the head of the state?

Unless I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is what God wants for us today I could not in good conscience support such laws. I would rather let a guilty man go unpunished until judgement day than to have a law punish people for things which are not crimes, and find on judgement day that I have blood guilt upon my hands.