Liberalism, or ‘progressivism’ if you prefer, can be for many a very puzzling ideology to understand at times. The latest issue where common sense has been suspended for the sake of political expediency is the question as to whether or not armed guards or teachers should be allowed in schools. The premise being that the only true and constitutional way to protect the most vulnerable among us and only effective way to stop a mass shooter would be by armed intervention by another.
The logical mind would say that a trained and armed, law-abiding citizen is the one thing that would effectively stand between a school or other vulnerable place being an attractive target to the most sick and twisted among and a tragedy being prevented. Currently schools are little more than a building full of sitting ducks for those who might wish to turn it into a shooting gallery with there being no hope whatsoever of stopping anyone who would decide to vent their frustration with life and society on helpless children.
It’s a pathetic state of affairs in a society where all concepts of personal responsibility, empathy for others, and the glorification of violence now permeates the culture and all forms of popular entertainment.
After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut the National Rifle Association called for armed security at all schools. And any concealed carry advocates pointed out that ‘gun-free’ zones such as movie theaters have proven that they only attract those intent on harming large groups of helpless victims and do absolutely nothing to protect innocents. Since that shooting, there have already been several instances where armed persons have stopped a potential similar tragedy from occurring again because someone was armed and prepared to use force to stop the perpetrator.
The latest unfolded on Friday, February 1st.
Armed Guard Stops School Shooter After He Opened Fire at Atlanta Middle School
I guess our liberal friends are aghast that, once again, their “solution” of gun-free zones has been shown to be fatally flawed. For them, guns are universally evil unless solely in the hands of the military or police, and even then they are viewed with great suspicion. To ever admit, even for a second, that an armed citizen might be able, available, and encouraged to be called upon or put in a position to save a fellow citizen from death and maiming by a madman is simply not acceptable to them. Even when that person might be trained and responsible, or someone that we otherwise put in a position of trust (pilots, teachers etc.).
In my home state of Colorado, a bill sponsored by my state senator that would have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons in Colorado schools was recently defeated in a party line vote by Democrats. They would rather retain the status quo that leaves my children completely vulnerable and unprotected every single school day than provide them even a chance of being protected by an armed and trained individual. Explain to me how that is being responsible with the best interests of children in mind.
The typical idiocy of those who oppose the safe school concept was expressed in that particular debate by state Sen. Jesse Ulibarri, D-Commerce City, who asked whether armed teachers might just end up shooting their students, who would be in a crossfire.
“I want to make sure that I’m not allowing something worse to happen.”
Really? Seriously? The idea that Sandy Hook, Aurora theater, or Columbine massacres might have “been worse” because of some mythical “crossfire” that has never before happened in the history of mass shootings but is trotted out a valid and reasonable excuse to keep unarmed children and citizens completely unprotected is simply asinine.
Such thinking is mind boggling. It’s ridiculous, irresponsible, ignorant, dishonest, and ultimately dangerous in practice.
David Huntwork is a happily married, heterosexual, white Christian male. A long time conservative activist, blogger, and columnist he resides in beautiful Northern Colorado and is the proud father of three daughters. The son, grandson, and great-grandson of Ministers of the Gospel he brings a unique blended background of theology and ideology to the great debates of the day. He believes that Faith, Family, and Freedom is the formula for success and the key to a good life and a healthy nation. David blogs and serves as the site editor for Constitutionclub.org. You can now follow him on twitter: Dave@conclubsage
(Centennial Fellow) Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in the Declaration of Independence: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..." He then proceeded to lay out why the American colonies would rightfully "assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them." As he wrote this, Jefferson was laying the groundwork for what ultimately would become necessary: the forceful overthrow of an unjust political regime.In order to succeed at a revolution, the colonists of course had to be armed and must have had the ability to take up arms against the government that was over them.Is it possible that this might be necessary again? There are plenty of examples of democratic regimes that, through democratic means, have become tyrannical. To think we are immune from this would be naïve. We the people are the government, but that doesn't mean that we always will be.A professional army oppressed our founders. Nevertheless, our founders proved that a well-armed citizenry was able to defeat the better-armed professional army. We can find two more recent examples, both from Afghanistan, where we find a better-armed power, losing to a weaker, though more committed force. Both the Soviet and the United States militaries have been proven ineffective against the Afghans, despite overwhelming military superiority. A rebellious force does not need identical weaponry, only adequate weapons.Much is made of the second amendment's invocation of a "well-regulated militia." While it is certainly true that roving bands of armed men would fail the test of "well-regulated," the ability for ordinary citizens to organize themselves when needed is a far cry from the professional military of standing military and even state National Guards.To get a sense of the thinking on the concept of militias at the time of the founding, we can turn to Adam Smith, who in the Wealth of Nationswrote the following: "Men of republican principles have been jealous of a standing army as dangerous to liberty. In a militia, the character of the labourer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character; and in this distinction seems to consist the essential difference between those two different species of military force" (Book V, Chapter 1). Smith's comparison between a standing army and a "militia" is clear: militias, as distinct from standing armies, are ordinary men who take up arms, when necessary, to oppose oppressive standing armies. Standing armies, like the National Guard, aren't the solution when defending an oppressive regime; they are the problem and certainly would not be the type of "militia" referred to in the 2nd Amendment.The NRA and other gun groups have devoted much of their argument for 2nd Amendment protection in the area of hunting and sporting. If you visit the NRA web page, hunting, sporting and some discussion of personal defense are emphasized with little to no discussion about the founder's inclusion of the 2nd amendment. When this is the primary argument, defenders of the 2nd Amendment are going to lose the fight. When we base our argument primarily on an individual's desire to go hunting or target shooting, we are asking the general public to weigh two options: letting potential murders have access to guns who might perpetrate an evil like Columbine or Newtown versus the desire to go hunting or target shooting. When this comparison is made, supporters of gun rights lose, as the emotional appeal of "protecting innocent kindergarteners" is far more compelling to the general public than is recreational shooting.Many supporters have used the hunting/sporting argument as the default position to oppose new government regulations. If this is what we stand on in opposition to any new regulations supported by the White House and members of Congress, the 2nd Amendment will lose. The general public is going to weigh a person's desire to shoot their AR-15 against the tragedy in Newtown and, in the end, public sentiment will be overwhelming in favor of a gun ban.This is not what the 2nd Amendment is about. It isn't about hunting or target shooting with a specific caliber firearm. It is about the ability for individuals and groups of people to be armed, as necessary, to defend themselves from standing armies, both foreign and domestic.
CCU political professor Greg Schaller wrote this for "A Line of Sight," Bob Beauprez's ezine.
(Denver Post, Feb. 3) Firearms are dangerous. When learning to use a rifle in boyhood, and later when training with a handgun, I was drilled hard on this. Instructors barked at my least show of carelessness.
But the force of government and political power is more dangerous than any gun. Our public officials are trustees over the organized monopoly of legitimate violence in this country. Under due process of law, they hold the dispensation of life and death over us all. How chilling if this fearsome power were to be used carelessly.
Unfortunately, instances of its careless use are all around us, often on a massive scale and with disastrous consequences. That’s why in these United States we live not only under laws – in which the government tells the people what they may and may not do – but also under constitutions, in which the people tell the government what it may and may not do.
This recently came to mind as I listened to state legislators taking their oath “to support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Colorado,” and last week to President Obama swearing for his second term “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
In Barack Obama’s heart, however, it seems his constitutional agenda is more transformative than protective. He’s on the record in a 2001 radio interview, thinking aloud about the need to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution [which make it] a charter of negative liberties.”
Such goals as “redistribution of wealth and… political and economic justice in society” are harder to accomplish, the future president explained, because the Constitution says what the states and federal government “can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what [they] must do on your behalf.”
One of the “tragedies of the civil rights movement,” Mr. Obama concluded, was its failure to “put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.”
Tragic? Only if we misunderstand rights as claims on other people. The modern bureaucratic state establishes such claims all the time, obligating one group as givers and privileging another as takers. Society can sustain a certain amount of this without going broke or coming to blows, and opinions differ on how close we are. But if words mean anything, such a process is not the creation of rights. God alone can do that.
Rights, in the American political tradition, mean those equal, natural, inherent endowments of an individual’s very being which no one else – especially government – may arbitrarily take from him. “Negative liberties,” Obama’s term, is correct in that rights are a stern “Thou shalt not” to a grasping, meddling, paternalistic, power-hungry Caesar.
That’s true even when Caesar is cloaked in good intentions and a democratic majority. So the federal Bill of Rights, ten amendments to our U.S. Constitution, and the Colorado Bill of Rights, 31 sections of our state constitution, ban piled upon ban specifying what government “can’t do to you,” are a free people’s best friend.
The latter in particular, established for us since statehood in 1876, deserves your attention as gun control is debated this year. The right to keep and bear arms – federally guaranteed by the Second Amendment, but with a problematic militia clause – shines unclouded in Colorado’s Section 13, where it is justified explicitly by an individual’s “defense of his home, person and property.”
Now come Gov. Hickenlooper and his legislative allies, with their well-meaning proposals to, in some degree, disarm law-abiding Coloradans – supposedly in exchange for new assurances of what government “must do on your behalf” (to quote the President one last time). Don’t they recognize how much Section 13 ties their hands? They need to.
('76 Contributor) If there is anything Americans love, it is options. Lots of them. Americans enjoy a variety of choices in retail, entertainment, automotive… you name it. Private industry tends to reveal what the American public finds most conducive toward happiness. What is good is invested in, what is bad, either ceases to exist, or must undergo some serious reforms to be competitive once more.
It is all part of the beauty of competition—we choose what to invest our time, effort, and money into that would best allot the means toward happiness. It is ironic, therefore, that while Americans are able to freely choose what commercial luxuries to invest in, we have less freedom of investment in our most precious commodity: our children, and our children’s future.
Expanding choice in education means expanding opportunity for children and creating a more responsive education system. In a system where parents have choice, schools will be more attuned to making sure they serve the needs of students. That kind of dynamic system will help improve all schools.
Arizona in particular has led the way in creating that type of dynamic system. The state's groundbreaking Education Savings Account program allows families to opt for 90 percent of the state funds that would have gone to the child’s assigned public school to instead be deposited directly into an ESA.
That money opens the door for parents to shop in a freer market of schooling options, including and not limited to: a private school tuition, on-line education, private tutoring, and special education services. Unused funds can even be rolled over year-to-year, and can even be rolled into a 529 college savings account. It is an education option that would make Milton Freedman proud, and one he might even consider a refinement of his original idea of school vouchers.
Arizona is the only state that has utilized this new system, thus far. The Empowerment Scholarship Account program, as it is called in Arizona, has tripled in its active accounts since it began in 2011. The program was originally instated for special education students; however, the program expanded to include low-income students who attend failing schools, children of active-duty military families, and children in the Arizona foster care system. These changes will be in place by the start of the next school year.
Alas, this new program of freedom has not gone without a fight. Parents in Arizona are already fighting against the Arizona School Boards Association to secure this parental right. The ASBA, along with the Arizona Education Association and Arizona Association of Business Officials, filed a claim in 2011 that the ESA program was unconstitutional in the State of Arizona per Arizona Supreme Court decision Cain v. Horne.
Cain struck down two publically funded voucher programs as unconstitutional. Yet, counsel of the defense from the Institute for Justice argue that concessions made during oral argument in Cain concede certain publically funded programs to be constitutionally recognized for school choice. Empowerment Accounts, unlike previous voucher programs, do not require that the parents only select private educational programs for their children. The program therefore aids individuals, and not institutions.
Although the voucher programs originally instated in Arizona prior to Cain did yield advancements in educational freedom, the Education Savings Accounts have opened new doors of opportunity: more freedom, more choices, and parental empowerment. And as states consider expanding or implementing school choice options, ESAs should be at the top of their list.
 Michelle Reese, “Arizona’s Education Savings Account Programs Growing,” East Valley Tribune, January 1, 2013, http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/local/education/article_e3a65f48-4df1-11e2-b6db-001a4bcf887a.html (accessed January 25, 2013).
Friday, 3 December 2010 09:14 by Admin
Colorado's second straight year of inevitable cuts in state aid to education can become an opportunity to improve learning performance while shedding needless costs, according to a policy brief from the Centennial Institute, Colorado Christian University's think tank. The paper is online here: Centennial Policy Brief No. 2010-2 "Much Better Schools on Much Lower Budgets: A Primer for Colorado Policymakers" draws on proven models for achieving more with less, from schools across the country and around the world. "Our state has massive cost inefficiencies and educational deficiencies within the structure of K-12 education, built up over decades and crying out for correction," says the author. Over $1 billion must be cut from projected spending in order to balance the 2011-2012 budget. Students in neighboring Utah, the paper points out, significantly outperform Colorado students on the respected NAEP test, even though Utah's spending per pupil is only 61 cents on the dollar compared to Colorado's. Denver parochial schools succeed better with minority youngsters than nearby public schools, at just 55 cents on the dollar. Looking abroad, we see education systems from Canada to Korea to Germany far exceeding the United States in academic achievement at 30% lower cost. The paper is organized in Q&A format around 20 concise topics, starting with "Admit: The US trails woefully in global rankings," running through "See why the teaching profession has faltered" and "Realize school funding is bloated, not starved," and concluding with recommendations to "Legislate boldly in 2011." William J. Moloney, former Colorado Education Commissioner with a lifetime of school experience in a half-dozen other states and countries, authored the policy brief in consultation with a panel of educators, legislators, and budget experts. "It is in our power to fix what is broken; all that's needed is the political will," Moloney writes in the introduction. "There will never be a more opportune moment to break out of the old paradigm." He calls on the General Assembly to reinterpret Amendment 23's factor formulas in line with budget realities; offer local school districts a timeout from costly mandates, accreditation, and testing; allow schools to outsource many functions; encourage charters, vouchers, and tax credits; and defuse PERA's "pension time bomb." John Andrews, director of the Centennial Institute, says in an editor's note that when Moloney warned some weeks ago about Colorado public education becoming one of several "metastasizing entitlements that have reached a point of absolute unsustainability," defenders of the education status quo replied in print with emotion, not logic. They deemed the former commissioner's analysis "offensive to educators" -- without attempting to refute it factually. (Denver Post, Oct. 3 and Oct. 14, 2010.) In releasing the policy brief today, Andrews commented: "Centennial Institute and Bill Moloney will be working actively with legislators of both parties to help translate this new paradigm into budgetary solutions. With or without cooperation from teacher unions and the education lobby, the state's dire fiscal condition is forcing policymakers to think way outside the box -- and that's good news for ill-served Colorado schoolchildren."
('76 Editor) This week Centennial Institute officially begins its second year. We're working to become known in Colorado and nationally as the open forum where current issues are tested against timeless principles.
Our Spring 2010 events calendar features topics from drug policy to mobility strategies to the Christian testimony of an ex-Muslim terrorist. We'll also feature Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute on capitalism in crisis, Douglas Bruce on taxpayer protection in Colorado, and Michael Poliakoff on the classical legacy of Vergil.
The full schedule, confirmed with a few exceptions, is below. There's no charge for these events, but space is limited, so you will need to reserve early.
For reservations, email Centennial@ccu.edu or call 303.963.3424.
Wednesday, February 17, 7pmCCU Music CenterDebate: "Why Not Legalize All Marijuana?"State Rep. Tom Massey, State Sen. Sean Mitchell,DA Carol Chambers, Attorney Jessica Corry----------------------------------------- Monday, February 22, 7pmCCU Business School 101Issue Monday: "Mobility Solutions for Colorado"Randal O'Toole, Author of "Gridlock"----------------------------------------- Wednesday, March 3, 12 noonCCU Dining Commons AnnexLuncheon Briefing: "Confronting Radical Islam"Tawfik Hamid, Author of "The Roots of Jihad"----------------------------------------- Monday, March 15, 7pmCCU Beckman Center 202Issue Monday: "Vergil's Epic of Western Civilization"Dr. Michael Poliakoff, Former Academic VP, University of Colorado----------------------------------------- Friday, March 19, 730amBrown Palace HotelPolicy Breakfast: "Reviving Democratic Capitalism"Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute----------------------------------------- Wednesday, April 7, 12 noonCCU Dining Commons AnnexLuncheon Briefing: "From Muslim Terrorist to Christian Believer"Kamal Saleem, Author of "The Blood of Lambs"----------------------------------------- Wednesday, April 14, 7pmCCU Music CenterLecture: "Defending Liberty"Wayne LaPierre, President, National Rifle Association (invited)----------------------------------------- Monday, April 19, 7pmCCU Beckman Center 202Issue Monday: "Taxpayer Protection in Colorado, 1985-2010"Douglas Bruce, Author of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights
||medical marijuana, arthur brooks, wayne lapierre, douglas bruce, radical islam, terrorism, tabor amendment, randal o'toole, carol chambers, jessica corry, tawfik hamid, kamal saleem
||Centennial Institute | Colorado | Culture | Policy
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('76 Editor) While others play the personality game of who succeeds Bill Ritter, let’s talk policy. Imagine Colorado making itself so attractive to employers that we lead all 50 states in creating new jobs, instead of lagging in 20th place as we did in the decade past (our second-worst showing since 1890).
Imagine Colorado becoming a mecca for affordable health care by letting insurers from across the country compete on price and quality in our state marketplace. Imagine forging out as the nation’s futuristic energy leader, the state that builds safe nuclear plants for clean electricity powering homes, businesses, and vehicles.
Imagine our schools putting kids’ best interests ahead of union demands with the most charter-friendly policies in America, slashing red tape to empower learning performance. Imagine our university system paying students a 25% dividend on their time and tuition by innovating the three-year college degree.
Imagine a legislature so tough-minded that it would solicit private investors for Colorado’s transportation infrastructure, Indiana-style; clean up the PERA retirement system’s governance to exclude self-serving insiders; impeach the state’s chief justice for rewriting our constitution; and launch an all-out investigation of radical Islam’s influence here.
And imagine a state government so honest that it no longer grabs a 15-month, zero-interest loan from your paycheck in the form of tax withholding. Rather you keep your own money for your own use until the revenue deadline in April each year.
Such imagineering, as the Disney people call it, is great for mind expansion. But don’t expect any of these visions to be realized in legislation when the Colorado General Assembly convenes this week. Majority Democrats, led by House Speaker Terrance Carroll and Senate President Brandon Shaffer, envision our future differently – and for now, citizens have put them in charge.
For now. The ruling party’s legislative work from January to May is their final exam. In November the voters will file a report card on every House member and half the Senate. Some of us hope all the Democrats flunk. To hasten that, Republicans should use the 2010 session to prove that “out of power” does not mean out of ideas.
Snow may be scarce in the mountains, but at the Capitol a blizzard of bills is flying. During these 120 days nearly a thousand proposals will surface. Some will tackle the budget deficit. Others will push hot buttons, from legal pot to illegal aliens. We’ll hear about such bedroom questions as the gun in the nightstand or who shares a pillow. So will they also find time to debate the big-picture policy issues?
Ten are imagined on my list above. GOP legislators, outnumbered in both chambers, can’t pass these good ideas into law. They can't even get many of them to a floor vote where Dems are put on record. But they can certainly propose them as bills, publicize and advocate for them, laying down a marker for the upcoming campaign.
Rep. Spencer Swalm (R-Centennial) is doing just that with his proposal to end mandatory withholding of state income tax, a transparency move to highlight the ever-growing cost of government. “When a taxpayer has to sit down and write a check,” says Swalm, “it wonderfully focuses the mind.”
Businesses, for that matter, shouldn’t pay income tax at all – since they merely pass it along to consumers or squeeze it out of employee payrolls. Spurring an employment boom by axing that tax was one of my recommendations to gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis in a column last month. His legislative allies should call the Dems’ bluff on job creation with a bill.
By helping Coloradans imagine a better legislature in 2010, Republicans can help themselves back to the majority in 2011. “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it,” sang that old political balladeer, Goethe.
(Centennial Fellow) Hitting to all fields: (1) Barack Obama may be a far better orator than George W. Bush, but when Bush delivered a message, despite his sometimes mangled syntax, everyone knew what he stood for. Because Obama's elocution is superior, only later do people realize they have no idea what he really meant.
(2) If overhauling the nation's health care system is so urgent that lawmakers can't be afforded time to read the bills before they vote, why does so much of the legislation not take effect until after the 2012 election?
(3) Obama vowed that he wouldn't sign health legislation if it adds "even one dime to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean what I say." The Senate bill costs $900 billion and, we now know, its alleged savings were counted twice and spent elsewhere in the bill. Obama also promised that health "reform" would "cut the average family's premium by about $2,500 per year" and he opposed a requirement that everyone must purchase insurance. The Senate bill is estimated to double or triple premiums for young families and, of course, requires them to buy insurance or pay a fine. What's more alarming — that Obama believes what he says, when so much is demonstrably untrue, or that he thinks most people still believe him?
(4) The test of a politician's commitment to limited government is if he still believes in limited government when his party is in power. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) was first elected in 1984. He's seen Republicans win majorities when they focused on limited government, constitutional freedom and economic growth. Yet, Barton wants Congress to require a college football post-season playoff and make it unlawful to call any game the "national championship" unless it is the culmination of a playoff.
(5) Notwithstanding Gov. Bill Ritter's proclamations and ribbon cuttings, the "new energy economy" isn't recession proof. A wind turbine manufacturer in Windsor first announced that 500 employees would be furloughed, then suggested they would be reassigned to other tasks and could face indefinite "long weekends" while production of turbine blades is halted. Once upon a time, politicians understood that a good energy policy produced power from reliable sources at affordable prices. Today, too many lawmakers think it's their job to prefer certain sources of energy — solar, wind and other "renewables" — and to impede others — namely, oil, gas, hydro and nuclear. Anyone who opposes an energy policy that utilizes all available sources is either woefully uninformed or has an ulterior motive for wanting to impose higher costs and fewer choices on everyone else.
(6) Government can't create jobs that contribute to a productive economy because government doesn't produce anything that people want to purchase. That's why government resorts to taxation.
(7) Majority rule can be just as dangerous as a despotic dictator. Consider Social Security, Medicare and the proposed federal takeover of health care: No one in their right mind would look their children or grandchildren in the eye and say, "You must pay two or three times more for health insurance, so I can buy my health insurance at less than half what it really costs." Nor would they saddle their loved ones with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and a future of soaring tax rates and meager economic opportunities. And for what? To support an unsustainable system of health care entitlements and a retirement Ponzi scheme that would be considered fraudulent were it operated by anyone other than government.
(8) If pro-life politics are so unfashionable, then how is it that Democrats — the party that won't even allow pro-life elected officials to speak at their national conventions — couldn't pass their health care bill in either the House or the Senate, despite huge majorities, without accommodating abortion foes?
(9) Just wondering: is dissent still patriotic?
Centennial Fellow Mark Hillman served as senate majority leader and state treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.
('76 Editor) Also from our Head On mini-debate series on Colorado Public Television, Susan Barnes-Gelt and I vie for the oddest angle on what the New Year of 2010 might bring. Don't hold your breath for any of this to come true, but the wacky speculation is an amusing pastime as Jan. 1 rushes toward us.
John: Break out the funny hats and champagne. It’s John and Susan’s fearless predictions of 2010. To balance the budget, Ritter sells the Teamsters naming rights to the gold dome. Romanoff wins the Senate nomination by proving his carbon footprint is smaller. Oprah wins the Nobel Peace Prize for finally leaving us in peace.
Susan: Bill Ritter gets re-elected and Andrew Romanoff goes to the U.S. Senate. The Denver Public School board and administration implode and Hickenlooper takes over the District. Smart Cars, walking and motorized bikes become the dominant modes of transportation and the country’s collective waistline shrinks.
John: More 2010 predictions from our twisted crystal ball. Al Gore goes into grief therapy as the climate scare collapses. Tiger Woods converts to Islam for the polygamy. Obama moves right and names Tom Tancredo as Secretary of Homeland Security. Gen. Petraeus announces for president anyway. Happy New Year!
Susan: Wall Street funds the program to rebuild America’s bridges, schools and parks out of their ill-gotten gains and bonuses – Airlines charge for carry-on instead of checked bags – thereby incenting good behavior. Hickenlooper works to build transit instead of traveling to Copenhagen to talk about it. Peace.
(CCU Student) In most aspects of our world today, we see the increasing absence of moral authority. Citizens in all venues of vocation are striving for premier results, success, and position, and moral authority has become forgotten and lost all meaning and value. Ethics and principles have been replaced with mendacious and disingenuous acts, most of the time being intentional. An area that I feel has lost its honorability and morality is our current government. This is not a statement made based of feeling, biased, or emotion; rather, on facts and evidence. Our government has resonated the sound of a progressive movement towards socialism within the past few months, which directly contradicts the foundation set forth by our founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson, a deist and author of the declaration of independence, stated the following about his vision for the people of the United States: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
-(Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence)
So there is no doubt that our country was meant to provide citizens with rights and prosperity. Our new governmental administration has decided to contradict the Constitution and take our country in a new direction. Now, change isn’t always a bad thing, where the question lies with, is it morally right to go against the will of the people and foundation of our country? There are three fundamental concepts that compromise moral authority in our nation.
Universal healthcare is a current economic and political proposal that brings into question the matter of ethics and fairness. The government has digressed into a position defending and promoting the passing of a bill providing everyone with free healthcare. Sure, it looks great on paper, but in this economy, it is deemed as further government acquisition of another aspect of our lives. It is essential for the government to be involved to an extent, but where should the line be drawn? The new administration is unbalanced and unchecked, giving democrats the chance to advance any laws they want. But how about morally, is it fair to those that do not wish to see taxes increased to pay off this bill, which will cost twenty percent of our entire economic revenue?
Next, we take a look at the separation of church and state. Recently, the government has conveyed their message that they are impelling the separation of the church and state rather then coalescing the two. The problem is, however, that the separation is a one-sided deal, as the government receives their taxes from churches, while the churches aren’t getting the appropriate rights or privacy.
For example, if Proposition 8 in California would have passed, it would have required all churches to wed same and heterosexual couples regardless of denomination or affiliation. So churches are paying these high stipends, complying with federal law, and still aren’t able to obviate themselves from governmental affairs. The church has also attempted to accelerate the process of implementing the teaching of Creationism in schools, only to be thwarted numerous times in congress. In addition, it has been proven that Christian men founded our country on Christian principles and morals. Nine of the original thirteen founding fathers were bible- believing Christians, and this is proven throughout their actions. In 1777. Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles, which were to be distributed throughout the 13 colonies. George Washington is identified today as an anti governmental advocate and once stated:
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
-(George Washington, on Political Parties and Government)
Thirdly, there is the issue of abortion. In 1973, a case titled Roe v. Wade voted in favor of the pro-choice movement and abortions became legal. Since then, the government has done little to ratify the law, and has been negligent and deemed Presidents who sought reform as derisory. It is a controversial topic that has been debated time over time for the past quarter century, while no progress has been made. The government recently is in the process of enacting a law in the universal healthcare bill that would take taxpayer money to assist the federal in funding abortions. One has to question, why weren’t the American citizens involved in the inquiry, or informing of their own tax money going towards funding a cause as influential as abortion?
This isn’t just a matter of pointing the finger at a single person; rather, it’s the corruption of government and how they’ve inveigled the media into preaching subliminal messages to its citizens. And to be impartial, government isn’t the only ones abusing this concept of absence of morality; it’s everywhere in our daily lives. As our society as a whole advances towards ideology of socialism and progressive liberalism, the line of moral ethics and values continues to move further and further back. At what point, however, will the line of morality be abolished, and fundamental Constitutional rights become eliminated? Therein lies the salient question, so I believe we should turn to the Bible to follow what God says. In Romans 13:1, God says to obey the government, but lest not forget that he is in charge of the grand scheme.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.” -(Romans 13:1, Holy Bible)