In Part 5, I concluded that something very significant has happened over the last three decades: ‘politics’ has become all-encompassing. In short: everything has become political. And if everything has become political, and Christians are supposed to butt out, that means that the Christian is being asked (or told) that he can have absolutely no …
The headline I read today was “New charge on dinner tab is in bad taste.” The opening paragraphs seemed to set the stage for the article:
Nothing succeeds in the travel industry like a bad idea. The latest hidden mandatory add-on is a “health” charge added to restaurant bills. As far as I know, this scam cropped up first in San Francisco, but you can count on it to spread.
The rationale for this one is to cover the employers’ mandatory contribution to the City’s “Healthy San Francisco” health-coverage system. The charge actually is levied on employers, but at least some restaurants are adding a few dollars or percentage points to each customer’s bill to cover this charge.
Not too long ago, FallenandFlawed blog interviewed me about my apologetics ministry and some of my activities. As tends to happen with me, I got a little long and only a portion of the interview could be posted. With permission, here are the remaining questions and answers:
Q. In 2009 ACM launched a Christian Writing Contest, which was an outgrowth of ACM’s desire to develop a genre of fiction called “literary apologetics.” Forgive me, but immediately books like C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce and The Chronicles of Narnia come to mind. Is that what you’re looking for? What kind of material did you receive?
But, besides all this, there is something which is not seen. The fifty millions expended by the State cannot be spent, as they otherwise would have been, by the tax-payers. It is necessary to deduct, from all the good attributed to the public expenditure which has been effected, all the harm caused by the prevention of private expense, unless we say that James B. would have done nothing with the crown that he had gained, and of which the tax had deprived him; an absurd assertion, for if he took the trouble to earn it, it was because he expected the satisfaction of using it, He would have repaired the palings in his garden, which he cannot now do, and this is that which is not seen. [… etc] He would have become a member of the Mutual Assistance Society, but now he cannot; this is what is not seen. (Frederic Bastiat, 1850)
Mr. Bastiat does a terrific job in showing how taxes put to the socialist’s ends only serves to diminish freedom but what I want the reader to note the connection he draws here between taxation and ‘mutual assistance.’ It is agreed by all that we should like to help our fellow man. Liberals and socialists believe they can do that better by collective administration of coerced funds than individuals can do through churches, charities, and the like.
Important caveat: the following is written BY A CHRISTIAN and pertains ONLY TO CHRISTIANS, and then, ONLY THE CHRISTIANS THAT TAKE THE BIBLE AS THEIR FINAL AUTHORITY. I hope that is sufficiently clear.
1 Peter 4:17: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
Sprinkled throughout the Scriptures is evidence of God’s fondness for a certain order of interaction with the human race. The idea that judgment begins with the family of God is not isolated to Peter and the idea that there are stages in judgment is not isolated to the apostles. For example, Jesus himself alludes to it in Mark 7 when he at first refuses to minister to the Syrophoenician Woman, saying, “First let the children eat all they want.”
The trajectory of our course leads to a fate that would fully justify despair.
These are themes that I have been covering in my apologetics ministry. To counter the ignorance regarding Christianity my ministry launched an online apologetics academy. ‘Non-judgmental’ affectations are covered every week on this blog. As for the ‘poisonous propaganda’ my ministry’s Christian writing contest is geared specifically to spur on Christian authors so that they can help turn the tide from the midst of the very belly of the beast.
Sowell describes this trajectory, asserting with conviction that a few nuclear decimated American cities followed by a quick American surrender is along that path. Perhaps. Yet I perceive that the problem is that America has already had ‘bombs’ dropped on it and the surrender occurred long ago. The time for action was probably long ago. When Americans agreed to go with the whole ‘income tax’ thing, when they allowed the creation of the Federal Reserve, when they allowed the conditions that culminated in Roe vs Wade to persist. Today we reap the consequences of these and many other ‘bombs’ and act surprised, as though the trajectory could not be plotted and predicted.
I’m pretty sure that the founders of this country had a similar view. They wouldn’t recognize the bloated thing we have today. One can guess what they’d say or do. (I have some guesses). Let us just assume that no one even tries anymore to have good, moral, proper, principled reasons for passing legislation any more. That has been abandoned. In its place are just two basic principles: 1. Will the legislation make money for the government (or those donating to officials)? 2. Will it extend the government’s reach?
People put their hope into things in proportion to the things they fear. If you’re afraid of being sick you put your hope in your doctor. If you fear ignorance in the masses you put your hope in schools. There is one thing we fear that poses a problem. That thing is DEATH. It poses a problem because it is the common problem facing all mankind but mankind appears to have absolutely nothing to balance against it. For sickness and ignorance we can create doctors and teachers. What can we do about DEATH? Nothing. Because of this we sometimes try to paper over our fears about death and focus on lesser problems.