|Welcome to Freedomthirst.com’s first Guest Blog. Our first “guest blogger” is Ben! It has not been edited at all, accept to add a couple of pictures. The thoughts are entirely those of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the opinion of Freedomthirst.com, and the quote of Ronald Reagan is part of Ben’s post. Having said that, I can say that Ben is a great guy. 🙂 Enjoy and leave your thoughts! Speak freely but be nice. 🙂|
“Politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive.” –Ronald Reagan
For some time now, I have been contemplating the issue of mosques being built across America with apparent funding from the middle east. Most recently, the issue has become a local one with the proposed mosque in San Martin.
The basic presupposition in Reaganâ€™s statement is, â€œThe heart of man is wicked.â€ That statement is at the root of a culture war.
If men (generic) are wicked, then they need to be restrained by laws and external force. Such restraint is an act of self defense by society. How, then are we to have liberty?
The counter argument is that men are â€œgoodâ€ and their wickedness is caused by external forces (environment, heritage, traditionâ€¦).
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In one case, individuals are responsible (internally) for their actions. In the other, individuals are not responsible, they are victims of external forces.
America is founded upon the concept that individuals are responsible for their actions. It is also founded on the concept that men are intended to be at liberty. Here then, is a paradox:
Liberty without law is anarchy.
Law without liberty is slavery.
Liberty with law is only possible under the â€œlaws of nature and of natureâ€™s God.â€ That is, when internal self government replaces external force and manipulation, men are at liberty. William Blackstone, father of the legal profession, wrote that manâ€™s faulty reasoning tended to misinterpret what he observed in the laws of nature. For example, there was a time when men thought the earth was flat. Thus, reasoned Blackstone, God in His compassion for man, gave him a direct revelation.
â€œThe doctrines thus delivered,â€ wrote Blackstone, â€œWe call the â€˜revealedâ€™ â€¦ law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures.â€ It was the God of the Bible who said, â€œCome, let us reason together.â€ I challenge anyone to fault Blackstoneâ€™s sound reasoning in his â€œCommentaries.â€ (circa 1765)
Humans possess a wonderful gift, the gift of reason. How sad we donâ€™t use it more often!
Letâ€™s reason together. A mosque or a church on the corner is just a pile of bricks and mortar. It is the corporate character and actions of the people who make up its congregation that will impact our society. In America, people are free to choose which congregation, if any, with which they wish to associate.
Most religious organizations have a particular philosophy dictated by the writings of their founder(s). Most have an individual, whose life and teachings serve as a model for living. When someone associates with such a group, they are also in association with those writings and individualâ€™s teachings. It is a choice. In nature, a choice cannot be forced, it must be free.
Society then, has a vested (i.e. self defense) interest in the impact each congregation is to have. Were an Aztec congregation, practicing human sacrifice, to spring up in Morgan Hill, it would be civil governmentâ€™s responsibility to shut it down. Civil governmentâ€™s prime purpose is to protect the property of its citizens. Life, like conscience, is an individualâ€™s property.
Let us look at the typical American church and the impact of its congregations on society. Most are funded by the gifts of those associated with the congregation. Most seek to spread their philosophy and teachings locally and around the world.
Now let us consider the proliferation of mosques around America. Most are apparently being funded from the middle east. Like our churches, Muslim congregations seek to spread their philosophy and teachings locally and around the world.
Currently, the middle east is the seat of a cultural world war, one of whose major goals is the overthrow of American government and culture. Another is the â€œvoluntaryâ€, else forced adoption, of Moslem teaching. Contrast that with the major goal of most American churches to bring individual liberty to men and nations around the world.
It may be too early to determine if those middle eastern goals will be reflected in the American Moslem congregations. It would be insanity not to seek answers before taking them into our corporate bosom.
Lastly, in reasoning between philosophies, teachings and characters, let us compare.
The predominate church philosophy is to encourage free choice. The predominate Moslem philosophy is to force compliance. The predominate church teaching is that God is a loving, forgiving, yet just â€œfather God.â€ The predominate Moslem teaching is that God demands submission or death. The predominate church impression of Christ is one of humility and reason. The predominate Moslem impression of Mohamed is one of intolerance and the sword.
It is apparent at any church business meeting that its members are not afraid to speak out against things about which they disagree. Yet, frequent news stories cover stories about Moslem reprisals against Moslems who fail to conform.
Given these stark contrasts, it behooves every church member to seek out our Moslem neighbors and encourage them to stand boldly against their radical brothers. Further, to encourage them to choose the liberty of Christianity over the intimidation of compliance without reason.
All cultures are not equal. Each of us must choose this day, which we will serve. Liberty is not free. Liberty costs more than slavery, because it is worth more than slavery!