Black and Blue

I recently got pulled over by a white police officer. After checking my driver’s license and paperwork, the officer let me go about my business.  It seems that I get pulled over  every few years for one minor thing or another. Yet, I have never had a bad experience with a police  officer. This is despite the fact that I have been black all of my life. It is interesting to note that neither my brothers have ever had a bad experience with police officers. Now, my perspective might be colored by the fact that my youngest brother is a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, but I doubt it.

According to some, my being pulled over by the police officer is nothing more than an attempt to oppress me or anyone like me. The Black Lives Matters (hereafter referred to as BLM) crowd views the police in the worst of all possible ways. They assert that racism is to be found everywhere, especially all police forces. They will argue that the disproportionate number of black men who were killed by police officers is justification for berating and threatening the police. This is why some, like Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke,  has called them a hate group.

Unfortunately for the BLM crowd, the statistics just do not bear  out their argument.  Harvard University professor, Roland G. Fryar found racial some bias for the use of force by  police officers, but not in police shooting deaths (1).  Harvard University professor of sociology, Orlando Patterson, said “America is now the least racist white- majority society in the world; has a better record of protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; and offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than  any other society, including all of Africa (2).” One should note that both of these professors from Harvard University are black men.  Further, no one would call either of them conservatives. In a recent video by black commentator, Larry Elder explains why America is not a racist country (3).

America is not a racist country, and neither are the police. As the research scholar from the Manhattan Institute, Heather MacDonald explains:

One important point of clarification comes from my brother, the police officer. He made it clear to me that there are some individual police officers who are racist, but they comprise only a small percentage of the total police force.

Nonetheless, race is still as complicated a subject as there is in American society.  The recent documentary by ESPN 30 for 30  on O.J. Simpson, as well as the recent docudrama on FX  make it clear that it is more than it appears. George Barna’s research group shows that racial tensions today are high (4).

race chart_1_new

His research also shows that the perception of this problem can vary in significant ways.

race chart_3_new

Somehow, it seems like there is more to this issue than just race. As if race is not a complex enough issue in and of itself.  It seems like there must be something else driving this train out of control. Yet another black Harvard University professor of sociology is William Julius Wilson (also not a conservative). In his book  More than Just Race (2009) he asks “Why do poverty and unequal opportunity persist in the lives of so many African Americans?” His answer is that institutional and systemic impediments, like structural racism and culture, keep poor blacks from escaping poverty.  At the same time, for blacks who have education and other advantages, race matters less and less. In other words, it more about class than it is about race. This explains why we have a black president of the United States of America.

When Barack Obama became president of these United States in 2008, he told us that he would heal the racial divide in this country. Does anyone believe that he accomplished this goal today? Does anyone even believe that he deliberately tried to improve race relations?  One is tempted to think the Barack Hussein Obama found race too useful a tool to ignore as a vehicle for his “fundamental transformation of the United States of American (5).” As a community organizer with a Marxist orientation Obama has only encouraged those who seek to cause anarchy and confusion. For example, in July he met with leaders of BLM in the White House (6). At the same time, he continuously attacks police forces with charges of racism and stupidity. His efforts do not heal the racial problems in America, instead they only make them worse. In addition, by his condemnation of the police, he stokes the fires of anarchy and violence. This results in the deaths of police officers like in Dallas and other places.

I learned a long time ago, when I was a test director for aircraft and spacecraft programs, that “No bucks, No Buck Rogers.” In other words, follow the money. Where does all of the money come from to fund the BLM activities?  It turns out that a fellow traveler with President Obama is George Soros. Soros recently gave $650,000 to BLM (7). In fact, George Soros even provides the home where BLM leader, Deray McKesson lives (8).

For those of you who don’t know, George Soros is a real life Dr. Evil (9). He actually believes that he is was annointed by God and that he has become a god who created everything (10). He wants to destabilize Russia, he wants to destabilize the United States, he wants a one world government.  To achieve his goals, he is using his billions to fund his Open Societies Foundations and a host of other groups. In the case of BLM, his giving totals over 33 million dollars (11).  There is no getting around the fact that birds of a feather flock together. So BLM is also getting funding from the Ford Foundation.  Not to be outdone by Soros, they are giving over 100 million dollars to BLM (12).

For a grass roots organization, I would have to say that they are doing very well! But BLM is not the only race group benefitting from the leftist elite.  It appears that President Obama is also helping the National Council of La Raza by providing them with taxpayer dollars. After hiring Cecilia Munoz, a vice president for  NCLR, the Obama administration increased the amount of taxpayer funding from 4.1 to 11 million dollars (13). Once again, Dr Evil (George Soros) provided 2.4 million dollars to NCLR (14). The Ford Foundation not only funds NCLR, but help found it (15). Henry Ford must be turning over in his grave! Unfortunately, the Ford Foundation funds many nefarious groups with a Marxist/ anarchist bent (16). Likewise, Soros, through his Open Societies Foundation, funds the worst sort of groups (17).

For those of us who love this country, we have great reason to be concerned. There are forces at work that seek to destroy our country as we know it. They will use race, poverty, and everything else that they can think of to divide the people in this country. We all want for people of all races to have peace and happiness in our country. Unfortunately, there are those who would take this desire and turn it into a weapon to destroy our country.

We cannot get justice and righteousness merely by showing people that these race/ hate groups are funded by evil men. Still, we all need to understand who these people are and what they want. We all need to treat each other in such a way that no one would accuse any us of racism. We must pray for our country and for our leaders to do right. We must also pray for our police officers, soldiers and first responders. Their lives matter to all of us. Without them, there would be nothing to protect all of the sheep from the wolves that seek to devour us. Finally, we must show the love of Christ to all. We must do random acts of kindness and give the good news for all who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior.

  1.  http://scholar.harvard.edu/fryer/publications/empirical-analysis-racial-differences-police-use-force
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/16/opinion/racism-is-not-the-issue.html
  3. https://www.prageru.com/courses/political-science/america-racist
  4. https://www.barna.org/research/culture-media/research-release/black-lives-matter-and-racial-tension-in-america#.V7R-1pMrJBw
  5. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/359967/obama-transforming-america-victor-davis-hanson
  6. http://ijr.com/2016/07/649156-obama-meets-with-black-lives-matter-activists-others-for-conversation-on-race-and-law-enforcement/
  7. (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/08/16/hacked-soros-memo-baltimore-riots-provide-unique-opportunity-reform-police/)
  8. http://www.theamericanmirror.com/blacklivesmatter-leader-deray-lives-home-owned-by-soros-connected/
  9. http://humanevents.com/2011/04/02/top-10-reasons-george-soros-is-dangerous/
  10. http://yournewswire.com/george-soros-i-am-a-god-i-created-everything/
  11. http://yournewswire.com/black-lives-matter-produced-by-george-soros/
  12. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/08/ford-foundation-will-fund-black-lives-matter-big-time.php
  13. http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2015/03/pay-to-play-white-house-nearly-tripled-government-funding-of-la-raza/
  14. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2013/10/26/soros-has-donated-more-than-100m-to-immigrant-rights-groups/
  15. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/30/736919/-
  16. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/funderProfile.asp?fndid=5176
  17. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237

It is Not Even Close

 

As one reads through the Old Testament, he will find over and over again, that Yahweh’s servants are engaged in the affairs of kings and kingdoms. Whether it is Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Elijah the prophets etc. they all advised, warned, deposed, installed kings and kingdoms. In the New Testament Jesus, and John the Baptist challenged the Jewish religious leaders.  Paul preached to rulers and asserted that all believers should pray for those in positions of authority. They wanted justice and righteousness, but they knew that things would not be perfect until Christ returns. What I find interesting today is that so many of my seminary-trained friends are advising people to not vote in this election. At the same time, my military friends mostly intend to vote for Trump.

Most of my seminary-trained friends don’t understand why Trump got so much of the Evangelical vote. For them, his character is so bad that they cannot be affiliated with him in any way.  They argue that Trump is just as bad as Hilary Clinton, so they tell people “Don’t vote!” In other words, you are not morally culpable if you do not vote. But aren’t you morally culpable if you do not? It may well be that we have traded a sin of commission with a sin of omission. Either way, there will be consequences, so shouldn’t we try to minimize the bad (Luke 16: 1-9)? Nonetheless, these religious leaders go on to quote Spurgeon, “When forced to choose between two evils, choose neither!” But, a problem is that these two “evils” are not equal.  If one has to choose between the flu and cancer, he would be foolish not to choose the flu. Both can kill you, but in all likelihood, it is cancer that one should worry about. It appears that my seminary-trained friends cannot discern the difference between a political flu and a political cancer.

Hilary Clinton represents the final stages of a slow growing cancer that has intended to destroy the United States of America since the 1880s. Both Progressivism and Marxism have desired to destroy the U.S. Constitution and the free market system. They want to replace both with a large central government that will achieve the common good by taking away our individual rights. To be more specific, they want to get rid of the freedom of speech (like disagreeing on climate change), they want to replace religious liberty with freedom of worship (which is just another Marxist control scheme), and they want to get rid of the right to bear arms.  For these people, freedom equals anarchy. They think that we all need to be made equal at any price. This is especially true if you and I are the ones who must pay that price.

For the Marxists/Progressives, all that matters is power and control. They make new laws and regulations to control you and me. The result is increased poverty and misery for us, while they enrich themselves. They believe that this is fair and right because they are better than you or I (the little people). They are platonic philosopher/kings who know what is good and best for everyone else. Consequently, they bend and break the law as needed to serve their purposes. The media, education, labor unions, the abortion industry, government employees, and many others support them because they share the same goals. In other words, it is not a level playing field. Because Republican politicians want to be seen as bi-partisan and cooperative, they will go along with almost anything the democratic politicians want. The more conservative part of the Republican politicians will not go to the extremes of their counterparts in the Democratic Party to accomplish their goals, so the country veers ever leftward to its destruction.

Consequently, Hilary Clinton has done far worse than anything that Richard Nixon ever hoped to do by erasing 33,000 e-mail messages that were subpoena by the House Oversight Committee, or the FBI. The number of mysterious deaths that are somehow connected to the Clintons is now at 50 (1) . Last Thursday it came out that three different FBI field units requested a public corruption investigation for the Clinton Foundation, all of which were denied by the Obama administration (2). This woman was dishonest during the Watergate investigation (3), she protected rapists  (4) (including her husband), and she sold 20% U.S. deposits of uranium to the Russians (5). All of the while the Clintons went from being broke when they left the White House to being worth over 100 million dollars. One should not have to mention the problems with the Benghazi, Rose Law Firm (7), Travelgate (8), Whitewater (9), and a host of other scandals.  She has lied so many times, on so many things and even worse, she is terrible at it. Friends, when there is this much smoke, there is fire.

Hilary Clinton is involved in so many bad things that it is difficult to keep track of them all. Hilary Clinton is the poster child for corrupt politicians. Hillary, Bill and Chelsea have been referred to as the “Clinton Crime Family,” because like most organized crime families everyone knows what is difficult to prove in a court of law. They lie, deny, and attack anyone who tells the truth. The Clintons are above the law, like John Gotti, they are “Teflon dons.” Just as the media loves gangsters, they also love the “Clinton Crime Family.” Donald Trump is right to call her, “Crooked Hillary!”

When Bill Clinton ran for president the first time, Hillary Clinton told the voters that voting for the Clintons was like K Mart’s blue light special, because you get two for the price of one. Now we have the opportunity to get this “deal (such as it is)” again. If we were to list Bill Clinton’s crimes against America, you would be exhausted from reading this post.  It should suffice to say that his high crimes and misdemeanors were of the sort that resulted in his impeachment by the House of Representatives and his being disbarred. In contrast, what has Donald Trump done? He has committed adultery, divorced and remarried a few times (but he has never taken advantage of women). He has said mean things and been a jerk. He has been a very hard- nosed, tough, businessman.  He has sometimes engaged in unscrupulous business practices (or what appears to be unscrupulous), but he is not a criminal or someone who engages in treasonous activities for profit. He is a shameless self- promoter who is not a Christian. Finally, he is not a conservative.

I supported Ted Cruz, for president. I voted for him, gave money to his campaign, and prayed for him. Nonetheless, Ted Cruz did not get the nomination. I find it strange that I am defending Donald Trump, but the thought of the alternative keeps me up at night. Frankly, I don’t understand why it doesn’t scare everyone else. Our type of government is a delicate thing. It was designed for a moral, God-fearing people. Hilary Clinton and the Democratic Party will take us down a road from which he might not be able to return.  In the worst case scenario, Donald Trump will at least buy this country time until the next big attack of the atheistic immoral, leftist hordes of self- destruction.  This choice should not even be close.

(1) (http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/another-clinton-associate-found-dead-bill-hillarys-body-count-increases/)

(2) (http://www.inquisitr.com/3411181/three-fbi-offices-wanted-to-investigate-clinton-foundation-but-attorney-general-loretta-lynch-refused-request/)

(3) (http://www.wnd.com/2008/04/60962/)

(4) (http://freebeacon.com/politics/the-hillary-tapes/)

(5) (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0)

(6) (http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/13/hillarys-career-rose-law-firm-bellwether-modern-day-document-destruction/)

(7) (http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/17/how-hillary-clinton-sicced-the-fbi-on-the-white-house-travel-office/)

(8) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/whitewater/stories/wwtr960602.htm)

 

Evil and Stupid

Richard Land  (former president of the SBC ERLC) told me a story about when he first came to Washington D.C. . He was told that there were two political parties and that one was evil and  the other was stupid. When I tell people that story, most people laugh. What is amazing is that everyone already knows which party is evil and which party is stupid. It is so obvious that is does not even need to explain that the Democratic Party is evil and the Republican Party is stupid.  While there is no mystery about which party is which, it is a mystery why each party continues to be as it is.

I have referred to the Democratic Party as the Go to Hell Party (GHP for short) because they are for abortion, homosexuality, socialism, and general immorality. This is the party that that supported slavery, Jim Crow laws, the Ku Klux Klan, and voted God off the party platform in 2012 (three times). While they voted God on the party platform this year, they still have gone out of their way to remove God everywhere else.  They are the ones who are quick to sacrifice religious liberty on the altar of the LGBTQ community. These are the ones who are striving to destroy Christian schools, businesses and churches. The DNC (or GHP) is also willing to sacrifice our individual rights on the altar of big government. The DNC (or GHP) realize that it is conservative Christianity that is the biggest force preventing them from obtaining the utopian dream. In reality; however, their dream is a nightmare. To accomplish their goal of complete and total equality, they would gladly destroy the United States of America. Perhaps they are not only evil, they might be crazy as well. Bernie Sanders could not secure the nomination against Hilary Clinton because he is merely the Diet Coke of evil (just one calorie, not evil enough).

I have referred to the Republican Party as the Good for Nothing Party (GNP) because they only thing that they will actually stand for is business.  Republican politicians will generally claim to be conservative, because most of their voters are. Unfortunately, Republican politicians are all over the map. They are liberal, moderate, libertarian, neo-  conservative, and a very few are actually conservative.  All too often, a politician is a Republican only because he is not a Democrat, not because he has any essential beliefs. Not surprisingly, we cannot count on them to vote for our interests. They want to be friends with the Democratic politicians, even though, the Democrats always take advantage of them. Senators McCain, Graham and McConnell as well as the speaker of the House cannot help themselves when they decry some pecadillo said by Donald Trump (a sin no Democrat would ever make for someone in their own party). With the same fervency, they shut down every attempt at moving the country in a more conservative direction. Nonetheless, all Republicans love America and want religious liberty, economic prosperity, and a strong national defense. Unfortunately, they are not willing to fight for anything (unless it is against a conservative Republican). The Republican leadership truly are stupid and out of touch with their constituency. Republican voters find themselves in the unfortunate position of voting for the opposition party that is not.

One group that is even worse than these two political parties are the voters. Over 60% of Democratic voters think that Hilary Clinton should continue her run for president even if she is indicted for something (and there are plenty of somethings).  Her supporters are quick to point out  that Hilary has quite a bit of experience but somehow, they neglect the fact that almost all of this experience shows her complete and utter incompetence. Her supporters can point to no real accomplishments, but her critics can easily point to all of her failures. It should be obvious to the most casual observer that she is an empty suit, an queen that has no clothes. Hilary is frequently in error on policy issues, but she is never in doubt. What part of her experience that does not show incompetence shows her outright corruption. She is for all of the bad things that the DNC wants in general, plus she wants to finish the fundamental transformation of American society that President barack Obama began. The fact that any sane person would vote for her shows that something must be wrong with them.

Republican voters were rational to vote for an outsider, like Trump. The problem was that they got Trump. He is crass and crude and a serial adulterer. But he is also competent, confident, and actually loves the country. He is willing to think outside of the box and consequently has changed the debate on illegal immigration, Islamic terrorism, and even trade.  He is sometimes wrong on policy issues, but he is constantly improving and gathering the right kind of people  around him. All in all, despite his occasional lack of focus, there are plenty of good reasons to vote for him.

Republican voters are funny, they are smart enough to realize that the left is dangerous and that they keep getting worse candidates. Amazingly, Republican voters are too stupid to act in their own best interests. Some Republicans are so locked into the RNC establishment that they cannot bear the idea that an outsider has gotten the nomination. They argue that Trump is not a conservative, as if  Teddy Roosevelt, Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, or either of the Bushes were. They were merely more conservative than Democrats.

Then there is a group of whiners, called Never Trumpers. They  include the likes of Bill Kristol, and George Will. Just yesterday, 50 top Republican officials are now warning that Trump is a threat to national security.  If this is not enough, some of these will vote for Hilary Clinton, because they believe that she is better qualified, despite her lack of accomplishments, open contempt for military people, and her utter disregard for classified material. These Never Trumpers believe that they are the gatekeepers, but in reality they are little more than legends in their own minds. To them, I say “DO NOT COME BACK! WE DO NOT NEED YOUR ‘HELP (such as it is)!'” All  too often, the problems we now face are caused by these people.

Then there are those who, under normal circumstances would vote for a Republican, but given the current set of candidates will not vote at all.  They generally give an argument like, “I cannot endorse people of such character.” To be sure, every Republican president has been a man of character. Nonetheless, some have been divorced (Reagan), most were not Christian (perhaps only George W. Bush), many both drank alcohol and smoked (Trump does neither). Many of the Democrats on the other hand are severely character challenged. Take for example FDR (a serial adulterer who died at the house of  his girlfriend), or JFK (serial adulterer), LBJ (serial adulterer), Jimmy Carter (anti-semite), and Bill Clinton (serial adulterer/ rapist). We all suspect that the other shoe has not dropped yet on Barack Hussein Obama (there are rumors of a number of different things).  To say that Hilary Clinton is character challenged is to grossly understate the problem. She makes Richard Nixon look like a paragon of virtue.

The problem with the character argument is that I know of no one who is endorsing Trump’s character.  If people are endorsing anything, it is that Trump will do a better job for America than Clinton. I am a firm believer that the average person on the street can do a better job than Hilary Clinton, because she is evil. In the end, we can survive the occasional stupidity of Trump, but we will not survive the unrelenting evil of Hilary Clinton. With her, our future will be similar to Venezuela. To be sure, neither will bring in a kingdom of justice and righteousness.  Nonetheless, we still have a duty as citizens of the United States and as Christians to choose wisely. Edmund Burke argued that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

 

 

Confessions of a Human Racist

People often suppose that if you are black and an academic that you will frequently write about race. I have not chosen to do this because, I am a Human Racist. Since all men are made after the image of God, I cannot subscribe to black or any other kind of racism.  As a human racist, I will justifiably be accused of speciesism by various animal rights groups. For this, I am guilty, as charged, because I believe that God made man unique among his creations. Consequently, only human beings have rights. Failure to recognize the rights and special status of all human beings is the result of sinfulness. Black racists, white racists, or any other kind of dividers should repent of their sinfulness. Let there be no doubt, “ALL LIVES MATTER!”  If one claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, he can hold no other position.

Some, like the progressives were quick to bring in science to support their views of race. The problem is that the Human Genome Project showed that there is no genetic component of race. Nonetheless, it is beyond dispute that different ethnic groups have different health problems. DNA can tell you about eye color, but not if one is black or white or asian.  DNA also tells us that all men, regardless of coloring belong to the human race. Regardless of whether or not race is a scientific reality, it is definitely a social reality. One of  the biggest lies in America is that one has to be white to be racist. While there clearly  are a small number of white racists, not all white people are racists. In my experience,  there are some black people who are far more racist than most white people. This is no doubt true among some in other groups.

Today, no rational person wants to be called a racist. To be called a racist is a smear that is very difficult to wash off. As such, everyone needs to be very careful before they accuse someone else of being a racist. To be sure, there are some extremists who wear this accusation as a badge of honor. Needless to say, something is very wrong with these people. Their problems cannot be solved by arguments and violence. The problems of these racists can only be solved by the love of Christ.

Sadly,  I know that darker skinned blacks were looked down upon by some blacks with lighter colored skin. With the realization that even within an ethnic group that there can be a type of racism, I soon came to the conclusion that racism outside of one’s race is a logical affliction in this sin sick world. Racism, like all sin is universal and no group is free from it. As such, we have no hope of seeing racism eradicated before Christ returns.

There are some today who attempt to make  the rejection of the LGBT community equivalent with racism. Whatever race is, it is not a behavior.  Especially a sinful one. To equate those who choose to act in a sinful way with those who have different ethnic features is ridiculous. It is also demeaning to the black and Hispanic civil rights activists who had to struggle for their basic rights.  It is also a rejection of the worldview set forth in the Scriptures.

The issue is perhaps best summed up by Reinhold Neibuhr, who wrote the book, Moral Man, Immoral Society.   According to Niebuhr, “Morality is for individuals. If individuals ocassionally overcome their inevitable egotism in acts of compassion or love, there was no evidence that human groups ever overcame the power of self- interest and collective egotism that sustained their existence.”  In another section, Niebuhr wrote: “As individuals, men believe that they ought to love and serve each other and establish justice between each other. As racial, economic and national groups they take for themselves, whatever their power can command.”  Niebuhr, goes on to say, “All social co- operation on a larger scale than a most intimate social group requires a measure of coercion.” This coercion is made obvious through the voting process. So Niebuhr writes:”The majority has its way, not because the minority believes that the majority is right, but because the votes of the majority are a symbol of its social strength.” In other words, we need to be careful of what groups we attach ourselves to. It is too easy to convince ourselves that might makes right.

 After every race tinged incident, like the shootings in Louisana, Minnesota and Dallas, there is some person saying that we need to have a “conversation.” Okay, let’s wake up! No amount of “conversation” is going to rectifiy the problems of racism. We all need to repent of our sins, and decide that as far as it depends upon you, that there will be no racism. We cannot count on any group to get it right.  We, as individuals can only count on ourselves, empowered by the love of Christ to do the right thing. Consequently, the only group that we can count on is the Church of Jesus Christ, when it is being obedient to the dictates of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ is the only kingdom that is based on justice and righteousness.

 

 

https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/91653

Jesus Christ and the Common Good

images-4imgres-2

When I speak to people about politics, I often find that they do not understand the social order.  Historically, ethics is the science of character. It is concerned with how one relates to others. Economics is about the household and the business/firm. Aristotle explained that business/ firms grow out of families.  Politics is concerned with the nature of the city/ state. In Aristotle’s day, only the city/ state is self- sufficient (autarky) and self- governing (autonomy). In our context, the nation/ state achieves autarky and autonomy.

Because the household is the most basic form of community, Aristotle argued that healthy  households were essential to healthy city/ states. Healthy households help form healthy individuals, and citizens who will go on to produce other healthy households. The effective city/ state should have laws that instill virtue and positively affect the family. This effective city/ state is oriented to the common good. So what is the common good?

Aristotle used the idea of “the common interest” (or common good) as the basis for his distinction between “right” constitutions, which are for the common good, and “wrong” constitutions, which are for the good of rulers.  Because of the different types of government that can exist, he believed that one could be a good statesman without being a good man. Regardless of the type of government, Aristotle argued that justice is the common good. To this end, he favored natural families and thought that a society with a large middle class is best.  With the protection and free markets that exist in the cities the state can provide its citizens the “good life.”

Augustine has much to say on the common good. He writes in Caritas in Veritate (7)  “There is a good that is linked to  living in society: the common good.  It is the good of “all of us,” made up of individuals, families,  and intermediate groups who together constitute society. It is a good that is not sought for its own sake, but for the people who belong to the social community and who can only really and effectively pursue their good within it.” Augustine also wrote in Caritas in Veritate (7) “To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and love.”  Man’s love of self results in the temporal city of man. In contrast, man’s love of God moves him to the eternal city of God. He further asserts that justice is loving and serving God only. Augustine identified pride as the enemy of the common good.

Augustine also explains in his City of God (Book 4, chapter 4) that he unconcerned with the type of government, because he viewed all governments as nothing more than a gang of robbers. Human governments cannot instill virtue, because men reject Christ. Consequently,  earthly governments are useful, only in so far as they promote peace and allow for the spread of the Gospel. The authority of the state comes from God so that justice and peace might be maintained. Like Aristotle, Augustine emphasized the importance of natural families.

“The common good,” according to Thomas Aquinas, is the end of law and government.  Aquinas combined the theology of Augustine with the philosophy of Aristotle.  Concerning politics, he was not as optimistic as Aristotle, and he was not as pessimistic as Augustine.  For Aquinas, the common good is a single end pursued and enjoyed by a multitude of individuals. Aquinas then argues for a two-fold understanding of the common good.  In his Summa Theologia (I-II, question 96 answer 3) that the intrinsic common good is the combination of justice and peace. The extrinsic common good is happiness resulting from virtuous living.  Unlike Augustine, Aquinas was concerned with the best kind of government, because the right kind of government will be oriented to the common good. He thought that the best form of government was a monarchy, advised by an an aristocracy.

John Locke declared that “the peace, safety, and public good of the people” are the ends of political society, and further argued that “the well being of the people shall be the supreme law.” Locke’s ideas were followed by the founders of our country, like James Madison.  According to Madison, the “public good,” “common good,” or “general good”  justice is the end of government and civil society. All of these men, were well acquainted with the ideas of Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas. Further, they were in agreement with these men. Consequently, the founders of our country strived for limited government with distributed powers. They also believed in the importance of individual rights because  all men are made after the image of God.

Karl Marx argued that The common good is achieved when the state is the owner of all property, resulting in the equality of all. Marx wanted the abolition of God and of the family unit. He also wanted morality to be determined by the state. In fact, the state is the only source of human rights and receives its authority from a social contract. The common good, according to Marx, is achieved by worldwide revolution.

If you hold to a Christian worldview, you cannot find  the common good  in the writings of Karl Marx.  Marxism in any form is completely incompatible with a Christian worldview. While there is much to be learned from Aristotle, we cannot get the whole picture from him either. Augustine is right to be concerned with eternal things, but he neglects the fact that people also live in the here and now. Only Thomas Aquinas views the common good with both a temporal and an eternal perspective. The founders of this country were by no means perfect, but they agreed enough about the common good so that today, we have the greatest nation on the earth.

As good as our country is, it obviously has many problems. Only the kingdom of God will perfectly achieve the common good. Christians need to remember that the kingdom of God is already, but not yet.  The kingdom of God exists today in the form of the Church., but when Christ returns the kingdom of God will be the one and only kingdom in this world. Only when Christ returns, will the common good be achieved. He is the only one who perfectly understands the common good, because He is the common good. Without Him we cannot in any sense attain justice and righteousness.

The Road to Hell

With the Gospel comes life, liberty, and relative happiness. Not surprisingly, with bad theology and with atheism, as well, comes death, slavery and misery. In a world as fallen as this one, there is no perfect answer, but as Winston Churchill was known for saying “Democracy is the worst of all possible forms of government, except for all of the others.” While all of the founders of the U.S Constitution may not have been Christians, they all knew that all men are equal, because we are all made after the image of God. They also believed that all men have rights that government should not violate because these rights come from God and not government. “Government” said George Washington, “is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Historian H.W. Brands asserts that the U.S. has been guided by two documents; the U.S. Constitution and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. To this, a third might be offered, the Bible.

Marxism is based on atheism and believes that the state is all that matters. It is only the state that has rights and only the state that determines morality. Marxism, in all of its forms (socialism, fascism and communism) believes that the solution for all problems is a strong centralized state governmental system. Marxism despises free markets because it holds to the idea that it can do a better job of distributing scarce resources for all (there is no historical evidence of any government doing this). As such, the individual has the right to work and not much else.  A constitution such as ours stands in direct conflict to a marxist worldview.

According to Thomas C. Leonard, who wrote Illiberal Reformers (a truly excellent book), Progressives got their start with a large number of Social Gospel ministers from the northeastern part of the U.S.. Most of their theology was aberrant and they believed that they could bring in the Kingdom of God through human effort. To achieve this goal, the progressives believed in a need for a strong centralized government. They believed that liberty leads to anarchy and disorder. Consequently they hated both the U.S. Constitution and free markets. They sought to get around these problems through the creation of the fourth branch of government, the administrative state.

Strangely, both of theses Leftist ideologies can only exist in countries that have obtained a certain amount of education and wealth obtained in a free society with  free markets.  In other words, these are parasite ideologies that could not exist in any country with some degree of wealth.  Generally, these parasitic ideas are adopted by young rebels, who refuse to learn from tradition or history.  They have their a twisted view of morality, in which the end justifies the means.

A quote that has been attributed to Soren Kirkegaard (I cannot find it) “Everything that passes for politics today, will be unmasked as religion tomorrow.” Both progressives and marxists want to live out their theologies/ worldviews.  Both want to bring Heaven to earth, but historically they have only raised up Hell.  The Left is composed of both of these lines of thought. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Democratic Party has fully embraced these deadly ideas. While Marxism and progressivism start from a different set of presuppositions (atheism and aberrant theology), they both end up in the same place.  This suggests that those who hold to these ideas have a spiritual problem that motivates them to see the world through a very distorted lens.

What is clear is that to the degree that a society is influenced by the Bible, the more happy and prosperous it is likely to be. Most of those on the Left reject the Bible and as a result reject both the U.S. Constitution and the free market. This is not to say that either of these is perfect. We should always remember that we live in a fallen world. We should also keep in mind that the best that this fallen world can offer is still pretty messed up. Nonetheless, the Bible points the way to wisdom and to the best state of affairs. Both the U.S. Constitution and the free market are in line with the best state of affairs.

The end of the matter is this, a Leftist ideology cannot bring about salvation. It should also be noted, that while having a conservative ideology is a good thing, it cannot bring about salvation either. It can only bring about the best state of affairs in a fallen world. Whether Left or Right all need salvation in Jesus Christ.  No other way can bring about justice and righteousness.