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Posts Tagged ‘Roman Church-State’

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.

  • Proverbs 27:12

Here we stand at the end of the Year of Our Lord 2020 and at the precipice of 2021.  My, how time flies.

When I was pondering what to write this week, it took some time, but it finally dawned on me that this would be my last Sunday post of 2020.  “Of course,” I thought to myself, “it’s time for my year-in-review post. Problem solved!”

Before launching into a review of 2020 and casting an eye toward the future in coming year, I would like to take this occasion to thank my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus for all the blessings he has brought into my life over the past year.  For the grace he has shown me in forgiving all my sins and patiently teaching me, for a job to pay my bills, for health to do that which I needed to and wanted to accomplish, for the love of family and friends.

It would be remiss of me not to mention how thankful I am for the Lord’s gracious provision in my life to write this blog.  I began blogging in March of 2009, so it won’t be long before I celebrate 12 years of posting online.  Most blogs make it only a few months.  That I have had the strength to sustain this work for so long is a testament, not to my skill or smarts or energy or anything in me, but to the calling and faithfulness of the Lord.  During my first five years of blogging, I posted occasionally.  Here a little, there a little.  It was in November 2014 that I prayed God would help me to reach the goal of posting at least once a week, and he heard me.  From that time until now, I have not gone a week without writing and posting at least one article.       

I thank God also for the opportunity to resume work on my podcast, Radio Lux Lucet.  I mentioned in last year’s end of year podcast that I wanted to start podcast again more regularly.  As it turned out, although I didn’t start out the year all that well, I have managed to string together about eight weeks in a row of podcasts, so that’s progress!

Finally, I would like to thank my readers for their support during 2020.  It is my prayer with each post that the name of God would be glorified and that my words would edify his people.  With every post, it is my goal to bring you perspective on the events of the day that you won’t be able to find just anywhere.  As John Robbins was wont to point out, the Bible has a systematic monopoly on truth.  This includes truth in the areas that I like to write about, namely, economics and politics.  The psalmist wrote, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.”  Writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” While I don’t claim to have greater understanding than all my teachers, I can testify to the fact that there is nothing that can prepare the Christian to take on the received “wisdom” of this world more than a solid grounding in the Scriptures.  All the truths of philosophy, politics, and economics are hidden in Christ Jesus.  And there is no other source to which Christion must repair to fight the good fight of faith against the lies of this world – and how many lies there are and how great! – than to the 66 books of the Bible.  It is from the Word of God that Christians must rebuke senators, judges, governors, presidents, prime ministers and popes for their sinful and foolish words and actions.  And this, the Apostle tells us, is a good work for which the Scriptures thoroughly equip the Christian man.  It is this good work I aim to do with each post.

Thanks is also due to those who have graciously donated to support the work of this blog.  I greatly appreciate your kindness.

Special thanks is also owed to John Bradshaw, brother in Christ, friend and keen eyed and patient editor of my posts.  This blog is much better for your work.  Thank you.     

So, with all that said, what about 2020?

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Is feudalism in our future? Medieval illustration, circa 1310.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

  • John 15.5

There’s not much good news these days.  And not only is the news not good, it’s downright appalling. 

Just to give one example, consider the situation with the presidential election.  Here we are, about six weeks after the election with the nation deeply divided about the winner.  The establishment media have all proclaimed Joe Biden president-elect, yet there is substantial evidence that the election was stolen.  But in spite of what is, in my own opinion, clear evidence of election fraud, the Trump legal team has gone from defeat to defeat.  The latest loss, the refusal of the Supreme Court to hear the complaint by the Texas Attorney General against several other states for their failure to follow the constitution in their election procedures, suggests that there is little hope for Trump and his supporters to find redress for their grievances in the courts.  The bottom line: at this point it appears that, come January, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. 

As if this weren’t bad enough, there are several other pressing problems facing this nation, any one of which threatens serious destruction on its own.  Taken together, the threats seem overwhelming. 

For starters, we have the abject failure of many mayors, governors, district attorneys and police chiefs to do government’s most basic job:  punish those who practice evil.  For months we have witnessed destructive riots in some of our largest cities.  Not only have those who have deliberately destroyed and stolen property and caused bodily harm to peaceful citizens not been punished, but those who have sought to defend themselves and their property from the aggressors have found themselves in legal trouble.  In 2020 America, good is evil, and evil good. 

The state of our nation’s finances continues to deteriorate.  But the economic pain is not equally shared.  In fact, while many ordinary Americans are struggling financially as a result of losing their jobs and business from government imposed Covid lockdowns, the wealth of billionaires has soared

Wall Street is hitting records highs while Main Street struggles to pay the grocery bill.  This is not the result of capitalism, as many socialists like to point out, but the result of the oceans of printed money by the Fed.  Some observers have noted that about 23 percent of all US dollars were created just this year, 2020!

If all this weren’t bad enough, the federal budget deficit for 2020 hit a record $3.1 trillion.  This means that the federal government overspent its tax revenues by over $3 trillion. 

I doubt our culture has ever been more vulgar.  Sexual deviants are celebrated and those who oppose them are silenced.  Vulgar language and fornication are openly celebrated.  Internet pornography runs rampant. Oh, and did I mention that transgenderism has attained sacred status and that even the mildest criticism of homosexuality is taken for blasphemy? If you don’t think men who claim they are women are awesome, and women who claim they are men must be believed and have praise heaped upon them, then you, my friend, are the one who has the problem. On the other hand, the man in the dress screaming at you for making the mistake of “misgendering” him? He is above criticism. 

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“We are Republicans, and don’t propose to leave our party and identify ourselves with the party whose antecedents have been rum, Romanism and rebellion.  We are loyal to our flag.”

  • Dr. Samuel D. Burchard, 1884

Many Americans, if they have ever heard the quote about “rum, Romanism and rebellion,” have little or no idea about the context in which it was said or the object to which it was applied.  It had something to do with someone at some time way back when.

Those who know of the origin of the quote and the object at which it was directed – it was the Democrats that Burchard, a Presbyterian minister, tagged as the party of rum, Romanism and rebellion – mostly consider it to have been an impolitic gaffe that cost Republican presidential candidate James G. Blaine the 1884 election in which he was running against Democrat Grover Cleveland. 

When reading contemporary commentary on Burchard’s famous alliterative triad, what one finds universal condemnation of it.  No one, at least no one that this author has read, seems to consider the possibility that Burchard was right.

But he was right in 1884 and he is right today. 

The Democrats have been and are the party of rum, Romanism and rebellion.  In the opinion of this author, they proved it once again earlier this month with massive election rigging that, when the dust has all settled, may leave them in control of the House, the Senate and the White House. 

Over the past few weeks, there has been a great deal of commentary on various ways the Democrats may have cheated.  On the other hand, there are those, not all of them Democrats, who claim that there was no cheating, or at least no cheating that made any real difference, in the 2020 election results, that Joe Biden is the legitimate winner, and that those who say otherwise are making baseless claims and are peddling conspiracy theories. 

It is the aim of this and subsequent posts to lay out the reasons this author believes that the 2020 presidential election was rigged by the Democrats, that Joe Biden is not the winner, and that Donald Trump rightfully won the White House.   

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Ebed-Melech resuces Jeremiah, Jan Luyken (1649-1712), 1712.

“For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the LORD.

  • Jeremiah 39:18

Jerusalem was in trouble.  The powerful Babylonian army that had been besieging the city had temporarily left to fight the Egyptians but would soon return with a vengeance.  Many false prophets (false teachers) had been telling the people that Jerusalem would be spared, but Jeremiah knew better and was not afraid to say so.

This made the prophet a very unpopular fellow, especially with the ruling class. 

“Do not deceive yourselves, saying, ‘The Chaldeans will surely depart from us,’ for they will not depart.  For though you had defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained only wounded men among them, they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn the city with fire.” Such was a typical rebuke Jeremiah would deliver to those optimists in Jerusalem who thought that somehow everything was going to work out just fine in the end. 

Perhaps even more disturbing, at least from the perspective of the ruling class, was that Jeremiah was telling the people of Jerusalem to defect to the Babylonians, the very nation then destroying the land of Judah.  “Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.  He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out and defects to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be as a prize to him.  For I have set My face against this city for adversity and not for good,” says the LORD.  “It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.”’

Indeed, it was suspicion that Jeremiah himself was defecting to the Babylonians that landed him in prison.  And now that Jeremiah was in prison, his enemies in king Zedekiah’s court decided to move in for the kill.

In Jeremiah 38 we read, “Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedeliah the son of Pashhur, Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying, “Thus says the LORD: He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence: but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.’ Thus says the LORD:  ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.’” 

In verse 4 of Jeremiah chapter 38 we read, “Therefore the princes said to the king, ‘Please, let this man (Jeremiah) be put to death, for thus he weakens the hands of  the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them.  For this man does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm.”    

To this demand King Zedekiah replied, “Look, he is in your hand.  For the king can do nothing against you.” 

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Former vice president Joe Biden (left) and President Donald Trump (right).NEW YORK TIMES (CUSTOM CREDIT)/ASSOCIATED PRESS (LEFT)

So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

  • Acts 14:23

They’re almost here.  The most fraught elections in living memory.  Maybe in the history of our nation.

With so much at stake, it seemed good to me to set in order my thoughts on Tuesday’s elections.

Should Christians Vote?   

“If voting made any difference, it would be illegal.”  One hears this quote from time to time.  In my case, it pops up occasionally in Libertarian authors whose works I’ve read.  But this is not a Christian idea.  It seems to contain the idea that no matter whom you vote for, you’re going to get the exact same result.  Admittedly, there is at least some truth to this.  But to dismiss all voting as a useless exercise is, in my opinion, a major mistake.  Voting is the Christian way of choosing men to fill government offices.  This is true in both church government and civil government.

In Acts 14:23 we read, “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”  The Greek word translated “appointed” is kīrotonēsantes, which means to vote or to approve by show of hands.  Commentator Simon Kistemaker notes,

In Greek, the term to appoint actually means to approve by a show of hands in a congregation meeting. With the approval of an assembly, individuals were appointed to serve in a particular office.  In other words, the showing of hands was equivalent to choosing officials, in this case to serve in the government of the local church (New Testament Commentary, Acts, 525).

John Gill, commenting on this passage wrote that the election of elders and deacons was done by the members of the local congregation, “who by joint suffrages declared their choice of them by the stretching out, or lifting up of their hands, as the word [kīrotonēsantes] here used signifies, and not the imposition of them.”

Now both church government and civil government are creatures of God – as Paul notes in Romans 13, civil magistrates are “appointed by God” and are said to be his ministers – and as God has seen fit to establish republican government in both church and state, it seems a good and necessary inference to conclude that, not only does the Bible permit Christians to vote in the election of civil magistrates, but perhaps even that it is their civic duty to do so.  For if God has established a means of selecting officers, whether in the church or in the state, he has done so for the good of his people.  If we ignore God’s provision, we ignore it at our own peril. 

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Amy Coney Barrett and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As if 2020 weren’t already tumultuous enough, the death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has managed to stir things up even more. 

Talk, not only of Ginsburg’s death, but also of her replacement, has dominated the news since her death on Friday, September 18.  Perhaps the most notable feature of the discussion has been controversy about whether Donald Trump should name her replacement now or wait until after the November election.

This is a discussion that should not even come up.  The president has the right to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court and the Senate has a right to hold confirmation hearings.  About this there is no question.  The Democrats don’t like it, but their not liking something is not the same as it being illegal or unconstitutional. 

Noteworthy but unsurprising was the reaction of many Democrats to the possibility that Donald Trump would nominate a new justice to replace Ginsburg before the election.  Not only did they argue that a nomination of a new justice must wait until after the election, but actually threatened violence should the President and the Senate attempt to carry out their constitutionally mandated duties. 

And the threats of violence were not coming from some dark corner of the internet or from obscure people, but from several high-profile Democrats and progressives on Twitter and other high-profile platforms.  Reza Aslan, a writer who has written numerous books, produced a series on world religions for CNN and is currently a professor of creative writing at University of California, Riverside, took to Twitter and threatened that, “If they [the Republicans] even TRY to replace RBG [Ginsburg] we burn the entire…thing down.” 

Canadian professor of Political Science Emmett Macfarlane tweeted, “Burn Congress down before letting Trump try to appoint anyone to SCOTUS.” 

Scott Ross, a member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission tweeted, “If you can’t shut it down [the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice], burn it down.”

Playwright Beau Willimon commented on Twitter, “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.”

In the pages of GQ, writer Laura Bassett threatened, “If McConnell jams someone through, which he will, there will be riots.”   

It’s tempting to say that such threats have become the modus operandi of Democrats and progressives in recent years.  But in truth, Democrats and progressives have a longstanding tradition of using violence and threats of violence to get their way.  It’s how they roll.  Not for nothing did Samuel D. Burchard refer to the Democrats as, “the party whose antecedents are rum, Romanism, and rebellion.”  Burchard made the comment in 1884.  It was true then, and it is true today.

Since the matter of selecting a new justice is a matter of supreme importance both to Democrats and Republicans, and since the upcoming Senate  confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg, promises to dominate the headlines in the coming weeks, perhaps overshadowing even the upcoming election, it seemed good to this author to take the opportunity to weigh in. 

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Bishop Richard Malone

Richard Malone, former Bishop of Buffalo, NY.

When writing about the follies of the Roman Church-State, the main challenge isn’t lack of material.  Not at all.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  It’s the lack of time to follow up all the stories.  Oh well.  It’s tough work, but someone has to do it.

All which brings me to the latest edition of Rome Watch.  There have been several big, recent stories about Rome, each of which deserves its very own Rome Watch edition.  But time being what it is, I’m going to have to squeeze them all into one thrill packed post.

So where shall I begin?  How about with this.

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DACA Demo_2018_06_28_Guardian

Pro-DACA demonstrators take over Hart Senate Office Building in Washington D.C., June 28, 2018.  According to The Guardian, the protesters filled the office building with chants denouncing Donald Trump and were arrested when they refused to leave. 

“On October 4, the USCCB, with other Catholic and evangelical partners, filed an amicus curiae brief in the cases [to oppose the repeal of DACA].”

    – The US Conference of Catholic Bishops

DACA, DACA, DACA. I heard quite a lot of that today in looking at the news. Given the generally low quality of the media narratives these days – you know, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA and now IMPEACH, IMPEACH, IMPEACH – in some ways I’m actually glad to see DACA back in the news. If nothing else, it provides something of a diversion.

I was heartened also to see that the USCCB finally got it’s immigration groove back. It’s been a while since they’ve published their usual pro mass immigration / anti-American drivel, and I was starting to get concerned that the Treasonous Brood of Vipers (TBV) had lost their touch!

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