Reading and Listening

I’m currently reading Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin, which is not what I expected. It’s much, much better than I expected, and smaller too. The tone is not angry (so far) in the least, but remarkably reserved. The author succinctly captures the essence of my own concerns, and also educates on aspects of which I had not been aware. Theme: statism is nearly finished transforming the government founded in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution into a soft tyranny. Statists will continue eliminating the individual freedoms that have uniquely blessed this nation, unless those who appreciate the Constitution actively reform American governance to exist within the limits prescribed therein.

Not long ago, I listened to an Issues, Etc. show about the theology of Rush Limbaugh. The chief criticism was that Limbaugh seems to hold a somewhat utopian view of the free market. Levin corrects that impression. I haven’t heard whether Limbaugh disagrees with Levin on the free market, but I suspect he does not. Levin acknowledges that there are injustices and passing inefficiencies in the free market, as well as creative destruction. However, he points out that the free market is nevertheless the most efficient possible environment for the creation of wealth and the overall improvement of living conditions. I strongly suspect that most specific counter-examples of corporate pollution or abuse of workers can be linked to governmental limits placed upon the free market, such as legislation, rules or practices favoring certain enterprises, or even favoring those who pay big bucks for political access.

Meanwhile, I’ve begun listening to a free audio book from Project Gutenberg by Bishop Ambrose of Milan. It’s called “On the Duties of the Clergy,” and though the readers seem to have a soft, monkish quality, the book is edifying. Ambrose was the chief theological influence upon Augustine, and lived only shortly after Christianity became a legal religion in the Roman Empire.

6 thoughts on “Reading and Listening

  1. I would agree that we have the right to protect our familes with whatever force is needed. However, if it is illegal to us such force in the government that we are under–subjected to–we have to be willing to take the consequences according to the law of the land. The Fourth Commandment demands this. Not that we are a Law motivated Faith, like the Muslims and the Roman Catholics, yet, we love the Law because of the Gospel. If it was illegal to kill one who is breaking into your house, I would first try to use my verbal skills to subdue the intruder(s), but if that didn’t work I would use more force. However, that might mean that I will be taken from my family and placed in prison or killed. Because of this I would have to make a split second decsion on what would be best for the long term. In either scenario I will not have sinned, but will have to live with the consequences. Just some thoughts. Reverend Kent T. Dethlefsen

  2. One of the biggies with anyone who uses/has a firearm for self defense is always coming to terms with how and when they will use it.

    I know in MN in order to get a permit to carry, part of the class addresses such ethical choices. I am sure that other states probably have something similar. Also discussed is the mental preparation necessary to make a spit second decision.

    It ought not be a thing taken lightly to carry a weapon for self defense or the defense of others. And no one I know who carries such a weapon, does take it lightly.

    We no longer grow up in a society in which these issues are regularly discussed in most homes. And therefor they are “issues”.

    I myself have not taken the class to carry a weapon because I am not ready to take a human life in self or familial defense. We have them in our home; I know how to use them. But thank God, we do not live in an area in which we have had reason to feel threatened in our home.

    Unless the neighbors’ stories of bears getting into their homes count.

  3. I too love Mark Levin’s writings. Much more so than his radio show. He is very up front, humble even, about the fact that humanity is flawed and any system will, therefore, also be. That doesn’t always come across in the medium of talk radio.

    I have often rued that fact the the talk radio schtick is often the arrogant, obnoxious attitude. I know many people who miss out on the available information because they can’t get past the attitude of a given host.

    Levin’s Men in Black is also an excellent resource for addressing the subject of the encroachment of the judiciary into our society.

  4. So, would you use deadly force to protect your family, knowing full well that you would be incarcirnated for life or put to death? I know I would, but, I do fear what would happen to them. Then again, I truly believe in our God and know that He would work His Good through it. I also believe in the Constitution and truly believe, at this time, that a jury of peers would find me innocent. I am an optopmist, but that is because I am an Orthothox Apostolic Lutheran Christian. BTw, how are things going? I miss the mistry meals you and your husband fed me. They were great. You had such a nice place in Manakto. I will never forget how you guys opened your lives to this new Californian stranger. Thanks for all you guys do for us now, but especially what you and your husband did for me in the the very early 90’s.

  5. It might be possible to use martial skills to subdue the intruders, if the verbal skills don’t hold much promise. Of course, there is a risk that the use of martial skills will result in a greater injury than intended, even death.

    You’re absolutely right about being willing to suffer the consequences. The thing I need to remind myself, though, is that there are injustices perpetrated daily. It’s par for the course here on earth. When they’re done by legitimate tyrants, we must either suffer or leave.

    That said, my recent session in Ambrose’s *On the Duties of the Clergy* turned up an interesting bit of advice from one who lived rather close to brutal, systematic persecution by (who else?) the tyrannical government. He said that the most prudent thing for Christians who receive advance notice of a terrible persecution is usually for the Christians to flee elsewhere. Who knows, after all, whether one might cave under persecution and apostatize. (Doesn’t that word sound like religious laundry detergent?) Reminds me of Acts, where God accomplished His purpose in just such a way.

  6. “Because of this I would have to make a split second decsion on what would be best for the long term. In either scenario I will not have sinned, but will have to live with the consequences.”

    We *may well* have sinned. A Christian rests on his knowledge that a sin, even committed with the best of intentions and in the heat of the moment, is forgiven. In the seminary we had debates about whether it was OK to lie or not, given that Satan is the father of lies. A professor at Mequon posited the scenario he faced in 1930’s Germany. The SS has come and asked if there are any Jews at the university he was studying at. They allowed the SS to inspect the dorms. The Jewish students, you see, lived in town. So in a sense they lied, but one could also look at it as telling the truth. Did they sin? Maybe, maybe not. If they did, they still have forgiveness.

    We ought to obey God rather than man does not mean we will be immune from what man can do to us. But we have the comfort to not fear the one who can destroy the body, but we have comfort, hope, and forgiveness from the one who can destroy both body and soul–and sent his Son to save our bodies and souls.

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