Throughout my journey into adulthood, I have become aware that two conditions prevail upon birth. The first is atheism, a child’s ignorance of the Godhead, man being exiled from the Garden of Eden, and forever dependent upon revelation — whether passed through tradition, or given directly — for communion with the divine. No child is born speaking the Laws of God; no child comprehends the majesty of the Almighty; but yet, as he grows, perhaps he might develop divine notions: ideas resulting from the complexity of nature, from the mystery of his existence, from the window into the human soul — from the conscience, the knowledge of good and evil, the burning desire of an immortal entrapped within a mortal shell. He may learn from others about the existence of God far before he discovers God without help; but he always acquires heavenly knowledge. It is never innate, unless imposed by an act of divine intervention. (more…)
14. February 2013
31. December 2012
In the final days of the Roman republic, when barbarous Mithridates stood at the gates and threatened both safety and pride, Cicero stood before the senate and implored them to grant military command to Gnaeus Pompeius. His impassioned advocacy had almost everything to do with talent — with Pompey’s almost divine military skills, apparent at an extremely young age for a general; with his past record, having recently eradicated a pirate menace in a single year, which until then had all but stopped Roman shipping; and his indomitable reputation, certain enemies surrendering at the sound of Pompey’s name alone. Pompey was invincible, Cicero declared — but equally important to his skill, and the fearful name in which it resulted, was Pompey’s sense of justice. (more…)
15. December 2012
Oh, what America could do with an Aristides of Athens!
Of humble birth, but possessive of a virtuous spirit, Aristides championed order and decency against both foreigner and citizen, rich and poor alike. His triumphs too numerous to mention in so short a space, it must suffice to recall a few: how he exposed corruption in government — however close to him it lay; his defense of due process not simply for friends, but for criminals and enemies; his admirable conduct on the field of battle, defending Greece against the barbaric Persians; his forfeiture of pride in relinquishing the generalship to a more capable commander, and the subsequent unity of Athens in a turbulent time. Athens had her share of honorable men, for which she has become well known; but above them all in the pursuit of justice, perhaps, was Aristides (see: Plutarch’s eloquent account). (more…)
19. August 2012
Can the state ever really make men good?
In recent months, this author has been accused of blasphemy by one of his intellectual friends, allegedly over the above political question. But though the question is simple, and the accusation upon first glance appears to be an isolated case, the charge upon further inspection assails far many more than myself, and comprises a collision between two very different, but often improperly defined, doctrines: those of the Christian libertarian and the Biblical conservative. It is this theological and political collision which I seek to explain, should the reader bear with me. (more…)
13. August 2012
Despite the recent Chick-Fil-A victory, I must confess, though I firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin against God, and that acceptance of its practice will cause great harm to our society, that I’ve grown tired of defending traditional marriage. But please: I ask the reader’s forgiveness. For my weariness, condemnable as such weakness may be, has little to do with personal fortitude, and everything to do with marriage’s already deplorable state. (more…)
23. July 2012
Though many issues divide the Republican and Democratic parties, one of the most crucial (and unfortunately, least understood) concerns the line drawn between individual and society. In a recent speech, the sitting president controversially remarked,
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. (more…)
3. July 2012
The Creator having impressed His image upon mankind, justice is oftentimes taught not in ways conventional and scholastic, but according to manners mysterious and ethereal. The other day, for instance, I had a dream in which I befriended a hamster. He lived beside my childhood home, and I would spend my time going over to visit him, chatting for short bits of time, and carrying him around in my hand. But there came a moment in the dream at which a third party entered. A kitten, leering out of childlike inquisitiveness, pounced onto the scene, and before I had a good chance to assess the situation, I found him leaping toward my friend with mischievous intent. (more…)
27. May 2012
To whom has the Creator prescribed justice? To the rich, or to the poor?
Beneath every breast a singular answer lies, being placed by that holy finger therein so that men, having no excuse in transgression, could be brought to account for every violation of equity. Yet in the United States of America, though men oftentimes proudly proclaim themselves blind to status, that both rich and poor have equal standing in courts of law, quite the opposite can be proven when the reach of capital is considered. (more…)
10. April 2012
Though liberal charities oftentimes have an overwhelmingly positive appeal, there exists a portion of men to whom such charities inspire at least a mild revulsion. The type of charitable cause is practically irrelevant; it might be for Haiti, or AIDS, or perhaps in this most recent case, it might involve bringing justice to the Ugandan children terrorized by an inhuman warlord. But though the causes may vary, the reaction is the same; support is refused, and the rebels are left with an uncomfortable feeling of dissatisfaction, an emotional confusion which understands, on one hand, that charity itself is oftentimes (though not always) intrinsically noble. But on the other, it understands that support must not be given. (more…)
28. February 2012
In a world of political slander and misrepresentations both purposeful and accidental, there are few insults less ridiculous than those pertaining to “Christian Sharia,” or, rather, that the logical conclusion of a Biblical legal stance is Arabic despotism. One doesn’t have to look far back in history to see that many figures (if not most) crucial to the establishment of classical liberalism, as well as to the foundation of the United States of America, proclaimed without hesitation that law itself, if it was ever to be just, must agree with the legal principles contained in Scripture or be opposed. (more…)
31. August 2011
One of the most important questions facing civilization, not only in light of the savagery of London’s riots, but in all of history, is how civilization defines barbarism. (more…)
13. August 2011
As an increasingly liberal government seeks to import and accommodate not only a greater diversity of peoples, but the greater diversity of lifestyles and doctrines which accompany them, the topic of a national American language has been one of increasing controversy. But there are certain facts about language and education which belong to all ranges of opinion, and if studied closely, show that the pursuit of linguistic consolidation is not only in the best interest of any nation, but is already morally accepted by nearly every educational institution across the entire globe. (more…)
27. July 2011
It has been claimed, by prominent media outlets and even the American government, that right wing movements are comprised of insurrectionary parties, and that many conservatives are inherently opposed to the existence of our current government. But according to a man who influenced the founding of our country most greatly, it is plain that insurrection has already been underway for quite some time, and that the conservative movement is not its main proponent. (more…)
18. July 2011
To what extent must Americans sacrifice to protect their citizens abroad? This question was recently raised by the sitting American President, as he sought to avoid the death penalty for a notorious Mexican national who had raped and murdered a young girl on US soil. Obama’s concern, not unconsidered by many other Americans, asserts that if Americans execute foreign nationals, traveling Americans may be subjected to the judicial decisions of far less civilized countries, perhaps unfairly. (more…)
11. July 2011
In John Stuart Mill‘s most influential and widely read work, On Liberty, he defended what he considered to be one of the most important pillars of any successful society, liberty of thought, and consequently of speech. And it is plain from reading On Liberty that Americans have taken his suggestions quite seriously, not only supporting legislation to protect speech from governmental prohibition, but also instituting laws which protect against the so-called tyranny of private opinion. But has this endeavor actually promoted discussion and rationality, or has it actually suppressed both? (more…)
25. June 2011
It has been said, by persons such as Abraham Lincoln, that the cause of tyranny can oftentimes be mistaken for and promoted as the cause of liberty. If this is the case, then Americans must concern themselves most seriously with understanding what liberty is, and also what it is not.
John Stuart Mill, in what is perhaps his most famous and influential work, On Liberty, helped build the foundation for a modern understanding of freedom, one which an overwhelming number of Americans support. In doing so, he argued that for a society to be properly liberated, its citizens must be guaranteed freedom of thought and speech, liberty of tastes and pursuits, and freedom of association. Yet, expressly recognizing in the first chapter of On Liberty that these liberties were too radical without certain restrictions, he sought the boundaries within which they should exist. And by setting those particular boundaries, like so many of his followers on both the left and right do today he unwittingly destroyed the foundation for the liberty he sought in the first place. (more…)
1. June 2011
Earlier in the month of February, The Telegraph reported that an English high court judge barred a man from having sex, due to that man’s incredibly low IQ and an inability to properly assess circumstances. At first, the action seemed bizarre, and brought to mind eugenics programs of the Nazi Party. But if one looks closely at the matter, this judge ruled far more closely according to the philosophy of John Locke than Adolf Hitler. (more…)
20. May 2011
An overwhelming number of conservatives proclaim support for the constitution, and even liberals rally behind the rights they believe the Constitution protects. But is it possible for either side to truly be interested in constitutionalism?
If one considers that our bill of rights guarantees freedom of speech in very broad terms, it is only fair to ask what speech is. To list just a few examples, speech includes giving away military secrets and weapons blueprints, lying under oath, sexually harassing female coworkers (without hands, of course), phoning a bomb threat, engaging in insider trading, threatening to kill one’s neighbors, and conspiring to assassinate people. None of these, at the current moment, are legal, and common sense requires that many of them remain so. (more…)
27. March 2011
Of the many difficult questions a person can ask about the rights of man, one of the toughest is whether the people of a country are ever their own supreme authority. To err toward an absolute “yes” or “no” seems to lend credibility to a variety of atrocities, and trying to strike a balance between the two extremes can plunge the answer into useless subjectivity. But a good answer is readily available for those who concern themselves with sound principles. (more…)
15. March 2011
Most people in the West agree that a human should not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment, as maintained by our eighth amendment and supported by an overwhelming number of Americans. But is it possible that the process of defining “cruel and unusual” has done Americans more harm than good? To understand whether or not this is the case, it is imperative to consider the concept of war, the purpose of law, and then eventually examine the unalienable rights which all human beings possess.
John Locke once described man’s natural rights as being the right to work for his food, to enjoy the products of his labor, and to live within the positive laws of Scripture (Second Treatise, sects 135 and 136). But since man cannot survive without the right to property and to secure the benefits of his labor, an assault on these rights is an assault on survival, an act Locke recognized as a declaration of war. He wrote of the matter, (more…)
7. March 2011
The other day, I greatly offended an Arabic associate of mine. During a conversation about the social contract, I tried to use an example of a group forming themselves into a nation, and I had begun the example with the statement, “suppose that a group of people like you were to get together, and decide to build your own country, with your own laws.”
His objection to my statement was that Christians and conservatives oftentimes enjoy separating themselves from everyone else, that we believe that people like him are not part of our group, that we in essence discriminate. In this particular instance, I referred to him as people like you, leading toward an idea and an effect which I had not intended. Why, he asked, could we not just all be considered human, and on the same team? (more…)
9. February 2011
Few can resist the emotional appeal of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. Somewhere, deep within the human soul, we long for a time when true equality can be found in human interaction, the day in which people will be judged by one another solely according to character. And oftentimes, at least in the West, those pursuing this ideal attempt to enforce it through what they define as perfect legal equality.
But if total equality under law were truly sought–meaning that no man would have a governmental privilege or power that another lacked–, what would become of those who administrate law? Would we strip the policeman of his license to necessary and lawful force? Would we give our war strategies to every member of the population, instead of only our military officials? Would the authority to enforce law be taken from the judge? The right to create law taken from the congressman? (more…)
30. January 2011
The other morning, as I was reading articles in my computer room, I heard a woman scream. Immediately, my attention was wrested away from my writing, I sat up straight, and waited in silence, listening for any clues that someone was in danger. My heart began to race. (more…)
I can still vividly remember walking through run-down Neapolitan suburbs (or, the closest they could get to them, anyway) as a seventeen-year old, firmly within the grasp of an LSD trip. As I walked through the tall, unkempt grass and weeds, they brushed against my knees as though greeting me with a handshake. The summer sun was looking down upon me, and the rays felt as though they were shining into my body, as though I was illuminated, and radiating life back into the universe. Though I usually noticed the garbage on the messy Italian streets, that day it seemed less prominent, if not unnoticeable, and nature’s technicolor vibrance jumped from objects which would have been previously considered not only ordinary, but drab. I was, at least I felt, as though totally connected with reality, as though something that I had lost along the way had suddenly been found, and I was home. (more…)
23. January 2011
Last year, I learned that the CIA had directly participated in a scheme against Osama Bin Laden, involving the use of fabricated video evidence. Their fake video, consisting of a campfire drinking session, was intended to destroy Bin Laden’s credibility with devout Muslims, by making it appear as though he had been breaking Sharia Law. And if the drinking wasn’t enough to turn Osama’s followers against him, “Osama” spent his time in the video bragging about homosexual conquests. (more…)
28. December 2010
Imagine, for a moment, that your boss has been treating you poorly (for many of you, this may not be very difficult). After weeks of abuse, you finally become so frustrated, that you start to wonder whether you should finally quit your job and join the ranks of the unemployed. Perhaps this might lead to something better, perhaps not. But there is one thing that you know, and it is that remaining where you are is simply unacceptable.
This freedom to abandon your employer is oftentimes taken for granted, oftentimes forgotten in our modern world of anti-corporate rhetoric. But while many leftists decry the abuses of the business-owner, they oftentimes forget that the governmental remedy can be more dangerous than the poison. (more…)
28. November 2010
Is there a moral balance between liberty and security, or are the two mutually exclusive?
Can the rich ever become so rich, that they strangle the poor? And what qualifies as “strangling”?
Must a capitalist globalization lead toward an impoverishment of the American working class?
Should the poor have a safety net, and if they do, how much of a net should they have?
Do the rich have an obligation to bolster the wealth of society, aside from providing jobs and infrastructure?
Since the dawn of civilization, man has sought timeless principles to address the concepts of wealth and poverty, justice and equality. Karl Marx was one of these people. (more…)
15. November 2010
In these troublesome times, as the costs of occupation take their toll on both this generation and our children’s children, and as the repercussions of foreign involvement threaten our global standing and security, an increasing constituency of both the left and right are beginning to wonder whether America was ever intended to be an internationally-active force. Citing numerous embarrassments in Middle-Eastern policy, exportation of jobs resulting from a botched free trade, and the flagrant disregard of our trading partners’ injustices, these isolationists, while not incorrect about the problems of foreign involvement, forget that our Founding Fathers never intended us for autarky or isolationism. (more…)
11. November 2010
With the release of President Bush’s memoirs, a lot of discussion is going to be taking place about his most controversial endeavor: the invasion of Iraq. What I’d like to do with this essay is to provide my readers with a short list of facts they can use to combat the “Bush lied, kids died” non-argument, and I’d like to do so by drawing attention to some UN Security Council resolutions which not only take the blame from President Bush, but also firmly show that the rest of the world had already legitimized the second invasion of Iraq. With that in mind, remember these three steps.
5. November 2010
Editor’s note: this article is dedicated to my first non-familial fan, Esky.
Why do we belong together?
This should not be an offensive question, yet it cannot seriously be asked in our modern political climate–particularly by conservatives–without expecting angry retribution. But when John Jay wrote Federalist Paper #2, he did so out of the need to convince the American people that they must cede some of their natural rights for the sake of unity; that, although the states had distinct governments and oftentimes different interests, they would need to sacrifice some of these interests for a greater good. Jay reasoned that this unity always comes at a price, but he was also able to guarantee that the overwhelming majority of identity and of morality would be preserved despite the institution of an American union. Indeed, this small price for unity was one of his key arguments in favor of the US Constitution. (more…)