Conor MacCormack, Guest Columnist
In an encouraging development this past weekend, GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (TX) won a convincing 37% of the votes cast at the annual Values Voter Summit straw poll held in Washington, D.C. While Dr. Paul’s impressive ability to calmly and convincingly articulate his pro-Constitutionalist views have helped him achieve similar results in past polls, his performance this weekend was all the more significant given the audience present for the event.
The Summit was sponsored by several of the most prominent socially conservative, Christian Right groups that traditionally support Establishment Republican candidates: The Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, The American Family Association and the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. These groups, and conservative Christians as whole, have long been critical of Dr. Paul’s libertarian philosophy of individual liberty, sound money and limited government believing that the Good Doctor’s principled opposition to the Republican agenda of debt, endless wars of aggression and enforcing morality through law runs contrary to Christian doctrine.
More often than not, these modern day Pharisees will mercilessly criticize and defame Dr. Paul’s ideology and character. They falsely accuse him of “hating America’s God-given exceptionalism” because he has the courage to address the immoral, unconstitutional and downright wicked course of American foreign policy for the last century, which has caused the deaths of countless innocents and fanned the flames of hostility that inspires radicals of all stripes to threaten our nation’s security. They viciously label Dr. Paul, a retired OB/GYN physician who has delivered over 4,000 babies and never performed an abortion, as not being “pro-life” enough because he does not sponsor a Constitutional amendment that would ban the practice nationally.
Rather, Dr. Paul seeks to stay true to both biblical and constitutional principles by removing the issue of abortion from the jurisdiction of Federal courts (which Congress is authorized to do in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution) and return it to the jurisdiction of the State courts, where an overwhelming majority of State supreme courts had passed anti abortion laws prior to Roe v. Wade in 1973.
In his speech on Saturday at the Summit, Dr. Paul diligently and thoroughly refuted these smears and demonstrated how libertarian principles are indeed in line with Biblical teachings. Regarding the Christian Right’s embracing of wars of aggression (sometimes justified as “preemptive” war that will prevent looming disaster) Paul astutely observed the following:
“Christ was recognized to be the prince of peace. He was never to be recognized as the promoter of war. And he even said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be the children of God.” He never said blessed are the war makers. It was the peacemakers that we must honor and protect.”
Building off of this teaching of Jesus regarding peacemakers in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12), Dr. Paul noted the stark differences between just wars of self-defense and wars of aggression and empire:
“Christ was very, very clear on how we should treat our enemies. And some days I think we quite frequently forget about that. Early in the history of Christianity, they struggled with the issue of war and peace, because Christ taught about peace. Did that mean Christ was advocating pacifism? The early church struggled with this and came to the conclusion, at least in those early years, that Christ was not a pacifist, but he was not a war promoter.
And this is when they came up with the just-war principles, saying, yes, war could be necessary, but only under dire circumstances, and it should be done with great caution. All other efforts should be exhausted before we go to war, and always under the proper authority. And today I think the proper authority is not the U.N. or the NATO forces to take us to war.”
Indeed, contrary to what many of my well meaning Christian brethren believe, our Lord was neither a warmonger nor a pacifist. He preached to his disciples the legitimacy of self-defense (Luke 22:36-39) and violently drove the money lenders from the Temple in Jerusalem with “a whip of cords” (John 2:14-17). These teachings of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whom Christians rightly regard to be “the way, the Truth, and the life”, should not be neglected in favor of saber-rattling, nationalistic rhetoric regarding America’s divine “exceptionalism” that is used to justify the unbiblical and unconstitutional military actions of the United States around the world.
We are no more immune from God’s righteous judgment than the Nation of Israel was in the Old Testament. If the Lord would not hesitate to judge the wicked Israelites, who were “the apple of His eye”, what makes Christians here in America today think that they will not be held to account in “the great and terrible day of the Lord”?
Regarding the dangers of an overbearing government that seeks to enforce morality by decree, rather than through the efforts of families and church communities, Dr. Paul quoted from the Old Testament book of Samuel (1 Samuel 8) where the Israelites petitioned the judge Samuel to anoint a king to rule over them and guide them:
“That was in Samuel, 1 Samuel, chapter eight. And this is when the people, not the elders, came to Samuel when he was very old and they knew he would be passing on, so the people came and said to Samuel, what we need is a king. We need a king to take care of us. We want to be safe and secure.
And Samuel, although he knew he wasn’t going to be around long, he advised the people of Israel not to accept the king, because the king, he warned, would not be generous. He would undermine their liberties. There would be more wars. There would be more taxes. And besides, accepting the notion of a king would reject the notion that, up until that time, since they had left Egypt, their true king was their God and the guidance from their God.”
Paul also noticed the striking comparison between the Israelites of Samuel’s day and many Americans in our own age, who have grown dependent on the “king” in Washington, D.C. to provide for their every need. Whether it be handouts in the form of welfare, more intrusive laws that further trample upon our God-given civil liberties to keep us “safe” or laws that seek to usurp the authority of the family the overlords in Washington are hell bent on managing every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave. “We have too often relied on our king in Washington, and we have to change that,” Paul said.
He continued, adding:
“You know, morality of the people or the lack of morality of the people can be reflected in the law. But the law never can change the morality of the people. And that is very important.”
It is the morality of the people, established through the efforts of families and church communities to instill Judeo-Christian principles, that determines the state of the nation. If the people are immoral, it is only natural that in a republican form of government that they will elect similarly immoral people into the halls of Congress and the various state capitols. These same immoral representatives cannot instill virtue in the people through legislation or at the point of government guns. It is only through the actions of individuals, who make a voluntary choice of the heart to be upright and virtuous, families and churches that the nation will prosper and abide by the rule of law.
As an example of this concept, Dr. Paul used the famous Bible story of Jesus’ encounter with the adulteress, who was caught in the act by the busybody, legalistic Pharisees and brought before Him for condemnation (John 8:1-12). Jesus, however, rebuked the Pharisees in their attempt to stone the woman by exposing their own hypocrisy: “”He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” He knew that it was only through sincere repentance, not forceful and deadly punishment, that the woman would change her ways. Dr. Paul echoed that sentiment:
“We are taught in the New Testament about caring for the poor and caring for our families and our neighbors and friends. But never did Christ say, you know, let’s go and lobby Rome to make sure we’re taken care of. It was a personal responsibility for us. Christ was confronted at one time by a prostitute, but he didn’t call for the centurions. He didn’t call for more laws. But he was very direct and thought that stoning was not the solution to the problem of prostitution.”
Unfortunately, in spite of the biblical soundness of Dr. Paul’s philosophy and the enthusiastic response of the crowd, the Republican Establishment and their cronies in the Religious Right and the lame stream media have downplayed Dr. Paul’s convincing victory. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council which cosponsored the Summit, dismissed the poll results as being not “truly reflective of where values voters stand.” Oddly enough Mr. Perkins heaped praise upon Herman Cain’s distant second place performance of 23%, commenting that there was “something to be said about his results.” It should be noted that Mr. Cain, a former chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, favors continuing the destructive and immoral Republican policy of perpetual war as well to the social conservative agenda of legislating morality.
This violent reaction to Dr. Paul’s message, however, is a positive sign. As the truth and power of his message of adherence to Biblical, Natural and Constitutional law principles continues to spread like wildfire amongst the American people, the powers that be who stand to lose everything will relentlessly denigrate Paul and his followers. But, as the Lord said to his small band of dedicated disciples: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Let us pray that Americans will continue to come to and know the truth through the tireless efforts of dedicated champions of liberty like Ron Paul.
This column first appeared in the A Young Man Speaks blog on October 10th, 2011
A freelance writer and blogger, Conor MacCormack is currently completing coursework for a Bachelor’s degree in History from Framingham State University in Framingham, MA. His blog, A Young Man Speaks, addresses the current political and spiritual turmoil gripping our nation and how a return to our biblically based founding principles will lead to lasting liberty and prosperity. He has served as an intern for Dr. Ron Paul’s congressional office in Washington, D.C. You can also visit his website: www.ayoungmanspeaks.weebly.com
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