CommonSense

Hello.... Hi there... I'm Cynthia Gee, and I'm creating this as a mirror of my other CommonSense blog at HomeschoolBlogger. I am copying the first several articles from over there, and moving them here in their entirety, complete with reader's comments. So if you see your comment HERE, and remember posting it over THERE, relax. You're sane.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Of Kittens and Tigers

In the comments section of my recent posting, Holy Bribes: "Render unto Caesar"? , SRL said...

"CJ,
You wrote elsewhere, "I am pro-life, period." And I am almost certain that, as I do, you would condemn the killing, violence, and attempted violence mentioned on talk2action against abortionists, no? It occurs to me that that might be a good comparison in this case: Pro-life is to murdering-abortionists as theonomy is to armed-uprising.

T2a's moiv sees these actions as the logical outgrowth of the "rhetoric of hatred" and the "inevitable results" of a pro-life stance. But they aren't. They that do so are in rebellion against God, to take justice into one's own hand. The civil magistrate is appointed by God to bear the sword of justice, not individuals.

Similarly, saying that Christ is and will reign over all, and that nations ought to and will be populated and governed by the godly, is NOT a call to anything like an armed rebellion, revolt, uprising, coup.. etc. Those are also rebellion against God. And yet, there are those who attempt it - like Peter, we aren't to just pick up a sword and start cutting people's ears off."


Well now, SRL, here we are in agreement. I condemn abortion, 100%. I also condemn killing, violence, and attempted violence against abortionists or anyone else; I heartily agree with you that those who do so "are in rebellion against God, to take justice into one's own hand." I also agree that it is the civil magistrate's job to "bear the sword", but here I am sure that we differ, since I am NOT in favor of the death penalty. Criminals do need to be punished, but punishment should allow for the possibility of rehabilitation and, hopefully, conversion and regeneration.

I also agree with your statement, "saying that Christ is and will reign over all, and that nations ought to and will be populated and governed by the godly, is NOT a call to anything like an armed rebellion, revolt, uprising, coup.. etc. "; however, there are many in Reconstructionist circles who believe that armed revolution is justifiable against an "evil" or "oppressive" state, and many of these go so far as to claim, along with the supporters of Dabney, that the Civil War was "a Christian struggle of a justified South against a wicked North."

As for the notion that lawless actions are the "inevitable results" of a pro-life stance, that is patently ridiculous, BUT such actions ARE the logical outgrowth of the "rhetoric of hatred" which we are seeing in certain Reconsructionist circles. There are groups which see our society and our country's government as being so depraved that they believe themselves to be justified in taking the law into their own hands and undermining it, following the guidelines set forth by Gary North:
“On the other hand, to the extent that any Christian’s position in any period of time should resemble the plight of the Christians under Roman rule, then he should take heed. Under the rule of a Hitler or a Stalin, the Christian’s proper response is outward subservience. He should bribe the dictator’s lieutenants, lie if necessary, join a Christian underground, and gain freedom of action through the lies and bribes to continue preaching and publishing.”

Many of those who hold such sentiments have long flocked to Howard Phillips' Reconstructionist-leaning US Taxpayers Party, renamed the Constitution Party, which has sold antisemitic militia tracts and militia manuals at their state conventions.
At the USTP Wisconsin state convention in 1995, Rev. Matthew Trewhella called for the formation of armed militias, such as the one he leads through his church. Newsweek reported that one member of the Missionaries(who lived in Trewhella's basement for five months in 1990) kept a journal which included apparent plans for a guerrilla campaign of clinic bombings and assassinations of doctors. What's more, a 100 page guerrilla army manual was sold by the USTP of Wisconsin at that convention. Among the manual's justifications for armed resistance to the federal government was legalized abortion.

The Constitution Party is endorsed from the pulpit by Doug Phillips and other prominent Reconstructionists. It is also endorsed by the League of the South and by white supremicist groups, many of which have no qualms about resorting to armed violence. The fact that that a White Nationalist group sees what is essentially a Reconstructionist-run party as espousing most of the things that they believe in, and sees the Constitution Party as a group ready made for them, and recommends infiltrating it , is scary indeed.

As C. S. Lewis said of the NICE in “That Hideous Strength”, “they are kittens playing at being tigers; but they never think about what would happen if the real tiger actually showed up.”

2 Comments:

Blogger srl said...

CJ,
It wasn't that recent, so I see you have un-buried it from the list. Thanks for your [quick] response, I knew this would touch on a lot of interesting topics. [ Such as the purpose of the 'sword'.. Unless it is a plastic sword, it's kind of designed with lethal intent. I agree that criminals might be converted and regenerated - but that's not the state's job. ]

" there are many in Reconstructionist circles who believe that armed revolution is justifiable against an "evil" or "oppressive" state" - see, I don't think this is at all representative, especially if you look at things in their context. There may be some who believe that, but they are then advocating rebellion (against God and man) and not Christian reconstruction, which proceeds from the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. Kind of like what is said in those podcasts from Chalcedon I mentioned.

As to the Civil War [ just to bring in yet another interesting, i.e. complex, situation ], whatever you think about the states' right to secede from the union, it was not a case of individuals, or 'groups', or militia, rising up in a revolt, uprising, or coup. So I don't think your comparison is at all valid here. It was in fact a matter at the state level - with states voting to secede, and such. We can discuss whether it was right for the states involved to do so, but it was in no way an 'uprising'. It this aspect that the term "war between the states" refers to.

[ Now, I know that guilt by association or association with association is very popular, and so I hope that you will at least understand that I am talking about in this context what constitutes rebellion by individuals or not, rather than seeing this as condoning race-based slavery, or anything else for that matter, etc. ]

Your quote by North doesn't say anything about armed uprising. "to continue preaching ... " One must certainly continue preaching regardless of what the law says - We ought to obey God rather than men, Acts 5:28-29. Would you agree with that, as that is the context of the verse? I'm not sure what the article by North is, do you have a link to it?

Now, CJ, I think you have some misleading logic in the other statements. One could probably say that most robbers did, as children, have bread to eat at one time or another. Therefore, wheat is responsible for crime. Some examples:

"Constitution party, which has sold antisemitic militia tracts and militia manuals". Antisemitic could mean a lot of things, but militia manuals are not in and of themselves wrong. I suspect we don't agree on the 2nd amendment issue, but the point of militia in the US, historically, is civilian defense and not armed uprising. Think of the Minutemen in 1776. ( Summary: 'armed militia' is not proof of 'armed revolt or rebellion'. )

"The CP, endorsed by DP … is also endorsed by … many in white supremacist groups; many such groups have no qualms about armed violence". and, the fact that white supremacists see the CP as "ready made for them" … "is scary indeed".

One might say, "Talk2Action is endorsed by CJ, and many in pro-abortion groups; many such groups have no qualms about homosexual marriage." Haven't we been over that?

I've heard many of these people you mention, many in person, and pastors involved in militias. To a one they preach absolutely dead set against even the concept of rebellion.

4:04 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

SRL, I'm not talking about guilt by association here. The CP has done more than rub shoulders with militia groups, or court votes from amongst their membership -- the Constitution Party has SOLD antisemitic militia tracts and militia manuals at their state conventions!
This falls under the heading of actively promoting and PROFITING BY PROMOTING these groups and their ideologies.

To look at it another way, the fact that I published an article on Talk2Action does not mean that I endorse their viewpoints or those of the other people whose articles are published there.
Now, if I had a permanent link on my webpage, directing my readers to, say, a pro-abortion site, that would be a bit different.
But to endorse the pro-abortion stance as The Constitution Party has endorsed the Militia Movement, I would have to go much further than that -- I would have to SELL books by abortion advocates, complete with instruction manuals for setting up grassroots family planning clinics.

Do you see the difference?

9:33 AM  

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