A Libertarian Response to ’35 Founding Father Quotes’

A Libertarian Response to '35 Founding Father Quotes'

John Trumbull’s painting, ‘Declaration of Independence’ (public domain)

This morning, my mother-in-law wrote a heartfelt response to “35 Founding Father Quotes Conservative Christians Will Hate.” This prompted me to read the article for myself and craft my own response.  I don’t answer every single quote. This is partly because some of them are repetitive and partly because I don’t quite get what the quote is supposed to prove.

I also have to preface this with the disclaimer that I am not the neocon this list is clearly aimed at. I consider myself more Libertarian than Conservative, mostly because I’m not convinced that gay marriage and marijuana will be the downfall of western civilization. I am, however, a fundamentalist, creationist believer that the Bible is the inspired inerrant Word of God. That should qualify me, according to Stephen Foster, Jr, to hate these quotes, but I don’t. I actually love the majority of them, and if Americans understood what these meant, we wouldn’t have to keep bothering the Supreme Court, asking them for our Liberties back.

#1 warns against spiritual tyranny. The Founders wanted a nation where people were free from that, but what would you call keeping a child from praying at lunch but spiritual tyranny?

#2: Washington is speaking against denominations (He also spoke against political parties), but he said in his farewell address: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports”

#3: “A man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws.” Can we have that again, please? Hobby Lobby anyone?

#6: I’m just amused that manifest destiny is on this list.

#7: This is exactly what we want. We don’t want any one religion or denomination to get preferential treatment; we want true equality of liberty. When all people are free to do as they believe is best, everyone can do their best.

#8: Has it occurred to anyone that this wall of separation protects the church from the state? Also, among the founders, Jefferson was in the minority, spiritually, so relying too heavily on Jefferson only serves to illustrate Jefferson’s biases, not proving that most people thought the way he did.

#11: So, does this mean that Muslims shouldn’t be given rights that Jews don’t have? For example, requiring a school district to serve halal food, but not kosher?

#13: “And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.” Absolutely. We don’t want to establish Christianity as a state religion, requiring everyone to go to church or swear allegiance to God. We only want the freedom to “profess freely and openly,” which goes against the way Christians are being silenced in public schools and the military. (Same for 22.)

#14: But, the Declaration of Independence did include “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine providence.”

#15: Madison again emphasizes keeping the state out of the church. We also need to recall the power that the church of England had at that time. Many came to America because they didn’t want their faith to be dictated by the whim of government, but just because Christianity isn’t the “state religion,” that does not mean that there is no place for Biblical principles such as “Thou shalt not steal.”

#19: Are you insinuating that intelligence and Christianity are not compatible? How insulting. Christians founded Harvard and many other universities; of course we value intellect.

#20: As a Libertarian, I assure you, far from calling upon the government for help, I wish the government to leave me and my church alone.

#21 should be put on a billboard or something. That is exactly what happened, and one of the things that made America great. Only now the government is imposing the same kind of restrictive taxes that our founders fought against.

#23 means that I don’t have to pay for someone else’s abortion or photograph their wedding. I agree that we should be “entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience.” That’s the first amendment.

#24: Tax money should not go to churches, and neither should churches pay taxes. That’s what separation of church and state means, right?

#25: If someone is elected in a free and open election, they get to serve. They are free to act according to their conscience, and I’m free to talk about them on Twitter. sounds fair.

#27 again describes why people settled the northern colonies. It was a hard time for a protestant in Europe at the time (because separation of church and state was needed), so they settled in places like Pennsylvania, where there are still strong populations of those old German faiths.

#29 illustrates that, though many of the founders were Christians, they purposefully founded a nation where all people would have liberty, regardless of individual faith. Wow, what nice guys those old, white founders were. I’m even going to quote my mother-in-law on this one: “The founding fathers were aware that people came to this country to have that freedom to believe as they desired. It also stopped anyone from establishing a central national religion that would probably persecute the other religious sects that came here for religious freedom. It’s these men’s high ideals and wisdom that established the great government of freedoms and liberty.” 

#30: Amen

#31: That Thomas Paine, his works should be required reading.

#32: And he acknowledges that both are ordained by God.

#35: They should pass no law about religion, but no where does it imply that they should not consider their own conscience when passing laws.

I think #29 really is the most important. It’s true that our founders did not want to establish a theocracy. They wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights so that all Americans would have individual liberties. They could have broken away from England and set George Washington up as king, but understanding that power corrupts, they made a system of checks and balances. They dedicated their lives to freedom, and now some consider them no better than terrorists.

I’m Not on Facebook to Change People’s Minds

 

My goal is not to change your mind

I’m just typing away at my laptop, believing what I believe.

It might surprise you, since I have a politically themed blog, that I do not write for the purpose of converting all of my Facebook friends to my way of thinking. If, in the course of reading my blog, anyone decides that they do agree with me after all, I’ll consider myself pretty lucky. If, in the course of reading my blog, someone decides they want to grow closer to Jesus, I’ll consider that His work, not mine.

What I want to accomplish with this blog is more along the lines of “edification of the saints” or “rallying of the troops.” My intended audience is someone who already leans in my general direction, but perhaps isn’t knowledgeable about a particular topic. After all, you have lives! I imagine that my average reader has one or more from the following list: job, spouse, kids, friends, hobbies. If you don’t have the inclination or energy to do the research on every headline that piques your curiosity in a day, I don’t blame you. What I plan to do is choose topics that are relevant and then capsulize them for you. What is relevant to you one day may not be what is relevant to someone else the next. Right now the blog is just my thoughts with tidbits of geek news just because it’s who I am, not because I think it’s what the Republican party needs right now. (Though, they could learn to be more internet savvy, for sure.)

Curious about the sudden desire to explain myself? It turns out that, while many of my friends have been encouraging of my new direction, there are a few people on Facebook who seem to think it is their job to educate me. I hate to break it to you, if you’re reading this, but I’m not going to change my mind. The reasons for my beliefs are deeply ingrained and, in many cases, directly tied to my faith. So, spare both of us your broad generalizations about how I’m wrong. I don’t buy it.

And while I’m on the subject, I’m not trying to change your mind either. The thing is, most people have rather shallow reasons for being a member of one party or an other. Those whose beliefs are not strong either way are the coveted “swing votes.” I will sometimes aim an interesting tidbit at the swing voters, hoping that the preponderance of evidence will eventually sway them. But if you have strong beliefs—be them right, left, or center—I know better than try to convince you.

Now, I do enjoy a friendly debate. So, if you have something you want to discuss, come armed with facts, and expect me to do the same. I am surprisingly open-minded. In many cases, I’ll consider your side before rejecting it, and I will always try to have a concrete reason for doing so. But, debate must be a two-way street. If you use generalizations or politically correct trash talk, if you refuse to even consider that my points are just as valid as yours, then my new policy is to politely end the conversation. If you wish to continue in private, I might entertain that, but only if it seems productive. I do love learning new things and exposing myself to new ideas, but if your basic premise is that I’m ignorant, you’ve got another thing coming.

So, Facebook friends, if you are a member of my family or a longstanding friend, I hope you’ll stick around and be part of my life, despite my newfound voice. If you’re only here to try to talk me into your way of thinking, feel free to save us both the trouble and un-friend me.

For Femininely Conservative Tweets, follow @alliesings.

Am I Ready for Readers?

Old fashioned conservative

This is the picture my husband came up with when I told him the name of my blog. (credit: Rodney O’Neal)

I’ve always been opinionated. My mom could probably write a book about how that started at an early age. I’ve always had a finely tuned sense of right and wrong, of fairness and truth. As soon as I knew the truth about something, I felt it my duty to share that with others. So, at age seven, I was telling my classmates that there was no Santa Claus, and at age thirteen I shook my head at any girl who thought she would grow up to marry one of the New Kids on the Block. Children don’t see shades of gray. In fact, I managed to avoid gray most of my life.

I believe the Bible. I believe that it doesn’t just contain God’s words, but it is God’s Word. I prefer the KJV for reasons that would bore most people, and I believe that God created the world in six literal days only a few millennia ago. For these reasons, I call myself a fundamentalist.

Like most fundamentalists, I think there is a lot of black and white in the world. If you read my blog long enough, I hope some things will be evident. I hope you’ll see that Jesus was and is a real person to me. I hope you’ll see that God is love, and it’s our understanding of love that is flawed. I hope you’ll see that Christians and conservatives should use their hearts and their brains.

Want to hear something that’s a surprise, even to me? I’m beginning to think that Libertarians are on to something, that some of those gray areas are larger than I initially thought.

When I was in high school, I thought I’d like to grow up and have a huge audience of people who listened to me talk about politics, like Rush Limbaugh. Today, my role models are Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and even Sarah Palin. I don’t agree with everything any one of them says, but I love the female face of conservatism. It’s intelligent and diverse and actually feminine.

I have lots to say. Just now, I noticed I’m talking about myself a lot. But, my blog is still young. The news of the day will soon take precedent over my opinion of it. But, for now, I’m wondering if I’m ready for people to hear my opinions.

Last night, as I shared my blog post with my friends on Facebook, I debated if I wanted to Tweet it. I didn’t put it on Pinterest. What am I afraid of? Well, I have something of a small following in geek circles. What they expect from me is info about books, video games and social media trends. Am I ready for them to know the real me? Will I lost Pinterest followers if I start a Christian pin board? Should it matter?

I’ve been talking to my friends about crossing over into political writing, and the majority advice was to keep it separate from my current work. After all, keeping the personal separate from the professional is the professional thing to do. If I lose readers, I lose money.

What if, what if, what if? What if I’m not ready for readers?

BlogHer’s blog-writing prompts for this month are centered around the idea of “risk.” I’ve taken the first risk and made this blog, even though it’s not perfect. I’ll be taking the second risk and publishing this piece. Now, what will I do with it? Will I share it on Facebook? Will I add a link to it in the BlogHer “soup” post? Will I Tweet it, Pin it?

I’d love to hear your opinions. I may have to grow a thick skin really quickly because of some of the things I’ve already said, but I still want to hear it.