Monday, November 16, 2009

To go on record, and set said record straight....

Okay, okay, I know, I know. I am breaking one of my "rules" yet again, not to discuss politics. But I can't get all these thoughts, all these things I want to say to people whom have asked me political affiliation, or questioned me on my political beliefs, out of my head, so I think possibly blogging all of it will help clear things up. Maybe if I get it all out in the open and explain WHAT I believe and WHY I believe it - without the distractions, fear, interruptions, or "debating" that comes face-to-face - I will begin to feel like I can actually share these things with people. All I ask is that, if you DO read this, even if you disagree with my thinking, that you at least RESPECT my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, and not attack me for them. I believe I do that for others, so I am asking for that favor to be returned.

So, here's goes nothin'...

I guess I will start by answering the most obvious question. Am I a Democrat or a Republican? The answer is, both and neither. This is the reason Democrats assume I am a Democrat and Republicans assume I am a Republican. I'm sorry, I can't claim that I am either one, because, frankly, I find both parties equally appalling and unconstitutional. Let me go on record and state, through researching pretty much every political party out there, I am a Libertarian.

Okay, I can hear a lot of Christians sitting back thinking, "Well, you're a Christian, you HAVE to be a Republican, because anything else would mean you are in favor of things that Jesus is opposed to." Personally, I do not believe it is in opposition to my Christian beliefs, and here is why.

First of all, contrary to popular Christian belief, this nation was NOT founded on Christian principles!! Delve into history, and you will find that the vast majority of our founding fathers, while most believed in a "Higher Power," were not actually believers in Christ. George Washington was a deist (meaning he believed in one God, the Creator, but not the person of Jesus Christ), and even on his death bed, though he spoke of God, did not profess to faith in Christ. Benjamin Franklin, toward the end of his life, just about denounced Christianity altogether. The writings that refer to God (and still, as God the Creator, not the person of Jesus Christ) came BEFORE (the Declaration of Independence) and AFTER, and were SEPARATE FROM the Constitution. For example, "under God" wasn't even added to our Pledge of Allegiance until the 1950's! And "In God We Trust" wasn't on our currency until over 100 years AFTER the Constitution was written. (While I don't agree with everything in this article, and feel it is biased against Christianity, historically-speaking, you cannot dispute it, and its the best source I have come across that adequately explains our nation's foundations.) So to profess that your obligation as a Christian is to uphold the morals our nation was founded on... Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but our nation wasn't founded on the principles of Christianity. Though, yes, no matter who you are and what you believe, it is important to fight for your values. Change can only come through using your voice.

Also, our founding fathers wanted to build a nation that was FREE and protected individual rights. Having a nation governed by any ONE religion specifically - any religion, even Christianity - well....they may as well have stayed in Britain! Had they established a nation built on ONE religion or school of thought, it would have infringed upon individual human rights, and would have been the establishment of yet one more government that ran its own agenda separate from the will and opposition of the general populace. (Sound familiar?!?) Had they established America as a Christian nation, there would have been no point. What made (makes!) our government so different and radical, was (is) that it protected the personal, God-given rights of ALL people!

I can't find the article now (drat!), but one of the best ways I can explain why I am a Libertarian, and how that is NOT a violation of my Christian beliefs, (in fact, in my opinion, it is a far more Christian approach than any other), is this.

The first, and most basic, human right that God Himself has given us is free will; the freedom to make our own choices governing our own lives. This was given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, even before they were tempted and sinned, bringing about the fall of man. Still knowing, in His omnipotence, that they would sin, God gave Adam and Eve the gift of free will. He imparted them with the power to choose how they would govern their own lives, even if it wasn't the choice He would prefer for them to make. The article I mentioned above went on to say that, "Jesus stands at the door and knocks" (Rev. 3:20). He doesn't barge in, he doesn't kick the door down. If people want to accept Him and His love and His ways, they can. Or, they can choose not to. Because God has given them free will. He has given them the power to choose how to govern their own life.

So, as a Christian, if I want to live in political accoradance with my Christian beliefs, how can I be pro- anything that takes away another person's GOD GIVEN free will? Who am I to "knock down someone's door" and intrude into their life and impose on their free will? How can I support any government system that does that? How does that exemplify living in accoradance with Christ, who is God in the flesh? If I take away someone's most primal, basic, GOD GIVEN human right, then what type of person does that make me? What type of Christian does that make me? I'm sorry, as a human being, and certainly as a Christian, HOW can I align myself with something like that?!

I will freely admit that there are some issues - on both sides of the "big" party lines - that I struggle with. But I believe what it boils down to is this. I don't want anyone else - and certainly not the government! - telling me what I can and can't do regarding how I govern my own life. I keep my nose clean, so to speak, and don't hurt others with my choices. I have my own convictions and my own reasons for the ways I behave and believe is best to run my personal life and family. To be forced into something that I don't feel is right for me, is a violation of my free will, and I am not okay with that, and neither should anyone else be! And both major parties are trying to tighten the reigns on individual freedom. For example, I personally would never own a gun, but I believe that responsible people should be allowed to have them. The Democratic Party wants to take that right - the right to free will to own a firearm to feel safe or enjoy recreational hunting - away from everyone. That is wrong! And on the other side, we have the Republicans, who are trying to put restrictions on who can marry and who can't. To say one couple can marry and another can't....that puts big restrictions on free will! I know for most Christians, it is hard to not say "but, but, but..." to that one, because biblically, there is opposition, but again, who are we to try and impose our values and rights, and take away the GOD GIVEN RIGHT of free will of others? Just because we morally, ethically, or in any other way, oppose someone else's choice, does NOT mean it is government's job to decide how EVERYONE'S lives should be governed.

Its a slippery slope if we allow that to happen. We will end up with the same form of "big dictatorship" that our fore fathers left in Britain, and fought so hard to break free of. They wanted America to be different; to be founded on a government that PROTECTS and RESPECTS the rights of ALL people! Not some people, ALL people!! Lest I bring out the "big guns" - the Declaration of Independence itself.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.... (Bold is mine, to highlight key words.)

So really, what is government's job? It is to secure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL MEN, with a government instituted BY men. (More proof that our government wasn't founded to be governed by God, but ratehr by fallible men.) Government's job isn't to force itself or impose itself on the unwilling, but rather to protect and uphold our basic, God given, human right - the right to govern our own lives as we see fit. To secure these rights, means that we already have them, and government's only purpose is to protect life, preserve liberty (our freedoms), and to allow us to pursue those things that make us prosperous. The only time government is needed is when this is violated; when our body or our property (money) are threatened. It is really a very simple framework, which has unfortunately gotten very skewed over the past 233 years.

If we could all put our own agendas aside, and get back to the root of our government, the foundations it was truly built on, and uphold the Constitution in all its glory, then I believe we would have an America that works. Put the agendas aside, and just be an American. Enjoy your God-given freedom, appreciate that our Constitution protects it, and do your part to keep government from stealing it.

Hopefully I have made you think. I am in no way trying to sway anyone politically, only to point out what I see, feel, observe, and believe. Hopefully now I can put this issue to bed, and you all now know where I stand.