Friday, November 29, 2013

One more move...

I recently had a reason to explore the Wordpress platform, and found to my surprise that it has some advantages.  So while "A True Progressive" has had a home here on Blogger for nearly eight years, it's time to try a new residence.

You can find me at

See you there!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The dam breaks

A century ago, Aleister Crowley posited a worldview by which "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."  This anarchistic bent sadly is often confused with libertarian minarchism which, unlike Crowley, recognizes there must be at least some modest external limits on one's choices for the protection of others.

And yet in our society, we see signs of self-restraint breaking down all around us.
Restraint is an unfashionable concept these days, but it is the indispensable feature of civilized society. To paraphrase my compatriot George Jonas, punching a spinster’s lights out isn’t wrong because it’s illegal, it’s illegal because it’s wrong. But, in a world without restraints, what’s to stop you? If a certain percentage of your population feels no moral revulsion at randomly pulverizing fellow citizens for sport, a million laws will avail you naught: The societal safety lock is off.
Americans refuse to stop spending more than they make.  They refuse to hold their government accountable for its misdeeds.  Thuggery increases in the streets.  As the saying goes, 'those who refuse to rule themselves must be ruled by others.'  And as the MRAPs and other accouterments of military forces pass to local law enforcement, that day draws ever nearer...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Sounds

What are some of the things you are thankful for?

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 years

While the rest of the world may still be obsessing over the loss of so-called "Camelot," which was a myth if there ever was one, I'd be remiss if I didn't note it's also the anniversary of the passing of C.S. Lewis, whose writings inspired the name of this blog and nurtured the worldview that underpins it.
“Daily prayers and religious readings and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”
Instead of pondering the injunction to "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," the world would be so much better off if everyone considered what they could do to honor God and serve their fellow man.

Quote of the Day

"I think that great ideal of government by and for the people is being butchered – for profit. The Nation-State is dying, because any given arrangement of power can be corrupted and will be, by those who benefit from it most – those who hold its powers – in this case the powers of the State  - IF people cringingly let them. And that it what we are doing.

We are allowing the elite of the State to convince us that we are ‘all in it together’, and to claim that our interests and their interests are still one and the same. But they are not. And we must come to see this clearly – and soon. As long as we deny the truth, that they are not standing ‘with us’, and do not have our best interests at heart – until we can face these self evident but chilling truths, then we are never going to see them for what they have become nor see their actions for what they are."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

So simple...

...even a baby should understand it:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Today's must-read

From Pacific Legal:

What This Morning's Obamacare Announcement Means

The Constitution of the United States says that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” That provision was written because the Founding Fathers had experienced the arbitrariness of a government in which the British monarchy picked and chose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. The result of such political control over the law was, they knew, a breakdown in the rule of law—and a breakdown that allowed the powerful and politically well-connected to manipulate the system at will. As James Madison warned in the Federalist, “mutable” laws
poison the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?
Unfortunately, today’s administrative state gives so much power to unelected bureaucrats—who are protected against any meaningful control by voters—that they can alter, manipulate, and change the law almost at will. The result is a breakdown in the rule of law and an arbitrary system in which the government operates, not according to predictable standards and meaningful rules, but according to political whim and in arbitrary, day-to-day, ad hoc manner.

And in response to the Administration's recent battle cry that Obamacare is "law of the land," and thus permanent regardless of flaws, I refer everyone to a recent quip by Justice Clarence Thomas:

Judge Sykes: Stare decisis doesn’t hold much weight with you?
Justice Thomas: Oh it does. But not enough to keep me from going to the Constitution. (emphasis added)
If only all our leaders were so deferential to the governing charter!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The next (il)logical step

Sadly, this is one of the most insightful ledes I've ever read in a story:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Several hundred people, including families with small children, packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational talk and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.

What would be the point of that, you might ask.
Jones got the first inkling for the idea while leaving a Christmas carol concert six years ago.
"There was so much about it that I loved, but it's a shame because at the heart of it, it's something I don't believe in," Jones said. "If you think about church, there's very little that's bad. It's singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?"  (emphasis added)

OK, so like many people dissatisfied with something, these folks have set out to retain what they like, while removing the offensive features.  That's fine if you're improving a product.

It's ludicrous if you are searching for Truth.

This really culminates a long trend by which nominally 'christian' congregations have frequently become little more than social clubs, meeting the need of 'community' without getting into all that icky stuff about sin and repentance and salvation.  What might be the "bad" parts about church these people think they're eliminating?  If it's the standard charges of hypocrisy, infighting, and what not, I've got news for them: that comes with any organization of human beings, regardless how well-intentioned they might be individually.   This would be easier to recognize if they were trying to build a fellowship based on observable truths, rather than utopian aspirations.  Instead, they are deliberately (provocatively, even) building a community that explicitly denies these foundations:

For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

At the bottom of it, for most committed unbelievers the 'bad' part about church is accountability to something larger than themselves--larger, even, than any human-derived organization.  We desire the paradise of Eden, but not the obligation to listen to Eden's creator about how it was supposed to function.

When I was a young boy spending a couple weeks with my grandfather, he gave me my first chance to fire a shotgun.  Naturally excited by this new privilege, I couldn't wait to try it, and was sure I knew what I was doing... I watched TV, after all.  Granddaddy tried to give me a quick tutorial on how to hold the stock against my shoulder, but I was ready to go and not ready to listen.

I still remember how he quickly backed off.  "Awright..."  You know where this is going, don't you?  Picking my bruised self up off the floor of the clay pit, I wanted nothing to do with that gadget for some time.  I hadn't respected the instructions--or their giver--and I paid the price for it.*

I've come to a realization that all of humanity's tragic history represents God doing the same thing: saying "awright..." to mankind's determination to do things our own way.  He hopes for us to come to our bruised senses, so He can show us the error of our ways and offer us a second chance through His son--who took the worst of the beating for us! 

Humanity was wired to desire fellowship--with each other, and with our Creator.  Like an old TV set, we have a "vertical hold" and a "horizontal hold" that have to be tuned in appropriately.  For any group of human beings missing that 'vertical hold,' the frequent tragic outcome is control by a strong human leader--a cult, in other words.  The Enemy's biggest desire is to provide humanity any rally point that does not include God.

We are seeing more open rebellion and hostility toward God than perhaps at any time in the Church Age.  If there was any doubt how humanity could be so mislead as to finally unite, but only in hostility toward God, it should be diminishing by the day.

May the Spirit open our eyes and keep them open.

* I recently had the joy of watching the older two Musketeers fire the very same shotgun, which I finally earned from Granddaddy and will one day bequeath to one of them.  If there is any consolation in that story, it's that by having heard it from me, they were more than a little inclined to listen to me as I showed them the ropes.  As a result, their first experience was no less memorable, but considerably more pleasant! 

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