The Neoconservative Attack on the Bill of Rights

Super Tuesday proved a couple of key things in this GOP election cycle.  The first is that VERY few people are engaged and paying attention to the Republicans, while even fewer are actually participating in the process.  Of the state populations so far only 6.7% of them participated in a GOP caucus or primary.  The second thing Super Tuesday 2012 proved is that of the voters participating many don’t even realize that they are voting back to power the same neoconservative candidates that are attacking our constitution from the right.

The First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In recent months Congress and the current administration have put forth bills forcing religious institutions to purchase and or pay for contraception methods that are against their faith.  They have also allowed activists to remove the 10 commandments from public display and eliminate prayer in schools.  These are only a few ways the government has “prohibited the free exercise” of religion.

Police pepper spray students at point blank range during the University of California Davis protests.

This January the Congress nearly passed two bills called SOPA and PIPA that would limit the internet and thereby the freedom of speech and the press.  Additionally, many politicians are evasive to the media not answering questions or even allowing access to certain media organizations.  Beyond that most of the mass media is controlled by large corporations supported by advertising dollars and ratings bolstered by problems and war.  Finally, peaceful protests on public property around the country have resulted in police brutality and over-reaching of power (VIDEO LINK).

The Second Amendment – A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Often the debate regarding the second amendment is framed as the right to hunt or defend our homes and families against intruders.  Rarely do you hear discussed the true intent of the second amendment, namely the right to protect ourselves from against tyrannical governments to ensure the security of a free State.  The regulations of weapons, all weapons, result in law abiding citizens being handicapped against criminals and more importantly handicapped against an out of control and overreaching oppressive state.

The Fourth Amendment – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Patriot Act signed into law shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center has redefined the role of the state regarding search and seizure.  Thanks to the Patriot Act, the government no longer has to show evidence of reasonable suspicion to criminal activity, there is no judicial oversight, surveillance can be rooted in a citizen’s “secure” first amendment activities, and individuals do not have to be notified if financial, medical, or other records (held by third parties) are turned over to the government.

The Fifth Amendment – No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The Sixth Amendment – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

President Barak Obama passed the NDAA on December 31st, 2011.  It makes it lawful for the President to detain an individual and keep them in an undisclosed location without charge and for an indefinite time simply by deemed a “terrorist” by the administration.  There is no due process, no trial by jury, and no lawyer, not even a charge.  The President’s jurisprudence is the determining factor in assigning “enemy combatants”.  This directly violates a citizen’s right to due process.  In the role call vote on the NDAA only 6 out of 239 Republicans voted against the bill.  It’s important to note that Democrat support would not have mattered to pass the NDAA through congress.  Only 210 votes were needed and 227 Republican votes were cast in favor of the bill.  In the senate, only 6 Republicans voted against the bill while 40 others voted in favor.  This should be a grave concern for liberty loving citizens.  On this bill shows the pervasiveness of the neo-conservative movement within the Republican Party, and GOP members should be demanding accountability from their congressmen.  While debating this on the floor of Congress, Republican Lindsay Graham said, “When they ask you for a lawyer you tell the to ‘Shut Up… You don’t get a lawyer’”.

In an interview with Book TV Newt Gingrich said, “In war time, Presidents have very wide authority to do what it takes for the country to survive.”  This is an interesting neoconservative perspective.  Does this mean that during the “War on Terror” that presidential authority is expansive?  What about if the “war” is not declared, but a resolution has been passed by congress?  What if the “war” is so broadly defined to include all areas of National Security?  Isn’t this the agenda of the neo-conservatives?  That by implementing perpetual war the neocons can continue the ongoing existence of unconstrained power in the executive branch.  Presidents with the authority to stifle dissenter’s speech, remove their ability to weaponize or defend themselves, imprison them, and deny due and just process under the law all in the name of “National Security”.

Isn’t this the attack of the neo-conservatives like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney on the bill of rights?  Isn’t this what the founding fathers warned against?  Isn’t this the very tyranny that instigated the revolutionary war resulting the United States of America?  Isn’t this why the Republicans should be moving towards libertarianism and protecting our civil liberties rather than towards hard-right, big-government, neo-conservatism?

Isn’t this what Ron Paul is fighting against?  Isn’t this what the revolution is all about?  Despite what the media and pundits want to tell you, this Republican primary is far from over.  Nearly 2/3s of the states have not spoken and perhaps more people from those states will engage in the process.

Regardless of what the media tell us, win or lose, the Ron Paul Revolution is not about a man named Ron Paul.  It is about the IDEA of constitutional freedom and the role it plays in the future of the Republican Party and ultimately the United States of America.

The current may be against us… This may be a long shot… It may be a brokered convention with polls continuing to trend in favor of Paul against the stated goal of beating Obama.  However every vote, every delegate, every epiphany in the mind of the public from now until the GOP Convention in August is a vote for constitutional freedom and the American way.

Every vote for Ron Paul is a vote against the neoconservative movement and the redefining of conservatism into corporatism and big-government control.

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Why Christians Won’t Vote for Ron Paul

GOP Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

There is so much misinformation in the media and the lack of good press makes it virtually impossible to really garner a solid grasp on the GOP candidates.  Where they actually stand now, what their records have been in the past, and honest comparisons of each are few and far between.  Although Christians rarely can defend why they don’t support Ron Paul, I’d like to examine a few issues or arguments that come up often when talking politics with my Christian fellows.

The War on Drugs

Many people think the Ron Paul advocates legalizing drugs.  To be clear, Ron Paul does not take this position.  What he does support is eliminating the “war on drugs” and decriminalizing drugs on a federal level.  He supports letting states decide what is and isn’t illegal and requiring those states to enforce the laws that they put on the books.  Paul feels strongly that the current federal drug laws are not only inefficient and ineffective, but that they target minorities and the poor.

Although the war on drugs has cost over a trillion dollars, been the cause of tens of thousands of deaths, and been ineffective in reducing the drug problem in the US, it seems that most of the Christians taking this stance feel that the government’s role should be to protect us from ourselves.  Many feel that the government knows better than our doctors or we do regarding what should be put into our bodies and what should be allowable for medicinal purposes.  There is an entire area of holistic medicine largely ignored by the government.  That’s likely not caused by drug lobbyists, but true, genuine concern for the public’s well being… Right?

I simply have to ask one question, where does that “protection” end?  Sugar, fat, hydrogenated oils, prescription drugs, certain raw meats, over-eating in general, sun bathing, driving too fast, using certain cleaning products… All of these can be hazardous to our health.  Some of these even cause more disease and problems than narcotics.  Does this mean the government should protect us from ourselves by telling us what we should eat, drink, or clean our house with?  Where does it end?

In the Church obesity is rampant, diabetes and heart disease problematic, and over-eating commonplace.  Perhaps we need to protect Christians from themselves by stopping these terrible and often terminal habits.

Gay Marriage

Although Ron Paul is a lifelong Christian who states he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, many Christians think he is for legalizing gay marriage.  The truth is that Ron Paul doesn’t think the government should be sanctioning marriage at all.

“I think the government should just be out of it,” says Ron Paul, “I think it should be done by the church or private contract, and we shouldn’t have this argument, who’s married and who isn’t married. I have my standards but I shouldn’t have to impose my standards on others. Other people have their standards and they have no right to impose their marriage standards on me.”

Ron Paul is right on this issue. Why are we as a church allowing the government to define what marriage is or is not?  Marriage is a religious institution, formed between two individuals under the authority of their church.  That idea used to mean something.  Gone are the days when people asked, “What church were you married in?”  This question used to be asked to find out what authority was governing the union and how much stock people could put into it.  Now, it seems Christians want to give this power to the government, not realizing that any power that we give to the government can be changed later on.  Why give them the power to begin with?

Abortion

Many Christians think that Ron Paul believes abortion should be a states rights issue.  This is inaccurate and not what Ron Paul expresses his views to be.  Ron Paul believes that life begins at conception and would define it as such by passing the “Sanctity of Life Act”.  Additionally, Ron Paul would work to immediately eliminate Roe v. Wade by effectively repealing it.  He would do this by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act”.  By doing these things Paul would not only ban abortion by linking it to a violent act against a valuable life, but would also prevent activist federal judges from interfering with state legislation protecting it.

As if this were not enough, Ron Paul takes abortion even further.  His website states, “he agrees with Thomas Jefferson that it is ‘sinful and tyrannical’ to ‘compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors,’ Ron Paul will also protect the American people’s freedom of conscience by working to prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for abortions, Planned Parenthood, or any other so-called ‘family planning’ program.”

Support for Israel

Christians I speak with often agree with the way that we support Israel currently.  Perhaps they truly do agree with US policies or perhaps they are unaware of the fact that 75% of the money sent to Israel in “aid” must be spent on defense contracts with US corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.  Maybe they don’t realize that we give seven times more money in aid to Israel’s enemies than we do to Israel itself.  Maybe many Christians don’t realize that along with our aide comes great pressure that often supersedes her sovereignty to protect herself or create peace treaties.

Ron Paul doesn’t believe Israel should have to answer to the United States.  While he feels that we should be at peace with Israel and an ally in defense and information sharing, he thinks Israel should be able to make the decisions they feel necessary to protect their nation or define their borders.  Ron Paul doesn’t think we should be sending foreign aid to anyone, translating in a net gain to Israel and Israel’s people.  Paul also thinks the US citizen should keep the fruits of our labor, meaning that we can charitably support the nation of Israel through ministry and outreach rather than forced defense contracts with US corporations.

Christian Faith

Lastly many people don’t see Ron Paul exploiting his faith for political gain and therefore don’t think Ron Paul is Godly or religious.  Possibly they think he should be pandering to the religious right with incendiary remarks or parading his Christianity in the streets.  On the other hand, maybe Ron Paul has the right idea and thinks it is better to draw people with earnest character and example, that prayer should not be for public show, and that religion should be a personal guiding force that directs our individual paths and judgment.

It seems to me that Christians aren’t going to vote for Ron Paul, not because they disagree with his positions or policies, but because they either haven’t taken the time or don’t want to take the time to understand what his positions are.  It seems Christians are listening to what the television media is saying, what the radio talk shows are saying, and it seems they are doing very little research on their own.  Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems Christians won’t vote for Ron Paul because they are misguided and misinformed.

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Collectivism vs Christianity and Natural Law

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul

Throughout history, the human race has been forced into systems of government control based on the same coercive ideology.  At the core of this ideology is contempt for the belief that all people possess the moral right to equality, liberty and self-governance.  This ideology is known as collectivism and it undermines the very identity bestowed to mankind by his Creator.

Collectivism attempts to attribute a person’s significance to their contribution or role as the member of a group, rather than as a separate individual.  Collectivism proposes that the “group” is the source of a person’s rights and therefore has the power to administer them.  Within collectivism, an individual’s rights are subordinate to the desires of that “group” which therefore has ultimate power to control its individual members.

Communism, Fascism, Feudalism, Imperialism, Socialism… Are all collectivist forms of government.   Despite common misconceptions, the differences between these forms of government are superficial, amounting primarily to variations of rhetoric and style.  Although great battles have been waged between the collectivist governments of different nations, these conflicts have been struggles over dominance rather than philosophy.  Ideologically, they remain similar, upholding the same argument that the rights of individuals are not intrinsic, but are dictated by the state.  By this thought, collectivism proposes a ruling class is needed to control the “masses” because people aren’t inherently good enough or smart enough to govern themselves based on the rule of law.  Therefore, at the heart of collectivist government rule is the assertion that an all-powerful central authority is necessary to forcefully regulate all human behavior.

This philosophy of unilateral government control stands in direct contradiction to the teachings of Christianity.  The Scripture teaches us that mankind was made in the image of his Creator, an individual being, separate, complete and whole.  God created mankind with an intrinsic right to freedom of will and equality.  According to Scripture, God doesn’t impose His will upon mankind but respects our freedom of choice.  Thus, the collectivist ideology, which grants government unilateral and coercive power to control society, is contemptuous toward mankind’s identity as a free and independent being.

The founding fathers understood these principles of Christianity.  They described it as “natural law” and wove it through the fabric of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  In declaring independence from British rule, they rejected this subversive collectivist dogma and created the great American experiment.  For the first time in modern history, an entire nation was constituted on the principle of natural law and the idea that individual liberty could not be undermined by the coercive powers of the state.

The U.S. Constitution was written with the intent to define the role of government based on natural law not collectivism.  That role is to serve the interests of the American people by protecting their freedom, property, and life against violence.  America’s greatness does not lie in the power and reach of its government, but in the freedoms and rights of the people.  The true gift of our forefathers was the forging of a nation built on the revolutionary idea that empowering America’s sons and daughters with liberty and self-reliance was the true path to a just, peaceful, prosperous and enduring society.

Presidential nominee Ron Paul understands the constitution, Christianity, and the dangers of collectivism.  He firmly believes in the principles of individual liberty and has always fought to protect them.  Dr. Ron Paul will right our ship away from the pervasive collectivism in Washington and direct us back to our God given freedom and inalienable rights.  Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate that will take us back to our limited constitutional republic.

Special thanks for Thomas Tinsley for authoring this article.

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How many Ron Paul’s have you met?

How many times have you wanted a candidate, a politician, and a role model, to gain the presidency?  How many times have you wished for a president with values and character that your children could look up to? How many times have you looked at your options for the election and been forced to vote for the lesser evil?  I believe God understands this feeling.  When debating the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah God asked is there not one righteous?  As he searched the people he found a man named Lot.  Though Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Lot found favor with the Lord and he & his family were saved from the destruction.  Ron Paul is our Republican ‘Lot’.

Painting of Ron Paul, Texas Congressman and GOP Presidential Candidate in 2012

Ron Paul is honest.  He stands on values and doesn’t waiver to be a “team player”.  He does what he says he will do and doesn’t compromise his principles to make a deal.  He votes according to a deeper conviction, honoring his position in office, while others vote the way their party tells them to.  He is careful to speak clearly and definitively while taking the time needed for people to get an understanding of context, not just hear a clever sound bite.  He doesn’t take lobbyist money; in fact he doesn’t even take their meetings.  He speaks truthfully whether you (or others) want to hear it or not.  Ron Paul preaches the ‘gospel of freedom’ and protects the constitution even when it gets him booed on national television (remember South Carolina)?  That brings me to my next point.

Ron Paul is humble.  Not with some false humility that almost everyone can see through.  Dr. Paul actually bites his tongue, breathes deeply, and tries to educate the masses against the mocking and ridiculing.  In nearly every debate He has been cut off, cut short, denied time, moderators or other candidates have put words in his mouth and twisted what was said to mean something entirely different.  Did Mr. Paul react with ego and anger?  Did he lash out or whine about what was happening?  No.  Ron Paul has humbly submitted to the moderators according to the agreed upon rules of the debate.  He has tried to keep limits with his time and respected others.  He has shown great humility not only in the debates, but also in interviews with the media, in public appearances, and in his role of office.

Ron Paul is humorous.  Since the joy of the Lord is our strength, Ron Paul is a Samson!  His smile is genuine and warming.  Even the political pundits have commented on this joy.  I heard one say… “He’s having the time of his life!”

Ron Paul is honorable.  Over and over we hear Dr. Paul speak about the oath of office.  Respecting the rule of law and honoring the constitution.  I can’t remember the last politician I heard say anything about honor or upholding an oath… Let alone the oath of office.  Ron Paul reminds us to honor our commitments, honor our principles, and most of all honor each other.  He helps us refocus to reduce aggression towards our fellow’s civil liberties and towards other nations.  Perhaps Jesus said this best when he called us to treat our enemies with kindness and prayer.  In so doing, he taught, we would heap hot coals upon their head.  More so, Jesus hoped that if we would offer love to each other, perhaps we could help draw more souls to his loving redemption and forgiveness; just as he drew us with love, not force.

Ron Paul is hopeful.  Last but not least he is hopeful not for selfish gain or ambition, but hopeful for a resurrection of the constitution and the ideals of the founding father’s.  He is hopeful that the message of freedom is engaging the youth and causing them to get involved to help save the very framework of our nation. He is hopeful that he is awakening America to once again believe in the liberty that founded our great nation.  He is hopeful that he is winning the hearts and minds of the people and encouraging them to once again fight for freedom.

How many people do you know that are honest, humble, humorous, honorable, and hopeful?  How many people do you know with core morals and values?  How many of them are politicians?  How many of those can you say have true character and don’t use their faith for political gain?  How many have you met that can lead in the face of adversity?  And how many people have you met that inspire you and others?

How many have you met like Ron Paul?

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TWO KEY ISSUES – THE ECONOMY & NATIONAL SECURITY

Today our nation is faced with two major issues that effect every aspect of our lives:  the Economy and National Defense.  Yes, there are other problems that need addressed, but the majority of Americans agree that these two issues are tantamount and must be dealt with immediately.

Only one candidate truly understands the cause of the current economic calamities; namely a philosophy of Keynesian economics that Washington has applied aggressively over the last 40 years.  A philosophy that attempts to spend its way into more growth fueled by larger government, higher taxes, and printed money; a philosophy that has crippled the economy with an extended recession, record low labor participation, and a $15.2 trillion debt.  Ron Paul not only understands that this philosophy doesn’t work; he offers an Austrian economic solution to bring about real change in the US economy.

America’s debt is now the greatest threat to our national security.  Higher taxes and currency supply fund the military-industrial complex, the US international police state, and nation building; and set the country up for an economic collapse similar to the Soviet Union.  The taxing and spending does not make the United States safer or stronger.  We are spreading our military thin around the globe and sending US troops and resources into undeclared wars and civil uprisings all while leaving the border at home unsecured.  This approach does not make sense.  In fact it drastically increases the debt and thereby makes us less safe rather than more secure.  It also provides our enemies the opportunity to breech our borders and attack from within.

Ron Paul understands the necessity of sound money and a strong national defense.  For 30 years he has been fighting for a logical, constitutional solution to stop the out-of-control spending, stop the printing of money, stop the increasing taxes, and stop the ever-expanding government.  For 30 years Ron Paul has been warning of the economic calamities of the military-industrial complex, the problems caused by perpetual undeclared wars, and the threat of “blowback” caused by US intervention around the world.  For 30 years Ron Paul has preached the gospel of freedom, voted consistently for the constitution & liberty, and stood firm for what is right for our country.  Though they ridicule and mock him while ignoring the message of individual liberty & responsibility, deep down they know that the path we’re on is unsustainable.  Deep down most Americans believe in the ideals set forth in the United States constitution.

Chart plotting evaluations of current GOP candidate's fiscal plans.

In fact, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a watchdog organization that focuses on issues having a significant fiscal policy impact, released “Primary Numbers: The GOP Candidates and the National Debt” on February 23rd, 2012.  The study found that ONLY Ron Paul’s economic plan would eliminate the nation’s record deficits and shrink the national debt.

Only one presidential candidate will change our course and guide America back to her foundation.  Only one candidate has a consistent 30-year voting record.  Only one candidate can be trusted with the highest office in the land… That candidate is Ron Paul.

Vote for Ron Paul in your Republican primary or caucus and help Restore America Now.  www.ronpaul2012.com

Join Evangelicals for Ron Paul on Facebook: Evangelicals for Ron Paul

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God Given Free Will and Individuality

Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul

Throughout his career, Dr. Ron Paul has clearly and consistently defined the role of government in our free and democratic society.  That role is to serve the interests of the American people by ensuring the protection of our Constitutional rights.   This idea rests on the belief that mankind was created with an innate sense of individuality and an intrinsic right of free will.  This view originates from the Bible and was shared by our founding fathers.

According to the Christian faith, God is the origin of individuality and salvation through Christ relies upon God’s gift of free will.  Throughout the Old Testament Jehovah reveals Himself as a distinct, self-aware being expressing independent thoughts, emotions, and ideas.  He bestowed these qualities to mankind when He created us in His image.   The Scripture also teaches that God created mankind with an intrinsic right to equality and personal liberty.  God never imposes His will upon mankind, but grants us the right to choose whom we will serve (Josh. 24:15).

Later in the Gospels, Jesus continued to teach that the path to salvation is a decision of faith.  Jesus does not force His way on people but presents them with the choice to follow Him: “Knock and the door shall be opened unto you; seek and ye shall find.”  We must then ask ourselves, “If God, being the origin and author of these rights, would not violate them as scripture teaches, is it God’s will for an earthly government to have the power to do so?”  The answer can be found in 1 Samuel chapter 8 when the Hebrew people asked God to give them an earthly King to rule over them.

According to Scripture, Jehovah advised the people against an earthly ruler.  He wanted them to continue governing themselves with God as their King.  Through the prophet Samuel, God explained the problems the centralized government of a King would bring.  A king would destroy their civil liberties, forcing their sons and daughters to serve in his palace and army.  A king would end private property rights, taking their fields, vineyards, olive orchards and livestock.  A king would be the beginning of government taxation taking from the fruits of their labor.

God had freed the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, granted them their promised land, and helped them establish a self-governing tribal coalition based on personal liberty, self-responsibility and the rule of law.  Yet God obliged the people their choice to create a ruling Monarchy; reversing God’s gift of liberty and self-governance by enslaving the people once again.  And, after only three ruling Kings, the nation of Israel divided itself because of excessive government taxation.

It’s clear the founding fathers understood these Biblical truths.  When they declared America’s independence from the tyranny of the British Monarchy, they stood on the axiom that God places mankind’s right to individual liberty and self-governance above the will of the state:

“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.”

Our wise Founding Fathers framed our Constitutional Republic on the Biblical truth that God is the source of mankind’s rights, not the state.  With a government solely committed to protecting the rights of its citizens, America was created to be a nation that celebrates individuality and empowers its people.  This is the meaning of our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Bill of rights.  This is the heritage of the American people, and this is the resounding, biblically based message of Dr. Ron Paul.

Campaign website:  ronpaul2012.com

Special thanks to Thomas Tinsley for coauthoring and contributing to this post.

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