Justice: Maybe in 2000
AFLM, Sept. 1996
Justice: Maybe in 2000
How illusive that “middle ground” is where we imagine we can find a compromise between opposites! Is there really a way to apply the Hegelian dialectic to matters of Truth? Can Truth and non-Truth be synthesized?
Not an issue for Hegel and his progeny. For these folks there is no Truth and consequently no Falsehood – only “theses” and “antitheses.” Life and politics are all about change. There are opposing forces, which at first conflict and then work eventually toward compromise – “synthesis.” And so, life and ethics evolve (and improve, it is assumed).
But what about Bob Dole? He purports to believe in Truth and particularly the proposition that the killing of the child in the womb is murder. How does he find the “middle” with those that think abortion is the moral equivalent of an appendectomy?
With great difficulty. In fact, says Joseph Sobran, “When you try to find one there, you only make both sides distrust you, because both sides agree on one thing: There are principles at stake. Faced with clashing principles, Mr. Dole chooses neither.”
Neither will conservatives choose him. Conservative political action groups are opting to abandon the candidate who takes them for granted. Robertson says, “The troops are beginning to desert en masse.” Phyllis Schlafly, likewise: “There’s just no enthusiasm for Dole among conservative activists. Most of the people I know are concentrating on congressional and senatorial races.” Ditto, the NRA.
And the polls don’t bode well either. It looks like a Bush over again. And Dole’s war record won’t play any better with this pot-smoking, abortion-loving generation than Bush’s did. The wartime bravery thing, like the vision thing, isn’t all that clear anyway. (Somehow the wartime bravery of a man who had a whole nation cheering for him as one of their boys in blue pales in comparison to the bravery of those who suffer decades in prison – locked away by their own government – for defending fellow citizens. No salary; no VA benefits; no retirement; no patriotic record to build a political campaign on.)
Near-future predictions (inspired with optimism): Clinton wins, but is dogged out of office by Whitewater and other sundry scandals as the nation continues to have its nostrils filled with his malfeasant and perverse administration. Eco Al comes out of the wetlands and takes the reins. But he is besmirched by his ties to the lurid Livingston. Moreover the economy and moral standards will continue to dive in a Godless land. These conditions will serve to fill American nostrils full with yet more quail. (In time the people will be ready to listen to Moses.) In 2000 the nation may be in dire enough straits to give Buchanan a turn.
Dreamy prediction, to be sure. But the fact is that the Kingdom of God progresses through history in what Christian Historian Kenneth Latourette describes as ebbs and flows. There are advances and recessions in various generations (even centuries). Yet, through it all, God reigns and continues to extend his rule over stubborn humanity.
Remember how God gave Israel those really crappy ninth century B.C. rulers who led the people in Baal worship and child sacrifice? Elijah gave Ahab a good warning, a taste of what the Lord of Hosts had in store for recalcitrant, multiculturalist Israelites who wanted to respect the local religions. Might take the scourge of war, captivity, or domestic terrorism to bring repentance (or outright annihilation for a really stubborn nation), but the Almighty gets His way in the end.
The flurry of terrorist activity which the Almighty sent us during the Olympics was naturally misinterpreted by President Ahab. A day after the bomb went off at Centennial Olympic Park, he addressed the Disabled American Veterans saying, “Today we have an enemy it is difficult to face, because the enemy is so often hidden, killing at random, surfacing only to perform cowardly acts. Their aim is to demoralize us as a people and spread fear into everyday life. We must not let them do that.”
In fine liberal fashion we can talk about “root causes” of bad behavior. But we can also talk about scourges from the hand of a holy God. The enemy and “root cause” is our own national idolatry manifested in the sacrifice of children to the Convenience god. We are a Lawless people who elect Godless rulers. We could be counted a perverse people if only one in a one thousand were to case a vote for the reprobate Clinton. How much worse is our condition when a majority favor the man! His continued appearance as more than a blip on any poll indicates what a decadent people we Americans have become. Terrorism is a well-deserved scourge from God in response to a wicked body politic.
How long has the kingdom of God been receding in this land? Since the nineteenth century disestablishment movement – freeing the states from the rule of Christianity (a significant step beyond simply denying churches support by taxation)? Since the eighteenth century when the Christian-law based states formed a secular political federation expressed in a contract known as the U.S. Constitution? Maybe serious recession is more recently marked by twentieth century judicial activism along with abject submission to lawless court edicts by a supposedly free people.
When a nation will not recognize God politically, it cannot advance morality in the public square. And if it only wants to pay lip service to God, it cannot take “morality” (or what we like to call these days “values”) seriously. If morality has no transcendent origins, it can have no compelling universal power.
So let us not be deceived by politicians who want to talk about “values” without first laying the foundation: “The triune God of the Bible has revealed true morality in the Scriptures which teach . . . ”
In the meantime, the job of the followers of Christ is to continue to propagate the Law and the Gospel. In the political realm we seek justice for the child in the womb. But that justice is more than just legal protection for the innocent. It involves the flip side: punishment of the guilty. Sanctions.
I remember seeing George Bush on the news during his campaign in 1988. He was caught off guard by a reporter who asked what the penalty would be for women who committed abortion should the “procedure” be outlawed. I can’t remember how he answered except that it was a sort of verbal writhing indicating that he really hadn’t thought through the process of establishing justice for the innocent. Crime, to be treated as such, must draw punishment. If we want to be serious about re-criminalizing abortion, we have to propound sanctions. If abortion is murder, the one who commits murder must be treated accordingly. What are the sanctions?
Death, of course. Yes, there are degrees of murder. But let us grab hold of the basic penalty first and haggle about the degrees of murder and lesser punishments on another occasion.
Now, this simple concept, capital punishment for capital crimes, is difficult for a perverse generation to receive. Imagine the shock and surprise of the citizens of Israel when Elijah hewed down those 400 multicultural clergymen. The people had grown accustomed to idolatry and immorality. They wanted to respect their neighbors’ gods. The real God’s standard was extremist, radical, and intolerant, not to mention narrow-minded.
So it is with folks today in the happy-go-lucky U.S.A. One God? One way? And a Judgment Day? Come now. (If the death penalty is righteous punishment in this life under a human tribunal, what is in store for everyone before that judgment seat in heaven?) Such judgment is too awful! Let us avert our eyes and pretend it isn’t so!
Yet, the proposition that murderers ought to be executed, including those who murder children in the womb, is elementary ethics and we ought not to shy away from declaring it. And though it is hard for our fellow Americans to receive it, we have this inconvenient task of telling them the truth. Yes, it must be done if we hope to see justice restored.
Let us then proceed to give guidance to those who would be our rulers. Does a man wish to represent himself as “prolife” – a protector of the innocent child in the womb, a champion of his right to life? Good. Then let him know that the one who seeks justice for the child seeks the death penalty for those who murder him.
To avoid confusion in the minds of those who haven’t been able to distinguish the concepts. We are not speaking of the citizen’s privilege (or duty) to defend his neighbor from an assailant. Rather, we are addressing the duty of the civil authorities to punish the criminal. We are talking about due process here: judicial action.
The fact that the citizen is justified when he kills an abortionist to defend a child is one issue. The fact that civil authorities are duty bound to convict him of murder and punish him with death is another.
At this January’s March for Life, let there be meaningful demonstrations. Hanging abortionists (in effigy), for example, would be apropos and much preferred to those vapid signs which say, “Life, the natural choice.” (Duh.)
It is an election year and most the pundits of the land aren’t giving us much guidance. I shall have to fill in the vacuum and offer counsel concerning this year’s presidential race.
Snooze through it. Let them eat quail. Buchanan in 2000.