Conservatism Requires a Religious Foundation

Conservatism Requires a Religious Foundation by Russell Kirk –
The conservative believes that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. … There is a divine power higher than any political power. When a nation ignores the divine authority, it soon commits the excesses of fanatic nationalism, intoxicated with its own unchecked power, which have made the twentieth century terrible.

Not all religious people are conservatives; and not all conservatives are religious people. Christianity prescribes no especial form of politics. There have been famous radicals who were devout Christians—though most radicals have been nothing of the sort. All the same, there could be no conservatism without a religious foundation, and it is conservative people, by and large, who defend religion in our time.

Lord Hailsham, a talented English conservative of this century, in his little book The Case for Conservatism, remarks, “There is nothing I despise more than a politician who seeks to sell his politics by preaching religion, unless it be a preacher who tries to sell his sermons by talking politics.” Yet he goes on to say that conservatism and religion cannot be kept in separate compartments, and that the true conservative at heart is a religious man. The social influence of Christianity has been nobly conservative, … [Read more…]

Thanksgiving: We Should Be Thankful for Private Property

Thanksgiving Thankful for Private Propertyby John Stossel –
Had today’s politicians and opinion-makers been in power four centuries ago, Americans might celebrate “Starvation Day” this week, not Thanksgiving..

The Pilgrims started out with communal property rules. When they first settled at Plymouth, they were told: “Share everything, share the work, and we’ll share the harvest.”

The colony’s contract said their new settlement was to be a “common.” Everyone was to receive necessities out of the common stock. There was to be little individual property.

That wasn’t the only thing about the Plymouth Colony that sounds like it was from Karl Marx: Its labor was to be organized according to the different capabilities of the settlers. People would produce according to their abilities and consume according to their needs. That sure sounds fair. [Read more…]

The Mythology Channel: Distorting American History

The Mythology Channel: Distorting American Historyby Phil Manger –
I should have known better than to expect anything like real history from The History Channel.  With the notable exception of some of their reality series like Pawn Stars, American Restoration, and Ice Road Truckers — all three of which I admit (somewhat sheepishly) to watching and enjoying — their usual fare consists mostly of dramatizations of history filtered hrough the lens of modern (which is to say, liberal) sensibilities.

At first it looked like The Men Who Built America, History’s new series about the great American industrialists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, might be an exception.  In the first two episodes, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie are treated somewhat sympathetically; they are even credited with providing real economic benefits to society.  There are omissions and factual errors, to be sure, and there are the usual annoying anachronisms that plague a lot of History Channel dramatizations (like 20th-century European locomotives pulling trains that supposedly were running on 19th-century American railroad tracks), but on the whole, I thought the series was off to a promising start.

That is, until they got to Henry Clay Frick. [Read more…]

Thanksgiving with Winston Churchill

Thanksgiving Defend Liberty Oppose Tyrannyby Jeffrey Folks –
In an appearance at Royal Albert Hall on November 23, 1944, Winston Churchill spoke in honor of the American holiday of Thanksgiving. On that day, just as Hitler was about to unleash the desperate counterattack that became known as the Battle of the Bulge, Churchill declared that there had never before “been more justification, and more compulsive need” for a day of thanksgiving.

As the enormous global struggle approached its climax, clearly there was “need” for thanksgiving. With an estimated 100 million human beings already lost in the years between 1935 and 1945, there was need for resolve if the war was to be carried through to its conclusion. Offering thanks for the allied successes to date might aid in that resolve.

Certainly there was need, but precisely why was there “justification” for a day of thanksgiving? On this point Churchill was equally articulate. The free world had reason to be thankful that America, a nation of “peaceful, peace-loving people,” had at the critical juncture awakened from its slumber and transformed itself into the pre-eminent military power in the world. [Read more…]

Independence Day Reflection: Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness

Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness by F. K. Bartels –
Man’s natural desire for happiness is of “divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it” (CCC 1718). …

In June of 1776 Thomas Jefferson, seated in the second-floor parlor of a bricklayer’s house in Philadelphia, brilliantly composed the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence. After some revision, the bulk of the document was approved by Congress on 4 July, 1776. While the Declaration would soon become one of the world’s most significant documents, its second sentence is perhaps most famous:

“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.” [Read more…]

John Roberts, America’s Latest Benedict Arnold, Betrays the American People

John Roberts Benedict Arnold Betrayer by Mike Razar –
You win some; you lose some. It is doubly painful to lose because of a betrayal by someone you admired and trusted. Caesar’s dying words were “Et tu Brute”. Judas Roberts has broken faith with everyone who cares about Constitutional freedom.

Given the opportunity to at least slow two centuries of the assumption of dictatorial power by the federal government, Roberts has chosen to side with the Jacobins. His name henceforth is inexorably linked with Benedict Arnold, the one-time hero of Saratoga who mysteriously changed sides when his loyalty was most needed by General Washington. Nathan Hale must be sobbing in his grave today. [Read more…]

America: The Home of the…Compliant?

Socialism slavery tyranny communism by Daren Jonescu –
If you want a quick measure of the state of American society, you might consider the federal government’s use of unmanned aerial drones to monitor U.S. citizens, and in particular the EPA’s matter-of-fact defense of its use of drones over the Midwest as necessary to “verify compliance” with environmental laws. And as the EPA’s “environmental justice” agenda is quickly becoming the government’s official overarching priority (see here), we might describe the Obama era as the dawning of the Age of Compliance.

The priorities of civilizations can be gleaned from a consideration of the virtues they cherish most. For example, Homeric Greece valued honor, so their crowning virtue was courage. Later, the Classical philosophers attempted to change Greece, emphasizing the rational life over the warlike, and hence upholding wisdom as the definitive virtue. Achilles vs. Socrates became Greece’s great civilizational debate. [Read more…]

The First and Foremost Freedom, Freedom of Religion

Christian persecution, loss of religious liberty America by Chuck Colson –
I’ve been talking a lot lately about the Obama Administration’s relentless attempts to restrict religious freedom.

You know by now that the Catholic bishops have strongly rejected the president’s so-called “accommodation” to exempt religious organizations from paying for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.

Good for the bishops. What the president outlined changed nothing: religious organizations will still have to provide insurance that covers services that violate their religious beliefs, even if they don’t have to pay for them directly.

Now why does this matter? Why is it really such a big deal? The Administration is hoping you will think this is all about contraception, which not many people, even the majority of Catholics, care that much about. But this is not about contraception. This battle is all about religious freedom—the first and most important of all our freedoms. [Read more…]

The ‘Progressive’ Legacy

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

by Thomas Sowell –
Whatever the vision or rhetoric of the Progressive era, its practice was a never-ending expansion of the arbitrary powers of the federal government. The problems they created so discredited Progressives that they started calling themselves “liberals” — and after they discredited themselves again, they went back to calling themselves “Progressives,” now that people no longer remembered how Progressives had discredited themselves before.

Barack Obama’s rhetoric of “change” is in fact a restoration of discredited ideas that originated a hundred years ago.

Although Barack Obama is the first black President of the United States, he is by no means unique, except for his complexion. He follows in the footsteps of other presidents with a similar vision, the vision at the heart of the Progressive movement that flourished a hundred years ago. [Read more…]

The Case for Ron Paul

Constitution Better Than Marx by Jason McNew –
Ron Paul, a physician, has earned himself the name “Dr. No” by refusing to vote for any bill which assumes powers other than those given in Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution. When one takes a sober look at our country today, it’s easy to see why Dr. Paul would behave this way.

Take note that there is no authority in the Constitution for the setting of interest rates (as the Federal Reserve does) — interference which led directly to the housing bubble (which Ron Paul predicted). Despite U.S. participation in several sizable wars, Congress has not bothered itself with actually declaring war since 1942 (on Romania). There is no authority to bail out banks, intervene in labor disputes, subsidize farming, regulate health insurance, or set educational policies. Every one of these unauthorized activities drives costs up (or drives prosperity down) and ultimately hurts average Americans. Americans are realizing that most of our social and economic ills can be traced to a failure to follow our own Constitution. Ron Paul has always been a strict, unapologetic Constitutionalist. How Ron Paul would govern as president can be envisioned by simply reading Article II of the Constitution (The Executive Branch.) [Read more…]

What the Pilgrims Can Teach Us about Economic Freedom

Thanksgiving Freedom Economic Freedom Economic Freedom –
The Pilgrims struggling to survive at Plymouth Plantation learned the importance of private property first-hand in 1623 when Governor Bradford adopted a free-enterprise system after just two years of communal sharing. Their experiment with socialism revealed valuable lessons that inspired the colony to shift to a free-market economic system that would serve as the foundation upon which America would grow into a great and prosperous nation.

As the Pilgrims learned, societies that respect property and the rule of law capture the benefits of free-market enterprise and enjoy high levels of prosperity. The benefit that we see from free markets is contingent on individuals having the right to own and protect property and to benefit from their labor. [Read more…]

Finding America: Our History Flows From our Belief in Self-Evident Truths

America Freedom Creed Truths by Peg Luksik –
What, exactly, makes this nation “America”? It’s not economics. Economic conditions are always the result of a nation’s culture and policies, not the cause. We need to ask what created the culture and policies that made us the most prosperous nation in history.

The answer tells us what we, as a nation, believe. Our Founders began by saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.

Our entire history flows from our belief in those self-evident truths. In modern language, the truths of America’s heritage are:

God exists and is the highest authority. The American Revolution can only be justified if there was an authority above the King – an authority whose standards the King was violating. A government can only be wrong if there is something higher to measure its actions against. [Read more…]

9/11 Ten Year Anniversary – Memory Eternal

Memory Eternal to all the innocent American souls and heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. You are and will be in our prayers until the end of time. God Bless You and God Bless America! Never forget!

[Read more…]

Obama and the Burden of Exceptionalism

Obama liberal failure

Illustration by Chad Crowe

by Shelby Steele –
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: President Obama is destroying the country. Some say this destructiveness is intended; most say it is inadvertent, an outgrowth of inexperience, ideological wrong-headedness and an oddly undefined character. Indeed, on the matter of Mr. Obama’s character, today’s left now sounds like the right of three years ago. They have begun to see through the man and are surprised at how little is there.

Yet there is something more than inexperience or lack of character that defines this presidency: Mr. Obama came of age in a bubble of post-’60s liberalism that conditioned him to be an adversary of American exceptionalism. In this liberalism America’s exceptional status in the world follows from a bargain with the devil—an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard as the means to a broad economic, military, and even cultural supremacy in the world. And therefore America’s greatness is as much the fruit of evil as of a devotion to freedom. [Read more…]

America: Time to Start Over

Liberty Crying America Crumblingby Matt Patterson –
This must have been what it was like living in the 1930s: politicians running around, fingers in their ears, unwilling or unable to confront a rising conflagration that they helped to light.

Back then, the threat came from a revivified and revanchist Germany. Western leaders stood by while the Germans rearmed, then looked the other way as ever larger chunks of the Continent fell to the blitzkrieg. When the enervated Western elites finally took a stand over Poland, it was too late — the fire was so large that, by the time it was finally quenched, the world lay in smoldering ruin.

Today we face a different, though no less mortal, sort of threat: the wealth of the West has been revealed to be largely illusory, built on the foolish foundations of credit that shift and scatter like sands in the wind. [Read more…]