In Thanksgiving ~ Lest We Forget

The best kept secret in the media over the past few years has been the 150th anniversary of the most significant event in American history. The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865, yet there has been a strange, deafening silence and the absence of any fanfare commemorating that bitter conflict fought to end racial slavery. One would assume, with the first ever black president in office, that the costly struggle which initiated the long journey toward full civil rights for every American would merit a little official attention. Alas, nobody in today’s smug political establishment seems overly concerned that a few million white guys and several hundred thousand black ones fought and made heroic sacrifices to remove the canker of slavery from our land, while also preserving a tottering Union mortally threatened by sectional strife. In short, this was a war that cemented what the American Revolution had only begun, thus insuring the continuation of the greatest human experiment in self-government that history has ever seen. Continue reading

Equality ~ A Hobbesian Siren Song?

    The Supreme Court is in the habit these days of mandating “compulsory equality,” essentially the kind  of equality enjoyed by hapless conscripts (as in the army owns you now). It seems today that when any social conflict arises, it is invariably liberty which must stand aside to make way for some judge’s concept of equality. One example should suffice: the recent ruling that universally affordable health care justifies what can only be described as the ultimately regressive sales tax, i.e. a tax levied on individuals for NOT purchasing a product (insurance). But if the price of equality is compelling those who do not wish to participate in a particular marketplace to do so under coercion, then freedom has been thrown under the bus; there is no apparent limit to state power over the individual. To be sure, Americans have been passionate about the idea of “equality” from the moment the ink first dried on the Declaration of Independence, but equality often proves to be a two-edged sword which, unrestrained, slashes indiscriminately against the competing claims of personal liberty. A conundrum thereby arises, how are we to achieve absolute equality among the peoples without infringing upon our cherished personal freedoms?

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A Sign of Contradiction

It is interesting that Jesus Christ referred to himself as a “sign of contradiction” unto the very world he not only first caused to exist but then came to deliver from its ancient nemesis, namely sin. Yet no figure in history has generated quite as much controversy as this so-called Prince of Peace. Even among his own Christian followers some have denied his divinity outright, others have insisted that his humanity was merely a cloak concealing his divine origins, while others go so far as to speculate that he was unaware of his true identity. For 20 centuries now this charismatic historical figure has stirred unceasing controversy, bloody feuds, and countless persecutions. Continue reading