And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. …
In a letter to John Adams (24 January 1814), Thomas Jefferson wrote
The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.
In a letter to letter to Benjamin Waterhouse (13 October 1815), he wrote
The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, from the jargon of Plato, of Aristotle and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime preacher of the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, knowing the importance of names, they have assumed that of Christians, while they are mere Platonists, or anything rather than disciples of Jesus.
In a letter to William Short (31 October 1819), he wrote
The greatest of all the reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill.
“I am a Christian,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Benjamin Rush.
To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.
Was Jefferson a Christian? Discuss.
You may say, “It depends on what you mean by ‘Christian’,” but it doesn’t. Was Jefferson a Christian? The truth depends on historical facts about Jefferson and what he believed, not on contemporary facts about me and what I had in mind when I asked the question.
The meaning of a word depends on the conventions that govern its use.
I can use the word ‘Christian’ in an unconventional sense. But if I do, then until and unless my non-standard use of the word catches on and itself becomes part of the norm, there is a mismatch between what I say and what I mean. To take a different example, when Ayn Rand said that selfishness is a virtue, she did not mean what she said. (She said that selfishness is a virtue. But it’s not.) She did, however, say what she meant. (She meant that self-interest is a virtue. And it is.)
The conventions which govern our use of the word ‘Christian’ allow for more than one distinct sense of the word. For example, there are nominal Christians, cultural Christians, liberal Christians, fundamentalist Christians, practising Christians, denominational Christians, non-denominational Christians, and so on. But the conventions which govern our use of the word ‘Christian’ also determine a primary sense of the word.
This letter to the editor was spotted recently in the Press.
Ken Orr’s argument against euthanasia is that ‘‘the state is to provide legal protection for the right to life of every member of the community . . . and not preside over their destruction’’ (March 13). What a travesty of truth. In a civilised and free society, all individuals have rights and responsibilities. The role of a government is to protect those rights, not assume those responsibilities.
If I choose, when my time comes, that I want to die with dignity, that is my right, and one that should be protected by law.
The state is not ‘‘presiding over my destruction’’, as Mr Orr says it is. It is protecting the wishes of a free man who rightly owns his life and death.
A reasoned morality of man qua man is where true human compassion is found, not in Mr Orr’s cold mysticism.
A travesty of truth? Yes. Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin, not the same side of the one coin! A right to remain alive is not a duty to remain alive. If confounding the two is Ken Orr’s argument, then the best I can say is that I don’t like his style. There’s a fine line between disingenuity and dishonesty, and Mr. Orr should check to see he hasn’t crossed over to the other side. Meanwhile, Mr. Hubbard should check his premises!
(Suppose, for the sake of argument.) You don’t own your life. God does. Your life is God’s property and He’s entrusted it to you. You are His servant. You have a responsibility to take care of God’s property as you would your own.
Think of your life as if it were a car. Except you can’t trade it in for a new one. So you look after it. You service it regularly. You keep it in good running order. If it breaks down you get it fixed if it can be fixed. You drive it until it grinds to a halt.
But what if your life still “goes” but is in no way, shape or form “roadworthy”? What’s the right thing to do? A good and faithful servant doesn’t leave rubbish lying around, cluttering up the place. Your life is rubbish now. I say dispose of it. Drive your life to the dump. Or pay someone to take it away.
(Old abandoned cars are sometimes photogenic. Dying in pain is never pretty.)
Memories are all that’s left behind
As I lay and wait to die
Little do they know
That I hear their choice of life
End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope – Why don’t you
Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way
Once I had full control of my life
I now behold a machine decides my fate
End it now it’s all too late
What has now been days, it seems like years
To stay like this is what I fear
Life ends so fast, so take your chance
And make it last
End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope – Why don’t you
Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way
Letter from Birmingham Jail was penned by Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1963. It was a response to an open letter by fellow clergymen critical of King’s participation in civil rights demonstrations.
Never before have I written so long a letter. I’m afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?
The letter is long, but here are some excerpts. Click here to read the letter in its entirety.
I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.
I [am] compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.
I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham.
We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?”
My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God-consciousness and never-ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber.
[T]ime itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained.
I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?
I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation—and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.
In an 1803 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson declared that “I am a Christian,” though his view of Christianity was different from most:
I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of [the Christian religion]. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.
However, despite Jefferson’s self-declared Christianity, many of his views would be considered heretical by most theologians. Most notably, he attempted to create the Jefferson Bible – an edited version of the New Testament that retained Christ’s moral and practical teaching, while dropping supernatural elements.
Jefferson certainly believed Jesus to be a great teacher of morality, and believed the universe to be created by a God. Less clear is his views on subjects such as the divinity of Christ, the resurrection, sin and salvation. The Jefferson Bible suggests he rejects these ideas entirely, but is not definitive. Jefferson never had his Bible published during his lifetime. He did have this to say about Christianity and the message contained in the work that he created.
There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.
“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
–Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.
This was not his reasoned opinion. Although John Adams often felt an urge to advocate atheism as a popular world view (because of the sheer abuses perpetrated by religious charlatans), he was of the firm and reasoned opinion (basically undisputed in his day) that religion is essential to the goal of keeping the masses in line.
Clearly, as Adams used the term, ‘atheism’ means “no religion”.
Jefferson famously said that
religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God
What of those who have no God? They have no religion. Jefferson also said
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual.
Atheism is the belief that there is no God. It implies non-belief that there is a God. Atheism, as understood by Jefferson, is not a religious belief.
John Lennon wrote a song in which he famously asks us to
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
By religion, Lennon means belief systems which include beliefs in the supernatural—God, Heaven, Hell, etc. His view is that we’d be better off in a world in which there was no God, i.e., one in which atheism was true. In such a world there would be “no religion” and “all the people living life in peace.”
Atheism, as understood by Lennon, is not a religion.
Once every 5 years, New Zealand citizens are required to participate in a census. One of the questions seeks to elicit the respondent’s “religious affiliation”. According to Wikipedia,
In the 2006 Census, 55.6 percent of the population identified themselves as Christians, while another 34.7 percent indicated that they had no religion
That’s right, there is a box to tick labeled ‘No religion’. There are no boxes to tick labeled ‘Atheist’ or ‘Humanist’ or ‘Objectivist’. There’s not even a box labeled ‘Jedi’.
Atheism, as understood by Statistics New Zealand, is not a religion.
Irreligion —the absence of religious belief or affiliation— is an increasing trend in New Zealand. Although New Zealand has no established religion, Christianity has been the majority religious affiliation since European settlement in the 19th century. The trend toward irreligion may indicate increasing secularisation as well as a rise in non-institutional spiritual belief.
Atheism, as understood by (some) Wikipedia authors, is not a religion. It’s an irreligion!
The meaning (or meanings) of a word is determined by the conventions governing its use. What those conventions are is determined by the facts of usage. (See examples above.)
It is not conventional to call atheism a religion.
I have been a Libertarian activist for over a decade and have stood for Parliament and Hamilton City Council, including the Mayoralty many times. It may surprise readers to hear that from first hand experience I can verify the fact that both these different types of Government suffer from the same political diseases and as such they both require the same remedies.
In fact the problems now being faced in Little old Hamilton are identical to the problems faced by our National Parliament, and if we take a Satellite view we can see that these same problems have rendered all the major western democracies chronically Ill with social chaos, and all teeter on the verge of economic collapse. The problem is Socialist over-government, and is caused by politicians overstepping the legitimate bounds of Good government, of an ever expanding sphere of operation, usurping unjust powers and encroaching upon the domain of legitimate liberty and self responsibility. The Bigger the Government, the more expensive it becomes, and so the heavier the burden upon the backs of the population whom must carry it.
Governments can not generate wealth. All they can do is hinder its creation, or bleed it from veins of those who do generate it and either waste it upon their grand delusions, or redistribute it to their Political favorites. This is why Western civilisation is crippled under Rapacious Taxes and Rates, and wallowing in massive debt.
For Ten years I have been standing on my soapbox warning my fellow Countrymen and ratepayers that as surely as the Soviet Union collapsed… so too would our taxes and rates become too heavy to bare, That we would suffer legal oppressions that curtail our freedom and ability to support ourselves and our children, and that we face certain Bankruptcy. I have argued that we must halt this ever expanding socialism and reverse it via a program of Libertarian reforms.
Yet nobody listened.
Not being a wealthy Man I have never been able to afford a real election campaign. I have spent $1000.00, while my competitors have spent $50 000.00.
Another factor that works against me is that having no financial backing and operating as a one man band, I must fund my own campaign and hold down a Job (Im a self employed Engineering Contractor). Thus while Im doing 60 hours a week, my competitors are out having morning tea at election meetings, doing speeches, kissing babies, and making Big promises to satisfy the vested interest of the particular Lobby groups hosting the meetings. I am lucky to make it to the Meetings which happen after hours, to which I am usually knackered after a hard days slog and ill prepared having limited time for speech writing etc (And I like to write pertinent speeches for every occasion rather than Parrot the same general statement at every meeting). Sadly Most Election Meetings are held by special interest groups whom are not looking for the the most principled and upright candidate, but instead are looking for handouts and political favoritism. And most of my political opponents fall over-themselves to outdo each other in offering the grandest political bribes to win the support and votes of these lobby groups.
In a way I don’t think I lose many votes at all by fixing leaking pumps instead of attending these sorts of Meetings as I explain in the following article I paid to get printed in the Local rag ‘Hamilton news’. I wrote it for the last time I stood for Hamilton City council. These Lobby groups don’t want to hear a message of frugality, and so if they actually learn about my Libertarian Ideals, they despise me for them! They know if they vote for me that I wont grant them any favours… so they don’t vote for me.
I post the following article for two reasons. Firstly because I am currently standing for Parliament, and Though this article is about Local body politics, It actually displays the very same rationale which I apply to National politics and how to solve our Economic and social problems on a National scale.
Secondly I post it as a testimony to the fact That I offered Hamilton clear analysis of the Rates crisis that we now suffer and also a rational program of Libertarian reforms to solve the crisis and to keep it from happening again (at least on my watch) .
I want to expose the failure of the so-called Free Press, their pathetic journalism and lack of integrity, in particular the Waikato Times and their failure to appreciate the importance of my candidacy and what I had to say on the essential issues facing Hamilton and our nation. I argue that they have dropped the ball and failed to do their job at informing the people of Hamilton that there was indeed a candidate offering very real alternatives to the status quo. They have failed because they wrote me off as a serious contender because I was not spending thousands of dollars on a campaign, nor am I a local celebrity Ex rugby star etc.
I argue that they ought to have recognized my principles as worthy of attention, in spite of my pitiful campaign. Had they done so, and included me in the public discussion which they control via the daily reporting upon the issues … via decent press coverage I would have built up a formidable profile now and be well known by the voters of Hamilton, and would probably have gained financial backing and other support so that I could afford to run a proper campaign. They have not simply failed me but the people of Hamilton. I must say that the Local Rag ‘Hamilton News’ (was Hamilton This week) has done a much better job in informing the Hamilton people of their choices and has run many of my soap box articles over the years, and I am very grateful to them for this.
I am left to wonder if the editors of the Waikato times actually know that if they gave me equal press coverage that I would become a political force to be reckoned with… and that this is the very reason that have not done so. Ie They have purposely kept me and the people of Hamilton in the dark, for the benefit of the status quo and the powers that be? This is wild speculation. A conspiracy of Silence. I think they simply do not think I have any credibility. That I am a Radical. No matter what the reason, they have made a terrible mistake, which has cost our city Hundreds of Millions of Dollars.
How can I breakthrough this severe obstacle that hinders my prospects of being elected? Ten Years of intelligent and peaceful activism has not worked. Must I blow up a building? (Joke) Sadly it seams The paper only pays attention to sensational/criminal activism such as is common with the Lefty Green and Maori radicals “Direct action and ‘Occupations’. When You are respectful of property rights and the rule of Law… the press are not interested in running your story. This is another failure on their part…not mine. I must battle on. I must be carried by my personal convictions and not be broken by my isolation.
Thank Bill Gates for Blogging! Here is my article enjoy…
‘Revolution At The Roots’. Making Hamilton ’s City Council, Smaller, Better, and more conducive towards prosperity. By Tim Wikiriwhi Independent Candidate for Hamilton West.
Election time is painful for me because it is a time when common sense looses its currency and is trodden underfoot by fanatical lobby groups with vested interests, and forked tongued power hungry politicians who will say and promise the moon for the sake of getting elected. The financial imprudence, and Nannyism of most of these affairs matters little in this feeding frenzy of demands and election bribery. No one raises such common sense realities because election meetings are not about economic realities or justice, but about political power and imposing vested interests upon our communities. Well I wont have a bar any of that. I have decided not to attend lobby group meetings because I dont have any political favors for sale.
I’m not putting up any election signs because I don’t want someone to vote for me just because of my good looks on a billboard. I want people to vote for me because of my principles and financial prudence.
That I did not attend a meeting on getting commuter trains to run between Hamilton and Auckland, or one on city art, does not mean that I have no interest in these various issues, but that I know the council is running in the red with a climbing debt currently at $338.5 million which is projected to blow out to over $700 million before the next decade is through. What this tells me is the junket is over! Past councils have mortgaged us to eyeballs, and getting this debt under control must be the highest priority of the newly elected council.
This is one reason I implore voters to turn a deaf ear to the big talking, big spenders whom have been in council so long they have grown roots! These buffoons have run the city into the red, and yet they continue to promise heaven and earth just to be re elected. I ask voters to not allow themselves to deceived and bankrupted by these incompetent dinosaurs, but to boldly vote in fresh people whom are committed to taking on the hard task of trimming down the size of city council to focus on core infrastructure, and getting the rates burden under control.
Not only will such an approach ease the effects of city council upon Hamiltonians, it will render it far more sustainable, and eliminate the very real environmental risks that occur when essential infrastructure are under funded and neglected due to having an obese council that frivolously wastes money in superfluous enterprises that it ought to left to free enterprise and voluntary community action.
If elected, I will start the dialogue and promote alternative ways to achieve the goals and dreams of Hamiltonians by means that don’t involve an increasing rates burdens or bureaucracy.
The problems that we face in Hamilton are far from unique. Around the world the problem of bloated bankrupt bureaucracy, its mismanagement and suppression of prosperity are reaching such proportions that even Castro’s Cuba is looking at axing hundreds of thousands of State jobs and allowing free enterprise to work its economic miracle.
Books such as “Revolution at the Roots… making our government smaller, better, and closer to home” by William D Eggers and John O’Leary, and “Freedom to choose”, by Nobel prize winner for economics, Milton Friedman have already clearly defined the problems we face, and point the way to recovery, growth and prosperity.
If elected It is the ideas written in such insightful volumes that I will promote in the media so that Hamiltonians can see for themselves the wisdom of reducing the size and scope of Council to essentials, and the benefits that come from maximising free enterprise.
Thus my dream for Hamilton is to have a city council that is trim, and councilors that respect liberty, private property and free enterprise. I envision a council free of small minded Nannyism, peopled with those committed to serving the community not tyrannizing over it.
While some may think my dream lacks grandeur…no Pyramids. No Coliseums, they forget that low rates, sustainable core infrastructure, and economic prosperity are a Win, Win, Win, for everyone, and the way to insure Hamilton’s future greatness built upon the innovations of Hamiltonians themselves whom unburdened by extortionate rates and red tape, can make our city great.
Prosperity will never come by foolishly trusting petty grand standing politicians whom inevitably lead us further into bankruptcy.
Vote Wikiriwhi for Hamilton West!
Update: I think it is well worth mentioning that I am not unique in suffering this Conspiracy. It ought to be Noticed that This has been the lot of the Libertarianz Party as a whole over the last ten years, and is still the case today in the current election. They are locked out of all Media coverage. It may be argued that they are ignored because they dont register on any poll. yet This is a despicable notion. They dont register because they dont get any media coverage! It is a travesty!
Update 2 13-11-11 The Waikato Times is a bloody crap Paper which perverts the democratic process and slopes the playing field in favour of their pet parties and the status Quo. In this saturdays paper they run a large two page story called ‘5 face the music’ They have David Bennet Nat HE, Sehai Orgad Lab HE, Nick Marryatt Green HE, Tim Macindoe Nat HW, Sue Moroney Lab HW. No Garry Mallett Act HE. No Tim Wikiriwhi Independent HW! Its Corrupt! They are Shameful! There will be other candidates they have shafted too! This is a clear demonstration of how the Media of NZ are worse than hopeless… absolutely devoid of integrity.
(HE=Hamilton East HW= Hamilton West)
Guy Fawkes night is creepy! Yet raise your glasses high Ye Liberty Lovers!
As a Libertarian Christian it creeps me out to think about how as a child I took great pleasure in making a Guy for the Bonfire. It bothers me that in my innocence that the sight of a Man burning at the stake did not provoke in me any horror whatsoever… but joy.
Pondering this I shudder at the thought of times and places where Real Men and woman were burned on bonfires, and worse still many of these were Heroic and Righteous people, completely innocent of any wrongdoing. They were victims of persecution and corrupt Laws and Governments, and Religious intolerance. Many were like myself… fringe dwellers labeled Unorthodox ‘Heretics’ and Non-conformists whom dared to challenge the Authority and Doctrines of the Orthodox Church.
Yet Guy Fawkes was not Officially a Heretic , nor was he burned at the stake. For the crime of High treason, He was Hung, Drawn, and Quartered! This is a process in which after being dragged through the streets and Hung on the Gallows, the Body is then cut into 4 pieces. These were then usually fed to Dogs.
All this heinous business churns the stomach and one may wonder why it is that 400 years after the barbaric punishment of Guy Fawkes we still celebrate the event? It is here where I must say that despite the atrocious fate of Guy Fawkes, I am a Fan of this celebration as it memorializes one of the most important circumstances of Providence in establishing Liberty in Western Civilization. Today there is a lot of Fireworks and money changing hands yet the truth behind this celebration is all but forgotten. Let me touch briefly upon the monumental events of the time and activities of Guy Fawkes, and revive understanding of the true meaning of this strange Day.
1605 Guy Fawkes was a devout Catholic, a Jesuit, and enemy of the Protestant King of England and Scotland James the 1st. The Jesuits were a Machiavellian Order…the KGB of the Catholic Church. They were involved in Covert / black opps and because King James had authorized an official translation of the Bible into English, The Catholic Church had marked him for Assassination. The last thing they wanted was the Bible placed into the hands of the common Man! They wanted to maintain their Monopoly on the word of God, the control of which left the populations of Europe at the mercy of the Priest-craft of the church of Rome. In these times Protestant Christians called the Pope the Antichrist, and as if to prove them absolutely right, his Satanic church moved to suppress The word of God from reaching the common Englishman. Enter Guy Fawkes and the Gun powder plot. He was caught planting Gun power in the cellars of the House of Lords to be detonated when King James was in attendance. After getting a forced confession He was sentenced to death and executed. There is not space here to lay out just how dire it would have been to the Liberation of Western Civilization from the yoke of religious tyranny had the Plot succeeded. When the Authorised King James Bible was published in 1611 the effect was Explosive! It is no exaggeration to rank its publication as the single greatest impetus to Freedom and Justice in Modern history. I will leave you with a 200 word letter I sent into the Waikato Times earlier this year in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the KJV.
Dear Ed…This year marks the 400th anniversary of the 1611 King James Bible. Its publication was the greatest single event of the Protestant Reformation inspiring enlightenment, religious toleration, independent thought, and justice among English speaking peoples and beyond. It was onboard the ships of the Pilgrim fathers whom set sail for America desiring freedom from old world tradition and ‘orthodoxy’. An explosion of denominations and sects occurred, which many conservatives mistake as a great evil, when in truth this represents true religious liberty from the tyranny of priest craft and the establishment. Tom Payne quoted the KJV in his ‘Common Sense’ sparking the American Revolution. John Locke used it in formulating his two treaties on civil government upon which Jefferson founded the American Declaration of Independence. It was the Mighty sword used by Wilberforce to end slavery in the British Empire , and later fostered the fraternal inspiration of North American abolition. The Font of civilization, it dispatched brave Church missionaries down to the antipodes to liberate savage tribes from superstition, cannibalism, and lawlessness. It was often upon the lips of Martin Luther King jr calling for peaceful civil disobedience in the fight for equal rights for blacks, etc. Praise God Almighty!
Nothing less than this entire history was at stake in 1605. As a Libertarian, I’m sure glad Guy Fawkes failed. I celebrate the survival of King James the first as an act of Divine Providence from which Western civilization embarked upon the road to religious liberty and enlightenment.
Picture: Painting of the Radical Abolitionist John Brown who inspired by the King James Bible set about to overthrow slavery in the American South by force of arms. Some believe him to be a murderer, Yet in my view He was a righteous Man. He did nothing which was not done on a much grander scale in the Civil War which soon followed after his capture and execution. For an interesting first hand account of this Radical Christian and the abolition of slavery in America I suggest reading ‘The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.’
Its General election time, which is so bloody depressing its enough to drive me to drink. Elections in New Zealand are a demonstration of mass stupidity. The Sheeple actually believe that in choosing between John Keys National and Phil Goffs Labour parties that they are actually involved in making real and important moral and economic choices! The depressing reality is both these parties pedal the same Nanny state socialism, so much so that no matter which of these Parties are elected… Our country is buggered and will continue paddling down Poo creek!
There are of course other choices available, Consistent principles are the exception, Contradictions the norm, nonetheless some of the other options are much better than the status quo (those few parties who wish to implement Libertarian reforms), and then there are others which are much much worse (Parties which seek to impose even more obscene socialist inequalities and injustices, heavy handed regulations and prohibitions). It is a situation to be lamented that the former are not more popular, but to be celebrated in the latter. The sheeple are locked into the two party tunnel vision. Though MMP has been around for 15 years they still vote traditionally…as if still under FPP. I would not at all be surprised if the referendum on MMP comes back in favour of restoring some form of FPP. This referendum itself is a travesty considering the Real referendum ought to be on ending the apartheid electoral rolls and Race based seats which is a much more dire situation!
Thus I have resigned to the inevitability that nothing will change after the election
our nation we will remain an oppressive little xenophobic tyranny, and continue to slide into economic oblivion at a rate of $400+ million per week.
Satan Laughing spreads his wings… and John Key smuggly grins.
Evil prevails when good men do nothing.
It is into this cesspool of insanity that Richard and I are about to dive Head first. Richard standing as a list candidate for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and in the Mana electorate , and I myself as an independent Libertarian candidate for Hamilton West. I have no delusions of success, yet am driven to represent my Libertarian Ideals out of personal conviction that it is the Christian thing to do, and to give that small minority of Libertarians (of all faiths) a haven for their conscience. Some reading this will think Richard and I are fools, and that voting for us is to waste your vote. To that I say…. BAAA! *Your wooly thinking is the very reason why our country is enslaved to the National/ Labour parties… and on the road to hell!
As Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota once said “The only wasted vote is one not following your own conscience..” . Richard and I are giving voters *Real choices* And by standing we hold the voters to account for their Sheepish stupidity… because we give them the option to choose Justice, to vote for reform, and for prosperity. “He who governs best, governs least” Thomas Jefferson.
Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object.
In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand, shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy & Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example, in the book of Joshua, we are told, the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus, we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. but it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine, therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand, you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis, as the earth does, should have stopped, should not, by that sudden stoppage, have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth’s motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities?
You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile or death in furcâ. See this law in the Digest Lib. 48. tit. 19. §. 28. 3. & Lipsius Lib 2. de cruce. cap. 2. These questions are examined in the books I have mentioned under the head of religion, & several others. They will assist you in your inquiries, but keep your reason firmly on the watch in reading them all.
Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but uprightness of the decision. I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost. There are some, however, still extant, collected by Fabricius, which I will endeavor to get & send you.