So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Bill of Rights

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

During the battle to ratify the U.S. Constitution, many Americans worried that the founding document failed to list specific rights to be protected against abuse of power. Thomas Jefferson, who generally approved of the new Constitution, put voice to that view when he wrote to James Madison: “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth . . . and what no just government should refuse.” To gain support for the Constitution, Federalists agreed to add amendments protecting personal liberties.

Madison was one of those who had considered a list of protected rights unnecessary. He believed the Constitution, as written, gave the federal government no power to violate citizens’ liberties. He also worried that listing specific rights might imply that the government could limit rights not listed. Nevertheless, when the First Congress met in New York in 1789, he set about crafting a set of amendments. “If we can make the Constitution better in the opinion of those who are opposed to it,” he said, “without weakening its frame, or abridging its usefulness in the judgment of those who are attached to it, we act the part of wise and liberal men to make such alterations as shall produce the effect.”

Madison and a few colleagues sifted through scores of proposed amendments and winnowed them down to a brief list, using the Virginia Declaration of Rights and other precedents as guides. Congress sent twelve amendments to the states for approval. Ten were eventually ratified. On December 15, 1791, Virginia became the last state needed for ratification, and the Bill of Rights went into effect. Those first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, preserving such cherished rights as freedom of speech, press, and religion, lie at the heart of Americans’ faith in limited government and the rule of law.

Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. It's "a daily newsletter that will teach you key events that took place each day in American history." Click here to subscribe.

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