Uncaring State Justice, A Follow-up

It is impossible for me to document every clear case of police injustice. But two articles might mean two witnesses: at least, it shows that there is a pattern of brutality/unjust/uncaring problem that Christians must address, as our current Ruling Class demonstrates its unfitness to rule.

There are real problems. We must come up with actual solutions that will work in a sinful world… because the secularists obviously has no intention to change a thing.

We – you and I – must bring Christ’s justice to bear.

If we don’t labour to expand Christ’s Kingdom, at least in the small kingdoms God has entrusted to us, then God will pick someone else to lead… and leave us to rot.

“If you love me, obey my commandments.”

Our weakness and limited resources is not a big deal. But our silence and indifference is.

Let’s change that.

From Mises.com: This Colorado Cop Is Learning a Lesson about Proportionality by Ryan McMaken

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Loveland, Colorado police officer Austin Hopp was sentenced this week to prison time for attacking an elderly woman with dementia in June 2020. After pleading guilty to second-degree assault and other crimes, Hopp reached a plea agreement with the county and was sentenced to five years in prison plus three years probation.

Hopp was “enforcing the law” when he threw victim Karen Garner to the ground, broke her arm, and dislocated her shoulder. The 80-pound, 73-year-old woman had allegedly attempted to walk out of a local Walmart with $13.88 worth of merchandise. When confronted, Garner left the merchandise in the store and walked home.

Hopp and his partner, Officer Daria Jalali, quickly caught up with Garner, who was picking wildflowers along the road. Hopp proceeded to assault Garner with the help of Jalali. [See video.] Hopp’s manhandling of the tiny woman was so aggressive that a local bystander even stopped—thinking Hopp was abusing a small child—and asked “do you have to use that much aggression?”

The sergeant on site, Philip Metzler, was quick to dismiss the bystanders’ concerns and shouted down the citizen, declaring Hopp “didn’t do anything wrong.” Metzler also invented a false narrative about how Garner “ran from the store” and “resisted arrest.”

Soon thereafter, Garner was taken to the local lockup where she was refused medical attention, even though she had a broken arm. While Garner while crying in pain in her holding cell, Hopp, Jalali, and Community Service Officer Tyler Blackett viewed the body cam footage from the incident. Video from the police station shows the three officers laughing and joking about Garner’s arrest and her broken arm. Hopp announced that he was “proud” and “super excited” that he had the opportunity to use hobble restraints on the elderly woman. Jalali and Hopp shared a fist bump over the arrest with Hopp declaring that the arrest “went great” and “we crushed it.”

But then nothing happened. As is so often the case with police assaults on members of the public, the leadership in the police department took no exception to Hopp’s assault or the fact that Garner was denied medical attention. The laugh-fest following Garner’s arrest was not seen as anything to worry about. Loveland’s assistant chief of police Ray Butler, after viewing Hopp’s video, concluded Hopp’s felony assault was “necessary, reasonable, and within policy.” 

It was only in April of the following year that Garner’s daughter was finally able to get information on her mother’s violent arrest. Thanks to their skilled attorney, bodycam videos of the incident were made public, as was the video from the police station. Only after a public outcry over the contents of the video did the police department’s leadership take any significant action. Hopp, Jalali, and Metzler were given paid vacations—also known as “administrative leave”—pending investigation.

Hopp, Jalali, and Blackett finally resigned—i.e., were not fired—in late April. It was not until more than a year after the incident, in September 2021, that Metzler resigned. Metzler, of course, had signed off on Hopp’s report, and—according to Garner’s attorney—deliberately mislabeled his own bodycam files so as to hide evidence. The other sergeant that  approved Hopp’s report, Sergeant Antolina Hill, remains employed by the department.

Now, nearly two years later—and certainly no thanks to the police department that employed and protected him—Austin Hopp is in prison. His partner Jalali is awaiting trial in June.

Do Police Understand the Concept of Proportionality? 

But this leaves us with an important question: what sort of thinking convinces a police officer to conclude it is laudable, or even acceptable, to rough up an old lady in this manner?

We can already guess the narrative that the police were telling themselves, given the words of Metzler: in their minds, Garner was apparently a “criminal” who resisted arrest and ran from the scene of a crime. Perhaps in their minds, this exaggerated version of events justified breaking an old woman’s arm and throwing her in a jail cell.

Most reasonable people, however, understand there is a problem of proportionality here. Garner didn’t actually steal anything, but even if she had stolen something, was the proper response to beat her up? Moreover, in Garner’s case, the value of the goods she had in hand amounted to under 14 dollars. This must all be viewed in light of the basic premise of proportionality which is that “[T]here should be a proportion between the severity of the crime and the severity of the punishment.”

So, here we have a woman who had not actually stolen anything, but police were acting as if she were a hardened criminal, deserving of harsh treatment. Moreover, as Murray Rothbard was always careful to note, when a suspect is in the process of being apprehended, guilt has not even been determined yet. In other words, all force taken against a suspect may ultimately prove to be against a party who is completely innocent.

Thus, in the Garner case, we witness police breaking an old woman’s arm in a case where:

  • Guilt has not been established.
  • The suspect has not actually stolen anything.
  • The suspect is a small elderly person and presents no threat to the community.

The public, on some level, understood all of this, which is likely why the public’s reaction to the police in Garner’s case was one of near-universal revulsion. Had Hopp arrested the local 200-pound ne’er-do-well in a similar fashion for stealing a pack of cigarettes, Hopp would almost certainly not be in prison today.

Reasonable people understand that not all cases of theft (or attempted theft) are created equal and do not call for the same response. Indeed, in many cases, proportionality and basic decency suggest no arrest at all is the most prudent course of action. Garner’s case is just such a case.

The “Arrest and Jail” Model for Minor Infractions Is a Modern, State-Centered Invention

“Law and order” types, however, often have problems understanding proportionality and the fact that arresting people is not necessarily the solution to every legal infraction. For many of these people, even very minor infractions require forceful intervention, jailing, and arrest. Those suspects who don’t immediately and docilely submit to arrest? Those people—regardless of their alleged infraction—are “resisting arrest” and therefore must be made to comply by any means necessary

As the Garner case has demonstrated, however, this is a ghoulish position and out of touch with the real world.

For example, in the case of Garner, how might the situation have been handled differently? It was apparent to any decent person—i.e., not the personnel of the Loveland Police Department—that it is would not have been appropriate to use violence against someone in Garner’s situation. For one, the supermarket could protect itself from Garner in the future by simply banning her from the premises. This is common in the case of shoplifters. If the police were hell bent on establishing Garner’s identity—and if she refused to provide a name—they could simply have followed her the additional half mile home. Then they could have issued a summons to appear in court.

This almost certainly would have been less time-consuming and costly than arresting the woman and putting her in jail. The summons approach definitely would have been less costly than the $3 million settlement paid out to the victim’s family in the Garner case.

Yet, we continue to hear from the “always comply” crowd that any minor infraction requires a response of overwhelming force followed by violent escalation. But what if Garner had somehow managed to get free of the police officer and was able to run away? If we believe that compliance is of paramount importance, then we must conclude that it would then be justifiable to use deadly force on people in Garner’s situation. In other words, we end up supporting the idea that death is somehow a proportional “punishment” for petty (attempted) theft.  Cleary, there is something very wrong with this position. 

Moreover, from a public-policy view, police resources are wasted on cases such as these. If Loveland is like most communities of its size and demographics, there are many unsolved, never-prosecuted car thefts, assaults, and burglaries. Anyone who has been a victim of a burglary, for example, knows that the police do next to nothing in terms of finding stolen property. Police often lie that they “must enforce every law” but this is obviously not the case. Police choose each and every day how to distribute police resources and what crimes to investigate and address. This is reflected in the fact that police devote very few resources to homicides, but large amounts of resources to more lucrative and easy investigations of illegal drugs

So why did two police officers and their sergeant decide to double down on arresting Karen Garner? Because it was the easy thing to do. And, of course, Garner presented no threat whatsoever to the personal safety of police officers. This made her an even easier target. Tracking down dangerous criminals, on the other hand, requires actual work and risk.

In the end, it would have been best to do nothing from the standpoint of police. If Walmart wanted to insist on punishing Garner somehow for her petty non-theft, Walmart could sue her in court.

This, of course, would be the course of action recommended by Rothbard in his chapter on proportionality in The Ethics of Liberty. But even then, the penalty inflicted on Garner would still have to be proportional, since, as Rothbard notes

The victim [i.e., Walmart], then, has the right to exact punishment up to the proportional amount as determined by the extent of the crime, but he is also free either to allow the aggressor to buy his way out of punishment, or to forgive the aggressor partially or altogether. The proportionate level of punishment sets the right of the victim, the permissible upper bound of punishment; but how much or whether the victim decides to exercise that right is up to him.

In Garner’s case, Walmart could pursue maybe 20 bucks for restitution for the time spent by store employees on reclaiming property from Garner. Or Walmart could simply decide it’s not worth the trouble. Anything more than a few bucks restitution in this case is disproportional to the severity of the crime.  A broken arm is beyond the pale of reasonable responses. On the other hand, a doctrinaire commitment to police-enforced “law and order” simply depends on an imaginary version of reality in which every minor infraction can be addressed through government intervention. Historically, prosecution for such offenses has generally been a matter of private civil law. The idea that police ought to be sent out to round up every low-grade thief is a purely modern invention. In reality, and throughout most of human history, it has been the case that many small infractions cannot be addressed without risking a “cure worse than the disease.” 

That was clearly the case in the Garner situation. Fortunately, the court recognized this, and Hopp will have a few years in a prison cell to help him understand. Let’s hope his partner Jalali will soon have the same opportunity. 

Image source: 

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office

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Uncaring State Justice

The State loves its impersonal, unaccountable punishment systems.

God does not.

Since we are God’s people, we are the ones called to change this, to reform (or, quite likely, to gradually understand, break down and replace) the legal system into a form that satisfied the justice of Christ.

As opposed to the power-lust of bureaucrats.

Note: Even though this incident caused serious material harm – and restitution to the victim is certainly warranted – this is one of the less damaging forms of prison abuse out there. There are FAR worse incidents, especially if you are poor and non-white — regardless of innocence.

Also: driving without a licence should not be a crime, no more than using recreational drugs should be. In contrast, harming other people and their property should be: and restitution should be paid to the victim, not to the State.

But to continue:

Quora: What incident has traumatized you for good?

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Christin Taggart

In 2013, at 26 years old, I was arrested and sent to Steuben County Jail in NYS. I was arrested after making the dumb mistake of driving without a driver’s license, and telling the officer that I didn’t have my license ON me, and gave him my sister’s name and birth date. I was charged with misdemeanor probation violation with the original charge being criminal impersonation and was in jail waiting to go to court. I had never been in any legal trouble before I made the abominably stupid idea to try to trick the officer out of giving me a ticket for driving without a license.

About 4 weeks into my incarceration I began getting severe headaches. It got so bad that I put in a request to go to Medical and see the jail’s Physician Assistant. After seeing her for the first time and describing pain that I felt in my nose that spread to the top of my head, I was told that I was suffering from a sinus infection. I accepted that as a plausible explication, and took the antibiotics that were prescribed to me.

A week went by and the pain was getting worse, not better. I again requested to go to Medical, and was again seen by the PA. I told her the pain was getting severe, that it had spread to the side of my face and the back/side of my neck, and asked to be taken to the hospital. The PA told me that she was not sending me to the hospital, that hospital visits were only reserved for emergencies, and she had concluded I had an impacted tooth.

A day went by and I was in complete agony. I was unable to move my head even the slightest bit without feeling as if my entire head would explode. The pain was so bad that I couldn’t eat, sleep, and basically laid on my bunk sobbing. I begged every CO on shift to help me. Different sergeants were called in to talk to me and I’d beg them to send me to the hospital, but was always refused.

At about 9 days after my headaches began I developed double vision. I told the nurse that was handing out meds that I had constant double vision. I remember telling her, “There’s two of you.” I was instructed to put in a slip to request to go to medical. A few hours after the double vision began I was talking to another inmate when she went, “Oh my god, your eyes… they’ve shifted.” I went into my cell and looked into the mirror, and was horrified to see that I had gone cross-eyed.

I had been calling my mom every day telling her that I knew something was very wrong with me. After seeing that I had gone cross eyed I called my mom, hysterically told her I was cross eyed, and asked her to call the jail and see if she could persuade them to take me to the hospital. Everyone my mom called and spoke to on the phone or talked to in person at the jail would assure her that I was getting adequate medical care.

I requested to speak with a sergeant, and after about an hour one showed up to talk to me. I showed him my eyes, told him my vision was doubled, told him I was in the worst pain of my life, and pleaded with him to send me to the hospital. I told him that I knew something was seriously wrong, that I knew if I wasn’t treated soon I would die. To which he said, “I didn’t know that you’re a doctor! Go back to your cell, you can go to Medical in the morning.”

The next morning, after about my 10th sleepless, agonizing night, I descovered I could no longer walk properly. Instead of my normal stride I was now walking with small shuffled steps. I felt very unbalanced, like everything was spinning. I was on a 2nd story tier, and it was nearly impossible for me to get down the stairs. I was again sent to medical, and this time I was told that I was NOT going to the hospital, to stop bothering the COs and sergeants, and that all this was, “Your own fault for taking other inmates medication.”

I was completely stunned, and adamantly denied that I had taken anyone else’s medication. The PA said that I must have, that it was the only explanation for my eyes going cross, and that it was obviously a drug reaction. I cried and told her it wasn’t true, that it was something neurological, and begged to go to the hospital. I told her that I was positive I was going to die, begged her to save me. Cold as ice, she called in the CO and said, “Take her back to her cell. Tell everyone to stop bringing her here. She’s wasting my time.”

I felt absolutely helpless. I was sure that I was gravely ill and that the jail administration was just going to let me die in my cell, alone and scared, in complete agony. I was moved to the ground floor as a safety precaution, and laid on my bunk basically waiting to either become unconscious or die. The other inmates became involved, told staff they HAD to help me, but were met with deaf ears.

About two hours later I remember adjusting my head, and I immediately felt a pain in my head and neck that caused me to start screaming uncontrollably. It felt like my brain was too big for my head, like my head would explode. The sergeant on duty was called, and when he came to my cell I recalled saying, “Please, you have to help me, I’m a human being, I’m only 26 years old, please don’t let me die.” I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude when he replied, “Okay, get your shoes on, we’ll get you checked out.” I sobbed uncontrollably, and just kept thanking him.

He had to keep his arm around me to help me walk up the hall. We got to the end of the hall and he stopped to open a side door and led me in. We entered a room with a desk, two cells, and a shower. He opened the cell door to one of the cells and set me down on a wood bench. He left, shutting the door behind him. I asked him, “When am I going to the hospital?” to which he replied, “ You’re not. We can’t have you screaming like that, bothering everyone on the unit. You are staying in Constant Watch until you can grow up.”

I was absolutely devestated. I was being held in the cells they usually use to watch people who are suicidal. I was put in the cell, the desk was moved right in front of it, and a guard was placed at the desk to watch me. Why he told me I was going to go to the hospital I don’t know. I’ve never felt more let down in my entire life.

That whole night I laid in that cell sobbing. I remember singing songs to try to distract myself from the pain. I screamed a lot. I begged the guard to help me, but didn’t even get a response, she just sat at her desk ignoring me. I started vomiting uncontrollably, which made the pain in my head and neck even worse. That was the worst night of my entire life.

In the morning the PA came in along with a sergeant. I told her that I couldn’t walk, couldn’t see, and was in the worst pain of my life. I again, for the hundredth time, begged and pleaded to go to the hospital. I again reminded them that I’m a human being, that I would soon be dead. She looked at me for a minute, then said, “take her back to her cell. All this is her own fault.”

I began crying and screaming, feeling like the torture and pain I was enduring didn’t matter to them, that to them I was just a criminal, lower than a dog. The sergeant says to me, “it’s obvious that you can’t be in that much pain if you’re screaming. I couldn’t scream like that if my head hurt.”

I continued to scream and cry. A different sergeant came in to talk to me. I said to her, “please, I’m dying, please take me to the hospital.” She stood there for a minute, then said the greatest sentence of my life, “okay, we’ll get you looked at.”

At the hospital I was given an MRI and CAT scan that showed nothing. Then I was given a spinal tap. The doctor told me that my spinal fluid shot out like a geyser. Tests confirmed I had Fungal Spinal Meningitis. I was told if the jail waited even 12 hours longer I would have most certainly died.

My mother was able to get my judge to release me on my own recognizance so that my family could be with me while I recovered, and so I didn’t have to be chained to my hospital bed being guarded by a Correctional Officer. After 10 spinal taps to get the pressure off my brain and spinal cord, and lots of heavy duty pain and anti fungal meds I did recover. I had double vision for a long time, along with trouble walking, but I did make a full recovery eventually. However, I will never recover mentally from my 11 days of hell.

I lost faith in humanity after that. All these people working at the jail stood by and let me suffer. I was tortured. Trained medical staff did nothing to help, even when it was completely obvious that something was seriously wrong with me. In their eyes I was just a good for nothing criminal. I broke the law, so I deserved what I was getting.

A few months later I decided I wanted to sue the jail. It is every prisoner’s right to get adequate medical care. My human rights were violated, I wanted them to pay. Well come to find out, NYS gives you 90 days to file a lawsuit against the county, something I was unaware of. I couldn’t even sue.

I am still plagued with horrible claustrophobia, PTSD, and nightmares. I am traumatized and don’t know if I will ever fully recover.

Thanks for reading. I apologize for the length and many grammatical errors!

Edit

I’d like to thank everyone that took the time to read this, commented, and upvoted. Words cannot describe how much it means to me.

I’d also like to add that not only was this traumatic for me, but my mom as well. She had seen me at a visit cross eyed and shuffling. Everyday she talked to me on the phone, heard my sobs, and me telling her I was dying. We have talked of this incident extensively, and to hear it from her point of view, a mother helpless to help her child, her child that was slowly and painfully dying in jail, while she was powerless to help, is heartbreaking.

My mom called every person she could think to call, would show up at the jail, and beg them to take me to the hospital, to help her daughter. She even showed up at my judges door step in tears begging for help. My poor mom did every thing she could do, to no avail. I just wanted to add that not only did this affect me in a horrible way, but also the people who love me. The staff at the jail simply didn’t care.

Thank you, bless you all!

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Progressives – who have known about prison abuse for decades now – simply don’t care.

Note that especially, Black Progressives simply don’t care1 about the prison abuse of Blacks in jail, who make up to about 30% of the prison population.

Black Progressives are far more concerned about pleasing White Progressives, than about poor Black people. As we can observe Black Lives Matter rake in the bucks on the name of George Floyd, and give that money to 1) themselves and 2) transsexual organizations. I’d be surprised if 10% of the money brought in was used to support Black Civil Rights.

Do Black lives actually matter to the BLM organization?

“Actions speak louder than words.”

“By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Where they have chosen to fail, Christians – Black and White – must succeed. It is the job of the Christian to insure that justice — as determined by God, and not by politically powerful men – is done.

This takes work, and pain, and money, and time. Organization and commitment is needed, too. Leadership is inescapable: as there must and will be leaders, we might as well take up the robes of authority and learn to get good at it.

After paying the hard price of tuition, to learn how to lead.

Those who take responsibility and do the work, reap the earned authority and legitimacy, the right to command in society.

To lead, you must first serve.

This isn’t a problem with me: I always knew that we needed a better ruling class, than the self-serving delusional incompetents of today.

“Those who have ears to hear, let him hear.”

Tolerance and Dostoievski

Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend the imbeciles. - Dostoievski
Quora: Where should tolerance end?
Kirk Scott, Consultant (2005-present)

“You are here.”

It will take some time — probably a generation (a.k.a. government bankruptcy/accelerating population, and so taxpayer decline) — until the Tolerance Regime ends.

But end it will.

As surely as Imperial Rome and the Soviet Union and the European empires died.

Christians must read and master their Bibles, to sort out and ground their faith and life on a better definition of love and compassion.

A definition that is grounded on the Law-Word of Jesus Christ, not centred on the will of man, seeking to escape Divine judgement and punishment…

…while inflicting their own judgement and punishment on you.

The Foundations of Social Order

From Chalcedon, The Foundations of Social Order by R. J. Rushdoony

(The bold is mine.)

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(Reprinted from The Foundations of Social Order: Studies in the Creeds and Councils of the Early Church [Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1998], 181-186.)

Every social order rests on a creed, on a concept of life and law, and represents a religion in action. Culture is religion externalized, and, as Henry Van Til observed, “a people’s religion comes to expression in its culture, and Christians can be satisfied with nothing less than a Christian organization of society.”1 Wherever there is an attack on the organization of society, there is an attack on its religion. The basic faith of a society means growth in terms of that faith, but any tampering with its basic structure is revolutionary activity. The Marxists are in this respect more astute than their adversaries: they recognize hostility to their structure as counter-revolutionary activity, as hostility to their establishment. The life of a society is its creed; a dying creed faces desertion or subversion readily. Every creed, however healthy, is also under continual attack; the culture which neglects to defend and further its creedal base is exposing its heart to the enemy’s knife. Because of its indifference to its creedal basis in Biblical Christianity, western civilization is today facing death and is in a life and death struggle with humanism.

The foundations of social order need to be examined, therefore, in order to be understood and defended. First, there is the creedal basis: every law order rests on and is the legal codification of a system of morality, and every morality presupposes a religion, some form of “ultimate concern.” Most religions are nontheistic, but all religions are basic to one or another system of morality. Moral order is an aspect of religious order. Most religions are not theistic but basically humanistic. From the structural perspective, religions can be divided into two great and central classes: theistic and political. In a theistic religion, God is the source of morality and law. The order of the universe is God-given and absolute, and man’s order must be patterned in terms of God’s infallible Word, the Bible. In political religion, politics is the source of morality and law. Aristotle wrote on politics and therefore concerned himself with ethics, and his ethics is the morality of a political order. Ethics for Aristotle basically has an immanent principle of ultimacy rather than a transcendental one. Instead of an absolute order in the universe, political religion sees a developing order which can guide and control, so that God’s eternal decree is replaced by man’s total planning. Man’s predestination replaces predestination by God. Political morality has always been productive of political religions.

The second foundation of social order is the state. The state is the social organization of the creed, the legal structuring of the moral system of a society. The state cannot be amoral, because its every law is the codification of its basic morality. The state cannot be religiously neutral, because it is the religious organization of society in terms of law. When the state claims religious neutrality, it is either self-deception or a deception of the people, and it merely means a neutrality towards its old faith in order to prepare the way for the establishment of the new faith. The state is no less a religious organization than the church, and in some societies more so. In Christian society, church and state are both religious orders, the church as a ministry of grace and the state as a ministry of justice. In pagan society, the state takes priority as the religious order: the temple or the shrine then become aspects of the state’s life and function. Religion can no more be abstracted from the state than from the church. Churches and states may forsake a religion and abandon their creed, but only in order to adopt a new one.

The purpose of the state varies in terms of its religion. Basically, the state can be either messianic or ministerial, either a savior or a ministry of justice. For Biblical religion, the state is the ministry of justice; for non-Christian religions, for political religions, the state is man’s savior. The two concepts are mutually exclusive, and there can be no compromise between them.

The third foundation of social order is sovereignty. Sovereignty can be either transcendental or immanent, resting either in God or being an attribute of man and his order. Basically, the two conflicting concepts are between God’s sovereignty and the claimed sovereignty of the state. If God is sovereign, then He is the creator and governor of all things, and His law over-arches, controls, judges, and assesses all things; nothing can exist or have being apart from Him. If the state is sovereign, then the state must exercise total control and judgment over all things in its world, or its sovereignty is limited and negated. The state seeks, in terms of its claim to sovereignty, to become the determining and overarching power over every domain: no sphere is allowed to function except by permission of the state. The earth, air, water, sky all belong to the state, are used only under the law and tax of the state, and are potentially or actually subject to repossession by the state. The state has assumed that ultimacy over man’s life which properly belongs only to God. The creed of the state therefore requires holy warfare against the Christian creed and faith.

Two absolute sovereignties and sovereigns cannot coexist at the same point in time and space, claiming the same jurisdiction. Because the claims of God and the sovereign state are mutually exclusive, their conflict is inevitable. The warfare between Christ and Caesar is inescapable war, and it is a war unto death.

For every sovereign order, sin and evil are a problem. Biblical Christianity deals with sin and evil in two ways. First, the state as the ministry of justice establishes restitution as the fundamental principle of the law. The justice of God must be maintained; there must therefore be restitution by man whenever God’s order is in any way abated or breached, or else God will exact retribution through His judgment. Second, the church as the ministry of grace must proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ makes atonement for man’s sin against God, and He establishes the order of God in relation to man; this order is communion in Him. Christ’s atoning work affects restitution in relationship to God, even as civil law under God must effect restitution in relationship to man as its duty towards God. Thus, in a higher sense, both church and state have a calling to effect godly restitution, the state as a ministry of justice, the church as a ministry of grace. The goal is “the restitution of all things” in the new creation (Acts 3:21). Restitution is thus the basic aspect of the Christian social order.

The third foundation of social order is thus grace. Man’s problem under any creed is the presence of personal and impersonal evil in the world. Man assesses the nature of that evil and his answer to it is in terms of his creed. For political religions, for humanism, evil is in the environment, and the state’s power to change that environment is its saving grace. The state must remake man’s physical and spiritual environment in order to change and save man. Social change in terms of the state’s plan is statist grace in operation. The bad environment must be destroyed in order to free man. This evil environment sometimes involves persons and institutions, such as the bourgeoisie, capitalists, the clergy, Christians, churches, private organizations, private enterprise, and so on. All these may have to be, and frequently are, “liquidated” or destroyed as part of the process of salvation. Those persons remaining must be “re-educated” in terms of the new creed and out of Christianity.

For Biblical Christianity, the answer to the problem of evil is God’s grace, the grace of God through Jesus Christ and the restitution of all things. Man’s problem is not his environment but sin, man’s desire to be his own god, his own law and principle of ultimacy. Man cannot save himself, either by politics, works of law or morality, or by any other means. Jesus Christ is man’s only savior. Man must live under God’s law order in order to live freely and happily, but the law order cannot save man, nor will that law order long survive, if there be not a sizable body of believers whose life is the law of God. Basic to true order therefore is grace. Without grace, man lacks the character to develop his potentialities, capitalize his activities, and order his life.

[…]

Every social order has an implicit creed, and this creed defines the order and informs it. When a social order begins to crumble, it is because the basic faith, its creed, has been undermined. But the political defense of that order is usually made the first line of defense: it becomes the conservative position. But, because the defense is politically rather than creedally informed, it is a superficial defense and crumbles steadily under a highly doctrinaire and creedal opposition. Thus, Cicero’s defense of the Roman republic was a spirited and heroic effort, but it was also the epitome of impotence. The republic was already dead; Cicero himself did not believe in the religion on which the republic had been based. When Cicero could not accept the religious foundations which made an aristocracy sovereign, how could he expect the rebellious masses to accept it? Cicero’s position was essentially personal, and the various defenders of the republic were more linked by purely personal tastes and interests than a creedal position. Julius Caesar was able to capitalize on the new creedalism and make himself the religious and civil head of the new movement. Similarly, today humanism is the creedal basis of the various democratic and socialistic movements. The clearer the humanism, as in Marxism, the more direct its use of power, because it operates in terms of a consistency of principle. The conservatives attempt to retain the political forms of the Christian West with no belief in Biblical Christianity. Apart from vague affirmations of liberty, they cannot defend their position philosophically. The conservatives therefore become factfinders: they try to oppose the humanists by documenting their cruelty, corruption, and abuse of office. If the facts carry any conviction to the people, they lead them only to exchange one set of radical humanists for reforming radical humanists. It is never their faith in the system which is shaken, but only in a form or representative of that system. The success of the subversives rests on their attack on the creed of the establishment, and its replacement by a new creed. When the foundations are provided, the general form of the building is determined. When the creed is accepted, the social order is determined. There can therefore be no reconstruction of the Christian civilization of the west except on Christian creedal foundations.

1. Henry Van Til, The Calvinistic Concept of Culture (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1959), 245.

Topics: CreedsCulture Reformed ThoughtStatismChristian Reconstruction

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Politics forth.

Actual, personal, familial, and church obedience to God, first.

When we repent, we win. In our lives and our families, our religious assemblies and neighbourhoods and — in time, after we have earned it — politics as well.

But first, we must know the law, repent of our evil ways, and live according to the commands of Jesus Christ.

The Age of Confiscation

From Chalcedon, The Age of Confiscation by R. J. Rushdoony

(The bold is mine.)

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Chalcedon Report No. 340, November 1993

We live in an age of confiscation. Thieves indeed take much from their victims, but thieves are a small factor when compared to the modern state. Taxes have become more and more confiscatory, but that is not all. Under the pretext of enforcing drug laws, money, properties, and homes are routinely seized, and never returned, from innocent people. Politicians by a variety of laws steal jobs from the people, and they have made almost each and every modern state the people’s most dangerous enemy. Whether in the name of Marxism, the environment, equality, drug control, or anything else, the goal is the same: confiscation.

Modern man has looked to the state as its god and savior, and the state has relished that role. It has acted as god walking on earth, and it does not take kindly to those who question its role. Its power grows daily, and, like a juggernaut, it crushes all before it. The modern state trusts only itself. It does not believe that parents are capable of being good to their children, nor farmers good for their land, nor anyone in any sphere capable of self-government.

Surprisingly, an earlier humanist, however idealistic, saw the fallacy of trusting in the state. Friedrich Schiller wrote: “ . . . the state as con­ceived in the idea, instead of being able to establish this more perfect humanity, ought to be based upon it” (Friedrich Schiller, Aesthetical and Philosophical Essays, vol. 1, p. 25). In other words, there cannot be a good state based on people who are not good!

Now, Schiller did not plan to reach his goal on Biblical grounds. Christians know that man is a fallen and depraved creature. As the old proverb has it, “You can’t make a good omelette with rotten eggs.” But this is exactly the premise of modern statism. Criminal gangs of youths wage war in our streets; depravity is becoming part of the street scene, and yet people continue to trust in caesar, even as the modern state de­vours its own children.

“Where there is no vision [no belief in God’s revelation], the people perish [or, run wild, or naked]” (Prov. 29:18). There can be no change in the devouring state until the people are again ruled by God and His law-word. There is no true faith where there is no obedience to the Lord.

Schiller, like the modern educators, believed in the “plastic nature of man” (p. 184). This faith holds that education will change man, make him a good citizen, and provide the basis for a new world order. This statist education has, however, sought to model children into post-Chris­tian humanity. The result, instead of a new person, is the old barbarian.

The goal of humanism, especially since Hegel, has been to incarnate the absolute into history in the form of the state. Against this new god, the state, there is no higher law to appeal to, because the state is the in­carnation of the spirit of nature in history. This means that, ugly as the confiscations of our time are, even uglier is the theology of the state.

The state has supplanted the church as the necessary institution. It has in effect ruled that Christianity is simply a personal option, not the witness to the cosmic Christ and His absolute rule over all things. The state as the necessary institution is a jealous god: it tolerates no rival allegiances and no area of freedom from the state. The state is in every sphere the first and last authority, and the state’s government provides the authoritative word and law.

More than man’s self-government, his family, his property, and his income are at stake, and more than his freedom. The very definition of man is at stake. The Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q. 10) summarizes the Biblical definition of man thus:

Q. How did God create man?

A. God created man, male and female, after his own image, in knowl­edge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures. (Gen. 1:26–28; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10)

The modern world has redefined man as a higher animal, and the state regards man as something to be controlled together with everything else in the world environment. God’s law gives man the freedom of His justice, but the modern state seeks to be scientific and planning in its ac­tions. In a scientific experiment or society, there can be no free agents, only differing controls. As a school teacher told me in the early 1960s, “In the modern world, freedom is obsolete.” How, with freedom, can a scientific social order exist?

More than our persons, possessions, and freedom are thus confiscated. Our right to be God’s free people is denied, and the redefinition of life and history excludes God. He is barred from our schools, and from the state.

Even worse, He is most of all barred from most churches by their mod­ernism and their antinomianism. Others, by their eschatology, limit God and Christ to taking us out of this world.

This age of confiscation has its roots in false faith, in bad theology. We cannot end this evil without restoring the full priority of God’s law-word. Too often, the root of our problems looks back at us in the mirror.

Too often, we retreat from our problems as too great for individuals or groups to handle. The fact remains that all the solutions we see are the works of men of faith who saw the problem and looked to the power of God.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps. 127:1). Scripture tells us that the vain or useless efforts of our time are those done on alien premises, however earnest they may be. That which endures represents the work of men who see the power of the con­fiscatory state as nothing before the power of God.

Remember, God will confiscate all useless churches and peoples. He has been at this longer than the modern state.

Topics: American HistoryCulture EducationGovernmentHumanismJusticeSocialismStatism

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The only notable change is that — as Our Rulers no longer believe in objective truth — they no longer care too much about the scientific process, or even about careful planning. Instead, the goal is to present themselves as utterly righteous, and their enemies as utterly evil.

With Our Rulers defining “righteous” and “evil”, naturally.

Even more to the point, they insist on defining reality as they see fit, and anyone and everyone who challenge, on any basis – scientifically or biblically – is evil, and therefore is not to be heard.

Things has changed since Rushdoony’s time: the incoherence and intense worship of political power has only grown, even as scientific evidence and repeatable observation & proof is not nearly as important as Upholding the Consensus – a fundamentally political issue – and Getting Obedience, Now.

Verbal and physical.

Now, men still love their government-god idol, and will continue by and large to obey and submit to the State until the flow of Free Stuff dies.

We must prepare ourselves, and our families, for that day. That is when the day of small things ends, and we must be ready to build the Kingdom of God – as a social order, not a religious bureaucratic power-pyramid – in earnest.

Kuyper, the Latest Page

Long-time visitors may notice the new Kuyper page on the page menu bar, where (with permission) I am storing a number of works from the Kuyper Foundation. A few of their works have taught me some good truths, so I got all the PDFs to present them to you – and to future generations.

Also here are the Gary North works. They are not complete, but his most substantial works on Economics and the Bible are here. There’s more and better theology and applied Christian teaching here – for the man, for business, for the nation, and for civilization as a whole – than you are going to get in 40 years of ordinary sermons.

Two years ago, I also put up Bojidar Marinov’s works on my site. They are quite valuable, both for missionaries and for the intellectually curious interesting in re-establishing and refreshing a better, more godly Christendom. “Less of man’s traditions, more of God’s commandments. Less about mighty men and religious organizations, and more of the Holy Spirit and discipling the nations – people and their various governments, civil and familial.”

Apage written long ago – but still applicable – are the Ron Paul Curriculum (RPC) . We need Christian leaders who will build a free and godly society, and that is where RPC comes in.

Finally, there is my old sci-fi work, Across the Stars. Easily the least important and useful of the material here, but it has sentimental value and was the original impetus for this website.

Weird Modern Art

A repost from the sci-fi blog, with minor editing.

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Yeah, it’s weird.

Note that it’s truly modern art: impossible to do before today.1

On the other hand, it’s a LOT more interesting, coherent, and meaningful than some late 20th century nonsense about a toilet-sculpture or three stripes of colour selling for millions.

Also, this art – unlike Jackson Pollock drip painting – actually took real work to put together. Real excellence demand a price, a price Max0r was willing to pay for his audience of over a million.2

Instead of putting something together slap-dash, and getting a few wealthy fools to pay.

The future is… odd. But, it’s shaping up to be better than I expected.

If we can get more real fellowship and friendships going – families too – the future actually has a chance to be impressive!3


1 Not just internet & useful computers, but also serious processing and storage capacity, and good bandwidth.

2 I expect that audience to grow.

2 A.K.A. Ditch the priests/pastors distinctions, and restore the Lord’s Supper as fellowship and feast, not a dead ritual. Culture is religion externalized, and we need to get our religion in gear to rebuild our culture. That means figuring out what went wrong, and tossing it out.

And I think we all know what went wrong here. –> points to the Certified Professional Religious Men

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Revolution is Easy. Reconstruction is Hard

A partial requote from the sci-fi blog.

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The Shared Core

Of course, both Traveller and Massif [right-wing and left-wing sci-fi role-playing games) come from a Darwinian materialist/humanist perspective: “Power justifies all things.”

The word of the Emperor – or of the Third Committee – is law. Period.

(I bet far-future Stalin, a true expert on staffing the bureaucracies with his people, is already well on his way to the top of the power-pyramid of the Union.)

Build the Future

What can Christians learn from all this?

  • The past is dead. Learn the lessons, sure, but don’t live there. We are not Muslims, nor Communists, nor Monarchists, nor Darwinist. History didn’t stop in the 7th century, or in 1917, or with Emperor Augustus, or with the Rise of the White Race Over All.
    • It didn’t stop with Jesus either: we are expected to do greater works than the God-Man Himself did!
  • As Gary North insisted, politics fourth. (At best.) Not first. The quest for power over others is a fool’s fantasy. Chalcedon rightly pounds on this over and over again: the Christian man is the self-governing man.
    • Sure, if others want to follow your lead, lend a hand. But if they don’t, respect their life, property and liberty, and let them go their own way. There is One Law for All: not one law for the Right Bloodlines or the Inner Party, and another law for the Inferiors.
  • Massif – but not Traveller – has the usual leftist certainty of unquestioned moral superiority: “something that always helps with the killing, the lying, and the stealing.”
    • There are plenty of people who are deeply eager to Do Unto Others.
      I am not one of them: I have no interest in gaining power over other people, without accountability, without consequences, and without limit.
      I admit, though, that it’s better for the wicked to indulge their power fantasies in games – Traveller or something else – than in the real world.
  • Traveller has a certain built-in humility: the Third Imperium died. The Nobility fundamentally failed in their goals. Actual Death and inescapable Failure does exist. Good intentions do not outweigh the logical, inevitable consequences of our choices.

(Sticks tongue at Kant.)

Traveller simply has a better, longer, more interesting, and more honest story, than some deeply pious (and strictly secular!)1 tale about “How I Am Always Right, and You Are Always Wrong.”

The taste of truth, however bitter, is far more satisfying than an eternal rewriting (a.k.a. lying, usually by omission & the occasional half-truth) of history to protect your sweet righteous purity.

And finally, on how we need not be trapped in the past:

You can never grow if you can never admit fault. Muslims will not grow, as they will never admit fault in Mohammed: so there will never be equal justice for all, or even equal justice between Islamic men and Islamic women.

Marxism will never grow, as they can never admit fault with Marx. So the oppression will continue, and the Party will always choose to impoverish the people to protect its power. Ask the Chinese for details. (Or the Venezuelans. Or the North Koreans. Or the Cubans.)

Unlike them, we can grow, as we can admit fault in ourselves. We can measure ourselves against the word of God… as opposed to the word of some power-seeking, self-serving sinner.2

And when Christians see where we fall short of the mark?

  • We can choose to repent, and so we can choose to inherit the future.
  • Or we can choose not to… and be left behind by God as worthless salt and worthless servants, to be ground into the dust under the heels of powerful men.

Either way, God is going to get his victory, in time and on earth.

With us, or without us.

The Spirit of Revolution

Without truth and justice – as defined by God, and not by powerful and wealthy men (and their organizations/control tools, be it Church or State or Party) – the civil government is only chaff, dead straw flying in the wind.

Or even better, just a great big robbery, as Augustine noted, which degrades to more wind-blown chaff and dust.

Even the wealth, the wisdom, and the might of the greatest Imperia of real history – Roman, British, Chinese, Soviet, American – could not change that.

 I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.

Ezekiel 21:27, King James version

Now, this is the spirit of a Divine revolution!

But keep your eyes on the English Standard Version:

A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.

Ezekiel 21:27, English Standard Version

Revolutions are destructive things.

As is the judgement of God.

Christ taught His people to not revolt against the Roman Imperial oppressor.

And rightly so: for one thing, the pious Zealots waiting in the wings would no doubt prove to be ten times worse than the Emperor-worshipping pagans were.

For another thing… the Romans aristocracy, just like the Progressive aristocrats of today, or the Bloodline aristocrats of the 19th century, live only to hold on to power and to fading past glories. There is no need for the violence and pain of insurrection and war, when their world is already aging out.

Violent revolutions always end up centralizing more power into the hand of an unaccountable Chosen Few.

Better to let the dead quietly slip into their graves. We build the future, as they retreat into their dreamworlds.

While we’re at it, let’s stay out of the grasp of some Committee of the People. Or an aristocratic Public Benefactor.

Or the mystical advice of a Pious Priest/Pastor and his Special, Anointed Connection with God.

*snort*

“And what about the corporate tycoons?”

“They are just small fry, in the end. Money is no substitute for guns, or political power. Nor is money a substitute for wisdom, or righteousness, or justice, or the favour of God. At best money, even a large corporation, is just a sophisticated tool, like a car or a good book. Whether you use it well or poorly, whether it serves you or you serve it, is up to you to decide.”

Free Men, Building the Kingdom of God

Moses organized a bottom-up government, every group of ten men (“ten family heads,” I would say today, as women are part of the covenant now: “baptism, not circumcision”) having their own ruler, then every group of fifty men, then every hundred men, then every thousand men. Everyone was to handle their own affairs: only difficult cases they could not resolve got kicked up the legal appeal system. (Exodus 18:13-37, paraphrased)

I like my governments decentralized.

Far more importantly, God does too.

Whenever I remember that that God explicitly turns His back on the power-hungry centralizing types – religious and secular, under the Party or under the Dynasty – I get more joy in my heart, a larger smile on my face, and a snappier skip in my step.

Let the humanists – left and right – dream of freezing time, of forcing an Endless Return loop into the safety of the past.

Christians have other business to attend to, and a future to build.

Smashing things in a revolution is easy. Murder, theft, lies are easy. Tyranny is easy.

Building a civilization is hard. Bearing and raising children, obeying the law, speaking the truth at your cost, that is hard. Liberty and self-governance is hard.

Dying is easy. Living is hard.

Pointing out the guilt of others is easy. Acknowledging your own guild is hard.

Christians are called to do the hard thing. To uphold the Law.

To insure that our enemies – and their lives, their property, and their liberty – are also under the protection of the Law.

THAT is the way of Christ, and the way of life, and the way to a future worth talking about.

Something that is not a retread of some dead thing in the past. Either left- or right-wing.


1If you are wondering about how these Progressives got so very pious and so very godless…. it’s because you are using the wrong definition of the word “God”. To understand their definition of God, you need to look at the mirror with their eyes.

2I hear that a particular group of power-seeking, self-serving, deeply pious men – priests and pastors and seminary professors – have chosen to place themselves between the common believer and God.

“For the good of church unity and authority.”

Just as humanists like love hunger to play the information gatekeeper, deciding what you may and may not hear and learn.

“For the good of society’s unity and stability.”

To break their crippling hold on your mind – necessary, before breaking their crippling hold on the Body of Christ – I recommend reading

Righteousness, justice, fellowship, self-sacrifice and love – not piety, not ritual, not mystical power-pyramids – is the focus of Biblical faith.

First things first.

Politics can wait.

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One Man, One Vote, and Milk

From Gary North, Critical Mass, Part XXI: Milk and Meat

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One Man, One Vote

Church elders should be meat eaters, yet we all know of milk drinkers who have wound up as elders. There are even bottle-fed elders whose wailing can sometimes be silenced with pacifiers. How do they get elected? As representatives of milk drinkers who recognize their own.

The problem that every congregation faces is that the milk drinkers always outnumber meat eaters. Yet in most Protestant congregations – and all independent congregations – the milk drinkers have the controlling votes. Churches give the vote to every baptized adult member. Some Presbyterian churches even give the vote to children who are eligible for communion. There is no acceptance of two-tiered church membership: communing members and voting members. There is no church that limits the vote to tithers. If only the tithers could vote, meat eaters would be more likely to be in control.

The structure of authority in the modern church is socialistic. The Protestant church provided the operational model for socialism’s graduated income tax. Everyone votes, and those who do not tithe have more votes than those who do tithe. The church set the standard for politics. The Protestant church adopted democratic socialism as a government ideal long before the modern State did.

So, final church sanctions are in the hands of milk drinkers. When voting membership is by simple profession of faith, the spiritual wisdom of the lowest common denominator is low indeed. This is the dilemma of every church that allows all communing members to vote.

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In the time of the Apostle Paul, as well as today, there was a strong market for milk.

Fortunately, those who wanted meat could link with other believers, and after/before the fellowship meal could start digging for meat in the Bible, rather than be chained to the leader the milky-majority prefers.

It’s even easier now, than in the first century A.D.

The church need not submit to the authority of a priestly leader, standing between the laymen and God. No need for votes or an hierarchy to pick a king, or a priest, to lead the assembly of God, the Body of Christ.

We already have a Head, Jesus Christ. We don’t need a second one.

And every believer is called to become a king, a priest, a prophet, under Christ… and not under some sinner, claiming control of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism (without Biblical sanction), and who will fixate on his own needs for his tiny kingdom and powerbase, instead of Christ, His Kingdom, and His command to disciple the nations.