The First Arabic Mass in Albuquerque

Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created...
Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created by uploader based on the previous bitmap image and other imgages found on the web. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are wonderfully unexpected sounds coming from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The songs of the saints there are not in Latin or Spanish or English, but Arabic.

Due to the increasing persecution of Middle East Christians, 2000 year old communions in the Middle East are emptying of their members who are seeking a better life in the West. One positive consequence of this tragedy is that a revival of Maronite and other Orthodox branches of Arab Christianity in the United States is beginning. The Arab Christians are going into exile from their homeland and beginning to regroup in, of all places, Albuquerque. Continue reading “The First Arabic Mass in Albuquerque”

Capitalism, the Straw Man

Many opponents of the current economic system of the United Sates are under the impression that it is laissez-faire capitalism; this is far from the truth. It is not truly capitalism and has not been for many decades. In fact, even in its purest form to date, the markets never reached true freedom in the United States. Over-regulation by bureaucrats who do not know anything about sustaining a profitable business has created a system that rewards failure and punishes success; the exact opposite of capitalism. The government is propping up failing companies and creating an economic atmosphere of higher taxes and inflation.  The central planning of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the Treasury Department keep the market from being truly free in any reasonable sense that Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations and founder of Capitalism, meant it to be. We are witnessing the folly of the world attempting to pass itself off as benevolent wisdom.

Competition is the key to Capitalism. Once you destroy the competitive aspects of the markets, they are no longer free. This competition is often described as greed, but the Capitalist system is not based on swindling; if customers are not treated well or products are shoddy, consumers will no longer trust the swindling company. Free markets foster incentives for people to behave honestly, thereby enjoying big profits from satisfied customers. If a company isn’t conducting good business it will fail. When the Government decides that certain companies are too big to fail or should win regardless of their failures, the competition dies and so do excellence and striving for success. Continue reading “Capitalism, the Straw Man”

Just War Theory

Justifying war is almost always difficult.  It is not easy to weigh the intentions and facts in the sordid situations of international politics. Throughout history many philosophers have attempted to outline the just causes and proper means of fighting international disputes. In Western thought the development of these doctrines are marked out by Augustine and Aquinas, who were Christian philosophers and later the modern theory was developed by a Remonstrant Dutchman; Hugo Grotius (der Groot). Grotius was a scholastic and developed the modern view of the just war theory in the 16th -17th   centuries through his book; De jure belli ac pacis libri tres (On the Law of War and Peace: Three books). He outlined the parameters in determining the legality and behavior of just war.

There are two important philosophical principles used when discussing just war. Jus ad bellum means Justice of war and jus in bello means justice in war. Essentially, these terms refer to the two distinct but interconnected measures of the justness in war. The questions he sought to answer were whether going to war is ever justifiable (justice of war), and once engaged in war how should war be conducted in a humane way (justice in war).” Continue reading “Just War Theory”

Thoughts on Government

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...
English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If angels were men then we wouldn’t need governments. Governments are not a necessary evil. They are a blessing from God in direct response to the reality of mans depravity and inability to govern himself as he should in light of the laws of God. We should be thankful for the provision of government. Political leaders exercise justice, execute the law and defend the citizens from enemies foreign and domestic. The modern view of government as a necessarily group of mongrels, is inaccurate and an overreaction to the mismanagement of state affairs by generations of politicians. Governments are not evil in themselves, but are only as evil as the men who wield them.

And yet, over the two hundred and eleven years of Constitutional democracy in the United States, quite a few things have changed. It is easy to compare current events to just a few years ago and see that they are different, that we are drifting. However those ‘by-gone” years were themselves drifts. Continue reading “Thoughts on Government”

A brief primer on Federalism

Federalism was an experiment which in some ways has failed. In some areas we have been blessed enough to have a system to adapt and grow into a more mature Country while in other areas we have failed to avoid the fears of the anti-federalists.

Evolutional thinking has seeped into all areas of study including Political Philosophy and History. This has given modern man the impression that all areas of life naturally evolve, that they become better and leave off unnecessary and useless aspects while improving.  In reality all things left behind are not better left off there.

The Supreme Court should not be considered the final voice for all time on the Constitutionality of laws and legislation because that power is shared equally by all three branches in different ways. The Supreme Court has become more powerful than originally intended, it is unchecked, it legislates from the bench; recasting the Constitution in terms beneficial to a large central power. I do not refer to  all Federal Judges at all times, but there is a prevalent awe in modern American culture for black robed men with seemingly vast amounts of good intention, impartiality and wisdom. Continue reading “A brief primer on Federalism”

Responses to Newtown

A few works that have helped me think through my grief over this horrible sin.

Pastor Doug Wilson: http://www.dougwils.com/Church-Year/and-slew-the-little-childer.html

Pastor Toby Sumptor:  http://www.tobyjsumpter.com/the-newtown-inside-all-of-us/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HavingTwoLegs+%28Having+Two+Legs%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Important Article by Mr. Fund: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335739/facts-about-mass-shootings-john-fund#

How the Federal Government became Lord of the States

The foremost reason to deny that the Bill of Rights applies to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment is because it contradicts a fundamental aspect of the Constitution. The Supremacy Clause “does not allocate power between the national and state governments” (ed. Meese, 291). Thus the Federal government does not supersede State governments, except where State governments have given up specific rights for the mutual benefit of covenanted governance. Furthermore, “the Supremacy clause was a straight forward conflict-of-laws rule designed to resolve conflicts between state and federal law touching the same area” (ed. Meese, 291). In regards to mutual jurisdiction, the federal laws are only to supersede within the scope of their limited powers, outlined in the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment reserves the rights not enumerated, to the people or the states. There is no provision for the Judiciary or any other Federal Branch to determine or enforce rights not expressly mentioned in the Constitution. This gave the States autonomy in certain areas where federal law was not permitted to tread. This concept is of course anathema in modern mainstream political thought.  The Bill of Rights was meant to apply to and restrict the Federal Government, not the States. The Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights; neither explicitly in its wording or by the will of the majority of the members of Congress or the State houses who voted for it, as stated by Justice Miller in 1872, in his Slaughterhouse opinion. The incorporation interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment would substantially alter the relationship of the Federal and State governments, which alone disproved incorporation, in Justice Miller’s assessment. Continue reading “How the Federal Government became Lord of the States”