What does Ferguson tell us about resisting the government?

This is an older post about whether or not we, as a free people, should ever allow ourselves to completely submissive to the government.  While I wholly disagree with the reasons the people used to justify the unrest that had played out in Ferguson, Missouri over the last couple weeks, it’s plainly obvious that our ordinary police departments are morphing into militaries unto themselves.

Of course there’s a need for law enforcement to have the means to squash a riot.  However, that same arsenal is the one that would be used to squash a righteous uprising of the people against an oppressive government.

So I think it’s a good idea to ask the question: are we losing the ability to forcefully resist our government? Should we be?

The Political Left seizes upon every opportunity to limit the access for ordinary citizens to own and carry guns.  It’s been a priority of the Progressive movement for some time now.  They have a very particular end in mind:  to render powerless one of the fundamental purposes the second amendment was supposed to preserve: the ability of the people to forcefully resist a government they believe has become tyrannical.  The framers sought to prevent a government from holding so much power that the citizenry was no longer in control of it.

The Political Left doesn’t believe the government should be resisted, certainly not by force anyway.  The government is the end of the line, it has the final say.  To even speak of forceful resistance is not to be countenanced.  In fact, that’s considered a reason to prevent someone from keeping and bearing arms.  They don’t seem to believe the citizens have the right to forcefully oppose their government.

Unfortunately, proponents of the principle that the American people have a fundamental right to own guns and resist if necessary are losing, and have essentially lost.  What the Political Left has been unable to quell through restrictive legislation, they’ve been able to achieve through raw power of government.

Any group or individual who believes in the principle that the government can and should be resisted if necessary are quickly described as crazy or domestic terrorists.  Think about this, what would be reported about a prominent member of the Political Right or self-described conservative who publicly stated either of the following:

  • What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.
  • I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

Both quotations came from the pen of Thomas Jefferson.

I’m not suggesting or urging forceful resistance.  But I am saying Progressivism has enabled the government to snuff out any attempt before it gains any traction, and that is dangerous to liberty.  You see, we are used to living with liberty for the most part.  Maybe not to the same degree as at our founding.  But we’ve never lived under rule like that of the USSR, China, Cuba, or the kind of government which led to the American Revolution.  Slowly, however, our local police departments have become military forces in their own right.  Many use military grade weapons, vehicles, uniforms, and tactics.  What purpose do tanks, armored vehicles, and machine guns serve to local police departments if not to protect the government from the people.

The people’s ability to resist a government with too much power is nearly null.  Limits on the kinds, capacities, and abilities of firearms has been legislated to the degree where resistance is literally futile.  Nearly.

At some point the American people will come to rue what the country has become.  They will inevitably realize they are the frog in the boiling pot of water that is their government.  Once this realization has taken place, it will be near impossible to turn off the burner.

Even if you don’t believe the government should be resisted, it would behoove the Progressive to leave themselves that option even if it’s never exercised.  Can it be a good thing to cede insurmountable power or leverage to any government? People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Comments

  1. paynehollow says:

    John…

    The Political Left doesn’t believe the government should be resisted, certainly not by force anyway. The government is the end of the line, it has the final say.

    ??

    Did you miss the 1960s? The Reagan years? The Bush years? Even the Obama years??

    CLEARLY, the political Left believes gov’t should be resisted when it is in the wrong. By force, even.

    Where we draw the line (along with all moral and rational people, I’d say, Left or Right) is that we are not willing to kill our literal brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and neighbors who are serving in the military or police forces.

    Are YOU saying you think there comes a time when you would feel a need to kill your literal brother or father, son or daughter because they are on the “wrong side…”?

    CLEARLY, oppressive behavior needs to be strongly opposed, we (some of us on the Left and on other sides, as well) do not believe in the morality or the efficacy of killing in order to achieve positive change.

    I just posted excerpts from a report on my blog where researchers had looked at revolutions/anti-oppression efforts over the last 100 years and they demonstrate that not only did the non-violent/less-violent approach work better than the violent approach in stopping oppression, it also led to a more peaceful nation after the revolution ended.

    Something to consider. Regardless, the point stands clearly: The Left DOES clearly believe in resisting wrong done by the gov’t. We just refuse to kill our family members while doing so. I would hope, for your family’s sake, you could say the same.

    Just as clearly, the gov’t is NOT the one with the “final say,” according to the Left. The people are. ANYTIME the gov’t is ignoring or oppressing the people, we have a duty to stand against it.

    I’d hope you could join the Left in this regard.

    ~Dan

  2. paynehollow says:

    John…

    are we losing the ability to forcefully resist our government? Should we be?

    As to this: IF the military and police forces of the US truly were evil and prepared to kill and torture their own citizenry, brothers and sisters and family, then all the pistols and weaponry of an armed citizenry could not stop a gov’t determined to exterminate her own people using the largest military force in the world (largest, measured in terms of money, firepower, bombs and a “military machine”).

    BUT, if the military/gov’t remains human (and I see no historical record of people turning into zombies or evidence of such in the future), THEN they can be reasoned with and stopped with force that does not require us to kill our own families.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

  3. paynehollow says:

    So, what? Are you suggesting we allow the citizenry to have anti-ballistic missiles and nuclear weaponry so that the citizenry is evenly matched? Do you see why at least most people would find that a crazy and immoral position to take?

    And getting back to your point that I’ve corrected, do you see now that the Left has a LONG history of opposing the gov’t? Of not trusting the gov’t? Of standing up to the gov’t?

    ~Dan

  4. Where we draw the line (along with all moral and rational people, I’d say, Left or Right) is that we are not willing to kill our literal brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and neighbors who are serving in the military or police forces.

    …and if an unrepentant domestic terrorist on the left targeted soliders AND THEIR LOVED ONES in an attempt to detonate a nail bomb at an officers’ dance, these principled leftists would denounce him the harshest terms possible.

    They certainly wouldn’t defend the guy with lies about how he only targeted “stuff” and not people, nor would they write glowing poems in support of a politician who began his political career in the terrorist’s living room.

    John, what you must understand is that people like Dan are entirely opposed to violence and the shedding of innocent blood, consistently and without the slightest hint of hypocrisy.

    And that is why you’ll never see Dan tolerate any of his allies defending the legal murder of literal tens of millions of children in utero, and obscuring that murder with euphemisms about medical procedures.

  5. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, here’s a question that John won’t answer (I’m sure) that I’ll offer to you so you, too, can choose to ignore it:

    How many of your family members do you think it a good idea to kill or torture in the name of your ideal nation? Would you shoot at an army with your son in it? Would you lob missiles at a military base where your daughter lived?

    Yes, I am consistently opposed to the use of deadly violence against our neighbor to stop violence/oppression. I am not opposed to force and would (and have) used force to stop a violent act. I just would not throw bombs at my daughter in order to do so.

    Call me crazy.

    Or here’s another question to ignore:

    John suggested that the Left doesn’t believe the government should be resisted, certainly not by force anyway. The government is the end of the line, it has the final say.

    I’ve corrected that misunderstanding, do you understand now that the Left DOES believe in resisting – even with force – an oppressive gov’t?

    Wouldn’t want you all to continue down a path of false witness, so I’m giving you the chance to clarify this one. I’m sure it was a statement made not intentionally to be false, just poorly stated, most likely.

    ~Dan

    • “How many of your family members do you think it a good idea to kill or torture in the name of your ideal nation?”

      I don’t think it’s a good idea to kill or torture any of my family members. Could I come up with some unrealistic scenario in which it might be necessary to engage in some sort of force with a family member for a greater good, probably.

      For example, I would reluctantly use force if one of my family members was willy-nilly raping puppies and just wouldn’t stop.

      “Would you shoot at an army with your son in it?”

      If this was 1945 and my son somehow ended up in the Waffen SS, and I was somehow facing the Waffen SS on a battlefield, I’d shoot back. FYI the SS were some pretty despicable volk. although they didn’t rape any puppies, they still did some bad stuff.

      ” Would you lob missiles at a military base where your daughter lived?”

      You mean like Hamas? Just lobbing random missiles around,no.

      “I just would not throw bombs at my daughter in order to do so.”

      Setting aside the stupid bomb throwing hyperbole. Are you really suggesting that you wouldn’t use any and every necessary force to stop your daughter from killing your wife, or son? It certainly seems as though you are suggesting that you would not raise your hand to one of your family members (including possibly killing them) under any circumstances.

      Let’s take a hypothetical example. Your daughter decides to strap on a suicide vest loaded with shrapnel embedded plastic explosives and is preparing to detonate it in a crowded schoolyard. You have the ability to shoot her (kill or wound) and prevent the detonation of the vest.

      Do you take the shot?

  6. That’s four questions, Dan, in addition to the ones you already asked John. I was under the impression that you were interested only in exchanging questions and answers, one-for-one. I was under the impression that anything else was comparable to an inquisition.

    Anyway, your claim to a consistent opposition to the use of deadly violence doesn’t impress me.

    I know for a fact that you repeated falsehoods about an unrepentant domestic terrorist, claiming that he only targeted “stuff” when he actually targeted an officers’ dance with a nail bomb, an act that would have killed and maimed soldiers and their loved ones, had it been successful.

    And I know for a fact that you obscure the deliberate act of murdering tens of millions of children in the womb with euphemisms about medical procedures.

    You have personally carried water for the use of deadly violence, so your strained and nonsensical questions about deadly violence are obviously only about scoring rhetorical points, and you’re bearing false witness about your own beliefs, so you obviously don’t have a disinterested concern for the virtue of honesty.

  7. To answer one of your questions, Dan, you ask, “do you understand now that the Left DOES believe in resisting – even with force – an oppressive gov’t?”

    Yes, it does, which is why leftists would never defend government agencies that harass opposition groups and limit their ability to organize legally and peaceably — such as the IRS and (in the case of True the Vote) OSHA, the ATF, and the FBI; and the Department of Homeland Security whose 2009 report warning of “rightwing extremism” was pure propaganda wholly without the specificity of its detailed reports against groups like the Earth Liberation Front. The would never defend this corruption as acts of underpaid agencies just trying to do their jobs.

    As more and more documenting emails just happen to disappear and agency officials continue to hide behind the protections of the fifth amendment to a constitution they otherwise hold in disdain, there ARE honest people on the left who are beginning to notice the sort of bullying corruption that Nixon could have only dreamed of.

    But they’re few and far between. I wish I could respect you for your principled opposition to government oppression in any form, but I know better.

  8. paynehollow says:

    Yeah, yeah, and you support a view of a “loving” and “just” god that sometimes commands people to commit genocide, killing even babies and children, so don’t try to portray yourself as some paragon of virtue.

    In the real world, I condemn acts of deadly violence, whichever side they are on, as not being productive or moral. Consistently.

    You, on the other hand, only condemn violence rather haphazardly and with no consistent criteria beyond, “If I think a loving and just god commands it, I would kill babies and rape children…” so, your claims are rather unimpressive, as well.

    ~Dan

  9. Lol … damn those Leftists!
    Keep taking them tablets, John, y’all.

    Those who wish to indulge in a bit of revolution quickly learn that the word also means to revolve, and what goes round comes round.

    A country gets the government it deserves. Remember this.

  10. paynehollow says:

    Bubba, your condemnation of the Leftist Bill Ayers for his violence is especially ironic given that

    1. YOU and John appear to be making the false assertion that the Left is not prepared to take a stand against a violent/oppressive gov’t – and yet, here you are citing a leftist who was doing just that; and

    2. Of the two of us, YOU are the one who would support (at least, in principle) Ayers’ violent actions, while I would consistently oppose it.

    Irony, thy name is Bubba.

    Consistency, thy name is not Bubba.

    ~Dan

  11. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    such as the IRS and (in the case of True the Vote) OSHA, the ATF, and the FBI; and the Department of Homeland Security whose 2009 report warning of “rightwing extremism” was pure propaganda

    ? You’re suggesting the IRS, the FBI, the ATF and Homeland Security are ALL part of a vast Leftwing conspiracy? Wow. Praytell, who’s behind this conspiracy? Is it Obama, or the devil himself?

    Hah! Thanks for the laughs you bring my way…

    ~Dan

    • God?

      • paynehollow says:

        One could make the case (if one came from a more fundamentalist/literalist background). The literalist says that God is in charge of all nations and nothing happens without God “ordaining” it, so, I guess those sorts would say that God is behind a vast leftwing conspiracy in the Obama administration.

        Why, God???!!

        • I was actually being facetious, as I am sure you were aware, Dan. ;)

          In all honesty I just know, deep in my heart, that your god could not possibly be involved on any level because he would never get behind a Leftist Plot or side with Leftists per se.

          One only has to read the Bible to realise that your god is a heartless, meglomaniacal, despotic egotistical, ruthless, Stalin-was-a-pussy-compared-to me baby-killing bastard with no Leftist Leanings at all.

          Besides,he … I’m sorry, He would be way too busy flooding the world (again) and organising another soon-to-be-incestuous-family to repopulate it to ever bother with nonsense like Mr. Johnny – US Citizen and his Good Ole Boys armed to the teeth and ready to take on the Guv’ment. Ye Haw, remember the Alamo etc.

          And never forget, Yahweh loves y’all.

  12. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I was under the impression that you were interested only in exchanging questions and answers, one-for-one.</I

    By all means, ask me a rational, on topic question. Do I think the IRS is part of a vast leftwing conspiracy? for instance? Answer: No.

    Do I think the FBI is part of this same conspiracy? Answer: No, that’s laughable.

    Do I oppose gov’t overreach, as in the drone type of spying on citizens or drone attacks on foreign lands? Yes. I opposed it when it was in use with Bush (which you appear not to have) and I oppose it now that Obama is using it (which you perhaps do… feel free to clarify if you’re being consistent on that front or not).

    By all means, ask on topic, relevant questions. I got answers galore.

    ~Dan

  13. paynehollow says:

    Sorry about the italics.

  14. Dan:

    “Of the two of us, YOU are the one who would support (at least, in principle) Ayers’ violent actions, while I would consistently oppose it.”

    You DID NOT consistently oppose Ayers’ acts, you tried to whitewash them with falsehoods about his only targeting “stuff” rather than people. Your preening about what you “would” do is direct contradiction to what you actually DID do.

    Indeed, radicals have sometimes opposed the government and did so using violence, but I think the point is valid that there isn’t a consistent opposition to oppression. Instead there was an effort to destroy the ancien regime so that (in Orwell’s phrase) “the intellectual can at last get his hands on the whip.”

    Let us not forget that Ayers and others were deadly serious in their estimates that 25 million Americans would need to be eliminated in reeducation camps in order to bring about utopia.

    Anyway, I appreciate your proving my point about the federal agencies’ abuse of powers to intimidate and harass the political opposition. You laugh about it and insist that such abuse is impossible absent a “vast conspiracy,” as if petty officials who we already know sneer at conservatives as “assholes” couldn’t possibly act on their own or respond to an environment where the President feels it appropriate to denigrate the Supreme Court to the justices’ faces over a decision concerning political speech.

    I sincerely doubt that you would insist on evidence of a vast conspiracy before concluding that some cops cross the line in how they treat black suspects, and as long as I’ve known you online, you have ALWAYS been crassly partisan in your concern over abuses of power.

  15. paynehollow says:

    Some cops clearly DO cross the line. But I don’t mistake the misdeeds of some cops to be evidence that “the nations’ police forces” are all intentionally crossing the line to oppress and suppress people.

    See the difference between a rational, real-world viewpoint and a rather irrational “they’re out to git us” rant?

    Again, the fact remains: Of the TWO of us, I am the one that is opposed to actions like Ayers, while you support it, at least in theory. That is telling.

    ~Dan

  16. Dan, you obviously do put partisanship over principle. As I said, you do “defend government agencies that harass opposition groups and limit their ability to organize legally and peaceably.” In this case, you’re doing so with strawman constructions of our complaints in the attempt to smear the opposition as ranting lunatics whose complaints are not worthy of redress.

    Do you now admit that Ayers targeted military officers AND their civilian loved ones at an officers’ dance, retracting (and apologizing for) your insistent, false claim that he did nothing but target “stuff”? Do you now denounce Ayers for being an unrepentant domestic terrorist? Do you now denounce Obama for starting his political career in Ayers’ living room and then lying about his political relationship with that vermin?

    It hardly matters now that Obama will presumably no longer face the electorate, but until you do these things, you cannot credibly claim to oppose Ayers’ behavior, since you remain complicit in downplaying that behavior when it was politically convenient to do so.

    On the larger point about how you’re supposedly principled in your opposition to violence and I’m not and “that’s telling,” you have tried to justify the murder of literally tens of millions of children in the womb by invoking the euphemism of medical procedures. That ought to trouble your conscience.

    • This is starting to remind me of a thread not so long ago, where Dan attempted to demonstrate that there was this massive threat from “right wing” domestic terrorist groups. He even trotted out a study that purported to support this contention (I’ll admit that the title did seem to support this), although a little reading of the paper made it clear that the case might have been overstated a bit. All the while there was denial that any leftist groups would use violence, then there was proof to the contrary, then more proof, then quotes from FBI reports, etc, At that point, the story changed from “The left doesn’t use violence” to a similar sort of “Well I don’t condone it”.

      Good luck, both here and at Dan’s.

  17. paynehollow says:

    …Says the guy who would kill children if “god” told him to.

    Again, I have never supported the use of deadly violence to further one’s cause. What I might have done was note that there is a distinction between using violence towards buildings/infrastructure (STILL wrong, in my opinion, but not in yours) and against people. What Ayers may or may not have done, I don’t know and don’t care because it doesn’t matter to my point.

    I’ve clearly NOT defended the principle of using deadly violence as a form of protest against one’s gov’t. You all do. So, it is interesting (in a hypocritical way) that you are trying to condemn me for supposedly not speaking out enough against that which you actually support, in principle.

    ~Dan

    • Honesty would demand a more accurate phrasing of the reality. We support the notion that deadly force might be neccesary AT TIMES to further some causes. What’s more, we support the FACT that simply the use of deadly force is NOT automatically immoral, simply because it is deadly force.

      Carry on with your two-stepping.

      • We support the notion that deadly force might be neccesary AT TIMES to further some causes.

        Such as the Crusades, for instance, or The Inquisition? Very important causes they were, right?
        It must have been such a comfort having a President like Bush claim God spoke to him.
        That must have been right up your alley , Marshal!
        :)

  18. Dan, I believe that it is God’s prerogative to end any life that He created, whenever and however He chooses, including through human agency, which is the clear teaching of Scripture.

    You revile me (and smear me, dishonestly) for my beliefs, but you’ve never made clear your beliefs, about why precisely taking human life is immoral and why that prohibition extends even to God Himself.

    These were two of the 12+ questions I had asked at Marshall’s two months back, which you refused to answer.

    7 & 8) You have not clearly answered whether you believe God has the moral authority to take human life and not just the omnipotence to “do what He wants,” and — assuming you do believe that — you haven’t explained why God could take human life through disease and disaster but not through human agency.

    It’s almost as if my questions remain pertinent, and it’s almost as if you care more about denigrating my positions than simply revealing yours, to say nothing of actually defending what you reveal.

    You now write, “What Ayers may or may not have done, I don’t know and don’t care because it doesn’t matter to my point.”

    Your apparent point is self-congratulation and the demagoguery of your critics, and I’ll concede that Ayers’ terrorism is beside that particular self-serving point, but it’s worth noting that — at least at one time — you apparently DID care and DID presume to know what he did, enough to insist that that Weather Underground targeted only things and not people.

    You’ve gone from lying about unrepentant terrorists to feigning interest and apathy about their actions, all so you can claim that I “would” defend him and you wouldn’t, WHEN YOU ACTUALLY DID DEFEND HIM WHEN IT MATTERED, when denouncing him would have had a negative affect on the immediate prospects of your political agenda.

    And as with your defending abortion as a mere medical procedure, you’re simply not being honest about just how selective you really are in invoking your supposedly consistent opposition to the use of deadly violence.

    • Dan, I believe that it is God’s prerogative to end any life that He created, whenever and however He chooses, including through human agency, which is the clear teaching of Scripture.

      Oh,the gods, another proponent of Divine Command Theory.
      What a disgusting piece of filth you are, sir.
      What ever credibility you may have had just got flushed down the toilet.
      You and William Lane Craig should start a club.

  19. paynehollow says:

    I have made it clear that things are not right or wrong simply because we can find a verse in the Bible that mentions those behaviors (or something that you interpret to be similar to those behaviors) as being right or wrong. Something is right when it tends to promote the good, the healthy, the loving, the stable, the sustainable, the kind, the just. Something is bad when it tends towards the opposite.

    This is what I mean I say that many modern believers (from many traditions) treat the Bible like either a Holy Magic 8 Ball or a Holy rule book, where we can go and simply lift rules to live by cherry picked right from its pages. It is the mistake (one mistake) of the Pharisees, in my opinion.

    So, yes, that you can not simply say, “You know what, it really is wrong to kill children, even in wartime, even if we think “god” says so… it’s just wrong, because some things are wrong…” but defer to “whatever I read in the pages of the Bible is what I think is wrong, cuz I think god said it…” points to a legitimate complaint that atheists have against some Christians – that you are incapable of being good for good’s sake… (ie, you choose to not acknowledge objective right and wrong, but defer to what you think god says…)

    And, as a point of fact, I have never defended the use of deadly violence. If you think I have, you are mistaken. YOU have, even against children!, but not me.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Bubba.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,

      Something is good because it pleases God. Something is bad because it displeases Him. What pleases and/or displeases Him is pretty clearly revealed in Scripture. You distort much of that, Dan.

      None of us have EVER said that we think it is OK or moral to kill children if we think God said so. NEVER. We have responded that we would if we KNEW God told us to do so, that He told us DIRECTLY. That is always how the hypothetical has been answered, and still, like a complete unrepentant liar, distort our position. If the distinction is lost on you, let me know and I’ll try to explain it using smaller words.

      Also, like a liar, you just claimed you do not support violence against children while you continue to support abortion as a legal procedure and a sometimes legitimate option if deciding between a woman and her doctor. We have always provided our position on what constitutes when that option is legitimate. You have not provided as limited a position. You support violence against unborn children, in fact, if not totally in principle.

      Talk about hypocrisy!

  20. Dan, you HAVE defended those who use deadly violence, at least when it has been politically inconvenient to denounce them. Okay, you didn’t defend their violence, you just lied about their having committed it — Ayers just targeted “stuff,” and abortion’s just a medical procedure — but that’s hardly a distinction between the noble and the ignoble.

    Your understanding of the moral law takes no account of man’s limited and fallen state and God’s omniscience and holiness, and it takes no account of man’s duty to trust God’s revealed will even when we do not fully understand it. Indeed, man’s relationship with God seems to occupy the periphery of your worldview rather than the center.

    Your position is not only extra-biblical, it’s positively extra-biblical:

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5

    As you once had a habit of smearing your critics as idolators of the Bible, you now sneer that we treat Scripture as rule book, but it is your approach that is contrary to Jesus’ way — His explicit teachings and His apparent attitude to Scripture, submitting to it in His understanding of His mission, in the controversies, and in the temptation — and positively pharasaic.

    Your habit of comparing us to the Pharisees gets us back to what it was, exactly, that Jesus opposed in the antitheses of Matthew 5, and that leads us right back to Stott’s commentary. And your presumption that God could never override OUR UNDERSTANDING of the moral law gets us back to my questions from two months back, repeated in the thread you just started.

    You keep making statements for which my questions have been entirely germane, which is why it’s so frustrating that you’ve refused to answer so many of them in a timely fashion.

  21. paynehollow says:

    You are welcome to your opinions. Just recognize that your opinions do not equate to facts or to God’s Word. That’s worse than idolatry, that is placing yourself in God’s place, usurping God’s word in favor of your own.

    Irrational and nutty stuff, that.

    ~Dan

    • Re-stating what the Bible factually states is neither idolatry or putting one’s self in God’s place. It is merely the true reading of Scripture. When you’ve gathered to courage to get past this lame assertion and move on to demonstrating why our readings are …misread, then you will be honestly answering questions.

  22. paynehollow says:

    You are interpreting something as a literal morality that is literally and obviously grossly immoral. It is disgusting to suggest a perfectly loving, perfectly just god sometimes commands people to kill babies.

    To make “the Bible” your god, to make it the Thing that “tells you” that, “you know, sometimes, if our god tells us, it is perfectly moral to kill babies. In fact, if ‘god’ is telling us to do it, there is nothing immoral at all, we could rape all the children of palestine and then hang them by their entrails and, as long as ‘god’ commanded it, we’re gold…”

    Maybe “god” will tell you that you get 100 virgins if you do that, when you go to paradise, who knows? With that sort of god, all bets on morality are off.

    “Even the pagans” (sorry, Ark, a biblical allusion) recognize the sheer horror of that sort of “morality,” and the problems of treating the bible as you do, and conflating your interpretations into god’s word. If you don’t honestly understand it when I am telling you the honest problem with this approach, maybe you can hear it from them.

    ~Dan

    • “You are interpreting something as a literal morality that is literally and obviously grossly immoral.”

      A self-serving subjective statement. Our position is that no command of God can be immoral as whatever He wants is, because it comes from Him, moral.

      “It is disgusting to suggest a perfectly loving, perfectly just god sometimes commands people to kill babies.”

      Then stop suggesting it. It is you who continues to ask the loaded hypothetical that challenges us to disobey a command from God by inventing the most horrific command for your hypothetical question. We don’t suppose that He would have a reason to command us to kill babies, much less actually make the command to us. We only insist that IF He did, that His reason would be good, moral and just because that’s who He is. We are not so arrogant as to even suggest such things are possible, nor so arrogant as to insist others respond to such idiotic questions as if they are truly possible. We are also not so arrogant as to dare question whatever command of God there might be, in the example of Abraham. YOU, on the other hand, know better than God and have no trouble disobeying Him because YOU have the authority to dictate to Him what is moral and what is not. We get that. But how ungracious of you to demand that we live in such rebellion to Him ourselves.

      As to how we treat the Bible, you’d do well to someday actually argue against our interpretations with something akin to Scriptural support. How long we’ll have to wait for THAT response, let’s just say I’m taking the over. Inventing “maybe’s” and the loaded hypothetical does nothing to demonstrate anything is wrong with our understanding of what the Bible DOES say about God’s nature and will for us.

      • paynehollow says:

        Marshall, I have noted repeatedly that the Bible argues CLEARLY that we should NOT shed innocent blood. I have noted that the Bible makes clear that God does not tempt people to sin. GIVEN THESE two points (points that are obvious even if you don’t believe the Bible to be the Word of God), then one can conclude that these can’t be true AND at the same time, it is also true, as you suggest, that we can interpret that the Bible DOES sometimes teach God will command us to shed innocent blood and that God DOES sometime command people to sin.

        That is an argument from the Bible against your opinion on how to interpret these texts. Beyond being clear teachings from the Bible, my arguments have the additional benefit of being morally rational, while your arguments are morally awful.

        Done and done.

        ~Dan

        • But your argument is wrong. As God had clearly ordered the destruction of several cities and towns, as well as destroying some himself, He clearly has a different notion of what constitutes “innocent” as regards justifying His actions. BUT, and this is where you continue to corrupt the teachings of Scripture, that is a far cry that when WE choose to take innocent lives…innocent by a different standard that does not apply to God, as all life is His to do with as He chooses for reasons we may not understand or perceive. This distinction has been explained repeatedly and you ignore it without any argument as to how it might be wrong. You insist on treating God as if He’s just another dude who is required to live by commandments He bestowed upon US, but not Himself.

          What’s more, we NEVER insist that the Bible DOES teach God will EVER command us to shed innocent blood, nor that He commands us to sin. That’s YOUR willfully corrupted revision of our position that we’ve repeatedly corrected. So please, for your own sake, stop constantly lying about this. I know you find it hard as you repeat this lie constantly, but really try and if you pray to the actual God of Scripture, rather than the hippie god you’ve invented for yourself, you’re sure to overcome this dysfunction.

          Thus, if you are lying about our position, as we constantly insist you are, you’ve made no argument against our position since what you argue, we do not perpetuate. However, a real argument from Scripture uses, you know, SCRIPTURE in the sense of citing actual verses that support whatever it is you think is a Truth. Until you do that, your arguments have no moral underpinning and instead is merely your own extra-Biblical preferences.

          Clearly you are not done OR done.

        • paynehollow says:

          Marshall, you stated that I had not argued against your position “with Scripture.” I merely pointed out that I exactly HAD done so and briefly did so again. I get that you disagree with my take on Scripture, that in your opinion, I am mistaken in my opinion and that’s fine. You are welcome to an opinion. But the facts are: I HAVE argued against your position “with Scripture.

          I was just correcting your mistake.

          That you disagree with my take on Scripture is not to say that I haven’t argued against it based on Scripture.

          You’re welcome.

          As to “lying about your position,” I have never done so, that is another factual error on your part. I have NEVER said that you think the Bible teaches us to shed innocent blood. I’m saying that IF one believes that God commanded Israelites to kill babies, women and children, along with any men they were killing, for the sins of, say, the Amalekites, THEN that is, in normal reasoned consideration, a shedding of innocent blood. If nothing else, babies ARE innocent. Children ARE innocent of whatever sins their parents may have done, the Bible makes that clear, too.

          So, I am not saying YOU interpret it that way, I’m saying that is a reasonable consideration, given what the Bible says. Thus, I have not lied about your position.

          Just to clear up a second false witness (thou shalt not, you know?).

          And again, you’re welcome.

          ~Dan

        • “That is an argument from the Bible against your opinion on how to interpret these texts.”

          Not at all. That’s just you saying that you have used Scripture to make your case. Nowhere in there is a verse from Scripture about which we can discuss to determine the accuracy or legitimacy of your understanding. Now, I can think of a verse that states God will not tempt us to sin. However, when He had the nations of Israel destroy cities and everyone in them, He neither tempted, nor ordered them to sin by commanding them to destroy those cities and everyone in them. This is where you totally fail. You decide, as if you have the authority, to determine how God should take lives. Cancer? Check. Auto accident? Check. Victim of criminal behavior? Check. Natural disaster. Check. Destroyed by His Chosen People? No freakin’ way! That’s God commanding them to sin!

          No. It’s God using one of many ways to take life that is His to take for whatever reason, by whatever means, regardless of our ability to understand why. You say we “speak for God” when we simply restate what the Bible clearly teaches in the plain English of our translations. Here, you actually dare to judge God and His methods and order Him to obey commandments that are meant for us to obey.

          And as far as interpretation, you don’t. You simply dismiss such stories as some kind of mythic tale put forth as a salve on the author’s feelings about warring against the enemies of God. No wait. They ain’t His enemies!!! They are just lying about God and saying such!!! Yeah. That makes perfect sense. No. You don’t provide an alternative interpretation, and what passes for one comes without support as if you are another Arkenaten.

          You haven’t corrected a mistake of mine. You’ve compounded your own.

  23. Re-stating what the Bible factually states

    Please list these facts.

    It is merely the true reading of Scripture

    Would that be the Aramaic reading or the Greek reading?

    What benchmark or on who’s understanding/say so is this ‘truth’ based?
    Please, Marshall, define truth, as you understand it.

    • Even if your were specific about what “truth” you want me to explain, I feel no compulsion to comply with the request of someone who gives no evidence to support anything said on any subject. You don’t get to dictate and demand while never putting up.

      And by the way, smart guy, restating what the Bible factually states is not the same as listing facts. Can you keep it in your pants long enough to actually frame a request properly? I don’t want to go through the same crap as when you asked about to whom I direct my prayers. Dealing with stupid questions is tiresome. Be clear and precise in your questioning. It’ll make not responding more enjoyable.

  24. I feel no compulsion to comply with the request of someone who gives no evidence to support anything said on any subject.

    I have repeatedly offered to post links to the various experts who will provide you with the evidence you require.
    However, I feel no compulsion to type this in crayon merely because you are unable or unwilling to follow any such links or are scared witless by the fact that you will be unable to handle the facts.
    And that is a fact.

    • Don’t offer, do. Better still, do post the links and then, to show your own level of understanding so as to provide us with some evidence that you have any, expound a bit on the salient point you think is the deal breaker of your link. I’ve too often come up against linked pieces that are either not relevant to the issue at hand, or fails to do what the person linking it hoped or insisted it did. Based on your brief history here, I have can’t help but feel confident you would do no better. Until you do, your condescension is wasted here, as well as both boring and boorish.

      • What links would you like me to link to, Marshall.
        List by topic and I will gladly supply you with enough material to keep you busy til the Rapture.

        • I don’t want material. I want your argument. All you do is assert and we’re supposed to run with that as if it means anything substantial and authoritative. You can either back it up with links or merely refer to an author, but I want to see how YOU argue whatever point.

          I’m not interested in choosing for you which of our positions you think you can legitimately refute. As far as I’m concerned, you can just wait until your next opportunity presents itself. Doesn’t matter which of us backward Christians you care to attack, especially as I’m moving into another four day stretch of limited time and opportunity to get deep.

          • I have no better argument than the experts with whom I agree.
            Why must I repeat over and over and make a poorer job of it too?
            Are you a remedial?
            Do you want to read the experts in the field or not?
            It is a simple straightforward question.
            If your reason for demanding MY arguments is simply so you look grandiose and deny everything with a sweeping claim of ‘Godditit’ then you can stand on your damn head and whistle Dixie.
            If you want the links to those experts, simply list what you desire to learn and I will direct to the best ones, and you can read for yourself.

            I have read or listened to pretty much ALL the Christian arguments and they are, by and large, a crock of es aitch one T.
            Vacuous apologetics for idiots who are unable to exercise Critical Thinking because they have been indoctrinated.
            Those that DO exercise Critical Thought soon deconvert. It is as simple as that.

            Choose.

  25. This is a rather disturbing post. I don’t think you’ve thought this through. I want the vote to determine how things go, not force. If the government veers towards a direction that I strongly disagree with, I should correct it with my vote. You seem to be advocating that the outvoted minority has the right the use violence to achieve their aims. That is disturbing and undemocratic. Rule of law and democracy is not perfect, but it’s better than anarchy.

    • Anthony, I’m not suggesting use force to effect change. But the founders envisioned a state of affairs where the people could rise against a tyrannical government.

      With the current government and civilian police forces becoming so overwhelmingly strong, that option is looking grim.

      Should we, as a free people, never be able to use force against our government, as a last resort to retain freedom?

      • I guess I don’t agree. The founders established the US Constitution to prevent tyranny. Concerns about tyranny in the US are misplaced. If the government is over-armed, change it with your vote. Tell your politicians this is a priority for you, and that you want to see change. Guess what. It will change if enough citizens feel strongly about it. It’s called democracy, not tyranny. We are free people because of our government, not in spite of it.

        • Unfortunately it’s not that simple Anthony. For example, the current president has violated many laws. When the opposition party tries to step in, the media places blame on them labeling them obstructionists.

          What would you do when voting doesn’t effect any change?

          • Your assumption going in is that US is not a country governed by the rule of law and democracy. If that is really your belief, which I don’t agree with, then it presents a real problem. But your assertion has nothing to do with voting. Even if Obama has broken the law, and not been prosecuted for it, doesn’t mean he has anything to do with an over-militarized police.

            The idea that democracy is gone in the US is a very dangerous one, because that is precisely the idea that will be promoted by those who want to end democracy. As in the example here, your belief that there in no democracy is leading you to look for other means to affect change. That makes people like you the dangerous ones. Given citizens such as you, an over militarized police is a preferable option. I am more afraid of citizens that want to bypass the rule of law (because they think it’s already over) than I am of an over militarized police. That’s because I don’t agree that democracy is over, even if Obama has broken laws.

  26. paynehollow says:

    I agree largely with Anthony. The problem – one problem – is the very partisan nature of the complaints. Obama has, in my mind, crossed some lines when it comes to pursuing the “war on terror…” Lines that George Bush before him crossed even more egregiously. IF those complaining about Obama’s “law-breaking” were similarly terrified by Bush’s (or Reagan’s) law-breaking, at least there’d be some consistency and credibility in their concerns.

    As it is, it seems they are merely crying about that which they endorse when it’s “their man” doing the violating.

    I do not want or support an “over-militarized police” any more than I support an over-militarized military, but I’m not suggesting that we need to “overthrow the tyrants with deadly violence…” We vote in change. We take non-violent direct actions to push for change. We don’t start killing our brothers and sisters because they are on the wrong side of the political spectrum.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

    • I think the discussion revolves around the hypothetical. Pretending “it couldn’t happen here” is childish. Pretending anyone is saying the current state of affairs justifies violent overthrow or uprisings is dishonest.

  27. paynehollow says:

    Would you kill your family members, Marshall, if you thought they were part of a tyrannical plot to take over the US? Would you fire into a group of police officers that included your family and neighbors if they were working for “the enemy…”?

    Or do you think there would always be better ways?

    • Dan

      That is an absolutely gross misrepresentation of the whole point and you know it. Shooting into police officers because they were influencing someone? You’re either the dumbest person here, or you’re the most dishonest.

  28. paynehollow says:

    John, you are raising the question “Ought we not be prepared to overthrown our gov’t if it becomes tyrannical?” Are you not? I did not say “If they were influencing someone” I said if they were part of a plot to make our nation a tyrannical one (or one you consider tyrannical).

    Speaking of “gross misrepresentation…”

    Since you are making the suggestion that we OUGHT to be prepared to do so, I’m raising the equally valid question: Are you prepared to kill your friends and family if they are on the other side?

    If you’re actually saying there is a time to wage war against our own nation, then you ought to be prepared to say who and how many of your loved ones you are prepared to kill.

    Are you prepared to do so?

    It’s a reasonable question.

    ~Dan

    • As Dan will always favor peace at any price, offering nonsensical “Just War” notions (as if our nation never tries diplomacy or wages war in a manner the world considers “civilized”. He views those of us who understand the teaching of Scripture that there is time for everything as barbaric and evil in our readiness to deal with the worst possible scenarios because, well, that’s what mature Christian men and women are supposed to do.

      He also seems to forget that both the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States involved friends and family members wearing opposing uniforms. Were any of them “prepared” or “willing” to fire upon their own friends and family? Of course not. Who in their right mind would want to do such a thing? Who, in their right mind, is either willing or prepared to kill ANYONE in war? What difference does it make if one is familiar with the target? Thus, another stupid question is put forth as honest discussion.

      The fact is that such possibilities exist and they do not go unconsidered. But the righteous understand that the unrighteous might be related in some manner. Apparently in Dan’s mind, familial relations relieves him of the responsibility to address the evil a family member might do. No crime is too heinous that justifies serving justice.

      “Or do you think there would always be better ways?”

      Also a stupid question, as it implies no peaceful ways would have been attempted and exhausted before taking up arms against friends and family would regretfully need to take place. Hell, no. Dan believes we’re quick to kill, because, hey! we’re right-wingers and that’s what we do.

      • Remember back when he said he “might” use force if he had to to stop someone from attacking his wife or kids, but wouldn’t use lethal force IF that were the only way to stop it. Essentially, the life of the attacker was more important that that of his family. So it doesn’t surprise me that he has that view Marshall

  29. paynehollow says:

    So, you would kill your daughter, John, if it came down to it?

    You all mock me for holding a principled position that I believe is in line with Jesus’ teachings, but you all don’t have the strength of conviction to answer a question about which of your family members and friends you’d be willing to kill for “the greater good…”

    It’s a reasonable question.

    Marshall…

    Also a stupid question, as it implies no peaceful ways would have been attempted and exhausted before taking up arms against friends and family

    I assume nothing. I’m merely taking you all at your word, that it appears at some point, you are willing to kill your friends, neighbors and family members. I’m just trying to verify the point, but you all keep dodging a reasonable question.

    And yes, Marshall, I DO know that “brother killed brother” in our “civil wars…” This is exactly what I’m asking you. They believed they were right to kill their own family members (those who may have done so, or supported an army that did so). I’m just asking you this same question that they’ve already answered.

    The reason the question (and answer) is important – AND the reason I suspect you all are reluctant to directly answer the reasonable question – is it points to the horror and evil that is war, especially when you bring it right down to, “Yes, I’d be willing to kill my very own daughter and son in order for this greater cause, because I believe that, at some point, it could come down to that… if it did, I would.”

    And note: Your dishonest attempts to smear me by suggesting I’m suggesting this is what you bloodthirst for. Never said it. I’m merely asking the question: IF it came down to the fact that – all other attempts failing – you felt you had to take up arms against your fellow countryfolk, would you do so even against your friends? Even against your family??

    If you can answer Yes to that question, it points to a far more dangerous and morally deviant mindset than any pretend beliefs you ascribe to me (“peace at all costs,” indeed).

    As always, awaiting answers to reasonable questions that will not be forthcoming,

    ~Dan

    • Dan, I could think of dozens of hypothetical situations where I might have to use lethal force against a family member or friend. I have both the intellectual honesty and correctly functioning moral compass to understand that just because someone came to be through relation, doesn’t mean they are immune from being killed because of their actions.

      I think your issue is that you’re importing the notion that I would view using lethal force on a family member and using it on a stranger are emotionally equal. They arent. I’d be devastated if I ever had to do that. But if one of my kids are about to murder or maim another person, if all other, ALL OTHER options have been exhausted, lethal force is not off the table.

  30. paynehollow says:

    I would hope, for your kid’s sake, “all other, ALL OTHER” options truly were off the table. I am sure you’d try very hard to make sure of that.

    Thanks for the answer to the question.

    ~Dan

    • I hope I’m never in that position, I’d probably always regret it and mourn it. But it would still be the correct decision even if it wasn’t the best personal decision, if you know what I mean.

  31. paynehollow says:

    As someone who believes that deadly violence tends to be evil (even if the people involved truly could think of nothing else to do), I do know what you mean – that it would certainly fill you with a morbid and horrifying regret all your days.

    I just would hope that all such violence would affect us all thusly, not just deadly violence against loved ones. Maybe that would motivate us to work all that much harder to find better solutions, one that don’t involve us engaging in this sort of evil and horror.

    ~Dan

    • “As someone who believes that deadly violence tends to be evil…”

      Another biblically unsupportable belief.

      • @Marshall
        Ah…of course, we are forgetting Divine Command ….so the flood was okay And the Canaanite genocide was Joshua’s idea of a fun weekend all courtesy of the god, Jesus in his Yahweh guise.

        Tell, me, Dickhead, do you even know what ethical means?

        • Ark, clean it up. I’d rather not moderate.

          • Sorry, John, I forget, some people are sensitive to the word ”Dickhead”, (which, incidentally, happens to feature in the opening line of dialogue in one of my favorite movies, Grumpy Old men) yet the same people seem perfectly okay endlessly discussing tales of genocide, rape, incest, brutal murders, slavery, misogyny, immorality, torture and crucifixion – and actively encourage children to read these stories!

            No accounting for taste, I guess?
            Go figure, right?

            • I’ve tolerated more from you than any other christian blog you’ve been to, I’m sure. So all I’m asking is let’s keep it clean for other readers. I doesn’t offend me, and I know it doesn’t offend Marshall. I’m sure you understand.

              • So to be clear, we are referring to the ”naughty” word and not the heinous biblical pornography, right?

              • That’s right.

              • Sorted … ;)
                No more calling Marshall a dickhead. Promise.

                As this post is about violence can we a new one about the wholesome incestuous goings on of Noah and his family from a Christian perspective?
                You know, for the kiddies?

                Then after would you do one about the actions of Moses in Deuteronomy, for example?
                Please> It would be so educational. Especially for the kiddies. And Marshall.
                The rape, genocide, slavery etc?
                Imagine … we could even post line drawings for the kiddies to colour in?
                Lots of red crayon needed – Tsk, obviously! Rolls eyes.

                Then we, as grown ups, can discuss the morality of these actions, which were, after all, ordered by your god, Jesus in his Yahweh disguise.

                Really, how cool would this be!
                I’d join in …. I promise!

              • How about this Ark. Instead of derailing this from the specific topic, make your question/topic suggestion concise, and I’ll write a post. Or, you can go up to the link at the top of the site and do it there, where nothing is off topic, and post a link to your comment, and we’ll all pick it up there

              • Concise? Crikey …Marshal has pretty much derailed almost every post as it is in his never ending bat and switch attempts to run Dan into the ground. So the chances look pretty slim that anything you write will stay directly on topic.
                Unless you threaten to slap Marshal’s wrists?

                But if you do a post on justifying Noah’s incestuous family and how to read the Moses wars to children I will stay right on topic.

                Oh …. and can we possibly avoid Divine Command theory on these things?
                Otherwise Marshall will be citing ”Leftist” before I can grab my Crucifix, Garlic, Holy Water or Rosary beads.

                Come on, give it your best Fundamental shot.
                ( don’t you love that word? – it has Fun AND Mental in it – pure coincidence, I’m sure. ;) )

              • Defend the speed limit without appealing to state authority.

              • Spoilsport. Okay, divine command theory it is. It’ll be fun all the same.
                Can’t wait to see what you’re going to say to the kiddies. ( not Marshall .. the smaller ones.)
                Just let me grab all my Anti – Marshall gear and allow me five minutes to me find my ”Obama is not a leftist Muslim name” T-Shirt before you post, okay?

              • In an effort to not be accused of not addressing exactly what you’re complaint is, give me the specific examples you’re talking about (chapter and verse) so that I can be on point for you.

              • Oh, good grief!
                Do you really need chapter and verse for Noah?
                I’ll give a clue. It isn’t in gMatthew.

                As for Moses – crumbs, I don’t know? Pick whichever one you fancy? There are loads. We are spoiled for choice, really..
                How about (Numbers 31:16-18)
                That’s a s*** load of murders, right there!
                Oh, remember, you are going to have to explain to children ( other than Marshall) and possibly read to them for bedtime.
                You can have a look at Deuteronomy as well. Plenty of juicy stuff to cheer up the children before bedtime.
                Deuteronomy 13 : 6 perhaps? or vs. 8-9.

                Lovely wholesome family reading from your god of love, Jesus in Yahweh disguise.
                Have fun!
                Type the really cool bits in red. It will seem more authentic.

              • So just Numbers 31 and Deuteronomy 13?

              • Well, you can include others if you fancy?
                As I said one is spoiled for choice really.
                Numbers 5 26-27
                Psalm 137 vs 9
                Deuteronomy 3:3 7:2 20: 16-17

                Phew! the list just grows and grows.
                Before long we shall be wading in blood up to our knees, John.
                And all sanctioned by your god of love, Jesus-disguised-as-Yahweh.

                I think you should be feeling suitably nauseated after explaining all these – for the kiddies, remember.
                Lol..of course you wont be feeling sick. Just kidding. You christians revel in this stuff, I know.

            • And I love Grumpy Old Men, btw.

  32. The only child here is Arkie. Only a child would derive such pleasure in speaking in such a derisive manner regarding another person’s firmly held beliefs. But hey, we’re told so often from people like him that atheists don’t need no god to tell them how to behave.

    And no, I am not particularly affected by name calling from such as Arkie. It says so much about him, just as his nasty comments regarding our Lord does. Like so many atheists who soil Christian blogs, he is the perfect example of a low class individual. And his use of profane name-calling is common for cowards who hide behind keyboards miles away from the person being insulted, confident that distance and the Christian beliefs of his victim is enough to prevent him from being restricted by standards of civility.

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