August 22, 2014

Free Chapters – A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America

Kindle edition now available here!

Paperback here!

Hello friends,

Americans are waking up to the reality that our once free republic is in serious trouble. They are searching for answers to what seem like unsolvable problems: economic depression, unending war, political corruption, and vanishing liberties. What if there were just one answer – freedom? The American republic was founded upon that principle, yet few suggest it is the solution to any of our problems,  much less all of them. But if freedom is the answer, we first must know what it is. Sadly, most Americans do not. That is why I wrote this book.

I hope you enjoy the Introduction and Chapter One: What is Freedom?, which I am making available for free below. The subsequent chapters discuss how freedom can solve the many challenges we face.

To read the rest of this book, you can get the Kindle Edition here.

I look forward to fighting with you to restore our liberty.  – Tom Mullen

Reviews

“Thomas Mullen is a knowledgeable and passionate libertarian and A Return to Common Sense is a valuable addition to the libertarian literature. Those new to the freedom movement will benefit from Tom’s introduction to both the practical and moral arguments for freedom. Long-time activists will benefit from Tom’s explanation of why strict adherence to principle is vital to the future success of the liberty movement.”

- Representative Ron Paul (TX-14)

Congressman and author of The Revolution: A Manifesto and End the Fed.

“A well written primer on economics, liberty, and government that even avid Austrians will enjoy. If you have been blinded by government and Wall Street propaganda, A Return to Common Sense will help open your eyes. I not only recommend that you add this book to your freedom library, but that you buy a few copies for your friends.”

- Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital, Inc and author of Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.

Tom Mullen has written a thorough and useful book. Those for whom a discussion of liberty is a new experience will discover in A Return to Common Sense a clear, easy to understand guide to the nature of freedom, and why it is essential to our fondest hopes for a civil society of opportunity, peace, and prosperity. For those who already share these values, it’s a welcome resource for perfecting our own knowledge and advancing our cause.

- Charles Goyette, author of THE DOLLAR MELTDOWN: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments and RED AND BLUE AND BROKE ALL OVER: Restoring America’s Free Economy

 

Free Chapters

Introduction:

The American Crisis

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

 – Thomas Paine (1776)1

America finds itself in a time of crisis.  For several generations we have expressed dissatisfaction with government, whether with the Viet Nam war, the energy and economic crises of the 1970’s, the scandals of the 1980’s and 1990’s, or the present wars in the Middle East.  While a little dissatisfaction with the status quo is healthy, it has gone far beyond that now.  For anyone remotely in touch with the state of our republic, there is a growing sense of dread that whatever is wrong is getting much worse much faster.  They realize that what was once a desire for change has now become a dire need for change.  Yet, in as much as the voting public clamors for it, does anyone think for a moment that the majority of people in America actually know what changes are necessary, or even what changes they want?

The United States emerged from the 19th century during the most innovative period in the history of mankind.  The industrial revolution had wrought miracles that could barely have been imagined 100 years before.  After thousands of years of traveling on foot or on the backs of beasts of burden, automobiles carried Americans wherever they wished to go.  Steamships freed travel by sea from the vagaries of the four winds, and the telegraph and telephone made communication with distant locations instantaneous, when just a few decades earlier weeks or even months might be required for a single letter to arrive.  Electric light replaced gas lamps, and man’s most ancient dream was realized by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

With the explosion of technology came an explosion of wealth and prosperity.  Mass production and other improvements made manufactured goods cheaper, increasing their availability beyond the affluent to the common man.  Indeed, as significant as the fortunes that were made by famous captains of industry was rising living standards of the growing middle class and even of the poor.  For the first time in history, the common people were the prime market for the output of society’s production.  After thousands of years, children no longer had to toil with their parents just to ensure that the family had enough to eat.  The average American lived comfortably on the income produced by one member of the family and that family’s standard of living was constantly improving.  No challenge seemed too formidable for a people that had harnessed the power of lightning, conquered the air and seemingly made a servant of Mother Nature herself.  Finally, the end of poverty and want were in sight.

At the dawn of the 21st century, no such optimism prevailed.  The technology-fueled prosperity of the 1990’s had hit a serious stumbling block with the crash of the NASDAQ index. A recession was just getting underway when America welcomed a new president.  In the midst of economic doldrums, socio-political disaster occurred.  Commercial airplanes exploded into the World Trade Center as a nation and world looked on in horror.  The buildings fell down and the War on Terror began.

Over a decade later, the United States finds itself quagmired in that war beyond anyone’s expectations.  Despite the fact that the Democrats won the White House and the House has changed hands twice since 9/11, there is still no end in sight to the wars in the Middle East.  President Obama began his campaign as an anti-war candidate, but has made it clear that he will continue the U.S. government’s policy of military intervention in the Middle East.  As the budget deficits and loss of lives mount, Americans are left to wonder if we will be at war forever.

At home, we find ourselves in economic crisis.  The stock market has experienced another historic crash, and for the second time in the past century we are told that we face a Great Depression.  While 50 years ago, the average American family was comfortably supported by one income, both parents in that family typically work today, and a second job for at least one parent is not uncommon.  While doctor bills were once only a concern for those with unusual medical needs, the typical American family is more and more being forced to choose between healthcare and other basic necessities.  While past generations saved for a comfortable retirement, the average American today is deep in debt.

How could a century that started with such promise end with so much doubt?  Where did we go wrong?  Since her historic founding, America has been known as the “land of the free.”  Yet, the answers proposed for each of our problems involves Americans giving up some of that freedom.  However, if freedom is what made America great, why would less freedom make things better now?

We are told “the world changed on September 11, 2001.”  Is this true?  Is the world fundamentally different than it was?  Do evil people really hate us enough because of our freedom and prosperity to commit heinous acts of murder against us?  Or are there other reasons?  Do we really have to surrender some of our freedom in exchange for security against this new threat?  What if the threat continues to increase?

Similarly, we are told our economic crisis was caused by too much laissez faire capitalism and too little regulation.  Can too much economic freedom really harm us?  Will the massive new government programs and “reregulation” promised by our new President solve our problems?  What if they don’t?  Will even less freedom be the answer then?

This book will set out to answer those questions.  In order to do so, we must take a sober look in the mirror.  In order to know what has put America in decline, it is necessary first to understand what made her great.  At a time when most people are confused and searching for answers, we must shine the light of clarity on every aspect of our society.  At times, that light may reveal truths we are not ready to face, including the part each of us has played in bringing about our nation’s decline.

We must question institutions we have long ago come to think of as unquestionable.  The past 100 years in America has been a time of significant change.  Of course, the 20th century was a time of astounding technological advancement.  However, we have also made ideological changes that have made America into a much different kind of society than the one our founders built.  Were those changes improvements, or have we moved away from the principles that made us great?  Are we still the “land of the free?”  Are we still the “land of opportunity?  Do we really know what those cherished words mean?

During the past few decades of apparent prosperity, very few of us wished to be bothered with the endless partisan bickering of our politicians, despite our frequent expressions of dissatisfaction with them.  While we may not have agreed with much about the direction in which our leadership was taking our country, we did not connect what was happening in Washington, D.C. with our own lives or the lives of our families.  We have been in a kind of slumber, believing that a free and open society of opportunity and prosperity is guaranteed in America, regardless of the decisions of politicians that determine what kind of society we are.

One thing is certain.  We are out of time.  In past decades, we have talked about issues we feared may present significant problems for the America of the future.  That future is here.  It is no longer enough to wistfully talk about the America we will leave to our children.  Everything we hold dear about America is in jeopardy, and the time has come to act.

 

Chapter 1

What is Freedom?

And what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world?”

 – Frederic Bastiat1 (1850)

If there is one thing uniquely associated with America, it is freedom.  From the moment Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, America has been a symbol of liberty to the entire world.  Since the end of World War II, when the United States assumed a worldwide leadership role, it has been the leader of the “free world.”  At sporting events, standing crowds begin their ovation when the vocalist singing the national anthem gets to the words, “O’er the land of the free.”  Even in everyday conversations, scarcely a day goes by that one does not hear someone say, “Do what you like, it’s a free country.”

Although we all agree that America is the “land of the free,” there are questions about freedom that might be more difficult to answer.  What is freedom?  How is it defined?  What makes America the land of the free?  How would we know if we were to lose our freedom?  What is it that our soldiers die for and our politicians swear to defend?

We have been told a lot of things about what freedom is not.  From the end of World War II until 1991, most Americans understood that freedom was not communism.  For almost three generations, Americans lived in the “free world” during its cold war with the communist Eastern Bloc.  Without further thought or instruction, many children of the 20th century think of freedom merely as the antithesis of communism.  In some ways, this is not completely untrue, although it hardly provides a complete answer to our question.

Certainly, the mere absence of communism doesn’t necessarily guarantee freedom.  The 18th century British monarchy wasn’t communist, but the American colonists nevertheless considered it tyrannical enough to rebel against.  Likewise, the Royal House of Saud may be an ally of the U.S. government, but most Americans would not regard Saudi Arabia as a “free country.”

In addition to monarchies, there are plenty of dictatorships around the world that don’t enforce a communist system but are nevertheless oppressive.  While they also may be allies of the U.S. government, they certainly aren’t free countries, either.  So, a society is not free merely because it is not communist.

On the other hand, monarchy doesn’t seem to necessarily preclude freedom, either. Great Britain has been a relatively free country throughout much of its history, even when the monarchy was much more than a figurehead.  The American Revolution notwithstanding, Great Britain was at that time one of the freest societies in the world.  Therefore, rather than conclude that no freedom is possible under a monarchy, one might instead conclude that monarchies neither guarantee nor necessarily exclude freedom. Freedom or tyranny seems possible under almost any system of government.

Perhaps we can define freedom more easily by looking at its antithesis.  Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists slavery among antonyms for freedom.  Surely, we have found a start here.  Most people would agree that slavery is the complete absence of freedom.  Who can we imagine that is less free than the slave?  This is helpful in beginning to try to frame an answer, but freedom cannot be merely the absence of slavery.  Surely our founding fathers bled to give us a higher standard than this!

If we are told anything about what freedom is, it is that freedom is democracy.  If you ask most Americans, this is the answer you will get.  This is reinforced ad nauseum by politicians, media, and teachers in our public schools.  When Iraq held its first elections after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, politicians and journalists universally celebrated the Iraqis’ “first taste of freedom.”

Certainly, democracy is a vast improvement over the autocratic rule of a dictator. But does democracy automatically mean freedom?  If democracy is rule by the majority, what about the minority?  What if 51 % of the people voted to oppress the other 49%?  Would that society truly be free?

Most Americans would be quite surprised to learn what our founding fathers thought about democracy.  Any objective analysis would conclude that their feelings lay somewhere between suspicion and contempt.

James Madison said, “Democracy is the most vile form of government … democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths,”2

In a letter to James Monroe, he also said,

“There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current one, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.”3

While often extolling the virtue of majority rule, Thomas Jefferson nevertheless wrote,

“…that the majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”4

Can this be true?  The founding fathers were ambivalent about democracy?  For many people, this is tantamount to sacrilege.  More shocking still is what the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution say about democracy: nothing.  Nowhere in our founding documents will you find the word “democracy” or the assertion, implicit or explicit, that our government is a democracy.  How can this be?

Despite what we are taught virtually from birth, the United States of America has never been a democracy.  As only contrarians point out these days, it is a constitutional republic.  We choose our leaders using the democratic process of majority vote, but that is the extent to which the United States involves itself with democracy.

Like monarchy, democracy neither guarantees nor necessarily prohibits freedom.  Our founders actually feared that democracy poses a danger to freedom.  Apart from the pure heresy of the idea, it leaves us with a problem.  We are no closer to defining freedom.  If even democracy is not freedom, perhaps freedom doesn’t really exist!  If we are not to find freedom in democracy, where else can we look?

We certainly won’t learn what freedom is from our politicians.  While terrorism, healthcare, unemployment, gay marriage, and a host of other “major issues” dominate public debate, freedom is just too quaint, too academic, or too forgotten to get any airplay.  Yet, as we shall see as we explore the different subjects of this book, freedom is the fundamental issue.  In fact, despite what we perceive as a myriad of different problems facing the United States of America today, freedom is actually the only issue.  That may be hard to accept, given the decades of shoddy history, obfuscation, and plain old bad ideas we’ve been bombarded with.  Nevertheless, our greatest challenges and their solutions revolve around freedom.  If freedom is really that important, we’d better be absolutely sure we know what it is.

In order to answer the question posed by Bastiat at the beginning of this chapter, we will have to go back to the beginning.  Our founding fathers faced no such quandary about the definition of freedom. They knew exactly what it was.  They were children of the Enlightenment, and derived their ideas about freedom directly from its philosophers, especially John Locke.  While these philosophers were powerful thinkers and their ideas were (no pun intended) revolutionary at the time, the principles of liberty are relatively simple.  They are, as the namesake of this book concluded, common sense.  It was an understanding of these revolutionary ideas by average American colonists that inspired the revolution that gave birth to a nation.

The idea that opens the door to the true meaning of freedom is individual rights.  Despite the emphasis today on the “general welfare” and the “common good,” the American tradition of liberty has nothing to do with either.  Instead, the founders believed each individual was born with natural, inalienable rights.  The Declaration of Independence states,

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” 5

This passage is quoted widely in popular culture.  Invariably, the words emphasized are “that all men are created equal.”  Certainly, these are fine words and worthy of veneration.  However, the rest of this passage is equally important.  Every human being, because of his equality with all other human beings, has rights no earthly power can take away.  These rights are “unalienable,” so that governments, even democratically elected governments, have no power to revoke them.  To the founding fathers this was self-evident.  It was true based purely upon man’s existence itself.

This idea is drawn directly from the philosophy of John Locke, who wrote,

“A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection,”6

While these rights are endowed by a Creator, the founders did not specify who the Creator was.  Too often, those arguing for the ideals of our republic make the fatal mistake of basing the natural rights upon belief not only in God, but specifically upon the Christian God.  While the founders were by no means opposed to Christianity, belief in it or even in God is not a prerequisite for the existence of the natural rights.  The beauty of this idea is that it transcends religion and thus welcomes members of all religions, and those with no religious beliefs at all.  Therefore, the first building block of freedom, individual, inalienable rights, can be claimed by Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, by every person on earth.

So what are these inalienable rights, which cannot be taken away?  The Declaration goes on to say, “That among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”7

At first glance, this statement might be a bit deceiving, maybe even a little disappointing.  Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?  Is that all?  Surely we have more rights than these!  Of course, the Declaration says “among these,” so it does not limit the natural rights to these three.  But these three are important.  It is worthwhile to determine the meaning of each.

The right to life is pretty easy to understand.  Most civilized societies have laws against murder.  Each individual has a right not to be killed by another human being, except in self-defense.  So far, so good.  What about the other two?  We are in the midst of trying to define liberty, or freedom, so let us put that aside for the moment.  The third right listed is “the pursuit of happiness.”  What does that mean?  Does it mean nothing?  Or does it mean everything?  What if it makes me happy to steal cars or blow up buildings?  Surely, I don’t have a right to pursue happiness like that!

No. There is a natural limit on liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Again, we can find the answer in Locke,

“To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.” 8

While people are free to do what they want, they must do so “within the bounds of the law of nature.”  What is the law of nature?  Locke goes on to tell us,

“The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and Reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…” 9

Finally, we have some indication of what freedom is, rather than what it is not.  Liberty is not the unlimited ability to do whatever you want, nor is it confined to the arbitrary limits placed upon people by governments.  Contrary to the spurious argument that unfettered liberty would result in chaos, we see that the law of nature, Reason, very clearly and unambiguously prohibits some actions, even for people in a state of absolute liberty.  They are:

1.   Initiating the use of force or violence

2.   Infringing upon another person’s liberty

3.   Harming them in their possessions.

This last limit upon the actions of free individuals is important.  Locke spends an entire chapter of his Second Treatise talking about it.  It is related to property, which is arguably the most important right, while at the same time the least understood.  Property is important enough that we will spend the next chapter examining the subject.  To do this we will have to come to a clear definition of property, including how it is acquired, how it is exchanged, and what right the owner has to it.

More importantly, we have arrived at a definition of liberty.  It is the right of any person to do as they please, as long as they do not violate the equal rights of anyone else.  The latter half of this definition is generally referred to as the “non-aggression principle.”  Political activists associate this principle with libertarians, while intellectuals associate it with Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism.  Certainly both movements recognize and venerate it, but it is important to realize that neither is its source.  In fact, the non-aggression principle has been articulated with very little variation by all writers in the liberal tradition, including Locke, Jefferson, Paine, Bastiat, Mill, and later Rand and other 20th century writers and thinkers.

By applying this principle, the most complicated societal issues become astoundingly simple.  The ambiguous becomes unambiguous.  The answers become clear.  Virtually every problem facing America today can be solved by applying the principle of freedom.

There are a few points we should review for emphasis.  First, the rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and drawn out of Locke’s philosophy are inalienable.  They cannot be taken away by any power on earth, including a majority vote.  The reason the founders were suspicious of democracy was because of their fear that the majority would oppress the individual by voting away the individual’s rights, especially property rights.  This was the reason for the separation of powers and the limits on government authority.  Even a majority vote can be a threat to freedom.

The difference between a right and a privilege is a vital concept to understand.  A right is something you are born with, that you possess merely because you exist.  A privilege is something that is granted by another person, group, or a government.  Our country was founded upon the principle that all people have inalienable rights that cannot be taken away, not privileges granted by their government.  As John Adams so eloquently put it,

“I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, — Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws — Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.”10

There is no need to be “thankful for the rights we have in America.”  All people have those rights and gratitude is neither necessary nor appropriate.  Rather, people are justified in demanding their rights, and any violation of them should be recognized as an act of aggression.

Second, in any conflict between individual liberty and the will of the majority, individual liberty prevails without compromise.  The majority has no right to violate the rights of the individual.   This is to some extent merely making the first point in reverse, but it is important enough to say in more than one way.  Society doesn’t have rights; individuals do.  Society is nothing more than a collection of individuals, so protecting each individual in society protects society.

Despite these seemingly undeniable truths, individual liberty is today under constant attack because of its perceived conflict with the common good or “the needs of society.”  While living together and agreeing not to initiate aggression against each other seems astoundingly simple, our politicians would have us believe there is something incredibly complicated about it.  They create a world in which civil society is a maze of moral dilemmas that only their astute guidance can lead us safely through.  Once liberty is properly understood and applied, all of these supposed dilemmas disappear.

End Notes

Introduction: The American Crisis

1 Paine, Thomas The American Crisis “The Crisis No. 1” December 19, 1776 from Paine Collected Writings edited by Eric Foner Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. New York, NY 1955 pg. 91

Chapter 1: What is Freedom?

1 Bastiat, Frederic The Law 1850 from The Bastiat Collection 2 Volumes Vol. 1 Ludwig Von Mises Institute Auburn, AL 2007 pg. 79

2 Madison,James Federalist #10    http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fedi.htm http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed10.htm

3 Madison, James Letter to James Monroe October 5th, 1786 James Madison Center, The http://www.jmu.edu/madison/center/home.htm Phillip Bigler, Director, James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA http://www.jmu.edu/madison/center/main_pages/madison_archives/quotes/supremacy.htm

4 Jefferson, Thomas To Dupont de Nemours from Jefferson Writings edited by Merrill D. Peterson New York, NY: Literary Classics of the United States, 1984 pg. 1387

5 Declaration of Independence, United States 1776 National Archives and Records (website) http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

6 John Locke Second Treatise on Civil Government from Two Treatises of Government C. and J. Rivington, 1824 (Harvard University Library Copy) pg. 132

7 Declaration of Independence, United States 1776 National Archives…

8 Locke Second Treatise pgs. 131-32

9 Locke Second Treatise pg. 133

10 Adams, John A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law 1765 Ashland Center for Public Affairs (website) Ashland University  http://www.ashbrook.org/library/18/adams/canonlaw.html

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Comments

  1. Truly Tom I am amused,

    My amusement is the conclusions you and I have found are very similar yet the paths we took to get here very different ones. To me it is interesting what investigation brings us if we simply do the act to invest in ourselves.

    You read much of history through books and the eyes of others and made conclusions based on what?

    I went through tons of experiences and failed miserably only to discover it was all my own choice. My search first put the focus on me to discover my own cause and effect and the question I had to answer was; how was I causing these? The findings an eye opener I assure you but it lead me to know what I am as life, that as life I have and hold gifts the same as all other lives around me, that I am in control of me and no other and the same goes in all directions. Yet when I looked out my window I could clearly see some had taken on more than they were gifted. Further more I found that some in religious groups had taken on more than they were gifted and convincing others they hold such a gift.

    In all I found that false authority lived in my vicinity and after recognizing this and being of life itself I had a Responsibility unto myself to reveal the truths as I discovered them.

    As well, since that time I discovered the Declaration of Independence which only acknowledged my findings and assured me I was not the only one to find such a path as this. In reading the original draft I almost fell on the floor and then when I did a comparison of the two did I see the conflict then as we see the conflict now.

    One other thing I have found upon my own is that the principals LIfe, Liberty and the Pursuits of Happiness have not changed over time, that they are a stationary truths to behold and by using these in all decision making do the effects we cause encompass these very principals.

    I am encouraged so many of us are investigating ourselves so we may discover the overall force we hold in this world. That nothing in this world can take place without decision, not one thing and this presents a force not well looked at and and far less understood but its effects are everywhere.

    It has been my conclusion then that informed decision making of ourselves and our full authority unto ourselves can prevail by our decision alone should we choose.

    • I beg to differ. We have been given measured authority from the Creator who holds full authority over all that he created. When we depart from his righteous standards, we bring our own destruction down upon ourselves. So, yes, every day we choose whom we serve and every day we choose the direction we will travel. When we travel toward righteousness, we are met with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness and ultimately self-control otherwise known as self-government. When we travel toward rebellion, chaos, foolishness and turmoil, we are met with judgment, condemnation, imprisonment, loss of freedom, defeat, sorrow, sadness, despair, and ultimately death. So when you see the civil government growing past what you consider its “rightful” authority, just remember God is the ultimate judge and if we refuse to govern ourselves according to his commandments we will meet our doom by the civil government just as surely as if God himself had brought the judgment upon us.

      When those who have been granted the authority to make righeous judgments depart from their responsibility before God their Creator, they will meet with the ultimate judge who does not change and is no respecter of persons.

      • Certainly you can differ all you wish, I was given choice and I shall use choice and you will still only get to choose for you as you should. I have the authority over me to choose my course as I respect your choice to use yours. I am glad you have found your way, emphasis added YOUR WAY which in no way authorizes you for my way at all.

        Choosing authority over others is a choice as well and should be resisted and defied. If you choose authority over you is again your choice and I choose me as my authority.

        You are so sure I have not seen what you only wish you could see, assumption never produced a thing. Dare not pretend for the answer lays deep within our souls staring at us only awaiting for our discovery. Genuine is a viewable experience that I am willing to live with.

        • Republic Reminder says:

          A simple way to demonstrate that you personally do not have authority over everything is to go outside and try to speak the world into existence. After you have stood there dumbfounded over the revelation that no new world has appeared before your eyes, come back with a new revelation of the fact that you have been granted only limited authority by the God who created you and that for only such a time as you maintain good behavior or until such time as he uses you as your works have earned.

          The Creator has all authority in heaven and on earth. He has given to each man a measure of authority to conduct himself as he wills. The Creator responds to people based on their virtue and morality. Many are called, few are chosen. The Creator distributes authority based on the “tensile strength” of the virtue in man and on the purposes for which he has determined to use each man in any given age for the purpose of their generation. The Creator is always at work testing and refining his creation to bring it into the place to perform his good work. God has chosen to grant you a measure of his authority, he can continue to grant you that authority, he can change the degree of the authority he grants you, he can remove the breath from your body and put it back again. He demonstrates his authority by holding the earth in its orbit. God has revealed how he operates his power and authority in his written word. He revealed this information for our benefit so that we would not all perish as those in the day of Noah. They too were given the freedom to choose what to do with their time, their talents and their property. The chose to do what was right in their own eyes, and they perished as a result. We have been given the greatest gifts of all through the law and the prophets and through the Lord Jesus Christ who is the chief cornerstone upon which God will build his kingdom. We now have a greater testimony than Noah, Abraham, Moses and all the prophets. We will be held accountable for what we do with this testimony.

          It is not about assumption or opinion. It is about the irrefutable, eternal, righteousness of God that does not change throughout the generations. Righteousness is the standard of salvation. It is through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we are able to obtain that righteous standard.

          • Isn’t funny how sure of yourself you are but you think no one else is this capable, SHUT UP!

            You have no authority over me dude get over it, you wont convert me to be you, you wont force me to believe you and I shall do as I determine regardless of your lack of investigation of you. So you are pointless towards me, find a mirror look in it and show you who you control and that is all you get. I understand this is not in your realm of thinking , TOO bad, but it is by far in mine and I shall choose for me. You do not know all you only THINK you know anything so clam yourself before you burst a vessel.

            You are presenting the perfect example of such failure while you claim and can show nothing. Bogus has results too, look at them for once in your life and stop pretending you are authority over, you are no more life than I get over it, really before you fully embarrass yourself on a public forum of respect and not your idea.

          • Tom Mullen says:

            Republic Reminder – would you agree that while God has authority over everyone, that no man has authority over another and that no man can enforce the will of God upon another?

            My take is this: the only authority man can enforce on another man is the authority of self defense. In other words, man can punish another man for committing an aggression against another man, but cannot punish another man for committing an offense against God, unless it is also an aggression against another man. For offenses against God that don’t harm other people, that authority is left to God and remains between the offender and God. Do you agree with that?

          • Yes I do Tom, although personal experiences may send other messages. In my own I did not get God as my authority at all but as all life, peaceful, caring, joyous and I can only say in that moment in time there was nothing of authority at all. This was interesting so when others speak to me so one sided I can tell they lack such an experience. I am not mad at them but they get these messages from others and mine was personal, then they take these ideas of others as authority of others and this is entirely false.

            I have worked hard to see how I would have any authority over another and I could find none. However I also realize responsibility also exists and when one is showing signs of no self respect for life it is important to take control of the situation and work to contain it because communications only takes place in times of calm. If acts of aggression are used one holds the capacity to protect ones self in self respect.

            If one is simply saying, I am there to listen, if one is telling I am there to listen. When one attempts to discredit me I am there to stand upon my own two feet and own my standing from my own understanding of me. So I work not to force myself upon other people and am very good at all mutual respect or being mirror like if you will. It is actually kind of fascinating when you deliver back what one is delivering and they don’t like it who is it they don’t really like?

            Those of us not showing responsibility for our own actions can have responsibility applied to us as it should be. Not that it is today, but darn sure should be. But these are acts against life and the way for which I value God has nothing to do with my responsibility as life towards life and no other has authority to make me wrong for my own vision of the experience, correct?

  2. Sherry McMillen says:

    Thank you for this very good help. It is excellent.

  3. Republic Reminder says:

    Tom, you said: “Republic Reminder – would you agree that while God has authority over everyone, that no man has authority over another and that no man can enforce the will of God upon another?

    My take is this: the only authority man can enforce on another man is the authority of self defense. In other words, man can punish another man for committing an aggression against another man, but cannot punish another man for committing an offense against God, unless it is also an aggression against another man. For offenses against God that don’t harm other people, that authority is left to God and remains between the offender and God. Do you agree with that?”

    I would agree that no man can force the will of God upon another. However, no man can prevent me from protecting myself and my loved ones from those dangers that God has told me to avoid. So, I can prevent those who commit the abomination of a man lying with another man from teaching the children in my society that it is just an individual choice or that one is born that way. I can do this because God has called it an abomination for a man to lay with another man as with a woman and it is an abomination for a man to dress as a woman or a woman to dress as a man (as in transvestism). When God identifies something as an abomination it means his people are to remain free from them, not associate with them, not to have fellowship with them and not to entertain their beliefs. They are unclean and they are contagious. So, I must protect myself and my family from having any association with them whatsoever. I have the authority to stop them from contaminating the whole world with their openly flagrant immorality. I do not have the authority to stop them from doing their flagrant immorality out of the area of where clean people live.

    Basically, we have the right not to have fellowship with those who commit abominations. We have the right not to have them dictate to us that we are not allowed to preach the truth about what they are doing to destroy us and our children and our country. The problem with the depth of depravity that abominable sin brings upon a nation is similar to the black plague where the rats that infested the sewers were spreading the filth to the people who lived above the sewers. Preaching the gospel is the only remedy for these people and if we are held guilty of a crime for preaching the truth about their condition, there is no remedy available to us or them.

    The extreme hatred exhibited between both sides of this issue are a result of it being so completely against the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Yet, to say that it a victimless crime is itself an abomination against God. There are many victims of the lying doctrines that have been spread through our education system on this issue. No country can defy the laws of nature and of nature’s God without consequence.

    It is a fallacy to believe there are offenses against God that don’t harm other people. Every offense against God harms other people because we are all created in his image. I think the resolution is found in the basic idea of do justly, love mercy and walking humbly with our God. Without justice there is no freedom. Without mercy justice is too deadly. Without humility before God we there is no justice, no mercy and no freedom. What about the harm it does to the godly young men who join the military service to be forced to live in close quarters with the abominable?

    Originally, individual states determined what laws they used to keep the abominations at bay. If the federal government continues to usurp the authority of the states in this matter, I hate to think of the consequences. There has to be some way for us to protect ourselves from the wickedness of the wicked. Preaching the gospel is the best defense against these kinds of what you refer to as “victimless crimes”. Prostitution, drug abuse, etc. are not actually victimless, but the remedy for them is not state sanctioned imprisonment and non-productive laws. This too, is the type of crime that can best be handled by preaching the gospel. Most of what you refer to as victimless crimes are of that nature. They are definitely crimes and they are not victimless, but they need to be handled under the loving mercy category of correction. Doing justly means we can’t allow it to continue, loving mercy means we allow the church to do its job and preach the gospel, extend a hand of mercy to the poor, stop training people into the drug culture, the unnatural perversion culture and the acceptance of evil culture.

    God says it better than me. He says, Isa 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;… Isa 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” That is about the size of it. The justice and righteousness of God demands that we call evil evil and good good. When we justify the wicked for the reward of social power and take away the righteousness of the righteous we bring woe upon ourselves.

    • See now this is the interesting part, you state; I would agree that no man can force the will of God upon another. However, no man can prevent me from protecting myself and my loved ones from those dangers that God has told me to avoid.

      In my own experience with God nothing was said at all, again it was calming, absolute, peaceful and an experience of a life time. I also at that time recognized Gods image and the tears rolled from my eyes in joy of getting it.

      The only ones that have ever told me God told them was through different church groups preaching to me something different than my own experience. I couldn’t handle the questioning anymore because there was something very weird and unnatural about it. I am very much about natural law and Gods law is not what you say it is and what God has presented to me as nature. This is something I cannot argue with myself because I am sure of the experience. I think most who have died and were given another chance by the love of God get nature well and have appreciation and understanding far more than those who only think and have no idea other than what they have been told.

      I watched the movie the tree of life a while back and here is what was so exciting for me; the light I saw was me realizing myself as I truly am, but I have had the opportunity to experience it. I am also a very genuine and a honest individual with great principals and values so for another to say I do not because of what you personally believe is what is incorrect about your thinking. See, I value you value God, I just don’t get you do not value me for valuing God from my perspective and want that to be only your view of it. I believe our Founders realized this as well and stated Religion and not only one religion. Its kind of like saying Life and only meaning you because life is everywhere.

      I don’t wish to change your personal belief because I respect you as life to choose such a position, what is not natural about such a position? So why is it you are so intent on changing mine, because you were told? I have read a good portion of the bible and I must of miss interpreted that part because I did not get that at all, as well I didn’t work to memorize it either especially after the questioning had to stop because of the tensions of what some have been told versus the experiences some have had. I decided to focus more on what I was sure of and my energy level is elevated like never before, what is that?

      Its not the perversion of God on why we are where we are, it is the perversions ourselves from not knowing exactly who and what we are. Bad choice is represented by the lack of knowing and not the abundance of knowing ourselves because an informed choice presents far brighter results. Realizing we are gifted with such an ability is truly monumental, ignoring it is our own detriment. Our own ignorance is truly visible, if what you say is so powerful why do the results look this poor? Don’t answer me answer you.

      Self respect is by far the ultimate in all respect but it is good to know the you of such self respect. It is very hard to share with others something you personally do not hold and this would be a good lesson to learn unless you refuse to learn simply because you were told and did not have the will or courage to look for yourself.

  4. Republic Reminder says:

    Tom, I just thought of the perfect example of what can be done on the local level. I have two sisters who both took classes for a local volunteer program called CASA., Court Appointed Special Advocate. They took 8 or 10 classes about how to come along side the judges and the child welfare office and actually go to the homes of the people whose children are being endangered by their drug abuse, joblessness, etc. and help the families find workable solutions within the family unit to bring them around out of the path they are on. The program has shown success and my guess is it will become the next bureaucractic layer of government intervention. Yet, it is done by volunteers working with the court system. The court system that taxpayer money is funding to have these repeated judicial rulings, child welfare workers (who obviously are not accomplishing what they are being paid to do since their need volunteers to come and do the work).

    Basically, this program is becoming successful under the big government umbrella because they are getting my sisters involved in going in to the homes of the needy finding out what they need and helping them take care of themselves. Now I ask you, is this the job of the church or the government? If the church were doing its job, the government wouldn’t be required to get involved in doing this job. As long as the church has been socialized into trusting in big government for its needs to be met, we are in deep doo-doo.

    • Sorry that sounded rather confusing. What I was trying to say was that my sisters are involved voluntarily “loving their neighbor” which could be done at the local community level without government involvement. But, we have lost the community connection of loving one another that is supposed to occur through the church as we encourage one another to love and good works. When people end up before the judge for doing those things that you refer to as victimless crimes. (Which I say all crimes have victims some are just not on the scene at the time of the crime. We affect our family and our neighbors by the way we conduct our lives.) The private sector could be more helpful and successful and less costly at bringing order back into the situation. But, we can’t pretend we are being either just or merciful if we don’t do something to help the victims of the “victimless crimes”. We are all accountable to God for showing mercy to our poor neighbors. When society itself has rejected the just, kind and good precepts of God, they are demanding a government bigger than they are in order to prevent them from destroying their neighbors through corruption and decay rather than through immediate violence. There is no peace without righteousness.

  5. Hello again,
    I got side tracked but have completed chapter 4. That was a really good chapter. I was especially informed by the discussion of the President requesting that Congress acknowledge the state of war already exists and requests the resources to protect ourselves and bring the aggressor to terms to end the war.

    I do not come from the position of the non-agression theory, but I do come from the position of wars are conducted for the purpose of providing safety and God has said that by wise counsel we shall conduct our wars and there is wisdom in the counsel of many. When we combine that with the Constitutional statement that the states shall not engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay we come to the same conclusions just from different foundations.

    As far as getting Christians to understand what has been going on for the last 40-50 years, I think it needs to be addressed both scripturally and Constitutionally with the explanation of an existing state of war. It seems to me those three points will bring clarity to the picture.

    The big hurdle for us is the authority issue. It is hard for us to understand that the President doesn’t have the authority to declare a war. When we understand the Constitution prohibits a single person from declaring war to protect us from a President declaring war on a whim or for taking what doesn’t belong to us from other nations, it helps us over that hurdle. The reason Christians are supportive of unlawful wars is that they don’t know they are not in the proper line of authority, Christians understand the idea of a proper line of authority. In the average Christian’s eyes God has given the President the authority to do what he needs to do. It really needs to be hammered home the proper stream of authority comes from the Creator, to the people, to their representatives, and the President doesn’t have their authority to go to war unless their representative gives the President that authority. It is sort of a revelation that the “executive officer” is only there to execute the orders given to him by Congress. Congress is there to uphold the authority of the people by upholding the terms of the Constitution. It is our responsibility to hold our representative accountable for upholding the Constitution. I tell you truly — Christians will love this when they get the information!

    Its all about the foundation. If they get the information before the primaries are gone, we could actually get Ron Paul elected. They have to be willing to listen before they will be able to hear. Before they will listen, the foundation has to be right.

    • I am going to have to go with God on this one on wise counsel and what is wise? As life it is a combination of experiences both caused and effects and when you speak of the Creator the creator of what? Life?

      Read the Declaration of Independence and what does the inalienable right Life mean to you in that statement? In fact if you look at all 3 inalienable rights what are these achieving if used? How would you use these and why?

      These are meant to be used in choice as a basis to both determine from and the direction to choose. How does direction enter in? Because there are essentially only two directions and you only get to choose one. These choices are; in the direction that supports life to become wise in support of itself by its recognition of it acts and the results for which it leaves. To allow life, to expand life and to pursue as much achievement in support of life as we are willing, this is a limitless term. The opposing direction which is the only other choice is for life to destroy itself, limit itself, control itself to no where. This is limitation by others and has nothing to do with life and the capabilities given us as life.

      Now which direction has God chosen? God is in total favor of life recognizing itself as well its capacities to care for self and stated it as so by showing the other direction as evil which when investigated is the evil thoughts of men defying themselves as life which by nature life supports life to grow and not to destroy it.

      So in truth the Foundation of this America has been with us for 200 plus years and we as life, in our own determination have not used this foundation in the last 150 years and the results today only bares the witness of such results and no groups, Christian’s, Mormon’s, Jehovah’s, Catholic’s, Buddhist’s or any other that I am aware of have taught and understood the foundation as written, not one has attempted to use this document as a foundation of CHOICE which under Gods law does what? Supports life or destroys life? This is the truth of the matter that so many have not pointed out. This is not to make groups wrong but actually to inform them of their missing foundation already documented for full use for themselves as Life as created by the creator. Our own neglect is our own ignorance of ourselves and the first step to any correction is admittance we messed it up and learning such a valuable lesson is entirely acceptable in the eyes of all life as well under God so help me.

  6. d daxx says:

    After having done both intensive and extensive research for the past 32 years, and then having read Charlotte Iserbyt’s outstanding book, The Deliberate Dumbing-Down of America, I fear that a return to a limited and restricted Constitutional government is hopeless. Some of my alleged best friends put imposter/biden signs on their lawns for the 2008 election because they ignorantly believed that the imposter, an unknown for all intents and purposes, would provide hope and change. Well, he did, the change has practically destroyed our Republic – keep in my that the great socialist fdr among others really laid the groundwork – and now all that those ignorant dimwits can do is hope; for whatever change is going to be provided by the socialist;/communist takeover!

  7. d daxx says:

    After reading some of the above responses I am still amazed at how ignorant most people are. My Creator endowed me with a ‘free will’ and the ‘freedom of choice’, therefore it is incumbent upon me to make whatever choices I deem necessary in order to survive and prosper in a society of multiples.
    I do not believe in either a satan or a saint to guide me otherwise why do I have free will and freedom of choice?
    Most people would rather have someone else do their thinking and that is why there has always been war, killings, thievery, and probably the seven (7) deadly sins.
    The most evil sin is greed since it is the precursor for all the other evils. When you read the book Chronicles of the World you begin to realize that man has always been fighting and killing since he cannot seem to accept his obligations and responsibilities to coexist in this speck of dust in the universe.
    I believe in Creation, however I do accept some aspects of evolution for obvious reasons, because I cannot accept the alleged fact that a cockroach and my ancestor crawled out of the same primordial ooze, at the same time or whatever, and life, as we have been lied to, began to exist.
    We have a purpose on this earth, and I have narrowed it down to utilize two (2) quotations, to wit: Never compare and never despair, and never complain and never explain, and in addition, the ten (10) two (2) letter words, IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME! Now, try and have a better day!

  8. Jerry Alexander says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Tom..thanks for the truth…..I am not in a position to organize a group that could infiltrate a Romney,or,Santorum rally,or,town hall meeting.What I would like to see happen is for someone to make it into these meeting and ask question like;Mitt,do you agree with all the fraud,and corruption going on in these elections?Do you believe the numbers being given by the “MSM”? Mitt,will you show the video of your bragging about getting Millions of Dollars from the Dep of Ed? If one,or, more of us could get in,and ask such questions it would put Mitt on the Skids,and Rick also.

  9. Mike in MI says:

    The true meaning and manner of our Founding has been missing for too long. Recipients of government theft cannot escape the guilt associated with receiving stolen goods and hence, we have more social problems. Ironically, government theft would not be necessary if we eliminated…government theft! During the first 150 years of our Republic, as we amazed the world with our astounding wealth accumulation, philanthropy and charity flourished! And how were these sneaky Progressives allowed to distort and turn history upside down? Let the record reflect that FDR was awful, and Calvin Coolidge was great! I would rather be a poor person in a great free republic than in a socialist utopia.

  10. Raj says:

    As I’ve explained brfeoe, the expansion of money and credit really redistributes wealth from the holders of existing currency units to whoever receives the new money. When an individual redistributes wealth without the consent of its current owner, most people call it stealing. Now, the Occupy movement may not have a problem with that if it results in less disparity between rich and poor. However, that’s not what the Federal Reserve System is all about. The Fed steals for the 1%.

  11. Mike in MI says:

    Raj
    Not only is it theft, redistribution does not fix what the Marxists complain of, the poor, or Proletariat. In fact, in trying to redistribute, the Marxists/Progressives exacerbates the problem, creating more poor and inciting class warfare. Obama has admitted that he wants to raise marginal tax rates, not to raise more revenue, but to be “fair”, ie punish the “evil rich”. This is right out of the Marx playbook!

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