McDaniel: Mississippians Show The Nation That Our Tears Are Neither Black Nor White

By Senator Chris McDanielrsz_1cmac2

On Saturday May 9, Mississippians were shocked to learn that two Hattiesburg police officers, Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate — one white, one black — were senselessly gunned down after making what appears to have been a routine traffic stop. To date, law enforcement on the local, state and federal levels have arrested eight individuals for the crime.

In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, what we witnessed was nothing short of remarkable, as the entire community of Hattiesburg, the greater Pine Belt, and all of Mississippi came together to mourn their tragic deaths and to honor their memories.

We proudly watched as thousands of Mississippians of every race, as well as the young and the elderly, stood along the roadsides to pay their final respects as the funeral procession passed by. For Liquori Tate, who was buried in Starkville, his procession stretched for miles as it traveled on the interstate headed northward as thousands more stood on overpasses to honor him.

This is but one recent example of our people at their very best. The people of Mississippi are still as kind and generous as they come, leading the nation in charitable giving, compassion, generosity and church membership.

The problem is not with the good and decent people inhabiting our great state and nation, but with the racial demagogues who preach the destructive divisiveness of racial politics, engaging in race-baiting and despicable appeals to primitive instincts for personal gain and political expediency.

Although the demagogues occupy both sides of the political aisle, they seem more pervasive on the Left. For example, Al Sharpton and his National Action Network, with its ever present slogan “No Justice, No Peace,” seem to ignore the real plight of black Americans, or he and his colleagues would aggressively tackle the epidemic of black-on-black crime, which is soaring in cities across the country, or the increasing assaults on police officers. Liquori Tate’s uncle, Pastor Dennis Johnson, said it best at the funeral: “We have lost two good men, and nobody has marched, nobody has . . . Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, where are you?”

Pastor Johnson has asked the right question; but such issues, as concerning as they are, do not fit the Sharpton/Jackson “racist” narrative nor put more money in their already deep pockets.

Despite the demagoguery, much of the nation, especially Mississippi, has made great strides in race relations in recent decades, and we should be proud of our progress.

But there is still work to be done.

As the nation’s first black President, Barack Obama had a golden opportunity to help us move past racial politics for good and much of the nation seemed poised to follow his lead. So it was unfortunate to see First Lady Michelle Obama chose the Tuskegee Institute, founded by Booker T. Washington, to give a racially charged commencement address last week in which she regaled graduates in a tale that seemed to revert America back to the 1960s rather than acknowledge the progress we have made. According to the First Lady, the nation’s African Americans are still subject to oppression across the country and should lay the blame at the feet of others.

And yet Booker T. Washington himself did not counsel his fellow blacks to cast blame but to work hard and find success. “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work,” he said. “No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.”

It is this message that Mrs. Obama should have shared with the young graduates and not one centered on blaming society.

Thankfully, Americans in city after city across the country are beginning to reject those who seek paychecks and political gain for themselves, not healing for their communities. Mississippians of all races denounced the killing of both officers and showed their support. And our tears were neither black nor white.

Officer Liquori Tate was an upstanding young man who wanted to join the police force to help foster change in the black community in Hattiesburg and to show young blacks that they can be successful in life. It did not matter if he was black or white to us; he is a hero, along with his partner Benjamin Deen. Indeed, both were the embodiment of Dr. King’s vision for America, a color blind society based on the content of one’s character rather than the color of one’s skin.

Both should be celebrated in communities across the country.

And this should be the path we all take, as we move forward together.

Chris McDaniel is an attorney, conservative commentator and was a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He has represented the 42nd District, which encompasses part of South Mississippi, since 2008. He resides with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi. 



  1. Bill Smith says:

    The Senator writes:

    “This is but one recent example of our people at their very best. The people of Mississippi are still as kind and generous as they come, leading the nation in charitable giving, compassion, generosity and church membership.
    The problem is not with the good and decent people inhabiting our great state and nation, but with the racial demagogues who preach the destructive divisiveness of racial politics, engaging in race-baiting and despicable appeals to primitive instincts for personal gain and political expediency.
    Although the demagogues occupy both sides of the political aisle, they seem more pervasive on the Left. ”

    He goes on to cite Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

    The Sentor continues:

    “Despite the demagoguery, much of the nation, especially Mississippi, has made great strides in race relations in recent decades, and we should be proud of our progress.
    But there is still work to be done.”

    He then cites President Obama and his wife as demonstrating that there is till work to be done.

    I lived in MS during the days of Ross Barnett and his race baiting demogoguery and interned in a black Presbyterian Church for two summers during seminary days. I lived in Hattiesburg for 7 years ministering to both white and black students at USM and experienced personally some real racial hatred and ugliness. I am happy to agree with the Senator that a lot of progess has been made. For that I am very graeful. I also agree with him that there is work still to be done, though I think that work needs to take place among both whites and blacks.

    However. I am surprised that Senator McDaniel, while calling our attention to the sevice and deaths of Offficers Dean and Tate and the wonderful funeral procession for Officer Tate, made his article an opinion piece on racial issues and racial politics and, while acknowedging that people on the right can engage in racial demogoguery, focuses his attention on the left and cites as examples only black people.

    I wonder if the Senator might read some of the comments his followers make on his facebook page and note the racial overtones of the comments. There have been some nasty things said and, while some are removed by staff, who seem more concerned to guard against those who might not support the Senator, others have remained.

    It also seems to me that the Senator is either intentionally or unitentionally naive about racism in Mississippi. Of course, he will point to Senator Cochran and Haley Barbour as white “race baiters” who appealed to the “fears” of :”Democrats” and manipulted these “Democrats” to “steal” the primiary election from Sen. McDaniel. This was so evil that the Senator never conceded the election and that the Senator and his follwers have continued to return to their grievances over and over.

    But there is nothing about the racial history of Mississippi and the racial attitudes of white Mississippians both past and present. Our Mississippi history of treatment of black people is not pretty. This is not confined to the days of Bilbo and Barnett. The Senator says something about Jackson, Sharpton, and the Obamas but nothing about the black man who was run over and killed in Jackson by young whilte people who were out hunting for blacks to abuse. He does not mention the paternalism of his his followers who believe that “our black brothers were led astray” by Senator Cochran and Haley Barbour.So far as I know he has not apologized for or recanted the unfortunate things he said on his radio program that were cited by the national media including the Wall Stree Journal. And I wonder if he does not know that way “traditional Mississppi values” is interpeted by some of his white suppoorters and heard by black citizens . We have heard about the dangers of Common Core but nothing about how to help the young black children in the almost 100& black public schools of Jackson and the Delat. There is much more, but this suffices to illustrate that there is much work yet to be done.

    The Senator aspires to be know for his courageous, never step back commitment to what he believes in. Perhaps that courage could be directed calling for change on those whilte Mississippians who have not changed and whose racism continues and while not so blatant or open as in the past reamins in attitudes, words, and actions both subtle and not so subtle.

  2. The thing I’ll always remember about that disputed primary between Cochran and McDaniel was how Cochran took small-government values (like cutting back on social welfare programs) and used them to drive Democrat voters into the Republican primary to defeat his opponent.

    Cochran demonized traditional conservative values to attract Democrat voters to save his skin.

    That’s really low.

  3. says:

    John, as you know most conservatives, like Reagan believe both in welfare reform and in a social safety net. Reform is to occur in a rational and measured way over time while not disturbing the safety net – in other words conservatively, not radically. I expect this is the real and practical difference between Sen. Cochran and Sen. McDaniel.

  4. Bill Smith says:

    Johnm did some black voters, when the Cochran campaign called attention to them, understand the unqualified views of McDaniel as a threat and so vote for Cochran? I expect so. Did a certain segment of whilte voters respond to McDaniel’s being photographed in front of the Battle Flag and his appeal to ‘traditional Mississippi values”: as a signal and so vote for him? I expect so.

    But what all this does is to deflect our attention away from the real racial problems in MS that need to be addressed.

    The purpose of my first response was to call attention to the fact that there are wrong racial attitudes and views among whites and that Sen, McDaniel is wrong to call out the left only and to use names of blacks only rather than dealing with the realitiies within his/our own state. On that I should think we would agree.

  5. Yeah, I was wrong to call “cutting back on social welfare programs” a “traditional conservative value.”

    I keep confusing the values I was raised with and thought were actually conservative with modern conservative values.

    So yes, Cochran was really not demonizing conservative values when he flogged Democrats to the polls with tales of McDaniel shutting off food stamps. He was actually appealing to a measured, conservative approach when he did that.

  6. Bill Smith says:

    Right in the tradition of Reagan.

  7. I’m just glad I’m not a conservative. I just hope y’all will settle on what it means, and whoever loses the semantic war will go off and pick another label to travel under.

    • Bill Smith says:

      John, as I would guess you know, conservative is usually conservative in temperament and prudent in action. They don’t blow stuff up. Hence, most conservatives would not do what you would do – end food stamps, Medcaid, Social Security, etc. As you say, you are not a conservative.

      Then most conservative Republicans, as did Reagan, believe in a big tent. They don’t conduct purity purges of fellow Republicans. You don’t have to cross the same t’s and dot the same i’s to be included. So most are not out to win a sematic war of getting control of a definition. If anyone wins it, and then proceeds to put others out because they don’t fitt the definition the Republicam Party as an effective political organization that has a chance to win the Presideny and both Houses would be finished. The demographics of winning elections are difficult enough already.

      Reagan would never had encouraged McDaniel to run, would have endorse and possibly campaigned for Cochran, and would have considered him an ally in the Senate. He did that with much less conservative Republicans than Cochran. Reagan was a decent man, but he was not above playing political hardball when he had to, he was principled but realistic and pragmatic. These things, I understand, you don’t approve, but then again you are not a conservative. You’re glad you’re not. I expect most Republicans share your joy on that.

      • Yes the Republicans in leflore county were so glad to see me go in 1995 that they told me I wasn’t allowed to, but I did anyway! Then they kept coming back to me over and over because nobody knew how to conduct a competent election or defend a contest. But now that I’m gone, they have no functioning party left here at all. The circuit clerk and election commission have to step in and run their primary for them.

        people like you Bill and Thad really know how to build a party.

    • says:

      John, I think we’re ok. As in holding every state office save attorney general, controlling state house and senate, having both US senate seats and 3 of 4 house seats. Pretty decent party building I’d say.

      • Bill, I’m sorry you can’t read very well. I was speaking, and wrote exclusively of, the Leflore County GOP. I was never important enough to catch anybody’s attention in the statewide GOP. My last effort with them was to set up a state-wide voter ID and get out the vote effort, but they weren’t interested.

        But in Leflore County, there is no functioning Republican Party anymore, largely because I quit it.

      • Bill Smith says:

        I think I read OK. If Leflore Co county is the issue, why bring Cochran (or me!) into the state into the matter of building the party there? It appears their big problem is not having you to rely on. Meanwhile thanks to the efforts of “the establishment” the party statewide seems in pretty good shape.

      • Bill, it came up because of your gratuitous slap that Republicans were glad I wasn’t a conservative. You were, of course, quite wrong about that. Don’t insult people and then pretend that their response is off point.

      • Bill Smith says:

        You said the Leflore Co Republicans wanted you to stay and tried to keep you. I accept that. But I wonder if they still feel the same way. And did anyone representing the state Party try to dissuade you then? And do you think the state Party wants you back now? That was the point I was making – given your views, your leaving the Party, and your renunciation of conservatism, I think MS’s conservative Republicans are quite content with your not beng a Party member. I don’t think they would want someone who says, “I am not a conservative and on most issues i not only don’t agree with, but I oppose what conservatives are for and against,” to take an active part in the Party. Now, you obviously can vote for Republicans if you wish, and, in a state where there is no Party registration, you need not declare you are anything. But you don’t want to be a part of the Party organization. Is it any surprise that the Party would agree with your choice to leave? I still am at a loss that any of this botthers you at all. I can see how McDaniel and his supporters who want “to take back” the Party would care about being told the Party does not want them (and it does want them). I can see how I, as strong conservative and lifelong Republican, would resent being called a RINO and told I am not welcome in the Party. But I can’t see why you are sensitive about this or why you don’t just say, “Good riddance. I don’t want you, and youi don’t want me.”

    • says:

      I thought you chose to leave the Party and are glad you are not a conservative. If so, why are you offense if others affirm your decision and share your joy? Why should it bother you if most conservative Republicans are happy you, who don’t share their views, are no longer, and by your own choice, no longer a member of the Party you can’t, because of your, settled convictions, support? I really think you and I are on the same page about this.

      • Bill, you said that Republicans share my joy that I am not a conservative and not a part of their party. I merely pointed out to you that you were wrong.

  8. But somehow I just can’t see Reagan stampeding Democrats into a Republican primary by claiming his opponent was going to shut down foodstamps.

    Maybe he was that degenerate, but in my heart I just can’t believe it.

    • Jane Green says:

      John, you really think Cochran “stampeded” Democrats into the Republican primary? You really think these “Democrats” were too dumb to see what McDaniel appeared to stand for on their own without the evil Cochran and Barbour families telling them? And how do you know who is a Democrat? (Can’t wait to read your explanation) I know many people, many, that typically vote
      Republican that did not vote in the first primary last year. They assumed, wrongly, that Thad would go back in. They all made sure they voted the second go round. I also know many people that typically vote Democrat that heard McDaniel’s comment that the word education was not in the constitution, blah, blah, blah. That one comment got many of them out not to necessarily vote for Thad but to be sure McDaniel was not the one representing them in Washington for fear he would cut funding for education whether that was true or not. He should have made himself clear when he made that remark. Plus there were many more questionable remarks. The Democrats are not so dumb as you and many more would like people to believe. And one more thing. I was born and raised in Leflore county. Most of my family still lives there. The Republican party is doing just fine there without you.

      • Bill Smith says:

        Very good and very interesting.

      • It is a matter of established fact that the Cochran camp ran plenty of ads urging Democrat voters to vote against McDaniel in the second primary, and spend large amounts of GOTV/street money to insure that they did.

        It is also established fact that a sizeable number did so in precincts that typically voted 98%+ Democrat.

        The fact that some Republicans came out to vote against McDaniel the 2nd time, or that some Democrats no doubt did the same based upon their own knowledge does not in any way contradict or negate the claim I made.

        Finally, if your relatives are telling you that the Leflore County Republican Party is “doing just fine” then they are lying to you. They cannot even run a primary election anymore. Back in the 1980s and 1990s we used to handle our primaries fully as the parties are supposed to – packing poll boxes, lining up poll workers, getting the ballots printed, canvassing the results, etc.

        In the Cochran/McDaniel primaries, the county executive committee couldn’t even scrape up a third member to sign the certification. They had to get a Democrat Election Commissioner to sign off with them.

        Indeed, the leadership has sunk so low that, when I asked the most prominent, highest-ranking elected Republican in the county who the party chairman was, he hadn’t a clue. When I told him his name, he had never heard of him in his life.

        The Leflore County Republican Party has literally zero public presence in the county anymore. But back in the 80s and 90s, the Party would buy ads in the newspaper promoting the party and its candidates. Nothing like that happens these days. There is no organized GOTV activity on election day anymore.

      • I never implied that Democrat voters who voted for Cochran in the run-off were ignorant or dumb. I merely stated that Cochran demonized small-government values to get people who normally wouldn’t even think of voting in the Republican primary – because they were Democrats – to do so.

      • says:

        John, you have been gone for 20 years. You seem to have a need to say they want you, need you, can’t make it without you. Is anyone asking you to come back? You say you are not a conservative and not a Republican. As I have said I think it’s more than ok that you left. Why does it seem still to matter SO much to you? I think you’re like the girl who broke up with her boyfriend and can’t stand it that he’s fine and now grateful you broke it off. Too high maintenance he sees now.

      • Bill, I never said the Republican Party wants me back. Where did you get that? They WANTED me back. There’s really not anybody much left in the party to “want me back” – they’ve all quit too.

    • Jane Green says:

      John, I would bet, actually, I know, the Republican party in Leflore county thinks as much of you as you do of them. And seriously, rehashing an election from last year is silly. The whining and moaning of the McDaniel camp and you, has gotten beyond boring and old.

      • Not rehashing anything. I didn’t support McDaniel. Don’t care what the LCFP thinks of me anymore – they are now irrelevant to county politics. I just recorded what I saw as an outsider, watching the primary last year.

    • says:

      James do you think those (code word) Democrats had anything to fear, anything to lose if McD were elected? Do you think McD did any racebaiting in the Primary? Luke “traditional MS values”?

      • I don’t agree with McDaniel’s camp’s characterization of the Cochran approach as “race baiting.” Cochran crafted a cynical appeal to attract voters into the Republican primary who are generally alien to mainstream (much less small-government) Republican politics.

        The problem is that, in Mississippi, the interests of the two races generally are so contrary to each other – at least the short-term interests, or the perceived interests – that anybody who appeals strongly to one alienates the other and vice versa.

        I speak of course about the composite groups – there are numerous deviations in individual persons of both races.

        Concrete example: if a candidate advocates rolling back the welfare state, he will appeal to white voters generally, and alienate black voters generally.

  9. Give the man some credit because he was at least trying to give the people of Mississippi credit for the way they handled the shootings of the officers and mourning their death’s.

  10. Can we all agree to the following: 1) people’s perceptions are influenced by what they see and hear; 2) people’s perceptions effect their opinions; 3) the Confederate battle flag has been the rallying symbol for every KKK/segregationist rally and march in Mississippi since the 1800s; 4) since 1954 the KKK and other segregationists in Mississippi have called for a return to traditional Mississippi values; 5) African Americans and other people of color view the Confederate battle flag and the call for a return to traditional Mississippi values as a threat to them, and an effort to reinstate segregation and Jim Crow laws in Mississippi; 6) during his campaign against Thad Cochran, Chris McDaniel attended/sponsored rallies where he was standing in the presence of Confederate battle flags, if not surrounded by them; 7) during his campaign against Thad Cochran, Chris McDaniel called repeatedly for a return to traditional Mississippi values; 8) many African Americans and other people of color perceive Chris McDaniel to be a racial segregationist in his heart; 9) in politics, just as in life, perceptions are often more important than what people claim to be the facts; 10) Chris McDaniel is sincere and correct in his perception at how the Pinebelt community has come together in a positive way since the tragic murders of the two police officers; 11) Mayor Johnny Dupree attempted to take advantage of this special period in the most callous of ways by nominating an individual for the position of chief of police to the Hattiesburg Police Department who he knew to be professionally unfit and an unapologetic reprobate towards his female officers in Jackson; 12) Mayor Dupree nominated this person only because he is black, and due to the person’s complete lack of integrity–the mayor wants to have another black police chief in office who is weak from the start over whom he can maintain control and dominate; 13) Mayor Dupree panders to one race in an effort to promote his agenda of “social justice”, knowing that by doing so, he is alienating the other races; 14) by pandering to and alienateing these disparate groups one from the other, this tactic has allowed Mayor Dupree to successfully avoid being held to account by the voters and by the government for the corruption that has occurred under his administration; 15) this is an example of the “true” corruption that is occurring in Mississippi, and it is happening right under the nose of Senator McDaniel–yet he never says a word about it; 16) if the UCF were truly serious about promoting conservative democratic principles in Mississippi, it’s members would quit tilting after windmills against the MS GOP, and instead would begin to attack those areas where they know that systemic corruption takes place regularly, but where investigators and auditors are playing nice with the plantation overseers; 17) the African American-Hattiesburg community deserves better than the plantation culture of dependency and corruption that Mayor Dupree has created around him on the backs of the taxpayers of Hattiesburg; 18) Senator McDaniel and his supporters will never seek to stamp out true corruption in MS because they fear that they might offend the wrong people; 18) politics makes strange bedfellows.

  11. Just FYI: here in Greenwood, there are no Republicans helping fight police misconduct and the harassment of innocent citizens.

    The only party people who have stood with me these past few weeks have been Democrats.

    Our Republicans are either silent or opposing the reforms we’ve begged for.

  12. And oh yeah, y’all might like to know that Thad Cochran’s election lawyers are up here in Leflore County trying to derail an election contest that threatens to expose election law violations. Butler-Snow is getting taxpayer money to try to shut down a full trial of the election contest.

    But today they lost. Highly respected Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey rejected their motion for summary judgment and ordered the contest to a full trial.

    It’s sad to see prominent Republicans try to cover up and shut down the exposure of election law violations. Hallelujah, they’re failing here in Leflore County, even with the tax money they are getting to pay their legal costs!

  13. Bill Smith says:

    John, respectfully what does all this have to do with the issues at hand regarding race in MS?

  14. It is true that McDaniel Republicans deride Cochran or Establishment Republicans as being not “true conservatives” and seek to drive them out of the party.

    But the Cochran and “true Conservative” Republicans actually do the same thing towards the McDaniel Republicans.

    They express the same contempt, the same efforts to “shut up” the McDaniel faction, etc., to marginalize them, to strip away any influence or power they might have in the Republican Party.

    It really is quite funny to watch people like Bill Smith conduct themselves in such a manner as to drive out some of the most active people from the party. You would think that they would be more conciliatory, for all their talk of the “big tent.”

    But what McDaniel-type Republicans will finally figure out is that they are only allowed to come to the party through the back door, via the servant’s entrance. By no means are they allowed into the front room – because they are just so uncouth! As long as they stay in the kitchen doing servant’s work: putting out yard signs, poll watching, getting out the vote, etc., and keep their mouths shut, and don’t embarrass the “true conservatives” who are reasonable and nuanced and not at all radical, then they can stay.

    It wasn’t enough that they were at daggers-point with each other during the primary. Neither side has really reached out to embrace the other after it was all over.

    Which is all great, as far as I’m concerned. Y’all keep sniping at each other. The quicker more people discover the impotence of “true conservatism” and the embrace of Big Government by the Republican establishment, the better chance we might have to save our country from ruin.

    Meanwhile, some of us will roll up our sleeves and actually fight corrupt government where the rubber hits the road – election law violations, police misconduct, local regulation and restrictions on liberty, etc. The Republican Party will be largely AWOL from these fights – too busy sneering at each other and fighting over who gets to be called a real “conservative!”

    • Bill Smith says:

      John, I don’t know why you are going so off subject here. But it that is what you want to do, then by all means do it. I don’t think anyone wants McDaniel out; they, or at least I, wish he would stop attacking his fellow Republicans and stop saying they want to take the Party back inasmuch as they never had it and there is no such past as they imagine to which to take it back. I wish they could see how much good the Republican Party in MS has done and is doing and would appreciate those who went before them and who built the Party and brought it to the place it now has in the state. I also wish he would stop representing his cause as though it were God’s. But then I am a consevative.

      I don’t think the Republican Party is going to split or conservatism, which has been around a very long time gong back to Burke, is going to to prove its impotence. And, if all that happened the result would not be “saving the country” by your philosophy which requires radical action, More likely the result would be liberal and Democrat hegemony. No most of us are not going to be appearing before our local boards of alderman at every meeting on our latest crusade to save the country.That’s fine if you want to do it. Most of us feel its wiser to pick your battles,and timing and try to keep from having others sigh and say, “There he is again. There he goes again.” There is a need for gadflys such as you, but for only so many, as there are other things to do than protest having to get our garbage cans off the street as though that were another section of pavement on the road to serfdom or to worry about who hires Butler Snow for legal representation.

  15. Like John, I would like to see the MCGOPers and the MS GOP get past the race issue, and go after municipal/county corruption regardless as to where the chips may fall–regardless as to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, creed, religion, or political affiliation.

    • Lots of Republicans play the card of “we don’t do race” – and the practical result is that they cannot engage, or will not engage, in actually addressing concrete instances. They’re like the Emperor’s New Clothes – you’re not naked if you pretend to be wearing fabulous garments!

    • David Frazier, the fight to claim the label of “true conservative” will continue until one side or the other abandons it – and the party. I’m putting my money on Bill Smith’s side to win. I think his side has far greater numbers.

      • Bill Smith says:

        John, I do not belittle local activists. However, I don’t think you can appear before every meeting of the alderman or supervisors with some issue or another. I don’t think having to take your garbage can off the street is an example of big government encroaching on freedom. I don’t know what the law says about the one side being able to hire Butler-Snow. If it is legal, then I have no problem with Butler-Snow being hired, though I might favor changing the law that allows it. I actually agree with you about the abuse of police powers.

        We disagree about the equal ultimacy of issues. We disagree about how often and when and in what venues to address issues. I believe you can lose effectiveness when you’re there every time speaking on something or another. I think that there is a need for discretion, wisdom, prudence, and timiing.

        I for one do not have any handy philosophical explanation. What I have is first a theology of the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world, and a theology of the present and the future. These views guide how I see involvement in the affairs of this world and its kingdoms. Second, I have a political philosophy – historic conservatism – that guides how I look upon political issues, politices, parties, etc. None of this is airy philosophy but practical and realistic.

        It’s fine to disagree with me. And it’s fine for me to disagree with you.

      • Bill Smith says:

        I don’t need to win the battle to define “true conservatism.” It may be that Cruz and Palin, McDaniel and Sojourner and such like do. They, I think., quite sincerely believe, wrong though I believe them to be, that they embody what Conservatism reall is and what the Republican Party used to be and should be. Neither Conservatism nor Republicanism are defined by rigid put purity tests. Both Consevatism and Republicanism have within them tensions and potential for conflict. Neither is monolithic in nature. Conservatism includes people like Burke. Kirk. Buckley,Goldwater, Reagan. Conservatism has always fought on its two flanks – on the left (the Javits and Rockefellers) and on the right (Welches and. Bozells). The Republican Party is a coalitiion which tries despite internal tensions to hold together, elect candidates, and govern. Iti is big enough for Nixon and Reagan. Both Conservatism and Republicanism have to draw lines but both try to make the circle as big as possible. Neither is radical in solutions. The world is a messy world, Politics is a messy business.

        Now if you want to get rid of Social Security, Medicare,and Welfare, and if you want to change foreign policy and condemn the war on terrorism – to give some examples – that is your right and you can try to elect candidates who will do those things. But conservatism does not seek such things. And the Repubilcan Party does not advocate such things. Neither is radical. Neiher takes on the spirit of the ones on the right of the Puritan movement – Reformation now without tarrying for any! Conservatism is a temperament – as well as strategy and tactics, My guess is that this is part of why you are not a conservative. This leaves you free to be what you are and do what you do. The same for the rest of us.

      • Bill Smith says:

        Substantively we have different political philosophies. Concretely I disagree. Rhetorically I sometimes use humor and sarcasm as do you. (Remember your sorrow about my reading ability?) That leaves you free to be, write, and do as you will. As it does me.

  16. Bill Smith’s “real conservatism” constantly belittles the real battles for freedom and against corruption. He’s always ready with a handy “philosophical” explanation why nothing should be done and nobody should be speaking out against concrete expansions of Big Government and its lawbreaking.

    Taking taxpayer money to fund one side of an election dispute – the side that wants to suppress exposure of the misconduct – and giving it to Butler-Snow, is something that “true conservatives” don’t have the time to worry about. People like me who do will be called belittling names and sneered at.

    True conservatism mocks local activists who put their hearts into checking Big Government and exposing lawlessness.

    • Bill Smith says:

      John, I do not belittle local activists. However, I don’t think you can appear before every meeting of the alderman or supervisors with some issue or another. I don’t think having to take your garbage can off the street is an example of big government encroaching on freedom. I don’t know what the law says about the one side being able to hire Butler-Snow. If it is legal, then I have no problem with Butler-Snow being hired, though I might favor changing the law that allows it. I actually agree with you about the abuse of police powers.

      We disagree about the equal ultimacy of issues. We disagree about how often and when and in what venues to address issues. I believe you can lose effectiveness when you’re there every time speaking on something or another. I think that there is a need for discretion, wisdom, prudence, and timiing.

      I for one do not have any handy philosophical explanation. What I have is first a theology of the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world, and a theology of the present and the future. These views guide how I see involvement in the affairs of this world and its kingdoms. Second, I have a political philosophy – historic conservatism – that guides how I look upon political issues, politices, parties, etc. None of this is airy philosophy but practical and realistic.

      It’s fine to disagree with me. And it’s fine for me to disagree with you.

  17. And yet, concretely, you mock pretty much everything anybody does to actually stand up to the expansion of government and against government misconduct, based upon your “conservative” philosophy.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Substantively we have different political philosophies. Concretely I disagree. Rhetorically I sometimes use humor and sarcasm as do you. (Remember your sorrow about my reading ability?) That leaves you free to be, write, and do as you will. As it does me.

  18. Well then, mock on, Bill, mock on. It’s still a free country.

    I’ll just know not to count on “true conservatives” to help out in the struggle.

  19. Meanwhile, here in Greenwood, two prominent Democrats have stood up against the latest revelation of government misconduct with me.

    So far, no Republicans have chimed in at all. One Republican official has tried to derail our efforts.

    We prayed last night at church that the Lord would help us to stand up for the weak and helpless, and bring racial harmony to our community. Hope that doesn’t offend you, David Frazier!!

    • “We prayed last night at church that the Lord would help us to stand up for the weak and helpless, and bring racial harmony to our community.” You see John, Christians behaving like Jesus commanded them to do. I commend you and your brethren for putting Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor as yourself into prayerful action. If all members of the Christian Community would simply follow this example of the lordship doctrine, there would be no need for laws to protect the unborn or to protect people who are in the minority against disparate treatment due to race, color, sex, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and LGBT status. History shows that Christians as a “community” serve their fellow citizens best when they do so with an attitude of a servant’s love for others. Then, in those instances when individuals feel compelled to serve in government, they can hopefully approach their task with the heart of a servant, as opposed to that of a Lord Protector or theocrat.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Perhaps Greenwood is a better place that we think. Greenwood made it on a list of the 20 best towns in MS in which to raise a family, Greewood is ithe 20th best town for raising a family. This should be encouraging, John. . Here;s the link:

  20. As I have said before, I respectfully suggest that you theistic types do as you have been instructed by Jesus. The more you and other members of the Christian Collectivist Community attempt to interfere in the secular business of governance, the more mucked up the political situation becomes. John, Bill, and Chris are all fine fellows and good, sincere Christians. I for one, however, would like to see all Christians seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and leave the running of government to the secular humanists who only seek to serve the public weal in a humble and self-sacrificial manner.

    • Yeah, well David Frazier, it appears there aren’t any of you secular Humanists around here in Greenwood to run things or stand up against police misconduct. The True Conservatives also are AWOL. So is the Tea Party.

      Either we sit around here and watch the injustice continue and wait around for a secular humanist to show up and take control of the mess, or me and a few friends will do our duty as full citizens and stand up for the oppressed.

      And we will ask God to help us perform that duty.

      Let me know as soon as one of your secular Humanists arrives on site so I can take a break from the hard work that you think I’m unqualified to perform.

      • says:

        Should it surprise you, John, that your righteous remnant is few?

      • Well, the Scripture tells us that there is none righteous, no not one. But it also tells us that we have a duty to help the helpless. On top of that, we have a duty to act as good citizens to hold our public officials to account for lawlessness. Only the Lord knows how many will help, and how many will not. What’s your point?

      • Well said, John.

  21. Bill Smith says:

    The point is:I think you see yourself in something along the lines of a prophet and preacher of righteousness in Greenwood. Something like Noah to world, Elijah to the Northern Kingdom, Jeremiah to Judah, John the Baptist in the Judean wilderness.Each of these was ridiculed and/or persecuted. And not one of them had any more than a small remnant of the righteous who supported them and/or responded postively to thier calls for repentance and a return to righteousness. (Now I don’t accept this analogy because I do not think any community, state, or nation is in covenant with God after unique pattern of Israel and God till the accomplishment of redemption.) But given the pattern in the Bible and your role in Greenwood, it should not surprise you that there is only a tiny remnant who are allied with you in your campaigns for righteousness in Greenwood or that the corrupt authorities and the rich and powerful allied with them resist you. Anyway, that there are few who respond postifvely to the missage or follow your lead should not surprise you. The faithful are always a remannt and a tiny one most of the time.

    • Bill is correct. But Greenwood has the Crystal Palace Restaurant. There, you can see black pulpwood truckers dining on fried chicken livers, and at the table seated to the right of them you have the white presidents of the local banks stuffing their faces with turkey and dressing, and to the left of them you have the management of the Aluvian Hotel eating catfish with turnip greens, and sitting behind them you have a table full of lawyers eating a little bit of everything trying to figure out how they can finnigle the truckers, and the bankers into representing them. The point is that even in the heart of the Mississippi Delta region where Jim Crow laws and culture fought the hardest to survive in years past, people of all races and class distinctions are learning how to get along. I think that John and his fellow citizens should take great pride and satisfaction in the huge accomplishments they have made–and for the most part, it has been accomplished in a peaceful manner. Things may not be perfect, but just think of all that has occurred in just the last 35 years–and without a civil/race war. If Jesus were around today, he would probably be a voice in the wilderness too, challenging the status quo just like he did 2,000 years ago; and just like Medger, Brother Malcolm, and MLK, Jr. did 50 years ago.

    • says:

      I have no idea why I should join the Democrats inasmuch as I am 67, a lifelong conservative, and a Republican since I became old enough to vote.

      • I really do think, and have said so all through last year’s mess, that Bill Smith and Thad Cochran really do represent the Republican Party. It’s the McDanielites who are the “RINOS” … and it’s a rude awakening to find out that the party you’re in really doesn’t stand for what you thought it stood for. Some of us just figure that out earlier than others!

  22. Bill Smith says:

    John the rude awakening comes because they do not know the history of the Repbublican Party in MS or in the country. There is no Party that has betrayed its history and principles for them to take back, no past as they envison it to take it back to. The history of the modern MS Repbublican Party is there for any to see who want to see it. It’s Gil Carmichael and Clarke Reed not Chris McDaniel and Melanie Sojourner. It’s Reagan not Cruz. It’s Buckley not Brent Bozell. One of the big problems with the McDanielites is that they’ve got a hagiography not a history.

    • I never said the Republican Party betrayed anything. It was always a party of big government and big military all the way back to Lincoln. The Democrats have caught up though!

      My favorite president, after Washington and Jefferson, is definitely Grover Cleveland, a Democrat. That was back when the Democrat Party was “smaller government” than the Republican Party.

      • Bill Smith says:

        John. the difference is that the Republican Party lies somewhere between smaller government” (which is wanted) and restrained growth (which is what turns out most often to be possible – think about the realities Reagan had to make peace with). The Party does not advocate what you believe in – which is dismantling a great deal of the government. Re “big miliatary” Republicans are generally in favor of a strong defense with the ability to project its power where needed internationally. Partly as a result of Reagan’s buildup we won the Cold War. But before WW II much of the Republican Party was isolationist and parsimonious toward the military. It took the War followed by the worldwide threat of Communism that brought the Party to its senses.

    • Though I do think that Goldwater sorta queries up the deal – I mean the Goldwater of 1964, not the later one!

      He was, after all, for shutting down stuff like Social Security and all the other illegal programs.

      Certainly, I was influenced by his early positions, as well as Buckley’s early ones. Those earlier positions made me think that the Republican Party was for small government. But it appears that those were anomalies.

      • Bill Smith says:

        Goldwater 1964:

        “I favor a sound Social Security system and I want to see it strengthened. I want to see every participant receive all the benefits this system provides. And I want to see these benefits paid in dollars with real purchasing power.

        “Social Security is a system of basic protection for the aged. In addition, most Americans now participate in private pension plans while many have their own savings and investments Social Security was never intended to replace these voluntary programs. Its prime purpose was and is to supplement them, to provide a basic floor. I am convinced it can do this job, the job for which it was created.

        “Essentially, protection against need in America depends upon a free economy which produces an ever-growing abundance and an ever-greater opportunity for all. In this framework, I believe Social Security has a vital and legitimate supporting role.”

    • Bill, of all of the folks who write posts on this blog, I must admit that it seems to me that you and John “know the history of the Repbublican Party in MS or in the country.” It’s just a good example of where great minds can sometimes disagree. I will say, however, that John’s posts do seem to betray a sense of bitterness–as if the MS GOP used him to help organize in the early days, and then after all of his dedicated hard work, when he attempted to challenge them to do better, they they ignored him and began to treat him as being no longer relevant. That would make anyone bitter about the MS GOP.

      • Bill Smith says:

        My mind is somewhere between average and not much. That acknowledged, I do not have any idea what happened with John and the Party. I do detect the bitterness, and having experienced a few rejections and disappointments, I understand the feeling very well. But, I think that John, whose early instincts were conservative and thus Republican got disillusioned because conservatives and Republicans were not what he had thought they were and what he thought they should be. John is purist and absolutists but politics is necessarily messy and requires dealing with things as they are not as they should be. I could be very happy Boehner and McConnell actually getting through the legislative agenda they want (which they can’t because of the # of D’s in the Senate and Obama in the WH). But IF they could there would be vast improvement. But, if they did both John from one perspective and the McD’s from another would not be at all happy because they believe in trying to do what can’t be done for the sake of the effort. Reagan did a lot of great things, but he was accused of being a sellout when he had barely taken the oath of office.

      • Re: bitterness.

        No, if you refer back to the previous comments, you will see that I brought up my personal experience leaving the party to refute a false statement made by Bill Smith, that the party was glad to see me go.

        In fact, it was not glad. It kept begging me for help …. Now locally, it’s fallen completely silent, so many people have disengaged from it.

        For example, just last summer, Clarke Reed tried to get me to join in helping defend Cochran in the election contest. That’s because, working with Jim Herring, I had gotten him a very good result in a previous election contest.

        This time, I just didn’t return his calls, and he let it drop. Had the contest actually proceeded to the facts of the election, my services would have been helpful. As Trent Lott used to tell folks, there’s nobody better at election contests in MS than John Pittman Hey.

        Contrary to Bill Smith’s claim about the party being glad to see me go, the fact is, that the party leaders are more “politic” and therefore less blunt than Bill Smith is. That’s because they really would like to retain most of the activists, so long as they don’t make too much trouble. They’d even like to keep almost all the McDanielites, for example, though perhaps not McD himself!

        Now Bill is “glad to see them go” but the party itself, not so much.

        Imagine the horror of Bill Smith, knowing that the radical non-conservative John Pittman Hey was working intimately with the former and future state party chairmen! From Bill Smith’s perspective, it would have been a bad thing for them to succeed in drafting me back into the party, but that’s just not how Republican political leaders view things at all.

        In this I credit Bill Smith as being more blunt and more honest about what true conservative Republicans really think and how they act. But party leaders can’t afford to be so blunt and so straightforward.

        I pointed this out to Bill Smith repeatedly last summer: his sort of exclusionary talk actually hurts the party – which, from my viewpoint – is a good thing! I’d love to bottle his formula and give it away to all my friends.

        That’s because there are a good number of active people in the Republican Party – especially in MS – who are genuinely confused about what it really means to be a true conservative Republican. I know I was 20 years ago.

        It wasn’t that I started out with conservative principles. I never was a conservative. But without a bluntness like Bill Smith’s, there are many people who think they are conservatives, and are puzzled and outraged and confused by the actions of the Republican Party. That’s because they think they are conservatives but actually they are not.

        The confused people I’m referring to actually elevate the principles of small government, and suppose that those are the highest political principles of true conservatives. But they are not – they are subordinate to the ideals that Bill Smith articulates quite well – pragmatism, reasonableness, slow reform, anti-radicalism.

        Thus, true conservatives can talk about smaller government and vote for larger government and not be in conflict, because their higher principles govern their lesser principles.

        But those “higher principles” of true conservatism are just not evident to a lot of people who think they are conservative.

        And the Republican leadership is happy to keep it that way – because it benefits the party – mostly – to keep those activists, those votes, and in some cases, their technical or communications or organizational expertise.

        That’s why people like Bill Smith perform so valuable a service when they articulate plainly why folks like me – and the McDanielites, and the Tea Partiers, and the Paulites – aren’t true conservatives.

        If more people would listen and learn from Bill Smith, more people would leave the Republican Party, because they would discern that it really doesn’t stand for what they most strongly believe in.

        It is hard to realize that your political allies aren’t really your political allies.

        It is also hard to leave the close association with power that party membership brings. People want to be close to real influence, to have some connection to real power, and that often blinds their eyes to the fact that the Republican Party is a true conservative party, and they are not true conservatives and don’t actually share the principle values of the Republican Party.

      • Bill Smith says:

        John, I am mystified that you keep repeating that you are not a conservative and not a Republican yet it seems so very important to you to be wanted and needed by the Republican Party. You have gone to great lengths to say this more than once. Why is that?

        As for your helping the Party with an election challenge of in any other way, I would welcome it not, as you say, respond in horror. If you can help and are willing, then come and welcome. That is because i am not a purist or absolutist. I don’t care much what you believe about conservatism and the Republican Party if there is some way you can give aid. If you are a strategist or expert or whatever, and you wouild work for free or could be hired, i would be more than for it so long as youi can be trusted to do what you were signed no to do. It would be very happy for your help.

        But you did not want to help and you don’t. And, since you didn’t,. then I am fine with that. And since you left of your own volition and were not pushed out of the Party, and since you have refused overtures to return, or even to be hired to help, then yes it is good you are gone. Who wants a Party member who is constantly dissatisfied about something and who undermines the unity of the Party?

        I am also not wanting to push McD out, It is McD who has talked about wanting a purge. Can McD and his people be in the Party and not be attacking their own Party members, and not be constantly undermining the unity, and not work against the Party? Great. Does he want to debate and seek to influence posistions? Good. But if he wants to call conservative Republicans not true or the establishment or whatever then what good does that do the Party or him? If he cannot support the Republican nominee but has to constantly return to an primary of a year ago, how does that help him or the Party. Big boy politician concede, endorse their opponent, go home and cuss and then sit on their hands for the election. They don’t keep complaining. I think McD needs to get over his messianic view of himselt. He is not the one true conservative and he is not the savior of the MS Party.

        Now back to you. You left the Party, separated from it, and I guess divorced it. Now look back. Y’all weren’t happy no matter how you both may have tried. Now it would be stupid, in my opinion, for either of you to keep talking about the past, or running down each other, or caring about whether you were missed. . Best to put it all behind you and move on. Find another girlfriend, if you will.

      • Bill Smith – you started all this by falsely claiming that the Republican Party was glad to see me go and glad I am not a conservative.

        I didn’t bring this up. You did.

        So you can stop with the false claims that somehow it is “very important to me” to be wanted by the Republican Party. It isn’t important to me. It’s just the way things actually are.

        What is very important to me is to rebut your false statement.

        You do this quite often: provoke a response, and then pretend that somehow the person who responds is at fault for fixating on the matter that you brought up.

        Bottom line: I’m glad I’m gone. You may be glad I’m gone, but the Republican Party doesn’t seem to agree with you. And I explained why above in great detail – no need to repeat it.

      • And besides all that, you missed all the complements I paid you.

        You bring clarity when you write about what true conservatives really believe and how they act. I encourage you to continue, since it will help bring peace to the Republican Party as all those non-conservative folks who thought they were conservatives are schooled by you and decide to quit.

        Then you can be even more happy!

        And you should rethink your claim not to want McD out of the party – after all, he’s not a true conservative either. His problem is, he thinks he is, and that the Republican Party ought to be his party.

        That sort of confusion can only bring on strife and sadness and pain. I know whereof I speak.

        I guess you are still holding out hope that McD will realize that he ought to become a true conservative and help the Republican Party. But I doubt that’s gonna happen.

      • Bill Smith says:

        John I am weary of your accusing me of faleshood, What I wrote is and way true. When things get uncomforatable for you in discussion and debate you assume the mantle of righteouness and begin to accuse your oppenent of wickedness, lying, persecution of you, etc. As I said in an earlier post you consider yourself a prophet and preacher of righteousness taking on the evil forces of the world. When someone challenges you, you then feel that like the prophets before you you are being persecuted by your enemies who are also God’s I don’t buy it. Again I don’t know why you need to do this, but that you do need to do it, I am not in doubt. You divorced your spouse the Republican Party. Get over it and move on. Your spouse is long over it. I think I heard the Party singing the old Roy Clark song, “Thank God and Greyhound you’re gone.” I am no longer entertained by your efforts to make yourself the still needed divorced spouse.

      • There you did it again. You started all this by making a false statement, then when you were corrected, you descend to further personal insults, repeating the false claim you made, and imputing motives where you cannot see the heart.

        You just are a liar, Bill. You just are.

      • Bill Smith says:

        John, this has turned innto a kids “Are not!” “Are too!” As I said I am weary of the accustations. I will say once more for the record that I have not lied about you. Am I capable of lying? Yes, I am. Sometimes so refexively I don’t even know It So,metimes sttubbornly even when it is clear to me I am wrong, I am a sinner – and more than I or anyone but God knows. If you want to say to me, “You are a lowdown dirty sinner,” my response is, “Yes,, and it’s worse than you think.” However, this is not a case of lying on my part. You have not corrected me about a lie I told, for I spoke no untruth about you. I think you have gor your personal honor all tanglied up in this mess of Republican Party and Leflore County poltics and feel you must defend your honor by accusing me both of lying and of being a liar. However, to your accusation: “You are a liar, Bill. You just are,” my response is simply, No, I is no I did not lie about you and I am not a liar. Now I cam content to leave my part of this disccussion at that. You can acccuse as many tiimes more as you like. I will not respond because this is suffiicient response.

      • Bill Smith, you did lie about me, and you kept repeating the lie.

        Here is one version of the lie you keep repeating:

        “it seems so very important to you to be wanted and needed by the Republican Party.”

        As I patiently explained to you already, it was you, not I, who made a false statement, which I corrected. You then claimed that I was somehow “fixated” on wanting the party to want me.

        You tried to convert my statement of fact that the party wanted me into a desire on my part that the party want me.

        Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t want the Republican Party to want me. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I even had to threaten to file a libel suit once against the state party when it refused to retract a false claim in print that I was a member of the party.

        So no, it is not true that it is “important to me to be wanted” by the party. In fact, the opposite is the case.

        You often pull this stunt. You fabricate insulting allegations about people’s motives and desires, and then you keep repeating them even after it is pointed out to you that you are wrong. Point out that you are wrong just prompts you to repeat the same canard again as if it were true.

        When you ask a question, or make a statement, and somebody answers you or corrects your incorrect statement, it is dishonest for you to then try to claim that their answering you reveals a motive or desire that you can pull out of thin air to insult them.

        Your technique is dishonest and toxic to productive discussions.

  23. Before making the statement you quote, Goldwater had advocated repeal of the entire New Deal, including the social security system. In the 1964 campaign, he would only go so far as to say that it should be made voluntary. After he got so much bad blow-back from other Republican candidates and the press, he capitulated in the manner you quote above.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Checked every index entry in Lee Edwards’ bio and find no confirmation of your statement with regard to Social Security. It appears his concerns were acturarial and fiscal. He did consider coming out against the program in his last term as a Senator (late not early in career). Again it was the fiscal unsoundness. Milton Friedman persuaded him that would unwise and so he never did. “Capitulate” is the language of an absolutist. Goldwater sometimes shot from the hip but he was not a politcal absolutist. It appears to me he acted a conservative would. Accepted Social Security as a program that could not without great upeheaval be dismantled and wanted to fix it by putting in on a sound actuarial and fiscal footing. He did consider making SS voluntary along the lines that were proposed by W/

      • My references appear to be pre-1964. By 1964 it appears he had softened his view, perhaps for political expediency.

        Point is, though, that people like me voted for Goldwater (I was only 3 at the time) in part because we perceived he was against the Social Security system. That was consistent with his claim that he wanted to dismantle unconstitutional programs.

        I never even ran across a conservative who would articulate OPPOSITION to shutting down SS until I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago.

        This is one of the reasons that people are confused about conservatism. They think it means strict constitutionalism and small government, and most conservatives, at least back then, would not straight-forwardly explain that they are for KEEPING SOCIAL SECURITY – or if they did, word never got to me and my associates!

        We heard what we wanted to hear: that they were for smaller government, etc., etc. You go back and read what Goldwater and Reagan wrote and spoke when they weren’t explaining that no, they didn’t want to dismantle SS, and you would have been convinced that they did want to dismantle it.

        After all, dismantling SS was the only consistent thing they could do, given their self-articulated political principles.

        But they DIDN’T so widely articulate the overarching true conservative principles to which all that “small government” talk was subordinated.

        I guess what we need is a FAQ that explains true conservatism in plain language, like:

        a. you want to see SS dismantled as an unconstitutional program.
        b. you oppose PELL GRANTS and all other forms of federal government support for education on constitutional grounds.
        c. you think MEDICARE is illegal and must be shut down


        That way, people like me who were confused about what conservatives believed would be set right about it early on.

      • Bill Smith says:

        Do you have quotes or references regarding Goldwater’s before 1964 advocating the dismantling of Social Security?

        Re conservatves and Social Security,Medicare, et al I am sure there is some group of conservatives who favor abolishment, But I woud think the vast majority do not. Social Security is over 80 years old and Medicare over 40. Conservatives are for reform and for placing these things on a stronger fiscal foundation but not for doing away with them. That’s a general conservative approach. Not radical but conservative. Conservatives are conservative.

        BTW, Ronald Reagan taped a message in ’64 that dealt with SS. Goldwater’s staff was concerned about it. Goldwater watched it and said. “What the hell’s wrong with that? It’s what I’ve been saying all along. Neither advocated doing away with SS before or after ’64. Neither was an ideologue nor an absolutist. Reagan could lower taxes and build up defense but he knew or figured out what was possible and what was not. Both knew there are things settled by law, precendent, and practice that must be left alone. With such things Republicans fix, modifty, improve. They don’t blow them up.

        I still don’t know why it matters to you that conservatives are conservatives when you repeat over and again that you are not a conservative. The question I think you have to face is how do you build and hold together a coalition that would favor your view of government, and support and enact your agenda. I can’t imagine a candidate for President who has any appeal sufficient to be elected to say, ‘My plan is to abolish Social Security, Medicare, Aid to Dependent Children, Medicaid. And I will abolish Obamacare and all its provisions and put nothing at all its place. It’s everbody on his own unless your family or neighbors or church will help you. And I am for slashing the miliatry and its budget, for non-confrontation with Islamists and China and Russia. I am for putting on trial Bush and Cheney and all who have pursued the war on terror. I want radical change in foreign policy. I want to let Iraq go and to let iran do whatever it wants. Etc. `

        I can see if there were some kind of collapse of the whole system that someone might be able to propose such, but I expect the outcome more likely would be a dictator who would promise to protect the programs.

    • Bill Smith says:

      BTW you said “the Goldwater of 1964.” I provided a quote from 1964 and then you shifted – back earlier or the “real” Goldwater” or something. The 1964 Goldwater, as it turned out, did not believe in the dismantling of SS, which sort of turned your first statement on its head. It was you who gave us 1964 as the gold standard Goldwater.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Do you have quotes or references regarding Goldwater’s before 1964 advocating the dismantling of Social Security?

      Re conservatves and Social Security,Medicare, et al I am sure there is some group of conservatives who favor abolishment, But I woud think the vast majority do not. Social Security is over 80 years old and Medicare over 40. Conservatives are for reform and for placing these things on a stronger fiscal foundation but not for doing away with them. That’s a general conservative approach. Not radical but conservative.

      • I think I’m referring to the passage in TCOAC wherein he proposes a 10% cut in spending on New Deal “social welfare programs” until they are abolished.

        But if it were true that Goldwater never sought to roll back Social Security, that would just make my point all the stronger: that the Republican Party, and true conservatism, are packed with rhetoric that leads simple people like myself astray. We read the flaming anti-big-government rhetoric and we think it actually means a principled stand against big government – but it turns out that more important “conservative principles” neuter the lesser principles that we heard about and believed.

        I guess that’s just the way politics has always worked: politicians say what people want to hear, and rely on people hearing what they want to hear. The principles of true conservatism are more nuanced and pretty much militate against any efforts to actually reign in big government.

  24. John at 6:17 p.m. On the night that Thad Cochran won the GOP run-off against Chris McDaniel, Eric Erickson lamented the exact same thing about MCGOPers and his Redstate followers being the true RINOs in America.

    • But David Frazier, the true RINOS just cannot bring themselves to sever themselves from some modicum of access to power. So they will stay in the party and fight and the struggle will continue, consuming all sorts of energy that might be otherwise put to good use, IMHO.

      The folks who believe in small government as their principle political value have no real future in the Republican Party. They can claim they are “true conservatives” all they want to….

    • What is Eric Erickson going to do about it though? I don’t follow his blog at all, but wonder whether he has articulated a “way forward.”

      • He blathers incessantly to raise his profile among the Christian Collectivist Community so that his books continue to sell and he can continue to be effective in raising money for his favorite “conservative” projects and himself. However, he is truly representative of the lint that clings to the fringe that surrounds the base of the Republican Party.

      • Well then I don’t understand. You said he referred to McDanielites as the true RINOS of the Republican Party – why would he say that when it would alienate his base and his customers?

        I thought that the message that they wanted to hear was that Cochran and Co. are the RINOS…..

  25. On the night of Cochran’s run-off victory, Erickson lamented that “Perhaps we’re the real RINOs”, referring to himself, McDaniel, the McGOPers and their fellow travelers. I suspect that he was either being sarcastic, or perhaps he experienced an epiphany similar to the one that you have been discussing–that his radical, anarchistic tactics are inconsistent with the principles of governance that have guided the Republican Party for 150 years.

  26. But such an epiphany isn’t really good for his bottom line. His readers won’t accept it. Believe me I should know.

  27. John at 3:12 p.m., perhaps if the GOP would just avoid constantly shooting ourselves in the feet over social issues like abortion and LGBT equal rights, then the voters would allow a Republican President and Congress to be in office at the same time and for a long enough period of time so that they could actually accomplish the economic reforms that the country needs to pursue. However, so long as the GOP allows the Christian Collectivist Community to hold the gun over our feet, we are destined to be spiritually and politically disabled from our self-inflicted wounds–never to be able to pursue good secular more limited government.

  28. Hey Guys: You see there what happens when Christian men of goodwill attempt to interfere in the secular business of governance. You begin to attack one another just like the heathen do to each other. That is why Jesus and Paul admonished their followers to be of the world, but not in it. It causes you to get distracted in attacking each other and to lose focus on your Kingdom service.

    • Wow, David Frazier. You actually want those words memorialized: “when Christian men of goodwill attempt to interfere in the secular business of governance.”

      There really couldn’t be any clearer statement of your hostility to the basic civil rights of Christians than that statement. You consider that, when we exercise our constitutional liberties and rights as citizens, we are “interfering.”

      Is this really where secular humanism ends up? People who don’t agree with secular humanism are “interfering” with matters of public concern and governance?

      If that is true, then it is testimony to the bigotry, snobbery, and non-inclusiveness of secular humanism. IF it is true.

      I don’t know whether other secular humanists feel the way you do, but you can understand how threatened your exclusionary statement will make people of faith feel. If we get involved in politics, then we are “interfering.” Meanwhile, the secular humanists are perfectly free to use the political and governing processes to restrict and punish the people of faith.

      You get to tell us what to do, and back it up with force, but we are accused of “interfering” when we try to work in the same system to protect ourselves.

      • On the contrary, John. Some of my best friends are devoted Christians. But over the last year I think that I have come to know that you, Bill Smith, Michael W, Ryan, Chris, Keith and several others are all persons of goodwill. On the other hand, this is a POLITICAL BLOG. However, surely you too can see how you fellows allow your Christian bias to interfere with your rational thinking. You believe something because that is the way you have been instructed to believe over the years. A secular humanist is simply willing to look past the mystical pages of the Bible and into other textual sources, as well scientific inquiry in his continuing effort to explore the intricacies of life. The political process is just one small aspect of this experience. To be sure, I was always taught that for the “true” believer and follower of Jesus as the Christ, the Bible (and in particular, the words of Jesus himself) is the only relevant source document upon which “true” Christians should consider accounting for their lives. That is why I challenge all members of the Christian Collectivist Community to follow Jesus’ simple commandment: Seek first the kingdom of god and his righteousness, love the lord your god, and to love your neighbor (others) as yourself. Show me anywhere in the New Testament account where followers of Jesus or Christians in general are exhorted to take part or engage in the civil process, governance, or political institutions of the world. There are none! The reason is because they are anathema to the kingdom of god message that Jesus and even Paul was attempting to get across to his followers. Christianity (in theory) is supposed to bind one to another in the love of the Christ through the power and presence of the holy spirit. And yet, you and the others, all fine fellows in life who should be joined in the spirit, make accusations against each other of being liars, betraying the conservative message, etc. There is certainly no love in that.

      • Bill Smith says:

        David, you are right. You have witnessed some of the worst of Christian words and behavior here. It is horrible that we who profess to believe in Christ should engage in such vitriol, attacks, and accusations as have too much appeared in these discussions. You are right that there is no love in such. It is contrary to the many exhortations of Jesus and the Apostles to love our fellow Christians as well as all men. I apologize for my significant part in all this. I am wrong to have acted and spoken contrary to Christian love.

        As you know, you and I disagree about the involvement that all of us as citizens of this world may have in the kngdoms of this world. If you say the NT has nothing about Christian involvement in the civil process as we now experience it in the western deomocracies, I agree for in the ancient world there was no such thing as our modern state with participation of citizens in governance. However the NT does teach the Christian about citizenship (Romans 13:1-8, I Peter 2:13-17). The Apostle Paul, who had Roman citizenship, on several occasions exercised his rights under that system (Acts 16:35-40, Acts 25:9-12 cf Acts 26:30-32); It seems to me that if Christians were instructed in duties and had rights under the Roman system, then they not only may but should participate in the systems under which they live today.

        I think there are several problems we as Christians have in our involvement in politics and the civil realm.

        1) We say that the world to come is the only world that lasts, but we behave as though we think this world is the be all and end all. We act in our hearts tend to think that politics and civil matters have an importance that is contradictory to what we say we believe. Reagan, or whoever our political heroes may be, did not bring in the kingdom, but we Christians keep hoping that some politician will be our salvation. We are doomed to disppointment every time.

        2) We have made a virtual holy cause of the American Revolution. I am glad that our system was established, hope it will be preserved, and want to enjoy its many freedoms. But I do not believe the British were evil and the revolutionaries were righteous. It is not that the British system was of the devil and what Americans put in its place is of God. But the way we look at our Revolution colors the way we look the causes we undertake. The Revolution was a holy war, and we think whatever battles we fight for freedom as we understand it are holy battles. (This is a mistake Christian conservatives and liberation theologians have in common.) The reality isthat according the the NT teaching Christians can live at peace under just about any system of government, as were the early Christians under Rome. What we really need from government is pretty minimal (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

        3) We glibly assume that whatever we think God also thinks on every matter. So we see ourselves as being on God’s side. This can lead to our attacking fellow Christians who do not agree with us, virtually writing them off as Christians and making them enemies of God over political issues. I do not connect my political beliefs or conservative convictions, or Republican Party membership to my taking the side of God and righteousness, Other Christians take very different views from mine, and I have no right to say they are not Christians or treat them as though they are not. Just a comparision of general American and British Christians on matters of social welfare shows us that Christians can view these things very differently. We should be able to take different positions, debate them vigorously, and exercise our right to advocate our positions without asserting that God’s view is our view and that we are doing God’s work.

        My views as expressed above have let me to try to be srupulous about not preaching on political issues or endorsing candidates. I want a Democrat or liberal to be as at home in my church as a Republican or conservative. I want to gather at the Lord’s Table with persons of any political party, race, or nationality. The church is not a political institution. When I participate here or other places, I do so trying to keep in mind a clear distinction between myself as a Christian minister and myself as an American citizen. The trouble is, and it troubles me to the point of wondering if I should give up discussion in these forums, is that it is difficult for those who know I am a minister to keep those two roles separate – to understand that my advocacy of conservatism or a cerain type of it is not done by me as a Christian minister, trying to represent the Biblical view, or speaking for God. My conservatism is based mostly upon natural law, history, and prudence.

        I thank you for calling my attention to the inconsistency of my words on this site and my profession of Christianity. I am just sorry that my words justified you pointing this out. I expect you d not beleive it, but God and Christ are infiinitely better than I.

      • Bill Smith says:

        Some thoughts on God, Christians, politics, and David Frazier’s telling observations about Christians:

  29. David Frazier says:

    Hey Bill: I think that now you understand my point–and the point that I believe Jesus was attempting to make. You want to seek first the Kingdom of God. But you also want to switch gears and serve this imperfect world of mammon. What a miserable conflict of interest that creates–trying to be holy, separate and apart one minute, and then down and dirty the next. Being the ever good Pharisee, Paul took the fatalistic approach and admonished Christians to honor the government that god (gasp) provides. However, he never exhorted his churches to be involved in civil matters. Again, the reason is that like Jesus, he did not want anything that could be divisive to come between believers and the lordship of Jesus Christ. When I think about it, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have had the correct philosophy and have taken the “Jesus” approach to the kingdom service much better than most members of the Christian Collectivist Community over the years. Anyway, don’t flagellate yourself too much. At least you are aware of the risks associated in attempting to serve two masters whose interests are diametrically opposed to one another.

  30. Bill Smith says:

    David, we still disagree on some important things. I do not think the Bible teaches the kind of strict dualism or either-or you seem to read as having taught. Nor do I think there is any conflict or tension between Jesus and Paul. It was given to Paul and the other Apostles who wrote the NT to explain the significance of the things jesus did. The JW’s not only are wrong about the person of Christ,but their understanding of the Christian as citizen is mistaken. I don’t believe trusting in, being loyal to, and focusing on Christ and living in and participating in this present world, to which his redemption extends are contraries. Part of living for Christ is our involvement in marriage, work, culture, politics, etc. But then I have said that many times, haven’t I?

    • Hey Bill: You state: “Nor do I think there is any conflict or tension between Jesus and Paul. It was ‘given’ to Paul and the other Apostles who wrote the NT to explain the significance of the things Jesus did.” I assume that you hold this belief due to what you consider to be the power and presence of the holy spirit which supposedly dwells within each believer. Again, based upon the course of history, and my observation of human nature, I have seen very few Christians who have ever been troubled with planting and maintaining “fruits of the spirit” as described by Paul (including in the life of Paul himself) to verify that the “spiritus sanctum” has ever existed. What I have discovered is that the power and presence of the human consciousness or spirit is capable of great “good” when accompanied by good genes and nurtured properly, as well as great “evil” when prodded by bad genes and bad training.

      • I’ve certainly seen plenty of the work by the Spirit in people’s lives. I’d be glad to discuss it with you off-line if you like.

        But I have to say, your trying to tell us what Christianity actually teaches is very much like the right-wingers going around insisting on announcing what “true Islam” “really teaches.”

      • If you do not see that Paul’s life is a marvelous example of the fruit of the Spirit exhibited, then perhaps you do not really grasp what they are. Paul’s life was lived as one long act of love toward his fellow-man. He had great peace, even when facing execution. His joy is manifest in his writings. He shows great compassion and longsuffering in his handling of foolish people under his care. Etc. Etc.

        Those actions of Paul, wherein he rebuked heresy, required church discipline, denounced false gospels, etc., – all the things that modern people think were “hurtful” and “attacking people” and “judgmental” – were all perfectly in line with the fruit of the Spirit.

  31. John, based upon my 61 years of experience what I have seen is that in rare cases some individuals are able to behave above and beyond the madding crowd, and avoid the pitfalls of the flesh. However, when it occurs, it has been because of the power and presence of the human spirit which dwells in all of us–not spiritus sanctum. As Bill has come to the point of self gnosis that his involvement in temporal matters may be harming his kingdom work, can you honestly say that by allowing yourself to get all worked up, calling people “liars”, and making other attacks on folks advances the KOG? Do these actions bring you closer to your Christian god? Someone once said that a “sin” is anything that we think, say, or do that causes separation from god. Do you feel closer to him after you attack others? But you are not alone. You have much, much company. The Christian Collectivist Community members will praise Jesus with one hand as they are passing the ammunition (verbally and physically) with the other. I just want them to acknowledge the futility of serving two masters effectively, and the fact that just like the rest of us mere mortals that they too have feet of clay.

    • Yes, David Frazier, I do believe that pointing out lies is a good thing. The Scriptures command us to rebuke sin. Lying is a sin. Pointing out lies advances the Kingdom of God because God demands truth, and the Kingdom of God is truth.

      I know that you use the term “attack others” as a prejorative, but let’s just say that the Scriptures are full of examples of the necessity of pointing out sin and calling people to repent of it. You can call that “attacking others” if you like – whatever it is, it is necessary.

      And we do serve the “kingdom of God” when we stand for what is true and right, help people in need, defend the defenseless, oppose evil, and witness the Gospel to the world.

      Christ requires that we engage our society, not withdraw from it.

      I reject totally your bifurcation of the Kingdom of God from living and acting and participating in this world. You are making the false distinction that certain philosophers of the 19th Century claimed as between the material world and the spiritual world, which I totally deny.

      The mistake Christians often make is to treat the two realms as separate, as if the moral teachings and requirements of the Scriptures do not apply to their conduct in the material, or worldly realm. God’s standard, that we respect human life, resist covetousness, judge equal judgments, decline to commit fraud, refuse to judge hearts but rather judge acts, reject hypocrisy, treat others as we would be treated – these are all applicable to the political realm, and should be binding on Christians as they engage in the “world’s realm” – because to a Christian, the entire world is God’s world.

      Your assumption that putting the Kingdom of God first means we must decline to participate in the kingdom of this world is in fact completely false.

      The Kingdom of God is to be our primary goal – but pursuing it may very well REQUIRE that some Christians, at least, actively engage in the political realm. Engagements in many aspects of the physical world are often requirements of pursing the Kingdom of God.

      Your view that the Scriptures teach otherwise is, I fear, wishful thinking on your part, to clear the field for an unmolested triumph of your own doctrine and philosophy over the rest of us.

  32. David Frazier says:

    Hey John: You state: “The Kingdom of God is to be our primary goal – but pursuing it may very well REQUIRE that some Christians, at least, actively engage in the political realm. Engagements in many aspects of the physical world are often requirements of pursing the Kingdom of God.” Please refer me to the NT passages to which you make reference, and in particular, those made by Jesus himself. Thanks.

    • David Frazier, the exercise is pointless. Every instance where Christ approves of interaction with the physical world is what I would cite. The Scriptures just know nothing about the artificial boundary you place between political engagement and other types of interaction with physical things.

      You might just as well erect a “boundary” between dentistry and Christianity, or plumbing and Christianity, or motorized transportation and Christianity, or fast food chains, or the stock market, etc., etc., etc.

      Jesus didn’t comment on any of these things, and yet His approval of food and clothing and business activity and personal weapons for protection and buying and selling and taxpaying, coupled with His requirement that His people engage in the world that they live in, travel about, defend themselves in the public square, etc., all are applicable to show that there is no artificial distinction such as you would impose, or anybody else would impose.

      It is your self-imposed system of classification, and of restriction of Christians, and not Christ’s, that creates the illusion that you wish it to create.

    • That being said: if your objection is that Christians cannot engage in public matters without somehow soiling themselves, you would be right, if they did so under the same slack moral and ethical rules by which the political process so often operates.

      For example: it is expected that in politics, people will deceive, people will break their promises, people will act hypocritically, people will trample on other’s rights, people will break laws, people will spin dishonestly, people will manufacture false motives and rail against them, etc.

      A Christian is barred from such conduct as he engages in the political process. Maybe that means he won’t “be effective” – and therefore his actions are irrelevant.

      But a Christian is free to engage in the process, just not in an immoral manner as is common today.

  33. David Frazier says:

    Hey John: You state: “Every instance where Christ approves of interaction with the physical world is what I would cite.” Also, you state: “But a Christian is free to engage in the process, . . . .” Once again, I make the same request as before, please refer me to the NT passages to which you make reference, and in particular, those made by Jesus himself. Thanks.

    • OK, I’ll give you a couple of instances where Jesus affirms that His people (and Himself) are authorized to engage in the physical world in which they live:

      Just to skim through the Gospel of John, we find:

      John’s Gospel passim – Jesus uses physical speech and rhetoric to communicate physically with his friends, his foes, and the multitudes.

      John 2:1-2 – Jesus and his disciples attend a wedding and participate in the celebration and feasting.

      John 2:13-17 – Jesus physically drives merchants from the temple.

      John 4:7 – Jesus drinks water while His disciples trade in the nearby town for food.

      John 4:46-53 – Jesus heals a sick son as an act of compassion.

      John 5:1-9 – Jesus heals a paralytic man as an act of compassion.

      John 6:1-12 – Jesus and his disciples feed the multitude, passing out and collecting the food which Jesus multiplied.

      John 6:16-17 – Jesus instructs (see Matt 14:22) his disciples to use a boat to sail across the sea to meet with him there.

      John 7:10 – Jesus travels to attend a festival in Jerusalem.

      John 7:31 – Jesus widely known for performing physical signs and wonders before the people.

      John 8:1-7 – Jesus participates in a public investigation/judgment of a woman.

      John 9:6-7 – Jesus makes an eye salve and commands travel to and washing in a certain fountain for healing of a blind man.

      John 10:32 – Jesus defends his many good works before the rulers of Israel.

      John 11:39 – Jesus requires his disciples to roll away the stone from Lazarus’ tomb in preparation for his raising him from the dead.

      John 12:1-8 – Jesus attends a feast, and approves of Mary’s anointing him with precious ointment in preparation for his burial.

      John 12:14 – Jesus obtains a donkey to ride upon into Jerusalem.

      John 13:2 – Jesus again eats a meal with his disciples.

      John 13:4-5 – Jesus washes the feet of his disciples and justifies and advocates his disciples perform like acts of physical service.

      John 17:11 – Jesus acknowledges that his disciples are “in the world” like he was before he ascended.

      John 17;15 – Jesus asks specifically that his disciples not be taken out of the world at that time.

      John 18:1 – once again, Jesus travels and makes use of a public garden.

      John 18:8-9 – Jesus negotiates/bargains with the civil authorities to spare his disciples from arrest.

      John 18:19-21 – Jesus participates in a judicial proceeding, defending himself from accusations of misconduct.

      John 18:22-23 – Jesus rebukes misconduct by a government official during the course of his trial.

      John 18:33-37 – Jesus once again testifies in a court proceeding against him.

      John 19:11 – Jesus rebukes unjust judicial action and malicious prosecutors.

      John 19;23 – Jesus wore clothing, at least implying that he approved of his disciples washing clothes, etc.

      John 19:26-27 – Jesus makes provision for the care of his mother after his death and ascension.

      John 20:20,27 – Jesus uses a physical display of evidence to convince his disciples of his identity and life.

      John 21:6 – Jesus encourages the activity of the fishing trade.

      John 21:9 – Jesus cooks a meal for his disciples.

      John 21:12-13 – Jesus serves his disciples breakfast.

      The Gospel of Mark contains an even higher concentration of events in which Jesus interacted physically with the world, commanded his disciples to do so, and made it clear that such interaction was necessary to fulfill their duties in pursuit of the kingdom of God.

  34. David Frazier says:

    Thanks, John. But unless I’m mistaken, all of the examples that you have listed (important as they are) are for the specific purpose of demonstrating god’s love, power, authority, and/or glory. You have yet to provide any example where Jesus approved or encouraged his followers to engage in the political process/governance. As I recall, he warned his followers that you can’t serve god and mammon. I have observed and in some cases personally known many conscientious Christians who became involved in kingdom of the world matters–from the local to the national levels. Without exception, their involvement has had a negative impact on their kingdom of god mission–in attitudes, words, and actions. Anyone who engages in the political process must be prepared to forego the commandment to love one another, just as you would have them love you. This reality has just been graphically demonstrated with the decision to terminate the employment of Josh Duggar by the Christian Family Research Council because of events that occurred when Mr. Duggar was only 14 years old. To be sure, getting rid of Josh was the politically correct and business smart thing to do. However, I dare say that no one will attempt to defend that the hatchet job performed by Tony Perkins was anything close to being “Christ-like”. In the world of politics, governance, and policy-making–“mammon”–Jesus knew that it is humanly impossible for us to divorce our base natures when we engage in base activities. Instead, he exhorted his followers to participate in those activities (as you pointed out in the verses you cite) which demonstrate god’s love, power, authority, and/or glory.

    • Bill Smith says:

      If you don’t mind I will jump back in here. A few comments.

      1. God and mammon occurs in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus uses hyperbole to draw sharp distinctions. Hyperbole is a legitimate oratorical/literary.device. “Turn the other cheek.” “Swear not at all.” Mammon is money. “You cannot serveGod and money.” Jesus’ point is not that you cannot have anything to do with money. What you cannot do is to make of money your god. If you give money God’s place in your life, money, like the proverbial camel with his nose in the tent, will soon crowd out God, and it will be your god. You must earn and use money in this world, But you must know and live according to your priority. You love and serve God first, You cannot give money God’s place in your life. Needless to say, it is a constant struggle for a Christiian.

      2. When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus over the matter taxes (Matthew 22:15-22) Jesus asked about a coin, “Whose image and inscription is on this?” It is in this context that he says, “Render to Caeser the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” In this present age the world is God’s. But he has for this age given civil government, including a pagan and in many ways evil government ruled such as was ruled by Caesar.In this age Caesar has his realm and his claims.

      3. Now the nature of “Caeasar’s government” will be different in various places, civilizations, historical circumstances. The form of government is not fixed and static. So the way a Christian operates will vary according to the form of government. The government has its realm and the Christian is a citizen within it. In our modern western democracies our role as citizens in different than it was in the Roman Empire 2000 years ago and different from than it is today in China. We can vote, influence policies, advocate for candidates and laws, etc. But the point is that rendering to God the things that are God’s does not mean that the Christian does not live as a citizen within the civil realm.

      4. Now if you want a text that says, “As a follower of Jesus vote, participlate in pollitical parties, support candidates, run for office” and so on, of course, it is not there – for the simple reason that such an instruction would have made no sense as democratic governments did not exist. However, a principle does exist. Christians are not barred from the civic realm. They know that ultimately God is King, and that they belong to God, and that their ulitimate allegiance is to God if there should be conflict, but that does not mean they do not participate in civil government. Everybody pays taxes, Everybody may vote. Anybody may run for office. Christians are neither more nor are they less privileged or obligated than other ciitizen.

      5. One obligation of a Christian is to treat others, as you say, as he wants to be treated. That does not mean he is naive or simplistic or does he not mix it up in the hurly burly of civic life, but he will treat others with respect and be honest in the way he portrays them (something sadly lacking in the Senate primary of ’14). But that does not mean he cannot impose civic order where there is lawlessness or order the miliatry to act where there is a national threat. It does not mean he is not a realist about this world He may have to appoint judges, set budgets and within them priorities, determine foreign policies, negotiate deals with opponents, build coatliions to govern, make war, etc. He knows the world is a dangerous place. He knows that politics is messy. He is at the same time a realist and an idealist, principled and pragmatic. He does not try to to bring in to existence now the kingdom that is yet to come. But he seems to operate with integrity and honor. He is neither unrighteous or self-righteous.Living in this world is complicated for the Chrstian as it is for all.

      3. The same prinicple operates in all the other realms of common life. You cannot love God and a wife. You cannot love God and your children. You cannot love God and baseball. You cannot love God and construction work. You cannot love God and your business. The issue is not that we “confine ourselves to a future kingdom or the life to come” and ignore life in this world. it means that we owe God our first loyalty and that we do not make anything else our god. But we marry and have children, we work and enjoy our recreations. We eat and we sleep. We are in this world, not out of it.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Oops, Went back and broke up paragraphs, but failed to fix the numbering.

    • No, the verses I pointed out were not ALL “for the specific purpose of demonstrating god’s love, power, authority, and/or glory.”

      Many were just common, ordinary acts of this physical life that Jesus and his disciples engaged in.

      There are no verses, for instance, where Jesus authorized His people to do the laundry, or practice medicine, or run an accounting business, or run for political office. But that is because those activities didn’t happen to play a reportable role in His ministry and work.

      You keep making the false distinction between ordinary activities in this physical world and politics, but politics is just another part of the way the world works. We are all bound by the “way the world works” and will be until Jesus rescues His people from that at the resurrection.

      Jesus didn’t forbid his disciples from participating in “the way the world works,” because that would require instant universal suicide for all Christians.

      What Jesus did was declare certain priorities – not making anything other than God be God, believing the Gospel, loving God above all else.

      You seem to think that political power is antithetical to the Kingdom of God, but it is not, necessarily, so. Certain political power is malignant and evil – and Christians ought not have anything to do with that sort of power.

      But the same holds true with other activities: fraudulent business dealings, murders, thefts, deceits. Just because those characterize a significant part of everyday life, doesn’t mean that Christians can’t participate in everyday life – it just means that they will have to separate from those particular evil acts when they occur.

      Politics is not the same as prostitution – prostitution is all evil, according to God’s word, and so a Christian cannot participate in that business at all. But Politics can be a good thing, and Christians are allowed to participate in the good things of this world freely.

      That is the point of the verses I cited – that there is no bar from Christ for Christians to participate in the ordinary, common, good things of this physical world – indeed, it is required of us to do so.

  35. David Frazier says:

    Bill, you are correct but your point is irrelevant to the issues that I have raised. You and John keep moving sideways in your responses. I suspect that is because “in your heart, you know he’s right.” With all of the exhortations and admonitions that Jesus pronounced, why didn’t he encourage his followers to engage in civic matters–whether it be to the “Kingdom” of Israel, or to Rome itself? No, his singular focus to his followers was to love so that they could prepare themselves for the coming KOG, and so that they could be effective in serving the present KOG. Anything else that comes between that goal is “sin”.

    • Bill Smith says:

      David, it is not my intention to move “sideways.” If in my heart I knew you were right, I would concede your point. But I do not think you are right. I think the both the texts and common sense point to the kind of involvement in civic affairs of which I have written. Morever, I think you are wrong about what you describe as the singular focus of Jesus. In fact what Jesus preached as he announced the coming of the kingdom with his own coming was to “Repent and believe the gospel.” Christian morality is not moralism as in “Love God, love everybody for this is your duty.” Love in Christainity is responsive – “We love because he first loved us.This is love not that we loved God but that he loved us and gave his Son to be the propitiation fo our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also love one another.” The love Christians have is love in response to God’s redemptive love. Moreover, love needs guidance, which is why we have all the other moral exhortations of the NT.

      You are drawing a distinction that does not exist in the NT – that you cannot be in the kingdom, seek its righteousness, and prepare for the kingdom yet to come and participate in the affairs of the present age where God has put us. It’s just not the case that to do other “Love so that they could prepare themsleves for the coming KOG, and so that they dould be effective in serving the present KOG” is sin. God has placed us in this world and given us things to do and duties to perform. Among these are working to provide for ourselves, providing for our families, helping the poor, developing our gifts and abilities. Etc Involvment in the civic realm is not different from the other things we do in this present age.

      Then, the view you take is really discontinuous with any Christian thought and practice that I am aware of with the exception of some of the more radical anabaptists and some apocalyptic cults.

      My problem here is that I find what you say to be contrary to what Jesus and the Apostles taught and to the historic stream of Christian theology and tradition. I really am not having thouhts of “You know he’s right, but I hate to admit it.” I am just trying to answer what I assume are sincere questions and arguments on your part.

    • Also, I think you are misunderstanding the Bible’s teaching of what love is.

      Love is a sacrificial act for the good of the beloved. It’s not a feeling or a mood, though those subjective qualities often attach to love.

      Therefore, you are wrong to think that a Christian cannot be showing love by engaging in politics.

      Indeed, I would suggest that Christians ought to engage in politics only for love – love of their fellow man, for the weak, for the trampled upon.

    • But why talk about abstract things – here’s a concrete example:

      Under your theory, I was wrong to take on our city government in the past month when it arrested a man for, among other things, criticizing the police, when I discovered that they were enforcing an anti-civil-rights ordinance, passed in 1963, that outlawed ridiculing the police.

      Why wasn’t my participation in the political process actually an act of love?

      Don’t you think it would be love to work hard to overturn an injustice? Don’t you think it would be love to overthrow a law that was passed to outlaw civil rights protests in the 1960s?

      How was what I did in the past month in any way incongruent with Christ’s teaching?

      Would it have been better for me to just shut up and allow the injustice to continue?

      Why weren’t there any “secular humanists” in Greenwood to handle this situation for us? Why was it only a Christian who stood up?

      Under your theory narrowly proscribing what Christians are allowed to do, can a Christian be a lawyer who defends the helpless in court? Is that an impermissible “interference” in your “Kingdom of the world,” or is it an example of the love that Jesus commanded in us?

      • David Frazier says:

        John, you are correct on this one. The reason is because of the sacrificial love that you were demonstrating. However, you were not attempting to impose your narrow sectarian views on anyone else, or on the rule of law. You were attempting to uphold the rule of law. As I have said many times, the problems always arises when members of the Christian Collectivist Community seek to impose their narrow theistic views on everyone else, CONTRARY TO THE RULE OF LAW. You did just as Jesus commanded in helping this person–you loved your neighbor. And I’ll bet that after all was said and done, that you felt ten feet tall and gratified in knowing that you made a positive difference in the life of another person through the act of love. Right?

      • But then why wouldn’t the same analysis show that my political efforts to stop abortion are acts of love for the helpless?

        What your reply seems to imply is that Christians violate Christ’s teaching (as you read it) only when they take political action that disagrees with your secular humanist doctrines.

        Which means that it’s not really Christ’s teaching that you are concerned we should follow, but that we should keep our nose out of the public business when we disagree with your doctrine!

        I’m just not seeing a consistent application, by you, of your “keep to the Kingdom of God” program. It seems you’re ok with a Christian helping the helpless politically that you sympathize with, but not those you do not.

        If your views on Christ’s teaching are to be a consistent rule, you need to use it to try to stop Christians from taking political action that you agree with and that is helpful to causes you advocate!

  36. BTW, the City Council unanimously overturned and abolished the evil ordinance two weeks after I begged them to. So a good thing was accomplished.

    • David Frazier says:

      John, issue of abortion we will just have to agree to disagree. Nowhere to my knowledge under the common law, Roman law, canon law up to the twentieth century, natural law, or any current federal/state constitutional or statutory law acknowledge the “personhood” of a fetus for legal protection purposes. In fact, if I recall correctly, I read somewhere that at one time canon law even forbade the christening of new borns in order to have the time to determine if the baby had any serious physical defects that would impinge on its ability to survive. If so, the child would be left to die exposed to the elements, or cast off high cliffs, or sometimes cast into the lakes and seas to drown. Since the baby had never been baptized, it had never achieved the status of being a person since it had not yet acquired a “soul” (Don’t you just love the way theologians twist their logic around the facts in order to justify their actions?) Ergo, no baptism–no soul; no soul–no person; no personhood–no rights. This is consistent with everything I have ever learned as a matter of law, history, theology, and training. Therefore, one might say that the current “culture of life” movement is actually an aberration of the traditional Judeo-Christian ethic.

      • I reject the whole view of the Roman Catholic system re: salvation and baptism and the soul of infants, so I won’t address or defend any of that.

        But the problem with your analysis re: common law and Roman law is that the same could have been said about slavery too.

        Until the law was changed, in England for example, by the demands and political machinations of meddling pesky Christian men like Wilberforce.

        So none of what you have written can undermine my claim that trying to stop abortions is an act of love on my part. And if love, then it’s consistent, under your interpretation of Christ’s commands, with my duties in the Kingdom of God.

        Or, do you take the position that we define “love” as whatever is congruent with the secular humanist doctrine, and then Christians are free to promote that love, and none other?

    • David Frazier says:

      There you go!

      • David Frazier says:

        Of course, under anyone’s definition now, or back in the day, slaves were always considered to be “persons”–maybe not equal in rights, but persons nonetheless. That is where the doctrine of the “universality of souls” was so important in the anti-slavery movement which had its genesis in natural law through Gratian, I believe. The Church picked up on it later and made it a cornerstone of canon law. Wilberforce may have preached and campaigned against slavery, but like everything else in this world, it wasn’t until the slave trade was no longer profitable to English merchants and to the British economy that it was finally made illegal.

      • I wasn’t bringing in the personhood-slave connection.

        What I was pointing out was that:

        1. Christians in England
        2. working out of love
        3. engaged the political system
        4. to change the law
        5. to outlaw slavery.

        Given your approval of my work to repeal an unjust law in my home town, surely you won’t fault Wilberforce for what he did?

        And if that is the case, then how can you assert that Christians behaving similarly re: abortion is somehow improper or a violation of Christ’s teachings re: the Kingdom of God?

        Or, is your invocation of Christ’s teaching only to be expected when Christians engage in politics to oppose some part of your secular humanist doctrine?

        It seems that we ought to just disagree, in some cases, over what is right and wrong, and then each of us continue to participate in the political process without trying to delegitimize the other’s perfect right to do so.

  37. David Frazier says:

    Bill, I’m aware of the historic stream of Christian thought. But that only came about when Augustine, et al. came to realize, and therefore had given up the notion that Jesus was going to return anytime in the foreseeable future. This was man’s futile attempt to improve upon the kingdom of the world. Again, please point out any verses where Jesus himself advocated, promoted, encouraged, or even acquiesced that his followers engage in civic matters–you can’t! He envisioned that his followers remain holy–separate and apart from the issues of the worldly matters. And initially, that was the case where the earliest Christians did attempt for the most part to stay clear of worldly affairs. The great transition came in 312 A.D. when Emperor Constantine declared and established Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire. That move solidified the movement which had already been taking place within the Christian Community where the Christian leaders had come to realize that Jesus was not going to return, and that they therefore needed to establish the principles of their sect in society consistent with the known teachings of Jesus and Roman rule of law. Once Christianity became the official state religion, the bureaucrats took over, and as they say, “The rest is history”. They took the universality and equality of the “soul” as promoted by Paul, the tenth century began developing the canon law from its origins taken from the Bible, Roman law, natural law, and early writings by Augustine, et al. But left out of the entire formula for how should Christians interact in civic matters was “What Would Jesus Do?” The reason becomes clear. “Christianity” was no longer about The Christ and his exhortations to love and prepare for the KOG. It was all about maintaining, promoting, and spreading the Christian Collectivist Community to be a dominant, albeit “flawed”, participant in the mammon concerned kingdom of the world. So, I repeat myself. If the Christian Collectivist Community would just cease its efforts to impose its narrow theistic views of the world on the rest of us through the force of the state, and focus instead on matters that pertain to the next world, think of what a positive impact its members would have on this one. Jesus did not succeed through the force of the sword. He succeeded by submitting himself to 100% love–whether you call it redemptive, agape, philio, etc. However, it’s my understanding from history and from personal observation that every time members of the Christian Collectivist Community attempt to engage in civic, political, and/or governance matters, that without exception before very long they begin behaving in very un-Christian manners. Please name one Christian who is known in history, or is put there now who engages in the political and civic process, and who is capable of suppressing his/her “sinful” nature which seeks to dominate the person. Ergo, “The problem with Christianity is Christians!”

    • I certainly reject the Constantinian Shift or whatever it was called (in which the Roman emperor substituted Christianity as the state religion for the former, state-sponsored pagen worship), and Augustine’s justification for the use of state force to impose the Christian faith.

      These ideas were repugnant to Christ’s teaching. I have spoken on these matters in depth on several occasions to my little congregation.

      Although there were always small numbers of believers who disagreed with Constantine/Augustine and the state church, it wasn’t until Roger Williams came along that the repudiation of a state church took firm root. Even the reformers were not able to shake the church-state construct. Our founders seem to have embraced Locke and Williams’ views on the matter, and that’s a great advance that our nation made after the revolution.

  38. David Frazier says:

    John, you are correct.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Meanwhile I am signing off here possibly for the weekend, as now I must focus on kingdom work – as in putting togthter Sunday’s homily and other “spiritual” matters/

  39. Bill Smith says:

    David, I disagree you on a few fundamental matters regarding jesus and the New Testament. I do not believe that Jesus whole teaching can be summrarized as love. I do not believe that Jesus envisioned Christianity as an ethical system. I not believe there is Jesus on the one hand and the Apostles on the other.

    Re NT eschatology, certainly Jesus himself taught that the timing of his return was unknown by any but God. Did any early Christians believe he would return in their lifeitmes? Certainly in principle all would have had to acknoledge it was possible. Some perhaps (maybe the Thessalonians) believed it would occur in their times. But, Jesus gave no reason for anyone to enterain it as anymore than a possibility.

    I don’t think what happened with Augustine is that he (and others) concluded, “Well it looks like Jesus isn’t coming back anytime soon, so now what?” Rather what happened was that th situation of Christians changed. They were no longer a persecuted cult (good), but had become the established religon (not so good). In retrospect what would have been better was for them to be tolerated and accorded the same political and civil rights as anyone else.

    But Augustine had to face bunch of questions that had not been faced before. Can a Christain serve as a magistrae or other goverment offiicial? Can he serve in the army? May a Christian magistrate wage war? Under what conditions and in what manner? What is civic justice? Etc. So he and other Christian thinkers went to the Scriptures in light of the new circumstances faced by Christianity and began to think about and construct answers.

    But they were not changing the eschatology or inventing of whole cloth what was not in Scripture. They were studying and then applying Sciptures to a the new reality in the Empire.

    I really don’t understand why you demand that Jesus say something that would have made no sense whatsoever to people of his day. Rather was he did say re Caesar and God, regarding his own kingdom, what he further said throught Paul and Peter provided more than ample material from which a Christian understanding of civic involvement could be constructed. That’s what theology is about.

    The matter of Chritians being able to suppress the sin nature in politics does not score points. I never entirely suppress it. Whether I am living with my wife or doing my work or praying. The sin nature is something any Christian wrestles with all the time and will to the end of life. I actually find it easier not to sin (and it is never ever easy) in politics than in marriage.

  40. David Frazier says:

    Thought for the Day: “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”—-James Madison

  41. David Frazier says:

    Hey Guys: I was just reviewing our discussion from last week. I find it interesting in a way that it takes a secular humanist non-believer like myself to bring two Christians together in the spirit of unity. That definitely appeals to my well-developed sense of narcissism. Ahhh, Christians who are lead to the enlightenment of being “Christian” by the words of a non-believer! I’ll bet that even Hitchens or Dawkins can’t claim that accomplishment! 🙂 Thank you for providing me this wonderful opportunity to debate.

    • Bill Smith says:

      David, thanks for what role you have had. As the Psalmist says, “How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Good and pleasant i5 is indeed. Easy it is not, as the sad history of Christian divisions illustrates. Jesus warned us and told us not to be surprised when we are hated, maligned, and sometimes persecuted by non-believers. I wish he had said more about what happens when there is not that persecution by the world – the way Christians hurt each other, which are the harder wounds to bear. In countries where their faith is protected from persecution, most Christians experience the worst from fellow believers. That does not discredit Christianity, though it does give amunition to unbelievers. That is a shame to us who are believers.

      Re Jesus speaking, of course, it all depends on whether or not one believes in the resurrection and the promises that Jesus made. He promised his apostles that he would send the Holy Spirit who would remind them of all he said, lead them into all truth, and show them things to come. Classic Christianity takes the New Testament to be the fulfillment of those promses by the risen Christ. Christianity stands or falls on the bodily resurrection of Christ. As Paul said, if Christ be not raised our faith is futile and we are of all men most to be pitied. Christianity is not first ethics or morality but belief in Christ, one person who is fully God and fully man, who died for our sins and rose again for our justification.

      Re Madison, my take is that he is not talking about religion in terms of the faith of citizens but of the mixture of the church as an institution and state as an institution. I think he probably had in mind all the complications produced by a state church of which the sovereign is head in Britian. I think it was left to Americans to figure out that religious freedom is the way to go, not compelling profession of faith nor interfering in the life ot the church. Church and state as institutions should pretty much leave one another alone. The state may have an interest in dealing with the church, say if the church practiced child sacrifice. On the other hand, the church may speak to the state when there are extraordiinary matters of morality, say if the state countenanced the killing of children by their parents. Except in rare cases both do best to leave the other alone and to resist entanglements. But that is very differrent from telling religious people, for instance Christians, that they should not be involved in the life of the state or else check their Christinaty at the door when they enter the civic arena.

      So I am glad for your postiive influece on believers while I am sad that you left the faith.

      • Like I said earlier, some of my best friends are Christians and Christianists. I try to meddle with them as well, telling them to keep their eyes on the prize of KOG work–seeking first the KOG and his righteousness, loving god, and loving their neighbor. When all is said and done, if Christians would prioritize their lives around those three goals, many would not have the time to interfere in the secular realm. And for those who do have the time, I believe that their goals, strategies, tactics, and attitudes would be dramatically different from the way the Christian Collectivist Community presents itself today.

  42. David Frazier says:

    In keeping with my June 9 post, is there anything more comical, offensive, and pathetic in politics today than Huckabee and Santorum, and their presidential campaigns?They are the poster children for why I maintain that members of the Christian Collectivist Community should stay out of the political process, and focus instead on matters that pertain to the next world.

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