Conciliation With the Colonies

Edmund Burke, on moving his Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies. House of Commons, March 22, 1775

Below are excerpts from the first fifth of the speech. The speech is public domain. All 24,000 words are available at Project Gutenberg.

I hope, Sir, that notwithstanding the austerity of the Chair, your good nature will incline you to some degree of indulgence towards human frailty… . We are at this very instant nearly as free to choose a plan for our American Government as we were on the first day of the session. If, Sir, we incline to the side of conciliation, we are not at all embarrassed (unless we please to make ourselves so) by any incongruous mixture of coercion and restraint. We are therefore called upon, as it were by a superior warning voice, again to attend to America; to attend to the whole of it together; and to review the subject with an unusual degree of care and calmness.

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“God does not pit obedience to Himself against obedience to civil magistrates here.”

"We are most certainly to obey God, but as Romans 13 indicates, one of the ways we obey God is to obey those God Himself has sovereignly and providentially put in authority over us. This includes civil magistrates. Even those we don’t like. Even pagan Roman emperors. Elsewhere, Paul tells Titus: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient” (Titus 3:1)." - Keith Mathison

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Can We “Honor” the  COVID-19 Rule-Makers?

Everyone is annoyed at times by a stupid rule or a bad decision by a leader. But lately, conservative Christian responses to government rules look and sound about the same as non-Christian attitudes on the political right: they’re dominated by anger, harsh judgments of motives, mockery, and defiance.

Sanctimonious defiance is still really just defiance. If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still… etc., etc.

Christians are called to better attitudes—ones fueled by a different focus. Keeping some realities in mind may help chill the anger and judgmentalism and foster something closer to our duty to “honor all” and “honor the king” (1 Pet 2:17, KJV).

Reality 1: All rules are stupid at the margins.

Observing how life works can lead to wisdom (Prov 24:32, 8:1-3). Observe that mailing or transmitting your tax return at one second past 11:59:59 PM on tax day is late. Going 70.00001 mph in a 70 mph zone is, technically, a violation. One second before midnight on the eve of your 18th birthday, you’re a minor and you can’t join the Army. One second later, you’re an adult, and you can.

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On Government, Police, and Qualified Immunity

These days, there’s a lot to be said for tuning out the info-noise and basking in the bliss of ignorance. Why fret over what you can’t change? There is a Judge of All the Earth,1 and it isn’t me. “Fret not”!2

And, in the daily cacophony of clashing claims, who can sort the truth out of the mess anyway, right?

Well … not exactly.

As fun as it is to imagine that we can just shut the door on it all, the Christian mind is one of inescapable tension. In one direction, we’re pulled toward resting in the sovereign power of the God who raises up and knocks down rulers (Dan 2:21) as He accomplishes His plan for His glory—a plan that can’t even be stalled, let alone defeated.3 In the other direction, we’re pulled toward loving God with our minds (Mark 12:30), bringing every exalted idea into captivity to Christ (2 Cor 10:5), and shining as lights in a dark, twisted world (Phil 2:15).

Further, as citizens in a constitutional democratic republic, we each own a piece of government power and the responsibility that goes with it. Few of us are authorized to wield the sword of justice (Rom 13:4), but we have influence. Our voices are part of the civil government.

And God takes government very seriously. Commenting on Genesis 9:6 and the context, Keil and Delitzsch put it strongly.

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Is It Too Late to Recover the Founders’ Presidency?

Prakash's book "offers a serious plan for the restoration of something closer to the original intent of the presidency and its relationship to our other political institutions. He offers a 13-part plan that includes making presidential advisors subject to Senate approval, growing Congress’s own expert staff, shrinking the offices in the executive branch ... reining in executive privilege, and deputizing private citizens as whistleblowers with standing to sue." - Law & Liberty

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Can the president really order the military to occupy US cities and states?

"The Posse Comitatus Act has not changed much since that time [1876]. The law prohibits the use of the military in civilian matters but, over time, Congress has passed at least 26 exemptions to the act that allow the president to send troops into states." - The Conversation

407 reads