Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This Election is about Morality and God: Everything Else is Details

Well, blogging is still light around here because I'm deep in the fourth century but before I dive back into Athanasius' smackdown of Arian exegesis again, I just checked what is going on in the 21st century and, oh what a night for Rick!

All over America millions of people are saying something like this to each other: "The only thing I ever had against Santorum is that I never thought everybody else would vote for him."

Exactly. That is what you were programed to think by your media manipulators. Romney is inevitable. Romney is the choice of all the smart people in the Republican establishment. Santorum is a nobody. He belongs to some creepy cult called Roman Catholicism whereas Romney is a fine, upstanding, mainstream Mormon.

Enough. This is not a beauty pagent. More than any other election I can remember in my lifetime it is an election of big ideas. Here are a couple of comments I noted well from the Big Government website this morning. Big Government leans libertarian not social conservative, so they are all the more significant for that.

First, from Joel B. Pollack:
Santorum’s (belated) victory in the Iowa caucuses owed much to his campaign’s explicit appeals to evangelical voters on social issues. Yet even voters who disagree with him on those issues may be attracted by the fact that he has a set of values that he is not willing to sacrifice under any circumstances. After a year of frustrating compromises in Congress–for both sides–Santorum’s strong stances on social issues may be a plus. . . .

The church is an imperfect guardian of individual liberty, but Obama’s expansive state is liberty’s clear enemy. That is why 2012 could see a social conservative revival after all.
Secondly, from Charles C. Johnson:

But Santorum understands something that few of the other candidates can put into words: that the power to mandate is the power to compel and compulsion must be grounded on something higher than the mere will of the sovereign. This is a very effective argument against Barack Obama, but it it also a very effective one against Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who also supported the Wall Street bailouts, cap and trade (taxing breathing) and of course, the individual mandate in health insurance. Both Gingrich and Romney are essentially progressives in their view that there is nothing government mustn’t do.

Santorum is totally correct when he says that government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything away or to force you to accept their “gifts” on their terms. We got a vision of what an Obamacare regime will look like this week when the Obama administration forced Catholic universities, hospitals and other church-affiliated employers to implement a new policy that requires health insurers to offer birth control coverage. For Catholics and many Americans who rightly argue that life begins at conception, forcing their institutions to provide the morning after-pill is tantamount to forcing them to countenance abortion.

The truth has always been that the left were the aggressors in the culture wars and this week they dug their trenches and prepared their assault on three key issues: homosexuals, the murder of the unborn, and compulsory subsidizing of birth control. Each of these issues is tied to the freedom of conscience and each of these issues is a battleground that the left has chosen. Suddenly the pushy Catholic, as the left would describe Santorum, doesn’t seem so pushy when the Catholics get pushed around. So much for if you like your health plan you can keep it. The fine print was apparently: you can only keep your health plan if we like it. Oh, and if you are a charity that doesn’t want to fund our left-wing causes, we will hack your websites, destroy your reputation, and threaten your employees.

(My bolding) The two sentences I have bolded represent the crux of this election. Do Americans still believe, as the Founders did, that ultimately morality and law must be based on something higher than the will of the sovereign (or the people)? Not all the Founders were orthodox Christians, but this was something they nevertheless believed to a man. There is an objective order of right and wrong in this universe and our job is to try to measure up to it, not redefine it.

Sometimes we fail and sometimes we don't even try. But the objective standard remains the same. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Etc.

A country that has a standard it fails to live up to, like an individual, can always repent. So there is always hope. But when you deny the standard, re-define it, assume the role of God, what comes next? Solzhenitsyn talked about this in his Harvard commencement address, "A World Split Apart." He criticized the failure of the tyrannical Soviet Union as rooted in the tragedy that: "Men forgot God." But he scandalized the leftist intelligentsia of America by telling them to their faces that unless they remember God they face the same fate.

Social conservatism cannot, as Mitch Daniels suggested, be cordoned off and ignored while the real business of economics is taken care of by the government. Why? Because the basic economic problem in America is whether government should be limited or unlimited. And the answer to that question depends on whether or not we believe that God exists.

To put it bluntly, God limits government and that has always been the secret of the West's greatness. And when the West forgets God - it will fall too.


If you want to watch Rick Santorum's victory speech last night, click here. It is about 14 minutes and the best part, if you are short on time, is the second half, especially the closing. He talks about "honour" for heaven's sake! Honour! In the modern world. No irony. And it is credible. Honestly, conservatives have waiting for another Reagan since 1988. Could this finally be what they have been waiting for?

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