Good Reads 02/10/18

What I’ve Been Reading, Listening to, and Watching this Week–Special Swamp Edition

Un-Candid in Camera

What Mark Steyn says: “As I said to Tucker the other night, there’s no evidence of Russian government interference with the 2016 election, but there’s plenty of evidence of US government interference with the 2016 election. The latter ought to be far more disturbing. All foreign governments can be expected to pursue their national interests as they see fit. That the most powerful forces within your own government decide to subvert the election result is far more bizarre, and far graver.”

My Take: The big mistake that a lot of people make when they think about politics is to focus on partisanship. But as the Nunes memo, the Grassley letter, and the budget deal (see below) demonstrate the fight in Washington, D.C. and state capitals and city councils isn’t between Republicans and Democrats but between those who would use the state to coerce others and those who would use it to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, there’s an even bigger fight going on behind the scenes between those who deny the kingship of Christ and those who submit to it. Christians should make sure they are on the right side of both fights by seeking Scripture’s teaching about civil government and economics. Big government doesn’t glorify God or reflect Christian liberty.

A Dumpster Full of Grease Fire

What Douglas Wilson says: “Our apparatus of secret courts and intelligence agencies were corrupted to be used in a political campaign for political purposes. This is just one step away from using the military in order to sway a political campaign. The only difference between using the intelligence agencies for political purposes and the military for political purposes is the factor of secrecy v. openness. But now—now that this whole tawdry thing has been dumped out on the table in front of us—those who would scoff at it as though it were that famous “nothingburger” are in effect telling us how they would speak and act if there were to be open coercive military pressure placed on our elections. They would object or applaud based on whether it furthered or hindered their political objectives and designs. They have no commitment whatever to any process that allows them to be defeated fair and square.”

My Take: Have you noticed how liberals have gone from protesting against the police state to embracing it? How they have gone from railing against big business to partnering with it to advance their agenda? How they have gone from freeing blacks from oppression to oppressing them with the welfare state? Me too. Unfortunately, a lot of Republicans have gone right along with them. And since they’ve already enlisted the Intelligence community to help them overturn the outcome of an American presidential election, Wilson’s speculation doesn’t seem farfetched at all.

Fiscal Conservatism is Dead in a Ditch

What Ben Domenech Says: “Fiscal conservatism is easy when it doesn’t count for anything. It’s easy to oppose budget deals when you’re in the minority. It’s easy to point out that massive deficits are a burden on future generations when your perspective is irrelevant. And it’s easy to make the case against massive spending increases when you know those increases will happen anyway, and the government will remain open and churning along despite your principled objections. But when you run the House, the Senate, and the White House, that’s when fiscal conservatism is difficult and presents hard choices, because it’s always easier in this modern era to borrow and spend money you don’t have than it is to hold to budget caps and artificial restrictions. And the Republican Party, the Party of Trump, is not about hard choices. So instead, Republicans decided to repeal the Tea Party.”

My Take: This reminds me of what happened after the Republican Revolution in 1994. Republicans took over and started draining the swamp for a bit. But then the appropriators took over and spending became the religion of the Republican party, accelerating once George W. took office. Here they go again. And this time it only took them one year. The only path forward to liberty in this country is to cut government spending at all levels. Let’s take a page from the global warming alarmists’ book and make it our goal to cut government spending back to 1990 levels. Then we’ll see how that looks and take it from there.

What is R2K Theology?

What R.C. Sproul, Jr. Says: “At their worst, however, R2K (Radical–or Reformed– Two Kingdom) theology can silence the prophetic voice of the church. While many R2K advocates would be comfortable with individual Christians speaking to the great moral issues of our day, the church is forbidden to do so. When the state punishes a landlord for refusing to rent to fornicators, the church cannot speak. When the state engages in empire building, waging unjust wars across the globe, the church cannot speak. Worst of all, when the state uses its God-given sword to protect those who murder the unborn, the church cannot speak.”

My Take: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11 ESV). Christ is Lord over all things. Civil government included. Done well, speaking prophetically into the culture about matters of governance and morality can provide great opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a fallen people–Christian and non-Christian alike. And it is the Gospel, and only the Gospel, that will ultimately drain the swamp.

SteynPost #23: Among the Empathizers

What Mark Steyn Says: “Mark addresses one of the curious phenomena of the age: the more the left talks about “empathy”, the less they have of it – to the point where the ability to imagine, never mind “tolerate”, anyone who thinks differently is increasingly beyond them.”

My Take: Toleration isn’t quite what it used to be.