Every four years, during the presidential election season, Republican candidates criticize the abuses of the IRS and the complexity of the tax code. This time is no different. Sometimes Republicans introduce their own tax reform plans. This year Senators Marco…
If you missed Jeff Wright’s recent guest post, go read it now. Jeff has written a must-read essay on the spiritual effects of political engagement. He engages the danger in thoughtlessly using the word “we” in political conversations and identifies the often damaging “us versus them” mentality in the world of politics. He naturally connects what it means to be Christian and libertarian.
I want to follow-up his essay with a few of my own thoughts regarding spiritual formation. In recent years I have been influenced by Christian contemplatives who have connected with God on a formative level through the spiritual disciplines (e.g. prayer, fasting, meditation). One of the recurring themes within contemplative Christianity is what Richard Rohr calls growing into non-dual thinking. That is, treating life’s complexities in more than binary ways. Asking the question, “Is this good or bad?” is only helpful in the early stages of spiritual formation. The question itself is trapped in legalism. Non-dual thinking means evaluating a solution to a problem by considering how our psyche, our soul, our hearts are affected by such a solution. One way to put it is, “What is this doing to me/us?” To be sure, the good/bad question is not useless, but it is ill-equipped to respond lastingly to deeply rooted problems. Deeper reflection is required for lifelong spiritual formation, both for individuals and for societies.
Last Friday evening, the Christians for Liberty Austin Chapter met to watch Wait Till It’s Free, a documentary produced by Colin Gunn of Indoctrination and Captivated. Running with the catch-phrase from P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think health care is unaffordable now, wait till it’s free,” Colin exceptionally presents the terrifying landscape of government-regulated health care. Of course, the focus is upon the United States, but Canada and the United Kingdom are mentioned as well. Well-known experts are interviewed, as well as lesser-known doctors and organizations including multiple Christian-run clinics and non-profits.
Hopefully without ruining the film for you, here is a list of some of the critical points that might catch your interest…
For those of you who did not watch President Obama’s State of the Union address, you can read a transcript here, as I have. I neither watched it nor the five earlier addresses he gave. And neither did I watch any of Bush’s State of the Union addresses. Actually, I have never wasted my time watching any president’s State of the Union address.
I have always loathed Obama for his radical associations, his life spent in the service of racial preference, his aberrant Christianity, and his belief in the redistribution of wealth. I loathed Obama when he was in the Senate for being one of the most radical left-wing Senators in history. And I have loathed him as president for his corporatism, warmongering, contempt for the Constitution, Obamacare, and expanding the welfare/warfare/national security/surveillance state. In fact, if you substitute Bushcare (the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003) for Obamacare, these are the same reasons I loathed George W. Bush.
This does not mean, however, that we should just dismiss outright all of the proposals Obama made in his State of the Union address—and especially those that relate to taxes.
The Independent Institute recently hosted a special seminar with Dr. Ron Paul to talk about the future of freedom in America. He spoke of America’s “increasingly dysfunctional political system” and the need to curtail dramatically the power of the state. From their event announcement:
The author of numerous #1 New York Times bestselling books, Dr. Paul is a leading advocate for individual liberty, privacy, limited constitutional government, low taxes and spending, free markets, restrained foreign policy, and sound money. The New York Post has called him a man who “cannot be bought by special interests. There are few people in public life who, through thick and thin, rain or shine, stick to their principles.” And, Judge Andrew Napolitano calls him “The Thomas Jefferson of our day.”