Government

Holy Cow over a Holy Chicken

Posted on July 28, 2012. Filed under: Culture, Government, In the News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never thought I’d write a post about Chi-fil-A. Probably because I didn’t think there was anything really to write about. Yes, I find their spicy chicken sandwich awesome. They do make the best cookies and cream milkshakes. And Chick-fil-a sauce can cure cancer. But if you wanted to know all that, you shouldn’t read about it in a blog, you should just go there and eat the food. Even if you’re gay.

That’s right, despite what you may or may not have heard, Chick-fil-A does serve homosexuals. Dan Cathy has not made it corporate policy to hate gays. Actually, I would say I eat at Chick-fil-A more than the average person (especially when I was pregnant) and I have never, ever been asked if I was in a heterosexual relationship or even if I was a Christian. That’s why it is very difficult for me to understand what in the world everyone was so upset about this week.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-fil-A, gave an interview to the Baptist Press in which he said he believed marriage should be between one man and one woman. In other words, a Christian man, while talking to a Christian outlet, said he believes in the Christian definition of marriage.

This is not news.

What is news is the lack of outrage that has followed. The mayors of Boston and Chicago both claimed Chick-fil-A had no place in their cities and various gay activist groups are using a lot of resources to ostracize the company in the public sphere.

In this story, there’s something that pretty much everyone can unite against. These governments are treating a private company differently because its president holds a certain religious opinion. Many activist groups are using aggressive and coercive behavior to force Chick-fil-A to change its stance – might one call this bullying? Yet the outrage is targeted at demonizing a man because he ‘hates’ gays, though the activists are the ones who want to treat him differently for having a dissenting opinion.

I fully support that private citizens have the right to boycott Chick-fil-A (just as they could boycott OPEC oil for slaughtering homosexuals in those countries), but shouldn’t we be more cautious before publicly blacklisting Dan Cathy or anyone else for holding beliefs that are different than our own? Shouldn’t a red flag go up when government is threatening any citizen for their religious beliefs? Isn’t that the Christian, or if you’re not one of those, American thing to do?

I still firmly believe that this problem like so many can be fixed with a little Chick-Fil-A sauce, which is why I’ll be supporting the company on August 1st. Not just because I agree with Dan Cathy (my readers already know how I feel about that topic), but because I also support the right for people to express their beliefs without coercive backlash from the most ‘tolerant’ in society. How about you?

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Coverage for the Bleeding Heart

Posted on July 1, 2012. Filed under: Culture, Economics, Government, Money | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

In the 72 hours following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, it would seem that everyone and their mother is now a Constitutional scholar. Fortunately for my readers, I’m not going to bloviate on the logic of Congress being able to tax something it cannot legally regulate. Nor will I pontificate on how the Federal government cannot coerce states to engage in behavior but can do so to its citizens. Those would appear to be a moot topics now. But I did notice some of my left-leaning friends envoking their Christian values (loving others as they love themselves and caring for the poor) to defend Obamacare.

Proverbs 18:2 reads, “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” Some of the most vocal on this issue are clearing relying preconceived false notions of federalism, (“Why can’t we mandate healthcare if we mandate car insurance?”) capitalism/insurance (“Those companies are making billions in profits!”), the uninsured (“Only the 1% can afford health insurance”), government (“It’ll be like Medicare for everyone!”), and general health (“People can’t help if they have….”), clearly demonstrating their ignorance . I’m not claiming to be a savant in the ways of health insurance, but I do rely on more informative sources than Rolling Stone articles and the Daily Show.

Christ called us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, which leads some to support government run/regulated healthcare. Yet, Obamacare will not achieve this goal efficiently or effectively and here is why:

Creating price caps on any product results in a lower price, but it does not eliminate the cost (it still takes just as much training to make a doctor or just as many hospitals to treat patients…but I digress). Instead, the cost appears in other forms like lower quality service and product shortages (resulting from demand for the product going up while the market supply simultaneously dropped). In a health industry, that can have terrible, sometimes deadly consequences.

The British National Health Service is notorious for it’s long waiting lists to see doctors or to schedule surgeries. In one year alone one 4,000 women gave birth in hospital waiting rooms, bathrooms, hallways and elevators while waiting to be seen by a doctor. The OECD found that 27% of Canadians and 38% of British wait more than 4 months for elective surgeries, which included some heart surgery.

But you don’t need to look abroad for other examples. You could look the VA, Medicaid, Medicare or the military health insurance TRICARE here in the US. Costs under all of these programs have exploded, while care is anything but stellar. Because my husband is a Marine, we have TRICARE. Last year, I found a lump in my breast and waited 3 weeks before I could see a specialist, another 2 for results (which were thankfully clear). Yes, the price was zero but the cost was not. I hate to think what those three weeks would have cost me if I had cancer…

Another example, my son’s doctor told me his office dedicates one person to handle TRICARE insurance claims because of the bureaucratic mess involved, while another employee handles all other insurance claims. Many doctors’ offices and hospitals don’t even take Medicare/Medicaid because government reimbursable rates are so low (certainly some costs associated with doctors not seeing those patients aren’t there?). These disincentives will only increase and will eventually back-fire leading to fewer smarty-pants wanting to be doctors, as it did in the UK. There, half of doctors are imported, many from third world countries where training isn’t first-rate, unless you include voodoo which is always a safe bet.

Don’t forget Americans get to enjoy many of the latest drugs before the rest of the world because the newest drugs are usually the most expensive (those evil money-hungry pharmaceutical companies have to recooperate their R&D costs, not to mention invest in new drugs). Single-payer systems won’t, and can’t, afford the best drugs for everyone. The price on the next-best drug may be zero, but is the cost?

Christians (and otherwise) all want their neighbors to have the best healthcare for the lowest cost. But past and contemporary history and basic economics show us following the way of the NHS and Medicare/Medicaid isn’t the way to achieve that goal. There still are ways to bring costs and prices down, such as returning insurance to it’s original intent (managing risk). But unfortunately, exploring these ideas would require politicians and the public at large to gain little discipline and understanding, rather than just concentrating on airing out their well-intentioned but poorly-informed opinions.

PS – Please feel free to air out your opinions of me airing out my opinions below.

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A Straight Answer on Gay Marriage

Posted on May 20, 2012. Filed under: Culture, Government | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Whenever I don’t know what to write about next, I look at the cover of Newsweek. This time, the magazine is depicting President Obama with a rainbow halo and the words, “The First Gay President,” fueling yet another debate over gay marriage.

Yes,  I’m one of the politically incorrect Christians that thinks being gay is a sin. It’s not because I’m a bigot or because I’m mad the gay community has hijacked and monopolized the rainbow, rather it’s because Scripture tells me it is. There’s the Old Testament verses like Lev 18:22 or Paul’s writings that lay it all out (1 Cor 6:9, Romans 1:26-27), but many in the Church disregard these because ‘Jesus didn’t say it.’ Yet, Christ did define marriage as a man and a woman thereby negating homosexuality, polygamy, or anything else  (Matt 19:4-9, Mark 10:3-12). To me, there’s no question that Christians should be opposed to gay marriage within the Church. The question I struggle with is: should Christians deny those outside the Church?

When Paul wrote to the nascent church in Corinth, it was common for the Greeks to have homosexual partners, which Paul opposed. Yet, when he called for the Greek disciples to abstain from sexual immorality, he also told them it was not his place to judge those outside the Church:

“It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you” (1 Cor 5:12-13).

Paul is telling us that we should not focus our scorn on the non-believers, but rather that we should ensure those claiming to be Christ-followers are practicing what they preach. Isn’t that the biggest complaint about Christians today – that we are hypocrites? How can we use force (i.e. government) to define ‘holy’ marriage, when the Church elects gay bishops, covers-ups the molestation of  children, ignores pornography, adultery, cohabitation and maintains the same divorce rate as non-Christians?

Christians should be more concerned with spreading the Gospel than legislating their will onto others (something we certainly wouldn’t want them doing to us).  Christianity was able to spread throughout the Roman Empire, including carnal Corinth, and eventually transform it because early Christians focused on love, not law.  If we focus more on being lights for the world, maybe the sanctity of marriage along with the rest of our culture could be saved. After all, it’s God that gives marriage its value, not government.

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Pause for Feedback

Posted on February 19, 2012. Filed under: Culture, Economics, Government | Tags: , , , |

English: U-Haul van being refueled on the Rout...

Image via Wikipedia

As some of you know, right now I’m in the process of transitioning to a bigger home to accommodate our expanding family. While I’d love to sit and write a moving post on what the Bible has to say about Uhaul, I’d rather take this opportunity to ask my readers to provide some feedback and guidance on what they’d like to read more about. Feel free to take the following poll or just ‘comment.’ Thanks everyone, and I’ll be back next week.

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Putting Defense on Defense

Posted on January 8, 2012. Filed under: Government | Tags: , , , , , |

The Terminator (soundtrack)

Image via Wikipedia

This past Thursday, the White House announced it was ‘cutting’ defense spending while updating the Pentagon’s strategy for the future (someone will have to explain to me how decreasing the amount something increases is a cut). Some of these updates include focusing on the Asian-Pacific, investing in unmanned aerial vehicles and cyber-space security, and cutting personnel costs while maintaining beach volleyball courts for Navy pilots. As expected, Republicans are screaming Obama is ‘gutting’ the defense while Democrats argue it’s not enough.

Not surprisingly, national defense is justifiable biblically. We see this from the beginning of Israel’s formation when the Hebrews left Egypt armed (Exodus 13:18). Samuel listed the first role the king would have as commander-in-chief (1 Sam 8:11). But too much of a good thing is not always good, and can even make you vomit (Proverbs 25:16).

The Parable of the Talents gives the account of a man who went on a journey but gave three servants sums of money to invest while he was gone. The first two invested their treasure and thereby turned a profit, but the last buried his portion in the ground. He didn’t earn any interest, but he didn’t lose the money either. The master came home, rewarded the first two, and cast out the last servant (Matthew 25:14-30).

Like the servants entrusted with the master’s money, our government is entrusted with the taxpayer’s money. And like the master, we should expect that our money is spent in a thoughtful, legal, and efficient way,  not simply earmarked for ‘defense,’ a good thing, and hope it all works out in the end. We would be wise to question how 78,000 troops across Europe are still necessary. Or how paying for 2,200 nuclear weapons prevents a terrorist attack, protects us from a crippling cyber attack on our power grid, or prevents Skynet from becoming self-aware. Does keeping a large standing military protect American citizens or make politicians more cavalier with our military?

Christ warned us about entering into military commitments without counting the costs ahead of time, “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able …If he is not able, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away” (Luke 14:31-32).

Not all military spending is necessary or wise simply because it is done in the name of defense or security. We need to know what our end goal is – protecting our trade, nation building, preparing for an alien attack on Independence Day? We need to know if those goals are attainable – can Afghanistan become a stable republic, are advanced alien spaceships even likely to be compatible with Windows?  And of course, we need to know the cost. With $117,000,000,000,000 (and counting) in unfunded liabilities, I have to wonder what we can afford.

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Jesus: Gandhi or Patton? Part I

Posted on November 29, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Government |

Norse Warriors

Image by Dunechaser via Flickr

As my household prepares for a deployment, I’ve found myself studying up on what the Bible has to say about war, violence, and self-defense. While there is enough material to make Tolstoy blush, I thought my readers might appreciate some brevity, so I’m going to break this up into a few posts.

I think too often Christ gets painted as a dove. People, even some Christians, portray him as some sort of Gandhi that believed violence is always wrong. I’m finding this isn’t so.  One of the last instructions he gave his followers was to be prepared to physically defend themselves against their enemies.

After  the Last Super concluded, Jesus turned to his disciples and asked if He had provided them with all they needed during the ministry to which they affirmed. But then Christ said to them, “But now, take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true” (Luke 22:36-37).

While he was on earth, his followers had Christ’s divine protection in every sense of the word. God was going to ensure that his message was spread and that no physical harm would come to Jesus (or his followers) until the appointed time. Jesus knew his time was coming to an end, and wanted to be sure the disciples knew that he wasn’t going to be around to provide everything for them anymore; they would have to take care of themselves.

While sitting in my house, I have the  protection of the local and state police; I trust they will protect me. But if someone wanted to hurt me or my family, it surely improves my odds of staying safe when I keep the doors locked, have the protection of my fierce teufel hundens, and know how to use my handgun. In the same way, God will protect us, but He won’t take away the free will of our enemies to do harm to us (see Revelations).

So that means Jesus wants us to be Vikings swinging around battle axes against those who threaten us right? Not exactly. When the authorities came to arrest Christ, Peter uses his sword to cut an ear off of the priests (John 18:10). Jesus scolded Peter and said the infamous, “Put away your sword, those who use the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Keep in mind a few hours earlier Jesus told Peter he needed a sword, what gives?

This wasn’t a mob with pitchforks or really angry 99% signs. The men who came to arrest Jesus were acting on behalf of the Jewish authorities and had jurisdiction to be there. Christ corrected Peter’s actions (and even gave the priest his ear back) because a) this was all part of God’s plan b) we do not have the right to use violence against those acting in just authority (it is illegal to shoot at the cops after all). I think the ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’ means those who act unjustly will be capitally punished by those in authority, a topic for another day…

So bottom line on this one, self defense is a good thing and something Christ encouraged provided it was defensive against the unjust rather than offensive against the just.

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The Religion Platform

Posted on October 12, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Government |

Bill Clinton - World Economic Forum Annual Mee...

Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr

Everyone knows that the 2012 election is going to be about the economy. But thanks to comments from Pastor Robert Jeffress, Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is back in the spotlight (Jon Hunstman’s too but who cares about him). Jeffress referred to Mormonism as a cult and said, “Every true, born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian,” implying that Mormons are not Christians. I’m not going to get into the theology of Later Day Saints, golden tablets, or (the lack of) Jewish Native Americans (unless my readers want me to of course). But this debate does beg the question: should a candidate’s faith be a valid campaign issue?

In Luke 11:37-52, we see a Pharisee invited Christ for a meal (Pharisees are a socio-political Jewish group that recognizes oral and written Torah or what Christians would call the first five books of the Old Testament also know as the Pentateuch). Before the meal began, the Pharisee was shocked to see Jesus refrained from washing himself. This customary practice had become an obligation, giving Jesus the opportunity to point out the Pharisee’s hypocrisy: he was concerned about what is on the outside, while ignoring the inside. Christ excoriated the Pharisees for being greedy, wicked, insincere, and arrogant while they claimed to be experts of the Jewish faith.

While the Jews didn’t exactly get to vote for their Roman governors in free and fair elections, Americans have that blessing and should respect that privilege. I can completely relate to those of you who will not vote for a candidate who is not a Christian. Paul told us we are not to be yoked with unbelievers; why then would we vote for one to represent us in government? But I am wary to rubber stamp one candidate over another simply because they claim to be a Christian. Clinton claimed to be a Baptist. Nixon claimed to be a Quaker. Putting a cross next to the name does not ensure Christian actions in public or private life. After all, 76% of Americans claim they are Christians. If only.

Faith, like voting, is a personal choice and commitment. While a person’s actions and statements can certainly reveal character and guide our impressions and likewise how we cast our ballot, only his Creator knows the true nature of his faith.

The last thing Christ said to the Pharisee was, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering” (Luke 11:52).

Pharisees and Sadducees in ancient Israel. The Catholic Church from Constantine to Henry VIII. The Church of England from Henry VIII to the founding of this country. Having the State involved in religion, even if it is Christianity, is a dangerous and often deadly proposition. As Christ said, its coercive powers also have the ability to impede personal faith. It is the reason the Constitution bars any form of State endorsed religious test in Article VI paragraph III and why Congress cannot establish or prohibit free exercise of any religion.

While private citizens may choose to cast their vote as they see fit or a pastor may express his personal beliefs in the public square, I believe Christians must never let a public official impress (not to be confused with express) their religious beliefs upon others. That is a choice each individual must make on his own (Luke 14:27). But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Josh 24:15).

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“The Road to Serfdom” – A Take Away

Posted on October 12, 2011. Filed under: Economics, Government, Theology | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

English: GFDL picture of F.A. Hayek to replace...

English: GFDL picture of F.A. Hayek to replace fair use images that are used in some articles. Released by the Mises Institute. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you seen the summer Youtube sensations “Fear the Boom and Bust” and my personal favorite “The Fight of the Century”? These videos feature political-economic bigwigs Friedrich August von Hayek and John Maynard Keynes battling over the roll of government in the economy. Sounds really dorky but it’s actually pretty funny. The creator attempts to get viewers thinking about the age-old questions: do we go with central planning or favor personal liberty?

Anyways, after viewing these hysterical videos, I realized that I had never read either man’s works. So, I sat down and read F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” which warns of the inherent problems that exist in free societies and central planning. For anyone interested…scratch that…anyone who votes, the book is short and a pretty easy read. No graphs or equations or anything that would remind you of a mandatory college class.

While Hayek addresses a number of issues that are still eerily relevant today,  one thing in particular that  struck me was his argument on the “Rule of Law.” This bedrock for free societies is commonly understood to mean that no man from the President on down is higher than the law. It’s easy to understand why this is the colloquial meaning for the phrase, but it’s not entirely accurate.

As Hayek wrote, “Rule of Law implies limits to the scope of legislation.” After all, Hitler was elected and carried out his eugenic policies completely through a legislative process. But not too many of us would claim slaughtering Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and communists is okay as long as Congress passes a law saying so  (well Hoover might have argued that last one and no, not the vacuum cleaner guy). Here in the US, one of the major roles of the Supreme Court is to determine if laws Congress and the President pass hold muster to the Constitution, i.e. our set of laws that limit the government’s power.  Hayek argued that central planning and the Rule of Law are incompatable because “the government’s coercive powers [are] no longer limited and determined by pre-established rules.”

In Deuteronomy, when God is outlining how a king should rule, He commands the king is to read the law God gave Moses daily.  “It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he…(will) not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left” (Deut 17:19-20).  Now, from my understanding of the time, what the king said was law. But God also gave laws to his people that governed how even the king must live; the king was confined to these laws. It appears to me, this was God’s way of establishing the Rule of Law among the Jews.

This may seem theoretical and not so relevant today, but look at it this way: do we really think politicians should be permitted enact whatever they deem ‘good’ or should there be limits? I recently read the EPA is effectively outlawing an inhaler because it uses CFC – obviously it can, but should a Federal agency be permitted to outlaw a product while circumventing the legislative processes? Or do we still recognize pre-established rules that say what the government can and cannot do? Have we given up on our Rule of Law?

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Instead of Occupying Wall Street, Occupy A Book

Posted on October 7, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Economics, Government, In the News, Money | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Day 3 Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone 7

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

Perhaps I’m missing something. I just can’t seem to understand what the Occupy Wall Street protest is all about. I’ve seen signs protesting global warming, genetically altered food, corporate greed, loans that leave people in ‘slavery’ (here’s a tip, don’t take out the loan), unfair wages, high healthcare costs, corporate cronyism and of course, social injustice. While there are a few odd-ball request, it seems like these groups are really just have a beef with “the rich” (see the “We are the 99%” signs). But this assumes a lot – namely that if the rich have, we don’t have, and if the rich are better off, the middle class and poor are worse off. You know what they say about assumptions…

“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Prov 19:2). Translated, acting on raw emotion without facts probably won’t end too well for anyone. That’s how Christ was crucified. So, are the middle class and poor doomed? Are we all just pawns in a corporate game? Should we bring out the guillotines?

The problem with looking at statistical data of the rich bracket and poor bracket from one year and comparing it to another, is that this assumes the people within those groups are the same, or it ignores what economists call “income mobility.” IRS and Census data shows that people in the bottom 20% of income earners in 1996 had their incomes increase 91% by 2005. At the same time, the top 1% of income earners or what we’d all consider the “very rich,” had their income decrease by 26% over the same period. The same US Treasury data also shows only 25% of those in the top 1% of income earners in 1996 were still there in 2005.

Another problem with the “rich are getting richer” argument is that it also ignores that the standard of living for everyone is going up, not down. For example, in 1971, only 1% of households had a microwave and only 43.3% had a color television. Compare that to 2005 when 91.2% of those living under the poverty line had a microwave and 97.4% had a color television. I’d argue that those commodities are also a lot nicer, smaller, and more efficient in 2005 than those produced in 1971 too. Wouldn’t you rather be poor in 2005 than middle class in 1971?

I remember one of my economics professors in college talking about wealth as a pizza. He argued that politicians usually refer to the pizza as a fixed size, but wealth doesn’t work that way. Capitalism, while not perfect, can make the pizza larger and increase the quality of the pizza at the same time. If someone asked if you want 1 piece of option A or 2 pieces from option B, you should ask how large the pizzas are before you answer.

So, why would so many people instantaneously say “2, that way you have less”? One, they are ignorant with too much time on their hands. Two, they are giving into one of our most basic of human desires: coveting. Doesn’t matter how good we have it if someone else has is better.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Deut 5:21). Isn’t most of this just nomadic Hebrew for “don’t covet your neighbor’s wealth”? It isn’t morally right, and really doesn’t make too much logical sense either.

(For those interested, Learn Liberty did a short on this very topic: here)

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In Justice?

Posted on October 1, 2011. Filed under: Government, In the News | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen October 2008, ta...

Image via Wikipedia

Well, it doesn’t take much for Washington to pat itself on the back, but every now and again it manages to do something right. But, I’m not sure that the most recent ‘success’ story from the Global War on Terror is just that.

On Friday, news spread that the CIA and Special Operation Forces killed al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (and Samir Khan but, who is that?) in a joint drone and jet strike. Some are claiming al-Awlaki was more powerful than Osama Bin Laden, second only to Inspector Gadget’s Dr. Claw (honestly, who goes after a cute little girl and her puppy – jerk).

Supposedly, al-Awlaki inspired, recruited, and trained terrorists including three of the 9/11 attackers, the Fort Hood shooter, and the infamous Underwear Bomber. I say supposedly, not because I don’t think he was behind these plots, but because Anwar al-Awlaki was never in fact tried and found guilty of these crimes.

Now, anyone who knows me personally knows I’m not exactly a dove. So far, I haven’t heard a convincing argument as to why foreign/freedom fighters or whatever you want to call them should be tried in US courts. But al-Awlaki and Khan were different. Why? Because they were both US citizens and that comes with certain protections, namely the Constitution.

Article 3, section 3 of the Constitution reads, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Check on that one. It continues, “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” Open court? Oops. The government can’t just put you on a “Capture or Kill” list arbitrarily or not. What about if someone renounces their citizenship? Well, in order to do that you have to go before a diplomatic or consular officer in a foreign state (that means in a US embassy guarded by armed Marines). So, there you have it. Al-Awlaki and Khan, both US citizens, executed for treason unconstitutionally. This might sit okay with some of you because these two were really bad, but if so, my question is – where is the line? What makes it okay for the government to act as prosecutor, judge, and jury in this case, but not others?

This one is tough for me. I want our government to be efficient, especially in executing (no pun intended) war. But I also don’t want the government to determine when it can and cannot suspend the Constitution.

The Founding Fathers got the whole trial by jury of your peers from the Bible. The Israelites appointed judges and officials to each tribe who oversaw disputes between persons (Deu 16:18-20). Witnesses were called and no man could be found guilty of a crime based off of one man’s testimony (Deu 19:15-20). However, in this case of the strike, it seems to me the government acted as judge and witness.

In Matthew, Christ calls us to settle disputes among ourselves, and only when this cannot be done, take it to the church (which acted as sorta State as well). If the person found guilty will not listen to the church, then we are to treat him as an outsider (Mat 18:15-19).

Perhaps we were to treat Khan and al-Awlaki as outsiders, meaning they should not get privileges US citizens do? Or, is that only after they have been “tried”? At what point, if ever, does the Constitution no longer apply? Who decides that point?

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